Hacker News Re-Imagined

I had to give a wrong answer to get the job (2017)

2 hours ago

Created a post 58 points @Starz0r

I had to give a wrong answer to get the job (2017)

@MeinBlutIstBlau 5 minutes

Replying to @Starz0r 🗣

Why would you want to work for a supervisor who is so prideful they can't stand the fact that there are other people who know more than them? Aside from needing an income of course.

Reply


@Rapzid 58 minutes

Replying to @Starz0r 🎙

Give them what they want and leave yourself an out:

"As an analogy, perhaps one could view..."

Two months later when that person runs across the wiki article:

"Ah, right that's why I said as an analogy perhaps one could view it that way. I thought you knew?"

Reply


@szundi 57 minutes

Replying to @Starz0r 🎙

I hope it was not Boeing ;)

Reply


@city41 3 minutes

Replying to @Starz0r 🗣

I don't feel this particular example is very strong since MVC is a bit of a loose/spongy term, especially nowadays. But I've been in interviews - on both sides of the table - where the interviewer is just outright incorrect. On several occasions I've needed to defend the candidate as my colleague was protesting something the candidate came up with based on incorrect knowledge. In my experience, this is very common. I'm sure I've been incorrect as an interviewer at times too. I really dislike software job interviews, on either side of the table, this just being one reason.

Reply


@specialist 45 seconds

Replying to @Starz0r 🗣

The only way to win the MVC debate is to not play.

No other topic in our design pattern study group would incite such heated debates.

Any more, any time someone refers to MVC, non ironically, I just mentally check out. Bozo bit style.

Reply


@tyingq 25 minutes

Replying to @Starz0r 🎙

This isn't a great example to me. I doubt the interviewers would disagree that the actual code in MVC runs at the "application tier".

I think they were just trying to elicit the idea that the model defines interaction with the database and that the view defines interaction with the browser client. That there is some relation there between MVC and 3-tier architecture. The Wikipedia snippet that disputes any relationship seems overly pedantic to me.

Though all moot to me since there's very little real world pure MVC or pure "3-tier" anyway. For good reason.

Reply


@chasing 51 minutes

Replying to @Starz0r 🎙

A job interview is also you judging the company and people you’re applying to join. If you feel the team lead can’t handle you answering questions honestly because it might reveal one of his or her blind spots, that’s not a great sign.

Reply


@laurieg 49 minutes

Replying to @Starz0r 🎙

> So I decided to start by giving the correct answer, and see how he responded. I explained “The model-view-controller is a software pattern, and so resides inside the written code. Since in most cases, this code only runs on the application tier, …”. But then I saw him frowning, and so knew this was not the answer the was expecting. So I continued:

This is a great cold reading technique that works in magic tricks too.

You have some trick where someone needs to pick from 10 cards. And your patter goes something like "Picture the card in your mind. Ace of hearts. Ace of hearts" If they give a big reaction then you've found their card and performed a miracle. If not then you just continue "Of course, that's just an example..." and continue the patter throwing out other hints. Of course, it's tough to make this your only trick but it can really elevate a good trick to amazing.

Great example at 1.50 here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QI5-NDiY7IM

Reply


@Radim 48 minutes

Replying to @Starz0r 🎙

Heh. Happens all the time with tests and questionnaires, the choice is always frustrating:

* "Does the author really mean what they are asking? Are the mistakes in the phrasing or corner cases intentional, meant to catch me, test my deep knowledge?", or

* "Is the author just not very good with logic / not thinking this through."

I always go with the latter in "soft social" contexts. Never regretted it yet.

This saved my hide recently in June, when I had to undergo a mandatory psychological examination for my gun license permit. Serious official stuff, with my permit on the line… And the "serious" psy-test was exactly as "robust" you'd expect from the field of psychology.

I answered the way I figured the test author construed the questions (= what they likely meant to ask), not what they actually asked. Easy pass.

Reply


@taneq 16 minutes

Replying to @Starz0r 🎙

I guess the real question is what Koen's goal was. Was it to be hired for this particular job? Or was it to get a technically satisfying job?

Personally I'd find it very difficult to knowingly give a wrong answer to a client or potential employer, even if it's clearly the one they want. After all, they're hiring me to find the right answer for them, not to agree with them. That's just me though.

Reply


@kevinmgranger 41 minutes

Replying to @Starz0r 🎙

Model View Controller doesn't really mean anything in 2021. It might have meant something when the term was first coined, but everyone has such different ideas on what it means it's not a useful term anymore.

Reply


@don-code 39 minutes

Replying to @Starz0r 🎙

I was once in this position, but decided to continue through with the "right" answer anyway. Even though the interviewer was adamant that he was right (as, of course, was I), we briefly stopped the interview and made some Google searches to get to the truth.

I could ostensibly argue that I got the job not by telling the interviewer what he wanted to hear, but by doubling down on the right answer and showing that I had the capacity to prove it.

Reply


@cryptica 12 minutes

Replying to @Starz0r 🎙

I don't like this kind of interview question because it's all about subjective terminology and superficial knowledge and not about logic or reasoning.

The author is right, the MVC pattern can be considered from many different angles. It's possible to have MVC just on the client side (e.g. with React framework with Redux you have a store as a model, components are views and the router is essentially a controller). React (the library) is itself is also a controller since it handles the DOM diffing and handles the state reactive update mechanism and thus acts as the glue logic between all the views.

I wouldn't want to work for a company with such a rigid view of software development.

Reply


@lumost 36 minutes

Replying to @Starz0r 🎙

This is a good lesson in why LC style interviews are so popular. There are generally only one or two correct/optimal answers that an individual could code in 20 minutes. There is limited ambiguity as to the task to be solved for both the interviewer and the interviewee. There is easy calibration across multiple interviewers as a set of boolean progressions points - did they solve the problem? did they need hints? did they present an optimal/correct solution? The edge cases/traps are likewise known to the interviewers for quick calibration.

The alternatives I've see boil down to these trivia style interviews which come down to simply memorizing answers the interviewer deemed important/correct. The most rediculous cases include obscura such as "what would you do if [X debugging tool] stalled [Y application process?" or "what would you do if you saw a server with high IO time?"

There are many versions of correct answer to these, but odds are your interviewer has a specific one in mind. In a real discussion of these events there would likely be back and forth on root cause/severity/solution, but you simply can't have back and forth in an interview situation. The starting impression will always devolve towards "this person doesn't know what they are talking about".

Reply


@cortexio 9 minutes

Replying to @Starz0r 🎙

if i had to give a wrong answer in order to get a job, i would just take another job. I just cant work with close minded people. I can for a while, but not for years. It drains your soul.

Reply


@heurisko 1 hour

Replying to @Starz0r 🎙

> Anyway, there was only 1 proper solution to this: I had to answer what they thought was correct.

I think it was a poor solution. There are ways to respectfully disagree.

"I really think I'm right on this one. Since it's a question of facts, not opinion, we could easily verify it later."

Did the author know they were hired because they didn't rock the boat, or despite of it?

If I were hiring someone, I would want to know I'm hiring someone who can argue politely for what they think is right, and not see the argument in the context of "winning or losing", but in trying to find the best way forward.

Reply


@tomerv 34 minutes

Replying to @Starz0r 🎙

Can't really comment on whether that was the correct way to handle the situation, given that passing the interview was the goal. However, I would have a hard time giving an incorrect answer on purpose. I also consider an interview as an opportunity to learn about the company I'm going to work for, and especially my future colleagues.

I would probably try to give a full answer, such as "there's a widely-held concept X, but my understanding is that this is not completely correct, and in fact a better model is Y." A technical lead that can't work with an answer like that is one I probably don't want to work with.

Reply


@everyone 7 minutes

Replying to @Starz0r 🎙

So they took the job instead of noping the fuck outta there?

Reply


About Us

site design / logo © 2021 Box Piper