11 responses to “WTF #15: Interviewing Tip: Know Your Basics”

  1. tshirtman

    As a computer scientist, this remind me a lot about the «fizz-buzz» interview question, it’t the kind of stuff you thought any 1st year student should do blindfolded, yet 9 over 10 people seems to fail it according to this : http://www.codinghorror.com/blog/2007/02/why-cant-programmers-program.html

    So yeah, very basic but technical interview questions seems to make sense…

  2. Karen

    I am a current Architectural Engineering student at Kansas State University, and working for a firm in Texas as a summer intern. I have never had anyone ask me questions like that in an interview; and I have been in a lot of interviews. The company’s seem more interested in the personalities matching. Is this a concern of yours or are you strictly interested in knowledge only?

    1. Fluxor

      Hiring is a balance of personality and technical abilities. Both are important, but the more junior the candidate is, the less weight is put on technical abilities. This is because junior candidates have very little technical knowledge to judge them on, so personality plays a bigger role. I think you’ll find that as you mature as an engineer, the style of your job interviews will evolve along with you.

  3. Bonkers Birthday Badinage | The Amp Hour Electronics Podcast

    […] Fluxor from Engineer Blogs wrote a few weeks back about his interview style for new engineers. The main lesson? Know your basics! […]

  4. ferd

    Agreed! Getting stumped by basic questions is embarrassing, but very likely if you’ve been deep into niches for a while. Simple questions are valid – they give the interviewer insight about the candidate’s thought process.

    Be careful when you find that the interviewer is wrong (about the answer he expects). If you challenge his opinion you may end up out the door, or hired on the spot! Once I was asked to name the “three types of current”. I was confused because basically there are two types (DC and AC) but some people define pulsating DC separately. So that’s how I answered the question. The interviewer told me I was wrong – his answer was DC, AC and battery. When I explained that DC and battery were the same he waved me off. The interview went downhill from there because I didn’t like how he treated me. When I left I figured that I’d just wasted my time. Ironically, a few days later that interviewer called to offer me the job, but because of my unfavorable impression I’d already committed to another company. Not sure if I ultimately made the best decision or not, but my point is that interviewing is a two-way street.

  5. kiranvarma-npeducations

    Recollecting the basic questions in the interview is very shy full and embrassing embarrassing. Even though some people don’t have any basic foundation regarding their subjects, they get settled into big organizations. anyway nice article!

  6. Sen


    Although the questions asked here are reasonable, after all you see that RC thing in a PLL all the time, so it’s reasonable to ask. However, I find some basic things to ask unfair, for example what is the equation relating the drain current to gate voltage when the transistor in saturation or what are the different regions of operation for a BJT? Most people will not know this off the top of their head.

    At the risk of sounding stupid, I will answer the question as posted. If the input is at C and A is at some voltage X. Initially B is also at voltage X. When C spikes up by some delta, then so will B (voltage across capacitor cannot change instantaneously)and then RC decay to voltage X.

  7. varun

    hello sir Fluxor and all analog designers,
    i am one of those strugguling engineer stuck up in the middle of digital or analog career ,being from electronics always hated programming wasted 2 years in digital verilog hdl designing as it is in full hype in my country (india)but still no idea how actually hdl is really done got no clue just few days back realized it was always analog BJT’s, CMOS and MOSFETs are my real friends not hdl verilog ,now wondering what to do now and how to switch from this hateful environment to the one which i love any suggestion would be helpful .,as i have no prior industrial exp. with analog design what kind of role analog designer play pls explain a bit would be very helpful.

    The instant the spike at C goes high voltage at point B still be zero as sen has already explained and for the interval the step remains voltage at point B will start exponentially decaying as it will be of opposite polarity with respect to point C which is at positive polarity after the negative delta comes at point C the charge stored in cap. will start discharging through resistor and will go down to zero after some time constant (tow) of RC.
    please correct me if i am wrong.
    This blog is very helpful
    thank you.