Top 10 COBOL interview questions with answers

Here are the top 10 COBOL interview questions with answers:

What is COBOL?
Answer: COBOL (Common Business-Oriented Language) is a programming language used primarily for business and financial applications. It is a high-level programming language that is easy to read and understand.

What is a COBOL program structure?
Answer: A COBOL program structure consists of a division, sections, paragraphs, and sentences. The four divisions are Identification, Environment, Data, and Procedure. The sections are a logical grouping of related paragraphs. Paragraphs contain instructions and statements. Sentences are the smallest unit of executable code in COBOL.

What is a data hierarchy in COBOL?
Answer: COBOL data hierarchy consists of data items, records, files, and databases. Data items are individual elements of data, records are a collection of related data items, files are a collection of records, and databases are a collection of files.

What is the difference between COMP and COMP-3 data types?
Answer: COMP and COMP-3 are data types used for numeric data in COBOL. COMP is a binary data type, whereas COMP-3 is a packed decimal data type. COMP-3 data is stored in a more compact format than COMP data.

What is file handling in COBOL?
Answer: File handling is the process of reading and writing data to and from files in COBOL. COBOL provides several file handling statements such as OPEN, CLOSE, READ, and WRITE to work with files.

What is an Indexed File in COBOL?
Answer: An Indexed file in COBOL is a type of file organization that provides direct access to individual records using an index. COBOL provides the Indexed Sequential Access Method (ISAM) to work with indexed files.

What is a level number in COBOL?
Answer: A level number in COBOL is used to define the hierarchical structure of data items. The level number determines the relationship between data items. For example, level 01 defines the highest level of the hierarchy and contains subordinate levels of data items.

What is a Report Writer in COBOL?
Answer: A Report Writer in COBOL is a tool used to generate formatted reports from data stored in files. It provides several statements such as HEADING, DETAIL, and FOOTING to define the layout and content of the report.

What is COBOL-DB2?
Answer: COBOL-DB2 is a combination of COBOL programming language and IBM’s DB2 database management system. It provides a powerful and efficient way to develop business applications that require data processing and storage.

How do you handle errors in COBOL?
Answer: COBOL provides several error handling techniques such as ON SIZE ERROR, ON OVERFLOW, ON EXCEPTION, and ON ERROR. These techniques allow the programmer to handle different types of errors that can occur during program execution. Additionally, the use of debugging tools can help in identifying and fixing errors in COBOL programs.

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