Interview Questions I was bombarded with at BankOfAmerica



Interview Questions I was bombarded with at BankOfAmerica

Postby Quasar » Wed Nov 10, 2010 11:07 pm

Friends -

I was recently asked these questions at a BankOfAmerica Interview. The difficulty-level of the questions was average, but they were slightly off-beat, so I fell for it.

1. You've got a Variable-Blocked File. The data-format in the file looks as shown in the snap-shot below. The Fields are separated by a De-limiter '&&'. Each field-length is different. The lady asked me, how would write a COBOL Program to process the data in this file, parse each record and load it into separate columns of a DB2 Table. I was not quite able to figure out, how to separate the fields of the record. The closest I came to was UNSTRING. I would like to ask, if there is another, definite way to process such VB-Records in COBOL?
Image

2. You've got a large copy-book of Length = 1000 Bytes. You would like to know quickly, the name of the column and length(bytes) at Offset-Position = 800. How would you go about it?
I answered, that you'd have to use a software tool like FILEAID. Or, one may also see the Data Division Map, under the Compile Listing. However, she(the interviewer) didn't sound too happy. Is there any other short way to work and browse Copy-Books.

Thank you very much.
Quasar Chunawala,
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Re: Interview Questions I was bombarded with at BankOfAmerica

 

Re: Interview Questions I was bombarded with at BankOfAmerica

Postby dick scherrer » Thu Nov 11, 2010 2:27 am

Hello,

1. Yes, unstring could work. Also a loop that processed the input byte-by-byte could work.

2. Manually add the bytes of the preceeding fields until you reach 800.

One of the problems with many of today's interviewers is that they have extrelmely limited technical experience. . .
Hope this helps,
d.sch.
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Re: Interview Questions I was bombarded with at BankOfAmerica

Postby Quasar » Thu Nov 11, 2010 9:48 am

Dick,

I hate to say this, but many Indian Techie Interviewers here, ask questions which no wise-man can answer. Sometimes, the context of the question asked is very ambiguous, blunt and difficult to understand, and they'd expect on-the-go answers. I do not understand, how such half-penny two-penny people come on-board the Interview Panel. One also needs to understand, that merely asking technical questions is not the way judge an individual's technical-prowess.

Thank you very much.
Quasar Chunawala,
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Re: Interview Questions I was bombarded with at BankOfAmerica

Postby dick scherrer » Thu Nov 11, 2010 11:18 am

You're welcome :)

There are also the times when the interviewer has an answer on their paper and the interviewee is judged on how well they match that answer - even if the "old" answer is no longer a good answer.

Something else i've heard of (not yet participated) is when neither the interviewer nor the interviewee speak English as their first language, yet the interview is conducted in English. . . It gets even worse when they don't both have the same first language. . .

Good luck,

d
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