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Thread: VB Job Interview Questions

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    ex-Administrator brad jones's Avatar
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    Question VB Job Interview Questions

    We are looking to create a few new articles on one of our sites. One of the articles is "Top Interview Questions for the {VB} Developer." We'll likely do this for Java, C++, C#, and other areas as well.

    So my question to you is.... What is one (or more) of the Interview questions you got when applying (or hiring) for a Visual Basic position? Post it here in this thread!

    Thanks!
    Brad!
    (I'm going to create a similar thread for other languages on this forum as well. It will be interesting as well to see how responses might differ!)
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  2. #2
    Super Moderator dday9's Avatar
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    Re: VB Job Interview Questions

    I don't know if my position was unique or not because I've really only had 2 jobs before(and 1 was for my dad), but I was basically asked: "Can you do [task] efficiently in a modular setting?" And then I was given a broad description of the problem and I provided a broad solution, the guy liked the solution and I got the job.

  3. #3
    PowerPoster techgnome's Avatar
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    Re: VB Job Interview Questions

    My last interview (where I was being interviewed) ended being a conversation. I think the interviewer got 2 questions in, hit upon something, tossed out the official questions and we just started talking. it was a weird interview.

    I've had to conduct interviews a few times over the years... because of what we do covers quite a bit, I tend to ask a mix of questions about programming (classes, modifiers, properties vs fields), ADO.NET, SQL & database management & query performance tuning (includes indexes and when to use them or not) and some web development. Of the 6 I've interviewed, only 2 really passed, and one only just. I also like to ask questions that help reveal personalities as it takes a certain type to survive in our environment - there are no entry level jobs here. I also try to probe their thought processes on how they approach certain problems. One of the things I also ask is what's in their programmer's toolbox... little bits of code/tricks they've picked up over the years...

    -tg
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    * How to Use Parameters * Create Disconnected ADO Recordset Clones * Set your VB6 ActiveX Compatibility * Get rid of those pesky VB Line Numbers * I swear I saved my data, where'd it run off to??? *

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    Re: VB Job Interview Questions

    when i do interviews i have a copy of some pages from an Interface protocol spec and ask them to read it carefully and then explain how they interpret it. its an english spec and well written with some examples. as english is not our native language i can also check how well their english is. i am not too picky on what they tell me and also tell them beforehand so that it does not get too much like an exam. i really like answers like "i am not sure but this could mean....". but sometimes People come up, totally convinced telling me some absolute BS. so this kind of "test" covers technical understanding, english language abilities and personality

  5. #5

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    Re: VB Job Interview Questions

    You guys raised a good point. Interview questions for an introductory level position are going to be different from those for an intermediate or advanced position. I'd be curious as to what questions you'd ask in each situation.

    It would also be a different set of questions (right?) if you are interviewing for a position within a business versus more of a contract role to build a single app.

  6. #6
    Super Moderator Shaggy Hiker's Avatar
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    Re: VB Job Interview Questions

    When I interviewed for my current job, I had no formal qualifications. Normally, we require certain degrees. I have a goodly number of degrees, they just have nothing to do with computers...just fish. However, the reason I was interviewed was because I already had a bunch of programs that had been in use by the organization for nearly a decade, so the lack of paper qualifications didn't matter so much.

    One of the questions I was asked was how I would set up a simple database for a simple personnel type of need. The point was to show that I could break the data out into a relational system and discuss the decisions made for that, such as what to normalize and what might make more sense..abnormal. This was a white board exercise. There were a few semi-formal questions, in addition, but the fact that others in the group that I would be joining had been given the task of taking one of my programs and generalizing it for different uses meant that certain aspects of skill were pretty much given.

    I'm not sure that I've had a serious interview in nearly twenty years. The interview before this last one was so casual that I wasn't told that it WAS an interview until about an hour before it took place.

    When I conduct interviews, I don't expect the person to know every aspect of the problem. I wouldn't expect the average programmer to have ever encountered the types of issues I deal with. What I look for is an ability to learn. After all, once you get beyond beginner stuff, everything else gets kind of specialized. For example, I had written several LOB applications for use internally, but had never had any reason to write for the web. Therefore, I had no knowledge of web programming, but that was understood. It was also understood that I would learn it when and if I needed it, which has been the case. That's what I look for in an interview, as well. I don't expect an experienced programmer to have experience in all areas. What I look for is experience in some area and a willingness to learn new things. I kind of think that's what got most of us into programming in the first place.
    Last edited by Shaggy Hiker; Feb 29th, 2016 at 11:13 AM.
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    PowerPoster techgnome's Avatar
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    Re: VB Job Interview Questions

    Speaking of degrees... http://www.computerworld.com/article...m-love-hr.html

    This has always been my fear when I'm going after a new job... I don't have a degree... I have an associates from CCAF (Community College of the Air Force) ... for which half of my credits were OJT-based. That's it. I don't have a BS or anything else. fortunately most jobs have the "or x years experience in the field"... which is where I usually come out on top.

    -tg
    * I don't respond to private (PM) requests for help. It's not conducive to the general learning of others.*
    * I also don't respond to friend requests. Save a few bits and don't bother. I'll just end up rejecting anyways.*
    * How to get EFFECTIVE help: The Hitchhiker's Guide to Getting Help at VBF - Removing eels from your hovercraft *
    * How to Use Parameters * Create Disconnected ADO Recordset Clones * Set your VB6 ActiveX Compatibility * Get rid of those pesky VB Line Numbers * I swear I saved my data, where'd it run off to??? *

  8. #8
    Fanatic Member namrekka's Avatar
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    Re: VB Job Interview Questions

    What are your hobbies?
    If answer contains something about software creation tell me about.
    Also social skills is important to me (teamwork).

    Software skills can be trained but loyalty, sociality not.

  9. #9
    PowerPoster SJWhiteley's Avatar
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    Re: VB Job Interview Questions

    Quote Originally Posted by techgnome View Post
    Speaking of degrees... http://www.computerworld.com/article...m-love-hr.html

    This has always been my fear when I'm going after a new job... I don't have a degree... I have an associates from CCAF (Community College of the Air Force) ... for which half of my credits were OJT-based. That's it. I don't have a BS or anything else. fortunately most jobs have the "or x years experience in the field"... which is where I usually come out on top.

    -tg
    It does suck to not have a degree, since the state of the (US) education system is saying 'you must have a degree to do anything'.

    If you don't have a degree then your experience will be scrutinized a bit more. How long have you stayed gonna job? A 'good' self-taught programmer can BS their way through a lot of problems faced by a coder/programmer, but after a while - a year - your capability, or lack of it, would show through. So, if you are in a job more than a couple of years, with increasing workload, it's likely you are not just someone who googled 'How To VB'.

    Also, changing jobs; is the next job a step up, more of the same, or an obviously different domain? All depends on how this is taken, of course, and is at the mercy of the person interviewing.

    (Not directed at TG):

    Something else: the interviewer needs to know how to interview. Almost all people have little experience (myself included) but I'm the only one who knows what to ask for a specific position. So, I'd say to anyone who is thinking of interviewing for any job, to not be put off by a 'bad' interview. Remember the bar scene in Star Wars where Luke is accosted by two bounty hunters? Sometimes there is nothing you can do or say to make someone 'like' you for the job.

    Personally, when I ask questions, I make the interviewee work: 'tell me about a particular problem at X Company?' If you say something (on the resume) like 'saved Y dollars' or 'cut down the man hours required', expect to be called on this, and be drilled (sometimes you will, sometimes you won't): 'how did you quantify the saving?'. Personally, I'm not that interested in the nitty gritty details, but how you answered it. Enthusiasm, epiphany moments, the ability to expand in detail on any little thing, the ability to explain a complex domain problem in more general, but accurate, terms.

    Don't be afraid to say you don't know how to do something rather than wasting time bumbling your way through it. Even though you may be interviewed for a VB Programming job, don't be surprised if you are asked 'How much Cobol do you know?'. A good answer would probably be 'Cobol? No, I have no experience with that'. It would be a better to demonstrate that you know about it, or what it was used for.

    If you are asked a specific question, and there's a whiteboard in the room, don't be afraid to ask to use it. But don't be taken to far aback if they say 'No'.

    If you are a 'beginner' with no experience, be prepared to state how you would learn something when given that opening. Remember, though, we all have google, and if your answer is 'google it', any one of us could do that; it doesn't make you special. Be creative.

    To be honest, is the answer. The questions an interviewee are asked are almost irrelevant: it's how you answer which has the most impact. If you are asked to do a bubble sort, we know you can search for the answer/code, so that's not really what is being asked. Some questions are also leading - they are looking for a specific train of thought. Let the interviewer lead you, pay attention, and don't staunchly say 'this is the way to do it'.
    "Ok, my response to that is pending a Google search" - Bucky Katt.
    "There are two types of people in the world: Those who can extrapolate from incomplete data sets." - Unk.
    "Before you can 'think outside the box' you need to understand where the box is."

  10. #10
    PowerPoster techgnome's Avatar
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    Re: VB Job Interview Questions

    Quote Originally Posted by SJWhiteley View Post
    It does suck to not have a degree, since the state of the (US) education system is saying 'you must have a degree to do anything'.

    If you don't have a degree then your experience will be scrutinized a bit more. How long have you stayed gonna job? A 'good' self-taught programmer can BS their way through a lot of problems faced by a coder/programmer, but after a while - a year - your capability, or lack of it, would show through. So, if you are in a job more than a couple of years, with increasing workload, it's likely you are not just someone who googled 'How To VB'.

    Also, changing jobs; is the next job a step up, more of the same, or an obviously different domain? All depends on how this is taken, of course, and is at the mercy of the person interviewing.
    since the rest was "not directed at" me... I'll assume the above is...
    I agree with all of that. And yes, with each successive job, the skills and responsibilities have increased. I spent 4 years in the Air Force, 9 1/2 years at the next company, 2 at a major construction company, and almost 5 at my current job. I've been largely stable, and with each job has come a new set of challenges. I'm also getting up in the years. I hit 43 this year. My skillset - despite not having a degree - has gotten me to the point where I now get a very respectable salary. And it's one that other companies are going to have a tough time matching. But that's also part of the downside too... I'm not getting any younger (who is) and even with the experience I have, in many cases, companies are likely to hire someone younger, with a degree, for far less than what they could pay me.

    Quote Originally Posted by SJWhiteley View Post
    Something else: the interviewer needs to know how to interview. Almost all people have little experience (myself included) but I'm the only one who knows what to ask for a specific position. So, I'd say to anyone who is thinking of interviewing for any job, to not be put off by a 'bad' interview. Remember the bar scene in Star Wars where Luke is accosted by two bounty hunters? Sometimes there is nothing you can do or say to make someone 'like' you for the job.

    Personally, when I ask questions, I make the interviewee work: 'tell me about a particular problem at X Company?' If you say something (on the resume) like 'saved Y dollars' or 'cut down the man hours required', expect to be called on this, and be drilled (sometimes you will, sometimes you won't): 'how did you quantify the saving?'. Personally, I'm not that interested in the nitty gritty details, but how you answered it. Enthusiasm, epiphany moments, the ability to expand in detail on any little thing, the ability to explain a complex domain problem in more general, but accurate, terms.

    Don't be afraid to say you don't know how to do something rather than wasting time bumbling your way through it. Even though you may be interviewed for a VB Programming job, don't be surprised if you are asked 'How much Cobol do you know?'. A good answer would probably be 'Cobol? No, I have no experience with that'. It would be a better to demonstrate that you know about it, or what it was used for.

    If you are asked a specific question, and there's a whiteboard in the room, don't be afraid to ask to use it. But don't be taken to far aback if they say 'No'.

    If you are a 'beginner' with no experience, be prepared to state how you would learn something when given that opening. Remember, though, we all have google, and if your answer is 'google it', any one of us could do that; it doesn't make you special. Be creative.

    To be honest, is the answer. The questions an interviewee are asked are almost irrelevant: it's how you answer which has the most impact. If you are asked to do a bubble sort, we know you can search for the answer/code, so that's not really what is being asked. Some questions are also leading - they are looking for a specific train of thought. Let the interviewer lead you, pay attention, and don't staunchly say 'this is the way to do it'.
    True... all of it... especially this bit:
    "Don't be afraid to say you don't know how to do something rather than wasting time bumbling your way through it." -- I remember one interview where I got asked about "CTEs" ... I remarked I don't recall hearing that term before. "Common Table Expression" - once he clarified the term, then I knew what he was talking about. I mentioned that I had read about them briefly but hadn't afforded the time to really explore their potential or use them. As soon as I got home though, I looked them up in detail and started figuring out how they work. turned out to be a good thing because I got the job (construction company) and they use CTEs a lot. I mean A LOT. I used more CTEs there in 2 years than I have in the 5 years since. I agree though, sometimes it's less about what you answer, but how.

    -tg
    * I don't respond to private (PM) requests for help. It's not conducive to the general learning of others.*
    * I also don't respond to friend requests. Save a few bits and don't bother. I'll just end up rejecting anyways.*
    * How to get EFFECTIVE help: The Hitchhiker's Guide to Getting Help at VBF - Removing eels from your hovercraft *
    * How to Use Parameters * Create Disconnected ADO Recordset Clones * Set your VB6 ActiveX Compatibility * Get rid of those pesky VB Line Numbers * I swear I saved my data, where'd it run off to??? *

  11. #11
    PowerPoster SJWhiteley's Avatar
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    Re: VB Job Interview Questions

    Quote Originally Posted by techgnome View Post
    since the rest was "not directed at" me... I'll assume the above is...
    I agree with all of that. And yes, with each successive job, the skills and responsibilities have increased. I spent 4 years in the Air Force, 9 1/2 years at the next company, 2 at a major construction company, and almost 5 at my current job. I've been largely stable, and with each job has come a new set of challenges. I'm also getting up in the years. I hit 43 this year. My skillset - despite not having a degree - has gotten me to the point where I now get a very respectable salary. And it's one that other companies are going to have a tough time matching. But that's also part of the downside too... I'm not getting any younger (who is) and even with the experience I have, in many cases, companies are likely to hire someone younger, with a degree, for far less than what they could pay me.

    ...
    I think the younger readers should look at this, and read what you wrote.

    For the overwhelming vast majority of us (99.9%), we will never have our dream job (I'm assuming TG has better dreams than working for a major construction company... ). To get to where you want to be - if you ever get there - takes a long time. You are in for the long haul. Life is a succession of experiences, and when we spend 10-12 hours a day at work (yes, there is no such thing as an 8 hour day for a successful person), you have to figure out how to get that experience.

    One of the stupidest interview questions, I think, is 'where do you see yourself in 5 years?'. This is a tough one: I usually ask it just to see what kind of response I get, but you can't tell if the interviewer is asking it in seriousness, or not, and what kind of answer they are looking for. I think you might as well ask 'Cake or Death?': it doesn't tell you anything about the person.

    Id be interested to hear how anyone would realistically answer that question...
    "Ok, my response to that is pending a Google search" - Bucky Katt.
    "There are two types of people in the world: Those who can extrapolate from incomplete data sets." - Unk.
    "Before you can 'think outside the box' you need to understand where the box is."

  12. #12
    PowerPoster techgnome's Avatar
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    Re: VB Job Interview Questions

    Of course I have better dreams... with luck, it'll be sometime this year or next ... which rolls into... Where do I see myself in 5 years? The real answer is: out in the parking lot, in the back of a food truck, serving up tacos to everyone.

    -tg
    * I don't respond to private (PM) requests for help. It's not conducive to the general learning of others.*
    * I also don't respond to friend requests. Save a few bits and don't bother. I'll just end up rejecting anyways.*
    * How to get EFFECTIVE help: The Hitchhiker's Guide to Getting Help at VBF - Removing eels from your hovercraft *
    * How to Use Parameters * Create Disconnected ADO Recordset Clones * Set your VB6 ActiveX Compatibility * Get rid of those pesky VB Line Numbers * I swear I saved my data, where'd it run off to??? *

  13. #13
    You don't want to know.
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    Re: VB Job Interview Questions

    "Do you chew your ice in the office?"

    Instant disqualification.
    This answer is wrong. You should be using TableAdapter and Dictionaries instead.

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