A common question asked in online VB forums is, "What kind of questions should I ask in a VB technical interview?" or "What are some questions I might be asked in a VB interview?".
First of all, I think the interview should be conducted by someone who knows VB well preferably someone involved with the project the person is being hired for. All too often, prospective employees are subjected to interviews or pre-written tests by a clueless HR representative. A person who's familiar with VB will be the one who's capable of determining how well the person answers the questions.
If you're interviewing for VB positions, then these questions might serve as a good preparation for them.
Here are some questions I've asked and been asked in interviews. Note that these questions do not cover .NET and some of the questions may be somewhat dated now in 2005. I suggest using them as a springboard for ideas on what to ask rather than a verbatim quiz.
What Have You Used Questions - These questions are used to determine the depth and breadth of experience the interviewee has.
* What versions of VB have you used? Have you also used VBA or VBScript?
* Have you ever used classes? If so, how have you used them?
* Have you ever created ActiveX DLLs? If so, why did you create the DLLs instead of using code in the main application?
* Have you ever created ActiveX controls? If so, what did they do?
* Have you ever created ActiveX EXEs? If so, what were they used for?
* Have you ever used Collections? Collection Classes?
* Have you ever used ADO? DAO? RDO? Any other database engines?
* What database backends have you worked with? Access? SQL Server? Oracle?
* Have you ever used resource files? If so, for what reason?
* Have you used the FileSystemObject? The Dictionary Object? Regular Expressions?
* Have you developed COM+ components? Any other types of server based components?
* What source code control systems have you used?
* What versions of Windows have you used? Have you used any other operating systems?
* What third party ActiveX controls have you used?
* Are there any other programming tools, such as database diagramming, UML, or CASE tools, that you've used?
* Have you developed components for IIS? Developed ASP pages that worked with VB components?
General VB Programming Questions - These questions cover some common situations in programming in VB. You'll probably want to add your own that are specific to your project.
* If you were writing a program, what method would you use to send
information from the main form of the application to a modal popup form and
then pass any changes to the data back to the main form when the popup form
* How would you center a form on the screen? How about centering it on another form?
* If an event, such as a tool bar button or menu click, occurs on a MDI parent how can it invoke an action on one or more MDI child forms?
* What are some methods you can use to send data from one VB executable to another one?
* What are the differences between a standard module and a class module?
* What do you have to do to make your class visible to programs other than your own?
* How can you tell what kind of object an object variable is holding?
* Describe the different scopes of variables in VB.
* Describe the difference between a public variable in a form and one in a standard code module.
* How do you handle error conditions in your code?
* What are some uses and misuses of variants?
* What are some of the steps you can take to determine why your program is crashing with "Invalid Page Fault" errors?
* What are the different ways you can use threading in VB? When are they appropriate?
* How many tabs in a tabbed dialog do you consider appropriate?
* How many items should you make available to users in a listbox or combo box?
General Interview Questions - These questions are used to determine where a person is in the culture of programming. Some are variations on old interview questions but are good at bringing out aspects of the interviewee's personality and skills that other questions might miss.
* What resources did you use when you were learning VB? Which were most
helpful to you? Are there ones that you still find useful?
* What books on software development in general have you found useful? What books have you read recently?
* What are some of your favorite programming related web sites? What about your favorite sites in general?
* What are some mistakes you've made when programming and how did you deal with them?
* What was your most successful programming project? What made it successful?
* What new technologies are you currently learning?
* Do you have your own web site(s)? What's on them and what are their URLs?
* What is your greatest strength in programming? What is your greatest weakness?
* What would you consider to be a good user interface? How about a bad one?
* What are some methods you would use to gather requirements for a project from potential users?
* What do you think are the right ingredients for a successful programming project?
* What is your favorite Science Fiction novel? How about Science Fiction TV show or movie?
* Do you do anything artistic or creative as a hobby, such as play a musical instrument, paint, sculpt, build cabinets, etc?
* What's the airspeed velocity of an unladden swallow?
(OK, so the last 3 aren't really programming questions. Somebody could be a great programmer without knowing who Captain Kirk is, without having an ounce of artistic ability, and without getting Monty Python. All I know is that all of the good to great programmers I've met had most these characteristics and almost all of the mediocre to bad programmers I've met did not.)
Copyright 2000-2005, J. Frank Carr