Cobalt
3.6 of 5 275 reviews
www.cobalt.com Seattle, WA 1000 to 5000 Employees

Cobalt Interview Questions & Reviews

Updated Jun 26, 2014
All Interviews Received Offers

Getting the Interview 

55%
25%
11%

Interview Experience 

70%
13%
16%

Interview Difficulty 

Average Difficulty
69 candidate interviews
Relevance Date Difficulty

Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Instructional Designer Interview

Instructional Designer
Seattle, WA

I applied through a staffing agency and the process took 4+ weeks - interviewed at Cobalt in September 2012.

Interview Details – The interview process was pleasant, and I enjoyed talking to a future colleague candidly about what the position was like. I learned from this person that she had to "hit the ground running, then felt she had been running ever since". This suggested that I would be expected to put in extra hours beyond the 40 hr week or manage my stress somehow.

I was to be a replacement for a person who had left rather suddenly, specifically to finish a long-delayed project. I had hoped the job would allow me to develop professionally in designing e-learning courses, and that was promised, but only after the current project was done.

I was hired initially as a contractor through a company called Dataset. Since Cobalt belongs to ADP where internal security is important, there is a long process where your "background is checked". This appears to be basically a verification that you actually held the jobs you listed on your resume and that have named the correct dates of those jobs.

On my tour around the office, I was introduced to low-wall cubicle-land, with a sea of faces all looking down, unsmiling, hard at work. No one looked up, even in the department where I was to work. It seemed like they were all stressed out. I've since learned that's not the case, but that's how it felt then.

I concluded that in the interview that I didn't want the position, and told my recruiter so. But he called back saying Cobalt wanted me, and that, yes, I probably would move into elearning as soon as my project was done. I should have known that having only a 6 month contract on a long project meant that I'd never get the chance to work on anything else.

So, I took the position, and was offered full-time at the end of the 6 months. At that point I was the lead on an unfinished project, and so had earned some job security.

On the first day I was to begin the job, my background check had yet to clear. The staffing agency neglected to tell me this, so I rode an hour into downtown Seattle on the bus, only to be sent home, because I wasn't allowed to work yet. This was probably just a basic failure of communication but it was disappointing.

In summary, I've been very glad I said "yes", even though I went through some rocky times.

Interview Questions

  • Tell me about your workflow and how you go about designing a course.   View Answer
  • Tell us about what you would do if the subject matter expert assigned to work with you is not forthcoming, and you can't ever seem to schedule time to meet with him.   View Answer

Negotiation Details – I didn't negotiate my acceptance as a contractor, nor when I was hired full time. But I did look up the industry average for instructional designers and found the compensation to be very adequate.

Having not worked in private industry before, I was (and am) astonished at how much I got paid.

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Accepted Offer

Neutral Experience

Senior Software Engineer Interview

Senior Software Engineer

I applied through a recruiter and the process took 3 weeks - interviewed at Cobalt.

Interview Details – Loved the turnaround time. It was really quick. The interviewers were amazing, very smart, technical and friendly.

Interview Question – Javascript implementation - Test driven devlopment   Answer Question

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Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Average Interview

Services, Manager Interview

Services, Manager
Seattle, WA

I applied through a recruiter and the process took 2 weeks - interviewed at Cobalt.

Interview Details – After being vetted by a recruiter, you usually meet with 3-4 people, in one on one (or two on one) sessions that last 30 mins. One of those people is typically the hiring manager. Expect to be there for a couple of hours at least. You may also be asked to take online assessment(s) prior to interviewing. In my experience, they do move fast and an offer came after the one in-person interview and a follow-up phone interview.

Interview Question – Cobalt uses behavioral interviewing, so be prepared to provide specific examples when asked questions about your previous work experience.   Answer Question

Negotiation Details – I was initially offered a salary lower than what I had been making plus a signing bonus. When I asked for my previous salary to be met, that request was accommodated (although no signing bonus). I found that I was treated fairly in the negotiation process, although I did not attempt to do any hard bargaining.

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No Offer

Negative Experience

Average Interview

Product Marketing Manager Interview

Product Marketing Manager
Seattle, WA

I applied online and the process took 1 week - interviewed at Cobalt in March 2013.

Interview Details – Don't bother applying if you're over 50 - the most senior interviewer actually told me they were looking for someone younger. Age discrimination?

Brief phone interview, followed by on-site interview within 1 week. On site interviews were 1-on-1 with 4 different people.

Interview Question – All questions were pretty basic, general about my background and why I want to work there.   Answer Question

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Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Average Interview

Account Advocate Interview

Account Advocate

I applied through a recruiter and the process took 3 weeks - interviewed at Cobalt.

Interview Details – After applying, I received an e-mail to fill out an online application. Once completed, I received a call and email to set up a phone interview. The phone interview was very basic and lasted for about 20 minutes. After the phone interview, I waited for about a week and received a call about setting up an interview in-person. After that, I got notice within 1 business day about the offer.

Interview Question – Name a time where you took a risk   Answer Question

Negotiation Details – Not much of a negotiation. I got what I wanted

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No Offer

Neutral Experience

Account Advocate Interview

Account Advocate

I applied through a recruiter and the process took 3 weeks - interviewed at Cobalt.

Interview Details – The initial Interview was a phone interview. They asked the typical phone interview questions. Work history, what work experience do you have that relates to this job. About a week and half later I did a online assessment and didn't hear anything after that.

Interview Question – They asked kept asked asking about my past salary.   Answer Question

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Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Average Interview

Account Advocate Interview

Account Advocate
Seattle, WA

I applied online and the process took 1 week - interviewed at Cobalt in October 2009.

Interview Details – 3 to 4 people will interview you, asking typical situational questions. Each of the interviewing managers get together, and share their opinion of each candidate, basically voting yea or nay.
They want to see that you can think on your feet, solve problems, and manage a "book of business" of accounts. You must have some familiarity with advertising, especially digital, but you don't have to be an expert by any means. Any experience in the auto industry, and familiarity with the vehicle buying process is valuable as well.
The company is mostly pretty casual, so they probably wouldn't take too well to a formal "old-school" business person.

Interview Question – Don't remember   Answer Question

Negotiation Details – They asked what I was seeking, balked at my first number, I decreased 15%, and they accepted.

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No Offer

Negative Experience

Average Interview

Account Advocate Interview

Account Advocate
Seattle, WA

I applied online and the process took 3 weeks - interviewed at Cobalt in February 2013.

Interview Details – This is the 2nd time I have applied for this position and received an interview, but was a more automated process. I submitted my application on their website and was then sent an email to fill out yet another online application (very similar to the one on their site.) It also asks if you have every applied before and the dates, which I answered honestly. After about a week or two, I received an email asking me to follow a link and select a time for a phone interview. Their system is a bit screwy as there were no dates or times available and that was only 30 minutes after I received the notification. I called the 800 number and they told me that the email must've beat their system as there were no dates/times available yet and to keep trying. I the exact same email the next day, so I decided to try again. Again, no dates/times were available. I tried the link sporadically for another week or two and finally nailed down a time.

The day of the phone interview, the questions were much like the first time around. Very basic, what do currently do, why are you leaving, etc. They also asked me what my salary requirements were and since I was told before that it tops out at $50k, I used that as my minimum, especially since this I've been doing this type of work for a few years now. The interview lasted about 20 minutes and was brief and to the point. Not very engaging, but I already knew they churn people out of this place so I wasn't expecting much from the recruiter. Before we got off the phone, she asked if they needed me to come in for a face to face interview next week or the following week, could I make it, which I replied that I could. So she proceeds to tell me that the next step is for them to send me an online assessment (aka personality test) and if all looks good to the hiring manager that they would bring me in for the f2f. Two days later, I receive and automated email telling me they decided to go forward with candidates that more closely fit their needs.

Interview Question – None, all were pretty basic.   Answer Question

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Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Easy Interview

Account Advocate Interview

Account Advocate
Seattle, WA

I applied through a recruiter and the process took 1 week - interviewed at Cobalt.

Interview Details – Extremely low-key upon initial contact from company. Began with over the phone rundown of job and company. Multiple single person interviews with position managers who all ask similar, but slightly differently worded questions, one after another. Interviews all about 15 minutes each. At the time I was hired, there was no second interview session.

Interview Question – Questions were standard for customer facing positions   Answer Question

Negotiation Details – They gave me what I asked for, which was already in line with their rates, so there was no negotiation.

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Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Difficult Interview

Account Advocate Interview

Account Advocate
Seattle, WA

I applied through an employee referral and the process took 4+ weeks - interviewed at Cobalt in October 2009.

Interview Details – Ir'a a pretty lengthy interview process with a lot of managers plus some personality tests. It wasn't very smooth when I interviewed, but I hear it's better now

Negotiation Details – I didn't need to negotiate as I was offered the first salary I requested

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