Complete Genomics Interview Questions & Reviews
Getting an Interview
Software Applications Engineer Interview (Neutral Experience)
I applied online and the process took 2 weeks - interviewed at Complete Genomics.
Interview Details – I applied online and got a phone interview then in person interview at the HQ in Palo Alto. had interview with each person in the team for 40 minutes each. nothing much to brainstorm. but more of explanation of what you did, and some random technical questions to see if you are as skilled as stated on resume.
Management Position Interview (Negative Experience; Average Interview)
I applied through other source and interviewed at Complete Genomics.
Interview Details – I went through the initial phone screen process with the hiring manager, and then went on-site for some rounds of in-person interviews with the team and the manager. Everything seemed to go fine, to the point that the hiring manager made every indication that he wanted to keep in touch throughout the process, and seemed extremely eager to do so. I sent a follow-up e-mail a few days later, and heard nothing back. Another week goes by and I reach out to the HR contact. Nothing. Absolute crickets from them.
It's certainly not the most professional experience I have ever had and, like they say, better to find out now.
Interview Question – None. It was all pretty straight-forward. Answer Question
Sales Interview (Neutral Experience; Easy Interview)
I applied through a recruiter and the process took 2 days - interviewed at Complete Genomics in July 2011.
Interview Details – Meeting with hiring manager, then internal staff and VPs. Technical and networking questions.
Interview Question – What types of DNA recombination events would have a 1:8 distribution? View Answer
Negotiation Details – Wait and see what they offer, contain your enthusiasm.
Senior Scientist Interview (Negative Experience; Easy Interview)
I applied online and the process took 2 weeks - interviewed at Complete Genomics in March 2010.
Interview Details – Cordial, professional, disinterested.
they asked for a presentation to "see how I think" because "the last applicant wouldn't allow us to tell".? ;D
I gave a presentation I told them would not overlap at all with their current opening and they said "great". They didn't show much interest in my presentation but when it was over did begin to question me about statistical details of the job they couldn't give much detail to help me answer yet appeared to want detailed answers.
The real gotcha came for their biostatistician who inquired how I would deal with "over-fit". I asked what he meant and then he took the lead and essentially lectured me about split-half sampling. When i countered with "that is a de facto standard in all data mining" and "we could also bootstrap our way through this unknown set of independent data elements you can't tell me anything about right now".
When I expressed a natural curiosity regarding why they were so worried about over-fit when they'd not yet attempted to ever model this problem with current staff and got essentially blank stares back.
Interview Question – hwo would you deal with overfit View Answer
Scientific Software Developer Interview (Negative Experience; Average Interview)
The process took a day - interviewed at Complete Genomics in October 2011.
Interview Details – I was called for an onsite interview, being assured(in writting) that the expenses will be covered by the company(CGI).
I did not received a single message from them since. The round trip took me 5 days and cost 1000$.
One may ask in what extent their statment "Our employees are treated with dignity and respect" is true.
My advice to applicants: be skeptical when they offer you a 'paid' interview. Good luck !
Molecular Biologist, Library Production Interview (Negative Experience; Easy Interview)
I applied online and the process took 3+ weeks - interviewed at Complete Genomics in March 2012.
Interview Details – Initially got a phone interview from the company's recruiter. The phone interview was very basic and asked about my previous work experience based on my resume. The recruiter was very polite and knowledgeable about the field but was skeptical about my visa situation (as I needed a work visa sponsorship to work in the US). After a 2 week wait period, the recruiter assured me that the issue was sorted out and I was flown in for an on-site interview.
Met several people ranging from potential supervisor to potential co-workers who were very nice and asked me questions about my experience and resume. I was given a brief overview of the nature of the job and what I can expect in a daily scenario. Finally I was shown around the company and given a brief tour of the working process. I asked a lot of questions too for which they were very eager and excited to answer. At this point, I was sure I had nailed the interview as people were generally impressed by my profile. Followed up a week later and was told that my references will be contacted soon as I was a high priority. Another 2 weeks later, I was told that I wouldn't be offered the job because the company decided not to sponsor my work visa as they were only willing to sponsor work visas for senior level positions. Needless to say, I was very upset and disappointed to hear this as they could have told me this in the very early stages instead of putting me through an emotional roller-coaster. I wish they could be more open with future candidates about their policies so that others don't go through what I did. Overall, it was a great learning experience with very nice people though I am very dejected on losing a potentially great job solely on the basis of work visa sponsorship.
Interview Question – What quality makes you a good fit for the production side? Answer Question
Senior Software Engineer Interview (Positive Experience; Easy Interview)
I applied through a recruiter and the process took 5 days - interviewed at Complete Genomics in July 2011.
Interview Details – I had an initial phone screen with the software manager, which went very well. He was interested in my biotechnology experience. After a very easy 30 minute interview, we set up an on-site interview with 4 people.
The on-site interview was pretty easy, but I messed up on one problem I should've answered correctly. I think that cost me the job. That said, however, the overall interview was about C# and some software architecture, nothing too deep.
The company appears to be a good place, but I do have concerns about their future path. In any case, I'm positive they'll work things out and I'll definitely apply there in the future.
Interview Question – Describe the architecture of the software at your current company. Answer Question
Senior Scientist Interview (Neutral Experience; Average Interview)
The process took 2 weeks - interviewed at Complete Genomics in August 2010.
Interview Details – It is a very long process. There may be something going on in the back that I am not aware of.
Interview Question – Why you would like to work here. Answer Question