Appian Interview Questions & Reviews
Getting an Interview
Software Engineering Interview (Positive Experience; Average Interview)
I applied through college or university and the process took 4 weeks - interviewed at Appian in October 2013.
Interview Details – Phone screen which later turned into an onsite interview. Interview schedule was very well planned out - went through about 5-6 in one day. Questions were pretty standard data structures, algorithms, some brain teasers. Interviewers were all very friendly and respectful.
Interview Question – Regex recursion question.. don't remember the specifics Answer Question
Consultant Interview (Positive Experience; Average Interview)
I applied through college or university and the process took 4 weeks - interviewed at Appian in February 2014.
Interview Details – The interview process involved 6 separate one-on-one interviews with various levels of management. The questions ranged from a few brain teasers to typical behavioral questions.
One brain teaser involved using two hour glasses, one that takes 7 minutes to drain and another that takes 11 minutes to drain, to determine how to time 15 minutes continuously.
Interview Question – Two hour glasses brain teaser. See above. Answer Question
Negotiation Details – Negotiations were open and fair. It was actually a very pleasant process.
Software Engineer Interview (Neutral Experience; Average Interview)
I applied online and interviewed at Appian.
Interview Details – Normal interview, with behavioral questions.
Skills test for Java.
What was your hardest project?
Interview Question – Know your Big-O complexities Answer Question
Technical Writer Interview (Negative Experience)
I applied through a recruiter and the process took 1 week - interviewed at Appian.
Interview Details – The interviewer was late and seemed very uninterested in talking to me.
Interview Question – This was a first-round interiew so nothing too hard. Answer Question
Software Engineer Interview (Neutral Experience; Difficult Interview)
I applied through a recruiter and the process took 3 weeks - interviewed at Appian.
Interview Details – I was looking into places to work, so after some research, I decided to apply to Appian. From reviews here and there, it seemed like a good place to work. From there, I talked to a recruiter at my university's career fair. After a week or two, I was contacted by two recruiters from Appian, one of which I had met at the job fair. The two recruiters were unaware that they both were contacting me, so there was some miscommunication and delay with my interview process.
They tried to schedule me for an telephone interview/screening, but due to my busy schedule, they weren't able to make it work out. Instead they allowed me to directly go through to their on-site interviews.
From talking to one of the recruiters, I heard that they did most of their interviews on Thursdays, but I was specially schedule for Friday. The recruiter said that they usually were more organized on Thursday.
(Note: Appian is split between two different buildings, I accidentally walked into the wrong one)
Upon entering the lobby, I was greeted by the receptionist, who found the recruiter. The recruiter took me to the other building, and I began the interviews.
1st Interview: Software Developer - Data Structures/Algorithms/Dynamic Programming/Experience
2nd Interview: Senior Developer - Algorithm/Coding/Experience
3rd Interview: Software Developer - Theory (ex. Interfaces)
4th Interview: Chat with CEO - Sanity Check
5th Interview: Chat with CTO - Answers Questions/Experience
6th Interview: Chat with VP of Engineering - Experience/Experience-related Theory Question/Brain Teaser
The 2nd interview was the most difficult, but I did give an okay answer, but I felt I did well enough in the rest of the interviews. (Refer below to more info)
Six interviews in one day is intense; they did not offer any lunch during my stay. It was just interview after interview, back to back. (This might have been due to me interviewing on a Friday) I finished around 2PM.
The CTO told me I'd hear back in 1-3 days; I didn't hear back for over a week.
I emailed the recruiter 4 days after the interview, and heard back about a week after that, giving me a rejection email.
Overally, I'd say this interview was moderately challenging. I feel that everyone was polite, except for the CTO. He wasn't mean, but he just came off as subtly rude. I feel that their recruitment process is poorly executed, there was miscommunication mainly on their part, I don't blame the recruiter because they have so many people to deal with, they need more help. Everything was positive, except for the lack of lunch and the CTO's general attitude.
Advice for Appian: Don't do six interviews in one sitting; it is ridiculous. Help your recruiters out, they are obviously overloaded with work. Provide your interviewees with lunch if you have that many interviews that don't end until the afternoon. CTO should be more aware of his attitude.
Interview Question – The 1st (Dynamic Programming questions) and 3rd (Interfaces/Theory) interview were very straightforward, easy enough . I gave them the best, most optimal solution. The interview with the senior developer was tricky; I wasn't able to give a good answer. The CEO just makes sure you are sane; seems like a great guy. The CTO answers questions about the company, but comes off rather judgmental and arrogant. The VP of Engineering asks you about your experience, asks you a technical question (something you've had experience with, e.g. concurrency), then asks you a brain teaser (to which there may or may not be a correct answer). Answer Question
Software Engineer Interview (Positive Experience; Average Interview)
I applied through college or university and the process took 2 weeks - interviewed at Appian in September 2013.
Interview Details – They go trough your resume and ask you to talk about your past projects and experiences. be prepared to write a lot of code on the black board.Also the ask a lot of technical questions such as the difference between Java and C, difference between linked list and arrays
Interview Question – find the sum of all unique numbers in an int array Answer Question
BPM Consultant Interview (Neutral Experience; Difficult Interview)
I applied online and the process took 1+ week - interviewed at Appian in July 2013.
Interview Details – Recruiter scheduled a phone screen with me. The phone screen was with the same recruiter. She asked me to go over my resume and SDLC experience. Then, she went over the position and Appian, mentioned they looking to grow exponentially in resources due to increase in demand. At the end of the phone screen, she said it sounds I have skills they're looking for and she would work on scheduling an on-site interview.
I had the on-site interview the following Friday. Met with 4 interviewers. Half an hour each. They ranged from Senior Consultant to VP-level. At the end, the recruiter said one of the co-founders would like to meet me.
- The person had a printed list of questions to ask me. Tell me about yourself. If you were tasked with a challenging project, how would you approach it. If you realized you were not going to meet the deadline, what would you do? What is the most important thing that you learned in the past 12 months?
- Asked what i knew about Appian
- The person asked me to give brief overview of my resume. Asked me a few questions regarding my resume. Then asked me a brain teaser "Tell me the maximum set of coins (in value) that would be greater than $1 but you would NOT be able to make change for a dollar" (ie how many quarters or dimes would meet those requirements)
- The person asked me for a copy of my resume bc he didn't have time to get a copy. He asked me to tell him about myself. He asked a few questions regarding my resume. Made comments about how he is concerned I am not enough of a technologist after only hearing a very brief overview of my work experience. Asked me if i had any technologists in the family but added this is out of his own curiosity and does not impact my interview.
- Then proceeded to ask me a brain teaser: there are three buckets of fruits. 1 is all apples 1 is all oranges 1 is mixed. You can only take out 1 fruit out of 1 bucket to determine what each bucket is. After I confirmed some of the assumptions and being stuck, he grew inpatient and said use probabilities/statistics to show me what you're thinking. He corrected me and explained the answer. Then said he would give me another one bc he considered the first one a failure.
- Second brain teaser was we are playing russian roulette. there is 1 bullet out of 6 slots in the gun. he shoots himself first and doesn't die, now it is my turn and i have an option to shoot myself immediately or spin the chamber and then shoot myself. which option should i choose? again you're supposed to use probability. after i got the probabilities he condescendingly asks which one of the fractions is smaller. he then asked if there are two adjacent bullets in the gun then which option should i choose
- The person asked me to give summary of work experience. Then proceeds to explain the ladder of positions from Associate Consultant, Consultant, Senior Consultant, Principal Consultant, to Technical Delivery Manager
- Asked what i knew about Appian
- What technology do i use on a daily, weekly, monthly basis
- What phone do you use? What do you like about it?
- Draw me a flow chart bc this is something that is fundamental to a Appian consultant's job. A consultant uses Appian product to draw flow charts in order to build/customize applications for clients.
- Said he loves everyone he's works with and everyone there loves working with each other. People are motivated, intelligent, and competitive, but not against each other.
Quick chat with co-founder
- Showed me Appian product and what a consultant is expected to do
- Said there is a concern that i am not enough of a technology enthusiast
- is there anything else that id like to share that would show that i am interested in technology
- what kind of math requirements did i have to take in undergrad business school
- what extra-curricular activities was i involved in in college that prove my communication skills
As you can tell, throughout the interviews, I got the sense that they were "looking for a technologist for this position" You don't need to be a computer science major or know how to code but we need someone with a certain level of technical aptitude or at least is enthusiastic about learning technical skills. I work on the functional side of system implementation and their job description matched exactly what i do, so it is possible their job description should be changed to accurately describe the technology-enthusiast yet no programming-required candidate they are looking for.
Interview Question – See brain teasers in my interview description View Answer
Software Engineer Interview (Positive Experience; Average Interview)
I applied through college or university and the process took 4+ weeks - interviewed at Appian.
Interview Details – I got interviewed by two people face-to-face at my campus first:
- They asked questions about my resume
- They asked questions about my interests in software engineering
- They asked algorithm questions that were not too hard, actually (compared to Google, for example).
Then I got interviewed one more time over something similar to skype, but that technical interview was bad because the tool did not allow for program writing and he asked me to describe an algorithm.
Got a final call from someone high in the exec level.
Interview Question – I remember two questions:
1. If you have a set of numbers A, and a number X. Find the first pair of numbers A[i] and A[j] such that A[i] + A[j] == X in O(n) time --- That is, a single pass over the set of numbers A.
2. Given a set of (x, y) points A , find the straight line that is closest to all the points in A. He did not ask for a specific time complexity, but I came up with a O(n^2) algorithm which is the best possible complexity. View Answer
Senior Consultant I Interview (Negative Experience; Average Interview)
I applied through a recruiter and interviewed at Appian.
Interview Details – Phone screening and then came on-site for several rounds of interviews. The response time to hear back from recruiting took very long and was frustrating to work with sometimes. Interview consisted of some brain teasers and logic questions, but mostly about past experience and why you would be a good fit at the company.
Interview Question – Be ready to write algorithms or designs on the white board View Answer