In today’s thought economic times more and more companies start implementing money saving strategies in the hiring process. During this year I’ve been doing a lot of Live Meeting and IM interview for out-of-town candidates. It is also great alternative to phone screening which I personally find really ineffective for any serious interview and would only recommend it as an introductory session or simple screening tool.

Live Meeting from the other hand, provide both ability to really test applicants coding and technology skills, see how he or she perform day-to-day tasks and let save time and money on the trip.
The interview usually starts then both candidate logs into Live Meeting Application.

After quick introductory chat and verification that the sound quality and connection speed is sufficient I ask to share Visual Studio and (depending on the position) MS SQL Server or even all desktop. At this point you can expect regular whiteboard questions such as traverse a tree or do some simple string manipulations.

Here is the catch; sometimes email from the recruiter won’t contain the details on additional programs needs to be installed on your machine prior to the interview. So, I always recommend using your development machine as you can be sure you have everything what might be needed. Also make sure you are familiar enough with the environment to perform simple tasks as share application, share desktop, send files and use white board.

To Share Visual Studio:

1. Run Visual Studio on your local box
2. Go to Live Meeting
3. Click: Content  Share  Share a Program  Visual Studio


Live Meeting for Interviews

Also take some time and take a tour of Live Meeting functionality on Microsoft Website.

From the interviewee perspective using Visual Studio has both advantages and drawback. The good thing is that you can use familiar environment and take advantages of Intellisense and other tools. However, from the other side, now I expect your code to compile and run, as well as I want to see how you would test it, to make sure it is solving the problems I gave. It is also looks very awkward then one overuse intellisence functionality literally going through each function or property and reading what it is doing.

Same as in the case with onsite interview remember to always talk about the direction of your thoughts, things you are doing and code you are writing. The more you describe the easier it is for interviewer to follow your ideas and give advice or correction if needed. If you are stack, as if you can use help as a reference or search internet, I personally usually fine with this, as it basically gives me really good sense on what would you do in real live if you can’t find solution right away.

You also, can expect questions which are almost impossible to ask during onsite meeting, such as given some function or block of code find the bug or resolve the issue. I love this type of questions, as it brings applicant as close the actual live as it can get.

As a neat example take a look on this HTML page with simple

JavaScript code:

function Alert(n)
{
var x = parseInt(n);
document.write(n+”->”+x);
}

Alert("Test");
Alert("05");
Alert("09");
Alert("10");


Can you think what would be output of this code? If not just run and see the result:

Test->NaN
05->5
09->0
10->10

So, my question to interviewee is why is his happening and how can we change function to satisfy our needs of printing all numbers correctly.

Links:
Download Microsoft Office LiveMeeting 2007 Client


Description of the update package for the Windows-based Live Meeting 2007 client: February 2011








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