Interview???

This is a discussion on Interview??? within the A Brief History of Cprogramming.com forums, part of the Community Boards category; Word!! Like so many college grads I have all the academic junk done but no freakin' experience....does anyone have any ...

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    Registered User verbity's Avatar
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    Question Interview???

    Word!! Like so many college grads I have all the academic junk done but no freakin' experience....does anyone have any hints on interview tactics so i don't boink!!! I need a job fast .... I have student loans to pay off...I'm proficient in C, C++ and Java...although I would have to reference the MSDN and the Sun site for help on a relatively consistent basis...but I believe that's pretty normal....except for the super smart...just anything would help. I'm applying for entry level developer for Java and C++, mostly OOP stuff with a little TCP/IP junk in there...(which is bad cause I have no clue on that stuff) for example...I'm applying at Intuit (ie: Quicken software).....thanks in advance.
    Last edited by verbity; 08-06-2007 at 01:18 AM.

  2. #2
    Kernel hacker
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    Most employers are good at spotting lies, so I would suggest you say "I don't know, but I'm keen to learn" if they ask about something you don't know. It is more likely that you will find the right job, rather than ending up at the deep end without enough skills to swim, so you'll be looking for another job soon after - which is not the best way to pay off your studen loans.

    Try to find out as much as you can about the job, the company - knowing the company and it's products is a good thing, because it shows that you are interested in that company in particular. Go to their website, look up other sites referring to their product, etc, etc.

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  3. #3
    and the hat of wrongness Salem's Avatar
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    I agree.

    Fresh out of college there isn't a lot of experience you can show, so enthusiasm and interest in the company counts.

    If you did a decent final year project, a 5 minute presentation on it, the problems you faced and how you overcame them would be worthwhile. But make sure you rehearse a few times before.

    Your CV
    - spell checking your CV.
    - "prufe reeding" your CV for grammar. Ideally get a non-technical person (to check for readability) and a technical person (to check specific details for accuracy).
    If your CV is in with several hundred others, you've got about 5 seconds to stop someone putting it in the reject pile, so make it count.

    The interview
    - show up early (like 30 minutes). Gives you chance to get settled, go over your CV, read some company info, chat to people.
    - remember it's a two-way process, you also need to find out whether you would want to work there.
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    Woof, woof! zacs7's Avatar
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    It's a shame your uni/college didn't offer Industry Based Learning, where you work for a real company on a real project after your first year and get payed, $15,000+ AUD at most unis. Other than that they usually tie a real-life non-paid project into it.

    Either that, or get good at lying

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    Kernel hacker
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    By the way, referring to your comments about "looking things up on MSDN or Sun's website", there's no shame in admitting you don't know every function in C, Java or whatever language you are being interviewed for. It's more important to show that "if you don't know, you know how to find the answer" than to "think that you know everything". Even very experienced people don't know everything - I know a lot of things about some areas, I've been working for 20+ years with programming - but other areas I don't know much about, and I'm perfectly happy to admit that.

    One of the most important skills in software engineering is the ability to solve a problem - it is much more important than knowing how function X works - if function X is part of a problem you need to solve, then you can probably look up (on the web, in local documents or whatever) what it should do.

    I've been to a few interviews lately, and I think I've got a job comming - time will tell, so I'm speaking from some of my own experience here.

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    Fear the Reaper...
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    Like all the others, it seems, I would agree that honesty and enthusiasm have proven invaluable in my (although limited) professional endeavors.
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    Registered User verbity's Avatar
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    Thank You Everyone For The Advice.....i Do Have Some Bigger Final Projects I Will Use...in Addition To The P2p Client Project I'm Sorta Invovled In With A Buddy Of Mine. Honesty....well I Start To Laugh If I Lie So That's Not Really An Option...lol!

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    chococoder
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    "payed, $15,000+ AUD at most unis" have rates gone up that much? Back in '95-'96 when I did internships with some companies and a university as part of my studies I got a few hundred Euro (equivalent) per month at most and that was considered normal.
    In fact one of the three internships didn't pay a cent, the knowledge and experience picked up were supposed to be enough payment (and that too wasn't abnormal).

    The year paid for a new computer and a 2 week vacation at the end, and that's it.

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    Engineer in research :(
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    And I was about to say $15000 AUD was too little...
    At my uni the yearly starts at $20000 ish for a year (which is mostly civil, no offense) to $80000 ish for oil and gas engineers.

    And yeah, its really weird that university nowadays does not provide internship or co-op programs...
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  10. #10
    chococoder
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    those fees sound nice for a research assistant (low end) or professor (high end).
    $80K is twice what most graduates make once they have a job and 5-10 years experience...

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    C++ Witch laserlight's Avatar
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    "payed, $15,000+ AUD at most unis" have rates gone up that much? Back in '95-'96 when I did internships with some companies and a university as part of my studies I got a few hundred Euro (equivalent) per month at most and that was considered normal.
    If we use current exchange rates 15000 AUD per year is around 780 euros per month. Of course, things like inflation and standard of living complicate matters, and not being an economist I shall not embarrass myself with further calculations
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    Like said previously, present any large-scale or even cool small-scale projects. Be very professional, no need to lie because no one person knows everything. Be confident, nothing says ignore me like a shaky clammy handed guy. Oh, and smile a lot

  13. #13
    chococoder
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    Quote Originally Posted by laserlight View Post
    If we use current exchange rates 15000 AUD per year is around 780 euros per month. Of course, things like inflation and standard of living complicate matters, and not being an economist I shall not embarrass myself with further calculations
    Still 2-3 times what I got, tops
    Of course that was 12 years ago, and I've not taken inflation into account.
    What's a standard of living anyway for a student? As long as the bedsheets are reasonably in one piece and there's some pizza once a day they shouldn't complain.

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    Woof, woof! zacs7's Avatar
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    Apparently, they can pay up to $37K AUD per year, rather than $15K (covers the $6K per-year fees). However it is different from an internship (which are part of the course, and unpaid), you need a high-distinction average - or you need to sleep with your professor.

  15. #15
    chococoder
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    ah, like the post-grad work here. Where you're actually hired on the payscale of a research assistant and get to do that work as well as your studies and having to fill in for all the things your professor doesn't want to do like grading and overseeing exams and teaching classes to first and second term students.

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