Ungooglable interview questions (was: Re: New perl features?)

Paul Makepeace paulm at paulm.com
Sun Mar 17 07:57:05 GMT 2013

On Sat, Mar 16, 2013 at 6:54 PM, Sam Kington <sam at illuminated.co.uk> wrote:
> I'm slightly concerned that the specific questions are susceptible to being googled. Does anyone have any good examples of non-googlable interview questions that could be answered (or not) over IRC or a similar medium? The usual standby, asking people to write code during their interview, obviously doesn't work when someone can google, cut and paste.

In practice it's probably too hard to copy & paste code content for an

Even if it weren't it's easy for you as an employer to ask questions
about said code to test understanding. Everything from "explain the
syntax of that declaration" to "explain your choice of top level
algorithm" to "what other ways could you achieve this small
aspect/large aspect/entire thing" plus you can always insist they TDD
the solution; that happened to me recently for a ruby gig and so I
wrote a nano-test framework since I couldn't remember the APIs of
anything outside of rspec :D

Going further you can start to ask variations like the same program
with different inputs, outputs, performance characteristics (running
on VM v. metal), different environments ("your network is really
laggy, how would that affect it? How would you mitigate?"), different
languages ("what programming languages have you used that might be
more suited to this & why? any that would be awful for it?")

I've seen a colleague who had a fake question that had an answer
online he'd written to catch people searching for the question, so
there's that too ;-)


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