I agree situational interviews are the way-to-go, but some theoretical clarifications won’t do any harm. Every tester needs to know the basics at least. It’s essential to be prepared for a time-boxed interview. Get some basic facts clear before facing the next interview, to avoid embarrassment.
Programming is integral to IT, and automation is no different. What interviewers are looking for is if you can think of the correct logic or algorithm. It gives them an idea about your logical thinking prowess.
Most of the times people are not afraid of too much work or learning something new or stretched working hours. What’s frustrating is the messed up work, not too-much work.