python interview quuestions

Benjamin Kaplan benjamin.kaplan at
Tue Aug 10 23:11:12 CEST 2010

On Tue, Aug 10, 2010 at 1:44 PM, J Kenneth King <james at> wrote:
> James Mills <prologic at> writes:
>> On Sat, Aug 7, 2010 at 4:32 AM, Tim Chase <python.list at> wrote:
>>>> I would like to aquint myself with Python Interview questions
>>> This came up a while ago:
>>> Most of that thread is still relevant (perhaps throw in some py3l questions
>>> too)
>> A common thing you can do in interviews is ask
>> your interviewee to write (in Python) a solution
>> to the "FizzBuzz" problem. Any good competent
>> Python programmer should be able to do this
>> in 5-10mins (5 if you're good).
>> cheers
>> james
> Fizzbuzz is annoying in interviews.
> I've never worked at a job where I was under a timer while a group of
> people sat across from me and scrutinized everything I was doing.
> I don't see how it can honestly tell you anything useful about the
> person you're interviewing either.  Do you really think that what you
> assume about the interviewee based on characteristics you can infer from
> their solution to be really, honestly true?  They might even completely
> bomb the solution and still be a brilliant programmer, but you'll never
> know that if you trust this simple "fizzbuzz" test.

The interviews where I've been asked to write code, the interviewers
had almost no interest in the code I actually wrote. They wanted me to
think out loud, to see how I approached the problem. To make sure I
did actually know how to program and not just copy/paste from a text

> I've been in those interviews on both sides of the table.  Neither side
> was a good experience.
> If a test is necessary, make it a take-home or demand source code if
> they have it.  Read their code and judge for yourself the quality of
> their work.
> Any questions in an interview should be the usual "get to know you" type
> stuff.  "What was the most difficult challenge you've faced on the job?
> How did you respond?"  That sort of thing.
> --

Now those questions are completely useless for those of us still in
school. Because almost nothing we've done so far really says anything
about how we'll do on the job. When I get an interview like that, I
usually end up with the same 2-3 responses to every single question,
because those are the only experieces I've had outside of "well I had
this tough homework assignment".

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