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A view from the other side...

by indigo (Scribe)
on Oct 16, 2000 at 22:44 UTC ( #36993=note: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??


in reply to Phone interview

As someone who gives Perl phone screens, I can tell you it is hard find good questions to ask over the phone. They have to be simple enough to be asked and answered verbally, but deep enough to see if they actually know anything.

The question, as you have explained it, strikes me as a fairly reasonable one, not so different from many I ask myself. With so many web designers trying to fake their way into Perl programming positions (~%40 of my phone screens), questions like this that draw on experience, rather than what they booked up on last night, are invaluable. I wouldn't expect a particularly good design answer off the top of someone's head, but it is not unreasonable to expect something.

Remember the purpose of an interview (or mine, at least) isn't to trip you up on things you don't know. It is to give you an oppurtunity to show what you do know. And for a good candidate, open ended questions like yours are pure gold.

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RE: A view from the other side...
by swiftone (Curate) on Oct 16, 2000 at 22:55 UTC
    With so many web designers trying to fake their way into Perl programming positions (~%40 of my phone screens)

    As a web designer* trying to transition to Perl programming, I'm curious at what sends warning signals to you.

    *(Of course, I consider myself a Perl programmer who writes CGI scripts and knows HTML, but that's still web design :) )

      You should probably refer to yourself using the non-perjorative web programmer. When I hear web designer, it conjures up images of high school kids and MS FrontPage.

      That distinction is important, because programming ability is the big thing I am looking for. Many web designers will tweak cut and paste code, without ever venturing forth from elementary CGI.pm. Nothing wrong with this, if it gets the job done. Just make sure it doesn't show up on your resume as a Senior Perl Programmer.

      After a year of phone screens and interviews, I have in my arsenal a question that weeds out %90 of the web wannabe's:
      What is a hash?
      Answer that quickly, correctly, and well, and you skip ahead to the Lightning Round.
        Glad to hear like it's a pretty clear cut. I won't have any problems there.

        What is a hash?

        Do we get extra points if we occasionally still call them associative arrays?

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