True to the name, interviews are meant to be interactive sessions where the exchange of information is not limited to linear or one dimensional flow of data. Keeping that in mind, it is important to keep in mind that potential candidates like you need to focus as much on the communicative part as on the theoretical knowledge of the subject concerned. So far as the latter is concerned, it is essential to check your basics and hold your foundations right.
Here are some of the most frequently asked JCL interview questions and answers to help you ace your next interview.
1. What do you understand by the term JCL?
Job Control Language is basically the foundational provider of several program resources and an essential arbiter between the operating system and the program. Also, it is important to keep in mind that JCL is not a procedural language. At the same time, it is apparently impossible to run a program on mainframe without the applicability of JCL.
2. What do you think is the meaning of the symbol \?
This is especially important in that any JCL statement must begin with this symbol. Indeed, the absence of the same leads to the indication of an error since the symbol is the first thing checked in JCL. It is the default rule in JCL which is used in order to keep runtime exceptions at bay.
3. Do you think that automatic restart is feasible in JCL?
Yes, it is possible to have an automatic restart in JCL through the help of a predefined keyword parameter. Specifically, the RD keyword is the one used for the purpose of restart which generally succeeds an anomalous termination of the program. Against the backdrop of automatic restart, you need to consider the significance of check points which are used to define the job execution at various points in the program concerned.
4. What about condition checking in JCL? Is that possible?
So far as condition checking in JCL is concerned, it is indeed possible. Moreover, condition checking is feasible at both job level and the code level. Technically speaking, condition checking is done through the COND keyword with a return code and operand as predefined in JCL. So it is viable.
5. Can you tell us something about the crucial error execution phase?
The error is chiefly induced due to anomalous exceptions encountered in the course of the program. So far as the error execution phase is concerned, JCL consists of eight cardinal error codes for the execution phase. For instance, misplaced statements and the absence of apostrophes lead to the validation of error checking in a JCL program.
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6. Would you say that the ACCT parameter is mandatory?
So far as the ACCT parameter is concerned, it is not exactly compulsory. However, it has obviously some definite applications in JCL. For instance, it may be used for furnishing accounting info for job execution through the respective steps. Apart from that, it is also used as a functional keyword in the EXEC statement in a particular JCL program. Basically, it is up to the user to decide its functionality depending on the situational needs.
7. How do you name steps used in a particular job?
There are set rules for naming. First and foremost, the name should be unique and created in a way so as to facilitate job referencing. Each and every step should be endowed with a different name. The step name should be followed by a blank space. A step name should always be coded after the \ symbol followed by at least one blank space.
8. Are data defining statements predefined?
Yes, DD steps are all predefined in JCL.
9. Is it feasible to share data with other jobs?
Yes, it is possible to share data with other jobs through the DISP keyword. DISP stands for disposition of data which essentially translates to data sharing or transference to other jobs. It is a predefined keyword in JCL.
10. How does JCL specify a particular job to the OS?
Primarily, it is done through the help of the JCL groups. Essentially, the concerned groups are defined in accordance with the work they are associated with.
While it is true that you should be optimally interactive in an interview, it is better not to go ahead rambling on a topic without being asked to. At the same time, you need to showcase problem solving skills as a majority of companies look forward to candidates with innovative solution skills.
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