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Technical Interview: strengths, weaknesses, or logic?

Gary Charles
Ranch Hand

Joined: Oct 29, 2012
Posts: 32
I've got a technical job interview in a few days and I'm wondering how to
prepare. I've already had a phone interview and explained where I'm comfortable
and where I'm weak w/r/t to the technology. The phone interviewer will not be
at the in-person interview. He said they won't necessarily be testing on syntax but
whether or not I can complete a series of steps. Or maybe explain what
steps need to be done in logical order to solve a problem.

The job description lists the ability to write advanced scripts and prepare
complex on-the-fly SQL queries. I don't meet either of those requirements but
they are evaluating me because of my experience in other areas. My
own evaluation is that I can read most shell scripts and I can write scripts
but I'll be a little slow in the beginning. My SQL experience is pretty
limited. I can do basic queries but I haven't really done much in the way of
joins and whatever is beyond that.

I did well on the soft skills or else I would not be getting an opportunity for
the in-person interview. The areas I need to consider are shell script
writing, SQL queries, and logic. The recruiter shared the evaluation with me
from the phone interview

Scripting = fair,
SQL = we will need to work on it.

I'm not trying to fool anybody as it'll be obvious very quickly what my skills
are or are not. I'm just not sure what to focus on during my time beforehand.

The job is for a Technical Support position and FWIW I've been in that area for 15+ years.

Thanks for any advice!
chris webster

Joined: Mar 01, 2009
Posts: 2288

Joins are not "complex" SQL, so if you're not even comfortable writing join queries, you're probably not going to get very far on your SQL in just a few days. I'd say practice some joins - especially the differences between inner and outer joins - on your local database using standard syntax, so you can get a feel for how they work and what they do. This may help you to avoid making a fool of yourself with the introductory SQL questions. But you should probably just be honest with the recruiter about your current SQL skills, rather than hope to become an expert in a few days. If they're OK with you learning more SQL on the job, maybe you can get by with just showing them you understand the basics reasonably well.

Good luck, anyway!

No more Blub for me, thank you, Vicar.
Gary Charles
Ranch Hand

Joined: Oct 29, 2012
Posts: 32
Thanks Chris.

I agree. Here's the link:
subject: Technical Interview: strengths, weaknesses, or logic?
It's not a secret anymore!