Thursday, February 26, 2009

Java Collections Interview Questions

1 What is HashMap and Map?

Map is Interface and Hashmap is class that implements this interface.

2 What is the significance of ListIterator?


What is the difference b/w Iterator and ListIterator?

Iterator : Enables you to cycle through a collection in the forward direction only, for obtaining or removing elements

ListIterator : It extends Iterator, allow bidirectional traversal of list and the modification of elements

3 Difference between HashMap and HashTable? Can we make hashmap synchronized?

1. The HashMap class is roughly equivalent to Hashtable, except that it is unsynchronized and permits nulls. (HashMap allows null values as key and value whereas Hashtable doesn’t allow nulls).
2. HashMap does not guarantee that the order of the map will remain constant over time.
3. HashMap is non synchronized whereas Hashtable is synchronized.
4. Iterator in the HashMap is fail-safe while the enumerator for the Hashtable isn't.

Note on Some Important Terms
1)Synchronized means only one thread can modify a hash table at one point of time. Basically, it means that any thread before performing an update on a hashtable will have to acquire a lock on the object while others will wait for lock to be released.

2)Fail-safe is relevant from the context of iterators. If an iterator has been created on a collection object and some other thread tries to modify the collection object "structurally”, a concurrent modification exception will be thrown. It is possible for other threads though to invoke "set" method since it doesn’t modify the collection "structurally”. However, if prior to calling "set", the collection has been modified structurally, "IllegalArgumentException" will be thrown.

HashMap can be synchronized by

Map m = Collections.synchronizeMap(hashMap);

4 What is the difference between set and list?

A Set stores elements in an unordered way and does not contain duplicate elements, whereas a list stores elements in an ordered way but may contain duplicate elements.

5 Difference between Vector and ArrayList? What is the Vector class?

Vector is synchronized whereas ArrayList is not. The Vector class provides the capability to implement a growable array of objects. ArrayList and Vector class both implement the List interface. Both classes are implemented using dynamically resizable arrays, providing fast random access and fast traversal. In vector the data is retrieved using the elementAt() method while in ArrayList, it is done using the get() method. ArrayList has no default size while vector has a default size of 10. when you want programs to run in multithreading environment then use concept of vector because it is synchronized. But ArrayList is not synchronized so, avoid use of it in a multithreading environment.

6 What is an Iterator interface? Is Iterator a Class or Interface? What is its use?

The Iterator is an interface, used to traverse through the elements of a Collection. It is not advisable to modify the collection itself while traversing an Iterator.

7 What is the Collections API?

The Collections API is a set of classes and interfaces that support operations on collections of objects.
Example of classes: HashSet, HashMap, ArrayList, LinkedList, TreeSet and TreeMap.
Example of interfaces: Collection, Set, List and Map.

8 What is the List interface?

The List interface provides support for ordered collections of objects.

9 How can we access elements of a collection?

We can access the elements of a collection using the following ways:
1.Every collection object has get(index) method to get the element of the object. This method will return Object.
2.Collection provide Enumeration or Iterator object so that we can get the objects of a collection one by one.

10 What is the Set interface?

The Set interface provides methods for accessing the elements of a finite mathematical set. Sets do not allow duplicate elements.

11 What’s the difference between a queue and a stack?

Stack is a data structure that is based on last-in-first-out rule (LIFO), while queues are based on First-in-first-out (FIFO) rule.

12 What is the Map interface?

The Map interface is used associate keys with values.

13 What is the Properties class?

The properties class is a subclass of Hashtable that can be read from or written to a stream. It also provides the capability to specify a set of default values to be used.

14 Which implementation of the List interface provides for the fastest insertion of a new element into the middle of the list?

a. Vector
b. ArrayList
c. LinkedList
d. None of the above

ArrayList and Vector both use an array to store the elements of the list. When an element is inserted into the middle of the list the elements that follow the insertion point must be shifted to make room for the new element. The LinkedList is implemented using a doubly linked list; an insertion requires only the updating of the links at the point of insertion. Therefore, the LinkedList allows for fast insertions and deletions.

15 How can we use hashset in collection interface?

This class implements the set interface, backed by a hash table (actually a HashMap instance). It makes no guarantees as to the iteration order of the set; in particular, it does not guarantee that the order will remain constant over time. This class permits the Null element.

This class offers constant time performance for the basic operations (add, remove, contains and size), assuming the hash function disperses the elements properly among the buckets.

16 What are differences between Enumeration, ArrayList, Hashtable and Collections and Collection?

Enumeration: It is series of elements. It can be use to enumerate through the elements of a vector, keys or values of a hashtable. You can not remove elements from Enumeration.

ArrayList: It is re-sizable array implementation. Belongs to 'List' group in collection. It permits all elements, including null. It is not thread -safe.

Hashtable: It maps key to value. You can use non-null value for key or value. It is part of group Map in collection.

Collections: It implements Polymorphic algorithms which operate on collections.

Collection: It is the root interface in the collection hierarchy.

17 What is difference between array & arraylist?

An ArrayList is resizable, where as, an array is not. ArrayList is a part of the Collection Framework. We can store any type of objects, and we can deal with only objects. It is growable. Array is collection of similar data items. We can have array of primitives or objects. It is of fixed size. We can have multi dimensional arrays.

Array: can store primitive ArrayList: Stores object only

Array: fix size ArrayList: resizable

Array: can have multi dimensional

Array: lang ArrayList: Collection framework

18 Can you limit the initial capacity of vector in java?

Yes you can limit the initial capacity. We can construct an empty vector with specified initial capacity

public vector(int initialcapacity)

19 What method should the key class of Hashmap override?

The methods to override are equals() and hashCode().

20 What is the difference between Enumeration and Iterator?

The functionality of Enumeration interface is duplicated by the Iterator interface. Iterator has a remove() method while Enumeration doesn't. Enumeration acts as Read-only interface, because it has the methods only to traverse and fetch the objects, where as using Iterator we can manipulate the objects also like adding and removing the objects.

So Enumeration is used when ever we want to make Collection objects as Read-only.

Java Abstract Class and Interface Interview Questions

1 What is the difference between Abstract class and Interface?

What is similarities/difference between an Abstract class and Interface?

1. Abstract class is a class which contain one or more abstract methods, which has to be implemented by sub classes. An abstract class can contain no abstract methods also i.e. abstract class may contain concrete methods. A Java Interface can contain only method declarations and public static final constants and doesn't contain their implementation. The classes which implement the Interface must provide the method definition for all the methods present.

2. Abstract class definition begins with the keyword "abstract" keyword followed by Class definition. An Interface definition begins with the keyword "interface".

3. Abstract classes are useful in a situation when some general methods should be implemented and specialization behavior should be implemented by subclasses. Interfaces are useful in a situation when all its properties need to be implemented by subclasses

4. All variables in an Interface are by default - public static final while an abstract class can have instance variables.

5. An interface is also used in situations when a class needs to extend an other class apart from the abstract class. In such situations its not possible to have multiple inheritance of classes. An interface on the other hand can be used when it is required to implement one or more interfaces. Abstract class does not support Multiple Inheritance whereas an Interface supports multiple Inheritance.

6. An Interface can only have public members whereas an abstract class can contain private as well as protected members.

7. A class implementing an interface must implement all of the methods defined in the interface, while a class extending an abstract class need not implement any of the methods defined in the abstract class.

8. The problem with an interface is, if you want to add a new feature (method) in its contract, then you MUST implement those method in all of the classes which implement that interface. However, in the case of an abstract class, the method can be simply implemented in the abstract class and the same can be called by its subclass

9. Interfaces are slow as it requires extra indirection to to find corresponding method in in the actual class. Abstract classes are fast

10.Interfaces are often used to describe the peripheral abilities of a class, and not its central identity, E.g. an Automobile class might
implement the Recyclable interface, which could apply to many otherwise totally unrelated objects.

Note: There is no difference between a fully abstract class (all methods declared as abstract and all fields are public static final) and an interface.

Note: If the various objects are all of-a-kind, and share a common state and behavior, then tend towards a common base class. If all they
share is a set of method signatures, then tend towards an interface.

Neither Abstract classes nor Interface can be instantiated

2 What does it mean that a method or class is abstract?

An abstract class cannot be instantiated. Only its subclasses can be instantiated. A class that has one or more abstract methods must be declared abstract. A subclass that does not provide an implementation for its inherited abstract methods must also be declared abstract. You indicate that a class is abstract with the abstract keyword like this:

public abstract class AbstractClass

Abstract classes may contain abstract methods. A method declared abstract is not actually implemented in the class. It exists only to be overridden in subclasses. Abstract methods may only be included in abstract classes. However, an abstract class is not required to have any abstract methods, though most of them do. Each subclass of an abstract class must override the abstract methods of its superclasses
or itself be declared abstract. Only the method’s prototype is provided in the class definition. Also, a final method can not be abstract and vice versa. Methods specified in an interface are implicitly abstract.
. It has no body. For example,

public abstract float getInfo()

3 What must a class do to implement an interface?

The class must provide all of the methods in the interface and identify the interface in its implements clause.

4 What is an abstract method?

An abstract method is a method whose implementation is deferred to a subclass.

5 What is interface? How to support multiple inhertance in Java?


What is a cloneable interface and how many methods does it contain?

An Interface are implicitly abstract and public. Interfaces with empty bodies are called marker interfaces having certain property or behavior. Examples:java.lang.Cloneable,,java.util.EventListener. An interface body can contain constant declarations, method prototype declarations, nested class declarations, and nested interface declarations.

Interfaces provide support for multiple inheritance in Java. A class that implements the interfaces is bound to implement all the methods defined in Interface.
Example of Interface:
public interface sampleInterface {
public void functionOne();

public long CONSTANT_ONE = 1000;

6 What is an abstract class?
Can you make an instance of an abstract class?

Abstract classes can contain abstract and concrete methods. Abstract classes cannot be instantiated directly i.e. we cannot call the constructor of an abstract class directly nor we can create an instance of an abstract class by using “Class.forName().newInstance()” (Here we get java.lang.InstantiationException). However, if we create an instance of a class that extends an Abstract class, compiler will initialize both the classes. Here compiler will implicitly call the constructor of the Abstract class. Any class that contain an abstract method must be declared “abstract” and abstract methods can have definitions only in child classes. By overriding and customizing the abstract methods in more than one subclass makes “Polymorphism” and through Inheritance we define body to the abstract methods. Basically an abstract class serves as a template. Abstract class must be extended/subclassed for it to be implemented. A class may be declared abstract even if it has no abstract methods. This prevents it from being instantiated. Abstract class is a class that provides some general functionality but leaves specific implementation to its inheriting classes.

Example of Abstract class:

abstract class AbstractClassExample{

protected String name;
public String getname() {
return name;
public abstract void function();

Example: Vehicle is an abstract class and Bus Truck, car etc are specific implementations

No! You cannot make an instance of an abstract class. An abstract class has to be sub-classed.
If you have an abstract class and you want to use a method which has been implemented, you may
need to subclass that abstract class, instantiate your subclass and then call that method.

7 What is meant by "Abstract Interface"?

Firstly, an interface is abstract. That means you cannot have any implementation in an interface.
All the methods declared in an interface are abstract methods or signatures of the methods.

8 How to define an Interface?

In Java Interface defines the methods but does not implement them. Interface can include constants.
A class that implements the interfaces is bound to implement all the methods defined in Interface.
Example of Interface:

public interface SampleInterface {
public void functionOne();

public long CONSTANT_ONE = 1000;

9 Can Abstract Class have constructors? Can interfaces have constructors?

Abstract class's can have a constructor, but you cannot access it through the object, since you cannot instantiate abstract class. To access the constructor create a sub class and extend the abstract class which is having the constructor.

public abstract class AbstractExample {
public AbstractExample(){
System.out.println("In AbstractExample()");

public class Test extends AbstractExample{
public static void main(String args[]){
Test obj=new Test();

10 If interface & abstract class have same methods and those methods contain no implementation, which one would you prefer?

Obviously one should ideally go for an interface, as we can only extend one class. Implementing an interface for a class is very much effective rather than extending an abstract class because we can extend some other useful class for this subclass

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Java Classes and Objects Interview Questions

1 What restrictions are placed on method overloading?

Two methods may not have the same name and argument list but different return types.

What is the difference between String and StringBuffer?

String objects are immutable whereas StringBuffer objects are not. StringBuffer unlike Strings support growable and modifiable strings.

What is the default value of an object reference declared as an instance variable?

null unless we define it explicitly.

What is the difference between a constructor and a method?

A constructor is a member function of a class that is used to create objects of that class, invoked using the new operator. It has the same name as the class and has no return type. They are only called once, whereas member functions can be called many times. A method is an ordinary member function of a class. It has its own name, a return type (which may be void), and is invoked using the dot operator. Constructor will be automatically invoked when an object is created whereas method has to be called explicitly.

How can call a method or a constructor defined in a superclass from subclass?

super.method(); is used to call a super class method from a sub class. To call a constructor of the super class, we use the super(); statement as the first line of the subclass’s constructor.

Can a top-level class be private or protected?

No. A top-level class cannot be private or protected. It can have either "public" or no modifier. If it does not have a modifier it is supposed to have a default access. If a top level class is declared as private/protected the compiler will complain that the "modifier private is not allowed here”.

7 How Java does not support multiple inheritance?

Java does support multiple inheritance via interface implementation.

Where and how can you use a private constructor?

Private constructor can be used if you do not want any other class to instantiate the class. This concept is generally used in Singleton Design Pattern. The instantiation of such classes is done from a static public method.

9 How are this() and super() used with constructors?

this() is used to invoke a constructor of the same class. super() is used to invoke a superclass constructor.

What is Method Overriding? What restrictions are placed on method overriding?

When a class defines a method using the same name, return type, and argument list as that of a method in its superclass, the method in the subclass is said to override the method present in the Superclass. When the method is invoked for an object of the
class, it is the new definition of the method that is called, and not the method definition from superclass.
Restrictions placed on method overriding
• Overridden methods must have the same name, argument list, and return type.
• The overriding method may not limit the access of the method it overrides. Methods may be overridden to be more public, not more private.
• The overriding method may not throw any exceptions that may not be thrown by the overridden method.

Differentiate between a Class and an Object?

The Object class is the highest-level class in the Java class hierarchy. The Class class is used to represent the classes and interfaces that are loaded by a Java program. The Class class is used to obtain information about an object's design. A Class is only a definition or prototype of real life object. Whereas an object is an instance or living representation of real life object. Every object belongs to a class and every class contains one or more related objects.

What is a singleton class? Or What is singleton pattern?

This design pattern is used by an application to ensure that at any time there is only one instance of a class created. You can achieve this by having the private constructor in the class and having a getter method which returns an object of the class and creates one for the first time if its null.

13 What is method overloading and method overriding?


What is difference between overloading and overriding?

Method overloading: When 2 or more methods in a class have the same method names with different arguments, it is said to be method overloading. Overloading does not block inheritance from the superclass. Overloaded methods must have different method signatures

Method overriding : When a method in a class has the same method name with same arguments as that of the superclass,
it is said to be method overriding. Overriding blocks inheritance from the superclass. Overridden methods must have same signature.

Basically overloading and overriding are different aspects of polymorphism.

static/early binding polymorphism: overloading
dynamic/late binding polymorphism: overriding

If a class is declared without any access modifiers, where may the class be accessed?

A class that is declared without any access modifiers is said to have package or default access. This means that the class can only be accessed by other classes and interfaces that are defined within the same package.

Does a class inherit the constructors of its superclass?

A class does not inherit constructors from any of its super classes.

Which java.util classes and interfaces support event handling?

The EventObject class and the EventListener interface support event processing

17 Can an object's finalize() method be invoked while it is reachable?

An object's finalize() method cannot be invoked by the garbage collector while the object is still reachable. However, an object's finalize() method may be invoked by other objects.

What is the purpose of the Runtime class?

The purpose of the Runtime class is to provide access to the Java runtime system.

It returns the runtime information like memory availability.

* Runtime.freeMemory() --> Returns JVM Free Memory
* Runtime.maxMemory() --> Returns the maximum amount of memory that the JVM will attempt to use. It also helps to run the garbage collector
* Runtime.gc()

19 What is the purpose of the System class?

The purpose of the System class is to provide access to system resources.

What is a bean? Where can it be used?

A Bean is a reusable and self-contained software component. Beans created using java take advantage of all the security and platform independent features of java. Bean can be plugged into any software application. Bean is a simple class which has set and get methods. It could be used within a JSP using JSP tags to use them.

What is the functionality of instanceOf() ?

instanceOf opertaor is used to check whether an object can be cast to a specific type without throwing ClassCastException.

22 What would happen if you say this = null?

It will come up with Error Message

"The left-hand side of an assignment must be a variable".

I want to create two instances of a class ,But when trying for creating third instance it should not allow me to create . What i have to do for making this?

One way of doing this would be:

public class test1


static int cntr=0;


{ cntr++;


throw new NullPointerException();//u can define a new exception // for this


public static void main(String args[])


test1 t1= new test1();

System.out.println("hello 1");

test1 t2= new test1();

System.out.println("hello 2");

test1 t3= new test1();



24 What is the difference between an object and an instance?

An Object May not have a class definition. eg int a[] where a is an array.

An Instance should have a class definition.

eg MyClass my=new MyClass();

my is an instance.

What is heap in Java?

It is a memory area which stores all the objects created by an executing program.

26 Why default constructor of base class will be called first in java?

A subclass inherits all the methods and fields (eligible one) from the base class, so base class is constructed in the process of creation of subclass object (subclass is also an object of superclass). Hence before initializing the default value of sub class the super class should be initialized using the default constructor.

27 What are the other ways to create an object other than creating as new object?

We can create object in different ways; operator

2.class.forName: Classname obj = Class.forName("Fully Qualified class Name").newInstance();



28 What is the difference between instance, object, reference and a class?

Class: A class is a user defined data type with set of data members & member functions

Object: An Object is an instance of a class

Reference: A reference is just like a pointer pointing to an object

Instance: This represents the values of data members of a class at a particular time