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The top 50 questions and answers for a COBOL job interview

The top 50 questions and answers for a COBOL job interview

Programmers often learn more than one programming language over the course of their careers. Common Business-Oriented Language, or COBOL, is a language that these business professionals use to process data. If you think you might be asked about COBOL in your next job interview, it might help to review some of the most common COBOL interview questions. This article talks about how to answer these kinds of interview questions and gives examples. questions and answers for a COBOL job

General questions

The interviewer can learn about your personality, why you want the job, and where you come from by asking you these questions.

  • Why did you decide to become a programmer?
  • What’s your favorite thing about the way you write code?
  • When did you first learn how to use COBOL?
  • What makes you want to do this job?
  • How do you do what you do best?
  • What do you think your worst qualities are?
  • How do you plan to improve your tech skills?
  • What helps you pay attention the most?
  • What do you do when it seems impossible to finish a project?
  • Where do you want your job to be in five years?

Questions about work and history from the past

These questions help the interviewer figure out if you are qualified for the job and if your values match those of the company. They also show how well you fit into the company’s way of doing things.

  • How has what you learned in school helped you become a good programmer?
  • What is the hardest thing about COBOL for you?
  • What have you learned about COBOL since high school?
  • What have you done in the past that has helped you learn COBOL?
  • How often have you used COBOL since you left school?
  • While you’re working here, what do you want to learn about COBOL?
  • Would you be willing to learn COBOL if you were hired? Why?
  • How skilled would you say you are with COBOL, and why?
  • How do you learn more when you need to about hard ideas?
  • What do you want to learn from the job if you get it?
  • What helped you get through hard projects in the past?
  • What changes in programming are you most looking forward to?

In-depth questions

The interviewer can learn more about how well you know COBOL, how you work, and how well you solve problems from these questions.

  • Tell me what you know about COBOL.
  • This part talks about COBOL’s most important parts.
  • Explain what makes a subscript different from an index.
  • What’s different about the search functions in COBOL?
  • Why would you want to use a scope terminator?
  • Explain how COBOL files can be opened in different ways.
  • Why do you want to write a paragraph instead of a section?
  • Explain how you can write into a file.
  • Explain how a static call is different from a dynamic call.
  • What is a binary search, and how do I do one?
  • Explain the differences between COMP-1 and COMP-2.
  • When should a compute statement be used?
  • Why is knowing when to use TEST BEFORE and when to use TEST AFTER important?
  • If you code “GO BACK” instead of “STOP RUN,” what happens?
  • Which part of the book does the FILE-CONTROL paragraph belong to?
  • What is the word that tells a program to change a file?
  • When you have more than one table, which one will the SEARCH function use?
  • What are some ways that a command can end?
  • When COBOL talks about length, what does it mean?
  • Which mode would you use to work on a file that is in order?
  • What does the REPLACING button do in a copy statement?
  • What’s the purpose of the LINKAGE SECTION?
  • How do you make a COBOL array?

Sample interview questions and how to answer them

Here are some questions that are often asked of COBOL programmers during interviews, along with some sample answers and tips on how to answer them. The interviewer wants to know how well you know the basics of the language and how well you can answer questions in general.

Give some examples of what makes COBOL a good language for business.

When you’re asked this kind of question during an interview, you’ll have a chance to show how well you understand how COBOL is used in business. Make sure to explain your answer in detail and use your work history to show that you know a lot about the topic.

Example: “COBOL is a business application with many features that help businesses keep track of and change important data. COBOL is a business language that can handle a lot of data and can be compiled, run, and put together on many different machines by programmers. At my last job, I used its tools for testing and debugging a lot when I was looking for solutions. COBOL is a structured language that has many different versions that make it even better.”

What rules should you follow when writing a structured COBOL program?

Interviewers often ask questions that require answers that focus on a process. They do this to see how much experience you have working with the topic in question. Before you answer, think about the steps you take and the rules you follow when writing code for a program.

Example: “When I write a structured COBOL program, I use a certain format that lets me put the code to work in the right way. For example, I know that I have to use EQUIVALENT statements every time I build a case. When nesting, I use scope terminators, and when I want the program to “do” something, I use IN-LINE PERFORM statements. I use TEST BEFORE and TEST AFTER statements when writing code for do-while loop statements.”

What’s the difference between CONTINUE and NEXT SENTENCE?

The interviewer asks this question to find out if you can tell the difference between two ideas that are similar. By showing that you know when and how to use each statement, you show that you’ve used them both enough to move on to tasks that don’t need supervision. When you answer, you should restate the question and give a clear and brief explanation of how they are different.

Example: “There are a few things that make NEXT SENTENCE and CONTINUE different. NEXT SENTENCE controls which verb comes after the next period. It basically tells the program to move on to the next sentence, which starts after the period. When written like this, the number 1 is not added to the total number of inputs. On the other hand, the CONTINUE statement controls the next verb after the end of the direct scope. You add one to the number of inputs when you write code.”

How does a COBOL program come together?

Telling the interviewer about the four parts of a COBOL program shows how well you understand COBOL as a whole. When you answer, start by saying the names of the four divisions and then tell what each one does.

Example: “There are four parts to a COBOL program: the identification, environment, data, and procedure parts. First of all, the part of the program that says what it is is the most important. The configuration section and the input/output section make up the environment section. Together, they make up the environment in which the written program was made. The data division tells the program what each piece of data is, how much memory it needs, and what its name is. It is made up of three sections: the file, the working storage, and the linkage. Lastly, the procedure division helps the logic of the program work, and it must have at least one statement that uses user-defined variables.”

How do you use the verb ACCEPT?

If you can answer this question, you know how to use basic COBOL verb commands. Interviewers might ask you this kind of question to see how well you remember coding statements. When you answer, you should restate the question and talk about how you’ve used the statement in the real world.

Example: “The ACCEPT verb is a basic COBOL statement that is used to get information from the user or program, such as the time, date, and day. I used the verbs ACCEPT and DISPLAY to get information for a student’s record when I used to work with educational data.”

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