Tales from the Interview: A Perfect Ten!

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  • facetious 2006-12-13 11:16
    Woohoo! Pantsless fridays!
  • Anonymous 2006-12-13 11:23
    <p><em>&quot;What I love about working here is Pants-Free Fridays&quot;&nbsp; </em></p><p>&nbsp;<br />Who wouldn&#39;t laugh at that?&nbsp;&nbsp; I guess the interviewee did not find that humorous.&nbsp; I&#39;ve heard more offensive things in my office in the time it&#39;s taken me to write this.<br /></p>
  • catfood 2006-12-13 11:40
    <p>I&#39;ve been to Dallas. Cowboy boots are (were?) normal business attire there. I&#39;m surprised the new guy wasn&#39;t wearing a cowboy hat to match.</p><p>I believe in appropriate attire, but honestly this fashion <em>faux pas</em> wouldn&#39;t be a huge deal to me.</p><p>&nbsp;</p>
  • Satanicpuppy 2006-12-13 11:41
    <p>A nerdy guy throwing that out, unprompted, to a female tech writer, is probably not the best way to make a first impression.</p><p>Witnessed a similar faux pas myself just yesterday, when a friend of mine came down to vent some steam about some crappy coworkers, stepped into the door of my office and said in a not-quite-yelling tone, &quot;GODDAMN MOTHER****ERS!&quot;<br /></p><p>Normally this wouldn&#39;t have been a big deal because it&#39;s nothing but the guys down here in IT, but, unfortunately, on that particular day the coder who does most of our legacy mainframe work (a matronly, deeply religious woman, ~62 years of age) happened to be sitting two offices away, which might as well have been the same room, the way sound travels down here.&nbsp;</p><p>Oy vey. The moral of the story is: If you don&#39;t know who&#39;s listening, or what they&#39;re like, keep it clean.<br />&nbsp;</p>
  • JamesKilton 2006-12-13 11:42
    <p>I&#39;ll never be able to work at a place that doesn&#39;t find &#39;Pants-free Fridays&#39; funny. This whole trend of &quot;Professionalism&quot; == &quot;depressed stoicism&quot; drives me nuts. </p><p>Hell, if an interviewer said that to me, I&#39;d be laughing my head off and immediately have a much better impression of the company.</p><p>&nbsp;<br />Good stories!<br />&nbsp;</p>
  • Satanicpuppy 2006-12-13 11:44
    [quote user=&quot;Anonymous&quot;]<p>I&#39;ve been to Dallas. Cowboy boots are (were?) normal business attire there. I&#39;m surprised the new guy wasn&#39;t wearing a cowboy hat to match.</p><p>I believe in appropriate attire, but honestly this fashion <em>faux pas</em> wouldn&#39;t be a huge deal to me.</p><p>[/quote]</p><p>&nbsp;It&#39;d depend on the guys actual personality, and where he was going to end up working. I would probably be far more likely to hire an extravagant Texan for an actuarial position, just for the amusement value. Still, the position (as it is traditionally viewed) does demand a certain amount of delicacy, so, I can see why they wouldn&#39;t be pleased.<br />&nbsp;</p>
  • SeeJay 2006-12-13 11:48
    <p><em>I&#39;ll never be able to work at a place that doesn&#39;t find &#39;Pants-free Fridays&#39; funny. This whole trend of &quot;Professionalism&quot; == &quot;depressed stoicism&quot; drives me nuts. </em></p><p><em>Hell, if an interviewer said that to me, I&#39;d be laughing my head off and immediately have a much better impression of the company.</em></p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>The problem is that with a group of guys interviewing a woman, you have to be careful about what is said.&nbsp; I&#39;m pretty laid back but I&#39;d probably be caught off guard if a strange guy said something that could be construed different ways.&nbsp; It&#39;s likely that his coworkers found it funny, but being in strange mixed company... well... it wasn&#39;t exactly a good thing to say.</p><p>&nbsp;Of course there were far *worse* things that could be said!</p><p>(And WTF is it with this forum quoting (or non-quoting as the case may be?)&nbsp; I don&#39;t post enough to figure out the quirks!)</p>
  • stranger 2006-12-13 11:57
    <p>Me: How would you rate your Linux skills on a scale of 1 to 10?</p><p>I assume that you mentioned (1 being the novice &amp; 10 being the expert) . if not I don&#39;t blame the interviewee :-)<br /></p><p>&nbsp;</p>
  • El Quberto 2006-12-13 12:00
    I had the pleasure of getting a &quot;rank yourself on a scale of 1 to 10 in java&quot; question by a recruiter.&nbsp; I&#39;m a little fed up with that question so I lead her through my reasoning:<div><br class="khtml-block-placeholder" /><div>Me: &quot;Does anyone rank themselves 1-5?&quot;</div><div>Her: &quot;No&quot;</div><div>Me: &quot;Okay so here&#39;s how it goes: if you&#39;ve used the language for a day you&#39;re a 6.&nbsp; Been using it for a couple of months a 7.&nbsp; Anything from a couple months to 10 years you&#39;re a 8 or 9.&nbsp; If you wrote the language or you&#39;re an idiot that doesn&#39;t know what to answer you say 10&quot;</div><div><br class="khtml-block-placeholder" /></div><div>She said that some people rank themselves at a 6.5.&nbsp; Uh lady I&#39;m not sure what world they are coming from but if I don&#39;t know what the scale means I&#39;m not going to go into decimal places describing myself on it.&nbsp; And besides &quot;java&quot; has many facets.&nbsp; It is like asking a bus driver to rank himself on driving ability and comparing that to a soccer mom, NASCAR driver, and a UPS semi driver.&nbsp; Bah.</div></div>
  • morry 2006-12-13 12:03
    Several counter points:<br /><br />1) Cowboy boots with a suit is perfectly acceptable in some&nbsp;places.&nbsp;&nbsp;There&nbsp;is&nbsp;such&nbsp;a&nbsp;thing&nbsp;as&nbsp;dress&nbsp;cowboy&nbsp;boots. &nbsp;That should not have been a major issue. &nbsp;I&#39;ve seen men wearing suits and boots and they look fine. &nbsp;Blue seems a strange color though.<br /><br />2)&nbsp;PLEASE &nbsp;show&nbsp;me&nbsp;a&nbsp;place&nbsp;where&nbsp;HR&nbsp;is&nbsp;NOT&nbsp;useless.&nbsp;&nbsp;perhaps&nbsp;if&nbsp;we&nbsp;told&nbsp;them&nbsp;that&nbsp;a&nbsp;little&nbsp;more&nbsp;often&nbsp;we&nbsp;wouldn&#39;t&nbsp;have&nbsp;to&nbsp;deal&nbsp;with&nbsp;it.<br />
  • Captcha: Zork. 2006-12-13 12:07
    <p>The entire concept behind these sorts of questions is bogus anyway.&nbsp;&nbsp; What are you trying to find out?&nbsp; Confidence? Actual Coding ability?&nbsp; Ability to do math?&nbsp;&nbsp; Seems like such a waste of time.&nbsp;&nbsp; I mean, who&#39;d going to give themselves below a 7?&nbsp;&nbsp; </p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>*shakes head* &nbsp;</p>
  • BigZaphod 2006-12-13 12:23
    I was going to reply here with something witty, but it seemed like too much work.
  • gary 2006-12-13 12:24
    <p>[quote user=&quot;morry&quot;]<br />1) Cowboy boots with a suit is perfectly acceptable in some&nbsp;places.&nbsp; <br />[/quote]</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>yeah.&nbsp; a rodeo. or any other place in the world...if it&#39;s Halloween.&nbsp;</p>
  • Ghost Ware Wizard 2006-12-13 12:25
    <p>I recall an interview once where the manager asked me about programming, what my interests were, etc. so I left and had no idea how I did.&nbsp; So&nbsp;I go to another interview a week later, after not hearing from the first manager, and was offered a job and accepted it and another company.&nbsp; I get this call maybe two&nbsp;weeks after I stared my new job&nbsp;from the first manager and all he said was &quot;hey are you ever going to come in to work&nbsp;for us? we told everyone we had hired you&quot; and I had to tell him he never offered, or called me, or anything like &quot;hey you&#39;re hired when can you start&quot; and I had interviewed somewhere else and was now working there...</p><p>&nbsp;Communication is supposed to be a *two* way street....</p><p>&nbsp;</p>
  • hbr17 2006-12-13 12:31
    <p>Forgot to introduce you:</p><p>&nbsp;WTF avoided ... at least the person didn&#39;t give up his Cousin as the source of the G2 on HR, leaving an unsightly mess to be cleaned up later :-)</p>
  • JBourrie 2006-12-13 12:32
    I don&#39;t get it... I thought every company celebrated Pants-Free Friday!<br />
  • Pez 2006-12-13 12:35
    <p><em>&quot;Our office was on a dirt road&quot;</em></p><p>WTF?!?!&nbsp; That has to make a good impression on a interviewee..</p>
  • Paula 2006-12-13 12:35
    [quote user=&quot;Anonymous&quot;]<p>[quote user=&quot;morry&quot;]<br />1) Cowboy boots with a suit is perfectly acceptable in some&nbsp;places.&nbsp; <br />[/quote]</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>yeah.&nbsp; a rodeo. or any other place in the world...if it&#39;s Halloween.&nbsp;</p><p>[/quote]</p><p>quit trying to mock other people&#39;s fashion sense ...</p><p>your wooden clogs betray your motives&nbsp;</p>
  • Martin 2006-12-13 12:43
    People new to the corporate world make the mistake of thinking Human Resources is on their side, like some internal labor union.&nbsp; It isn&#39;t.<br />
  • Marek 2006-12-13 12:45
    amazing;&nbsp; same exact thing happened to me just about 5 months ago.&nbsp; I had an interview, never heard back from them, got another job in the meantime and after about 3 weeks I got a call from the first place.&nbsp; It was funny because the hiring manager was talking to me as if I had 3 weeks of no-call-no-show kind of situation.&nbsp; When I told him that I&#39;m currently employed at another place he offered me a sizable signing bonus, unfortunately (for them) they couldn&#39;t come near the salary I got from my current place.&nbsp; Communication is supposed to be two way street, though I&#39;m glad I found a hiring manger who didn&#39;t seem to think so.<br />
  • kuroshin 2006-12-13 12:48
    [quote user=&quot;Alex Papadimoulis&quot;]<blockquote><p>He&#39;s wearing a powder blue leisure suit with <em>cowboy boots</em>. </p></blockquote><p>[/quote]</p><p>So he turns out for an interview like this ? I&#39;m not surprised they were so cold about that.</p><p>&nbsp;<img align="bottom" height="215" src="http://www.amasquerade.com/images/costumes/historical/1970s/image064.jpg" width="91" /></p><p>&nbsp;</p>
  • Kabdib the Younger 2006-12-13 12:52
    <p>Pants-free Fridays?&nbsp; Ach, so you wear kilts then, ay?&nbsp; (It&#39;s easier to hide the nerf weapons under a kilt . . . so I&#39;m told).</p><p>I took a nine month hiatus from the industry in the late 90s, and when I felt like working again I went to a job fair.&nbsp; At one booth I made the mistake of mentioning that I&#39;d been programming in C for over twenty years.&nbsp; Their ears perked up.&nbsp; &quot;Really?&quot;&nbsp; They practically hired me on the spot.</p><p>Two months later I realized that interviewing is indeed a two-way street, and that you need to find out what the people and organization are like before you go on board.&nbsp; Their entire product could have been replaced by a few hundred lines of Perl, they had no formal build process, their management style consisted of waffling until one of the technical heavies simply pounded out some code (whereupon it shipped: no q/a), and worst of all the nazi network admin had shut down all of the Quake ports on the firewall.&nbsp; (Fucker).</p><p>The president of the company was in tears when I left. It was so touching.</p>
  • Roll Over 2006-12-13 12:53
    <p>[quote user=&quot;morry&quot;]Several counter points:<br />1) Cowboy boots with a suit is perfectly acceptable in some&nbsp;places.&nbsp;&nbsp;There&nbsp;is&nbsp;such&nbsp;a&nbsp;thing&nbsp;as&nbsp;dress&nbsp;cowboy&nbsp;boots. &nbsp;That should not have been a major issue. &nbsp;I&#39;ve seen men wearing suits and boots and they look fine. &nbsp;Blue seems a strange color though.<br />2)&nbsp;PLEASE &nbsp;show&nbsp;me&nbsp;a&nbsp;place&nbsp;where&nbsp;HR&nbsp;is&nbsp;NOT&nbsp;useless.&nbsp;&nbsp;perhaps&nbsp;if&nbsp;we&nbsp;told&nbsp;them&nbsp;that&nbsp;a&nbsp;little&nbsp;more&nbsp;often&nbsp;we&nbsp;wouldn&#39;t&nbsp;have&nbsp;to&nbsp;deal&nbsp;with&nbsp;it.<br />[/quote]</p><p>Did everyone else miss the part that stated he was wearing a <strong>powder blue leisure suit</strong>?<br /></p>
  • Your Name 2006-12-13 12:53
    <p>Hey!</p><p>How come we cannot vote this time?</p>
  • Who wants to work on an MMORPG anyway 2006-12-13 12:54
    <p>I had an instance with&nbsp;a well known game development company of which I&#39;ve been a long time fan;&nbsp;&nbsp; I had interviewed with another (non-game) company at about the same time, and let the&nbsp;game company&nbsp;know when we started the process that they weren&#39;t alone.&nbsp;&nbsp; A full four weeks after the interview, I hadn&#39;t heard -anything- back from the game company, and thus assumed that they had decided against me.&nbsp;&nbsp; Since I figured it would have been polite to inform me this,&nbsp;when I got my offer from the other company, I sent a message to the recruiter at the game company to let her know I was going to be taking the offer, and was curious as to why I&#39;d never heard back. </p><p>I finally get a response back:&nbsp; &quot;We&#39;re considering you for multiple positions!&nbsp; We&#39;d like to set up the next step of the interview with you early next week.&quot;</p><p>At this point, a couple of weeks later, they still haven&#39;t bothered to try to set anything up, and after holding off for a bit, just in case (Hey, they&#39;d be a neat company to work for!) I&#39;ve just sent in my acceptance of the other job.&nbsp;&nbsp; Then again, at the rate they&#39;re going, I could probably complete the rest of the interview, knowing that if I got an offer, I&#39;d probably get it in about.... 2010.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p>
  • truthiness 2006-12-13 12:55
    [quote user=&quot;Anonymous&quot;]<p>Did everyone else miss the part that stated he was wearing a <strong>powder blue leisure suit</strong>?<br /></p><p>[/quote]</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>No, that is irrelevant.&nbsp; It&#39;s like saying someone wearing an Armani should be outright dismissed from consideration for a software engineering or similar position.&nbsp;</p>
  • SomeCoder 2006-12-13 12:58
    <p>WOOT!&nbsp; No pants Friday!</p><p>&nbsp;I&#39;m going to try and get that started at my work :)</p>
  • plizak 2006-12-13 13:00
    <p>If you have no sense of humour, you would not survive in my work enviroment.</p><p>/My Captcha is TPS, as in TPS reports, ha ha ha</p>
  • jimlangrunner 2006-12-13 13:02
    <p>Reminds me of a hasher I know named &quot;Pull My Pants Down!&quot;.</p><p>Gotta laugh at these.&nbsp; Every one of them is a WTF in some way.&nbsp;</p><div class="ForumReplyToPostArea">
    </div><p>
    The entire concept behind
    these sorts of questions is bogus anyway.&nbsp;&nbsp; What are you trying to find
    out?&nbsp; Confidence? Actual Coding ability?&nbsp; Ability to do math?&nbsp;&nbsp; Seems
    like such a waste of time.&nbsp;&nbsp; I mean, who&#39;d going to give themselves
    below a 7?&nbsp;
    </p><p>Myself, I&#39;m about a 4 in Linux knowledge.&nbsp; I know that &quot;rm -A&quot; is a bad thing (or is that &quot;rm -a&quot;?), but I&#39;d have to check the man pages to be sure. (Yes, I know what it does). Trouble is, you&#39;ll have folks that try to be honest, and folks that try to b.s. their way through.&nbsp; How do you tell the difference?</p><p>Cowboy boots hurt my feet.</p>
  • many moons ago 2006-12-13 13:09
    [quote user=&quot;Anonymous&quot;] <p>I&#39;ve been to Dallas. Cowboy boots are (were?) normal business attire there. I&#39;m surprised the new guy wasn&#39;t wearing a cowboy hat to match.</p><p>I believe in appropriate attire, but honestly this fashion <em>faux pas</em> wouldn&#39;t be a huge deal to me[/quote]</p><p>Agreed! Anyone who would go nuts because someone from another region dressed differently than they do locally probably isn&#39;t someone I&#39;d want to work for anyway. The Texan got lucky on missing this one.</p>
  • Roll Over 2006-12-13 13:10
    <p>[quote user=&quot;Anonymous&quot;][quote user=&quot;Anonymous&quot;]Did everyone else miss the part that stated he was wearing a <strong>powder blue leisure suit</strong>?<br />[/quote]<br />No, that is irrelevant.&nbsp; It&#39;s like saying someone wearing an Armani should be outright dismissed from consideration for a software engineering or similar position.&nbsp;</p><p>[/quote]</p><p>My point is that everyone is focusing on the cowboy boots.&nbsp; I think cowboy boots are less faux pas than a leisure suit.&nbsp; Plus this guy was being considered for an actuary, not a software engineer.<br />&nbsp;</p>
  • GoatCheez 2006-12-13 13:13
    <p>It&#39;s been pointed out already by others, but I agree with with them about the cowboy boots and the Pants-Free Fridays.</p><p>The cowboy boots were not as big of a faux pas as the color of the suit. Still though, from the description it sounds like very acceptable attire for an interviewing actuary.</p><p>&nbsp;I don&#39;t know how anyone would not laugh at the Pants-Free Fridays. For some reason that story rings a bell too. I actually think someone might&#39;ve used that line on me in an interview at some time. I could be and am probably just crazy though.<br />&nbsp;</p>
  • G-Unit 2006-12-13 13:18
    [quote user=&quot;JamesKilton&quot;]<p>I&#39;ll never be able to work at a place that doesn&#39;t find &#39;Pants-free Fridays&#39; funny. This whole trend of &quot;Professionalism&quot; == &quot;depressed stoicism&quot; drives me nuts. </p><p>Hell, if an interviewer said that to me, I&#39;d be laughing my head off and immediately have a much better impression of the company.</p><p>&nbsp;<br />Good stories!<br />&nbsp;</p><p>[/quote]</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>Agreed.&nbsp; If she&#39;s cunty in the interview, she&#39;ll be even cuntier when working with her.&nbsp; Good riddance!<br /></p>
  • many moons ago 2006-12-13 13:19
    [quote user=&quot;jimlangrunner&quot;] <p>Reminds me of a hasher I know named &quot;Pull My Pants Down!&quot;.</p><p>Gotta laugh at these.&nbsp; Every one of them is a WTF in some way.&nbsp;</p><div class="ForumReplyToPostArea"></div><p>[quote]The entire concept behind these sorts of questions is bogus anyway.&nbsp;&nbsp; What are you trying to find out?&nbsp; Confidence? Actual Coding ability?&nbsp; Ability to do math?&nbsp;&nbsp; Seems like such a waste of time.&nbsp;&nbsp; I mean, who&#39;d going to give themselves below a 7?&nbsp; [/quote]</p><p>Myself, I&#39;m about a 4 in Linux knowledge.&nbsp; I know that &quot;rm -A&quot; is a bad thing (or is that &quot;rm -a&quot;?), but I&#39;d have to check the man pages to be sure. (Yes, I know what it does). Trouble is, you&#39;ll have folks that try to be honest, and folks that try to b.s. their way through.&nbsp; How do you tell the difference?</p><p>Cowboy boots hurt my feet.</p><p>[/quote]</p><p>Personally, I get very uncomfortable BS&#39;ing my way through an answer (you never know what the interviewer knows), so I just come back with &quot;I know a little about that, but not enough to speak to it intelligently - I&#39;d rather be honest with you&quot;.</p><p>That almost always gets me past all questions on the subject, and if it doesn&#39;t, it tells me a world of info about the interviewer that I usually interpret as &quot;run!&quot;</p><p>BTW: the women in my office weart skirts, and so have been observing pants-free Friday&#39;s since forever. Now clothes-free Fridays.....</p>
  • hotdog 2006-12-13 13:25
    [quote user=&quot;Anonymous&quot;]<p>My point is that everyone is focusing on the cowboy boots.&nbsp; I think cowboy boots are less faux pas than a leisure suit.&nbsp; Plus this guy was being considered for an actuary, not a software engineer.<br />&nbsp;</p><p>[/quote]</p><p>And my point is that this attire isn&#39;t necessarily inappropriate.&nbsp;</p>
  • Havic 2006-12-13 13:30
    One question I always ask is &quot;Do you like Gladiator movies?&quot; If the person gets the reference, then they almost always laugh and it tells me something about their personality. If they don&#39;t get the reference, then I brush by the question, and this tells me a little something about their personality. I usually don&#39;t ask technical questions. I am more interested in their educational background, what technologies they have been exposed to and their overall personality. If I can work with the person, then they can learn what they need to if they don&#39;t already know it.<br />
  • Dave 2006-12-13 13:34
    <p>I was finishing up a day of interviews with my potential supervisor.&nbsp; He wanted to go all technical, which basically meant quoting bits and pieces from the latest win32 book he read.&nbsp; Unfortunately for him, there just aren&#39;t that many win32 books worth reading and I could name the source of nearly every question he asked.</p><p>&nbsp;So finally we move on to the more interesting things, like what I want from this company and my short-to-long term career plans.&nbsp; He seemed genuinely distressed that my goals didn&#39;t revolve around the latest Microsoft OS.</p><p>me: &quot;There&#39;s no way in hell I want to be banging out code like a monkey when I&#39;m 40&quot;</p><p>him:&nbsp; &quot;Uhh, I just turned 41 last week.&quot;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>CAPTCHA - 1337, a symptom of resource waste<br />&nbsp;</p>
  • fashion impaired 2006-12-13 13:34
    [quote user=&quot;Alex Papadimoulis&quot;] <p><strong>A Nice New Pair of Kicks</strong><br /><em>From Martin Burns, during his tenure as recruiter for an actuarial search firms ...</em> </p><blockquote><p>I was working for a national contingency agency, and our specialty was actuarial search. Once of our major long-term clients was one of the top employee benefit consulting firms in the country (name withheld for all the usual reasons). </p><p>For this search, they were looking for a top-level actuarial consultant. For those of you unfamiliar with the actuarial field, well let&#39;s just say that finding an actuary who&#39;s comfortable in front of people is kind of like finding a Leprechaun who doesn&#39;t lie about where their pot of gold is hiding. </p><p>So when I sourced a guy in Texas who was personality+ with phenomenal scores on the grueling actuarial exams &amp; open to relocation nationally, I did the foolish thing of assuming I&#39;d already made a placement. We got on the phone with our client immediately. They loved what they heard; phone screened him for a role in Chicago, and booked flight up while they were still talking. I started doing the money dance in my head, thinking about the new Bang &amp; Olufson speakers I would buy, all of that. This would be a 6 figure salary at a 35% fee (ahh, the idiot 90&#39;s). </p><p>I phone prepped him, but since I was cocky about this one, didn&#39;t do more than say to him &quot;make sure you wear a suit&quot;, to which he said: &quot;Don&#39;t worry Martin, I&#39;ve got a new blue one with a nice new pair of kicks.&quot; I&#39;m from Boston. I though &quot;kicks&quot; meant shoes. </p><p>They met him at the airport with a limo &amp; two senior consultants. The called me the minute the car pulled up to their office and one of them could cut away. They didn&#39;t yell, but I think that would have been better. In a (very) cold tone, they said: &quot;He&#39;s wearing a powder blue leisure suit with <em>cowboy boots</em>.&quot; </p><p>Shockingly, I didn&#39;t get my Bang &amp; Olufson&#39;s. I still don&#39;t have them. </p></blockquote><p>[/quote]</p><p>Yeah, we all know that pastel liesure suits are inappropriate, and always have been, at an interview, in a bar, or anywhere else beyond Liesure Suite Larry...</p><p>However, the guy was interviewing for a job as an actuary (my cousin is an actuary)&nbsp;- someone who sits at a desk and interprets mountains of financial statistical data. Not a position that routinely requires meeting customers, bathing or any other human interaction. </p><p>Aside from the fact that the guy doesn&#39;t have much fashion sense, who cares what he was wearing? He wore a <u>new</u> &quot;suit&quot; and boots (presumably only showing from the ankles down as most (!) suits have full-length pants). If he didn&#39;t smell, could speak to his craft intelligently and was reasonably personable, I would have hired the guy.</p><p>A few months back, a not-quite-middle-aged guy applied for a programming position at our place. He was wearing an old, but clean suit, scuffed, but polished shoes, and presented &quot;ok&quot;. His technical skills were good, he could kid around and take a joke (one of my interview questions to lighten the mood is: what&#39;s the best practical joke you&#39;ve ever seen?), so we hired him. It turns out that the guy&#39;s family had several major medical expenses that had hit them hard, and he just didn&#39;t have the cash to update his wardrobe. We&#39;re glad we didn&#39;t judge that book by it&#39;s cover!</p>
  • Richard Head 2006-12-13 13:35
    <p>[quote user=&quot;Anonymous&quot;]One question I always ask is &quot;Do you like Gladiator movies?&quot; If the person gets the reference, then they almost always laugh and it tells me something about their personality. If they don&#39;t get the reference, then I brush by the question, and this tells me a little something about their personality. I usually don&#39;t ask technical questions. I am more interested in their educational background, what technologies they have been exposed to and their overall personality. If I can work with the person, then they can learn what they need to if they don&#39;t already know it.<br />[/quote]</p><p>&nbsp;Are you referring to Mark Foley?&nbsp; If so, thats a pretty new reference to be asking someone.&nbsp; If thats not who you&#39;re referring to, there must be more than one time that line has been said<br />&nbsp;</p>
  • mattd 2006-12-13 13:35
    At my job we have &quot;humor-free weekdays.&quot;<br />
  • What? 2006-12-13 13:39
    <p>[quote user=&quot;mattd&quot;]At my job we have &quot;humor-free weekdays.&quot;<br />[/quote]</p><p>Any time my boss tries to get serious, my peers and I take it as a sign to play a mandatory practical joke on someone - it always breaks the tension. I think you need to find a new job. </p><p>&quot;If you don&#39;t have enjoy work, and can&#39;t laugh once in a while, you&#39;re spending ~1/3 of your life being miserable...&quot;</p>
  • mattd 2006-12-13 13:39
    I haven&#39;t seen many gladiator movies because of my time in a Turkish prison.<br />
  • Dave 2006-12-13 13:39
    <p>[quote user=&quot;Anonymous&quot;]Are you referring to Mark Foley?&nbsp; If so, thats a pretty new reference to be asking someone.&nbsp; If thats not who you&#39;re referring to, there must be more than one time that line has been said [/quote]</p><p>Joey, do you like movies about gladiators?
    </p>
  • merreborn 2006-12-13 13:43
    [quote user=&quot;Anonymous&quot;][quote user=&quot;Anonymous&quot;]<p>My point is that everyone is focusing on the cowboy boots.&nbsp; I think cowboy boots are less faux pas than a leisure suit.&nbsp; Plus this guy was being considered for an actuary, not a software engineer.<br />&nbsp;</p><p>[/quote]</p><p>And my point is that this attire isn&#39;t necessarily inappropriate.&nbsp;</p><p>[/quote]</p><p>At first I was stunned that they&#39;d decline to hire the guy based on his choice in clothing, but then I remembered that his #1 responsibility would have been interfacing with customers.&nbsp; Part of that includes dressing in a manner that isn&#39;t likely to put your customers off.&nbsp; I&#39;d imagine this is doubly true in the actuarial industry, which is probably a lot more into the whole suit &amp; tie thing than average.&nbsp;</p>
  • Zylon 2006-12-13 13:45
    [quote user=&quot;Anonymous&quot;]<p>[quote user=&quot;Anonymous&quot;]One question I always ask is &quot;Do you like Gladiator movies?&quot; If the person gets the reference, then they almost always laugh and it tells me something about their personality. If they don&#39;t get the reference, then I brush by the question, and this tells me a little something about their personality. I usually don&#39;t ask technical questions. I am more interested in their educational background, what technologies they have been exposed to and their overall personality. If I can work with the person, then they can learn what they need to if they don&#39;t already know it.[/quote]<br />&nbsp;Are you referring to Mark Foley?&nbsp; If so, thats a pretty new reference to be asking someone.&nbsp; If thats not who you&#39;re referring to, there must be more than one time that line has been said[/quote]</p><p>Surely you&#39;re kidding.&nbsp;</p>
  • El Quberto 2006-12-13 13:50
    Got this great logic problem at a recent interview:<div>&nbsp; You have three people that can cross a bridge but they have to cross with their single flashlight.&nbsp; How quickly can you get across those people that can cross the bridge when it takes them 1, 2, and 5 seconds?</div><div><br class="khtml-block-placeholder" /></div><div>Like all logic problems there&#39;s a trick in there somewhere (I hadn&#39;t heard this one before).&nbsp; I so struggled for a minute and told her it was 8 seconds.&nbsp; No, she said, my answer was the simple one.&nbsp; Uh it is the right one.&nbsp; I then went on to show her that you had to have more inputs so you could sneak one of the slower people over with an even slower person.</div><div><br class="khtml-block-placeholder" /></div><div>Add to that she didn&#39;t see my resume until I walked in and I knew I was doomed from the start.&nbsp; Honestly why do people ask these &quot;logic&quot; questions?&nbsp; If you know the trick you&#39;re a genius, if you don&#39;t you minus well have just rolled out of your cardboard box in the park and holding on to your MadDog 20/20.</div>
  • Stupid interview questions 2006-12-13 13:57
    [quote user=&quot;Anonymous&quot;]Got this great logic problem at a recent interview: <div>&nbsp; You have three people that can cross a bridge but they have to cross with their single flashlight.&nbsp; How quickly can you get across those people that can cross the bridge when it takes them 1, 2, and 5 seconds?</div><div><br class="khtml-block-placeholder" /></div><div>Like all logic problems there&#39;s a trick in there somewhere (I hadn&#39;t heard this one before).&nbsp; I so struggled for a minute and told her it was 8 seconds.&nbsp; No, she said, my answer was the simple one.&nbsp; Uh it is the right one.&nbsp; I then went on to show her that you had to have more inputs so you could sneak one of the slower people over with an even slower person.</div><div><br class="khtml-block-placeholder" /></div><div>Add to that she didn&#39;t see my resume until I walked in and I knew I was doomed from the start.&nbsp; Honestly why do people ask these &quot;logic&quot; questions?&nbsp; If you know the trick you&#39;re a genius, if you don&#39;t you minus well have just rolled out of your cardboard box in the park and holding on to your MadDog 20/20.</div><p>[/quote]</p><p>I&#39;ve noticed that oftentimes, interviewers will ask something that they obviously fought with in production (invariably some obscure piece of minutia) and then expect you to know it. I take it as a red flag of management stupidity.</p><p>The other one is when they try to get you to solve some current production problem in the interview (because they obviously have no clue what to do) - I like to give enough of an answer to let them know that I know how to fix it, but not quite enought to enable them to fix it without my help. If they persist in getting more details, it&#39;s a sure sign that they are only interviewing in order to pick your brains for free; since you&#39;ve already wasted your time, you might as well have some fun sending them up an obscure, yet dead-end blind alley (tit-for-tat)</p><p>captcha: whiskey - I need some after interviews like that!</p>
  • mathew 2006-12-13 13:59
    <p>&quot;He&#39;s wearing a powder blue leisure suit with <em>cowboy boots</em>.&quot;</p><p><br />Since you don&#39;t mention heavy tattoos and piercings, I&#39;m guessing he wasn&#39;t from Austin.</p>
  • awesomeness 2006-12-13 14:02
    [quote user=&quot;Anonymous&quot;]Got this great logic problem at a recent interview:<div>&nbsp; You have three people that can cross a bridge but they have to cross with their single flashlight.&nbsp; How quickly can you get across those people that can cross the bridge when it takes them 1, 2, and 5 seconds?</div><p>[/quote]</p><p>5 seconds.&nbsp; Nothing in your description says they can&#39;t go together.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>When I get asked questions like this one though, I turn it around and say something equally stupid like &quot;How quickly can you figure out that your organization is not up to par for my capabilities?&quot;&nbsp;</p>
  • VGR 2006-12-13 14:09
    [quote user=&quot;Alex Papadimoulis&quot;]<p><strong>I Forgot to Introduce You</strong> <br />From the interviewee for an entry-level programmer position who asked to remain anonymous ... </p><blockquote>&quot;No,&quot; Mark replied, &quot; I think you should actually explain yourself.&quot; <p>At this point the blood is racing, so I&#39;m not sure exactly what I said but it was something along the lines of &quot;It&#39;s not that HR is bad. It&#39;s more that you know me better than they do and are more capable of assessing me.&quot; A minute or so later I stumbled out of the room gasping for air. Despite all that, I still received an offer. Thank goodness for nepotism. </p></blockquote><p>&nbsp;[/quote]</p><p>This anonymous guy has my respect.&nbsp; That was a nice recovery;&nbsp; he thought on his feet instead of panicking.&nbsp; Had he lacked that wherewithal, I think nepotism wouldn&#39;t have saved him.<br /></p>
  • wyz 2006-12-13 14:11
    [quote user=&quot;kuroshin&quot;][quote user=&quot;Alex Papadimoulis&quot;] <blockquote><p>He&#39;s wearing a powder blue leisure suit with <em>cowboy boots</em>. </p></blockquote><p>[/quote]</p><p>So he turns out for an interview like this ? I&#39;m not surprised they were so cold about that.</p><p>&nbsp;<img align="bottom" height="215" src="http://www.amasquerade.com/images/costumes/historical/1970s/image064.jpg" width="91" /></p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>[/quote]</p><p>For the international readers, that is a blue leisure suit from the 1970&#39;s era, often associated with&nbsp;&quot;disco&quot; music/dance craze, typically made with&nbsp;a synthetic material. But those are NOT cowboy boots on his feet!</p><p>The acceptability of cowboy boots is region dependent within th US. And like most footware there are styles that are acceptable dress versions and others that aren&#39;t. I occassionally wear cowboy boots,&nbsp;and have a pair for dress occasions. But I am aware of when it is or is&nbsp;not appropriate. </p><p>On the other hand, I have never worn a leisure suit and hope to never be in one!</p><p>captha - knowhutimean&nbsp; ???</p>
  • Sharkie 2006-12-13 14:17
    <p>I see less wrong with the &quot;No Pants Friday&quot; remark than I do the gender of the interviewee.</p><p>&nbsp;<br />Yes guys, we live in a world today where you can be shut down from heavy fines &amp; penalties by saying such thing in the presence of a female, especially a random female on an interview.&nbsp; If it can possibly be misconstrued, manipulated or twisted to even have the possibility of a hint of a chance of being of a sexual nature... you&#39;re now looking at lawsuit material.&nbsp; Male interviewee would have been SOP.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p>
  • skington 2006-12-13 14:19
    George Bush has cowboy boots with the seal of the President of the United States on them. They look to me like dress cowboy boots; whether they&#39;re ever appropriate is another question entirely.
  • mbvlist 2006-12-13 14:20
    <p>[quote user=&quot;morry&quot;]Several counter points:<br /><br />1) Cowboy boots with a suit is perfectly acceptable in some&nbsp;places.&nbsp;&nbsp;There&nbsp;is&nbsp;such&nbsp;a&nbsp;thing&nbsp;as&nbsp;dress&nbsp;cowboy&nbsp;boots. &nbsp;That should not have been a major issue. &nbsp;I&#39;ve seen men wearing suits and boots and they look fine. &nbsp;Blue seems a strange color though.<br /><br />2)&nbsp;PLEASE &nbsp;show&nbsp;me&nbsp;a&nbsp;place&nbsp;where&nbsp;HR&nbsp;is&nbsp;NOT&nbsp;useless.&nbsp;&nbsp;perhaps&nbsp;if&nbsp;we&nbsp;told&nbsp;them&nbsp;that&nbsp;a&nbsp;little&nbsp;more&nbsp;often&nbsp;we&nbsp;wouldn&#39;t&nbsp;have&nbsp;to&nbsp;deal&nbsp;with&nbsp;it.<br />[/quote]</p><p>2) Not at my place: after 3 months of showing an ad for a software developer on the company&#39;s website, they put it on monsterboard, that is: 1 job site. The position couldn&#39;t be missed by the way, and we still didn&#39;t find a replacement. And by the way, at this moment the development team has decreased from 4 FTE to 1.8 FTE, with one person intensively seeking another job... So if you are in the Netherlands, and need a WTF-job, join us! :P<br /></p>
  • lister 2006-12-13 14:21
    morry:
    2)&nbsp;PLEASE &nbsp;show&nbsp;me&nbsp;a&nbsp;place&nbsp;where&nbsp;HR&nbsp;is&nbsp;NOT&nbsp;useless.&nbsp;&nbsp;perhaps&nbsp;if&nbsp;we&nbsp;told&nbsp;them&nbsp;that&nbsp;a&nbsp;little&nbsp;more&nbsp;often&nbsp;we&nbsp;wouldn&#39;t&nbsp;have&nbsp;to&nbsp;deal&nbsp;with&nbsp;it.<br />


    I've worked at several jobs where HR wasn't totally useless. In fact they were quite friendly and helpful for stuff I needed them for. I have however worked with some HR people at other places where they were quite evil.
  • Dave 2006-12-13 14:22
    <p>[quote user=&quot;Anonymous&quot;]The other one is when they try to get you to solve some current production problem in the interview (because they obviously have no clue what to do)[/quote]</p><p>&nbsp;<br />This happened to me.&nbsp; One of the bullet points on my resume was an automated build system named &quot;BuildMonkey.&quot;&nbsp; I stole the name from some other company mentioned in an old Game Developer magazine.&nbsp; Anyways, my system built, branded and deployed a few hundred or so binaries every night.&nbsp; During the interview we talked about it and it seemed like my audience was unusually interested.&nbsp; They started asking more detail about versioning and whatnot, and the idiot that I was thought they were all just amazed by my technical prowess.</p><p>&nbsp;Fast forward 5 weeks and it&#39;s my first day working for that company.&nbsp; I&#39;m told about an informal party in the afternoon to celebrate the release of their new automated build system, dubbed &quot;BuildMonkey.&quot;<br />&nbsp;</p>
  • Randyd 2006-12-13 14:27
    [quote user=&quot;Anonymous&quot;] <p>I see less wrong with the &quot;No Pants Friday&quot; remark than I do the gender of the interviewee.</p><p>[/quote]</p><p>I guess our references to Topless Tuesdays are a no-no too.</p><p>I went on an interview once - I was being considered for an upper level management position on new product development.&nbsp; During the process, I was introduced to the VP of the Quality Assurance department.&nbsp; This lady was not prepared and was just asked at the last minute to interview this candidate (i&#39;m supposing)&nbsp; to paraphrase it went something like this:</p><p>Her: Have you had any experience with Testing and Quality Assurance?</p><p>Me: Sure, I do it all the time.</p><p>Her: What would you do if you found a bug in the code?</p><p>Me: Today? I&#39;d fix it.</p><p>Her: Oh - we don&#39;t do that here.</p><p>Me: Oh. Hmm ok - then i guess i would document it with a repeatable set of steps and hand it to the development team.</p><p>Her: We do a lot more than that.&nbsp; I guess you dont really have the experience we&#39;re looking for.</p><p>Me what level of position would I qualify for?</p><p>Her: Maybe a junior tester.</p><p>Me: Thanks for your time.</p><p>I declined the offer.</p>
  • Chris 2006-12-13 14:27
    If you&#39;re already not comfortable at an interview, you might not pull the joke off as well as you thought.&nbsp; Plus, it sounds like she was in a room of men, which can be a little intimidating until she gets to know them.<div><br class="khtml-block-placeholder" /></div><div>So the &quot;pants free Friday&quot; things could have just come off as creepy pretty easily.</div>
  • anon 2006-12-13 14:27
    <font size="-1">Don&#39;t call me Shirley.</font>
  • zerrodefex 2006-12-13 14:29
    <p>
    &quot;He&#39;s wearing a powder blue leisure suit with <em>cowboy boots</em>.&quot;
    </p><p>So they were expecting jeans, fannel, and a cowboy hat instead?&nbsp;</p>
  • Tanya 2006-12-13 14:30
    <p>or Texas, Oklahoma, or Arkansas. And yes, there&#39;s a difference between a formal dress western-style suit and working clothes, and there&#39;s a difference between dress cowboy boots and actual working cowboy boots. Wearing the clothes you&#39;d wear to work on your ranch isn&#39;t acceptable for an office environment, but generally, western-style suits and dress boots are (if you&#39;re in Texas, Oklahoma, or Arkansas).</p><p>It&#39;s a local culture thing. I would no more chide a Texan for wearing dress boots than I would an Indian woman for wearing a sari to an interview. Both would be respecting the formality of the interview; their only transgression is a failure to immediately assimilate local norms.<br />&nbsp;</p>
  • UMTopSpinC7 2006-12-13 14:31
    [quote user=&quot;JamesKilton&quot;]<p>I&#39;ll never be able to work at a place that doesn&#39;t find &#39;Pants-free Fridays&#39; funny. This whole trend of &quot;Professionalism&quot; == &quot;depressed stoicism&quot; drives me nuts. </p><p>Hell, if an interviewer said that to me, I&#39;d be laughing my head off and immediately have a much better impression of the company.<br /><br />Good stories!<br /></p><p>[/quote]</p><p>Yeah seriously. That is hilarious.<br /></p>
  • Stupid interview questions 2006-12-13 14:35
    [quote user=&quot;mbvlist&quot;] <p>[quote user=&quot;morry&quot;]Several counter points:<br /><br />1) Cowboy boots with a suit is perfectly acceptable in some&nbsp;places.&nbsp;&nbsp;There&nbsp;is&nbsp;such&nbsp;a&nbsp;thing&nbsp;as&nbsp;dress&nbsp;cowboy&nbsp;boots. &nbsp;That should not have been a major issue. &nbsp;I&#39;ve seen men wearing suits and boots and they look fine. &nbsp;Blue seems a strange color though.<br /><br />2)&nbsp;PLEASE &nbsp;show&nbsp;me&nbsp;a&nbsp;place&nbsp;where&nbsp;HR&nbsp;is&nbsp;NOT&nbsp;useless.&nbsp;&nbsp;perhaps&nbsp;if&nbsp;we&nbsp;told&nbsp;them&nbsp;that&nbsp;a&nbsp;little&nbsp;more&nbsp;often&nbsp;we&nbsp;wouldn&#39;t&nbsp;have&nbsp;to&nbsp;deal&nbsp;with&nbsp;it.<br />[/quote]</p><p>2) Not at my place: after 3 months of showing an ad for a software developer on the company&#39;s website, they put it on monsterboard, that is: 1 job site. The position couldn&#39;t be missed by the way, and we still didn&#39;t find a replacement. And by the way, at this moment the development team has decreased from 4 FTE to 1.8 FTE, with one person intensively seeking another job... So if you are in the Netherlands, and <strong><u>need a <em>WTF</em>-job</u></strong>, join us! :P<br /></p><p>[/quote]</p><p>Even if I lived there, I&#39;m not so sure I&#39;d want a <strong>WTF-job</strong></p>
  • Jon 2006-12-13 14:38
    The entire 1-10 scale is useless because its completely relative.&nbsp; I know an awful lot about computers and am qualified as a mid-senior level developer in C,C++,Java,C# ... i know SQL very well and I can also work as a MS or Linux network admin.&nbsp; I know my fair share about chip design and have used a few different asm langs.&nbsp; I know entirelly too much about computers and if you ask me on a scale from one to ten how much I know about computers in comparison of everything that is out there... i&#39;m like a .5&nbsp;
  • ??? 2006-12-13 14:42
    [quote user=&quot;mbvlist&quot;] <p>[quote user=&quot;morry&quot;]Several counter points:<br /><br />1) Cowboy boots with a suit is perfectly acceptable in some&nbsp;places.&nbsp;&nbsp;There&nbsp;is&nbsp;such&nbsp;a&nbsp;thing&nbsp;as&nbsp;dress&nbsp;cowboy&nbsp;boots. &nbsp;That should not have been a major issue. &nbsp;I&#39;ve seen men wearing suits and boots and they look fine. &nbsp;Blue seems a strange color though.<br /><br />2)&nbsp;PLEASE &nbsp;show&nbsp;me&nbsp;a&nbsp;place&nbsp;where&nbsp;HR&nbsp;is&nbsp;NOT&nbsp;useless.&nbsp;&nbsp;perhaps&nbsp;if&nbsp;we&nbsp;told&nbsp;them&nbsp;that&nbsp;a&nbsp;little&nbsp;more&nbsp;often&nbsp;we&nbsp;wouldn&#39;t&nbsp;have&nbsp;to&nbsp;deal&nbsp;with&nbsp;it.<br />[/quote]</p><p>2) Not at my place: after 3 months of showing an ad for a software developer on the company&#39;s website, they put it on monsterboard, that is: 1 job site. The position couldn&#39;t be missed by the way, and we still didn&#39;t find a replacement. And by the way, at this moment the development team has decreased from 4 FTE to 1.8 FTE, with one person intensively seeking another job... So if you are in the Netherlands, and need a WTF-job, join us! :P<br /></p><p>[/quote]</p><p>A team shrinking doesn&#39;t necessarily mean something bad happened! Sometimes it&#39;s just that a project has stabilized and folks are moving on to other projects. Of course, this doesn&#39;t sound like the case, especially since you call it a &quot;WTF job&quot;</p>
  • Lloyd C 2006-12-13 14:42
    <p>It&#39;s too bad that the entry-level programmer hadn&#39;t been through some HR interviews before encountering the VP of Human Resources, because then he could probably give some valid responses.&nbsp; </p><p>Over the years I&#39;ve heard some really stupid HR statements, but my favorite was when some HR idiot accused me of lying during an interview about my experience with SQL because I didn&#39;t pronounce it &quot;squirrel&quot;.&nbsp; She also didn&#39;t like the way I smirked whenever she talked about programming paradigms, where she pronounced the second word &quot;pair-aye-dig-ems&quot;.<br /></p>
  • Franz Kafka 2006-12-13 14:44
    [quote user=&quot;Anonymous&quot;][quote user=&quot;Anonymous&quot;]<p>Did everyone else miss the part that stated he was wearing a <strong>powder blue leisure suit</strong>?<br /></p><p>[/quote]<br /></p><p>No, that is irrelevant.&nbsp; It&#39;s like saying someone wearing an Armani should be outright dismissed from consideration for a software engineering or similar position.&nbsp;</p><p>[/quote]</p><p>&nbsp;I don&#39;t follow your reasoning - leisure suits show fashion sense 30 years out of date (and it&#39;s probably polyester - eww), while Armani always looks good. If I had the cash, I&#39;d have gotten one. <br /></p>
  • foxyshadis 2006-12-13 14:44
    [quote user=&quot;Anonymous&quot;][quote user=&quot;Anonymous&quot;] <p>I&#39;ve been to Dallas. Cowboy boots are (were?) normal business attire there. I&#39;m surprised the new guy wasn&#39;t wearing a cowboy hat to match.</p><p>I believe in appropriate attire, but honestly this fashion <em>faux pas</em> wouldn&#39;t be a huge deal to me[/quote]</p><p>Agreed! Anyone who would go nuts because someone from another region dressed differently than they do locally probably isn&#39;t someone I&#39;d want to work for anyway. The Texan got lucky on missing this one.</p><p>[/quote]</p><p>What is it about the software development field that makes people utterly blind to dress codes? Is it just because a lot of people actively escape them nowadays? They&#39;re arbitrary and sometimes stupid, but <em>they exist</em>. Acturials are way older-school than developers as a rule.<br /></p><p>If you work in an industry where everyone outside california and texas wears a suit, interviewing for a huge company that probably has a lot of hangups, your clients are expecting a nice charcoal suit, and you get told to wear a suit, you&#39;d better not arrive looking like you just stepped off the disco floor! Unless you&#39;re Don Johnson. Much the same way if you wore Armani to a fast food interview you&#39;d be laughed out of town.<br /> </p><p>(Had I been the headhunter, I&#39;d have ensured that I had at least enough time to hit a men&#39;s wear, or correct any other noticeable deficiencies, before the clients got to him.)<br /></p>
  • Liam 2006-12-13 14:45
    <p>I had been recruiting for maybe 2 or 3 months after having graduated college. We were trying to help a pretty prestigious PR firm find a mid-level developer. I found a guy who seemed to fit the bill. He was well spoken with a great sense of humor, solid work history, good references--you know, he had what it took and I was encouraged. </p><p>&nbsp;Set up the phone screen for 3pm. I get a call at 3:16pm from him saying, </p><p>&quot;Hey Liam all done. I hope I didn&#39;t offend her....&quot;</p><p>I&#39;m already pissed off because I know in 16 minutes he&#39;s not getting any job....</p><p>&quot;why&quot; </p><p>&quot;well, she called at 3:04 and I had just ordered a slice of pizza, so I asked if she could call me back...&quot;</p><p>I was befuddled. A mix between falling out of my chair and smashing the phone to bits.....took a deep breath and said </p><p>&quot;did she?&quot; </p><p>&quot;yeah&quot; </p><p>&quot;well that&#39;s more than I say I&#39;ll be doing--good day, Sir&quot;</p><p>&nbsp;<br />And from that day forward I learned never to assume that people have common sense and remind them of everything. <br /><br /><br />&nbsp;</p>
  • Not quite as smart, but a good retort 2006-12-13 14:45
    <p>[quote user=&quot;Anonymous&quot;]The entire 1-10 scale is useless because its completely relative.&nbsp; I know an awful lot about computers and am qualified as a mid-senior level developer in C,C++,Java,C# ... i know SQL very well and I can also work as a MS or Linux network admin.&nbsp; I know my fair share about chip design and have used a few different asm langs.&nbsp; I know entirelly too much about computers and if you ask me on a scale from one to ten how much I know about computers in comparison of everything that is out there... i&#39;m like a .5&nbsp;[/quote]</p><p>Just respond: &quot;relative to what yardstick?&quot;</p><p>Or better yet: &quot;I&#39;m an 11 - I go beyond the basics of &lt;insert name of technology here&gt; and have concentrated on mastering how to effectively apply it&quot;</p><p>captcha: hotdog - how appropos</p>
  • chewy 2006-12-13 14:46
    No, I&#39;m serious. And stop calling me Shirley<br />
  • AuMatar 2006-12-13 14:47
    [quote user=&quot;Anonymous&quot;]<p>The entire concept behind these sorts of questions is bogus anyway.&nbsp;&nbsp; What are you trying to find out?&nbsp; Confidence? Actual Coding ability?&nbsp; Ability to do math?&nbsp;&nbsp; Seems like such a waste of time.&nbsp;&nbsp; I mean, who&#39;d going to give themselves below a 7?&nbsp;&nbsp; </p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>*shakes head* &nbsp;</p><p>[/quote]</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>Me, frequently.&nbsp; If I don&#39;t use it in day to day work or home use, I&#39;m a 6 at most.&nbsp; If you were to ask me to rate my Java skills, I&#39;d say 3-&nbsp; I haven&#39;t used it since college (and would prefer to never use it again), but I do know the language, know how to program, and could be up and programming in it in a week if needed.&nbsp;</p>
  • zerrodefex 2006-12-13 14:50
    [quote user=&quot;Anonymous&quot;]Got this great logic problem at a recent interview:<div>&nbsp; You have three people that can cross a bridge but they have to cross with their single flashlight.&nbsp; How quickly can you get across those people that can cross the bridge when it takes them 1, 2, and 5 seconds?</div><div><br class="khtml-block-placeholder" /></div><div>Like all logic problems there&#39;s a trick in there somewhere (I hadn&#39;t heard this one before).&nbsp; I so struggled for a minute and told her it was 8 seconds.&nbsp; No, she said, my answer was the simple one.&nbsp; Uh it is the right one.&nbsp; I then went on to show her that you had to have more inputs so you could sneak one of the slower people over with an even slower person.[/quote]</div><p>I&#39;d have said 5 seconds: that&#39;s the speed of the slowest person and the question doesn&#39;t say that they cannot all cross at the same time while one person holds the flashlight to light the way.<br />&nbsp;</p>
  • Old pro 2006-12-13 14:51
    [quote user=&quot;Anonymous&quot;][quote user=&quot;Anonymous&quot;] <p>The entire concept behind these sorts of questions is bogus anyway.&nbsp;&nbsp; What are you trying to find out?&nbsp; Confidence? Actual Coding ability?&nbsp; Ability to do math?&nbsp;&nbsp; Seems like such a waste of time.&nbsp;&nbsp; I mean, who&#39;d going to give themselves below a 7?&nbsp;</p><p>*shakes head* &nbsp;</p><p>[/quote]</p><p>Me, frequently.&nbsp; If I don&#39;t use it in day to day work or home use, I&#39;m a 6 at most.&nbsp; If you were to ask me to rate my Java skills, I&#39;d say 3-&nbsp; I haven&#39;t used it since college (and would prefer to never use it again), but I do know the language, know how to program, and could be up and programming in it in a week if needed.&nbsp;</p><p>[/quote]</p><p>I wonder if you&#39;d want a job where they demand you use a skill that you&#39;d prefer to never use again? </p><p>I programmed in Fortran IV for a *long* time, and could probably do it now, but wouldn&#39;t want to.</p><p>&nbsp;I could see it as an interim measure while looking for something else, but really...</p><p>&nbsp;</p>
  • Franz Kafka 2006-12-13 14:51
    [quote user=&quot;Anonymous&quot;]<p>hat oftentimes, interviewers will ask something that they obviously fought with in production (invariably some obscure piece of minutia) and then expect you to know it. I take it as a red flag of management stupidity.</p><p>[/quote]</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>I do that because It&#39;s something I&#39;ve fought with, will likely fight with later (not the same thing, something similar), and am familiar with, so I know a fair bit about the common approaches and blind alleys. I don&#39;t expect an interviewee to solve the problem (if he does, that&#39;s great) - I want to see their approach to problem solving.<br /></p>
  • - 2006-12-13 14:52
    [quote user=&quot;Anonymous&quot;][quote user=&quot;Anonymous&quot;]Got this great logic problem at a recent interview: <div>&nbsp; You have three people that can cross a bridge but they have to cross with their single flashlight.&nbsp; How quickly can you get across those people that can cross the bridge when it takes them 1, 2, and 5 seconds?</div><div><br class="khtml-block-placeholder" /></div><div>Like all logic problems there&#39;s a trick in there somewhere (I hadn&#39;t heard this one before).&nbsp; I so struggled for a minute and told her it was 8 seconds.&nbsp; No, she said, my answer was the simple one.&nbsp; Uh it is the right one.&nbsp; I then went on to show her that you had to have more inputs so you could sneak one of the slower people over with an even slower person.[/quote]</div><p>I&#39;d have said 5 seconds: that&#39;s the speed of the slowest person and the question doesn&#39;t say that they cannot all cross at the same time while one person holds the flashlight to light the way.</p><p>[/quote]</p><p>I&#39;ve heard variations of this one before, and there is usually some stipulation that only two people can cross at once. I think the quote just omitted that fact.</p>
  • that's fair 2006-12-13 14:53
    [quote user=&quot;Anonymous&quot;][quote user=&quot;Anonymous&quot;] <p>hat oftentimes, interviewers will ask something that they obviously fought with in production (invariably some obscure piece of minutia) and then expect you to know it. I take it as a red flag of management stupidity.</p><p>[/quote]</p><p>I do that because It&#39;s something I&#39;ve fought with, will likely fight with later (not the same thing, something similar), and am familiar with, so I know a fair bit about the common approaches and blind alleys. I don&#39;t expect an interviewee to solve the problem (if he does, that&#39;s great) - I want to see their approach to problem solving.<br /></p><p>[/quote]</p><p>That&#39;s fair - unfortunately, it seems that most folks who do this aren&#39;t looking for general-approach type knowledge.</p>
  • doc0tis 2006-12-13 14:54
    <p>Regarding the pants comment, I work for a trucking company, you can say ANYTHING here.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>--doc0tis&nbsp;</p>
  • zerrodefex 2006-12-13 15:04
    [quote user=&quot;Anonymous&quot;][quote user=&quot;Anonymous&quot;][quote user=&quot;Anonymous&quot;]Got this great logic problem at a recent interview: <div>&nbsp; You have three people that can cross a bridge but they have to cross with their single flashlight.&nbsp; How quickly can you get across those people that can cross the bridge when it takes them 1, 2, and 5 seconds?</div><div><br class="khtml-block-placeholder" /></div><div>Like all logic problems there&#39;s a trick in there somewhere (I hadn&#39;t heard this one before).&nbsp; I so struggled for a minute and told her it was 8 seconds.&nbsp; No, she said, my answer was the simple one.&nbsp; Uh it is the right one.&nbsp; I then went on to show her that you had to have more inputs so you could sneak one of the slower people over with an even slower person.[/quote]</div><p>I&#39;d have said 5 seconds: that&#39;s the speed of the slowest person and the question doesn&#39;t say that they cannot all cross at the same time while one person holds the flashlight to light the way.</p><p>[/quote]</p><p>I&#39;ve heard variations of this one before, and there is usually some stipulation that only two people can cross at once. I think the quote just omitted that fact.</p><p>[/quote]</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>Well in that case it is 8 as you&#39;d have the 1 second guy lead them each across and it takes 1 second for him to run back for the 2nd guy. 2 + 1 + 5 = 8 seconds.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>captcha: 1337 (yay!)&nbsp;</p>
  • Chris 2006-12-13 15:07
    &gt;&nbsp;Male interviewee would have been SOP<div><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family: Tahoma"><br class="khtml-block-placeholder" /></span></div><div><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family: Tahoma">Not so</span><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family: Tahoma">.&nbsp;&nbsp;</span></div><div><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family: Tahoma">From a personl side, you just don&#39;t know the person, what they&#39;ve been through, and what their concerns are that day.</span></div><div><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family: Tahoma">Maybe he&#39;s gay and was just verbally assaulted shortly before the interview.&nbsp; He may be a little sensitive about it.</span></div><div><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family: Tahoma"><br class="khtml-block-placeholder" /></span></div><div><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family: Tahoma">From another angle, you may still be in trouble if he doesn&#39;t get the job.&nbsp; He can argue that you excluded him by making uncomfortable jokes being the strong Baptist that he is.&nbsp; It doesn&#39;t always take alot to get into the lawsuit process... and can often cost alot to get out of.</span></div><div><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family: Tahoma"><br class="khtml-block-placeholder" /></span></div><div><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family: Tahoma">You really want to be careful about your humor when representing other people.</span></div>
  • AuMatar 2006-12-13 15:10
    [quote user=&quot;Anonymous&quot;][quote user=&quot;Anonymous&quot;][quote user=&quot;Anonymous&quot;] <p>The entire concept behind these sorts of questions is bogus anyway.&nbsp;&nbsp; What are you trying to find out?&nbsp; Confidence? Actual Coding ability?&nbsp; Ability to do math?&nbsp;&nbsp; Seems like such a waste of time.&nbsp;&nbsp; I mean, who&#39;d going to give themselves below a 7?&nbsp;</p><p>*shakes head* &nbsp;</p><p>[/quote]</p><p>Me, frequently.&nbsp; If I don&#39;t use it in day to day work or home use, I&#39;m a 6 at most.&nbsp; If you were to ask me to rate my Java skills, I&#39;d say 3-&nbsp; I haven&#39;t used it since college (and would prefer to never use it again), but I do know the language, know how to program, and could be up and programming in it in a week if needed.&nbsp;</p><p>[/quote]</p><p>I wonder if you&#39;d want a job where they demand you use a skill that you&#39;d prefer to never use again? </p><p>I programmed in Fortran IV for a *long* time, and could probably do it now, but wouldn&#39;t want to.</p><p>&nbsp;I could see it as an interim measure while looking for something else, but really...</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>[/quote]</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>I wouldn&#39;t.&nbsp; I&#39;d answer a question about it though-&nbsp; if the job was 95% C/C++ and I&#39;d be tweaking Java 1 day a month or so, I&#39;d live with it.&nbsp; But I wouldn&#39;t even interview for a job that was based on it in the majority<br /></p>
  • AuMatar 2006-12-13 15:12
    [quote user=&quot;Anonymous&quot;][quote user=&quot;Anonymous&quot;][quote user=&quot;Anonymous&quot;]Got this great logic problem at a recent interview: <div>&nbsp; You have three people that can cross a bridge but they have to cross with their single flashlight.&nbsp; How quickly can you get across those people that can cross the bridge when it takes them 1, 2, and 5 seconds?</div><div><br class="khtml-block-placeholder" /></div><div>Like all logic problems there&#39;s a trick in there somewhere (I hadn&#39;t heard this one before).&nbsp; I so struggled for a minute and told her it was 8 seconds.&nbsp; No, she said, my answer was the simple one.&nbsp; Uh it is the right one.&nbsp; I then went on to show her that you had to have more inputs so you could sneak one of the slower people over with an even slower person.[/quote]</div><p>I&#39;d have said 5 seconds: that&#39;s the speed of the slowest person and the question doesn&#39;t say that they cannot all cross at the same time while one person holds the flashlight to light the way.</p><p>[/quote]</p><p>I&#39;ve heard variations of this one before, and there is usually some stipulation that only two people can cross at once. I think the quote just omitted that fact.</p><p>[/quote]</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>THen I think 8 is still the right answer:</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>1)5s and 1s cross-&nbsp; time 5s<br /></p><p>2)1s goes back with the flashlight (can&#39;t just throw it to the other side) - time 1s, total 6s</p><p>3)1 and 2 cross again-&nbsp; time 2s, total 8s&nbsp;</p>
  • triso 2006-12-13 15:16
    [quote user=&quot;Anonymous&quot;]
    <p><em>&quot;What I love about working here is Pants-Free Fridays&quot;&nbsp; </em></p>

    <p>&nbsp;<br />
    Who wouldn&#39;t laugh at that?&nbsp;&nbsp; I guess the interviewee did not find that humorous.&nbsp; I&#39;ve heard more offensive things in my office in the time it&#39;s taken me to write this.<br />
    </p>
    [/quote]<font size="+1">I</font>t&#39;s a good thing you didn&#39;t mention Topless Tuesdays.<br />
  • Chris 2006-12-13 15:19
    I had to the 1-10 thing for a build engineer job eons ago that was entry into a progamming job, and they did it pretty well.<div><br class="khtml-block-placeholder" /></div><div>The answers didn&#39;t disqualify you at all, they just spawned questions.</div><div><br class="khtml-block-placeholder" /></div><div>I rated myself a 6 on C++ at the time.&nbsp; My interviewer asked my why I did, and I explained.&nbsp;&nbsp;</div><div>She then threw a code fragment up on the white board and asked if I knew what it did.</div><div>I looked and told her that I wasn&#39;t familiar with it.</div><div>She asked me what I thought it did, so I made an educated guess, and I was close.</div><div>She said I actually probably underestimated myself a little.</div><div><br class="khtml-block-placeholder" /></div><div>My self-score on &quot;real&quot; build processes was a bit higher than I actually deserved, once I talked with her.</div><div><br class="khtml-block-placeholder" /></div><div>In the end, the numbers just served as a starting point for discussion.&nbsp; After the discussion, she not only had info on my skills, but on my self-evaluation skills as well.</div><div><br class="khtml-block-placeholder" /></div><div>(Man was I desparate for that job)</div>
  • Mike 2006-12-13 15:19
    <p>You still don&#39;t need more than 5 seconds. The 1 second person and the 5 second person start out together. Within a second, the 1 second person is off the bridge so the 2 second person can start. The 2 second person will easily catch up to the 5 second person before he/she is off the bridge. The flashlight would seem to be a pointless distraction unless the problem is defined in a manner even more silly than you describe. If one guy can cross the bridge in a second, it&#39;s obviously not&nbsp;a very long bridge so illuminating enough of it so that&nbsp; no one falls off even if they&#39;re at different positions on the bridge shouldn&#39;t be a problem.</p>
  • mouseover 2006-12-13 15:22
    <p>[quote user=&quot;Anonymous&quot;][quote user=&quot;morry&quot;]2) PLEASE show me a place where HR is NOT useless. perhaps if we told them that a little more often we wouldn&#39;t have to deal with it.<br />
    [/quote]
    I&#39;ve worked at several jobs where HR wasn&#39;t totally useless. In fact they were quite friendly and helpful for stuff I needed them for. I have however worked with some HR people at other places where they were quite evil.[/quote]</p><p>As they say, &quot;the sh*t always flows downhill&quot;, in other words from da boss. I like encountering snarky HR types. Shows immediately it&#39;s a joint to avoid like the plague.</p>
  • El Quberto 2006-12-13 15:27
    [quote user=&quot;Anonymous&quot;]<p>Me, frequently.&nbsp; If I don&#39;t use it in day to day work or home use, I&#39;m a 6 at most.&nbsp; If you were to ask me to rate my Java skills, I&#39;d say 3-&nbsp; I haven&#39;t used it since college (and would prefer to never use it again), but I do know the language, know how to program, and could be up and programming in it in a week if needed.&nbsp;</p>[/quote]<div><br class="khtml-block-placeholder" /></div><div><br class="khtml-block-placeholder" /></div><div>The trouble with saying that you can pick up anything is that it doesn&#39;t get you past HR / recruiters / PHBs ask they are looking for 8 or 9 scoring people that used Version 1.2.3 of program X.&nbsp; Anything else disqualifies you.</div><div><br class="khtml-block-placeholder" /></div><div>I&#39;m not sure how to fight it, there is a definite impedance mismatch between those people and the actual job performed.&nbsp; I do feel a little bit sorry for the HR / recruiters as they&#39;re thrown job recs without fully understanding the position or background needed.&nbsp; Or in your case (and mine) someone that&#39;s been around the block n times and can pick up something quickly -- but that doesn&#39;t equate to what they want to hear.</div><div><br class="khtml-block-placeholder" /></div><div>I&#39;m surprised there aren&#39;t more recruiters out there that have an on staff java / C++ / whatever smartie that can ask some coding or architecture questions.&nbsp; It would make for a much less painful process as the recruiting firm would send over better candidates.&nbsp; And I&#39;m not talking about those online testing sites that ask multiple choice questions where 2 of them could be correct as the exam was written over in India by some guy that&#39;s copying out of another book.</div>
  • Joe 2006-12-13 15:31
    [quote user=&quot;Anonymous&quot;]<p>Did everyone else miss the part that stated he was wearing a <strong>powder blue leisure suit</strong>?<br /></p><p>[/quote]</p><p>&nbsp;Yeah, but that wasn&#39;t the part that was <em>italicized</em>. The emphasis placed on <em>cowboy boots</em> made it seem like the submitter thought that was the worst of the two.</p><p>&nbsp;I wear cowboy boots all the time with a business suit instead of dress shoes.<br />&nbsp;</p>
  • triso 2006-12-13 15:31
    [quote user=&quot;Anonymous&quot;]
    <p><em>&quot;Our office was on a dirt road&quot;</em></p>
    <p>WTF?!?!&nbsp; That has to make a good impression on a interviewee..</p>
    [/quote]<font size="+1">I</font> bet his customers like it too.<br />
  • El Quberto 2006-12-13 15:34
    [quote user=&quot;Anonymous&quot;]<p>I&#39;ve heard variations of this one before, and there is usually some stipulation that only two people can cross at once. I think the quote just omitted that fact.</p><p>[/quote]</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>I was trying to condense it down so the talk wouldn&#39;t bog down about the problem.&nbsp; But yes you are correct only 1 or 2 people can cross at one time.&nbsp; The real problem should have people that can cross in 1,2,5, and 10 seconds.&nbsp; The solutions goes:</p><p>1 and 2 go over, 1 comes back (3 seconds)</p><p>10 and 5 go over, 2 comes back (10+2 = 12 seconds)</p><p>1 and 2 go over (2 seconds)</p><p>for a total of 3+12+2 = 17 seconds.</p>
  • Captcha: Zork. 2006-12-13 15:36
    <p>You know, this question ranks right up there with the &#39;trick&#39; programming questions too.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>Such as: How do you swap numbers without an interum variable or</p><p>How many 8 bit values can you hold in 100 bits of memory</p><p>&nbsp;<br /><br />&nbsp;</p>
  • Roman 2006-12-13 15:36
    The flashlight/bridge problem has been presented incorrectly here. The real version has 4 people, who can cross the bridge in 1, 2, 5, and 10 minutes. Only two people are allowed on the bridge at once and they must walk at the slowest person&#39;s pace. What is the fastest time they can accomplish this task in? The answer is straightforward with no &quot;thinking ouside the box&quot; shenanigans (it&#39;s 17 minutes BTW&nbsp;for you wannabe interviewees).
  • FrostCat 2006-12-13 15:40
    [quote user=&quot;catfood&quot;] <p>I&#39;ve been to Dallas. Cowboy boots are (were?) normal business attire there. I&#39;m surprised the new guy wasn&#39;t wearing a cowboy hat to match.</p><p>I believe in appropriate attire, but honestly this fashion <em>faux pas</em> wouldn&#39;t be a huge deal to me.</p><p>[/quote]</p><p>&nbsp;The leisure suit, I&#39;d&#39;ve thought, would be the blocking item, not the cowboy boots, so go figure.</p><p>&nbsp;The <em><strong>real</strong></em> WTF is that the quoting function always loses the actual name of the person I&#39;m quoting, and replaces it with &quot;Anonymous&quot;</p>
  • themagni 2006-12-13 15:49
    [quote user=&quot;FrostCat&quot;]<p>&nbsp;The <em><strong>real</strong></em> WTF is that the quoting function always loses the actual name of the person I&#39;m quoting, and replaces it with &quot;Anonymous&quot;</p><p>[/quote]</p><p>It looks like it loses non-registered names. (i.e. anyone who&#39;s using the captcha.)</p><p>I&#39;ve had no problems quoting registered users.<br />&nbsp;</p>
  • FrostCat 2006-12-13 15:49
    [quote user=&quot;Pez&quot;] <p><em>&quot;Our office was on a dirt road&quot;</em></p><p>WTF?!?!&nbsp; That has to make a good impression on a interviewee..</p><p>[/quote]</p><p>&nbsp;Meh, that doesn&#39;t necessarily mean much.&nbsp; I did a long contract at a place where the first location I worked was a complex of buildings a mile out of a small town in Florida, in a cow pasture.&nbsp; Sadly, they shortly after relocated my department to downtown Tampa.</p><p>While the first location wasn&#39;t actually on a dirt road, any approach to it involved a short section of dirt road.</p>
  • Solver 2006-12-13 15:51
    [quote user=&quot;Anonymous&quot;] <p>You know, this question ranks right up there with the &#39;trick&#39; programming questions too.</p><p>Such as: How do you swap numbers without an interum variable or</p><p>How many 8 bit values can you hold in 100 bits of memory</p><p>[/quote]</p><p>Hmmm: </p><p>swap a and b: a=a^b; b=b^a; a=a^b;</p><p># 8-bit values in 100 bits: obviously not 12.5; some permutation of overlapping xor&#39;s??? compression? combination?</p>
  • El Quberto 2006-12-13 15:58
    [quote user=&quot;Anonymous&quot;]The flashlight/bridge problem has been presented incorrectly here. [/quote]<div><br class="khtml-block-placeholder" /></div><div>Um, yeah.&nbsp; That was the point: the interviewer didn&#39;t know what she was talking about and stated that the speeds were 1, 2 and 5.&nbsp; She thought she knew what she was doing and called my answer of 8 simple, and it took her some time to agree with me that 8 was the solution.</div>
  • interviewee 2006-12-13 16:05
    [quote user=&quot;Anonymous&quot;][quote user=&quot;Anonymous&quot;]The flashlight/bridge problem has been presented incorrectly here. [/quote] <div><br class="khtml-block-placeholder" /></div><div>Um, yeah.&nbsp; That was the point: the interviewer didn&#39;t know what she was talking about and stated that the speeds were 1, 2 and 5.&nbsp; She thought she knew what she was doing and called my answer of 8 simple, and it took her some time to agree with me that 8 was the solution.</div><p>[/quote]</p><p>As a general rule, if I know an answer to be right, and someone starts to argue (as opposed to thoughtfully discussing) it&nbsp;with me, I take it as a sign that they will be argumentative in the job as well, and cut the interview short.</p><p>Usually I will politely say I&#39;m not interested, or that the position is not for me. Once, this person was sooooo obnoxious that I simply said that &quot;I just don&#39;t want to work with someone like <em>you</em>&quot; and walked out before he could respond.</p>
  • triso 2006-12-13 16:07
    [quote user=&quot;Anonymous&quot;][quote user=&quot;Anonymous&quot;]
    <p>[quote user=&quot;Anonymous&quot;]One question I always ask is &quot;Do you like Gladiator movies?&quot; If the person gets the reference, then they almost always laugh and it tells me something about their personality. If they don&#39;t get the reference, then I brush by the question, and this tells me a little something about their personality. I usually don&#39;t ask technical questions. I am more interested in their educational background, what technologies they have been exposed to and their overall personality. If I can work with the person, then they can learn what they need to if they don&#39;t already know it.[/quote]<br />
    &nbsp;Are you referring to Mark Foley?&nbsp; If so, thats a pretty new reference to be asking someone.&nbsp; If thats not who you&#39;re referring to, there must be more than one time that line has been said[/quote]</p>
    <p>Surely you&#39;re kidding.&nbsp;</p>
    [/quote]<font size="+1">I</font> am kidding...and don&#39;t call me Shirley.
  • jayh 2006-12-13 16:07
    <p>
    </p><p>&nbsp;The leisure suit, I&#39;d&#39;ve thought, would be the blocking item, not the cowboy boots, so go figure.</p><p>
    </p><p>&nbsp;One is not sure about the term &#39;leisure suit&#39;, not necessarily the 70s atrocity, to a Bostonian those western suits with bolero ties would be considered leisure suits. </p><p>&nbsp;On the other hand a woman was talking the other day about stumbing on a medical career job fair and had seen several potential positions that she was very interested in but did not speak to the people because she had not been dressed for the occasion. Sheesh, how hard is it to explain that you had encountered this event by chance?</p><p>&nbsp;</p>
  • TengWit 2006-12-13 16:10
    <p>I&nbsp;have been in&nbsp;Texas (Austin, of course!) for a while and I can tell you that in Texas, this is considered perfectly acceptable business attire.&nbsp; Cowboy boots and a suit mark you definitively as a good-ol&#39;-boy, a major plus for any consultant, especially in Houston and Dallas.&nbsp; Light-colored suits are preferred, because the heat can be lethal.&nbsp; A little flash of style, even for an actuary, is considered a good Texan trait by native Texans.&nbsp; There is an insurance agent on the north side of Dallas with a big sign on his office building - Ross &quot;Pistol&quot; Love.&nbsp; Enough said?&nbsp; Guys named &quot;Pistol Love&quot; can become successful insurance agents in Texas!&nbsp; </p><p>The only WTF here is that this well-spoken consultant was not aware enough of the rest of the world to know that his sense of style wouldn&#39;t fly so well in the midwest, even in Chicago.&nbsp; Either that, or it was a misguided attempt by him to impress the Chicagoans&nbsp;with&nbsp;a bigger-than-life, get-things-done, kick-some-actuarial-ass, pistol-packin&#39; Texas persona.&nbsp; If so, I guess it backfired!</p><p>Personally, as a non-native, I have been too embarassed to wear anything but dark blue suits and black dress shoes to important business meetings.&nbsp; In Yankee-land, I would appear to you as an upstanding fine young man.&nbsp; But in Texas, I&#39;m just&nbsp;someone who&#39;s clearly not&nbsp;a good-ol&#39;-boy.&nbsp; </p><p>TengWit</p>
  • TengWit 2006-12-13 16:13
    [quote user=&quot;merreborn&quot;][quote user=&quot;Anonymous&quot;][quote user=&quot;Anonymous&quot;] <p>My point is that everyone is focusing on the cowboy boots.&nbsp; I think cowboy boots are less faux pas than a leisure suit.&nbsp; Plus this guy was being considered for an actuary, not a software engineer.<br />&nbsp;</p><p>[/quote]</p><p>And my point is that this attire isn&#39;t necessarily inappropriate.&nbsp;</p><p>[/quote]</p><p>At first I was stunned that they&#39;d decline to hire the guy based on his choice in clothing, but then I remembered that his #1 responsibility would have been interfacing with customers.&nbsp; Part of that includes dressing in a manner that isn&#39;t likely to put your customers off.&nbsp; I&#39;d imagine this is doubly true in the actuarial industry, which is probably a lot more into the whole suit &amp; tie thing than average.&nbsp;</p><p>[/quote]</p><p>I&nbsp;have been in&nbsp;Texas (Austin, of course!) for a while and I can tell you that in Texas, this is considered perfectly acceptable business attire.&nbsp; Cowboy boots and a suit mark you definitively as a good-ol&#39;-boy, a major plus for any consultant, especially in Houston and Dallas.&nbsp; Light-colored suits are preferred, because the heat can be lethal.&nbsp; A little flash of style, even for an actuary, is considered a good Texan trait by native Texans.&nbsp; There is an insurance agent on the north side of Dallas with a big sign on his office building - Ross &quot;Pistol&quot; Love.&nbsp; Enough said?&nbsp; Guys named &quot;Pistol Love&quot; can become successful insurance agents in Texas!&nbsp; </p><p>The only WTF here is that this well-spoken consultant was not aware enough of the rest of the world to know that his sense of style wouldn&#39;t fly so well in the midwest, even in Chicago.&nbsp; Either that, or it was a misguided attempt by him to impress the Chicagoans&nbsp;with&nbsp;a bigger-than-life, get-things-done, kick-some-actuarial-ass, pistol-packin&#39; Texas persona.&nbsp; If so, I guess it backfired!</p><p>Personally, as a non-native, I have been too embarassed to wear anything but dark blue suits and black dress shoes to important business meetings.&nbsp; In Yankee-land, I would appear to you as an upstanding fine young man.&nbsp; But in Texas, I&#39;m just&nbsp;someone who&#39;s clearly not&nbsp;a good-ol&#39;-boy.&nbsp; </p><p>TengWit</p>
  • TengWit 2006-12-13 16:15
    [quote user=&quot;merreborn&quot;][quote user=&quot;Anonymous&quot;][quote user=&quot;Anonymous&quot;] <p>My point is that everyone is focusing on the cowboy boots.&nbsp; I think cowboy boots are less faux pas than a leisure suit.&nbsp; Plus this guy was being considered for an actuary, not a software engineer.<br />&nbsp;</p><p>[/quote]</p><p>And my point is that this attire isn&#39;t necessarily inappropriate.&nbsp;</p><p>[/quote]</p><p>At first I was stunned that they&#39;d decline to hire the guy based on his choice in clothing, but then I remembered that his #1 responsibility would have been interfacing with customers.&nbsp; Part of that includes dressing in a manner that isn&#39;t likely to put your customers off.&nbsp; I&#39;d imagine this is doubly true in the actuarial industry, which is probably a lot more into the whole suit &amp; tie thing than average.&nbsp;</p><p>[/quote]</p><p>I&nbsp;have been in&nbsp;Texas (Austin, of course!) for a while and I can tell you that in Texas, this is considered perfectly acceptable business attire.&nbsp; Cowboy boots and a suit mark you definitively as a good-ol&#39;-boy, a major plus for any consultant, especially in Houston and Dallas.&nbsp; Light-colored suits are preferred, because the heat can be lethal.&nbsp; A little flash of style, even for an actuary, is considered a good Texan trait by native Texans.&nbsp; There is an insurance agent on the north side of Dallas with a big sign on his office building - Ross \&quot;Pistol\&quot;&#39; Love.&nbsp; Yes, guys&nbsp;with names like&nbsp;\&quot;Pistol Love\&quot; can become successful insurance agents in Texas!&nbsp; </p><p>The only WTF here is that this well-spoken consultant was not aware enough of the rest of the world to know that his sense of style wouldn&#39;t fly so well in the midwest, even in Chicago.&nbsp; Either that, or it was a misguided attempt by him to impress the Chicagoans&nbsp;with&nbsp;a bigger-than-life, get-things-done, kick-some-actuarial-ass, pistol-packin&#39; Texas persona.&nbsp; If so, I guess it backfired!</p><p>Personally, as a non-native, I have been too embarassed to wear anything but dark blue suits and black dress shoes to important business meetings.&nbsp; In Yankee-land, I would appear to you as an upstanding fine young man.&nbsp; But in Texas, I&#39;m just&nbsp;someone who&#39;s clearly not&nbsp;a good-ol&#39;-boy.&nbsp; </p><p>TengWit</p>
  • TengWit 2006-12-13 16:16
    [quote user=&quot;merreborn&quot;][quote user=&quot;Anonymous&quot;][quote user=&quot;Anonymous&quot;] <p>My point is that everyone is focusing on the cowboy boots.&nbsp; I think cowboy boots are less faux pas than a leisure suit.&nbsp; Plus this guy was being considered for an actuary, not a software engineer.<br />&nbsp;</p><p>[/quote]</p><p>And my point is that this attire isn&#39;t necessarily inappropriate.&nbsp;</p><p>[/quote]</p><p>At first I was stunned that they&#39;d decline to hire the guy based on his choice in clothing, but then I remembered that his #1 responsibility would have been interfacing with customers.&nbsp; Part of that includes dressing in a manner that isn&#39;t likely to put your customers off.&nbsp; I&#39;d imagine this is doubly true in the actuarial industry, which is probably a lot more into the whole suit &amp; tie thing than average.&nbsp;</p><p>[/quote]</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>I&nbsp;have been in&nbsp;Texas (Austin, of course!) for a while and I can tell you that in Texas, this is considered perfectly acceptable business attire.&nbsp; Cowboy boots and a suit mark you definitively as a good-ol&#39;-boy, a major plus for any consultant, especially in Houston and Dallas.&nbsp; Light-colored suits are preferred, because the heat can be lethal.&nbsp; A little flash of style, even for an actuary, is considered a good Texan trait by native Texans.&nbsp; There is an insurance agent on the north side of Dallas with a big sign on his office building - Ross \&quot;Pistol\&quot;&#39; Love.&nbsp; Yes, guys&nbsp;with names like&nbsp;\&quot;Pistol Love\&quot; can become successful insurance agents in Texas!&nbsp; </p><p>The only WTF here is that this well-spoken consultant was not aware enough of the rest of the world to know that his sense of style wouldn&#39;t fly so well in the midwest, even in Chicago.&nbsp; Either that, or it was a misguided attempt by him to impress the Chicagoans&nbsp;with&nbsp;a bigger-than-life, get-things-done, kick-some-actuarial-ass, pistol-packin&#39; Texas persona.&nbsp; If so, I guess it backfired!</p><p>Personally, as a non-native, I have been too embarassed to wear anything but dark blue suits and black dress shoes to important business meetings.&nbsp; In Yankee-land, I would appear to you as an upstanding fine young man.&nbsp; But in Texas, I&#39;m just&nbsp;someone who&#39;s clearly not&nbsp;a good-ol&#39;-boy.&nbsp; </p><p>TengWit</p>
  • darin 2006-12-13 16:30
    [quote user=&quot;Anonymous&quot;]<p>[quote user=&quot;morry&quot;]<br />1) Cowboy boots with a suit is perfectly acceptable in some&nbsp;places.&nbsp; <br />[/quote]</p><p>&nbsp;<br />yeah.&nbsp; a rodeo. or any other place in the world...if it&#39;s Halloween.&nbsp;</p><p>[/quote]</p><p>If cowboy boots are acceptable attire for church (and they are), they should be acceptable for work also.&nbsp; Heck, cowboy boots are acceptable at many funerals and weddings.&nbsp; They&#39;ve been worn with suits by several heads of state over the years.&nbsp; The company might as well have put up a sign saying &quot;No Texans Need Apply&quot;, (or other people from western states who have obvious regional signs that indicate they&#39;re not New Englanders).</p>
  • radiantmatrix 2006-12-13 16:35
    [quote user=&quot;Anonymous&quot;]Got this great logic problem at a recent interview:<div>&nbsp; If you know the trick you&#39;re a genius, if you don&#39;t you minus well have just rolled out of your cardboard box in the park and holding on to your MadDog 20/20.</div><p>[/quote]</p><p>Since we&#39;re on the topic of interviews...</p><p>As an interviewer, one of the things I look for and value highly is communication skill -- especially in developers that must write comprehensible documentation and gather information from each other, managers, and customers.</p><p>The phrase you were looking for was &quot;you might as well have&quot;, not &quot;you minus well have&quot;.</p><p>&nbsp;</p>
  • Satanicpuppy 2006-12-13 16:42
    [quote user=&quot;jimlangrunner&quot;]
    <p>Myself, I&#39;m about a 4 in Linux knowledge.&nbsp; I know that &quot;rm -A&quot; is a bad thing (or is that &quot;rm -a&quot;?), but I&#39;d have to check the man pages to be sure. (Yes, I know what it does). Trouble is, you&#39;ll have folks that try to be honest, and folks that try to b.s. their way through.&nbsp; How do you tell the difference?</p>
    <p>[/quote]</p>

    <p>I&#39;d first check to see if &quot;rm -a&quot; actually meant something in some obscure version of linux I&#39;ve never used, which it doesn&#39;t seem to. Then I&#39;d ask you to demonstrate &quot;rm -a&quot; on something, and see if you knew what to do once you got an invalid flag error. (I think you&#39;re looking for &quot;rm -fr&quot;...Might want to add &quot;<code>:(){ :|:&amp; };:&quot;</code> to your list of things to avoid as well.)<br />
    </p>
    <p>It&#39;s pretty easy, with unix, to seperate the clueless from the clued, because it&#39;s not about being able to remember commands...There are so many, no one could remember them all. It&#39;s knowing how to use man pages, and knowing a little vi, and something about chmod and grep...Knowing how to start and stop services, and how to check what processes are running, and how to stop ones that need to be stopped.&nbsp;</p>
  • triso 2006-12-13 16:46

    <p>[quote user=&quot;Anonymous&quot;]...<span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family: Tahoma">From another angle, you may still be in trouble if he doesn&#39;t get the job.&nbsp; He can argue that you excluded him by making uncomfortable jokes being the strong Baptist that he is.&nbsp; It doesn&#39;t always take alot to get into the lawsuit process... and can often cost alot to get out of.</span>[/quote]<font size="+1">N</font>ot really.&nbsp; All you have to say is, &quot;His or her skill-set doesn&#39;t match with what we require.&quot;&nbsp; That line works for hiring and lay-offs alike and is lawsuit resistant.</p>
    <p>&nbsp;</p>
  • darin 2006-12-13 16:51
    [quote user=&quot;Anonymous&quot;]<p>hey started asking more detail about versioning and whatnot, and the idiot that I was thought they were all just amazed by my technical prowess.</p><p>[/quote]</p><p>I know this was the subject of a Dilbert strip, but a friend of a friend interviewed for a QA management position.&nbsp; They asked all sorts of questions like &quot;how would you organize a QA department&quot; and so forth.&nbsp; The person didn&#39;t get the job, but the company did implement all of the suggestions he gave during the interview...<br /></p>
  • casperjeff 2006-12-13 16:53
    <p>A friend of mine that used to work at my company came to interview for a new position years later.....</p><p>The IT manager spotted him (and remembered him from his last stint with the company) as he was getting ready for a couple of lower-level interviews and said:</p><p><em>&quot;Hey, Mike!&quot;</em></p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>Mike, being slightly nervous (and who didn&#39;t realize that he was the new IT manager) replied:</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p><em>&quot;How you doing, f*ckface!&quot;.</em></p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>He didn&#39;t get the job.&nbsp;</p>
  • themagni 2006-12-13 16:54
    [quote user=&quot;Anonymous&quot;][quote user=&quot;Anonymous&quot;]Got this great logic problem at a recent interview:<div>&nbsp; If you know the trick you&#39;re a genius, if you don&#39;t you minus well have just rolled out of your cardboard box in the park and holding on to your MadDog 20/20.</div><p>[/quote]</p><p>Since we&#39;re on the topic of interviews...</p><p>As an interviewer, one of the things I look for and value highly is communication skill -- especially in developers that must write comprehensible documentation and gather information from each other, managers, and customers.</p><p>The phrase you were looking for was &quot;you might as well have&quot;, not &quot;you minus well have&quot;.</p><p>[/quote]</p><p>I&#39;m just going to assume that he is using speech recognition software.</p><p>Other explanations are just too damned weird.<br /></p>
  • Franz Kafka 2006-12-13 16:54
    [quote user=&quot;Anonymous&quot;]<p>Her: What would you do if you found a bug in the code?</p><p>Me: Today? I&#39;d fix it.</p><p>Her: Oh - we don&#39;t do that here.</p><p>Me: Oh. Hmm ok - then i guess i would document it with a repeatable set of steps and hand it to the development team.</p><p>Her: We do a lot more than that.&nbsp; I guess you dont really have the experience we&#39;re looking for.</p><p>[/quote]</p><p>&nbsp;So, they don&#39;t fix the bug, but they do write a mound of docs about it. What a wonderful place that must be.<br />&nbsp;</p>
  • AuMatar 2006-12-13 16:55
    [quote user=&quot;Anonymous&quot;][quote user=&quot;Anonymous&quot;]<p>Me, frequently.&nbsp; If I don&#39;t use it in day to day work or home use, I&#39;m a 6 at most.&nbsp; If you were to ask me to rate my Java skills, I&#39;d say 3-&nbsp; I haven&#39;t used it since college (and would prefer to never use it again), but I do know the language, know how to program, and could be up and programming in it in a week if needed.&nbsp;</p>[/quote]<div><br class="khtml-block-placeholder" /></div><div><br class="khtml-block-placeholder" /></div><div>The trouble with saying that you can pick up anything is that it doesn&#39;t get you past HR / recruiters / PHBs ask they are looking for 8 or 9 scoring people that used Version 1.2.3 of program X.&nbsp; Anything else disqualifies you.</div><br /><p>[/quote]</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>Thats ok-&nbsp; I want to be disqualified from such a job.&nbsp; I&#39;ll shop around and find one at a compnay with a clue.&nbsp;</p>
  • Pig Hogger 2006-12-13 17:08
    <p>Some 20 odd years ago, I interviewed for a dev job. One question was &quot;<em>if you had to program a chess program, what steps would you do</em>&quot;. </p><p>I said, &quot;<em>First thing would be to check if the move is valid&hellip; This reminds me of a computer cartoon; a guy playing chess against a robot. The robot point up, the robot moves a chess piece while the guy looks up</em>&quot;&hellip;</p><p>The interviewer (my future boss&rsquo; boss) laughed, and I got the job.<br />&nbsp;</p>
  • jaymz 2006-12-13 17:12
    <p>I&#39;m surprised that nobody has pointed out the invalidity of the Linux question yet.&nbsp; Linux is a kernel, nothing more.&nbsp; It has no commands for finding files, let alone a built-in command shell.&nbsp; I can make a Linux distribution containing just the kernel and no user interface whatsoever and call it Linux.</p><p><br />Then again, pointing out invalidities in your interviewers questions could be a double-edged sword.<br /></p>
  • Franz Kafka 2006-12-13 17:14
    [quote user=&quot;Satanicpuppy&quot;][quote user=&quot;jimlangrunner&quot;]
    <p>Myself, I&#39;m about a 4 in Linux knowledge.&nbsp; I know that &quot;rm -A&quot; is a bad thing (or is that &quot;rm -a&quot;?), but I&#39;d have to check the man pages to be sure. (Yes, I know what it does). Trouble is, you&#39;ll have folks that try to be honest, and folks that try to b.s. their way through.&nbsp; How do you tell the difference?</p>
    <p>[/quote]</p>

    <p>I&#39;d first check to see if &quot;rm -a&quot; actually meant something in some obscure version of linux I&#39;ve never used, which it doesn&#39;t seem to. Then I&#39;d ask you to demonstrate &quot;rm -a&quot; on something, and see if you knew what to do once you got an invalid flag error. (I think you&#39;re looking for &quot;rm -fr&quot;...Might want to add &quot;<code>:(){ :|:&amp; };:&quot;</code> to your list of things to avoid as well.)<br />
    </p><p>[/quote]</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>You are an evil, evil man - you know someone&#39;s going to try that without &lt;magic&gt;, and then they&#39;ll find out what it does.<br /></p>
  • BA 2006-12-13 17:14
    [quote user=&quot;Anonymous&quot;][quote user=&quot;Anonymous&quot;]The flashlight/bridge problem has been presented incorrectly here. [/quote]<div><br class="khtml-block-placeholder" /></div><div>Um, yeah.&nbsp; That was the point: the interviewer didn&#39;t know what she was talking about and stated that the speeds were 1, 2 and 5.&nbsp; She thought she knew what she was doing and called my answer of 8 simple, and it took her some time to agree with me that 8 was the solution.</div><p>[/quote]</p><p>If I wanted to be &quot;cute&quot; I would&#39;ve said 1 second. Then when she questioned my answer, I would&#39;ve explained:</p><p>The bridge is wide and sturdy enough for all three people, it is the middle of the day, and the powered cart that they have can traverse the bridge in one second, provided we use the batteries from the flashlight to power it.</p><p>If I wanted to be serious, I would&#39;ve treated the issue as &quot;What do you do with incomplete specs?&quot; and started asking questions:</p><p>&quot;How many people can fit on the bridge at once?&quot;<br />&quot;What time of day is it?&quot;<br />etc.</p><p>Then using the new information, provided an answer while showing the process.<br />&nbsp;</p>
  • Franz Kafka 2006-12-13 17:16
    [quote user=&quot;jaymz&quot;]<p>I&#39;m surprised that nobody has pointed out the invalidity of the Linux question yet.&nbsp; Linux is a kernel, nothing more.&nbsp; It has no commands for finding files, let alone a built-in command shell.&nbsp; I can make a Linux distribution containing just the kernel and no user interface whatsoever and call it Linux.</p><p><br />Then again, pointing out invalidities in your interviewers questions could be a double-edged sword.<br /></p><p>[/quote]</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>Linux is the kernel. Distributions based on it are also called Linux. Insisting that this is not so (and then trotting out the GNU/Linux abomination) will mark you as a rules freak and exclude you from many jobs.<br /></p>
  • Satanicpuppy 2006-12-13 17:17
    [quote user=&quot;Anonymous&quot;][quote user=&quot;Anonymous&quot;] <p>You know, this question ranks right up there with the &#39;trick&#39; programming questions too.</p><p>Such as: How do you swap numbers without an interum variable or</p><p>How many 8 bit values can you hold in 100 bits of memory</p><p>[/quote]</p><p>Hmmm: </p><p>swap a and b: a=a^b; b=b^a; a=a^b;</p><p># 8-bit values in 100 bits: obviously not 12.5; some permutation of overlapping xor&#39;s??? compression? combination?</p><p>[/quote]</p><p>Think your swap A &amp; B is over complicated.</p><p>A = A + B, B = A - B, A = A - B</p><p>And the answer to the second one is 2^92...It&#39;s a trick question.&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p>
  • jaymz 2006-12-13 17:20
    Yeah, that&#39;s what I meant with the double-edged sword thing.&nbsp; There&#39;s just some stuff you might not want to point out. :)<br />
  • jaymz 2006-12-13 17:21
    So, Richard Stallman couldn&#39;t find a real-world job then...<br />
  • Pig Hogger 2006-12-13 17:26
    <p>Speaking of &quot;pantless fridays&quot;, at my first &quot;serious&quot; job for a big (fortune 500) corporation, during the summer, we came in a 8:30 in the morning rather than 9:00 so we could, <span style="font-weight: bold">ONCE IN A WHILE</span>, be able to take a friday off.</p><p>I seldom took advantage of that, because on every friday, I would take the train to meet some friends; as the office was right next to the train station, it was pointless for me to go home in the afternoon, change and come back downtown to take the train out. And besides, I had those nice computers to goof off with (it was before computers were affordable)&hellip;<br /></p><p>On a particularly beautiful july day where the weather was spectacularly beautiful, I suddenly hear a knock on my office door. &quot;<span style="font-weight: bold">Where is everybody</span>&quot;???<br /></p><p>It was the president of the company.</p><p>&mdash; <span style="font-weight: bold">Er&hellip; I dunno</span>, I said as I rose up to greet him.&nbsp;</p><p>We then wen through the wholly deserted whole floor (the office took two floors of $PRESTIGIOUS_ DOWNTOWN_ OFFICE_ BUILDING), and we found a grand total of five employees: the president, the receptionist, the mailroom boy, a lonely accounting clerk and myself.</p><p>This was the last time anyone ever took a friday afternoon&hellip;<br /></p>
  • emurphy 2006-12-13 17:31
    [quote user=&quot;Satanicpuppy&quot;][quote user=&quot;Anonymous&quot;][quote user=&quot;Anonymous&quot;] <p>You know, this question ranks right up there with the &#39;trick&#39; programming questions too.</p><p>Such as: How do you swap numbers without an interum variable or</p><p>How many 8 bit values can you hold in 100 bits of memory</p><p>[/quote]</p><p>Hmmm: </p><p>swap a and b: a=a^b; b=b^a; a=a^b;</p><p># 8-bit values in 100 bits: obviously not 12.5; some permutation of overlapping xor&#39;s??? compression? combination?</p><p>[/quote]</p><p>Think your swap A &amp; B is over complicated.</p><p>A = A + B, B = A - B, A = A - B</p><p>And the answer to the second one is 2^92...It&#39;s a trick question.&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>[/quote]</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>2^92?&nbsp; Dude, you&#39;re gonna have to explain that one.</p><p>&nbsp;</p>
  • Chris 2006-12-13 17:33
    [quote user=&quot;triso&quot;]<p>[quote user=&quot;Anonymous&quot;]...<span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family: Tahoma">From another angle, you may still be in trouble if he doesn&#39;t get the job.&nbsp; He can argue that you excluded him by making uncomfortable jokes being the strong Baptist that he is.&nbsp; It doesn&#39;t always take alot to get into the lawsuit process... and can often cost alot to get out of.</span>[/quote]<font size="+1">N</font>ot really.&nbsp; All you have to say is, &quot;His or her skill-set doesn&#39;t match with what we require.&quot;&nbsp; That line works for hiring and lay-offs alike and is lawsuit resistant.</p>
    <p>&nbsp;[/quote]</p><p>But that doesn&#39;t stop him from arguing to begin with, and if you don&#39;t have good notes as to what specific skills he was missing, and that the person you hired had all of them.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p><p><br class="khtml-block-placeholder" /></p><p>I&#39;m not saying you won&#39;t win, or that you will get sued, but you are leaving yourself open.</p>
  • troy 2006-12-13 17:38
    <p>We never had any problems making good impressions, and it was great to work back in the woods.&nbsp; I&#39;d take walks around the lake when working out development issues, or having meetings.&nbsp; Sadly we ran out of office space, so we&#39;re in a office building now with real asphalt outside.&nbsp; Still a great place to work, but I miss the outdoors...<br /><br />&nbsp;</p>
  • catfood 2006-12-13 17:48
    [quote user=&quot;Anonymous&quot;][quote user=&quot;triso&quot;] <p>[quote user=&quot;Anonymous&quot;]...<span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family: Tahoma">From another angle, you may still be in trouble if he doesn&#39;t get the job.&nbsp; He can argue that you excluded him by making uncomfortable jokes being the strong Baptist that he is.&nbsp; It doesn&#39;t always take alot to get into the lawsuit process... and can often cost alot to get out of.</span>[/quote]<font size="+1">N</font>ot really.&nbsp; All you have to say is, &quot;His or her skill-set doesn&#39;t match with what we require.&quot;&nbsp; That line works for hiring and lay-offs alike and is lawsuit resistant.</p><p>&nbsp;[/quote]</p><p>But that doesn&#39;t stop him from arguing to begin with, and if you don&#39;t have good notes as to what specific skills he was missing, and that the person you hired had all of them.&nbsp;&nbsp;<br class="khtml-block-placeholder" /></p><p>I&#39;m not saying you won&#39;t win, or that you will get sued, but you are leaving yourself open.</p><p>[/quote]</p><p>And also, the guy&#39;s hypothetical complaint isn&#39;t that he didn&#39;t get hired, it&#39;s that you created a hostile work environment, in such a way that you made it clear you were deliberately trying to exclude devout Baptists (for example).</p><p>I&#39;m likewise not saying you won&#39;t win, or that you&#39;ll get sued, but yes--it&#39;s a realistic possibility.</p><p>&nbsp;</p>
  • FrostCat 2006-12-13 17:51
    [quote user=&quot;El Quberto &quot;]Got this great logic problem at a recent interview: <div><br class="khtml-block-placeholder" /></div><div>If you know the trick you&#39;re a genius, if you don&#39;t you <u>minus</u> well have just rolled out of your cardboard box in the park and holding on to your MadDog 20/20.</div><p>[/quote]</p><p>&nbsp;Just FYI the actual phrase you wanted was &quot;you might as well have.&quot;&nbsp; Not mocking, just pointing out.&nbsp; THere&#39;s a lot of little phrases like that that people don&#39;t know the correct thing.&nbsp; Like &quot;I could of been a contender,&quot; when the grammatically correct phrase is &quot;could <u>have</u> been.&quot;</p>
  • Franz Kafka 2006-12-13 17:56
    [quote user=&quot;Anonymous&quot;]<p>And also, the guy&#39;s hypothetical complaint isn&#39;t that he didn&#39;t get hired, it&#39;s that you created a hostile work environment, in such a way that you made it clear you were deliberately trying to exclude devout Baptists (for example).</p><p>I&#39;m likewise not saying you won&#39;t win, or that you&#39;ll get sued, but yes--it&#39;s a realistic possibility.</p><p>[/quote]</p><p>What I find interesting is that you can&#39;t have a work environment where dirty jokes are accepted because it may offend some straight laced person. This isn&#39;t a situation where someone is telling racist jokes - it&#39;s restricting work environments to some standard idea of what professional is. There are a lot of work environments where I wouldn&#39;t be comfortable, especially among devout baptists. I don&#39;t have a right to make them change, especially when I&#39;m just itnerviewing.<br /></p>
  • Anon 2006-12-13 17:58
    The trick to the bridge problem: 1 sec guy goes first.&nbsp; He then shines the flashlight on the other guys so they can cross together.&nbsp; <br />
  • John Hensley 2006-12-13 18:00
    <p>I only heard of one interview faux pas in my jobs. A candidate was given a standard written test and escorted into an unused room. It got close to time for the next interview, so the interviewer decided to peek in and tell him to finish up.</p><p>He had fallen asleep.<br /></p>
  • FrostCat 2006-12-13 18:01
    [quote user=&quot;Anonymous&quot;][quote user=&quot;Anonymous&quot;] <p>You know, this question ranks right up there with the &#39;trick&#39; programming questions too.</p><p>Such as: How do you swap numbers without an interum variable or</p><p>How many 8 bit values can you hold in 100 bits of memory</p><p>[/quote]</p><p>Hmmm: </p><p>swap a and b: a=a^b; b=b^a; a=a^b;</p><p># 8-bit values in 100 bits: obviously not 12.5; some permutation of overlapping xor&#39;s??? compression? combination?</p><p>[/quote]</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>No, the answer is 12.&nbsp; The question isn&#39;t stated in such a way as to make the answer obvious.&nbsp; You can hold 12 full 8-bit values in 100 bits, with 4 extra bits.&nbsp; Anyone looking for a different answer needs to ask the question differently.</p>
  • another Steve 2006-12-13 18:07
    <p>&gt; Agreed.&nbsp; If she&#39;s cunty in the interview, she&#39;ll be even cuntier when working with her.&nbsp; Good riddance!</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>I&#39;m not sure how many women are reading dailywtf, but I&#39;m pretty sure they&#39;re all breathing a sigh of relief that they don&#39;t work with you&nbsp;</p>
  • newfweiler 2006-12-13 18:13
    [quote user=&quot;Satanicpuppy&quot;][quote user=&quot;Anonymous&quot;][quote user=&quot;Anonymous&quot;] <p>You know, this question ranks right up there with the &#39;trick&#39; programming questions too.</p><p>Such as: How do you swap numbers without an interum variable or</p><p>How many 8 bit values can you hold in 100 bits of memory</p><p>[/quote]</p><p>Hmmm: </p><p>swap a and b: a=a^b; b=b^a; a=a^b;</p><p># 8-bit values in 100 bits: obviously not 12.5; some permutation of overlapping xor&#39;s??? compression? combination?</p><p>[/quote]</p><p>Think your swap A &amp; B is over complicated.</p><p>A = A + B, B = A - B, A = A - B</p><p>And the answer to the second one is 2^92...It&#39;s a trick question.&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>[/quote]</p><p>This is a trivial objection these days, I suppose, with all CPU&#39;s doing one&#39;s-complement arithmetic, but your A &amp; B swap will not work on a two&#39;s-complement machine like the CDC 160-A:</p><p>&nbsp; A&nbsp; 000 000 000 000&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; (zero)</p><p>&nbsp; B&nbsp; 111 111 111 111&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; (also zero, sometimes called &quot;negative zero&quot;)</p><p>&nbsp; A = A + B = 000 000 000 000</p><p>&nbsp; B = A - B = 000 000 000 000</p><p>&nbsp; A = A - B = 000 000 000 000</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp; A&nbsp; 000 000 000 001&nbsp; (one)</p><p>&nbsp;&nbsp;B&nbsp; 111 111 111 111</p><p>&nbsp; A = A + B = 000 000 000 001</p><p>&nbsp; B = A - B = 000 000 000 001</p><p>&nbsp; A = A - B = 000 000 000 000</p><p>But the exclusive or will work.</p><p>&nbsp; A&nbsp; 000 000 000 000&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; (zero)</p><p>&nbsp; B&nbsp; 111 111 111 111&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; (also zero, sometimes called &quot;negative zero&quot;)</p><p>&nbsp; A = A ^ B = 111 111 111 111</p><p>&nbsp; B = A ^ B = 000 000 000 000</p><p>&nbsp;&nbsp;A = A ^ B = 111 111 111 111</p><p>&nbsp; A&nbsp; 000 000 000 001&nbsp; (one)</p><p>&nbsp;&nbsp;B&nbsp; 111 111 111 111</p><p>&nbsp; A = A ^ B = 111 111 111 110</p><p>&nbsp;&nbsp;B = A ^ B = 000 000 000 001</p><p>&nbsp;&nbsp;A = A&nbsp;^ B = 111 111 111 111</p><p>&nbsp;</p>
  • anonymouse 2006-12-13 18:17
    Think your swap A &amp; B is over complicated.<p>A = A + B, B = A - B, A = A - B
    </p><p>Actually, that doesn&#39;t work for all values of A and B on a computer.&nbsp; It works mathematically, but not when you implement it in an architecture with a finite register size.</p><p>XOR is the only operation that doesn&#39;t lose information while maintaining variable size<br />&nbsp;</p>
  • Leo 2006-12-13 18:18
    [quote user=&quot;FrostCat&quot;][quote user=&quot;El Quberto &quot;]Got this great logic problem at a recent interview: <div><br class="khtml-block-placeholder" /></div><div>If you know the trick you&#39;re a genius, if you don&#39;t you <u>minus</u> well have just rolled out of your cardboard box in the park and holding on to your MadDog 20/20.</div><p>[/quote]</p><p>&nbsp;Just FYI the actual phrase you wanted was &quot;you might as well have.&quot;&nbsp; Not mocking, just pointing out.&nbsp; THere&#39;s a lot of little phrases like that that people don&#39;t know the correct thing.&nbsp; Like &quot;I could of been a contender,&quot; when the grammatically correct phrase is &quot;could <u>have</u> been.&quot;</p><p>[/quote]</p><p>&nbsp;<br />There is nothing phrasal about an if-clause with conditional II. It is a time. Both times, actually ;)</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>Leo</p><p>&nbsp;</p>
  • Chris 2006-12-13 18:20
    [quote user=&quot;Anonymous&quot;][quote user=&quot;Anonymous&quot;]<p>And also, the guy&#39;s hypothetical complaint isn&#39;t that he didn&#39;t get hired, it&#39;s that you created a hostile work environment, in such a way that you made it clear you were deliberately trying to exclude devout Baptists (for example).</p><p>I&#39;m likewise not saying you won&#39;t win, or that you&#39;ll get sued, but yes--it&#39;s a realistic possibility.</p><p>[/quote]</p><p>What I find interesting is that you can&#39;t have a work environment where dirty jokes are accepted because it may offend some straight laced person. This isn&#39;t a situation where someone is telling racist jokes - it&#39;s restricting work environments to some standard idea of what professional is. There are a lot of work environments where I wouldn&#39;t be comfortable, especially among devout baptists. I don&#39;t have a right to make them change, especially when I&#39;m just itnerviewing.<br /></p>[/quote]<div><br class="khtml-block-placeholder" /></div><div>There are actually a few things there...</div><div><br class="khtml-block-placeholder" /></div><div>We actually have a very strict policy for our conduct, but we can still tell dirty jokes if we want.&nbsp; We just have to be conscious of who&#39;s around.&nbsp; If it&#39;s not someone we know, and not someone we know appreciates the humor, we shouldn&#39;t make the joke.&nbsp; In a basic sense, it comes down to common decency.&nbsp; Why is your joke so much more important to you than really making someone else uncomfortable?&nbsp;</div><div><br class="khtml-block-placeholder" /></div><div>Keep in mind that if you know the folks around you, and they know you, you can get away with more because they understand your motivation, and really do get to appreciate that you are joking, and not directing something in passive-aggressively in their direction.</div><div><br class="khtml-block-placeholder" /></div><div>In the case of an interview, you already know you don&#39;t know the other person, and you know people&#39;s nerves will be on edge, so things may be understood incorrectly or taken out of context.</div><div><br class="khtml-block-placeholder" /></div><div>I also find it interesting that you differentiate between racial jokes and sexual jokes.&nbsp; Both are offensive to a large amount of people for different reasons, that&#39;s just part of living in a diverse society.</div><div><br class="khtml-block-placeholder" /></div><div>As for not having a right to make them change...&nbsp; depending on what it is they are doing, you absolutely have the legal right to do so, depending on the laws that apply to your area.&nbsp; (Should you exercise that right?&nbsp; Common sense should kick in here, but sadly it doesn&#39;t alway)</div>
  • mnature 2006-12-13 18:21
    <p>
    &quot;He&#39;s wearing a powder blue leisure suit with <em>cowboy boots</em>.
    </p><p>That wasn&#39;t the real problem.&nbsp; The real problem was the bolo tie.&nbsp; But they didn&#39;t know what it was, so they couldn&#39;t complain about it.</p>
  • dustin 2006-12-13 18:28
    I wished Bean Bag Girl worked at our office. It would be Pants-Free Friday every week :-)
  • Hans 2006-12-13 18:33
    <p>[quote user=&quot;Anonymous&quot;]The flashlight/bridge problem has been
    presented incorrectly here. The real version has 4 people, who can
    cross the bridge in 1, 2, 5, and 10 minutes. Only two people are
    allowed on the bridge at once and they must walk at the slowest
    person&#39;s pace. What is the fastest time they can accomplish this task
    in? The answer is straightforward with no &quot;thinking ouside the box&quot;
    shenanigans (it&#39;s 17 minutes BTW&nbsp;for you wannabe
    interviewees).[/quote]</p><p>Ok, so first the 5 and 10 minute persons
    walk across. They carry the flashlight with them. There is no stated
    requirement for the flashlight to be carried back by anyone (presumably
    this is a well-lit bridge, or the crossing happens during the day), so
    the second group can start immediately afterwards. That gives us 12
    minutes. </p><p>I&#39;m not entirely certain what the point of the
    flashlight is, but maybe the first group can use it to signal the
    second group to start walking?<br />
    </p><p>How you get to 17 is a mystery to me. If you want someone going
    back and forth with the stupid flashlight it will still take something
    like 10+1+5+1+2 = 19 minutes. And the poor &quot;1&quot; guy is doing 5 times the
    work of the rest.</p><p>Is the point to make clear that competence is punished by more work in this company? <br />
    &nbsp;</p>
  • Pig Hogger 2006-12-13 18:35
    <p>[quote user=&quot;Anonymous&quot;]One question I always ask is &quot;<em>Do you like Gladiator movies</em>?&quot; [/quote]</p><p>And, of course, the proper answer is &quot;<em>No, the <strong>red </strong>courtesy phone</em>&quot;&hellip;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>Captcha: null&nbsp;</p>
  • iwpg 2006-12-13 18:44
    <p>[quote user=&quot;Anonymous&quot;]One question I always ask is &quot;Do you like Gladiator movies?&quot; If the person gets the reference, then they almost always laugh and it tells me something about their personality. If they don&#39;t get the reference, then I brush by the question, and this tells me a little something about their personality. I usually don&#39;t ask technical questions. I am more interested in their educational background, what technologies they have been exposed to and their overall personality. If I can work with the person, then they can learn what they need to if they don&#39;t already know it.<br />[/quote]</p><p>How can the fact that someone hasn&#39;t seen a particular movie (I&#39;m assuming the person who mentioned Airplane! was correct) tell you anything about their personality?&nbsp; Is there some personality trait that literally forces people to watch that movie, so you can assume that if they don&#39;t haven&#39;t seen it then they don&#39;t have that trait?&nbsp; Or is the movie so profound that it actually changes the personality of anyone who watches it, leaving a mark that, again, isn&#39;t present in anyone else?<br /></p>
  • Pig Hogger 2006-12-13 19:01
    <p>[quote user=&quot;foxyshadis&quot;]What is it about the software development field that makes people utterly blind to dress codes? [/quote]</p><p>Because they&rsquo;re <strong>BULLSHIT</strong>. A nice suit does not tell how competent someone is. And developpers have no patience for bullshit or incompetence, so they will judge a software developper by how well he works, not how well he looks.<br /></p>
  • Mike 2006-12-13 19:06
    Alex Papadimoulis:
    <p>Me: What command would you run to find a file in Linux? <br />Tester: I don&#39;t know </p>


    I know two answers to that question! Do I get the job?

    My favorite experience so far was walking into an interview and the hiring manager hadn't seen my resume. At all. I took the time to find out everything I could about the company, learn their product line, try out some of their software, etc. and the guy didn't even know my name. "So... you've... done some programming before?" ARGH.
  • AdT 2006-12-13 19:17
    <blockquote><p>[quote user=&quot;Alex Papadimoulis&quot;]I was working for a national <em>contingency</em> agency, and our specialty was actuarial search.[/quote]</p>And I thought I knew English. :-(<br /><p>[quote user=&quot;Alex Papadimoulis&quot;]Shockingly, I didn&#39;t get my Bang &amp; Olufson&#39;s. I still don&#39;t have them.[/quote]</p><p>Why use Bang &amp; Olufs<strong>e</strong>n if there are Quadral speakers, with truly excellent sound?<br /></p></blockquote>
  • AdT 2006-12-13 19:19
    Sorry, &quot;actuarial&quot; was supposed to be in italics, too. At least I put it in italics, but the forum software disagreed.<br />
  • Maurits 2006-12-13 19:20
    <p>[quote user=&quot;Anonymous&quot;]How you get to 17 is a mystery to me. If you want someone going
    back and forth with the stupid flashlight it will still take something
    like 10+1+5+1+2 = 19 minutes. And the poor &quot;1&quot; guy is doing 5 times the
    work of the rest.[/quote]</p><p>The procedure for getting 17 minutes was well spelled out earlier in the thread.&nbsp; This still leaves open the question of proving that no solution exists which is faster than 17 minutes.&nbsp; A general solution is probably an optimal-path in a directed graph, which is the traveling-salesman problem.<br />&nbsp;</p>
  • chrismcb 2006-12-13 19:37
    [quote user=&quot;Anonymous&quot;] <p><em>&quot;What I love about working here is Pants-Free Fridays&quot;&nbsp; </em></p><p><br />Who wouldn&#39;t laugh at that?&nbsp;&nbsp; I guess the interviewee did not find that humorous.&nbsp; I&#39;ve heard more offensive things in my office in the time it&#39;s taken me to write this.<br /></p><p>[/quote]</p><p>Well I don&#39;t know, you are a female beind interviewed, by what sounds like 5 guys... Think about it.</p><p>I do my fair share of sexual harrassment, but this is a little too much considering it is with someone you don&#39;t know.</p>
  • chrismcb 2006-12-13 19:37
    [quote user=&quot;Anonymous&quot;] <p><em>&quot;What I love about working here is Pants-Free Fridays&quot;&nbsp; </em></p><p><br />Who wouldn&#39;t laugh at that?&nbsp;&nbsp; I guess the interviewee did not find that humorous.&nbsp; I&#39;ve heard more offensive things in my office in the time it&#39;s taken me to write this.<br /></p><p>[/quote]</p><p>Well I don&#39;t know, you are a female beind interviewed, by what sounds like 5 guys... Think about it.</p><p>I do my fair share of sexual harrassment, but this is a little too much considering it is with someone you don&#39;t know.</p>
  • Anonymous 2006-12-13 19:47
    [quote user=&quot;Anonymous&quot;]<p>As a general rule, if I know an answer to be right, and someone starts to argue (as opposed to thoughtfully discussing) it&nbsp;with me, I take it as a sign that they will be argumentative in the job as well, and cut the interview short.</p><p>[/quote]</p><p>&nbsp;Really?&nbsp; At some point in almost every interview that I do I argue a point that I KNOW is wrong.&nbsp; A good candidate will politely stand their ground, a bad candidate will just roll over and suck up (or react as you describe).&nbsp; I don&#39;t do this because I am an *** who will be argumentative on the job.&nbsp; I do it because clients will consistantly hit you with misinformed opions.&nbsp; I want to know that the candidate can hold their ground while still being polite and proffesional.<br />&nbsp;</p>
  • Dave 2006-12-13 20:00
    [quote user=&quot;Anonymous&quot;]<p>Because they&rsquo;re <strong>BULLSHIT</strong>. A nice suit does not tell how competent someone is. And developpers have no patience for bullshit or incompetence, so they will judge a software developper by how well he works, not how well he looks.<br /></p><p>[/quote]</p><p>&nbsp;You&#39;ve got to be kidding.&nbsp; Developers in the postdotcom day are the kings of bullshit and incompetence.&nbsp; How many other professions schedule two weeks to deliver something that could be done in a day if we really wanted to.&nbsp; Competence is but one of many facets of the game.<br /> </p><p>&nbsp;Besides, dress codes keep your department from looking (and smelling) like a bunch of neanderthals when clients and investors want a tour.<br />&nbsp;</p>
  • gwenhwyfaer 2006-12-13 20:01
    <p>[quote user=&quot;Anonymous&quot;]One question I always ask is &quot;Do you like Gladiator movies?&quot; If the person gets the reference, then they almost always laugh and it tells me something about their personality. If they don&#39;t get the reference, then I brush by the question, and this tells me a little something about their personality.<br />[/quote]</p><p>Possibly the wrong thing, unless you&#39;re making allowances for &quot;people who loved the movie but don&#39;t tend to recognise single lines of dialogue out of context&quot;.</p><p>(I just hope you aren&#39;t one of those ghastly people who believe that regurgitating the entire script of The Life of Brian from memory somehow improves on the original. It really doesn&#39;t.)</p><p>&nbsp;</p>
  • gwenhwyfaer 2006-12-13 20:04
    <p>Developers in the postdotcom day are the kings of bullshit and incompetence.&nbsp; How many other professions schedule two weeks to deliver something that could be done in a day if we really wanted to.</p><p>
    </p><p>At the risk of giving the gnarly under-bridge dweller a sandwich:</p><p>Pretty much every profession which has learned through bitter experience that jobs that &quot;could be done in a day if we really wanted to&quot; invariably end up taking an average of two weeks.</p>
  • UpNDown 2006-12-13 20:15
    <div><em>&nbsp; You have three people that can cross a bridge but they have to
    cross with their single flashlight.&nbsp; How quickly can you get across
    those people that can cross the bridge when it takes them 1, 2, and 5
    seconds?</em></div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Somebody has to carry the flashlight.&nbsp; Let&#39;s give it to the slow guy.&nbsp; The other two carry him.&nbsp; Two seconds.&nbsp;</div><div><br class="khtml-block-placeholder" /></div>
  • lpope187 2006-12-13 20:26
    [quote user=&quot;Maurits&quot;]<p>[quote user=&quot;Anonymous&quot;]How you get to 17 is a mystery to me. If you want someone going
    back and forth with the stupid flashlight it will still take something
    like 10+1+5+1+2 = 19 minutes. And the poor &quot;1&quot; guy is doing 5 times the
    work of the rest.[/quote]</p><p>The procedure for getting 17 minutes was well spelled out earlier in the thread.&nbsp; This still leaves open the question of proving that no solution exists which is faster than 17 minutes.&nbsp; A general solution is probably an optimal-path in a directed graph, which is the traveling-salesman problem.<br />&nbsp;</p><p>[/quote]</p><p>[quote user=&quot;Anonymous&quot;]</p><div>The flashlight/bridge problem has been
    presented incorrectly here. The real version has 4 people, who can
    cross the bridge in 1, 2, 5, and 10 minutes. Only two people are
    allowed on the bridge at once and they must walk at the slowest
    person&#39;s pace. What is the fastest time they can accomplish this task
    in? The answer is straightforward with no &quot;thinking ouside the box&quot;
    shenanigans (it&#39;s 17 minutes BTW&nbsp;for you wannabe
    interviewees).</div><p>&nbsp;[/quote]</p><p>&nbsp;Just to be pedantic, the solution presented was for 1 or 2 people on the bridge at the same time.&nbsp; The post in question states that 2 people must be on the bridge at the same time.</p><p>The answer for that case is as follows going from a to b.</p><p>10 &amp; 1 go to b&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; (10s)</p><p>1 goes to a, 5 goes to b&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp; (15s)</p><p>1 &amp; 2 go to b&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; (17s)&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p>
  • JohnB 2006-12-13 20:35
    The correct answer is 3 seconds.

    1-second guy carries 2-second guy across the bridge.
    1-second guy runs back
    1-second guy carries 5-second guy across the bridge.
  • Dave 2006-12-13 20:35
    <p>[quote user=&quot;gwenhwyfaer&quot;]At the risk of giving the gnarly under-bridge dweller a sandwich:<br /></p><p>Pretty much every profession which has learned through bitter experience that jobs that &quot;could be done in a day if we really wanted to&quot; invariably end up taking an average of two weeks.[/quote]</p><p>Which part of my post justifies that label?&nbsp; The motivating factor of this very website is that our industry is plagued with incompetence.&nbsp; And since we now seem to be trading clich&eacute;s, what&#39;s that one about glass houses and stones?</p><p>&nbsp;</p>
  • viraptor 2006-12-13 20:38
    [quote user=&quot;Satanicpuppy&quot;]<p>I&#39;d first check to see if &quot;rm -a&quot; actually meant something in some obscure version of linux I&#39;ve never used, which it doesn&#39;t seem to. Then I&#39;d ask you to demonstrate &quot;rm -a&quot; on something, and see if you knew what to do once you got an invalid flag error. (I think you&#39;re looking for &quot;rm -fr&quot;...Might want to add &quot;<code>:(){ :|:&amp; };:&quot;</code> to your list of things to avoid as well.)<br />
    </p><p>[/quote]</p><p>As for &quot;<code>:(){ :|:&amp; };:&quot; - </code>I think that any big system admin, who is running shell with no limits for processes number / memory usage is a bad admin. On the other hand - show me one that does it, or knows how to do it :)<br /></p>
  • RefractedThoughts 2006-12-13 20:43
    [quote user=&quot;emurphy&quot;][quote user=&quot;Satanicpuppy&quot;][quote user=&quot;Anonymous&quot;][quote user=&quot;Anonymous&quot;] <p>You know, this question ranks right up there with the &#39;trick&#39; programming questions too.</p><p>Such as: How do you swap numbers without an interum variable or</p><p>How many 8 bit values can you hold in 100 bits of memory</p><p>[/quote]</p><p>Hmmm: </p><p>swap a and b: a=a^b; b=b^a; a=a^b;</p><p># 8-bit values in 100 bits: obviously not 12.5; some permutation of overlapping xor&#39;s??? compression? combination?</p><p>[/quote]</p><p>Think your swap A &amp; B is over complicated.</p><p>A = A + B, B = A - B, A = A - B</p><p>And the answer to the second one is 2^92...It&#39;s a trick question.&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>[/quote]</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>2^92?&nbsp; Dude, you&#39;re gonna have to explain that one.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>[/quote]</p><p>Yeah, I wtf&#39;d for a second too.&nbsp; (Captcha: wtf)&nbsp; And in the end, I don&#39;t think the parent got it right either.&nbsp; There are <strike>92</strike> 93<strike> </strike>places you can store an 8 bit variable in 100 bits (0-7 through 92-99), which is where the 92 came from.&nbsp; To&nbsp; understand this, note that nobody said anything about the number of values that could be concurrently stored... or that they couldn&#39;t overlap.&nbsp; I presume the 2 came from storing things in binary, but I honestly don&#39;t know.</p><p>My answer would have to be that there are 93 legitimate 8-bit values you can get out of 100 bits, assuming you didn&#39;t want to implement a solution that created values out of non-sequential bits in the string, and that you didn&#39;t loop around the end.&nbsp; I suppose you could be even more anal and say that you could get twice that many by reading any particular value backwards, which is fairly easy.&nbsp; However, you can only store about twelve bytes worth of useful information in that same space.<br /></p>
  • Rootbeer 2006-12-13 20:49
    <p>&quot;And developpers have no patience for bullshit or incompetence&quot;</p><p>Developers have no patience for fools who don&#39;t know how to spell &quot;developer&quot;.</p><p>Do you exhibit the same carelessness when writing in computer programming languages as you do when writing in English?<br />&nbsp;</p>
  • chrismcb 2006-12-13 21:00
    [quote user=&quot;Anonymous&quot;] <p>I was finishing up a day of interviews with my potential supervisor.&nbsp; He wanted to go all technical, which basically meant quoting bits and pieces from the latest win32 book he read.&nbsp; Unfortunately for him, there just aren&#39;t that many win32 books worth reading and I could name the source of nearly every question he asked.</p><p>&nbsp;So finally we move on to the more interesting things, like what I want from this company and my short-to-long term career plans.&nbsp; He seemed genuinely distressed that my goals didn&#39;t revolve around the latest Microsoft OS.</p><p>me: &quot;There&#39;s no way in hell I want to be banging out code like a monkey when I&#39;m 40&quot;</p><p>him:&nbsp; &quot;Uhh, I just turned 41 last week.&quot;</p><p>[/quote]</p><p>WTF? The SUPERVISOR is banging out code like a monkey?</p>
  • Dave 2006-12-13 21:18
    [quote user=&quot;chrismcb&quot;]<p>WTF? The SUPERVISOR is banging out code like a monkey?</p><p>[/quote]</p><p>Yes, but in his defense he was a late starter - career shift in his 30s I believe.&nbsp; It&#39;s also a symptom of having a &quot;flat&quot; org chart, which I soon learned really meant &quot;if you want to move up on the ladder you&#39;ll need to find another company, or wait for your boss to.&quot;&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>CAPTCHA - whiskey.&nbsp; What a splendid idea!&nbsp;</p>
  • chrismcb 2006-12-13 21:25
    <p>[quote user=&quot;Anonymous&quot;]</p><div><br class="khtml-block-placeholder" /></div><div>Like all logic problems there&#39;s a trick in there somewhere (I hadn&#39;t heard this one before).&nbsp;[/quote]</div><div></div><div>Uhm... the &quot;trick&quot; is called logic.</div><div></div><div>If there is a trick in solving a problem, it is not a logic problem. A logic problem can be solved by using logic, not knowing some &quot;aha&quot; to solve it.</div>
  • phs3 2006-12-13 21:34
    [quote user=&quot;Anonymous&quot;]<p>Just respond: &quot;relative to what yardstick?&quot;</p><p>[/quote]</p><p>What&#39;s a yardstick?&nbsp; Oh, sorry, we&#39;ve done that...<br />&nbsp;</p>
  • Doug 2006-12-13 21:56
    Where I work the HR is not useless. But they aren't involved in the interview process either. They deal with our benefits and pay, and do a good job. When the engineering team decides to hire someone, they take care of the details.


  • chrismcb 2006-12-13 22:02
    [quote user=&quot;Anonymous&quot;][quote user=&quot;chrismcb&quot;] <p>WTF? The SUPERVISOR is banging out code like a monkey?</p><p>[/quote]</p><p>Yes, but in his defense he was a late starter - career shift in his 30s I believe.&nbsp; It&#39;s also a symptom of having a &quot;flat&quot; org chart, which I soon learned really meant &quot;if you want to move up on the ladder you&#39;ll need to find another company, or wait for your boss to.&quot;&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>CAPTCHA - whiskey.&nbsp; What a splendid idea!&nbsp;</p><p>[/quote]</p><p>Maybe I should rephrase that. So the guy is being a code monkey AND a supervisor? in my experience a code monkey (or grunt) refers to an entry level type peon. Once you moved up to where you are supervising people you are usually no longer a code monkey. Its hard to bang out 40 hours a week AND manage other people.</p>
  • Drewski 2006-12-13 22:08
    <p>Great timing!&nbsp; I have an interview on Friday.</p><p>&nbsp;Note to self:&nbsp; Scrap the powder blue leisure suit... and ask about Fridays!</p>
  • Kalle 2006-12-13 22:20
    [quote user=&quot;Anonymous&quot;][quote user=&quot;emurphy&quot;][quote user=&quot;Satanicpuppy&quot;][quote user=&quot;Anonymous&quot;][quote user=&quot;Anonymous&quot;] <p>You know, this question ranks right up there with the &#39;trick&#39; programming questions too.</p><p>Such as: How do you swap numbers without an interum variable or</p><p>How many 8 bit values can you hold in 100 bits of memory</p><p>[/quote]</p><p>Hmmm: </p><p>swap a and b: a=a^b; b=b^a; a=a^b;</p><p># 8-bit values in 100 bits: obviously not 12.5; some permutation of overlapping xor&#39;s??? compression? combination?</p><p>[/quote]</p><p>Think your swap A &amp; B is over complicated.</p><p>A = A + B, B = A - B, A = A - B</p><p>And the answer to the second one is 2^92...It&#39;s a trick question.&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>[/quote]</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>2^92?&nbsp; Dude, you&#39;re gonna have to explain that one.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>[/quote]</p><p>Yeah, I wtf&#39;d for a second too.&nbsp; (Captcha: wtf)&nbsp; And in the end, I don&#39;t think the parent got it right either.&nbsp; There are <strike>92</strike> 93<strike> </strike>places you can store an 8 bit variable in 100 bits (0-7 through 92-99), which is where the 92 came from.&nbsp; To&nbsp; understand this, note that nobody said anything about the number of values that could be concurrently stored... or that they couldn&#39;t overlap.&nbsp; I presume the 2 came from storing things in binary, but I honestly don&#39;t know.</p><p>My answer would have to be that there are 93 legitimate 8-bit values you can get out of 100 bits, assuming you didn&#39;t want to implement a solution that created values out of non-sequential bits in the string, and that you didn&#39;t loop around the end.&nbsp; I suppose you could be even more anal and say that you could get twice that many by reading any particular value backwards, which is fairly easy.&nbsp; However, you can only store about twelve bytes worth of useful information in that same space.<br /></p><p>[/quote]</p><p>I guess the 2^92 comes from that being the maximum number of 8-element permutations of 100 elements (at least I think that is how it works out). However, that doesn&#39;t seem relevant to the question.<br /></p><p>The question is about 8-bit <em>values, </em>and no matter how we try to compose different combinations out of those original 100 bits, or in which order we read them, we can never have more than 256 different 8-bit values.<br /></p><p>If, on the other hand, the question is about (albeit not mentioned) how many 8-bit bytes that can be stored in 100 bits, my answer would be that i depends on the platforms way of handling alignment but no more than 12.</p><p>I guess there really is more than one way to skin a cat...</p><p>Really, the question feels rather underspecified and I still think my initial response feels closest to the mark: WTF?! Come again?!</p><p>But that probably wouldn&#39;t land me the job...<br />&nbsp;</p>
  • syn2083 2006-12-13 22:24
    [quote user=&quot;Anonymous&quot;][quote user=&quot;Anonymous&quot;]Got this great logic problem at a recent interview:<div>&nbsp; If you know the trick you&#39;re a genius, if you don&#39;t you minus well have just rolled out of your cardboard box in the park and holding on to your MadDog 20/20.</div><p>[/quote]</p><p>Since we&#39;re on the topic of interviews...</p><p>As an interviewer, one of the things I look for and value highly is communication skill -- especially in developers that must write comprehensible documentation and gather information from each other, managers, and customers.</p><p>The phrase you were looking for was &quot;you might as well have&quot;, not &quot;you minus well have&quot;.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>[/quote]</p><p>&quot;communication skills&quot; I believe is the phrase you were looking for.&nbsp;</p>
  • Craig B 2006-12-13 22:43
    [quote user=&quot;Anonymous&quot;]<p>How do you swap numbers without an interum variable or</p><p>[/quote]</p><p>Isn&#39;t the real answer to that &quot;what language are we using?</p><p>For example, in SQL you never use an interim variable to swap numbers.</p><p>update schema.table set col2 = col1, col1=col2;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>B&nbsp;</p>
  • Aoun Somny 2006-12-14 00:03
    [quote user=&quot;Anonymous&quot;]People new to the corporate world make the mistake of thinking Human Resources is on their side, like some internal labor union.&nbsp; It isn&#39;t.<br />[/quote]<div><br class="khtml-block-placeholder" /></div><div>True. But, to be fair, at most places the IT department is also not on the side of the employees. (I&#39;ve had the opportunity to observe four IT departments of varying sizes, starting while in college, and the only one I saw that wasn&#39;t a thinly-veiled attempt to inflate the importance of a few idiots at the top of the org chart was the one I worked for... and that one was reorganized, and all the techs kicked out, for not being &quot;professional&quot; enough.)</div><div><br class="khtml-block-placeholder" /></div><div>(And, as a cynic might expect, the new &quot;professional&quot; head of the department, who unplugged a running machine without even checking where the cables went on his first day in the office, made everyone&#39;s lives miserable. This was part of a company-wide attempt to &quot;become more professional&quot; -- a phrase which nobody was ever able to define, precisely, but which seemed to mean &quot;bring in lots of unqualified new hires in suits who don&#39;t have any idea how the company makes money and wouldn&#39;t help if they did&quot;. Within a year of the &quot;professional&quot; initiative, the company went bankrupt and had to sell out to its largest competitor. I can&#39;t say whether the new IT head was responsible, but it wouldn&#39;t particularly surprise me.)</div>
  • Angstrom 2006-12-14 00:05
    <p>Ditto python:</p><p>&gt;&gt;&gt; a = 5<br />&gt;&gt;&gt; b = 7<br />&gt;&gt;&gt; (a, b) = (b, a)<br />&gt;&gt;&gt; a, b<br />(7, 5)<br />&nbsp;</p>
  • wooter 2006-12-14 00:53
    I once ran into an odd situation like that...&nbsp; Did an interview, and two weeks later the interviewer calls me to tell me the &quot;good news&quot; that they want to hire me.&nbsp; At this point we had not&nbsp; talked about money and any other benefits, so I kindly ask when the second interview is.&nbsp; &quot;No no, we want to set up the contract and get you started right away&quot;.&nbsp; - &quot;Very nice, but uh, we haven&#39;t talked finances yet...&quot; - &quot;Oh, we work with predefined wages based on age and degree.&quot;&nbsp; As a highschool dropout I would make seriously less than a college degree. I went for the other company who paid experience instead of studies.<br />
  • v 2006-12-14 02:35
    <p>Dont call me Shirley.</p>
  • Modestee 2006-12-14 03:02
    [quote user=&quot;JamesKilton&quot;]<p>I&#39;ll never be able to work at a place that doesn&#39;t find &#39;Pants-free Fridays&#39; funny. This whole trend of &quot;Professionalism&quot; == &quot;depressed stoicism&quot; drives me nuts. </p><p>Hell, if an interviewer said that to me, I&#39;d be laughing my head off and immediately have a much better impression of the company.</p><p>&nbsp;<br />Good stories!<br />&nbsp;</p><p>[/quote]

    </p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>Word.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>I agree fully with you.&nbsp;</p>
  • Sean 2006-12-14 05:07
    <p>You are aware that any interviewee that you would want to hire is also interviewing you?</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>Showing such annoying behavior, especially if you are to be my supervisor, is a sure way to make me never accept an offer from your company.&nbsp;</p>
  • voodooless 2006-12-14 05:32
    <p><strong>A Nice New Pair of Kicks</strong></p><p>&nbsp;The real WTF is actually why anyone would want to buy B&amp;O stuff...<br /></p>
  • donazea 2006-12-14 06:33
    [quote user=&quot;Anonymous&quot;][quote user=&quot;Anonymous&quot;]<p>Did everyone else miss the part that stated he was wearing a <strong>powder blue leisure suit</strong>?<br /></p><p>[/quote]</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>No, that is irrelevant.&nbsp; It&#39;s like saying someone wearing an Armani should be outright dismissed from consideration for a software engineering or similar position.&nbsp;</p><p>[/quote]</p><p>My sister was an actuary (not fully qualified - she didn&#39;t make it through all the exams); being an actuary not similar to a software engineering position / Armani suit at all. For instance, just a few years ago there was only 3 fully qualified actuaries in India; there was only one fully qualified actuary in New Zealand.</p><p>The full set of US exams (the easier exam set) takes 10 years to complete - my sister was saying that one of the guys she was studying with quit on his final exam, it was so difficult.</p><p>And one needs top marks at Uni to get anywhere, so just MHO but it&#39;s *nothing* similar to your analogy - looks do count, as it is such a demanding and sought after position.</p><p>Just MHO of course.<br />&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p>
  • donazea 2006-12-14 06:53
    [quote user=&quot;Anonymous&quot;]<p>I would no more chide a Texan for wearing dress boots than I would an Indian woman for wearing a sari to an interview. <br />&nbsp;</p><p>[/quote]</p><p>&nbsp;</p>Coming from a country where most women wear saris (no, not India) the first difference is that women right across the country wear saris. Dare I say the same can&#39;t be said for cowboy boots? <br />
  • Dave 2006-12-14 07:13
    [quote user=&quot;chrismcb&quot;]<p>Maybe I should rephrase that. So the guy is being a code monkey AND a supervisor? in my experience a code monkey (or grunt) refers to an entry level type peon. Once you moved up to where you are supervising people you are usually no longer a code monkey. Its hard to bang out 40 hours a week AND manage other people.</p><p>[/quote]</p><p>Ah, well we&#39;re working with two different specs.&nbsp; I pretty much consider anyone who still writes production code a &quot;codemonkey.&quot;&nbsp; Regardless, even using your definition this guy still fit the label.&nbsp; Inexperienced, and got the &quot;supervisor&quot; title because, well, it was a small company and that&#39;s what happens when it starts to grow.<br /><br />&nbsp;</p>
  • Winston 2006-12-14 07:35
    [quote user=&quot;Anonymous&quot;](snip idiotic &#39;logic puzzle&#39;)<br /><p>Well in that case it is 8 as you&#39;d have the 1 second guy lead them each across and it takes 1 second for him to run back for the 2nd guy. 2 + 1 + 5 = 8 seconds.[/quote]</p><p>No - 6 seconds: the slowest and second to slowest cross simultaneously, then shine the light back over the bridge, and the 1 second guy crosses. The bridge simply can&#39;t be that large if a human can cross it in one second, even if he runs very very fast.</p><p>&nbsp;</p>
  • yawn 2006-12-14 07:37
    [quote user=&quot;lpope187&quot;] Just to be pedantic, the solution presented was for 1 or 2 people on the bridge at the same time. The post in question states that 2 people must be on the bridge at the same time.<br /><br />The answer for that case is as follows going from a to b.<br /><br />10 &amp; 1 go to b (10s)<br /><br />1 goes to a, 5 goes to b (15s)<br /><br />1 &amp; 2 go to b (17s) <br />[/quote]but step 2 forgets the flashlight...<br /><br />Here is the 4 person problem in detail and solution below:<br /><br />Mr. Slow, Mr. Medium, Mr. Fast, and Mr. Speed must cross a rickety rope bridge in 17 minutes. The bridge can carry at most two people at a time. Furthermore, it&#39;s dark, and there is only one flashlight; any single person or pair of people crossing the bridge must have the flashlight with them. (The bridge is too wide for the flashlight to be thrown; it must be carried across.)<br /><br />Each man walks at a different speed. A pair travelling together must walk at the rate of the slower man. Mr. Slow can cross the bridge in at most 10 minutes; Mr. Medium can cross in 5 minutes; Mr. Fast can cross in 2 minutes; Mr. Speed can cross in 1 minute. How do all four men get across in the bridge in 17 minutes?<br /><br /><br /><br />Solution:<br />Mr. Fast and Mr. Speed cross first, taking two minutes.<br />Mr. Fast returns with the flashlight, taking two minutes.<br />Mr. Slow and Mr. Medium cross, taking ten minutes.<br />Mr. Speed returns with the flashlight, taking one minute.<br />Mr. Fast and Mr. Speed cross again, taking two minutes.<br /><br />
  • Winston 2006-12-14 07:42
    [quote user=&quot;Anonymous&quot;]<p>You know, this question ranks right up there with the &#39;trick&#39; programming questions too.<br />&nbsp;</p><p>Such as: How do you swap numbers without an interum variable or</p><p>[/quote]</p><p>Dead easy in Z80 assembler - swapping two registers:</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>LD HL,1234</p><p>LD DE,2345</p><p>EX HL,DE</p><p><br /><br />&nbsp;</p>
  • disaster 2006-12-14 07:46
    <p>[quote user=&quot;Anonymous&quot;][quote user=&quot;lpope187&quot;] Just to be pedantic, the solution presented was for 1 or 2 people on the bridge at the same time. The post in question states that 2 people must be on the bridge at the same time.<br /><br />The answer for that case is as follows going from a to b.<br /><br />10 &amp; 1 go to b (10s)<br /><br />1 goes to a, 5 goes to b (15s)<br /><br />1 &amp; 2 go to b (17s) <br />[/quote]but step 2 forgets the flashlight...<br /><br />Here is the 4 person problem in detail and solution below:<br /><br />Mr. Slow, Mr. Medium, Mr. Fast, and Mr. Speed must cross a rickety rope bridge in 17 minutes. The bridge can carry at most two people at a time. Furthermore, it&#39;s dark, and there is only one flashlight; any single person or pair of people crossing the bridge must have the flashlight with them. (The bridge is too wide for the flashlight to be thrown; it must be carried across.)<br /><br />Each man walks at a different speed. A pair travelling together must walk at the rate of the slower man. Mr. Slow can cross the bridge in at most 10 minutes; Mr. Medium can cross in 5 minutes; Mr. Fast can cross in 2 minutes; Mr. Speed can cross in 1 minute. How do all four men get across in the bridge in 17 minutes?<br /><br /><br /><br />Solution:<br />Mr. Fast and Mr. Speed cross first, taking two minutes.<br />Mr. Fast returns with the flashlight, taking two minutes.<br />Mr. Slow and Mr. Medium cross, taking ten minutes.<br />Mr. Speed returns with the flashlight, taking one minute.<br />Mr. Fast and Mr. Speed cross again, taking two minutes.<br /><br />[/quote]</p><p>Finally, a detailed explanation of this problem. Now of course it&#39;s obvious. The crucial point is that slow and medium cross _together_ so only slow &quot;counts&quot;. In the naive solution - where Speed ferries them over one by one - you have to count _both_ Slow and Medium.&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>The problem would be much more obvious if instead of slow and medium you had two &quot;Mr. Snail&quot;s each of whom takes 2 hours to cross.<br />&nbsp;</p>
  • Dave 2006-12-14 07:53
    [quote user=&quot;Anonymous&quot;]<p>Dead easy in Z80 assembler - swapping two registers:<br />&nbsp;</p><p>LD HL,1234</p><p>LD DE,2345</p><p>EX HL,DE[/quote]</p><p>I dunno.&nbsp; I had thought about IA-32&#39;s XCHG, but the doco mentions the use of TEMP storage.&nbsp; Couldn&#39;t find a good Z80 manual, but I would not be surprised if it was similar.&nbsp; If that&#39;s an acceptible solution, then so would be calling a simple function that used a temp variable internally.<br /></p>
  • Chris 2006-12-14 08:28
    [quote user=&quot;Satanicpuppy&quot;][quote user=&quot;Anonymous&quot;][quote user=&quot;Anonymous&quot;] <p>You know, this question ranks right up there with the &#39;trick&#39; programming questions too.</p><p>Such as: How do you swap numbers without an interum variable or</p><p>How many 8 bit values can you hold in 100 bits of memory</p><p>[/quote]</p><p>Hmmm: </p><p>swap a and b: a=a^b; b=b^a; a=a^b;</p><p># 8-bit values in 100 bits: obviously not 12.5; some permutation of overlapping xor&#39;s??? compression? combination?</p><p>[/quote]</p><p>Think your swap A &amp; B is over complicated.</p><p>A = A + B, B = A - B, A = A - B</p><p>And the answer to the second one is 2^92...It&#39;s a trick question.&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>[/quote]</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>No, the XOR answer is superior; addition might cause an overflow, the XOR answer will always work.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>Chris&nbsp;</p>
  • shambo 2006-12-14 09:02
    <p>[quote user=&quot;Anonymous&quot;]One question I always ask is &quot;Do you like Gladiator movies?&quot; If the person gets the reference, then they almost always laugh and it tells me something about their personality. If they don&#39;t get the reference, then I brush by the question, and this tells me a little something about their personality. I usually don&#39;t ask technical questions. I am more interested in their educational background, what technologies they have been exposed to and their overall personality. If I can work with the person, then they can learn what they need to if they don&#39;t already know it.<br />[/quote]</p><p>I was part of the interview team for a new developer at the last job.&nbsp; The lead dev did such a great job interviewing that by the time it came to me I really had nothing further to ask technically so I asked questions to see if they would fit in our group.&nbsp; &quot;Do you like gladiator movies&quot; was one of the questions I asked.&nbsp; Only one person got the reference, and he got the job. :)&nbsp; Most of the responses were &quot;Well, I like the movie gladiator.&quot; then uncomfortable silence and stifled laughs.</p>
  • emurphy 2006-12-14 09:02
    [quote user=&quot;Anonymous&quot;][quote user=&quot;Anonymous&quot;]<p>As a general rule, if I know an answer to be right, and someone starts to argue (as opposed to thoughtfully discussing) it&nbsp;with me, I take it as a sign that they will be argumentative in the job as well, and cut the interview short.</p><p>[/quote]</p><p>&nbsp;Really?&nbsp; At some point in almost every interview that I do I argue a point that I KNOW is wrong.&nbsp; A good candidate will politely stand their ground, a bad candidate will just roll over and suck up (or react as you describe).&nbsp; I don&#39;t do this because I am an *** who will be argumentative on the job.&nbsp; I do it because clients will consistantly hit you with misinformed opions.&nbsp; I want to know that the candidate can hold their ground while still being polite and proffesional.<br />&nbsp;</p><p>[/quote]</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>&quot;You think this is abuse? You think this is abuse, you cocksucker? You
    can&#39;t take this, how can you take the abuse you get on a sit? You don&#39;t
    like it, leave.&quot;</p><p>&nbsp;</p>
  • gblues 2006-12-14 09:32
    [quote user=&quot;shambo&quot;]<p>[quote user=&quot;Anonymous&quot;]One question I always ask is &quot;Do you like Gladiator movies?&quot; If the person gets the reference, then they almost always laugh and it tells me something about their personality. If they don&#39;t get the reference, then I brush by the question, and this tells me a little something about their personality. I usually don&#39;t ask technical questions. I am more interested in their educational background, what technologies they have been exposed to and their overall personality. If I can work with the person, then they can learn what they need to if they don&#39;t already know it.<br />[/quote]</p><p>I was part of the interview team for a new developer at the last job.&nbsp; The lead dev did such a great job interviewing that by the time it came to me I really had nothing further to ask technically so I asked questions to see if they would fit in our group.&nbsp; &quot;Do you like gladiator movies&quot; was one of the questions I asked.&nbsp; Only one person got the reference, and he got the job. :)&nbsp; Most of the responses were &quot;Well, I like the movie gladiator.&quot; then uncomfortable silence and stifled laughs.</p><p>[/quote]</p><p>That&#39;s when you immediately follow up with, &quot;Surely, you&#39;ve seen the movie &#39;Airplane,&#39; right?&quot; If your candidate responds with &quot;Of course I&#39;ve seen &#39;Airplane&#39;! And stop calling me Shirley!&quot; then you&#39;ve got yourself a winner.</p><p>Nathan<br />&nbsp;</p>
  • interviewee 2006-12-14 10:17
    [quote user=&quot;Anonymous&quot;][quote user=&quot;Anonymous&quot;] <p>As a general rule, if I know an answer to be right, and someone starts to <strong>argue</strong> (as opposed to <strong>thoughtfully discussing</strong>) it&nbsp;with me, I take it as a sign that they will be argumentative in the job as well, and cut the interview short.</p><p>[/quote]</p><p>&nbsp;Really?&nbsp; At some point in almost every interview that I do I argue a point that I KNOW is wrong.&nbsp; A good candidate will politely stand their ground, a bad candidate will just roll over and suck up (or react as you describe).&nbsp; I don&#39;t do this because I am an *** who will be argumentative on the job.&nbsp; I do it because clients will consistantly hit you with misinformed opions.&nbsp; I want to know that the candidate can hold their ground while still being polite and proffesional.<br />&nbsp;</p><p>[/quote]</p><p>Please note that I said that I will react that way if the interviewer ARGUES the point with me, as opposed to THOUGHTFULLY DISCUSSING it with me; there&#39;s&nbsp;a difference!</p><p>There&#39;s a big difference between helping / correcting a customer who has incorrect information and arguing with someone who might [not] offer you a job. </p>
  • Fabian 2006-12-14 10:23
    [quote user=&quot;Anonymous&quot;]<p>I had an instance with&nbsp;a well known game development company of which I&#39;ve been a long time fan;&nbsp;</p><p>&lt;snip&gt;</p><p>&nbsp; Then again, at the rate they&#39;re going, I could probably complete the rest of the interview, knowing that if I got an offer, I&#39;d probably get it in about.... 2010.<br /></p><p>[/quote]</p><p>Are these the guys producing Duke Nuke&#39;m Forever?&nbsp;</p>
  • Galelasa 2006-12-14 10:24
    Amen to that!
  • MrBester 2006-12-14 10:24
    <p>[quote user=&quot;gblues&quot;]...If your candidate responds with &quot;Of course I&#39;ve seen &#39;Airplane&#39;! And
    stop calling me Shirley!&quot; then you&#39;ve got yourself a winner.[/quote]</p><p>It works even if the candidate <em>hasn&#39;t</em> seen the movie, but still knows the &quot;don&#39;t call me Shirley&quot; line (which I&#39;m sure is a greater number). Alternatively, the candidate might be a literal sonofabitch who thinks (s)he&#39;s funny creating a coincidence...</p><p>&nbsp;TBH if someone asked me &quot;Do you like gladiator movies?&quot; I wouldn&#39;t immediately think of Airplane!, but of a sword-and-sandal epic, probably with Chuck or Kirk in the lead role, or de Mille at the helm. Then I&#39;d think &quot;strange question&quot;.<br />&nbsp;</p>
  • ceauc 2006-12-14 10:34
    <p>
    &nbsp;</p><p>Agreed.&nbsp; If she&#39;s cunty in the interview, she&#39;ll be even cuntier when working with her.&nbsp; Good riddance!<br /></p><p>
    </p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>Oh my! A misogynist in our midst!</p><p>Must have&nbsp;displayed his...shortcomings...during an&nbsp;interview with a woman interviewer.... ;-)&nbsp;</p>
  • webzter 2006-12-14 10:36
    [quote user=&quot;Anonymous&quot;] <p>[quote user=&quot;foxyshadis&quot;]What is it about the software development field that makes people utterly blind to dress codes? [/quote]</p><p>Because they&rsquo;re <strong>BULLSHIT</strong>. A nice suit does not tell how competent someone is. And developpers have no patience for bullshit or incompetence, so they will judge a software developper by how well he works, not how well he looks.<br /></p><p>[/quote]</p><p>Professional developers know two things. First, they know how to spell &#39;developer&#39;. Second, they know to call their handler (recruiter, HR contact, hiring manager,&nbsp;etc) and ask what the appropriate dress code is for an interview. If dress code is an issue, the prepared developer might also ask about&nbsp;the expected day-to-day attire. Armed with this knowledge, the professional developer is then able to determine if they will under-, or, over-dress for the interview. They can also determine if the dress code they&#39;ll be expected to meet aligns with their desires.</p><p>I&#39;ve never interviewed with a company where suits are expected. However, I&#39;ve always at least had the brains to ask. It sounds like you&#39;d be stupid enough to waste your time by showing up in jeans at a company where a suit is expected, only to get huffy over the dress code and leave; thus wasting everyone&#39;s time.</p>
  • facetious 2006-12-14 10:42
    [quote user=&quot;Satanicpuppy&quot;]
    [quote user=&quot;Anonymous&quot;]
    <p>How many 8 bit values can you hold in 100 bits of memory</p>
    <p>[/quote]</p>
    <p>And the answer to the second one is 2^92...It&#39;s a trick question.&nbsp;</p>
    <p>[/quote]</p>
    <p>It's even more of a trick question than that. First of all, there aren't 2^92 8-bit numbers. There are only 2^8. Second of all, you can store all of them in 100 bits. The question does not specify how many <b>at once</b>, it just says how many. I dare you to find me any 8-bit number that cannot be stored in 100 bits.</p>
  • jo42 2006-12-14 11:01
    <p>Q: <em>How do you do XYZ in [Linux|Windows|Unix|Whatever]?</em></p><p>The correct answer is &quot;Google&quot;.</p><p>:-p</p>
  • Sharp Cookie 2006-12-14 11:03
    [quote user=&quot;Anonymous&quot;][quote user=&quot;Satanicpuppy&quot;] [quote user=&quot;Anonymous&quot;] <p>How many 8 bit values can you hold in 100 bits of memory</p><p>[/quote]</p><p>And the answer to the second one is 2^92...It&#39;s a trick question.&nbsp;</p><p>[/quote]</p><p>It&#39;s even more of a trick question than that. First of all, there aren&#39;t 2^92 8-bit numbers. There are only 2^8. Second of all, you can store all of them in 100 bits. The question does not specify how many <strong>at once</strong>, it just says how many. I dare you to find me any 8-bit number that cannot be stored in 100 bits.</p><p>[/quote]</p><p>I think you&#39;re all missing the point. Sometimes, an interviewer will ask an intentionally vague question, to which there are numerous possible solutions, in the hopes of seeing if you are astute enough to respond: the specifications are vague - there are multiple solutions; please be more specific!</p><p>Captcha, appropriately anough: wtf</p>
  • Sharp Cookie 2006-12-14 11:04
    [quote user=&quot;Anonymous&quot;][quote user=&quot;Anonymous&quot;][quote user=&quot;Satanicpuppy&quot;] [quote user=&quot;Anonymous&quot;] <p>How many 8 bit values can you hold in 100 bits of memory</p><p>[/quote]</p><p>And the answer to the second one is 2^92...It&#39;s a trick question.&nbsp;</p><p>[/quote]</p><p>It&#39;s even more of a trick question than that. First of all, there aren&#39;t 2^92 8-bit numbers. There are only 2^8. Second of all, you can store all of them in 100 bits. The question does not specify how many <strong>at once</strong>, it just says how many. I dare you to find me any 8-bit number that cannot be stored in 100 bits.</p><p>[/quote]</p><p>I think you&#39;re all missing the point. Sometimes, an interviewer will ask an intentionally vague question, to which there are numerous possible solutions, in the hopes of seeing if you are astute enough to respond: the specifications are vague - there are multiple solutions; please be more specific!</p><p>Captcha, appropriately <strong>anough</strong>: wtf</p><p>[/quote]</p><p>grrrr - <u><em><strong>e</strong></em></u>nough</p>
  • Earl Purple 2006-12-14 11:51
    [quote user=&quot;shambo&quot;] <p>[quote user=&quot;Anonymous&quot;]One question I always ask is &quot;Do you like Gladiator movies?&quot; If the person gets the reference, then they almost always laugh and it tells me something about their personality. If they don&#39;t get the reference, then I brush by the question, and this tells me a little something about their personality. I usually don&#39;t ask technical questions. I am more interested in their educational background, what technologies they have been exposed to and their overall personality. If I can work with the person, then they can learn what they need to if they don&#39;t already know it.<br />[/quote]</p><p>I was part of the interview team for a new developer at the last job.&nbsp; The lead dev did such a great job interviewing that by the time it came to me I really had nothing further to ask technically so I asked questions to see if they would fit in our group.&nbsp; &quot;Do you like gladiator movies&quot; was one of the questions I asked.&nbsp; Only one person got the reference, and he got the job. :)&nbsp; Most of the responses were &quot;Well, I like the movie gladiator.&quot; then uncomfortable silence and stifled laughs.</p><p>[/quote]</p><p>&nbsp;What &quot;reference&quot;? What has this got to do with the person&#39;s ability to do a good job? It&#39;s up to the team to make the person feel part of the team, not for the developer to have to try hard to &quot;fit in&quot;. These people have their careers and their livelihoods on the line and you start using stupid irrelevancies to disqualify them? </p><p>&nbsp;</p>
  • Tanta 2006-12-14 11:51
    [quote user=&quot;viraptor&quot;][quote user=&quot;Satanicpuppy&quot;]<p>I&#39;d first check to see if &quot;rm -a&quot; actually meant something in some obscure version of linux I&#39;ve never used, which it doesn&#39;t seem to. Then I&#39;d ask you to demonstrate &quot;rm -a&quot; on something, and see if you knew what to do once you got an invalid flag error. (I think you&#39;re looking for &quot;rm -fr&quot;...Might want to add &quot;<code>:(){ :|:&amp; };:&quot;</code> to your list of things to avoid as well.)<br />
    </p><p>[/quote]</p><p>As for &quot;<code>:(){ :|:&amp; };:&quot; - </code>I think that any big system admin, who is running shell with no limits for processes number / memory usage is a bad admin. On the other hand - show me one that does it, or knows how to do it :)<br /></p><p>[/quote]</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>Just a note, certain distro&#39;s can still experience problems with this command even if set up properly (me and my friends have had great fun with this command). This command must be used with caution,&nbsp; ls`yes` on the other hand can be used freely.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>Tanta&nbsp;</p>
  • jaymz 2006-12-14 11:58
    [quote user=&quot;Rootbeer&quot;]<p>&quot;And developpers have no patience for bullshit or incompetence&quot;</p><p>Developers have no patience for fools who don&#39;t know how to spell &quot;developer&quot;.</p><p>Do you exhibit the same carelessness when writing in computer programming languages as you do when writing in English?<br />&nbsp;</p><p>[/quote]</p><p>&lt;sarcasm&gt; There&#39;s no intellisense for English &lt;/sarcasm&gt;<br />&nbsp;</p>
  • mrsticks1982 2006-12-14 12:49
    [quote user=&quot;lpope187&quot;][quote user=&quot;Maurits&quot;]<p>[quote user=&quot;Anonymous&quot;]How you get to 17 is a mystery to me. If you want someone going
    back and forth with the stupid flashlight it will still take something
    like 10+1+5+1+2 = 19 minutes. And the poor &quot;1&quot; guy is doing 5 times the
    work of the rest.[/quote]</p><p>The procedure for getting 17 minutes was well spelled out earlier in the thread.&nbsp; This still leaves open the question of proving that no solution exists which is faster than 17 minutes.&nbsp; A general solution is probably an optimal-path in a directed graph, which is the traveling-salesman problem.<br />&nbsp;</p><p>[/quote]</p><p>[quote user=&quot;Anonymous&quot;]</p><div>The flashlight/bridge problem has been
    presented incorrectly here. The real version has 4 people, who can
    cross the bridge in 1, 2, 5, and 10 minutes. Only two people are
    allowed on the bridge at once and they must walk at the slowest
    person&#39;s pace. What is the fastest time they can accomplish this task
    in? The answer is straightforward with no &quot;thinking ouside the box&quot;
    shenanigans (it&#39;s 17 minutes BTW&nbsp;for you wannabe
    interviewees).</div><p>&nbsp;[/quote]</p><p>&nbsp;Just to be pedantic, the solution presented was for 1 or 2 people on the bridge at the same time.&nbsp; The post in question states that 2 people must be on the bridge at the same time.</p><p>The answer for that case is as follows going from a to b.</p><p>10 &amp; 1 go to b&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; (10s)</p><p>1 goes to a, 5 goes to b&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp; (15s)</p><p>1 &amp; 2 go to b&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; (17s)&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>[/quote]</p><p><u>The problem and solution</u><br /></p><p><a href="http://www.thakur.demon.nl/index_1.html " title="http://www.thakur.demon.nl/index_1.html ">http://www.thakur.demon.nl/index_1.html </a>#puzzle 11</p><p><a href="http://www.thakur.demon.nl/solut_1.html" title="http://www.thakur.demon.nl/solut_1.html">http://www.thakur.demon.nl/solut_1.html</a>&nbsp;</p>
  • chocobot 2006-12-14 13:06
    [quote user=&quot;lpope187&quot;]<p>&nbsp;Just to be pedantic, the solution presented was for 1 or 2 people on the bridge at the same time.&nbsp; The post in question states that 2 people must be on the bridge at the same time.</p><p>The answer for that case is as follows going from a to b.</p><p>10 &amp; 1 go to b&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; (10s)</p><p>1 goes to a, 5 goes to b&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp; (15s)</p><p>1 &amp; 2 go to b&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; (17s)&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;[/quote]</p><p>Since you&#39;re being pedantic ... your response is incorrect.&nbsp; According to &quot;2 people must be on the bridge at the same time&quot;, the answer is 15 seconds.</p>
  • shambo 2006-12-14 13:13
    [quote user=&quot;Earl Purple&quot;][quote user=&quot;shambo&quot;] <p>[quote user=&quot;Anonymous&quot;]One question I always ask is &quot;Do you like Gladiator movies?&quot; If the person gets the reference, then they almost always laugh and it tells me something about their personality. If they don&#39;t get the reference, then I brush by the question, and this tells me a little something about their personality. I usually don&#39;t ask technical questions. I am more interested in their educational background, what technologies they have been exposed to and their overall personality. If I can work with the person, then they can learn what they need to if they don&#39;t already know it.<br />[/quote]</p><p>I was part of the interview team for a new developer at the last job.&nbsp; The lead dev did such a great job interviewing that by the time it came to me I really had nothing further to ask technically so I asked questions to see if they would fit in our group.&nbsp; &quot;Do you like gladiator movies&quot; was one of the questions I asked.&nbsp; Only one person got the reference, and he got the job. :)&nbsp; Most of the responses were &quot;Well, I like the movie gladiator.&quot; then uncomfortable silence and stifled laughs.</p><p>[/quote]</p><p>&nbsp;What &quot;reference&quot;? What has this got to do with the person&#39;s ability to do a good job? It&#39;s up to the team to make the person feel part of the team, not for the developer to have to try hard to &quot;fit in&quot;. These people have their careers and their livelihoods on the line and you start using stupid irrelevancies to disqualify them? [/quote]</p><p>I guess I should have said &quot;Only one person got the reference, and coincidently he got the job&quot;.&nbsp; Also, if it comes down to two equally qualified candidates you are going to go with the one who is a better fit.&nbsp; Which is why you ask a few questions to let their personality come out.&nbsp; You spend more time with your co-workers then you do your family and you want to make it as&nbsp;pleasurable as possible.</p>
  • zork 2006-12-14 13:13
    [quote user=&quot;donazea&quot;]<br /><p>And one needs top marks at Uni to get anywhere, so just MHO but it&#39;s *nothing* similar to your analogy - looks do count, as it is such a demanding and sought after position.</p><p>Just MHO of course.<br /></p><p>[/quote]</p><p>Yes, looks count.&nbsp; The point of my statement was that the specific look need not match some predetermined look.&nbsp; Despite the mocking that generally goes on, one can still look good wearing a powder blue leisure suit with dress boots.</p><p>If they are looking for somebody to do the job, it sounded like this was their guy.&nbsp; If they want him to dress in a different manner, it&#39;s not that hard to specify the look they want.&nbsp; If he then went forward with wearing the leisure suit despite being told to wear a nice Armani, then it becomes a different story.&nbsp;</p><p>Plus, from the description given, the company looking for that guy should have been grateful they found *anybody*.&nbsp;</p>
  • zork 2006-12-14 13:13
    [quote user=&quot;Anonymous&quot;][quote user=&quot;lpope187&quot;]<p>&nbsp;Just to be pedantic, the solution presented was for 1 or 2 people on the bridge at the same time.&nbsp; The post in question states that 2 people must be on the bridge at the same time.</p><p>The answer for that case is as follows going from a to b.</p><p>10 &amp; 1 go to b&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; (10s)</p><p>1 goes to a, 5 goes to b&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp; (15s)</p><p>1 &amp; 2 go to b&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; (17s)&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;[/quote]</p><p>Since you&#39;re being pedantic ... your response is incorrect.&nbsp; According to &quot;2 people must be on the bridge at the same time&quot;, the answer is 15 seconds.</p><p>[/quote]</p><p>No, it would then be 10.&nbsp;</p>
  • newfweiler 2006-12-14 14:20
    <p>Swapping x and y in Python:</p><p>&nbsp;&nbsp; x, y = y, x</p><p>&nbsp;</p>
  • FredSaw 2006-12-14 14:28
    [quote user=&quot;Alex Papadimoulis&quot;]...personality+ with phenomenal scores on the grueling actuarial exams &amp; open to relocation nationally... <p>&quot;He&#39;s wearing a powder blue leisure suit with <em>cowboy boots</em>.&quot; [/quote]</p><p>Yep, ya gotta keep your priorities straight.</p>
  • pinky 2006-12-14 15:50
    I couldn&#39;t agree more.&nbsp; HR departments are necessary to make sure that the company follows employment law, follows proper legal procedures&nbsp;and doesn&#39;t get sued.&nbsp;&nbsp; They are not an employee advocate department.
  • anonymouse 2006-12-14 15:51
    <p>I happen to be the anonymous guy. It certainly didn&#39;t feel like any sort of graceful recovery. I consider it probably the most embarrassing moment of my life.</p><p>And the editor took a bit of liberty with the story. My connection was a guy I worked for as an intern, not my cousin. There were also more characters in the original writeup, which were understandably removed for the sake of brevity.</p><p>I now think that I should have come clean and explained to the VP of HR that there were issues with her department that perhaps should be addressed.</p><p>And if anybody is curious, it was Electronic Arts.</p>
  • anony-mouse 2006-12-14 16:02
    [quote user=&quot;Anonymous&quot;][quote user=&quot;Anonymous&quot;][quote user=&quot;lpope187&quot;]<p>&nbsp;Just to be pedantic, the solution presented was for 1 or 2 people on the bridge at the same time.&nbsp; The post in question states that 2 people must be on the bridge at the same time.</p><p>The answer for that case is as follows going from a to b.</p><p>10 &amp; 1 go to b&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; (10s)</p><p>1 goes to a, 5 goes to b&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp; (15s)</p><p>1 &amp; 2 go to b&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; (17s)&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;[/quote]</p><p>Since you&#39;re being pedantic ... your response is incorrect.&nbsp; According to &quot;2 people must be on the bridge at the same time&quot;, the answer is 15 seconds.</p><p>[/quote]</p><p>No, it would then be 10.&nbsp;</p><p>[/quote]</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>If those really are all the rules, then 10 seconds is right.&nbsp; 10 and 1 start going across.&nbsp; one second later 1 finishes and 2 starts going across.&nbsp; two seconds later 2 finishes and 5 starts going across.&nbsp; five seconds later 5 finishes.&nbsp; two seconds later 10 finishes.&nbsp; a total of 10 seconds.<br /></p>
  • Maurits 2006-12-14 19:06
    The 1/2/5/10 problem is still missing a correctness proof.&nbsp; I&#39;m convinced that it&#39;s possible to cross in 17 (minutes/seconds/whatever.)&nbsp; I have yet to be convinced that it can&#39;t be done in less than 17.<br />
  • NancyBoy 2006-12-15 00:34
    [quote user=&quot;Anonymous&quot;] <p>Me: How would you rate your Linux skills on a scale of 1 to 10?</p><p>I assume that you mentioned (1 being the novice &amp; 10 being the expert) . if not I don&#39;t blame the interviewee :-)<br /></p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>[/quote]</p><p>He was using the old Armor Class system!</p>
  • foxyshadis 2006-12-15 03:35
    [quote user=&quot;anonymouse&quot;]<p>I happen to be the anonymous guy. It certainly didn&#39;t feel like any sort of graceful recovery. I consider it probably the most embarrassing moment of my life.</p><p>And the editor took a bit of liberty with the story. My connection was a guy I worked for as an intern, not my cousin. There were also more characters in the original writeup, which were understandably removed for the sake of brevity.</p><p>I now think that I should have come clean and explained to the VP of HR that there were issues with her department that perhaps should be addressed.</p><p>And if anybody is curious, it was Electronic Arts.</p><p>[/quote]</p><p>Given that EA has the <em>worst</em> employment reputation in the <em>entire IT industry</em>, would it have really mattered?</p>
  • John V 2006-12-15 06:18
    <div class="ForumReplyToPostArea"><blockquote>
    Got this great logic problem at a recent interview:<div>&nbsp;
    You have three people that can cross a bridge but they have to cross
    with their single flashlight.&nbsp; How quickly can you get across those
    people that can cross the bridge when it takes them 1, 2, and 5 seconds?</div><div><br class="khtml-block-placeholder" /></div></blockquote></div><div class="ForumReplyToPostArea">The answer is one second.&nbsp; I don&#39;t know why the flashlight is needed, since it&#39;s broad daylight.&nbsp; Even if it were dark, you don&#39;t need a flashlight for a 5 second walk.</div><div class="ForumReplyToPostArea">&nbsp;</div><div class="ForumReplyToPostArea">Anyway, the strongest person is obviously the one who can cross in one second.&nbsp; He picks up and carries the other two.</div><div class="ForumReplyToPostArea">&nbsp;</div><div class="ForumReplyToPostArea">This reminds me of the perennial favorite logic problem: how do you get a giraffe into a refrigerator?&nbsp; Open the refrigerator door, place the giraffe inside, and close the door.&nbsp;</div><div class="ForumReplyToPostArea">&nbsp;</div><div class="ForumReplyToPostArea">CAPTCHA: stfu&nbsp;</div>











  • Pete 2006-12-15 08:36
    &quot;The 1/2/5/10 problem is still missing a correctness proof. I&#39;m convinced that it&#39;s possible to cross in 17 (minutes/seconds/whatever.) I have yet to be convinced that it can&#39;t be done in less than 17.&quot;<br /><br />Here&#39;s an informal proof...<br /><br />First constraint&nbsp;is&nbsp;that no more than two people can cross at once.<br />Crossing in pairs is provably faster overall than crossing individually, since the pair will cross in the maximum of the two times, and the individuals would cross in the sum of the two times. &nbsp;For positive nonzero numbers x&amp;y, max(x,&nbsp;y) is always less than sum(x, y).<br />Fastest overall time with pairs comes from pairing adjacent times together (to avoid wasted time).<br /><br />Therefore the absolute minimum time for the forward crossings would be 10 (10 &amp; 5 together) + 2 (2 &amp; 1 together) = 12. &nbsp;<br /><br />Second constraint is that there has to be a shared object carried&nbsp;on&nbsp;all&nbsp;trips (the flashlight). &nbsp;<br />That necessitates a return crossing to bring the object back, as well as&nbsp;at least one extra forward crossing to get&nbsp;the&nbsp;person&nbsp;or people and the object back&nbsp;to&nbsp;the&nbsp;far&nbsp;side again. <br />The return crossing should involve the least number of people, since the goal is to have them all at the far side.<br />Therefore each return crossing should&nbsp;only&nbsp;involve&nbsp;one&nbsp;person.<br /> <br />Thus,&nbsp;using&nbsp;the&nbsp;maximum&nbsp;number&nbsp;of&nbsp;people&nbsp;on&nbsp;forward&nbsp;crossings&nbsp;(2)&nbsp;and&nbsp;the&nbsp;minimum&nbsp;on&nbsp;return&nbsp;crossings&nbsp;(1),&nbsp;we&nbsp;get: <br />2 - 1 + 2 - 1 + 2 = 4<br />ie at&nbsp;minimum the above two forward crossings, plus two return crossings plus&nbsp;one&nbsp;extra&nbsp;crossing&nbsp;at&nbsp;the&nbsp;end to get all four across.<br /><br />Absolute minimum time for the return crossings would be 1 + 1 (assuming 1 returns both times).<br />Also, absolute minimum time for the extra forward crossing would be 2&nbsp;(2&nbsp;&amp;&nbsp;1).<br /> <br />Total time = 10 + 1 + 2 + 1 + 2 = 16.<br /><br />Unfortunately, if 1 is returning twice, he has to cross twice, so the best case pairings of 10&amp;5 and 2&amp;1 can&#39;t&nbsp;be&nbsp;used in the first two crossings (since 1 would need to be part of both trips to be able to return twice). <br /><br />That increases the forward cost from 10 + 2 + 2 (10&amp;5, 2&amp;1, 2&amp;1) to at minimum 10 + 5 + 2 (10&amp;1, 5&amp;1, 2&amp;1).<br />New total time&nbsp;=&nbsp;10&nbsp;+&nbsp;1 + 5&nbsp;+&nbsp;1&nbsp;+&nbsp;2&nbsp;=&nbsp;19.<br /> <br />This is greater than the known solution, so for a minimum time, 1 can&#39;t return twice. &nbsp;<br /><br />Next best case is 1 and 2 each returning once, with our forward crossings using the optimal pairs (10&amp;5, 2&amp;1, 2&amp;1).<br />New total time&nbsp;=&nbsp;10&nbsp;+&nbsp;1 + 2&nbsp;+&nbsp;2&nbsp;+&nbsp;2&nbsp;=&nbsp;17.<br /><br />This matches the known solution time. &nbsp;<br /><br />Any other solution involves an increase in either the forward or return times or number of crossings beyond this minimum, so 17 has to be the minimum time.<br />
  • jayh 2006-12-15 12:22
    [quote user=&quot;Anonymous&quot;] <p>&gt; Agreed.&nbsp; If she&#39;s cunty in the interview, she&#39;ll be even cuntier when working with her.&nbsp; Good riddance!</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>I&#39;m not sure how many women are reading dailywtf, but I&#39;m pretty sure they&#39;re all breathing a sigh of relief that they don&#39;t work with you&nbsp;</p><p>[/quote]</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>I know women who&#39;d make that same observation.</p>
  • jayh 2006-12-15 12:30
    [quote user=&quot;Anonymous&quot;] <p>We never had any problems making good impressions, and it was great to work back in the woods.&nbsp; I&#39;d take walks around the lake when working out development issues, or having meetings.&nbsp; Sadly we ran out of office space, so we&#39;re in a office building now with real asphalt outside.&nbsp; Still a great place to work, but I miss the outdoors...<br /><br />&nbsp;</p><p>[/quote]</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>hmmm a job requiring a Jeep to get to.... that sounds interesting</p>
  • Nick A 2006-12-15 13:54

    <p>Phone screening for a major company. I&#39;ll call the candidate <strong>S</strong>.<br />
    <strong>S</strong> has a masters in Comp. Sci. and a resume full of programming projects.<br />
    </p>
    <p><strong>Me:</strong> So, tell me about garbage collection.<br />
    <strong>S:</strong> Well, in C++ and Java the garbage collect --<br />
    <strong>Me:</strong> Wait, in C++?<br />
    <strong>S:</strong> Well, yes.<br />
    <strong>Me:</strong> Ok, keep going<br />
    <strong>S:</strong> When the program terminates, all the memory is returned to the system.<br />
    <strong>Me:</strong> What would you say your strongest language is<br />
    <strong>S:</strong> Java and C++<br />
    <strong>Me:</strong> So when does garbage collection run in Java<br />
    <strong>S:</strong> Well, I think it&#39;s at the end of the program<br />
    </p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p>
  • moof 2006-12-15 18:58
    Anyone who speaks Texan could readily inform you that &quot;kicks&quot; is short for &quot;kickers&quot; - the bowdlerization of &quot;shitkickers&quot;: cowboy boots. <br />
  • woohoo 2006-12-15 19:54
    <p>I know I'm going to sound like a kill-joy, but even as a non-native speaker it hurts to repeatedly read things like "definAtely", "tester" instead of "testee" etc. ... :oP
    </p>
    <p>Back to the topic: "pants-free friday" is great and would not have been met by stunned silence but instead by great (unforced!) laughter in any company that I'd like to work in ;o)<br>lack of a sense of humour is one of the big turn-offs in any social environment...</p>
  • jverd 2006-12-16 13:44
    [quote user=&quot;Anonymous&quot;] <p>The entire concept behind these sorts of questions is bogus anyway.&nbsp;&nbsp; What are you trying to find out?&nbsp; Confidence? Actual Coding ability?&nbsp; Ability to do math?&nbsp;&nbsp; Seems like such a waste of time.&nbsp;&nbsp; I mean, who&#39;d going to give themselves below a 7?&nbsp;&nbsp; </p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>*shakes head* &nbsp;</p><p>[/quote]</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>I do, if that&#39;s where my skill is. So far my current job is all Java, and will likely stay that way--or mostly so--for the foreseeable future. However, we do have parts of our app that are in C/C++. When I was interviewed, I was asked to rank myself on a number of areas. I think I put myself at 4 or 5 in C++. I&#39;ve done it, but not a lot of it, and not recently.</p><p>&nbsp;On the flip-side, we recently interviewed a guy who ranked himself something like 10/9/8 in C++/Java/SQL, but got 50% or less on each of those sections of our tech screening. The ranking by itself is rather useless, but coupled with a decent tech grilling, it can be useful. If I&#39;m interviewing somebody for a junior developer role, and he ranks himself in the 4-6 range, I&#39;d be more inclined to hire him than someone with a similar skill level but an inflated self-ranking.</p><p>&nbsp;</p>
  • jverd 2006-12-16 13:44
    <p>Goddamn clumsy double-posting forum. ;-)</p><p>&nbsp;</p>
  • Max 2006-12-17 04:59
    [quote user=&quot;Maurits&quot;]<p>The procedure for getting 17 minutes was well
    spelled out earlier in the thread.&nbsp; This still leaves open the
    question of proving that no solution exists which is faster than 17
    minutes.&nbsp; A general solution is probably an optimal-path in a
    directed graph, which is the traveling-salesman problem. [/quote]</p><p>No.Shortest
    path in a directed graph is not TSP, it is shortest path. Dijkstra can
    do it in O(E log V) time (better, if you&#39;re willing to implement a
    Fibonacci heap). Anyway, the graph is small enough to solve TSP if you
    wanted to.<br />
    </p>
  • mistar 2006-12-18 05:54
    <p>&quot;A nerdy guy throwing that out, unprompted, to a female tech writer, is probably not the best way to make a first impression.&quot;</p><p>Why not?&nbsp;How many times did you try it?&nbsp; You might find it that it actually works.</p><p><br />&quot;The problem is that with a group of guys interviewing a woman, you have to be careful about what is said.&quot;</p><p>Why???&nbsp;&nbsp;Are women somehow special?&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p>
  • Anonymous 2006-12-18 08:56
    <p>This thread is dying, but I have to vent my annoyance at the &quot;movie quote&quot; interview question.&nbsp; Quoting your favorite movies over and over in place of actual conversation and regardless of context doesn&#39;t make you look funny or smart, it just makes you look pathetic.&nbsp; If someone threw Monty Python or Napoleon Dynamite jokes at me during an interview, the interview would be over and&nbsp;they would get the Stare of Death (tm).&nbsp; If that makes me not a &quot;team player,&quot; SO BE IT.</p>
  • Earl Purple 2006-12-18 09:05
    [quote user=&quot;shambo&quot;] <p>I guess I should have said &quot;Only one person got the reference, and coincidently he got the job&quot;.&nbsp; Also, if it comes down to two equally qualified candidates you are going to go with the one who is a better fit.&nbsp; Which is why you ask a few questions to let their personality come out.&nbsp; You spend more time with your co-workers then you do your family and you want to make it as&nbsp;pleasurable as possible.</p><p>[/quote]</p><p>Better fit in that they have the same culture as the other members of the team? Could be seen as discrimination.</p><p>I would much rather, if you couldn&#39;t choose between them, you set some kind of technical exercise and pick the one who provides the better solution. Totally fair.</p><p>&nbsp;</p>
  • Earl Purple 2006-12-18 09:06
    [quote user=&quot;shambo&quot;] <p>I guess I should have said &quot;Only one person got the reference, and coincidently he got the job&quot;.&nbsp; Also, if it comes down to two equally qualified candidates you are going to go with the one who is a better fit.&nbsp; Which is why you ask a few questions to let their personality come out.&nbsp; You spend more time with your co-workers then you do your family and you want to make it as&nbsp;pleasurable as possible.</p><p>[/quote]</p><p>Better fit in that they have the same culture as the other members of the team? Could be seen as discrimination.</p><p>I would much rather, if you couldn&#39;t choose between them, you set some kind of technical exercise and pick the one who provides the better solution. Totally fair.</p><p>&nbsp;</p>
  • Erik 2006-12-18 14:58
    <p>[quote user=&quot;Anonymous&quot;]One question I always ask is &quot;Do you like Gladiator movies?&quot; If the person gets the reference, then they almost always laugh and it tells me something about their personality. If they don&#39;t get the reference, then I brush by the question, and this tells me a little something about their personality. [/quote]</p><p>I would get the reference, and smile and nod my head to do my best to mask my annoyance at the inanity of the question.&nbsp; How&#39;s my personality?</p>
  • El Quberto 2006-12-18 15:20
    [quote user=&quot;Earl Purple&quot;]I would much rather, if you couldn&#39;t choose between them, you set some kind of technical exercise and pick the one who provides the better solution. Totally fair.<p>&nbsp;[/quote]</p><p><br class="khtml-block-placeholder" /></p><p>Technical expertise only goes so far.&nbsp; Hopefully you&#39;re not hiring a moran that&#39;s got the basic skills.&nbsp; But if they come out close to even I would pick the one with more social skills, all other things being equal.</p><p><br class="khtml-block-placeholder" /></p><p>The trouble I have with a technical solutions test is that you&#39;re working in an artificial atmosphere when asking the question, and that rarely comes up during the actual job.&nbsp; You&#39;ll usually have time to think about it, change some items, and find better solutions.&nbsp; The interviewers probably know that so they&#39;re forced to ask simplistic questions where there&#39;s only one true answer and if you don&#39;t get it exactly then you&#39;re out of the running.</p><p><br class="khtml-block-placeholder" /></p>
  • Fred 2006-12-19 07:30
    <p>Morry...</p><p>re: 2)&nbsp;PLEASE &nbsp;show&nbsp;me&nbsp;a&nbsp;place&nbsp;where&nbsp;HR&nbsp;is&nbsp;NOT&nbsp;useless.&nbsp;&nbsp;perhaps&nbsp;if&nbsp;we&nbsp;told&nbsp;them&nbsp;that&nbsp;a&nbsp;little&nbsp;more&nbsp;often&nbsp;we&nbsp;wouldn&#39;t&nbsp;have&nbsp;to&nbsp;deal&nbsp;with&nbsp;it.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>The point was she looked like a recptionist. But most women in IT are assumed to be the receptionist.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><!-- End: CommunityServer.Discussions.Controls.PostDisplay.TextPost -->
  • Eric 2007-01-04 09:29
    I never saw the best software developer I&#39;ve ever known wear regular shoes. &nbsp;He wore strictly a cowboy boots.<br /><br />I must admit that I haven&#39;t seen him since about 1982. &nbsp;He could have changed since then, but somehow, I doubt it.<br />
  • Herbert Milhous DelVecchio 2007-01-04 15:09
    It&#39;s a reference to &quot;Airplane&quot;, and it&#39;s actually, &quot;Do you like movies about gladiators?&quot;<br />
  • Silk 2007-02-21 18:20
    Hey, do I know you? I happen to currently work in the Netherlands in exactly a situation like that (depending on whether you include or exclude the boss in the FTE-count). :)
  • Martin 2007-03-10 20:54
    Good point on how we need to take the role we're recruiting for into account when we're assesing a candidate's social skills (or lack thereof). That said, in this situation they were looking to bring the candidate onboard as a consultant with a lot of client contact - no one expects to see an actuary in an Armani (although, oddly, my friend who's a senior actuarial consultant here in Boston is a freakin' _peacock_), but for a client facing role he should have had the sense to dress in something a little less... showy.
  • s 2007-03-19 18:52
    wreaks of "made-up" to me... at least that part.
  • Sgt. Preston 2007-03-20 11:37
    I worked at a foreign branch office of a U.S. company that was managed by remote control from head office. Most of the staff had never physically met their managers and worked semi-autonomously. Quarterly performance reviews, which occurred more or less annually, consisted primarily of a series of Likert scale self-evaluation questions. To my astonishment, some of my colleagues actually rated themselves honestly, or even modestly. In that kind of situation, if you don't blow your own horn, no one will blow it for you. Naturally, I was a ten in every category.
  • Arioch 2007-05-07 11:26
    [quote user=&quot;Anonymous&quot;][quote I&#39;d have said 5 seconds: that&#39;s the speed of the slowest person and the question doesn&#39;t say that they cannot all cross at the same time while one person holds the flashlight to light the way.[/quote]I&#39;ve heard variations of this one before, and there is usually some stipulation that only two people can cross at once. I think the quote just omitted that fact.[/quote]

    It is not even told if it is dark out there.
    So i'd say that the opnly question left is if any person is strong nough to cary the flashlight.
    At least if the light would be on, and beam would be heading down, lighteniung the flashlight like any photon engione would do.
  • Johnny 2007-06-07 09:37
    My perfect faux pas was in the train. We were almost arriving, when one girl sitting in front of me said: Oh, I have to do the make up. We're almost there.
    I replyed: Why? It's going to be dark already.
  • Dan 2007-06-22 19:48
    Next best case is 1 and 2 each returning once, with our forward crossings using the optimal pairs (10&5, 2&1, 2&1).
    New total time = 10 + 1 + 2 + 2 + 2 = 17.

    Yes, we've defined the constraints. Obviously you want 1 to do all the return crossings.
    10&1 A to B
    1 B to A
    5&1 A to B
    1 B to A
    2&1 A to B

    10 + 1 + 5 + 1 + 2 = 19. Q.E.D.

    Although if you remove some of the constraints you get other interesting problems!

    # Now, there are two flashlights.
    # Keep constraint "People must walk at the same rate"
    10&5 A to B
    2&1 A to B

    10 + 2 = 12.

    But I like the solution of 10 the best!

    # Everyone has a flashlight
    # No more than two can be on the bridge at the same time.
    # People don't have to walk at the same rate

    Time:
    0: 10&5 (start)
    1: 10&5
    2: 10&5
    3: 10&5
    4: 10&5
    5: 10&2 (2 steps on as 5 steps off)
    6: 10&2
    7: 10&1 (1 steps on as 5 steps off)
    8: 10
    9: 10
    10: (end)

    Thinking outside the box. :-)
  • MrWorkerBee 2007-10-02 18:37
    [quote user="zerrodefex"][quote user=&quot;Anonymous&quot;]Got this great logic problem at a recent interview:&nbsp; You have three people that can cross a bridge but they have to cross with their single flashlight.&nbsp; How quickly can you get across those people that can cross the bridge when it takes them 1, 2, and 5 seconds?Like all logic problems there&#39;s a trick in there somewhere (I hadn&#39;t heard this one before).&nbsp; I so struggled for a minute and told her it was 8 seconds.&nbsp; No, she said, my answer was the simple one.&nbsp; Uh it is the right one.&nbsp; I then went on to show her that you had to have more inputs so you could sneak one of the slower people over with an even slower person.[/quote]I&#39;d have said 5 seconds: that&#39;s the speed of the slowest person and the question doesn&#39;t say that they cannot all cross at the same time while one person holds the flashlight to light the way.&nbsp;[/quote]
  • MrWorkerBee 2007-10-02 18:39
    How about 1 second? The 1-sec person carries the 2 and 5 second people in one hand and holds the flashlight in the other hand.
  • daniel asfaw 2008-01-21 09:02
    Sgt. Preston:
    I worked at a foreign branch office of a U.S. company that was managed by remote control from head office. Most of the staff had never physically met their managers and worked semi-autonomously. Quarterly performance reviews, which occurred more or less annually, consisted primarily of a series of Likert scale self-evaluation questions. To my astonishment, some of my colleagues actually rated themselves honestly, or even modestly. In that kind of situation, if you don't blow your own horn, no one will blow it for you. Naturally, I was a ten in every category.
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  • sfsad 2009-01-21 23:53
  • George Mc 2009-02-17 11:22
    Since the joke was, in fact, made originally by the guy's cousin, and it was he who dropped the candidate in the crud, I'd have happily said "Oh, Mark told me to say that, he said you'd see the funny side"
  • MichaelWH 2009-09-26 09:40
    jaymz:
    So, Richard Stallman couldn&#39;t find a real-world job then...


    Has he ever had one?
  • eric76 2013-11-01 05:46
    Anon:
    The trick to the bridge problem: 1 sec guy goes first.&nbsp; He then shines the flashlight on the other guys so they can cross together.&nbsp;


    The answer is two seconds.

    The 1 second guy and the 2 second guy pick up the 5 second guy and carry him across while he holds the flashlight.