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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2000
    Vancouver, BC, Canada

    Are these interview questions too difficult?

    Hi Folks,

    I'm interviewing candidates for a senior PHP developer position. I'm asking questions based upon my expectation of what a SENIOR developer should have an understanding in - I don't care if they've been programming for 2 years or 20 years.

    I'm asking questions about:
    • methods of securing a web server - both posted forms and server access in general
    • methods of speeding up page load times
    • methods of handling high concurrent requests that need to query the database
    • methods of optimizing database communication. The example I use is "I have a database that has 11 years worth of data and 50 million rows. Can you tell me as many ways that you can think of for optimizing seek time - whether it's changing the table structures, the sql statements or the PHP code." (I'm hoping they will consider things such as sharding or partitioning, avoid nested queries, etc - not just relying on indexing)

    I also ask questions about design patterns, which apparently most candidates can tell me what MVC is but that's the extent of their design pattern experience. I'd be hoping to hear about other things such as factory, adapter, observer, event dispatcher, flyweight - or any other patterns based upon their own prior experiences/studies.

    I find that despite the fact the applicants have 5+ years on average, it's sounding like they just 'crank out code' without looking into other aspects of software development.

    My question is, am I asking the wrong questions? Are my expectations for a senior developer too high? I'm not trying to stroke my own ego - many of the questions I asked are ones that I was asked in interviews in the past for senior developer for jobs that I was hired for, and I 'thought' they were valid questions for determining the depth of a senior developer's understanding.

    What are some of the questions you might pose to an applicant for a senior developer? Perhaps I'm just not looking at things from the right direction...?

    many thanks!
    David Meikle
    Quantum Unit Solutions, LLC

  2. #2
    PeejAvery's Avatar
    PeejAvery is offline Super Moderator Power Poster
    Join Date
    May 2002

    Re: Are these interview questions too difficult?

    Quite simply, I've never had nor heard of a job interview that didn't directly deal with the expectations of the person being interviewed. If it's expected that the new senior developer know said things, then why would such questions be too hard or even inappropriate?
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