Altera Interview Questions & Reviews
Getting an Interview
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Summer Internship Interview (Neutral Experience; Easy Interview)
I applied through college or university and the process took 1 week - interviewed at Altera in February 2014.
Interview Details – My advisor had referred me for the position. Received an email for scheduling a telephonic interview. The interview last for an hour or so. I was asked about my work experience and projects. The interviewer dod not ask any technical question from projects, it was more of what I did. He expalined the work in his team and though my skills and experience did not match any of those. (Though is was somewhat similar). I was asked just one question on writing a verilog code for a simple state machine. Wasn't asked any more questions. I wrote the code too quickly and thought he wouldn't like me to keep him waiting for too long and will also be helping me in correcting it. He then gave hints for correcting it after that. But I think he expected it to be right in first go.
Interview Question – Writing a code for a state machine on telephonic interview. Answer Question
Design Engineer Interview (Negative Experience; Difficult Interview)
I applied through college or university and the process took 2+ weeks - interviewed at Altera in February 2014.
Interview Details – Met the team leader at school's career fair. They called me to set up an onsite interview but I did not receive a confirmation till 3 days before. The interview itself was technical transistor-related questions and a little more in depth discussion of projects on my resume. You need to have your technical knowledge at your fingertips to do well.
Overall, okay interview, the company culture itself did not seem to impress me much. Out of the 6 interviewers, 3 did not show up because they had other "commitments". One of the interviewers kept texting while speaking to me which just appeared downright disrespectful.
Interview Question – Can you draw a schematic for the entire 3 stage Analog amplifier you designed as part of your class ? Answer Question
Software Engineer Intern Interview (Neutral Experience; Easy Interview)
The process took 2 weeks - interviewed at Altera in April 2013.
Interview Details – Had two phone interviews, neither of which I think would have been difficult for a prepared candidate. However, this was my first interview experience and, as a silly college freshman who had just decided to pursue the computer science major, I was thoroughly unprepared at the time.
I don't remember the details, but as far as I recall the interviews went like this:
First phone interview(1h30):
Spent maybe fifteen minutes to a half an hour asking some behavioral questions and explaining what his role was: what classes? Why computer science? Etc
Then several simple brainteasers and coding questions: the common find a loop in a linked list, flipping a stack of pancakes so that it ends with largest on the bottom to smallest on top, and the number of rounds in a tennis tournament with n teams (log2n). I think there were two more that were slightly more difficult than these.
One coding question with a shared document online: something about 0s and 1s in matrices, but I don't really remember.
Second phone interview(30 min):
Went straight to coding on a shared document.
Was asked to write a for loop to add numbers one to a million, and to reverse a string in-place.
Interview Question – a matrix question I don't really remember Answer Question
Applications Engineer Interview (Positive Experience; Easy Interview)
I applied online and the process took 4+ weeks - interviewed at Altera in November 2013.
Interview Details – I applied online through Altera career website. Received an email from senior engineer a month later to schedule a phone interview the following week. The phone interview was a typical go over you resume and you educational experiences in digital system. Interviewer was up front about my experience and rejected me professional on the phone. The interviewer did not ask if I had any questions for him or the position, so I was left with a bitter feeling.
Interview Question – none, go over profile Answer Question
Very Easy Interview
SAP Developer Interview (Negative Experience; Very Easy Interview)
I applied online and the process took 4 months - interviewed at Altera in May 2013.
Interview Details – Too long interview process, you never know for what you will be kicked off
Interview Question – Nothing was difficult Answer Question
Senior Business Analyst Interview (Positive Experience; Easy Interview)
I interviewed at Altera in September 2012.
Interview Details – I had a quick call with the hiring manager and was called onboard for interviews with 4 people including one with HR. I felt the interviews went well, but then wasnt replied to, until I checked with the HR. She asked me to wait another week.
Interview Question – Nothing difficult, basic BA questions, what will you do if you face conflicting requirements. View Answer
Web Interview (Neutral Experience; Average Interview)
I applied online and the process took 2 weeks - interviewed at Altera.
Interview Details – Submitted online and heard back from their recruiter in about a week. Two days later I had a 30 minutes phone interview. The following Monday I had an onsite interview for about 2.5 hours in the morning. A total of 3 people, 45 minutes each. Within 3 days, I was asked to come back for 2nd round. The second round was with the Sr Manager for about 30 minutes. A week goes by and I haven't heard so I email back. At this time I though my chances were pretty slim knowing that they were very aggressive in the beginning.
Interview Question – Not anything too technical that I couldn't anwser. Some are very general and some are related to my past experiences like "tell me a time....." Answer Question
Senior Information Security Analyst Interview (Negative Experience; Easy Interview)
I applied through a staffing agency and the process took 4+ weeks - interviewed at Altera in August 2012.
Interview Details – I was contacted bu an agency (headhunter) that had talked to me a few months ago about a different role, thinking I would be a good fit for this Senior InfoSec Analyst role. Always up for investigating a new opportunity, I went along for the ride.
The headhunter quickly set up a telephone interview with the hiring manager, which focused on buzzword bingo – APT, DLP, and the like. Nothing specific or technical, more of a review of my background and how it matched with their needs. Seems this is a new department, he had only two direct reports and was looking for an experienced, senior person to help grow and mentor the team. The conversation went well, and was scheduled for an onsite.
The four hour scheduled onsite was a mix of individual and panel interviews, including one via telephone with a remote worker. Plenty of opportunities for a bathroom break, and for a bottle of water. The HR staffing person and I had a short conversation, and then a short tour of the facility. It was really cool to see the fab testing rooms (from the picture windows of course), helped pull the picture together of the organization and my research prior. The HR staffing person specifically pointed out they painted many of the walls different colors due to previous interviewees commenting on how drab the office environment looked. No mention of how the drab cube farms still gave the office environment the typical drone feel.
The technical interviews were average overall, some did not give an opportunity to ask questions where others provided ample opportunities. Though I did note that multiple times individuals mentioned how much of a challenge it was working with & for their engineers – the chip makers and designers. Gave the impression that the design engineers ruled the roost around this place.
Up until meeting the two other analysts, I could assume the day was going well. Quickly it was evident they were green and inexperienced – both in their interviewing and as analysts. One barely asked any questions, the other asking on topics that was buzzword bingo or on topics that were barely relevant to the role. When my answers were not meeting her satisfaction, she started getting visibly frustrated – seems my answers were above and beyond what they were used to is my only guess. When leaving, her snarky 'Good Luck' clued me in that there was no chance in hell – and if I was hired, she would be a HR complaint waiting to happen.
Finally meeting with the hiring manager in person in closing the afternoon, I tried to address some of the issues and concerns his young analysts brought forth. Seems the company does not have a CISO, he reports to the CIO (good luck getting priorities and funding). The company had some major InfoSec incidents last year, so in response they hired him and are starting to put a team together. They are investing in some tools, he just hired the two new analysts, and is putting together a strategy on how to head forward. The meager training budget per employee for the year restricts what they can improve upon, but
My impression was that they are another company with little to no InfoSec program, throwing some finding at a small team and a bunch of tools to “solve their problems.” Let me quote Bruce Schneier: "If you think technology can solve your security problems, then you don't understand the problems and you don't understand the technology." They are looking for InfoSec engineers/sysadmins, not analysts. This organization has a long way to grow in their InfoSec posture; and after my experience talking with them for an afternoon I have no interest in helping them find their way. I would also caution anyone interviewing for these roles to do the same.
Software Engineer Interview (Positive Experience; Average Interview)
I applied through an employee referral and the process took 1 week - interviewed at Altera in June 2012.
Interview Details – I got the interview call through employee referral program. The screening interview was onsite, no phone screening interview. The interview lasted for about an hour. Interviewer told me about position and the team. He asked me a couple of questions on C programming and then asked me to write two programs mentioned below.
Intern Interview (Neutral Experience; Average Interview)
I applied online and the process took a day - interviewed at Altera in February 2012.
Interview Details – Was for intern position so asked basic stuff about digital design and verilog. gate level based implementation.
Interview Question – nand gate based D-filp/flop Answer Question
Interviews for Top Jobs at Altera