Cepheid Interview Questions & Reviews
Getting an Interview
- Popular Job Titles:
- Contract Technical Writer (1)
- Software Engineer (1)
- Software Engineering (1)
- Inventory Analyst (1)
- Senior Software Engineer (1)
- Engineering (1)
- Product Reliability Engineer (1)
- Senior QC Associate (1)
- Production Chemist Oligonucleotide Manufacturing (1)
- Senior Consumable Engineering Technician (1)
- Field Technical Support Specialist (1)
Very Difficult Interview
Anonymous Interview (Negative Experience; Very Difficult Interview)
I applied online and the process took 1 week - interviewed at Cepheid in March 2010.
Interview Details – I interviewed with the engineers and technical people with whom I'd be working as well as the hiring manager. I finished the round of all-morning interviewing with the HR manager.
Inventory Analyst Interview (Negative Experience; Average Interview)
I applied through a staffing agency and the process took 4+ weeks - interviewed at Cepheid in November 2013.
Interview Details – The process was much to inundated. The focus was not on my skill set as much as it was on my work history. Questions such as: Why are you off a month on your work experience?- Why can't your High School from "1980" find all of your records? ect..............
Interview Question – The statement that the person I would be working with can be very difficult. This statement was made by upper management. They wouldn't share what the pay range was also View Answer
Reason for Declining – They wanted me to go back to my High School and find misplaced records that were for elective classes. (I'm 51 years old)
Field Technical Support Specialist Interview (Negative Experience; Average Interview)
I applied online and the process took 4 weeks - interviewed at Cepheid in October 2013.
Interview Details – I applied online and a manager called me for interview a week later. Interview questions were really standard. What's your background? Then, a week later the HR recruiter called me. I thought it was weird that HR didn't call me first? Anyways, HR recruiter called randomly without any notice ahead of time. I was still in bed. lol..
Interview Question – How do you work with a difficult customer? Give example. Answer Question
Product Reliability Engineer Interview (Positive Experience; Average Interview)
I applied online and the process took 4 weeks - interviewed at Cepheid in May 2013.
Interview Details – HR phone interview, set up phone interview with manager. Interview with manager was mostly a more in depth description of the position, as well questions about resume and experiences related to position.
Interview Question – How much guidance do you expect? Answer Question
Senior Consumable Engineering Technician Interview (Positive Experience; Average Interview)
I applied through a recruiter and the process took 4+ weeks - interviewed at Cepheid in March 2013.
Interview Details – An initial contact with the hiring recruiter then 1 to 2 weeks later a phone interview with hiring manager the a week later with on-site interview with the team.
Interview Question – Nothing really difficult questions mostly they ask about my experience specially on solidworks design and if I have some experience on machine shop. One interview set me up with a technical problem about flatness on the parts/components and how I will do it. Answer Question
Negotiation Details – It was very fair and candid. The hiring recruiter already asked ahead (on initial contact) how much I'm earning per hour on my present job (I think it is wise for the recruiter to do that, there's no sense to invest on time and if they know there will be an issue on pay negotiation later.
Production Chemist Oligonucleotide Manufacturing Interview (Neutral Experience; Average Interview)
The process took 2 weeks - interviewed at Cepheid in December 2011.
Interview Details – The interview consisted mainly of behavioral and technical type of questions. The first round of interview began with phone screening by a recruiter, followed by a phone interview by the hiring manager and finally a face to face interview with six different scientists.
The questions during the interview were straight forward in terms of determining my technical background, but one has to prepare more for the behavioral type of questions, which are more common now.
Interview Question – Tell me about yourself. Answer Question
Senior Software Engineer Interview (Positive Experience; Easy Interview)
I applied online and the process took 3 weeks - interviewed at Cepheid in August 2011.
Interview Details – My initial contact was through the HR department, who took control of the whole interview process. Everything was well-organized, but took some time to align multiple schedules. It was a little on the slow side, but very thorough. Interview was mostly technical with other engineers asking very reasonable and somewhat easy (for me) technical questions and design problems. There was a take home problem to write a simple computer program. The interview took three trips to the company: interview with junior staff, interview with senior staff, and discussion of offer.
Interview Question – I prefer not to reveal the details of the company's internal interview process. Suffice it to say, there were Java technical questions, design questions, algorithm questions, and working style questions. View Answer
Negotiation Details – The negotiation phase was reasonable. HR tried to get my compensation expectations to lower, but once I was able to talk to senior staff, I was able to get the compensation I really wanted.
Senior QC Associate Interview (Positive Experience; Easy Interview)
The process took 4 weeks - interviewed at Cepheid in March 2011.
Interview Details – I had phone interview with HR rep from the company. I was invited for on-site interview the following week. Everything went pretty well. It was a long interview which started at 8am and finished at 1pm. I met with several people from the director of quality system to the group members. The interview includes
1-on-1 interview with: HR, hiring manager, QC manager, QA director
group interview with: two QC groups with 3 members at a time.
The questions they asked are mainly focused on personality and behavior. They also asked common questions like "tell me about yourself" "most challenging projects and the outcome"
The most technical question they asked was the background of PCR. Many of them asked about my knowledge in resolving work related conflicts because the position is a lead position of the group.
Software Engineer Interview (Negative Experience; Average Interview)
I applied through other source and the process took 1 week - interviewed at Cepheid in August 2011.
Interview Details – I heard about this opportunity through a friend, who forwarded my resume to the recruiter. They set up a phone interview, which went very well. The recruiter sent me a bunch of paperwork to fill out, and set up an in-person interview for the following week.
The day before I was supposed to go in, the recruiter calls me up late afternoon (4pm or so), telling me that she sent me an email requesting code samples and to complete a programming assignment that was due the next morning at 8am. This was spoken to me in a very demanding and confrontational fashion, and very unprofessional.
Here's the problem - I had professional engagements that evening and wouldn't be able to work on the assignment. The recruiter's response was "we have to reschedule the interview". When I inquired for more information, she stated that they always send out the assignment the night before the interview, and their policy is to reschedule if it can't be completed. Huh?
There was no previous discussion about an assignment until the afternoon before the interview, so you get the "pop quiz!" treatment. These assignments are never time sensitive, and they could've easily sent it to me the previous week, or at least asked if I was able to work on it the day before the interview.
After thinking about it, I declined and moved forward with to pursue other options. Why should I have to drop anchor for them and go through hoops like a circus animal, before I even start working there? Who knows what it's like working there...
Like a previous reviewer here, I would never recommend that company because of all the hoops that you have to jump through. BTW, I'm glad that I never did fill out the paperwork she sent me earlier.
Interview Question – Various C# and C++ trivia questions you can answer on Google in 10 seconds... Answer Question
Software Engineering Interview (Negative Experience; Average Interview)
I applied through a recruiter and the process took 1 week - interviewed at Cepheid in August 2011.
Interview Details – I was contacted by Cepheid through linkedin. I spoke with an internal recruiter on the phone, was sent a couple of questionnaires to fill out regarding my skill level, and was set up with a phone interview with a couple of members on the software engineering team.
The phone interview went really well. They mainly asked questions about Java threads, how I felt about working on backend/non web-based code and why I was leaving my current company. I got the sense that they were trying to determine if I left my previous company because of personal issues and if they could get me to say anything bad about my previous employer, which I would not do. They asked for sample Java code that I developed in the past which I happily provided to them.
A day afterwards the recruiter called to tell me that the phone interview went well and that they were going to set me up with a personal interview. A coordinator called me during that day to set me up. The coordinator told me that they would send me a schedule of the people that I would talking to later that day. The recruiter also called later to say she was looking forward to meeting with me and then gave me another assignment that took a couple of hours. I felt I did a very good job on the assignment. I was again told by the recruiter that she looked forward to meeting with me. I filled in a CDA and sent it back.
The coordinator never called me back. My e-mails and phone messages were never returned. This was very unprofessional. A couple of days after the interview was supposed to happen I got a call from the recruiter saying that they never set up an interview and they decided to pursue a candidate with more skills (of course, this was totally untrue. I have documented e-mails and voicemails clearly stating that I would be coming in for an interview and had already signed the CDA indicating which day I would be coming in). I wrote an e-mail to them a couple days later documenting this fact and telling them that I felt the way the last few days were handled were very unprofessional.
Finally, six days later, I recieved a response from Cepheid. It was essentially a standard e-mail thanking me for the work that I had done and seemed to indicate that there was a communication problem on their side (I assume for not getting back to me sooner though they weren't very clear). Other than that, I wasn't very satisfied with their response. They never let me know why they abrubtly terminated contact with me. I'm sure it wasn't anything technical since I'm positive I answered all the exercises in a clear and correct fashion. I would have had no problem discussing my solution with other software engineers had I been brought in for an interview. But, they never let me know any reasons. They never let me know whey they didn't set up the interview after telling me that I was coming in or anything else for that matter.
Overall, my experience was very negative. If I was asked by another software engineer if they should interview here, I would have to respond negatively. They'll put you through a lot of work, and even if you feel that you answered every question, correctly answered every exercise, jumped through all the hoops they threw at you, and told you of their positive impressions of you, they'll drop you before the interview begins (even when they tell you that you're being set up for an interview).