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IBM Research Researcher Interview Questions & Reviews

Updated Jul 15, 2014
All Interviews Received Offers

Getting an Interview  

25%
20%
17%

Interview Experience  

63%
22%
13%

Interview Difficulty  

Average Difficulty
45 candidate interviews Back to all interview questions
Relevance Date Difficulty
in

Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Average Interview

Postdoctoral Researcher Interview

Postdoctoral Researcher
Yorktown Heights, NY

I applied in-person and the process took a day - interviewed at IBM Research in October 2010.

Interview Details – I had a one-day interview that starts with a one-hour presentation followed by 10 one-on-one 30 minutes meeting with IBMers. They are very friendly and I knew them personally before. No hard technical questions were asked. They mostly want to let me know that IBM Research is a great company to work in, which I agree.

Interview Question – Almost none. I just have to prepare extra for the presentation, which will be attended by the whole group of around 50 researchers. This can be very intimidating for some.   Answer Question

Negotiation Details – No negotiation without counter-offer, which I didn't have.


No Offer

Negative Experience

Average Interview

Postdoctoral Researcher Interview

Postdoctoral Researcher

I applied through college or university and the process took 2+ months - interviewed at IBM Research in May 2014.

Interview Details – I met with someone at a university event and followed up with him through email. He set up a phone interview with two people of the group. They both were very nice and the interview was on the line of trying to understand what are my strengths and weaknesses, especially since I have a non typical background for the group. They asked for some example of code I had written and promised they would follow up with me, no matter what. Not hearing back after 10 days or so, I shot an email, after which I was called by the same person, inviting me to visit the research center for a full day. There I talked with lots of people from the group in a very relaxed and open environment, the whole interview process till this point had been really great. The interview went fairly well and definitely some people were very interested in me. At the end I was told again that they would let me know as soon as possible if they were going to make me an offer or not, as communication about this is IBM policy.

After 2 weeks I did not hear anything and try to contact them with no result. I waited another 3 weeks (5 weeks total after the interview) and tried again. In half an hour I received a one line email just saying they were not going to make me an offer. At the request of some feedback, I was told that IBM does not discuss its hiring policy.

Nice interview experience, but very disappointing last phase. I do not necessarily expect to get an offer, but I would think that I should be told if that would happen or not as soon as the decision is taken, especially when in the final stage.

Interview Question – No difficult questions. Mainly talking about myself and my research (even if it was not related to the group's) and basic questions about probability and algorithms.   Answer Question


Accepted Offer

Neutral Experience

Average Interview

Research Scientist Interview

Research Scientist
Yorktown Heights, NY

I applied in-person and the process took 2 days - interviewed at IBM Research in February 2010.

Interview Details – 2 days on-site interview, presentation and 8 interviewers per day, each for 30 mins, it is more about talking and discussion, no coding, it is not that hard as long as you have been doing very good research and development work

Interview Question – What do you learn most from your research and development?   Answer Question


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Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Summer Research Intern Interview

Summer Research Intern

I applied through an employee referral and the process took 1 week - interviewed at IBM Research in March 2014.

Interview Details – I was initially contacted by an IBM employee requesting an interview. It was a 30 minutes phone call about my interests and what the group at IBM did. It was more of trying to figure out if we had similar research interests as opposed to being "tested" for my technical skills.

Interview Question – Tell me about your research   Answer Question

Negotiation Details – It's an internship. No negotiations. Their terms were pretty good


Accepted Offer

Neutral Experience

Postdoctoral Researcher Interview

Postdoctoral Researcher

I applied online and the process took a day - interviewed at IBM Research.

Interview Details – Submitted job application through website. Contacted by manager and asked to give onsite talk and do interviews.

Negotiation Details – Take it or leave it.


Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Average Interview

Research Staff Member Interview

Research Staff Member
Yorktown Heights, NY

I applied through an employee referral and the process took 2 days - interviewed at IBM Research in January 2010.

Interview Details – I was recruited while in the last year of a Ph.D. program. The interview process consisted of presenting my Ph.D. work to date (what could be presented in 60-90 minutes), answering (lots of) questions during my talk, and two full days of 45 minute interviews with other Research Staff Members: Non-managers, Managers, Sr. Managers, Directors, and a VP. In these interviews I was asked questions about my research, given some puzzles (typically related to their own research), asked about where I wanted my career to go, etc. It was, generally, a very friendly process.

Interview Question – I was asked if I was willing to move to NY. This was unexpected because I would not have been going through the interview process if I were not so willing. There were several difficult questions. These questions tended to be difficult because the research area was not mine, but the RSMs asking understood this and were prepared with "suppose you had a method that could answer <X>." They wanted to gauge your ability to problem solve ... not see if you had read a particular paper (outside of your own area).   Answer Question

Negotiation Details – I did not negotiate.


Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Easy Interview

Research Staff Member Interview

Research Staff Member
Yorktown Heights, NY

I applied through other source and the process took 2 days - interviewed at IBM Research in January 2010.

Interview Details – You will be invited to a site visit. You will give a seminar to researchers, some of whom will be interviewing you. Your interviewers will be talking to you one to one in their private rooms. They are not given a prescription by IBM as to what questions to ask. So, it all depends on the interviewer. Some may ask you technical questions, some will ask soft qualitative questions. Make sure you present well, answer questions well, and show interest and curiosity. Do your homework, and take a look at IBM Research publications. They always like it if you mention one or two publications or patents they published.

Interview Question – 1. Industry versus academia. Why do you want to work for industry and particularly for IBM Research.
2. Salary expectation. Check glassdoor.
  View Answer

Negotiation Details – I liked the offer the first time and accepted it


Declined Offer

Positive Experience

Average Interview

Research Staff Member Interview

Research Staff Member
New York, NY

I applied through an employee referral and the process took 2 days - interviewed at IBM Research in December 2013.

Interview Details – Entire process is like interview for faculty position. You will meet at least 20 researchers, managers, and VPs. Each individual meeting lasts 45-60 mins. You will feel beaten at the end of a day. However, there is another day and you will go through the process all over again.
No hard questions are asked. Most around your own research. Overall, it is a very pleasant interview process.

Interview Question – Being asked how my research can be transformed to business, and help IBM business in general. To be honest, never think about things this way. So, better get prepared for such questions.   Answer Question


Accepted Offer

Neutral Experience

Very Easy Interview

Research Staff Member Interview

Research Staff Member

I applied through an employee referral and the process took 2 days - interviewed at IBM Research.

Interview Details – You will deliver a talk/presentation based on your Ph.D. work. There will be one-to-one interviews that last for two full days. There will typically be a round table with those who interviewed you. The hiring manager will lead the discussion and make the final decision whether to give you an offer.

Interview Question – Your career goals.   Answer Question


Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Average Interview

Research Staff Member Interview

Research Staff Member
Yorktown Heights, NY

I applied through an employee referral and the process took 2 days - interviewed at IBM Research in April 2010.

Interview Details – group presentation first followed by 10-12 one on one discussions about your previous research projects. no coding questions.

Interview Question – what is the business potential of your projects   Answer Question

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