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COBOL - Interview questions

Dear readers, this one COBOL interview questions have been specifically designed to provide you with the type of questions you will encounter during your interview for the topic of the encounter COBOL programming language . In my experience, good interviewers hardly plan to ask a specific question during your interview. Usually questions start with some basic concept of the subject and later they will continue based on further discussion and what you answer:

Q: What do you know about COBOL?

A: COBOL stands for Common Business Oriented Language. The US Department of Defense, in a conference, formed CODASYL (Conference on Data Systems Language), a language to develop corporate computing requirements that is known today as COBOL.

Q: List some functions of the COBOL.

A:COBOL is a standard language that can be compiled and run on different machines. It is ideally suited for business-oriented applications as they process large amounts of data. It has numerous bedugging and testing tools. COBOL is a structured language; it has different divisions so it is easy to debug.

Q: What are the divisions in a COBOL program?

A:Identify divisions, neighborhood divisions, data divisions, and procedure divisions.

Q: What are the different data types available in COBOL?

A: alphanumeric (X), in alphabetical order (A), and numeric (9).

Q: What is the "numeric" clause?

A: is numeric clause is used to check whether an item is numeric or not. It returns TRUE if the element on which it is used contains only numbers (0 to 9). The element can be positive or negative.

Q: What are 66 and 88 levels used for?

A: Level 66 is used for RENAMES clause and level 88 is used for condition names.

Q: What is the difference between a subscription and an index?

A: The subscript is the occurrence in an array. Index corresponds to the displacement from the beginning of an array.

Q: What is the difference between seek and seek ALL?

A: SEARCH is a serial search, whereas SEARCH ALL is a binary search. A table must be in sorted order before using SEARCH ALL. .

Q: What is the difference between performing a section and performing a paragraph?

A: PERFORMING A SECTION will cause all paragraphs that are part of the section to be performed. Performing a paragraph causes only one digit to be performed.

Q: What is an area delimiter?

A: Scope terminator is used to mark the end of a verb. Example:. IF and END-IF.

Q: What are the file open modes in COBOL?

A: File open modes in COBOL include. INPUT, OUTPUT, IO and EXTEND.

Q: What is the maximum size of a number field we can define in COBOL?

A: The maximum size of a numeric field is PIC 9 (18).

Q: What is the difference between CONTINUE and NEXT SENTENCE?

A: NEXT transfers control to the next statement after the scope terminator. Next record transfers control to the instruction after the first period has resulted.

Q: Why can't we define clause occurs at 01 level?

A: 01 is worth the record. We repeat the fields within a record, the record itself. Such a step clause cannot be used in 01-level.

Q: What is the mode in which you can open a file for writing?

A: to write to a file to open either OUTPUT or EXTEND mode are over the file.

Q: What is the difference between Call by Content and Call by Reference?

A: The parameters are transferred in a call-by-content to protect them from changes made by the called program. When called via reference, parameters can be changed by the called program.

Q: What is a link section?

A:The link section is a part of a program called that "links" or maps to data items in the calling program's memory.

Q: What if you code BACK instead of STOP RUN in a stand-alone COBOL program?

A: the program will go in an endless loop.

Q: How are characters stored in a COMP-3 field?

A: It is stored in the last nibble.

Q: What is the difference between download and comp-3?

A: Comp is a binary usage while comp-3 gives packed decimal number.

Q: What is the purpose of the identification department?

A: Identification Division used for documentation purposes.

Q: What is the difference between static calling and dynamic calling?

A: In static call, the called program becomes a stand-alone program, it is an executable program. During the runtime we can call it up in our named program. As with dynamic calling, the called program is not an executable program; it can only be executed by the named program.

Q: What is redefine clause?

A: Defined clause is used to allow the same memory usage to be referenced by different data names.

Q: What is the purpose of the pointer set in STRING command?

A: The purpose of the pointer term is to indicate the leftmost position within the recording field where the first over characters are to be placed.

Q: What is level 77 used for?

A: It is an elementary level article that cannot be subdivided.

A: Compare the item with the item being searched in the middle. If it is okay, depending on where the element is located, otherwise repeat the process with the left half and right half.

Q: What is the use of EVALUATE statement?

A: Evaluate is like a case statement and can be used to replace nested ifs. No pause is required as control comes as soon as a match is found.

Q: Can I add an X (10) with a field of X (20)?

A: Yes, Redefine causes both fields to start in the same place.

Q: What is COMP-1 and COMP-2?

A: COMP-1 is a single precision floating point number that uses 4 bytes. COMP-2 is a double precision floating point that uses 8 bytes.

Q: What is the Accept Verb feature?

A: Take verb is used to get data such as date, time and day from the operating system or directly from the user. When a program accepts data from the user, it must be passed through the JCL.

Q: What is a Compute Declaration?

A: Compute statement is used to write arithmetic expressions in COBOL. This is a substitute for adding, subtracting, multiplying, and dividing.

Q: How can you define the files referred to in a subroutine?

A: Supply the DD cards in JCL as it is designated for the files in the main program.

Q: Which departments, areas and paragraphs are mandatory in a COBOL program?

A: Identification Division and Program-Id paragraph are mandatory in a COBOL program.

Q: Where does AREA B start from COBOL from?

A: Area B starts from 12 to 72 columns.

Q: Where does the FILE CONTROL paragraph appear?

A: It appears in the input-output section in the Environment Division.

Q: What is the difference between Run With Test After and Run With Test Before?

A: If TEST BEFORE is specified, the condition is tested at the beginning of each repeated execution of the specified PERFORM range. If TEST AFTER is specified, the state is tested at the end of each repeated execution of the PERFORM area. The area will be run at least once in the test after.


A: Local storage is assigned every time a program is called and will be de-assigned when the program stops via an EXIT PROGRAM, GOBACK or STOP RUN. It is defined in the DATA DIVISION according to the WORKING-STORAGE SECTION.

Q: What are the types of access of the START statement?

A: The access modes are SEQUENTIAL or DYNAMIC for the start statement.

Q: What's the difference between PIC 9.99 and PIC9v99?

A: PIC 9.99 is a four position field that actually contains a decimal point, where as PIC 9v99 on three position number field with an assumed decimal place.

Q: Can a search be done on a table with or without an index?

A: No, the table must be indexed in order to search on a table.

Q: Why is it necessary to open a file in IO mode for REWRITE?

A: Before REWRITE is performed, the record must be opened and read from the file. Therefore, the file must be opened in IO mode for rewrite functionality.

A: A literal is an item of data that is worth by itself. It cannot be denoted by a name. They are constant data articles.

What is now?

Additionally, you can go through the examples that you have practiced on the subject and make sure that you are able to speak on them confidently. If you're fresher, then the interviewer doesn't expect you to answer very complex questions, and doesn't make your basics very strong. .

It's really not much if you can't answer a few questions, but it's important how you answered the ones you did. So just be confident during your interview. We at tutorialspoint give you all the best ..