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INTERVIEW QUESTIONS: Interview with recruitment company Aston Carter, for a graduate software engineering position (unspecified bank)




There were a lot of questions related to code. These covered: Const correctness, template programming, dynamic memory allocation, exception handling, I/O streams, standard template library, polymophism, function/operator overloading, access control, file handling, real time type information, const correctness and volatile correctness.

You’re advised to take your time and avoid mistakes which is good advice, however you’re timed as well.

At the end of the test you’re given a mark on what you got right and how fast you did it. High speed and low mark means you rushed it, low speed and high mark means you took your time and did it properly, this is the one they value more. High speed and high mark is obviously the most favourable.


I was asked what const correctness means and where should you place it. I was also asked how the function (const variable* const name) is different to the function (const variable name), etc. Read up on const correctness, it might only be a couple of marks but this is easy stuff!


I was asked about steam type defs.  They show you a bunch of type defs for steam operators and ask you which one(s) are the right ones. You might now know this off by heart, but it’s a test of you analysing the type defs they present you with and picking the one that you think (or know) fits the functionality.


I was asked about the disadvantages of RTTI? Pretty stock question. You can almost guarantee that if RTTI comes up on a programming aptitude test the answer will always be “it’s slow”.


I was asked about a standard template library. They wanted to know if I understood the differences between a queue and a stack, how a list differs from a vector, how they all differ from an array. When would you use an array? Almost never. What does a map do, what is a hash table, a bitset, etc. How does vector.front() differ from vector.begin()? How can you get to the array in a vector? Why would you want to do this? (You wouldn’t…).


I was asked about access control. Who has access to public, protected and private members? Public: everything. Protected: objects that inherit from the class. Private: The class they belong to and any friend classes and friend functions. What is a friend function? What is a friend class? Give examples of when you’d use them.

To return to the list of questions, click here.

We cannot guarantee the authenticity of these questions nor the accuracy of the answers: they are what one candidate claims to have been asked by Aston Carter and have not been verified by the bank.

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