Good Interview Questions

I’m going to start keeping track of my favorite interview questions here. I will of course NOT be posting the answers :)

Design Patterns

  • State, Strategy, Bridge, and Adapter are all similar patterns. How are they similar, and how are they different?

Open-Ended Questions

  • “What makes good, maintainable code?” I’m always surprised at how revealing the answers to this question are – John Perkins
  • “What questions should we be asking you?” “Has this been a good interview? How can we improve?”

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3 Responses to “Good Interview Questions”

  1. Nat Says:

    Why do you think those patterns are similar? Is it because they have similar boxes and lines in the structure diagrams? The boxes and lines are not the patterns!

  2. Andy Marks Says:

    I love the final question regarding the interview itself – I think we should all actively and openly seek feedback from interviewees if we can. These sorts of questions can also give us a glimpse into how well they can critique things on the fly and handle potentially negative statements with diplomancy… especially if the interview hasn’t gone well.

    One of my other favourites is in response to resumes with a table of technical skills along with a “score” for each skill (i.e., my J2EE knowledge is 4.5/5, etc). Whenever I see these sort of resumes, I take a skill where their self-imposed score is higher than what I would give myself and ask “well, you’re obviously a far stronger [subject] practitioner than I, tell me something about [subject] I don’t know?”. Again, the question has several focuses: (a) it’s a little left field and probably something they’re not expecting, so I’m keen to see how they react to it and (b) if they’re going to make an quantitative judgement of their skill level, they need to be able to back it up.

  3. Bad Dodger Says:

    If you gave me the pattern question at an interview, I would answer that trivia is not part of my skill-set. I solve problems elegantly. I do that good. If/when I need a pattern, I figure it out. Judging a person by his immediately available knowledge is poor practice.