I have a phone interview for entry-level Software Developer. Technical questions will be asked. How should I prepare?

Tech_Newb used Ask the Experts™
I applied for a position as Financial Software Developer with a market leading company. I have already passed the preVisor test and now have a scheduled phone interview in two weeks. The interviewer will be asking me technical questions that I may need a pencil and paper to solve. This is my first interview of this type which potentially could lead to my first career. I have no idea what to expect or how I should prepare and preVisor test was not at all what I expected. I want to be better prepared for the technical questions in the phone interview. Any information would be much appreciated!!
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Brush up on anything that you think is a weakness in your skill set.

Other than that:
Be confident with your answers
Don't lie and tell the interviewee you know something that you don't
I would doubt you will be asked to an overly difficult question on a phone interview, they save that for the real interview.

Good Luck

One key I look for is people that can admit when they don't know something.  When I do a techinical interview there are very few people that can answer all the questions and that's because the questions are collected from a number of different people all with different expertise.  Best thing someone can do is be straight and say 'I'm not familar with that', 'I don't know that one', or 'I think it's something along the lines of X but I'd have to double check'.  Nothing is worse than having a developer that either thinks they know everything and does or doesn't know anything and is afraid to admit it and ask for help (and wastes a lot of time hitting their head against a wall).

The other thing I would recommend is jotting down a note about any topics you are asked that you don't know the answers to.  Go find the answers after the interview and know them for next time you are asked.  Especially if you get a second interview - because I'll tend to re-ask the questions someone didn't know to see if they bothered to take the initiative to learn.

As far as prep...
If you have any friends that are developers, have them ask you questions they would ask in an interview.
Review your vocabulary.... I don't know how many smart people I've seen get tripped up in an interview because they forgot the meanings behind terms like overloaded, override, hidden (in context of a method), static, etc.  Not only is this important because you need to understand the questions being asked, but you also need to use the right term when providing an answer.
If you have read / familarized yourself with design patterns, do so.  The book by the 'core four' that defines patterns like singleton and decarator is something I always ask about in an interview.  I wouldn't nessecarily expect an entry level person to know a lot about them but I do expect that they know they exist and what they are for.  And I don't know how many people can only name 'singleton' and don't know any other patterns... ugh.
Review data access libraries - if it is a .Net shop then review ADO.NET if it is a java shop then review the jdbc stuff.  I've found a lot of junior guys who seem to have spent all their time in school building calculators, tower games, fuzzy logic, and fun little GUIs and don't seem to know much about working with data from a database.  In the 'real' world a good portion of what you do is going to be about working with data.
Review SOA type stuff - again, depends on the technology stack but look over SOAP concepts and / or WCF concepts and refresh your memory on how they get used and what you have to do to host and / or make a client call via these technologies.

That should fill at least part of the time between now and your interview.  If I happen to think of anything else, I'll post it back here.


This is really helpful my interview is on the 16th if there is any other literature that would be beneficial let me know I have ample time to prepare!!

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