AMOS Developer Hiring Guide

Hiring Guide for AMOS Engineers

Ask the right questions to secure the right AMOS talent among an increasingly shrinking pool of talent.

AMOS is a statistical software package that provides a powerful graphical interface for both the specification and identification of structural equation models (SEM). Developed by Dr. James Arbuckle and acquired by SPSS Inc. in 1994, it uses path diagrams, simplifying the understanding of SEMs. AMOS allows users to build models more accurately than with standard multivariate statistical techniques alone. With its ability to handle large data sets and missing data, AMOS has become an essential tool for researchers in various fields including psychology, business, education and social sciences.

First 20 minutes

General AMOS knowledge and experience

The next 20 minutes of the interview should attempt to focus more specifically on the development questions used, and the level of depth and skill the engineer possesses.

What are the steps to perform Bootstrapping in AMOS?

To perform Bootstrapping in AMOS, you would go to the 'Analysis Properties' dialog box, select the 'Bootstrap' tab, check the 'Perform bootstrapping' box, and then specify the number of bootstrap samples and the bootstrap confidence interval level.

How would you validate a model in AMOS?

Model validation in AMOS usually involves checking the model fit indices such as Chi-Square, RMSEA, TLI, and CFI. A good model will have a non-significant Chi-Square, RMSEA less than 0.08, and TLI and CFI greater than 0.90.

Describe the difference between AMOS and other statistical software?

Unlike other statistical software, AMOS provides only Structural Equation Modeling (SEM) capabilities, but it does this in a more comprehensive and user-friendly way. It also has a unique graphical interface for specifying models.

What are the key features of AMOS?

Key features of AMOS include: data imputation, bootstrapping, model comparison, model modification, multivariate models, and it also supports Bayesian SEM.

How would you describe the primary purpose of AMOS?

The primary purpose of AMOS is to provide a comprehensive, flexible, and powerful framework for structural equation modeling, which allows you to test and confirm the validity of certain hypothesized relationships.

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What youre looking for early-on

Does the candidate have a good understanding of the aviation industry?

As AMOS is primarily used in the aviation industry, having some knowledge of this industry can be beneficial.

Has the candidate shown an ability to learn new technologies quickly?

The tech industry is always evolving, so it's important that the candidate is able to keep up and learn new technologies as needed.

Does the candidate have experience with other relevant technologies?

While AMOS is the primary software, experience with other relevant technologies can be beneficial and show a well-rounded skill set.

Is the candidate able to communicate effectively?

Communication is important in any role, but especially in development where they may need to explain complex concepts to non-technical team members.

Has the candidate demonstrated problem-solving skills?

Problem-solving is a key skill for any developer. They should be able to demonstrate their ability to identify, analyze, and solve problems.

Does the candidate have a strong understanding of AMOS software?

This is crucial as the candidate will be working extensively with AMOS. They should be able to demonstrate their knowledge and experience with the software.

Next 20 minutes

Specific AMOS development questions

The next 20 minutes of the interview should attempt to focus more specifically on the development questions used, and the level of depth and skill the engineer possesses.

Describe the difference between observed and latent variables in AMOS?

Observed variables are variables that can be directly measured, such as age or income. Latent variables, on the other hand, are not directly observable and are inferred from other variables. In AMOS, these are often psychological constructs like satisfaction or motivation.

How would you compare multiple models in AMOS?

To compare multiple models in AMOS, I would use the 'Nested Model Comparison' feature. This allows you to test the difference in fit between two nested models by calculating the difference in their chi-square values.

What are the assumptions that should be satisfied before performing SEM in AMOS?

Before performing SEM in AMOS, the data should satisfy assumptions of multivariate normality, linearity, and homoscedasticity. The model should also be correctly specified, meaning it should be both theoretically and statistically sound.

How would you handle missing data in AMOS?

AMOS provides different methods to handle missing data such as Full Information Maximum Likelihood (FIML) and regression imputation. However, the best approach depends on the nature and extent of the missing data.

Describe the difference between covariance-based SEM and component-based SEM in AMOS?

Covariance-based SEM, used in AMOS, attempts to minimize the difference between the observed covariance matrix and the predicted one, while component-based SEM focuses on maximizing the variance of dependent constructs explained by the independent constructs.

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The ideal back-end app developer

What you’re looking to see on the AMOS engineer at this point.

At this point, a skilled AMOS engineer should have demonstrated a deep understanding of the AMOS system, strong problem-solving abilities, and effective communication skills. Red flags would include a lack of technical knowledge, inability to explain complex concepts simply, or poor problem-solving examples.

Digging deeper

Code questions

These will help you see the candidate's real-world development capabilities with AMOS.

What does the following AMOS code do?

SPOOL C:\temp\test.txt

This code is used to set up a script environment in AMOS. It turns off paging, printing, echoing, and terminal output. It also sets the server output size and specifies a location to spool the output to a text file.

What will be the output of the following AMOS code?

  p_var := 10;
  DBMS_OUTPUT.PUT_LINE('Value of p_var: ' || p_var);

This code will output the text 'Value of p_var: 10'. It defines a variable p_var, assigns the value 10 to it, and then prints the value of p_var.

What does the following AMOS code do?

  v_numbers t_numbers;
  v_numbers(1) := 10;
  v_numbers(2) := 20;
  DBMS_OUTPUT.PUT_LINE('Sum: ' || (v_numbers(1) + v_numbers(2)));

This code declares an associative array of numbers, assigns values to the first two elements, and then prints the sum of these two elements. The output will be 'Sum: 30'.

What does the following AMOS code do?

  v_counter NUMBER := 0;
  FOR i IN 1..100 LOOP
    v_counter := v_counter + 1;
  DBMS_OUTPUT.PUT_LINE('Counter: ' || v_counter);

This code initializes a counter variable to 0, then increments the counter in a loop that runs 100 times. After the loop, it prints the value of the counter. The output will be 'Counter: 100'.

What does the following AMOS code do?

  name VARCHAR2(100),
  age NUMBER
  v_person t_person := t_person('John', 30);
  DBMS_OUTPUT.PUT_LINE('Name: ' || || ', Age: ' || v_person.age);

This code defines an object type 't_person' with two attributes: name and age. It then declares a variable of this type, initializes it with values, and prints these values. The output will be 'Name: John, Age: 30'.

What will be the output of the following AMOS code?

  v_var1 NUMBER := 10;
  v_var2 NUMBER := 20;
  IF v_var1 > v_var2 THEN
    DBMS_OUTPUT.PUT_LINE('v_var1 is greater');
    DBMS_OUTPUT.PUT_LINE('v_var2 is greater');

This code compares two variables and prints a message depending on which one is greater. Since v_var1 is less than v_var2, the output will be 'v_var2 is greater'.

Wrap-up questions

Final candidate for AMOS role questions

The final few interview questions for a AMOS candidate should typically focus on a combination of technical skills, personal goals, growth potential, team dynamics, and company culture.

What are the limitations and challenges of using AMOS for SEM?

Some limitations and challenges of using AMOS for SEM include: it does not support multi-level modeling, it assumes multivariate normality, it can be difficult to specify complex models, and it can be challenging to interpret results, especially for beginners.

How would you approach model modification in AMOS?

Model modification in AMOS should be guided by theory and the modification indices provided by the software. One could consider adding or removing paths, or allowing error terms to correlate. However, it's important to avoid 'overfitting' the model to the data.

Describe the difference between formative and reflective measurement models in AMOS?

In a formative measurement model, the latent variable is formed by its indicators, meaning changes in the indicators cause changes in the latent variable. In a reflective model, changes in the latent variable cause changes in the indicators. AMOS traditionally supports reflective models.

What are the implications of a poor model fit in AMOS?

A poor model fit in AMOS implies that the hypothesized model does not adequately represent the data. This could mean that some relationships between variables are missing, incorrectly specified, or that the assumptions of the analysis have been violated.

How would you handle multicollinearity in AMOS?

Multicollinearity in AMOS can be detected by examining the modification indices and standard errors. To handle it, you can either remove or combine the collinear variables, or you can use regularization methods.

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AMOS application related

Product Perfect's AMOS development capabilities

Beyond hiring for your AMOS engineering team, you may be in the market for additional help. Product Perfect provides seasoned expertise in AMOS projects, and can engage in multiple capacities.