C Language Interview Question and Answers - C Interview Questions and Answers for Experienced programmers covering all aspects of C programming
How do you construct an increment statement or decrement statement in C?
There are actually two ways you can do this. One is to use the increment operator ++ and decrement operator –. For example, the statement “x++” means to increment the value of x by 1. Likewise, the statement “x –” means to decrement the value of x by 1. Another way of writing increment statements is to use the conventional + plus sign or – minus sign. In the case of “x++”, another way to write it is “x = x +1”.

What is the difference between Call by Value and Call by Reference?
When using Call by Value, you are sending the value of a variable as parameter to a function, whereas Call by Reference sends the address of the variable. Also, under Call by Value, the value in the parameter is not affected by whatever operation that takes place, while in the case of Call by Reference, values can be affected by the process within the function.

What is a stack?
A stack is one form of a data structure. Data is stored in stacks using the FILO (First In Last Out) approach. At any particular instance, only the top of the stack is accessible, which means that in order to retrieve data that is stored inside the stack, those on the upper part should be extracted first. Storing data in a stack is also referred to as a PUSH, while data retrieval is referred to as a POP.

What is a sequential access file?
When writing programs that will store and retrieve data in a file, it is possible to designate that file into different forms. A sequential access file is such that data are saved in sequential order: one data is placed into the file after another. To access a particular data within the sequential access file, data has to be read one data at a time, until the right one is reached.

What is variable initialization and why is it important?
This refers to the process wherein a variable is assigned an initial value before it is used in the program. Without initialization, a variable would have an unknown value, which can lead to unpredictable outputs when used in computations or other operations.

What is the modulus operator?
The modulus operator outputs the remainder of a division. It makes use of the percentage (%) symbol. For example: 10 % 3 = 1, meaning when you divide 10 by 3, the remainder is 1.

What is a nested loop?
A nested loop is a loop that runs within another loop. Put it in another sense, you have an inner loop that is inside an outer loop. In this scenario, the inner loop is performed a number of times as specified by the outer loop. For each turn on the outer loop, the inner loop is first performed.
Which of the following operators is incorrect and why? ( >=, <=, <>, ==)
<> is incorrect. While this operator is correctly interpreted as “not  equal to” in writing conditional statements, it is not the proper operator to be used in C programming. Instead, the operator  !=  must be used to indicate “not equal to” condition.

Compare and contrast compilers from interpreters
Compilers and interpreters often deal with how program codes are executed. Interpreters execute program codes one line at a time, while compilers take the program as a whole and convert it into object code, before executing it. The key difference here is that in the case of interpreters, a program may encounter syntax errors in the middle of execution, and will stop from there. On the other hand, compilers check the syntax of the entire program and will only proceed to execution when no syntax errors are found.

What are header files and what are its uses in C programming?
Header files are also known as library files. They contain two essential things: the definitions and prototypes of functions being used in a program. Simply put, commands that you use in C programming are actually functions that are defined from within each header files. Each header file contains a set of functions. For example: stdio.h is a header file that contains definition and prototypes of commands like printf and scanf.

What is syntax error?
Syntax errors are associated with mistakes in the use of a programming language. It maybe a command that was misspelled or a command that must was entered in lowercase mode but was instead entered with an upper case character. A misplaced symbol, or lack of symbol, somewhere within a line of code can also lead to syntax error.

What are variables and it what way is it different from constants?
Variables and constants may at first look similar in a sense that both are identifiers made up of one character or more characters (letters, numbers and a few allowable symbols). Both will also hold a particular value.  Values held by a variable can be altered throughout the program, and can be used in most operations and computations. Constants are given values at one time only, placed at the beginning of a program. This value is not altered in the program. For example, you can assigned a constant named PI and give it a value 3.1415 .  You can then use it as PI in the program, instead of having to write 3.1415 each time you need it.

How do you access the values within an array?
Arrays contain a number of elements, depending on the size you gave it during variable declaration. Each element is assigned a number from 0 to number of elements-1. To assign or retrieve the value of a particular element, refer to the element number. For example: if you have a declaration that says “intscores[5];”, then you have 5 accessible elements, namely: scores[0], scores[1], scores[2], scores[3] and scores[4].

Can I use “int” data type to store the value 32768? Why?
No. “int” data type is capable of storing values from -32768 to 32767. To store 32768, you can use “long int” instead. You can also use “unsigned int”, assuming you don’t intend to store negative values.

Can two or more operators such as \n and \t be combined in a single line of program code?
Yes, it’s perfectly valid to combine operators, especially if the need arises. For example: you can have a code like ” printf (“Hello\n\n\’World\'”) ” to output the text “Hello” on the first line and “World” enclosed in single quotes to appear on the next two lines.

Why is it that not all header files are declared in every C program?
The choice of declaring a header file at the top of each C program would depend on what commands/functions you will be using in that program. Since each header file contains different function definitions and prototype, you would be using only those header files that would contain the functions you will need. Declaring all header files in every program would only increase the overall file size and load of the program, and is not considered a good programming style.

Describe the order of precedence with regards to operators in C.
Order of precedence determines which operation must first take place in an operation statement or conditional statement. On the top most level of precedence are the unary operators !, +, – and &. It is followed by the regular mathematical operators (*, / and modulus % first, followed by + and -). Next in line are the relational operators <, <=, >= and >. This is then followed by the two equality operators == and !=. The logical operators && and || are next evaluated. On the last level is the assignment operator =.

What is wrong with this statement? myName = “Robin”;
You cannot use the = sign to assign values to a string variable. Instead, use the strcpy function. The correct statement would be: strcpy(myName, “Robin”);

How do you determine the length of a string value that was stored in a variable?
To get the length of a string value, use the function strlen(). For example, if you have a variable named FullName, you can get the length of the stored string value by using this statement: I = strlen(FullName); the variable I will now have the character length of the string value.

What is FIFO?
In C programming, there is a data structure known as queue. In this structure, data is stored and accessed using FIFO format, or First-In-First-Out. A queue represents a line wherein the first data that was stored will be the first one that is accessible as well.

What are binary trees?
Binary trees are actually an extension of the concept of linked lists. A binary tree has two pointers, a left one and a right one. Each side can further branch to form additional nodes, which each node having two pointers as well.

Not all reserved words are written in lowercase. TRUE or FALSE?
FALSE. All reserved words must be written in lowercase; otherwise the C compiler would interpret this as unidentified and invalid.

What is the difference between the expression “++a” and “a++”?
In the first expression, the increment would happen first on variable a, and the resulting value will be the one to be used. This is also known as a prefix increment. In the second expression, the current value of variable a would the one to be used in an operation, before the value of a itself is incremented. This is also known as postfix increment.

What is an endless loop?
An endless loop can mean two things. One is that it was designed to loop continuously until the condition within the loop is met, after which a break function would cause the program to step out of the loop. Another idea of an endless loop is when an incorrect loop condition was written, causing the loop to run erroneously forever. Endless loops are oftentimes referred to as infinite loops.

What is a program flowchart and how does it help in writing a program?
A flowchart provides a visual representation of the step by step procedure towards solving a given problem. Flowcharts are made of symbols, with each symbol in the form of different shapes. Each shape may represent a particular entity within the entire program structure, such as a process, a condition, or even an input/output phase.

What are actual arguments?
When you create and use functions that need to perform an action on some given values, you need to pass these given values to that function. The values that are being passed into the called function are referred to as actual arguments.

What is a newline escape sequence?
A newline escape sequence is represented by the \n character. This is used to insert a new line when displaying data in the output screen. More spaces can be added by inserting more \n characters. For example, \n\n would insert two spaces. A newline escape sequence can be placed before the actual output expression or after.

What is output redirection?
It is the process of transferring data to an alternative output source other than the display screen. Output redirection allows a program to have its output saved to a file. For example, if you have a program named COMPUTE, typing this on the command line as COMPUTE >DATA can accept input from the user, perform certain computations, then have the output redirected to a file named DATA, instead of showing it on the screen.

What are run-time errors?
These are errors that occur while the program is being executed. One common instance wherein run-time errors can happen is when you are trying to divide a number by zero. When run-time errors occur, program execution will pause, showing which program line caused the error.

What is the difference between functions abs() and fabs()?
These 2 functions basically perform the same action, which is to get the absolute value of the given value. Abs() is used for integer values, while fabs() is used for floating type numbers. Also, the prototype for abs() is under <stdlib.h>, while fabs() is under <math.h>.

What are formal parameters?
In using functions in a C program, formal parameters contain the values that were passed by the calling function. The values are substituted in these formal parameters and used in whatever operations as indicated within the main body of the called function.

What are control structures?
Control structures take charge at which instructions are to be performed in a program. This means that program flow may not necessarily move from one statement to the next one, but rather some alternative portions may need to be pass into or bypassed from, depending on the outcome of the conditional statements.

Write a simple code fragment that will check if a number is positive or negative.
If (num&gt;=0)
printf(&quot;number is positive&quot;);
else
printf (&quot;number is negative&quot;);
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