Find out what to expect at your IBM interview and read our advice on how to answer past interview questions.
1. How Do Your Education And Training Relate To The Position You Are Seeking?
Here, the IBM recruiting manager wants to find out whether or not your education and training match the needs of the company. The best strategy is to highlight the education and training background that relate to the job at hand.
“I possess a bachelor’s degree in computer engineering. In my previous role as a system administrator, I have had on-job training supporting servers, printers, desktop computers, routers, firewalls, switches, smartphones, security updates, software deployment, patches, and personal digital assistants. Given a chance, I will use all the knowledge I have acquired to make a success in this role.”
2. What Are Some Of The Responsibilities Do You Think You Will Be Performing Should You Be Hired For This Role?
The recruiting panel may ask you this question to determine whether or not you are aware of the duties that await you should you get this job. In your answer, highlight some of the roles in relation to the position you are seeking.
“Having been a system administrator for 5 years now, I am familiar with the roles that await me here at IBM. They include but are not limited to the following:
- Leading projects that require upgrades or patching
- Implementing existing or new technology solutions
- Facilitating and overseeing the IT change management process
- Conducting performance troubleshooting and tuning
- Monitoring and managing backups as well as installing cumulative PTFs and upgrading packages
- Configuring, testing, debugging, documenting device and configuring appropriate software.”
3. Why Do You Think You Will Be A Good Fit For IBM?
Here the interviewer wants to understand your skills, expertise, and experience in relation to the job you are seeking for. The best way to respond to this question is to convey your strong skills, expertise, and traits aligning them with the needs of the employer.
“Following the job posting and the IBM work culture, I believe that my education, experience, skills, and qualities match what you are looking for from a candidate. Besides having a bachelor’s degree in computer science, I am a hardworking and self-driven professional who can work effectively as an individual and as a team. My strong working ethics and ability to solve problems will enable me to excel in this position. I do know that there are a lot of responsibilities working for IBM and I believe that I will make a positive and sustainable impact if you hire me within this position.”
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4. What Are The Qualities Needed To Succeed In This Role?
The employer asks this question to assess whether you are aware of the qualities you should have to thrive in this role. The best way to answer this question is to highlight your strong qualities as you connect to the needs of the company.
“In order to perform this role effectively, one needs to be an active listener, team player, flexible, quick learner, and a person who can adapt to customers’ needs quickly. It is also important to have the ability to multi-task as well as customer service skills. The candidate needs to be excited and willing to absorb new processes and information.”
5. Describe Your Experience.
The hiring manager asks this question to find out whether your previous experience aligns with the needs of the company. Having in mind the job posting, summarize your work experience.
“Previously, I have worked in the front desk for three years. During this time, I gained a lot of skills and experience in ensuring excellence in solving end-user problems, analyzing complex multisystem issues, reaching to team members to help achieve a resolution, welcoming customers as well as maintaining the first contact point to create a good impression to our clients. Given a chance, therefore, I will use the skills and expertise I have to make a success in this role.”
6. Describe How Your Typical Day Is Likely To Be Should You Get Hired For This Role.
Here, the hiring manager wants to know your prioritizing and time management skills. In your response, highlight some of the roles that you are required to perform as you demonstrate that you are a good time user.
“After checking my emails and voice messages, I will perform the following roles in order of priority:
o Ensuring excellence in solving end-user problems
o Analyzing complex multisystem issues
o Reaching to team members to help achieve a resolution
o Maintaining the first contact point
o Welcoming clients in the company.”
7. How Are In-Stream Procedures (Procs) Built?
This is a technical question to test your knowledge in this field. The best way to respond to this question is to explain how in-stream procedures are built.
“In-stream procedures are built through coding a set of statements and placing them before the statement and after the JOB statement. They begin with a PROC statement and end with a PEND statement. In a single job, you can include up to 15 in-stream procedures. It is possible for each in-stream procedure to be invoked several times in a job. Just as cataloged procedures, In stream procedures can use symbolic parameters.”
8. What Is Python?
Here the hiring manager wants to find out whether you are familiar with common terms used in this field. The right strategy for responding to this question is to define the term python.
“Python is a computer programming language. It is an object-oriented and high-level language that runs equally on different platforms including Linux, UNIX, Macintosh, and Windows. Python is widely used in machine learning, data science, and artificial intelligence domain.”
9. What Are The Advantages Of Python?
This question will help your interviewer to know whether you are familiar with using python. In your answer, list and explain a few advantages of python.
“Python has several advantages such as:
o It’s flexible and extensible with any module
o It’s an interpreted language. It doesn’t need a prior compilation of code for it executes instructions directly.
o It’s an open-source project which is publicly available to reuse. This means that it can be downloaded free of cost.
o It allows the user to implement the object-oriented concepts to build application solutions
o It provides useful integrated data structures such as List, Dictionary, and Tuple.”
10. What Is C Language?
The employer is seeking to find out whether you are conversant with terms used in this field. To demonstrate that you are a good fit for this job, explain what C language is.
“C language is a mid-level and structured/procedural programming language. This means that it provides a technique in which large programs can be broken into smaller modules to enable each module to use structured code. This is a technique that minimizes misinterpretation and other errors.”
11. What Is An Operation Exception Error?
This question helps the hiring manager to know your level of expertise in this field. In your answer, demonstrate your technical knowledge by explaining in simplicity on the asked error.
“An Operation exception error indicates that an operation code is not assigned or the assigned operations not available on a particular computer model. The machine does not recognize the instruction or operations used. A possible reason is that it is a subscript error. This error could also be caused by an attempt to read a file that was not opened with a misspelled DD statement. The system completion code is 0C1.”
12. Tell Me The Difference Between The Cond Parameter Specified On The Job Statement And The One Specified On The Exec.
This is a technical question that tests your knowledge of different procedural techniques in this field. In your response, explain the difference between the two parameters and ensure that you are clear in your explanation.
“Cond parameter specified on the job statement determines whether the job should be continued or terminated at some point. On the other hand, the COND parameter specified on the EXEC statement determines whether the step should be executed or bypassed. When the COND parameter is defined on the JOB statement, the system evaluates the condition specified in the COND parameter before the beginning of any job step and compares the code specified in the COND parameter with the return code of all previous jobs steps. If that condition is true, the rest of the job steps are bypassed.”
13. Define Temporary Data Set.
This question helps the hiring manager to know your level of expertise in this field. In your answer, demonstrate your technical knowledge by explaining what a temporary data set is.
“Temporary data sets are used for storage needed only for the duration of the job. A data set is marked temporary by omitting the DSN parameter or by coding DSN=&&dsname. The system assigns a unique name to the data set when the DSN parameter is omitted, and any subsequent steps using the dataset refer back to the DD statement.”
14. Are you familiar with NL? When Should Be NL Be Specified As A Type Of Label Processing?
This is another technical question that the employer asks to test your skills. In your answer, demonstrate that you are knowledgeable and that you have the skills to perform the role you are seeking.
“NL should be specified when a program needs to process unlabeled tapes NL can also be specified when the program wants to create unlabeled tape because the system’s default action, in cases when a parameter is not specified, will create IBM standard label. Non-labeled tapes are often used for sending tapes to another installation. That way you don’t have to worry about the tape label corresponding to the standards at the other installation or about accidentally matching the volume serial number of an existing tape at the installation.”
15. What Is A Disp?
The employer is seeking to find out whether you are conversant with terms used in this field. To demonstrate that you are a good fit for this job, explain what a Disp is.
“DISP is a keyword parameter that is defined on the DD statement and consists of the following subparameters: DISP=(Status, Normal Disp, Abnormal Disp). The DISP parameter defines the current status of the dataset as well as directs the system on the disposition of the data set (catalog, uncatalog, delete, pass, or keep)either if the abnormally the steps end or at the end of the step. DISP is always needed unless the data set is deleted or created in the same step.”
16. List A Few Platforms That Are Supported By IBM WAS.
The employer asks this question to determine if you are familiar with the company culture including the services it offers. Having researched about the company before the interview, you should list platforms supported by IBM WAS.
“Some platforms supported by IBM WAS are Linux, Windows, Solaris, IBM (integrated OS with robust architecture), AIX(Advanced Interactive eXecutive by IBM), and z/OS(A 64 bit OS by IBM).”
17. Differentiate Between WebSphere And WebLogic.
This is a technical question that tests your knowledge of different procedural techniques in this field. In your response, explain the difference between the two terms and ensure that you are clear in your explanation.
“WebSphere is a set of Java-based tools from IBM that allows customers to create and manage sophisticated business Web sites. Oracle WebLogic Server is a unified and extensible platform for developing, deploying, and running enterprise applications, such as Java, for on-premises, etc.
WebSphere is not provided with any transactional attributes, whereas WebLogic supports default transaction attributes.
Websphere helps more in integrating web services and reliable connections among server clients, and WebLogic concentrates more on improving J2EE standards thus keeps in line with the latest updates from Java.”
18. Describe A Time When You Failed In your role And The Lesson You Learnt
The employer asks this question to know if you can admit your mistakes or not. In your response, do not blame others for your mistakes but own them. Remember to share the lessons you learned from your failure.
“One of the failures I can remember is when I was working as an HVAC after college. A client called me to install a piece of new cooling equipment in her home. The extreme temperatures were unbearable and she wanted me to install it as quickly as possible. However, It required more time than she had anticipated. The lady was very frustrated and started complaining that I was not competent enough and that I was also very slow. I remained calm and continued with my work. The more I worked hard the more she complained. I paused a little while and I repeated everything she was saying in my own words to show her that I was listening to her complaints. I then gave her a time frame of when she should expect me to complete the work. She calmed down and waited patiently. To my surprise, I finished installing the cooling system before the scheduled time and she was happy. She gratefully thanked me. Looking back, I realized that telling your client the timeframe of the task you are carrying out is important.”
19. Why Did You Leave Your Last Job?
The employer asks this question to assess whether you are a bad or a good employer. In your response, demonstrate your value for work and a sense of obligation.
“For the four years that I have worked with my current employer, I have gained a lot of skills and expertise. I am therefore seeking an opportunity with more challenges to help me grow professionally. I believe your company can offer me such an opportunity.”
20. When Can You Take Up This Role Should You Get Hired?
The hiring manager wants to know when you are likely to begin working in case you get hired. The best strategy for responding to this question is to show that you are professional in the way in your transition from one job to another. Remember not to portray a negative impression on the company you are leaving.
“In my new contract, I am obliged to provide a 3 weeks’ notice before I can leave my current role. However, I can begin working the next day after I have met that obligation. I am so much eager to begin working here as well as meeting the rest of the team.”
The above IBM interview questions and answers will provide you with an idea of what to expect in an interview. However, do not get obsessed about these questions and answers to a point of forgetting to prepare for other potential questions. There is no guarantee of what may come up in an interview since questions can change from year to year.