Exercise Thursday

As discussed previously, each Thursday we'll take a break from coding to practice interview questions with our partner. These questions will (primarily) revolve around the content we learned this week.

It's unlikely a potential employer will ask you any of the questions below verbatim. Don't consider this practice answering these specific questions. Instead, consider it practice discussing new technical concepts using correct terminology in general. It's this ability to accurately verbalize your skill set and hold technical conversations with employers that will benefit you in an interview.

Take turns answering the questions below with your partner.

Technical Interview Questions

  • What do the terms threading and multi-threading mean in an Android application?
  • What thread can we alter the user interface from?
  • How is OAuth protocol different from a simple API request that returns a JSON response? What extra steps take place?
  • What is the benefit of using OAuth protocol? When might you use it?
  • What comes first in the Android Activity lifecycle: onCreate() or onStart()? What is each used for?
  • What are the necessary components of an OkHttp request to an API? What series of events occur in a successful request?
  • Why is a RecyclerView preferable to a ListView?
  • What is a fragment? What benefit does it offer?
  • How does Android know which fragments to insert where?
  • What does Parcels.wrap(); do, and when is it used?
  • What about Parcels.unwrap();? How do the two work in conjunction?
  • What is a Parcelable? What benefits does it offer? What additional setup does it require?
  • What is the difference between implicit and explicit intents? Provide an example of each.
  • What arguments do we need to provide when creating an explicit intent?
  • What about when we create an implicit intent?
  • Why do we need to resize images? What errors could occur if we don't?
  • What is serializing data? What does it do? Why would we serialize data?
  • What is the difference between an activity and a fragment? How do you determine which to use?

Stories and Examples

Offering a tangible story or example that highlights your skills usually goes much further in an interview than simply telling your interviewer you're good at something. (ie: Telling a story about a time you tracked down a tricky bug versus simply saying "I'm good at problem-solving!").

Have you heard of the SHARE technique? It's a useful guideline for telling stories and giving examples that demonstrate your capabilities in an interview. It works like this:

  • S: Describe a situation you faced relevant to the interviewer's question.
  • H: Outline the hinderances and challenges the situation presented.
  • A: Describe the action(s) you took in response.
  • R: Go over the results of your actions.
  • E: Then, evaluate what you've learned.

Using the SHARE outline, give an example of a time....

  • Made a group more efficient, productive, or motivated in tackling a challenge. What was the situation? How did you rally your group members? What was the result?
  • You made a really tough decision relating to work (of any kind, not just development) or a project. What was it? How did you make your decision? What was the outcome?
  • You tackled an especially challenging assignment or project. What was it? How did you approach it? What happened?

If you come up with a story or example you feel good about; jot it down somewhere! Seriously! It's tough to come up with stories like this in an interview on the spot. Having a few tucked away to review before an interview will be a huge benefit to you later.