Worlds toughest core Java interview question

Toughest core Java interview question

While seemingly simple on first glance, the toughest Java interview question ever asked is this:

Given the following snippet of Java code in Eclipse, in five words or less, explain the red ‘x’.

tough Java interview questions

Worlds toughest Java interview question? Explain the red ‘x’.

A deceptively tricky Java interview question

When presented with a tricky Java interview question like this, most job candidates will try to display their software development prowess by confidently asserting a plausible, yet likely incorrect, answer.

Two of the most common responses experienced programmers give to this tough Java coding interview question?

  1. Unreachable code due to the conditional statement
  2. No main method found because it’s just a code snippet

These are both noble attempts to answer the question, and neither of them are without merit, but alas, both answers are incorrect.

The Java interview question’s answer

The answer? In five words or less?

There is no red ‘x.’

There’s a white ‘x’ in a red circle, but there is no red ‘x.’

The cause of the white ‘x?’

That’s most definitely an unreachable code error.

If both the true and false options of the conditional statement return a result, the code below the if..else block will never execute. That line of code is unreachable.

Details matter

Details matter when it comes to interviewing for a new job, although admittedly, this trick Java and Eclipse question has likely never been asked on a Java job interview. Better applications of this question would be to:

  • Lighten up the mood on the dev team by trolling your co-workers a bit
  • Celebrate the latest, quarterly, Eclipse IDE release
  • Take a Java based angle to a rare, total lunar eclipse event (happening on the date of publishing)

If you are preparing for an upcoming Java interview, we wish you the best of luck in your job search. You won’t likely be asked any tricky Java interview questions like this one.

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