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Bad Interview Questions. Adam Moskowitz adamm@menlo.com. (please hire me!). Bad Interview Questions. Examples of bad questions Why they’re bad Better questions to ask instead. Please think of your favorite interview question. But first. What about those elections?. That was a trick!.

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Bad Interview Questions


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    1. Bad InterviewQuestions Adam Moskowitz adamm@menlo.com (please hire me!) http://menlo.com./liisa06/htgr/

    2. Bad Interview Questions • Examples of bad questions • Why they’re bad • Better questions to ask instead http://menlo.com./liisa06/htgr/

    3. Please think ofyour favoriteinterview question http://menlo.com./liisa06/htgr/

    4. But first . . . http://menlo.com./liisa06/htgr/

    5. What about thoseelections? http://menlo.com./liisa06/htgr/

    6. That was a trick! http://menlo.com./liisa06/htgr/

    7. Two Kinds ofBad Questions http://menlo.com./liisa06/htgr/

    8. Two Kinds ofBad Questions • Discouraged http://menlo.com./liisa06/htgr/

    9. Two Kinds ofBad Questions • Discouraged • Prohibited http://menlo.com./liisa06/htgr/

    10. Two Kinds ofBad Questions • Discouraged • Prohibited • Like asking about politics http://menlo.com./liisa06/htgr/

    11. Two Kinds ofBad Questions • Discouraged • Prohibited • Like asking about politics • Going to do these first http://menlo.com./liisa06/htgr/

    12. Prohibited Questions http://menlo.com./liisa06/htgr/

    13. Prohibited Questions • Age http://menlo.com./liisa06/htgr/

    14. Prohibited Questions • Age • Marital status / Kids http://menlo.com./liisa06/htgr/

    15. Prohibited Questions • Age • Marital status / Kids • Religion http://menlo.com./liisa06/htgr/

    16. Prohibited Questions • Age • Marital status / Kids • Religion • Political affiliation http://menlo.com./liisa06/htgr/

    17. Prohibited Questions • Age • Marital status / Kids • Religion • Political affiliation • Medical history http://menlo.com./liisa06/htgr/

    18. Prohibited Questions • Age • Marital status / Kids • Religion • Political affiliation • Medical history • Personal habits http://menlo.com./liisa06/htgr/

    19. Prohibited Questions • Age • Marital status / Kids • Religion • Political affiliation • Medical history • Personal habits • Other similar things http://menlo.com./liisa06/htgr/

    20. Why Can’t YouAsk These? http://menlo.com./liisa06/htgr/

    21. Why Can’t YouAsk These? • They’re unlawful http://menlo.com./liisa06/htgr/

    22. Why Can’t YouAsk These? • They’re unlawful • Or they might get you sued http://menlo.com./liisa06/htgr/

    23. Why Can’t YouAsk These? • They’re unlawful • Or they might get you sued • Or they’re just plain rude http://menlo.com./liisa06/htgr/

    24. So Don’t Ask Them! http://menlo.com./liisa06/htgr/

    25. DiscouragedQuestions http://menlo.com./liisa06/htgr/

    26. DiscouragedQuestions • Let’s start with some examples http://menlo.com./liisa06/htgr/

    27. What does tsort do? http://menlo.com./liisa06/htgr/

    28. OK Smarty-Pants . . . • Just what is a “topological sort” anyway? • Well? http://menlo.com./liisa06/htgr/

    29. What does “ls -X” do? http://menlo.com./liisa06/htgr/

    30. What does “ls -X” do? • Or is it “ls -x”? http://menlo.com./liisa06/htgr/

    31. What does “ls -X” do? • Or is it “ls -x”? • It’s both • Depending on which version of Unix http://menlo.com./liisa06/htgr/

    32. What does “ls -X” do? • Or is it “ls -x”? • It’s both • Depending on which version of Unix • But why do you care? http://menlo.com./liisa06/htgr/

    33. What does “ls -X” do? • Or is it “ls -x”? • It’s both • Depending on which version of Unix • But why do you care? • Hint: You don’t! http://menlo.com./liisa06/htgr/

    34. What command worksonly on stdin? http://menlo.com./liisa06/htgr/

    35. What command worksonly on stdin? • tr • But why? • And, again, why do you care? http://menlo.com./liisa06/htgr/

    36. What commandsdo not acceptcommand-line switches? http://menlo.com./liisa06/htgr/

    37. What commandsdo not acceptcommand-line switches? • It’s a long list • Including true and false • And I still don’t know why you care! http://menlo.com./liisa06/htgr/

    38. So Why Are TheseQuestions Bad? http://menlo.com./liisa06/htgr/

    39. So Why Are TheseQuestions Bad? • They ask about trivia • But you care about knowledge • And understanding • Not to mention trouble-shooting skills http://menlo.com./liisa06/htgr/

    40. What to Ask Instead http://menlo.com./liisa06/htgr/

    41. What to Ask Instead • “What command lists the contents of a directory?” • “Lots of output options; what are some of them?” • “Can you change the sort order?” • “On which keys?” • Which leads to . . . http://menlo.com./liisa06/htgr/

    42. Filesystem Questions • “What / how many ‘times’ are stored about a file?” • atime, ctime, mtime • “What do they mean?” • And this leads to . . . http://menlo.com./liisa06/htgr/

    43. Inodes • “What is an inode?” • “What’s stored in the inode?” • “Is the file name stored in the inode?” • “If not, where is it stored?” • Which brings us to . . . http://menlo.com./liisa06/htgr/

    44. Links • “What’s the difference between a hard link and a symbolic link?” • “Can you make a hard link to a directory?” • “Can hard links cross filesystems?” • “If not, why not?” http://menlo.com./liisa06/htgr/

    45. See the Difference? • Trivia questions test, well, trivia • And don’t go anywhere • Good technical questions probe both the depth and breadth of a candidate’s knowledge and understanding • There are those words again http://menlo.com./liisa06/htgr/

    46. Other Possibilities http://menlo.com./liisa06/htgr/

    47. Other Possibilities • Describe a problem http://menlo.com./liisa06/htgr/

    48. Other Possibilities • Describe a problem • Ask the candidate to talk through the solution http://menlo.com./liisa06/htgr/

    49. Why? http://menlo.com./liisa06/htgr/

    50. Why? • Shows you how the candidate thinks about problems http://menlo.com./liisa06/htgr/