Sample COBOL Interview Questions

Below are sample technical questions I have encountered during interviews. You may be an Interviewer or applying for a job position such as Computer Programmer, Programmer Analyst, Software Engineer, or Developer that require skills, knowledge, and experience in COBOL (Common Business Oriented Language) programming.


How do you read a DMSII data record?
FIND NEXT, FIND LAST, FIND FIRST, FIND PRIOR

How do you create a record in DMSII database?
CREATE, MOVE values, STORE record

How do you update a DMSII data record?

OPEN database as update, LOCK the record, BEGIN-TRANSACTION, STORE the record, END-TRANSACTION

How do you update a key item in a DMSII database?
DELETE old, RECREATE, and STORE record with new key

What are the 5 kinds of PERFORM statements?
PERFORM, PERFORM THRU, PERFORM VARYING, PERFORM UNTIL, PERFORM number of TIMES

How do you create a flat file?
OPEN file as output, WRITE records, CLOSE file with SAVE, CRUNCH, LOCK, or PURGE

How do you read a flat file?
OPEN file as input, Read records sequentially, CLOSE file

How do you update or rewrite a record in a flat file?
OPEN file as I-O, Read record, Move values, REWRITE record, CLOSE file.

What are the 4 divisions in a COBOL program?
Identification Division, Environment Division, Data Division, Procedure Division

How do you define a table/array in COBOL?
Use OCCURS.
Example:
01 MONTHS-TABLE.
05 MONTH-NAME PIC X(9) OCCURS 12.

How do you sort in a COBOL program?
SORT file1 ON ASCENDING/DESCENDING KEY key . . . USING file2 GIVING file3

What is the difference between performing a SECTION and a PARAGRAPH?
Performing a SECTION will cause all the paragraphs within the section to be performed.
Performing a PARAGRAPH will cause only that paragraph to be performed.

What is the use of EVALUATE statement?
Evaluate is like a Case statement and can be used to replace nested Ifs.

What are the file OPEN modes in COBOL?
Open file as INPUT, OUTPUT, I-O, EXTEND


Mainframe COBOL, for Systems Developers of the 21st Century, COBOL CICS, Micro Focus Visual Object COBOL, Cobol for Dummies

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