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October 9, 2006 / Bob Black

Five Questions, There Are

Today I interviewed a candidate (phone screen actually) that could actually answer all 5 of my questions! Sort of. I had to explain to him what I meant by the term(s?) “many-to-many relationship” before he could tell me how you would model one. All I wanted to hear was something, anything, about a third table, somewhere in between the other two, and I was ready to mark it as answered correctly. And he got it! Hurray!

So what, you may be wondering, are the five questions I ask during phone screenings? Here they are, in all their shocking horror. If you can answer all five questions you have done far far better than everyone I’ve spoken to thus far.

Q. What is the difference between a DataSet and a DataView?

Q Can you describe how a many-to-many relation is represented in a database ?
 
Q. How does the XML Serializer work?
 
Q. What is the difference between a Debug and Release build?
 
Q. What is boxing?

I figure (actually me, the DBA, and another developer) figure that if you can answer these queshuns you must be pretty good. Notice that, for the most part, it would be pretty hard to find the answers in a book. Yes, believe it or not, some of the folks we’ve interviewed on the phone were actually heard leafing through books after each question was posed.

And speaking of interview questions, I found this great set of questions to ask if you find yourself on the seeking side of the interview table, following the interview. You know, when they ask, “Do you have any questions for us?”, these here questions are the ones to ask.

And right here’s the link: The Link

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