20 Tricky Cobol Interview Questions and Answers

In the world of Cobol, there are many Tricky Cobol Interview Questions. However, by understanding the basics of this programming language, you can avoid making difficult decisions that could lead to a positive reaction from a potential employer. Here are 20 tips to help you answer difficult Tricky Cobol Interview Questions

Question 01: What are the characteristics of COBOL as a business language?

Answers: Some critical characteristics of COBOL as a business language include its ease of use, portability, and readability. COBOL is also a very reliable language; its syntax is designed to be self-documenting.

Question 02: List some features of COBOL.

Answers: COBOL is a programming language that helps manage and communicate business processes. It is used by many businesses today and has many features that make it an attractive choice for those in business. Here are some features of COBOL:

  • Sequential and free-format source code 
  • A COBOL program is divided into four divisions: identification, environment, data, and procedure 
  • Data is organized into records, which are made up of fields 
  • Fields are identified by names 5. COBOL is case insensitive
  • Programs can be written in American English or British English
  • COBOL has over thirty reserved words 
  • Programs can be compiled and executed on most operating systems
  • COBOL is a structured programming language
  • COBOL programs can be easily linked to other programs written in other languages

Question 03: What are the divisions in COBOL?

Answers: COBOL is a popular business software system used by corporations and governments. It has been used for decades and is considered one of the most versatile systems. 

There are four divisions in COBOL: 

  1. Identification Division
  2. Environment Division
  3. Data Division
  4. Procedure Division

Question 04: What was removed from COBOL in the COBOL II implementation?

Answers: In COBOL, the system’s operating environment was controlled by the COBOL Standard. This included using keywords and another reserved language, which allowed for the standardization of company-wide practices. However, in the COBOL II implementation, certain features were removed from the standard, including keywords and another reserved language. This change was made to make the system more accessible to non-specialists and improve its performance.

The features removed from COBOL II were: 

  • The ability to define data types
  • The ability to define procedures
  • The ability to use the GO TO statement

Question 05: What is a COBOL mainframe?

Answers: A COBOL mainframe is a computer that is designed to run the COBOL programming language. COBOL is a popular language for business applications, and mainframes are well-suited for running these applications. Mainframes are large, powerful computers handling large amounts of data and transactions.

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Question 06: What is static and dynamic linking?

Answers: Static linking is when libraries are linked directly to an executable file. Dynamic linking is when libraries are linked to an executable at run time.

Question 07: What are the rules for coding COBOL programming language?

Answers: There are no strict rules for coding COBOL programming language. However, some generally accepted conventions exist, such as using upper case for COBOL keywords, using lower case for user-defined names, and using hyphens to improve readability.

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Question 08: What are VSAM files?

Answers: VSAM files use the Virtual Storage Access Method (VSAM) to store data. VSAM is a file system that allows files to be stored in a virtual memory space, which makes it possible to access files without having to store them on a disk or other storage device physically.

Question 09: What is the best challenge using COBOL?

Answers: COBOL is a widely used programming language that offers various challenges for businesses that need to manage data. For example, COBOL can be used in large organizations to manage complex data sets. Additionally, COBOL is an affordable option for businesses that need to manage information on a budget.

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Question 10: What is an array in COBOL?

Answers: An array is a collection of data items in which an index identifies each data item.

Question 11: What are the differences between Global and External Variables?

Answers: Global variables can be accessed by any function in a program, while external variables can only be accessed by functions that are declared after the external variables.

Question 12: What is the latest COBOL version?

Answers: The latest COBOL version is COBOL 2014. The COBOL code base is evolving rapidly, and there are often new releases that include bug fixes and new features. For example, the most recent COBOL release included enhancements for managing files and databases.

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Question 13: What is a binary search?

Answers: A binary search is a search algorithm that finds the position of a target value within a sorted array. Binary search compares the target value to the middle element of the array. If the target value exceeds the central element, the search continues on the upper half of the array. If the target value is less than the middle element, then the search continues on the lower half of the array. The position is returned if the target value is equal to the middle element. The time complexity of the binary search is O(log n).

Question 14: What is a COBOL building structure?

Answers: A COBOL building structure is a set of source code files that can be compiled to create an executable program. The structure of a COBOL building structure varies depending on the implementation, but it typically includes a main COBOL source file and one or more support files.

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Question 15: What is the difference between a section and a paragraph?

Answers: A section is a larger unit of writing divided into smaller parts, while a paragraph is a smaller unit of writing that is part of a larger whole.

Question 16: Why is COBOL used in banking?

Answers: The use of COBOL in banking is due to standard business processes within the industry that are easily adaptable to the software. Additionally, COBOL is a standard for international transactions, making it easier for banks to communicate with their customers. There are many reasons why COBOL is used in banking. Some of these reasons include: 

  • COBOL is a very stable and reliable language that has been around for many years.
  • COBOL is designed for business applications, which is ideal for banking applications.
  • COBOL is easy to learn and use, which makes it ideal for bank employees who are not computer programmers.
  • COBOL is very efficient in processing data, which is critical for banks.

Question 17: What is the difference between a subscript and an index in a table definition?

Answers: A subscript is a number or letter written below and to the right of a symbol to show that it is to be used as a reference. An index is a number or letter that is written above and to the right of a symbol to show that it is to be used as a reference.

Question 18: What is inline performed in COBOL?

Answers: Inline is a type of COBOL programming where the code for a COBOL program is written in a single line. In COBOL, inline is a type of instruction used to speed up code processing. This instruction is used to include code inside another code block. This can make the code more compact and less difficult to read.

Question 19: What is the linkage section?

Answers: The linkage section is the portion of an assembly language program that defines the names and locations of the program’s subroutines and variables.

Question 20: What is a copybook in COBOL?

Answers: A copybook is a file that contains COBOL source code that one or more COBOL programs can use. In addition, copybooks can define data structures, record layouts, or program interfaces.

Conclusion about Tricky Cobol Interview Questions

In conclusion, the Tricky Cobol Interview Questions are challenging to answer without knowing more about the product. It is essential to ask questions that will help understand what the product does and how it can be used.