This is what the FAQ has to say


You should only ask practical, answerable questions based on actual problems that you face. Chatty, open-ended questions diminish the usefulness of our site and push other questions off the front page

So, from this, if we look at

this question

and this other question

they both appear, if you do a quick google search, in lists of standard interview questions. These are most likely not from practical experience, actual problems being faced, etc.

Add to that this question here which also looks a lot like an interview or school exam question and I think we're starting to see a pattern where some people are using this site, not for practical and useful research but, instead, to short-cut interview processes and school projects.

Currently, the FAQ does not specifically call out "don't ask interview questions". Should it be updated to do so?


Personally, I don't think we should.

Interview questions are supposed to be representations of common problems you'd encounter in the workplace. A great many firms are as clueless to true quality assurance as that rock outside my window. For example, what are environments and their purpose could very, very easily be someone at a firm who wants to bring their development process into at least the 1990s and get the ball rolling on some QA, but is so conflicted about all the available information out there they don't know where to start. I would not want to discourage someone from asking a question because it seemed too simple. I also would not want to discourage someone from asking "I was asked _ in an interview, what does it mean?"

That being said, both of the questions you listed need more information. I would not say they are poor questions because they resemble interview questions, but rather are poor questions because they lack research effort.

  • 2
    Perhaps the FAQ should not necessarily ban interview questions, then, but instead give a bit of warning that, while interview questions are not taboo, they should reflect some personal research like any other question. Aug 2 '11 at 20:11
  • I feel it should also be clearly indicated by the OP that this is an interview question. And what he/she has done about it.I have seen several now that just post the question with little to no information and the request: provide me the answer....
    – Ray Oei
    Dec 1 '17 at 14:48

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