BrightRoll Interview Questions & Reviews
Getting an Interview
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Software Engineering Manager Interview (Positive Experience; Difficult Interview)
I applied through an employee referral - interviewed at BrightRoll in April 2014.
Interview Details – The interview process at BrightRoll is one of the most unique I've had, as well as one of the best.
It started with a call with a recruiter, where she talked to me about the company and its culture, my background/experience, the role I was interviewing for, and she also laid out the rest of the process as a whole. She was very transparent, extremely positive, and she left me excited for the rest of the process.
The second step was a call with the hiring manager, which was a bit more of a vetting -- questions about my technical skill and background, and a chat again about the role. It was a nice chance for me to see if there was a cultural fit with the person whom I would be reporting to (and I assume vice-versa).
As a referral, I then went out to lunch with the person referring me and the hiring manager, and then had a brief conversation with the hiring manager, who asked me some resume questions and talked to me a bit about the company. He gave me some immediate feedback, which was very refreshing -- it was empowering to know what he felt about our conversations thus far, and that he thought I was a good fit.
I had another call with the recruiter where she gave me more feedback. The step after that was the on-site interview, in their San Francisco offices. One of the most interesting things, to me, was the communication between the interviewers, as well as the quality of the interviews themselves; they covered a large amount of information, didn't step on each others' toes w/r/t areas assessed, and were able to give each other information between sections, so that something I mentioned to one person earlier in the day was referred to by someone later. I also went out to lunch with two of the people who I would potentially be managing, and had an opportunity to talk to them about the company and their roles in particular.
The next step was the sim. I felt that the sim gave me an expectation about what working with the hiring manager would feel like on a day-to-day basis, and was also an interesting thought process.
Overall, the amount of feedback, and the quality of it, that I received in this process, helped to sell me on the company. At no point did I have to wonder about what their impressions were of me, be they good or bad. I was left with an exact understanding of my role and how it would be working with the hiring manager, as well as my peers. The interview process at BrightRoll is well-defined, as well as well-reasoned and intentional, and I was pleased to experience it.
Interview Question – The sim was time-intensive but exciting and enjoyable. Answer Question
Negotiation Details – The negotiation phase at BrightRoll is straight-forward and moves quickly. Essentially, you give a salary that is acceptable and they attempt to meet it at the first pass.
Very Difficult Interview
Software Engineer Interview (Positive Experience; Very Difficult Interview)
I applied through a recruiter and the process took 1+ week - interviewed at BrightRoll in November 2012.
Interview Details – First I had a phone call with a recruiter, who asked me general questions about what I've been doing and what I was looking for. Then I had a phone call with a technical manager who asked me some light technical questions, including "What happens when you click a link in a web browser?" Then I came in an did a 1 hour "code simulation" where I was handed a computer and asked to perform a task in my preferred technology in 1 hour. Then I had an on-site interview which lasted most of the day. I met with 6-8 people, whose objectives were to dig into my resume, ask me technical algorithm/data structures questions, a lunch interview which was more casual, and finally a technical interview about my technology. Finally I spoke with another technical manager who was there to answer any questions I had.
Interview Question – One stage of the on-site interview focused on CS fundamentals such as algorithms and data structures. Answer Question
Negotiation Details – They were able to meet my initial expectations so there was not much negotiation. I asked about the value of my stock allocation but was not given an answer.
Software Engineer, Developer Productivity Interview (Positive Experience; Average Interview)
I applied through a recruiter and the process took 1 week - interviewed at BrightRoll.
Interview Details – I only made it as far as the phone screen but is was one of the most enjoyable interviewing experiences in my career. If they are as respectful to their employees as they are to their potential employees, it must be a fantastic place to work. They took the time to explain to me their process and gave me honest feedback about why they were passing. The treated me with dignity. It was awesome.
Interview Question – I didn't feel any of the questions were particularly difficult. They are really just looking for a cultural fit. Although answering honestly didn't get me the job, I just didn't have the right qualifications Answer Question
Campaign Manager Interview (Positive Experience)
I applied online and the process took 3 weeks - interviewed at BrightRoll.
Interview Details – The interview process with BrightRoll was a seamless and extraordinary experience. At each stage, proper communication was provided in regards to expectations, the position, the organizational culture and next steps.
As an out-of-state candidate, the initial interview and second interview were both phone interviews, which shortly followed through to an on-site interview/media simulation in New York City. In the last stage, I had the opportunity to meet the team in the Los Angeles office. Through each step, I not only shared my skills and experience, but also my enthusiasm. But more than that, the on-site interviews and media simulation provided me a deeper insight into the organization culture and the day-to-day responsibilities of a Campaign Manager.
Overall, BrightRoll's interview process was one of the best experiences I have had. Their attention in selecting compatible, qualified candidate is evident in their communication and efforts through the process. They truly value bringing in talent that will excel and grow in their company while also ensuring that their culture and expectations align with their candidates.
Interview Question – The question was in regards to if I had any regrets in any portion of answers I provided throughout the interview process. This was an unexpected question, but I had no regrets as I was confident in each stage of the interview process.
My advice would be to be prepared for each interview. You are prepared with the interviewer's information, and researching in regards to their role, the industry space, BrightRoll news, and asking questions are all vital points in the interview process. The preparation, research and your enthusiasm will shine through! Answer Question
Campaign Manager Interview (Positive Experience; Average Interview)
I applied through an employee referral and the process took 2+ months - interviewed at BrightRoll.
Interview Details – After applying to BrightRoll, I was contacted within 24 hours. They had a very comprehensive interview process, including an in person, phone, and video interview as well as two online assessments and a verbal assessment. Personally, I was very impressed with this process as it proved that they were determined on finding the perfect "fit".
HR was extremely easy to communicate with through the entire process. They often checked in on how each interview went, and were actively involved from start to end. My key contact went on vacation throughout my interview process, and my temporary contact stepped without missing a beat.
Due to conflicting schedules (personal lack of availability) my interview process was slightly longer than I would assume the average is. It totaled 10 weeks from first HR contact to my first day on the job.
Overall, I really was impressed with the interview experience. It's great to know that the company is genuinely interested in finding the right candidate for each position.
Interview Question – The majority of the questions asked made sense to the position I was interviewing for, and related to my past agency experience. Some tasks were discussed that I was not versed in, so those were the most difficult as I had no background. Answer Question
Senior Software Engineer Interview (Positive Experience; Difficult Interview)
I applied in-person and the process took 1 week - interviewed at BrightRoll in April 2013.
Interview Details – I'm not going to detail the process, except to say it was one of the best interviews I've had. They accelerated the process since I told them I already was in talks with other companies. From start to finish it took a week. There were some initial phone calls including a phone screen. They continually kept in touch with me and let me know the current status and what was expected next. The onsite interview included a code sim and face to face interviews with multiple people. Each step felt as if they were organized and taking care to make sure we were a good fit. My favorite part was the code sim, I shouldn't have been surprised since I love to code, but so many interviews are just talking and you really don't get to do what you're going to be paid to do. Quite fun.
Interview Question – When they asked me if I had questions and I realized that had set aside between 30 minutes to an hour for me to ask them things. They wanted to make sure not only I would fit with the company, but that the company was a fit for me. I appreciated that. Answer Question
Negotiation Details – This might sound odd, but my wife is the better negotiator of the two of us. I wanted her to be happy with the choice I was making. So I brought her in. She got to talk to two engineers just to get an idea of what life was like here. And then I let her do the negotiating. I was honest with them and they were honest with me. In the end we were both looking for the same thing, a great fit!
Product Support Specialist Interview (Positive Experience; Average Interview)
I applied through a recruiter and the process took 1 week - interviewed at BrightRoll in July 2012.
Interview Details – I was contacted by a recruiter and had a phone screen interview with a manager. After that I was brought onsite for interviews with a series of people, from Product Marketing, Engineering, and other groups. Part of the process was the simulation which was a test of my understanding of browser/web technology. Two days later I had a video interview with the CEO.
Interview Question – The simulation portion of the interview was not expected and I was not satisfied with my performance but within thirty minutes I got a call back to schedule a video interview with the CEO. Answer Question
Negotiation Details – I had another job offer at the same time. They were able to meet my expectations.
Campaign Manager Interview (Positive Experience; Difficult Interview)
I applied online and the process took 1+ week - interviewed at BrightRoll.
Interview Details – - Methodical interview process.
- Very involved for an "entry level" position, but the department obviously maintains high standards for all levels of hires.
- Typically two screen calls or video conferences, followed by in-person interviews, which includes a "test" to gauge math comprehension and familiarity with Excel.
Interview Question – - Questions related specifically to the online media industry are tough if you come from a different background. They don't seem to knock you for less "relevant" experience, though, which I appreciated. Answer Question
Engineering Role Interview (Positive Experience; Easy Interview)
Interviewed at BrightRoll
Interview Details – There was a brief introduction to the company followed by a description of the work culture. Also, there were some questions regarding what i liked doing and what my work philosophy is. There was a brief discussion about what type of software design is generally liked by the company and how the company fosters it. The technical questions were fairly straightforward.
Interview Question – Based on the work you have done before, how do you fit into the company? Answer Question
Software Engineer Interview (Positive Experience; Difficult Interview)
I applied through an employee referral - interviewed at BrightRoll in March 2013.
Interview Details – Since interviewing with Brightroll I've been on the other side of the desk, interviewing for junior engineer positions. This experience has really enforced how good my experience was with Brightroll. I learned a lot from it and came away with a ton of respect for Brightroll as a company, the employees there, and their interview process.
My process started with a simple lunch meeting with members / managers of the engineering team I would be interviewing to join. Having a chance to sit with Jens and Colin and Max in a low pressure situation like our lunch and talk about process, technology, and attitude was absolutely the best introduction I've ever had to a company. I've effectively been ruined for future interviews, because I don't think many companies give potential candidates an opportunity like that. Also, the conversation we had was great; it made me more interested in Brightroll as a company and joining this team specifically. These guys outlook on the process of software engineering, and how to best position a team to get work done, fits really well with what I think would be ideal. I'm definitely trying to implement what we discussed in my personal workflow, and hopefully through that example some of it will flow to the team I work with now.
Erin met me when I came on site, and since his title is Head of Talent Engineering I assume he has something to do with how interviewing is done at Brightroll. ;) He's doing a great job. The onsite day was a really good day for me, and it was a mix of quality of people and quality of process that got it there. Everyone I talked to was really good at communicating the interview questions and problems, and at answering questions I had. I've been on both sides with interviewers who are not good at those things, and it makes for a negative experience for interviewees. Sometimes it is apparent, just watching how the interviewee reacts, how uncomfortable they are.
My first interview with Josh and Bernardo felt like a conversation, not an interview. I don't know if I answered the questions they had well, but I felt like I learned a lot about how they do things at Brightroll. This time gave me a chance to ask questions in a free and open ended situation. That was a great way to make an interviewee comfortable. Having people like that, and conversations like that, really lets you get to the heart of what a company is like. Josh and Bernardo were both great guys and I was really impressed.
Lunch was lunch... but once again the quality of people had a huge effect. Evan and TJ gave me a good idea of just how impressive Brightroll's actual technology is. As with everyone else, they are both great communicators and helped to make me comfortable in the environment.
I really think that putting a person in a good state of mind helps them do well at handling difficult questions. I've seen smart people fail in our interviews over and over. I see their github repositories and I know they must be better than they show in the interview. Which leads to the rest of my experience...
Finally we come to my last interview with Jessie. I was more nervous by far in this interview than at any other time during the day, because I knew it was on a subject I'm not expert in: data structures. Jessie's attitude helped me do as well as possible on those questions, she helped with useful suggestions during the process. She helped me with the "hash-map/sum of integers in an array" question in particular. I may never have thought to use a hash-map to solve that problem without her leaving that question, asking me about data structures, and getting me to tell her about hash-maps. As I was discussing it, still thinking about the array sum problem, it became obvious that a hash-map would improve my solution, so we revisited that problem.
Finally, I spoke with Jason on my way out. Talking with Jason was great, but that at this point that's repetitive. Jason walked me out of the building, and as I showed my worry in finding my car (because I am horrible with directions, and locations, and finding anything especially in a city like SF) he offered to walk with me and find it. I don't think I've ever had an interviewer walk me all the way out of the building, much less offer to help me find my car.
I know that one way I can make my current team better is by hiring better people, and I'm not just talking about technical skills, around me. If I can take little pieces of the way they do things at Brightroll with me, it will help.