IBM Research Researcher Interview Questions

Updated Oct 10, 2014
Updated Oct 10, 2014
50 Interview Reviews

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  1.  

    Research Staff Member Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in San Jose, CA
    Anonymous Interview Candidate in San Jose, CA
    Application Details

    I applied through an employee referral. The process took 2 daysinterviewed at IBM Research.

    Interview Details

    The interviews span two days. It starts with a research talk and then 30-45 min interviews with roughly 15-20 people. Most of the interviews are easy as they are interested in asking about your vision and what you want to do. In some cases, they would describe the problems they are working on and look for your suggestions and ideas. You would meet a diverse set of people with different background.

    Interview Questions
    • There are no difficult questions as they are mostly open ended. They especially center around your research area and occasionally the interviewers would tell their problems and look for your suggestions and ideas. If you have a strong publication record and they are looking for people with your background then its easy to crack it.   Answer Question
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview
  2.  

    Research Summer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Application Details

    I applied online. The process took 4+ weeksinterviewed at IBM Research.

    Interview Details

    I applied on the IBM careers website for the internship. I then got an email for setting up an interview appointment. The interview was a phone interview, like a conference call, with 6 people who were part of the team including the manager.

    Interview Questions
    • All questions were simple and straightforward. They wanted to understand and validate my previous work experience while also evaluating how I would fit into their team.   Answer Question
    Accepted Offer
  3.  

    Postdoctoral Researcher Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Application Details

    I applied through college or university. The process took 2+ monthsinterviewed 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 Questions
    • 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
    No Offer
    Negative Experience
    Average Interview
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  5.  

    Postdoctoral Researcher Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Application Details

    I applied through an employee referral – interviewed at IBM Research in March 2014.

    Interview Details

    I met a research staff member at a conference and revealed my interests on the company. Then I had a phone interview with the staff to confirm my qualification. Then I was invited as a seminar speaker. I talked to 4 postdocs/junior staffs in the morning, gave a talk at noon, and talked to 4 senior staffs/managers in the afternoon. It went well. Most of them are interested in my current research. A potential manager asked me a hypothetical question about how to deal with a specific technical problem. I had a positive experience at IBM. The job opening came up after 3 months. They are interested in my so they contacted my reference about my qualifications on that position. My reference said the position might not fit my background therefore I did not get the offer.

    Interview Questions
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview
  6.  

    Summer Research Intern Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Application Details

    I applied through an employee referral. The process took a weekinterviewed 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 Questions
    Negotiation Details
    It's an internship. No negotiations. Their terms were pretty good
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
  7.  

    Postdoctoral Researcher Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Application Details

    I applied online. The process took a dayinterviewed 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
  8.  

    Research Staff Member Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in New York, NY
    Anonymous Interview Candidate in New York, NY
    Application Details

    I applied through an employee referral. The process took 2 daysinterviewed 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 Questions
    • 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
    Declined Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview
  9.  

    Research Staff Member Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Application Details

    I applied through an employee referral. The process took 2 daysinterviewed 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 Questions
    Accepted Offer
    Easy Interview
  10.  

    Research Intern Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Hawthorne, NY
    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Hawthorne, NY
    Application Details

    I applied online. The process took a dayinterviewed at IBM Research in January 2012.

    Interview Details

    Applied couple intern positions online then got two calls from different research teams. Both teams intended to give the offer... then I have selected the one who reached me first. Very nice interviewers.

    Interview Questions
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview
  11. 4 people found this helpful  

    Research Staff Member Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Yorktown Heights, NY
    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Yorktown Heights, NY
    Application Details

    I applied through an employee referral. The process took 4 daysinterviewed at IBM Research in February 2011.

    Interview Details

    The company knows me well from my previous work and multiple patents and publications.
    The interview therefore consisted of many 1:1 meetings with key research persons who proposed multiple research subjects for me to work on and discussed with me to see what best fits both. Before these multiple 1:1 meetings I did a comprehensive presentation about my past research to most of them together.

    Interview Questions
    • There were no difficult or unexpected questions in the regular sense.
      The difficulty was in the effort to analyze the existing research options given plus to show my competence to face various research challenges in a sincere and thoughtful manner.
        Answer Question
    Negotiation Details
    I was doing my best during the interview to be as effective and productive as I could in presenting my research wish list and responding to the various suggestions. When I received the first offer by mail I have checked it and found that it fits what I expected, so I accepted my first offer without negotiation. As part of the offer testing procedure, I checked the data on Glassdoor which was indeed helpful and helped me to confirm that my offer was fair.
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview

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