destroy() gets executed and the initialization process continues. It is a trick question in servlets interview.
In java servlet, destroy() is not supposed to be called by the programmer. But, if it is invoked, it gets executed. The implicit question is, will the servlet get destroyed? No, it will not. destroy() method is not supposed to and will not destroy a java servlet. Don’t get confused by the name. It should have been better, if it was named onDestroy().
The meaning of destroy() in java servlet is, the content gets executed just before when the container decides to destroy the servlet. But if you invoke the destroy() method yourself, the content just gets executed and then the respective process continues. With respective to this question, the destroy() gets executed and then the servlet initialization gets completed.
Have a look at this java servlet interview question: Servlet Life Cycle – Explain, it might help you to understand better.
This Servlet tutorial was added on 27/05/2008.