BlackBerry Interview Questions in Toronto, ON

Updated Jul 23, 2015
154 Interview Reviews

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  1.  

    Software Developer Interview

    Anonymous Employee in Waterloo, ON (Canada)
    No Offer
    Neutral Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 1 dayinterviewed at BlackBerry (Waterloo, ON (Canada)) in January 2010.

    Interview

    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

  2. Helpful (4)  

    Senior Software Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Waterloo, ON (Canada)
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 2+ monthsinterviewed at BlackBerry (Waterloo, ON (Canada)) in May 2012.

    Interview

    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 Questions

    • Design and implement a thread dispatch pool using a latched hardware timer   1 Answer

    Negotiation

    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).

  3.  

    SV&V Associate Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Waterloo, ON (Canada)
    Accepted Offer
    Negative Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    The process took 1 dayinterviewed at BlackBerry (Waterloo, ON (Canada)) in January 2008.

    Interview

    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 Questions

    Negotiation

    Good luck.

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  5. Helpful (3)  

    Project Manager Interview

    Anonymous Employee in Waterloo, ON (Canada)
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 2 weeksinterviewed at BlackBerry (Waterloo, ON (Canada)) in May 2010.

    Interview

    Nice, welcoming interviewers. Missed the opportunity to work with them. The first round was on phone with direct report and his manager. Manager okayed for the 2nd round and the direct report (1:1) along with another team member(on phone) GRILLED me with plethora of questions. The exhaustive list of questions is here for anyone interested in tyical Project Management role: I would prefer final round of interview to be 100% face to face. It becomes difficult to make an impression on the phone:(.

  6.  

    Software Developer Interview

    Anonymous Employee in Waterloo, ON (Canada)
    No Offer
    Neutral Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 1 dayinterviewed at BlackBerry (Waterloo, ON (Canada)) in June 2010.

    Interview

    Quite detailed phone interview, a lot of questions on STL and STL algorithms like what is a function object? There were also some questions on the performance of the different types of STL containers, for example why would you use a vector instead of a list? Overall the interviewer was nice but the interview as very technical with some HR questions sprinkled in. the interview lasted for just over an hour

    Interview Questions

    • what is an abstract class?   1 Answer
  7. Helpful (2)  

    Data Network Assistant Co-op Interview

    Anonymous Employee in Waterloo, ON (Canada)
    No Offer
    Neutral Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 2 weeksinterviewed at BlackBerry (Waterloo, ON (Canada)) in February 2010.

    Interview

    Applied online to IT positions and their HR applied me to the data network position. A week later I was contacted for a phone interview with them and there were about 3 people on speaker phone interviewing me. They asked a lot of technical questions which I wasn't ready for, they asked things I had gone over in class but I couldn't give them proper answers off the top of my head. So if your applying to a RIM position just make sure you do your homework, study and review course material related to the position because they will test you.

    Interview Questions

    • "Tell me about yourself" . "Plans for future." Lots of Cisco IOS routing questions like describe VLANs, internet protocols and trunking, switch ports. Difference between tcp/udp, osi model etc.   Answer Question
  8.  

    Co-Op-Software Developer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Waterloo, ON (Canada)
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied through college or university. The process took 1 dayinterviewed at BlackBerry (Waterloo, ON (Canada)) in December 2007.

    Interview

    I was interviewed by multiple people (team lead + technical/future mentors), who were all in a meeting room on speakerphone. I was asked about my resume and previous experience as well as favourite classes in school and maybe 1-2 hr type questions. Afterwards I was asked to solve a software question involving pointers and recursion (some sort of linked list thing). The job was then explained to me and I was offered it

    Interview Questions

    Negotiation

    Coop student salaries are fixed based on major, number of terms completed and number of terms of previous work experience. Non-negotiable, but more than competitive. Starting and ending dates may be negotiable, though if you are willing to miss the coop student orientation event.

  9.  

    Software Developer Co-Op Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Waterloo, ON (Canada)
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 2 weeksinterviewed at BlackBerry (Waterloo, ON (Canada)) in October 2009.

    Interview

    I applied on 3 developer positions, and upon receiving my resume HR applied me to 11 jobs. From that 11, 5 immediately requested phone interviews. The interviews were for the most part very technical in nature, and were conducted by people in charge of small developer teams. I found there were few questions about the essential skills listed on the job postings, but many from the additional assets section. A lot of questions focused on hypothetical problems, or the nature of past technical challenges. Beware of very strong asian accents, I had a lot of trouble understanding questions because of the interviewer's nationality and their use of speaker phones. I received offers on every job all at once, so I believe you have to wait until every interview has been conducted before finding out how you did.

    Interview Questions

    • Write a function to sort N decks of 52 playing cards represented as an integer array with indexes from 0 to N*52 - 1. You are supplied a random generator that produces numbers from 0 to N - 1 for this task. What is the worst case runtime and memory bound?   1 Answer
    • The random number generator has a runtime complexity of O(NlogN), now what is the complexity of the function?   1 Answer

    Negotiation

    Students cannot negotiate wages at RIM.

  10.  

    Project Manager Interview

    Anonymous Employee in Waterloo, ON (Canada)
    Declined Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 3 daysinterviewed at BlackBerry (Waterloo, ON (Canada)) in April 2009.

    Interview

    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 Questions

  11. Helpful (1)  

    Manager, Communications Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Waterloo, ON (Canada)
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 7 weeksinterviewed at BlackBerry (Waterloo, ON (Canada)) in August 2010.

    Interview

    Applied while on contract with RIM in a different position, but this gave me no extra advantage. Application went in 3 full months before I was contacted - they kept reposting the position. First was a phone call was the assigned recruiter, who verified my pertinent work history and asked about my desired salary range (here's a tip -- it's okay to underball the salary, much better than asking too much. I said a number that was much lower than they offered me in the end, but if I had asked too much, I'd have been screened out!). She explained that she would be recommending me to the hiring manager for an interview. That in-person interview took place about two weeks later in Waterloo. It was a one hour conversation with the hiring manager, who had clearly been through my resume in great detail. Her questions were not your typical interview questions, and it felt more like a chat than a grilling session. I got an email a couple of days later at most which indicated I would be moving ahead in the process. Next step was three interviews in one day, all in person. First hour was peer level with another manager; next was a half hour with an HR business partner (because this is a managerial position); and the final was an hour again with the hiring manager, though it ended up running into an extra half hour. I do wish they had offered me water at some point, given the marathon of interview time, but it was just an oversight on their part. In the final part of that day's interviews the hiring manager indicated that I was at the top of the list, so I would need to meet with the VP for another interview. Having done this before with RIM, I knew this meant I basically had the job, but still, nothing was set in stone. After another few days, I was contacted by phone by the recruiter, and scheduled for the interview with the VP about one week in the future. This interview ended up being tougher than I had expected. The VP asked very serious questions and although we were in that person's office, it was quite formal and stressful half hour. After another week and a half (nail-biting time!) with no contact from anyone, I got a call from the recruiter indicating I had gotten the job. At this time they told me the salary (much higher than I had stated I would want) and walked me through all the benefits, and indicated I would get a written offer within days. They also then outlined what I needed to provide (criminal record check, background check) and how to do so. At this point two recruiters were working with me by phone and email, and we wrapped all the administrative stuff up in a matter of days. After another week when all details were ironed out, I received a letter confirming my employment and official start date.

    Interview Questions

    • Walk me through your work history.   1 Answer

    Negotiation

    I did not negotiate. While I likely could have pushed for a bit more money, I felt they had made a very fair offer, especially given my initial request for a starting point was about $15k lower. I will be growing into the position, and felt they offered me a good base upon which to build. Other terms of the contract were fair -- including the termination clause, which is important. I did have the offer reviewed by a lawyer before I signed. RIM gives more time for considering the offer at higher levels, so for instance in this case, I had about 2 weeks to return the contract (as opposed to 5 days). I only needed a couple of days, though!

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