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Any advice or tips for my Java Developer Interview

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Hello Fellow Ranchers,
As a SCJP(Nov. 2000) I look forward to first in-person interview for a Java position. Currently I work doing primary DB2/COBOL/CICS however I have recently be able to parlay a few Java related assignments into my standard Mainframe assignments including: Servlet, JSP, Java Beans, JDBC, JavaMail, HTML, XML and JavaScript just to name a few. But most of these projects were pretty straight forward and did not require alot of analysis and previously written interface classes made my job quite easy.
In the past 4 months my knowledge has grown by leaps in bounds. I am now looking at my first in-person interview for Java(I had another lined up but they cancelled the day of the interview..very unprofessional)
I have a few concerns because they want someone with EJB and Websphere(Preferable). I recently begain studying EJB but I know very little about Websphere.
1.) Can any one give me any tips or advice of the the types of questions I might encounter. The position is for a Java Developer 1-2 Years of Java, JSP, Servlet, EJB and Websphere preferable and the also want someone with a COBOL/DB2 background.
2.) What types of questions might I encounter relating to the integration of Java with Legacy code and DB2 dataases.
Travis M. Gibson, SCJP
(visit my site and check out the Sample Servlets, JSPs, JDBC and JavaMail apps)
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- You can expect your interview to be in two parts.
- Part 1 will deal with general managerial type questions, such as: Give me an example of a project where you demonstrated your leadership skills. What were your roles in this project. How did/do you deal with difficult customers - give me an example. How did/do you deal with difficult employees - give me an example. What was the overall result of this project.
You can also expect to do a 5-10 minute overview of your resume.
Note, that the above does not have to deal with Java - the interviewer is looking for "people" skills at this point in the interview. Your answers should however relate to projects you have done in the computer field (either academic or industry experience).
Now, if you brought your beads and went to church on Sunday, this could be the end of the interview. For the job I have now, I did not go into part #2. That's right. I have a Java programmer job where I was not asked one technical question during the interview process.
- A good source for part #1 - questions and answers is: Martin Yate - Knock 'Em Dead - ISBN: 1580624219 - On Amazon.com for
around $10.50 and can get at most bookstores.
Moving onto part #2: This is the Java technical interview.
Now if the position advertised wants EJB, but you did not list it on your resume - and I assume you probably went over this during a preliminary phone interview - then don't worry - it won't come up. If it does - mention that you do not know EJB. They may be looking (and probably are) for junior level people to supplement the person with the EJB skills. Meaning - your timing was right on this one.
Most of the part #2 questions are right off the SCJP exam requirements.
Typical part #2 questions:
- Describe/Provide an example of the 2 ways to instantiate a thread. How do you start such a thread. Do you use run or start.
- Describe access modifiers. (See my link to another post below).
- Write code for stack/queue - this shows you know the difference between objects and pointers to objects. Ie:
Object a = new Object(); versus Object b = a;
- Describe differences between interface and abstract class - give example of such. (ie: implements vs. extends).
- Give code example of an event model/listener.
- Write a sample applet and corresponding HTML code.
- They may give you some code and you ask you what the output is.
Look for syntax errors.
- Know the rules for overriding. Especially when it comes to
- Know definitions/Be prepared to give examples of:
polymorphism, inheritance, class, object, and encapsulation.
- What they won't have you do: In 8 technical interviews, I never had to do a class diagram or any UML.
I could not get link to work, so I cut and paste what I had written in a previous message. Someone had asked if "Java vs.
JavaScript" would come up during the interview - and what the answers should be if they interviewer pressed on JavaScript.
Read the entire article, as there is a great answer to one of the all-time classic Java interview questions.
Here is my reply to java vs. javascript:
It seems to me that you may have had an incompetant interviewer.
The real answer to your question is:
"Java is not the same as Java Script."
If the company doing the interviewing is interviewing for a Java programmer position then the above answer should suffice. The interview should really concentrate on the Java langauge. A good guide for Java interview questions is the SCJP exam requirements.
If the interviewier is hiring for a Java position but keeps hammering you about JavaScript then he/she is an incompetant bozo and you do not want to work there.
The interview should really concentrate on the Java langauge. A good guide for Java interview questions is the SCJP exam requirements.
If the interviewier is hiring for a Java position but keeps hammering you about JavaScript then he/she is an incompetant bozo and you do not want to work there.
My point being - you are a Java programmer - not a JavaScript programmer. It's like asking me to describe the differences between Prolog and Java. Yes they are different - now can we please move onto another subject (I would be thinking this).
Another way to test interviewers - ask for a business card. The serious ones - the ones who are really serious about making a hiring decision will have one. It's a great way to judge whether the company is doing a dog and pony show or is serious about making a hiring decision. Try it sometime - seems to work about 90% of the time - especially with on campus college interviewers and getting called in for a second interview.
Now - getting back to the Java technical interview: Here is an all time classic Java interview question - and it comes up at almost every Java technical interview.
Describe the differences between private, friendly, protected and public classes.
Response: You can either babble for 15 minutes or you can go to the white-board and draw out the classic access modifier chart. Simple/Concise/Effective. And if there is any follow up - you can always refer to the chart you just wrote on the board.
This response tells the employer several things:
1. You have some knowledge about Java. At least you know about access modifiers.
2. You can communicate effectively and clearly.
3. You have a take charge attitude and are not afraid to take control of the situation.
4. It tells me a lot more than a JavaScript vs. Java question.
See my point here.
I am not saying you need to charge in there like a bull in a china shop - but this is a classic case of where you can take control of the situation. And hey, throw in a smile to relax the interviewer. Ask - "Do you have any questions?" It would be utterly beautiful if the interviewer then asked you to followup by giving an example using modifiers and you pulled one of the Java Exam question/answers out of your head and put that on the board as well. Do this, and you will beat out 90% of the other candidates who just sit there and babble and squirm in their little seats.
Think I am wrong...try it sometime. Want another opinion, try sitting in the interviewer's chair.
I have often said that the best way to be a waiter is to be a customer first. The same applies to being a good job candidate. Think about it.
Bonus: The access/modifier question comes up alot (in the form of deciding what certain code examples can/cannot do) during the SCJP exam.
Hope this helps.
John Coxey
Let us know how interview went.
Don't get me started about those stupid light bulbs.
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