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Old 07-11-2013, 07:20 PM
 
Location: Massachusetts
6,105 posts, read 7,264,857 times
Reputation: 4485

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Seems like a lot of people are enjoying beating up on the OP. I'm not a software engineer, but I have had a similar experience at two different interviews and yes it was software design companies. I got the vibe off the interviewers there wasn't "a fit" right from the start. It felt needlessly demeaning and lacking in any sort of humanity being treated in this matter. I say needless because people need their dignity to move on to the next interview. In one of the interviews I was asked the same question over and over by one of the team members who stared at me with no expression when I tried to answer their questions. It seems some smug people on the inside of hiring decisions get a sadistic thrill out of treating candidates as poorly as possible due to the economy.

I noticed both of the companies had a cliquey, almost cult-like culture.

I wasn't expecting this given that software engineers are known for high intelligence, so one would assume more individualistic behavior, independent thinking.

Before this year, I'd had bad interview stories but nothing like this.

Perhaps, cultural influence of reality t.v.?

Last edited by 495neighbor; 07-11-2013 at 07:32 PM..
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Old 07-11-2013, 07:21 PM
 
218 posts, read 248,195 times
Reputation: 168
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wry_Martini View Post
Do you think there's any chance that you did answer correctly, but they were doing a stress-interview technique by telling you (incorrectly) that you were wrong, to see if you'd stick up for yourself and argue your case?

I doubt it, but I'll explain the whole ordeal and then you guys can give me some insight. Please tell me everything I should extrapolate from this.

Got there 15 minutes early. It was me and 3 other candidates in the lobby. When it was time to start, the lady who was running this thing paired us each off with a different engineer/interviewer. We each went to separate rooms with our interviewer. I think the plan was to rotate us around so that every interview met every candidate. I thought my interview with the first guy went alright, but the second guy was just correcting me like crazy and was looking stunned at how stupid I was or something. After his time was up and he left, the lady came into my room, sat down and asked me, "How do you think you're doing so far?" I said, "First guy, alright; second guy, not great. But I could be perceiving things wrong." She said, "Yeah, we're gonna cut the interview off here." I walked out with her in what felt like the biggest walk of shame ever.
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Old 07-11-2013, 07:27 PM
 
218 posts, read 248,195 times
Reputation: 168
Quote:
Originally Posted by EdJS View Post
A little over a year ago I had a phone interview for a tech position with a very well known company. It's one you all have heard of. It went terribly, from beginning to end. Even though I have a lot of experience in programming, he managed to put his finger right on my areas of weakness. It was so bad that by the end I was left a stammering mess. I was depressed for days.

But just a few weeks later another company interviewed me, and eventually made me a very good offer, and I work there now. It's not as well known as that other place, but it's got great people, and I'm happy to be here. So bad interviews are not the end of the world.
From what I hear, the question about finding the median of two sorted arrays (not necessarily of the same says) is one that even very experienced programmers would have trouble solving on the spot.
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Old 07-11-2013, 07:34 PM
 
Location: Massachusetts
6,105 posts, read 7,264,857 times
Reputation: 4485
Quote:
Originally Posted by GlitteringPrizes View Post
I doubt it, but I'll explain the whole ordeal and then you guys can give me some insight. Please tell me everything I should extrapolate from this.

Got there 15 minutes early. It was me and 3 other candidates in the lobby. When it was time to start, the lady who was running this thing paired us each off with a different engineer/interviewer. We each went to separate rooms with our interviewer. I think the plan was to rotate us around so that every interview met every candidate. I thought my interview with the first guy went alright, but the second guy was just correcting me like crazy and was looking stunned at how stupid I was or something. After his time was up and he left, the lady came into my room, sat down and asked me, "How do you think you're doing so far?" I said, "First guy, alright; second guy, not great. But I could be perceiving things wrong." She said, "Yeah, we're gonna cut the interview off here." I walked out with her in what felt like the biggest walk of shame ever.
Are you certain it was an interview or was it a rush party to join a fraternity?
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Old 07-11-2013, 07:43 PM
 
218 posts, read 248,195 times
Reputation: 168
Quote:
Originally Posted by 495neighbor View Post
Are you certain it was an interview or was it a rush party to join a fraternity?
I was a recruitment officer at my fraternity, and yes, my impression is that recruiting in the IT sector is a lot like fraternity recruitment.
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Old 07-11-2013, 07:46 PM
 
Location: In the city
1,581 posts, read 3,283,709 times
Reputation: 2357
Quote:
Originally Posted by GlitteringPrizes View Post
I doubt it, but I'll explain the whole ordeal and then you guys can give me some insight. Please tell me everything I should extrapolate from this.

Got there 15 minutes early. It was me and 3 other candidates in the lobby. When it was time to start, the lady who was running this thing paired us each off with a different engineer/interviewer. We each went to separate rooms with our interviewer. I think the plan was to rotate us around so that every interview met every candidate. I thought my interview with the first guy went alright, but the second guy was just correcting me like crazy and was looking stunned at how stupid I was or something. After his time was up and he left, the lady came into my room, sat down and asked me, "How do you think you're doing so far?" I said, "First guy, alright; second guy, not great. But I could be perceiving things wrong." She said, "Yeah, we're gonna cut the interview off here." I walked out with her in what felt like the biggest walk of shame ever.
Hmm...is this a really well known or innovative organization?

They may have well been using a behavioral technique to psych you out. Your answer could have been correct. but they may have been testing intangibles like confidence, quick thinking, ability to handle yourself in stressful situations. We tried this once at one of the places I worked in recruiting. It didn't work for us, but a lot of orgs that fancy themselves on the cutting edge do use these sorts of interviews.
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Old 07-11-2013, 08:14 PM
 
Location: PHL
287 posts, read 548,232 times
Reputation: 238
To the OP, it sounds like a blessing in disguised. If your answer is correct and your research proves it was correct and they are saying it is wrong. Then be glad that they cut the interview short. If you were to move on and work for them, then you'll likely post "I hate my job" threads on here.

I have done some basic programming in the past, there are more then one ways to approach things.
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Old 07-11-2013, 08:22 PM
 
218 posts, read 248,195 times
Reputation: 168
Quote:
Originally Posted by confusedasusual View Post
Hmm...is this a really well known or innovative organization?
You've heard of it, I'm sure.
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Old 07-11-2013, 08:23 PM
 
Location: SF Bay Area
13,343 posts, read 17,408,219 times
Reputation: 19654
Quote:
Originally Posted by GlitteringPrizes View Post
lol I'd never seen this problem and I used a method which does work. I felt good about myself for coming up with it on the spot, even if there is a better way. The funny thing is that he sat there for 20 minutes watching me think aloud as my put together my method .... then I asked if it was sufficient and he said, "No, it's completely wrong."

My procedure, which I explained on the whiteboard:

Suppose we have two arrays,

A = {a(1), a(2), ..., a(m)},
B = {b(1), b(2), ..., b(n)},


with

a(1) ≤ a(2) ≤ ... ≤ a(m),
b(1) ≤ b(2) ≤ ... ≤ b(n)
.

Set V = min{a(1), a(2)} and count = 1. We iterate until count = (n+m)/2 (where I'm using (n+m)/2 to mean what it means in code language ... the integer division with no remainder part).

If V = a(2) = a(1), then count++ and V = a(2).
If V = a(2) > a(1), then check whether b(1) .......... blah blah blah.
Not really: Median of two sorted arrays of different sizes - GeeksforGeeks | GeeksforGeeks
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Old 07-11-2013, 08:26 PM
 
218 posts, read 248,195 times
Reputation: 168
Quote:
Originally Posted by Merchant_ZZZ View Post
I have done some basic programming in the past, there are more then one ways to approach things.
There's some fancy way to solve it and he was gonna consider that the only correct answer. I think it's kinda lame because some other person who just did it as a homework problem will be lucky if they interview there.
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