Data Structure Interview Questions


What is it with a job interview that scares all job seekers? We see job seekers trembling outside the recruiter’s office while waiting for their turn to get interviewed. Worse is, when we see people forgetting what they had learned and practiced, the minute they sit across the interviewer. I believe it is performance pressure and lack of confidence that ruins the prospects for a candidate. The two terms are related. Hence, if you concentrate on one perspective, it is sure to help you resolve the other problem too.

Gaining confidence is equivalent to practicing hard. Hence, we suggest all job seekers to practice for an interview before turning up for one. Imagine yourself in that situation or take your friend’s help for the same. Answer all those questions that would typically come up in an interview. Preferably team up with someone who has worked in that industry for some time. He would be able to give details relevant to the latest trends. After practicing, you are sure to feel confident during the interview. Confidence would erase the performance pressure too.

If you are a candidate aspiring for a job in data structuring, then you must be ready with all answers related to that field. If it confuses as what to practice, then here is some help for you. We have jotted down the data structure interview questions and answers, which will teach you the ways to answer accurately and in detail. We hope you find these details helpful.

  1. What is data structure?

    Answer: Data structure is more than just a method of organizing data. It considers two main aspects: nature of data and relationship between the data. It compares the data to develop algorithms that will allow manipulation of data in a desired way. It simplifies data extraction and data analysis.

  2. What do you think is the scope of data structure?

    Answer: Data structure has several applications in modern technological era. Some of the examples that I can think of are operating systems, numerical analysis, graphics, artificial intelligence, statistical analysis, compiler design, etc.

  3. What is simulation?

    Answer: Simulation refers to the mock development or mock presentation of an idea for the purpose of experiments. It gives us a fine judgment of the impact of altering features or introducing techniques on a real situation. The model system represents the features of an actual system and hence gives real and effective results that allow analysis.

  4. What is stack and array? Differentiate between the two.

    Answer: A data structure means an organized web that holds data and allows operations on the data. Stack and array are examples of data structure. Stack is one dimensional and operates on the method of LIFO. The access is limited only to the first in order and one has to follow the order down to reach the intended element. The size of stack fluctuates, growing and shrinking as per the alterations. An array is multidimensional and allows altering of the data randomly. The access is done using the index, without following an order.

  5. What is the minimum requisite for number of queues required for a priority queue?

    Answer: We require at least two queues. One queue is meant for storing the data and the other one is for storing the priorities

  6. How would you distinguish between storage structures and file structures?

    Answer: Storage structure refers to peculiar data structure within the memory of computer systems. File structure refers to data structure stored in the auxiliary memory.

  7. Which all methods can you adopt to find out the key value using Hashing functions?

    Answer: There are different ways to approach while finding the key value. The popular ones are direct method, folding method, mid square method, digit extraction method, subtraction method and pseudo random method.

  8. What is meant by vector?

    Answer: Vector is the simplest form of data structure. It uses computed address to locate its elements.

  9. What is an algorithm? State its types.

    Answer: Algorithm is a set of instructions in form of series developed to solve a problem. It has at least one definite input and output. Each instruction is unique and denotes an explanation of the operation that is required. The number of steps is limited to the instructions required. The main types of algorithms are brute force, randomized, divide and conquer, backtracking, simple recursive and reduction.

  10. Define Matrix

    Answer: Matrix is a fine example of a two dimensional array. It represents a set of rows and columns that is used to store and manipulate homogenous data. It is primarily useful in data encryption and decryption. It effectively represents class hierarchy and traffic flow.

  11. What is linked list? Can you give names of types of linked lists

    Answer: A linked list is a type of data structure that lists out the data elements in a series. There is a definite chain of elements (NODES) in the structure. It has a specific address, a predecessor and successor. The given data (nodes) can be edited or updated by programming. The three main types of linked lists are singly linked list, doubly linked list and circular linked list.

  12. What do you understand from the term, data abstraction

    Answer: Data abstraction refers to the task of breaking a complex composition of data into smaller modules that can be easily managed. This task includes specifying the data objects and operations that would be performed without considering the format for storing memories.

We hope this list of data structure interview questions has given you a general idea on what to expect during interviews. Do not memorize these answers and just repeat them at the interview. Customize it as suitable to your job description and impress the interviewer with your knowledge and experience.


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