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BlackBerry Interview Questions & Reviews in Canada

Updated Jul 9, 2014
All Interviews Received Offers

Getting the Interview 

61%
18%
7%

Interview Experience 

67%
24%
7%

Interview Difficulty 

Average Difficulty
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No Offer

Neutral Experience

Very Difficult Interview

Software Developer Interview

Software Developer
Waterloo, ON (Canada)

I applied online and the process took a day - interviewed at BlackBerry in January 2010.

Interview Details – I applied online and the HR contacted with me for the on-site interview. The hiring manager asked lots of Java techinical questions, vry detailed.

Interview Questions

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Accepted Offer

Negative Experience

Very Difficult Interview

SV&V Associate Interview

SV&V Associate
Waterloo, ON (Canada)

The process took a day - interviewed at BlackBerry in January 2008.

Interview Details – An interviewer called my cell phone and I picked it up. He briefly explained what the position was about and asked me a few technical questions such as "what is regression testing ?". I answered fully and got the position.

Interview Question – What is regression testing ?   View Answers (2)

Negotiation Details – Good luck.

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4 people found this helpful

Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Very Difficult Interview

Senior Software Engineer Interview

Senior Software Engineer
Waterloo, ON (Canada)

I applied online and the process took 2 months - interviewed at BlackBerry in May 2012.

Interview Details – I have accepted an offer with RIM, so I'll be moving there this summer. To be honest, three months ago before this began I never expected I would turn down some of the biggest tech multinationals in the US and some amazing Silicon Valley startups to go work for RIM, but there you go.

I interviewed with a lot of US multinationals, and was fairly shocked at how badly some of them recruit. What you don't do is call interviewees names during interviews, put them and their country down with insults or throw phones at walls before slamming the door (yes, that actually happened) in a hissy fit. None of these things endear applicants to you. My experiences with Silicon Valley startups was vastly better, in fact I didn't have a single bad experience with any of them. The hardest decision was turning down a few of them, as much as for a few of them it was real hard turning me down - great people, great tech, great culture, and we really chimed at a personal level, but the costs of a H1B visa, or it was the wrong time for someone with my background to come on board during this phase of the growth cycle, or problems with fit ("what would he do here?") all were a challenge. Still, I gained a ton of LinkedIn connections, and I was happy to send a few bottles of whiskey as consolation prizes to those I had to disappoint.

The job I accepted in RIM, in Native SDK, is interesting but likely won't be massively challenging for me in the long run. The pay isn't great either, I took an easy 35% cut (much of it is higher Canadian payroll taxes admittedly) over other offers from the US. But the key thing which really swung it for me was their excellence of execution - I had 20+ hours of phone interviews and every single person I interviewed with knew their competencies (unlike most US multinationals which are stuffed with mediocre engineers who think they are god's gift, and who get *real* arsey when you correct their mistakes which can be legion. Big difference with the RIM engineers I talked to: they knew what they were good at and what they weren't, and not only liked being corrected but actually took steps to read up on their mistakes before the next interview stage. That REALLY swung it for me). As Shakespeare said, "know thyself before all other things".

Another thing RIM really excelled at over other employers was actually reading my resume, something only the Silicon Valley startups consistently also got right. It's only two sides of a single page, so it's not hard to do, but you'd be really surprised at how inconsistent interviewers are at this - most just skim a resume just before the interview, whereas RIM had gone through it point by point in detail with sticky notes attached from a group meeting they'd had before each interview. In addition, RIM went much further than just reading the resume - they pulled my academic papers, read through my blog, dove through my github in depth and even one of them purchased and read one of my books and quizzed me on its contents during one of the interview stages. This made the interviewing process exceptionally tough as I was asked to explain coding decisions made eight years ago in some obscure source file I hadn't thought about in years. As I said before, this is the kind of flawless recruitment you read about in HR textbook case studies of how to do high skilled recruitment. Very impressive.

The other big plus was a willingness to stray outside their comfort zone and follow their instincts in a situation - some of the interview stages were on the economics of the Chinese economy, others involved the managerial structures and strategies employed by the North Koreans (as you can guess, a fair few of the interviewers are originally from Asia), indeed an interview with one of their elite technical guys who knew the people I know from ISO and Boost centered on the energy economics of Canada's tar sands and the resultant likely consequences on global water and food distributions during the next twenty years. Absolutely nothing to do with coding, and they were further out of their depth than I was. The point being tested and interviewed was about how you think, and how you perceive, and just how adaptable are you.

I obviously proved how far down the rabbit hole I could go, as they made an offer without any face to face interviews. Given that they never dropped the ball once across all those interviews and all those weeks, with regularly biweekly interviewing and excellent communications - even their HR made only three small mistakes during the entire process - they ended up the only choice I could make. An outstanding excellence of execution, really very impressive indeed. I know it likely won't be as good when you're in there at the coal face, but it's the best possible start to a corporate position.

Interview Question – Design and implement a thread dispatch pool using a latched hardware timer   View Answer

Negotiation Details – There was no negotiation. I filled in a form HR sent me. There was a question about expected compensation. Well, I'm in Europe and I have no idea about expected compensation in Canada, so I wrote down what I'd expect in Europe (about €100k +/- €20k), what Payscale said the going rate is in the US and Canada and I chose a figure right smack bang in the middle of what Payscale says is the salary range for my offered position within RIM in Canada. They offered me 10% above that with a further 15% performance related bonus (not that I expect to get this as they're losing money). That put me just over the 75% quartile for a Senior Software Engineer in RIM according to Payscale, and that seems fair to me.

I haven't said the exact money value as I'd likely be breaking contract, but you can get Payscale to tell you using the information I've given above.

My advice to others: don't be greedy. Choose good people before stock options. Friends of mine were shocked that I turned down a US$190,000 offer including options from one multinational, but I was almost certain I'd be working regular 80+ hour weeks there. Done that before, and I stuck it for three months before I decided it wasn't worth the money (it might be if I were single and young, but not if you have a family).

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1 person found this helpful

Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Difficult Interview

Software Designer Interview

Software Designer
Waterloo, ON (Canada)

I applied through college or university and the process took a day - interviewed at BlackBerry in May 2008.

Interview Details – Plan to answer technical questions and coding questions. Some design techniques and also expect to write code. Most interviewers are wearing work casual clothing, so dress appropriately. The main thing about answers is that they should show your thought process, so don't be afraid to voice your thought process (if you don't know the answer that is, if you do...present solution in a complete way).

Interview Question – Technical question asked: How to code in C an algorithm to detect beginning and end of network packets.   Answer Question

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Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Difficult Interview

Software Developer, Intern Interview

Software Developer, Intern
Mississauga, ON (Canada)

I applied through college or university and the process took a day - interviewed at BlackBerry in February 2009.

Interview Details – The people I interviewed with did a good job in making you feel comfortable. There was a good amount of small talk, and they asked job related questions like Java processes and threads. They helped me out when I was stuck, and also responded with appropriate feedback as I answered technical questions.

Interview Question – How would you reverse a string?   View Answer

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Declined Offer

Positive Experience

Difficult Interview

Senior Interaction Designer Interview

Senior Interaction Designer
Toronto, ON (Canada)

I applied in-person and the process took 2 weeks - interviewed at BlackBerry in March 2009.

Interview Details – I made personal contacts with RIM to see if they had any openings and they had a posting they were about to open to public so i had advance notice. Had a call with HR, then a one to ones with all their senior staff. Interviews went very well.

Interview Question – Would you say the iPhone is a competitor to the Blackberry   View Answers (4)

Reason for Declining – Couple of reasons:
i was made a competitive offer with a little known company at time that was superior and offered more opportunities to travel.
The commute between downtown toronto, mississuaga and waterloo was extremly offputting. The design office needs to be an urban center if they want to attract fresh talent.

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Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Difficult Interview

Software Tools Developer Interview

Software Tools Developer
Ottawa, ON (Canada)

I applied through a recruiter and the process took 2 weeks - interviewed at BlackBerry in April 2011.

Interview Details – It was a fun lengthy interview process. The phone interview consisted of 2 interviews. The first phone interview was about Skills Test and Personality Test with the HR. The second interview was about my skill set. So they asked me what I have done in the past and how I did it.

The people are super nice, we had a nice conversation about technology and skills. It was a normal interview so it wasn't that bad.

The Group Panel Interview was interesting, they made me come onsite, and there was 3 geniuses in a board room for a good 4 hours! They didn't ask me to solve any algorithms or any teaser questions, they wanted to see how I work on a normal day to day activity.

So they gave me a paragraph that describes a problem. They said this is a user story. So for 1 hour, I needed to break down that user story and gather requirements. That user story was about authentications and permission roles. It was really nice scenario, because till this day, whatever I did during that day is what I am doing right now! We were brainstorming ways to make it better, it felt awesome.

Interview Questions

  • Design a work break down structure for the user story. The user story was as a User I can manage my groups projects and administrate them.   View Answer
  • From some given tasks, you need to figure out a proper data model design   View Answer
  • Last step is to design the architecture, how to implement the Authentication Roles for Projects.   View Answer

Negotiation Details – Bad, I made a mistake in my offer, but they said they can't go higher. But I really liked the interview so I wanted the job, so I just took it.

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Declined Offer

Negative Experience

Difficult Interview

Marketing and Business Development Interview

Marketing and Business Development
Waterloo, ON (Canada)

I applied online and the process took 4 months - interviewed at BlackBerry in August 2010.

Interview Details – i interviewed for 2 different roles. there was confusion w my schedule, interview & reimbursement. managers were arrogant & out of touch, work culture is stale (not fun) I received erroneous emails. Lack of respect for my time & amt of effort.

Interview Question – wasn't the questions. RIM is out of touch, its like interviewing with the old IBM teams. The mgrs think far too highly of their company. Hr was no better. There was confusion w my scheduling, and the manager did not bother to notify me. This is a sign of things to come for the company. (loss of continued market share)   Answer Question

Reason for Declining – the whole process, arrogance, rudeness of RIM employees. They are not number 1. google & apple was far more professional. They get it and by 4 months, i lost interest

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Declined Offer

Positive Experience

Difficult Interview

Project Manager Interview

Project Manager
Waterloo, ON (Canada)

I applied online and the process took 3 days - interviewed at BlackBerry in April 2009.

Interview Details – First I got a phone call, made a phone interview appointment. Then several days later, I got the phone interview, it lasted about 30 minutes and just some basic questions, like background review. After about 1 or 2 weeks, I got an email and informed me to take an on site interview. It was a group interview, 4 people attended, one of them is the director of the branch. This interview took about 2 hours. After that, they asked me to take another on site interview, it was a 1:1 interview. The group leader interviewed me. It took about 1 and a half hour.

Interview Question – What is your biggest achivement? Why?   Answer Question

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Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Difficult Interview

Firmware Developer Interview

Firmware Developer
Waterloo, ON (Canada)

I applied through college or university and the process took a day - interviewed at BlackBerry in February 2011.

Interview Details – First applied through my schools coop department and on their website. Received an email telling me that they were reviewing my resume for the position of firmware developer. Then received an email with an interview date and time, wrote back and confirmed the information. The interview itself was very technical, make sure you have a good grasp of C, especially pointers and memory management.

Interview Question – Was given a test with programming problems, ex what is wrong with this piece of code, or what will the program output.   Answer Question

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