Monday, January 11, 2010

Interview Questions

Tired of being called to interview fresh graduates who can't think, I gave our HR person three sets of questions as follows. I didn't want to copy paste objective type questions. I wanted to see how they think, present etc.

Set 1

1. Write the events that happen between requesting for a web-site address in browser's address bar and the retrieval of the web page. State your assumptions on internet / intranet, static / dynamic web sites.
2. Write a function (secondLargest) to find the second largest number in a given array of integers. (Expectation is just the function in such a way it can be reused in multiple programs with the most optimal solution in any programming language.)
3. Write a data structure in C/C++/C#/Java to store folders and files in a computer.

Set 2

1. Give step-by-step instructions to go from your home to college. Be clear that a stranger to these places can simply follow the instructions and still reach the destination with no additional help.
2. Write a function (shuffle) to shuffle elements in an array of 54 entries to mimic the shuffling of cards.
3. Give the data structure for playing cards that can be used to construct games like solitaire, freecell etc in any programming language that you know.

Set 3

1. Give a checklist to help an eight standard student to prepare and attend Science / Mathematics examination without surprises and panic.
2. Write a function (fizzbuzz) to print sequence of numbers on screen. For 7 and multiples of 7, it must print 'fizz' and for 7 and numbers ending with 7, it must print 'buzz' and for all other numbers, it must print just that number. If a number is a multiple of 7 and ends with 7, it must print both 'fizz' and 'buzz'.
3. Map to an appropriate data structures, the following with explanation: Storing newspapers, On-boarding of passengers in a bus, Grading of students in a class, Distribution of product from manufacturer to consumer, Real-Estate Brokers

The expectation was, if they write something close to common sense, they can be trained. If they were surprised at these questions, they can go home, prepare and come back to give the test after a week. The second test could be a bit more difficult.

In the past two-three weeks, a number of fresh graduates walked in for the test, not one answered these to meet our expectations. They had expressed surprise, but never cared to come back.

I am worried at the state of education in this state.


LVS said...

True. I remember a lot of students 'preparing' sets of questions before scheduled interviews.

Though I agree some aptitude questions asked by a majority of companies require practice, what your experiment with candidates revealed is shocking.

I would say more about the education system, but it would be directed at one particular Board :)

Prakash said...

In which state you are belong to ?

Sridhar said...

Sorry State!

Dhanasakthi said...

Hi Sridhar,

Good set of questions; I would have loved to take and sure would have met the expectaion; only am not a fresher any more :(

And my modest comment is we not to blame on the education system but rather enlighten our children to create their own views and make them independent. Teachers and Parents play a greater role on that!