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02 Oct 2015

How to ace a Geonomics developer phone interview

At Geonomics we place a high value on developers having excellent problem solving skills, great understanding of computer science fundamentals and the ability to reason about concepts clearly and concisely. Our phone interview is designed to test you on these things. If you follow the tips in this article then you should have the best opportunity to demonstrate your skills and knowledge to us – which is what we want.

Preparing for the interview

  • Do your research – check out the rest of our website. This shows interest in Geonomics, and it will also help you form questions for the phone interviewers so that you can learn more about us.
  • Brush up on your computer science fundamentals, data structures and algorithms.
    We don’t expect you to have read the whole of the CLRS Algorithms book or even Aho/Hopcroft/Ullman’s Data Structures and Algorithms, but you’ll probably be the sort of person who’s at least interested in the contents of both. And, whilst, unlike some employers, we won’t ask you about the sbrk() system call, you should certainly be comfortable in, for instance, explaining the difference between the stack and the heap.
  • Think about any questions you want to ask us about who we are, what we do and how we work.

On the day

  • Find a quiet, comfortable place to take the call. (If you’re taking the call on your mobile, check that it’s somewhere you’ll get a good signal.) Try to be in an environment where you feel comfortable solving problems. If you’re in a busy or noisy area, it’s going to be hard for you to concentrate and difficult for your interviewers to understand you.
  • Have a pen and paper ready. It’ll be much easier to think through problems if you have something to sketch or write on.
  • Consider using a headset so you can keep your hands free to write down any notes as you go through any problem solving questions.

During the interview

  • Two of our developers will call you at the arranged time.
  • They will ask you questions on computer science fundamentals, data structures, algorithms and problem solving. We don’t expect every developer who applies to us to know everything already, in fact we will try to keep asking questions until we find something you don’t immediately know as we expect every developer at Geonomics to be able to pick up and reason about new concepts quickly.
  • Think out loud. This is critical for phone interviews. Since we can’t see you, the only way we can understand your thought process is to hear you talk.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask questions. If anything is unclear about a problem, ask your interviewers – that’s what they’re there for.

Once the interviews have finished asking you questions they will give you the opportunity to ask them some questions in return. Don’t worry about asking the right questions or the wrong questions – this is your chance to find out if Geonomics is the right fit for you.

After the interview

After the interview is over, we aim to get back to you with a response very quickly – usually on the same day but no later than the next working day. If you have applied through a recruiter then we will send our response to them. If you don’t receive any feedback by the end of the next working day don’t hesitate to get in touch with us. We may ask you to do a remote programming test at this point or we’ll invite you to our office for some face to face interviews.

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