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Intern Software Engineering Interview

internship interview software engineering

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10 replies to this topic

#1 soysauceedm

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Posted 04 January 2014 - 09:20 PM

Hi,

I have an interview coming up and I'm not too familiar with what these are like. Any feedback would be great.

 

I was told by HR that the technical test will include creating functions, class hierarchy, fix logic errors, etc. Usually how in depth are the expected answers? Like is it just one simple Java method or multiple ones. How should I go about creating the class hierarchy? Is it just a UML diagram, or am I expected to code it out and show inheritance?

 

Any feedback would be appreciated!


Edited by soysauceedm, 04 January 2014 - 09:21 PM.


#2 Vaielab

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Posted 04 January 2014 - 10:36 PM

It depend on many factors.

 

If they are asking for a senior enrineer, you will be asked more specifics questions.

The bigger their team are, the more question they will most likely ask.

Of course, more you ask for your salary, more they will ask questions.

 

Others factors are important to know that, how many candidates there is, is it a big compagny, what are they doing, is there a level of security...

 

Answer like you can,

Lately, I did ask question in a interview, and I didn't pick the best answer but someone with good answer that I had a connection, so remember this test isn't 100% of your interview.


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#3 0xDEADBEEF

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Posted 05 January 2014 - 03:43 AM

Often the questions are starting points for discussions to probe your knowledge.

 

These tests are designed to be completed in a short period of time, so normally the'll be short and to the point. For class diagrams using UML would be fine I'm sure.


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#4 BlackRabbit

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Posted 05 January 2014 - 06:38 AM

I agree with Vaielab and Evan; and then add some of my own: Do the test naturally, and keep your answers simple; the key is the interview, show yourself calm, secure of yourself, don't talk too much, and try to align yourself with the interviewer.

 

Remember it's not a professor, only a guy who solves problems the best he can in the frame/scope of his job, so the correct answer might not be the academic one but the one he wants to listen to, capish?  so, listen to him/her, make them talk, they will guide you into the right direction.



#5 gonerogue

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Posted 05 January 2014 - 08:12 AM

Try to find out more info about the company and, if possible, about the team your will work in (ideally also about the product you will contribute to).

The point is these interviews varies greatly between companies and even between various teams inside the same company.

For example, some interviewers concentrate more on specific programming language details.

Other concentrate more on software engineering principles and ask more questions about OO design, design patterns, unit testing/TDD, agile methodologies, etc.

Others like to ask more questions about theoretic fundamentals (such as basic algorithms and data structures) and don't bother you with too much language details (some of them are not even interested in which language you are solving a problem and accepts pseudocod).


Edited by xyv123, 05 January 2014 - 08:20 AM.


#6 farrell2k

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Posted 05 January 2014 - 02:50 PM

I remember my first Java interview.  I took a little test which basically comprised of: Extend a class, implement an interface, reverse a String, basic stuff.   Then I was asked simple questions about inheritance, encapsulation, data types, etc.  All very basic.   I left and got a call two days later with a job offer for a 6 month contract doing maintenance on an internal employee app.  I ended up not taking the job, but one moment I credit this for being offered the job was when I was asked about whether Java has multiple inheritance.   My answer was "Of course Java has multiple inheritance...of type".   The interviewer was surprised and asked me what I meant.   I replied: "Through interface inheritance of type, of course!"  To any method or Object, including polymorphic arrays, I can not only be my class type but also a Runnable, an Observer, a Collection, an EventListener, or all of them."

 

Oh, and if you are asked to reverse a String, just use StringBuilder.reverse().  Don't be a tool who tries to impress someone by re-inventing the wheel doing it recursively.   Everyone else already does that.  Be different. :)


Edited by farrell2k, 05 January 2014 - 02:51 PM.

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#7 0xDEADBEEF

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Posted 06 January 2014 - 12:06 AM

In-place reverse of an array is a common question; last time I was asked it the question explicitly stated that you couldn't use any helper classes.

 

Sometimes you have to strip away the help that Java gives you to find out exactly what the candidate knows.


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#8 WingedPanther73

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Posted 06 January 2014 - 06:21 AM

In general, I suspect you'll see more code than theory. People who write software solve real problems with programs, not with diagrams. Also, relax. You know what you know, and you can waste a psychotic amount of time trying to shove everything into the forefront of your mind, only to discover that the tasks you are given is trivial. Remember, this is an internship interview. They don't expect you to know everything. They just want you to be competent enough to be useful.


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#9 soysauceedm

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Posted 06 January 2014 - 08:56 PM

I ended up getting asked to write a recursive function, copy a String argument into another in heap memory, design a class hierarchy and show polymorphism (typical animal run, swim, etc). I was asked to use C, C++ or C#. I was surprised because the job description mentioned Java haha. So I ended up using C# and a bit of Java on one of the question that used C++ syntax (I'm not familiar with it)...

 

Judging from his reaction, it seem I got all the coding questions correct. But he started drilling me with questions about embedded software and network. I've never worked with embedded before and networking was one of my weak subjects in school. The manager ended up giving me a mini lecture on the subject.. He did ask if I thought I was a fast learner, not sure if this means he's considering hiring me or not.



#10 WingedPanther73

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Posted 07 January 2014 - 06:04 AM

I agree, the language change seems odd, but the fact you did well is a good sign. The fact that the manager spent some time educating you is also a good sign.


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#11 Vaielab

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Posted 07 January 2014 - 06:37 AM

Was this a startup compagny?

Maybe the guy was thinking of java but wasen't sure yet, so he was mostly looking for someone in java, but if ever they wanted to switch language they needed someone able to adapt


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