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AIG J2EE/ILOG Developer (Contract Position) Interview Questions

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J2EE/ILOG Developer (Contract Position) Interview

Anonymous Interview Candidate in Berkeley Heights, NJ
Anonymous Interview Candidate in Berkeley Heights, NJ
Application Details

I applied through a recruiter. The process took 5 daysinterviewed at AIG in January 2012.

Interview Details

This was a contract position. The first phone screen was done through the contract agency, so I'll leave that out of these comments, and focus on the actual phone interview with AIG employees.

There were 3 different interviewers on a conference call. They each took part in asking the questions. Some were general technical questions or questions regarding experience with technologies used in previous projects. However, the harder questions were the ones that were either somewhat vague as to what answer they were looking for, or was something that you'd be wondering why someone would bother to memorize that when they could just look it up.

I've done a few interviews over the past month, and honestly I would have to say that of them all, these interviewers seem to be the least nice and least welcoming. That could just be an impression over the phone, but when answering questions about previous projects, many times I would be interrupted by another interviewer in the room with further questions even before I was able to finish. Sometimes they would question with, "why would you even do it that way?" regardless of if you were the person who designed it a certain way. I was on speaker phone in a conference room too, and sometimes I couldn't hear their question very clearly due to an echo. They said they couldn't hear me clearly either, and said "well, we're on a land line... I assume you're on a cell phone?". Weird, because the recruiter called me right after that and was crystal clear...

Overall, I was able to answer many of their questions, but had others where I had to clarify what exactly did they want to hear. I had mixed opinions about the interview, as it just seemed like the interviewers didn't really like me much. At the end, I asked them that hypothetically if we were to proceed with the next step, would it most likely be another phone interview or would I need to fly to their interview site for a face to face interview. I told them I would consider a face to face interview as well, but only if it were absolutely necessary, since I was currently in a contract position and it was hard to take days off work. They just told me to go talk to my recruiter about it.

Now here's where it gets interesting: the recruiter contacts me back and tells me that they thought I was their strongest candidate so far. Really? I'd hate to see how they torture their other candidates! He also told me that they want a face to face interview, so I said I'd have to get back to him on whether I can get the days off and whether I can find a decent plane ticket there.

About a week passes and it gets very busy at my current contract position. I also had checked and there were no decently priced plane tickets. In addition, I had received a couple of offers from other companies with similar positions, offering more than this one. Still, I would have given it a try if I could find the right time and plane ticket. So anyway, the recruiter calls me and sounded a bit annoyed. He asked, "What did you tell (interviewer name left out) during the interview?!?" Apparently, they had told him after about a week that they were not going to proceed with my face to face interview after all, because they said that I had asked the interviewers during the interview whether they would take care of the travel expenses. Now this was surprising. I had not even mentioned the word "expense" or anything similar to it at all during the interview, much less asked them if they were going to take care of any costs. Either they REALLY misunderstood my simple question about the next steps for the interview (which is common for a candidate to ask), or they really just didn't like me and wanted a reason to not proceed after a week.

Regardless, this makes me VERY glad that I didn't actually book a ticket to go through with the interview. Being that it's a contract position, I know that the candidate often has to take care of all travel expenses, and definitely not stupid enough to ask the interviewers at the company themselves this question. Being how the interviewers were not that nice, they really had not much to lose by having me fly all the way over there for a face to face interview. Either way, the experience with this interview makes everyone else seem super nice and other companies sound much better.

As a final disclaimer, this is all based upon my impression over a single phone interview, as well as what they said afterwards. That being said, it IS possible that they could be nice people in person, or that they could have just really misunderstood my question about the next steps in the interview process. Also, this may not reflect the way the rest of the company is. However, I'll stick to the impression that I got.

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