Cypress Semiconductor Interview Questions & Reviews
Getting an Interview
- Popular Job Titles:
- Applications Engineer (14)
- Product Engineer (9)
- Software Engineer (5)
- Systems Engineer (3)
- Electrical Design Engineer (3)
- Design Engineer (3)
- Product Marketing Engineer (3)
- Operations Analyst (2)
- Program Manager (2)
- Product Manager (1)
- Junior Test Engineer (1)
- Design Engineering Director (1)
- Product Marketing Engineer I (1)
- Product Marketing Manager (1)
- Business Analyst (1)
- Business Unit Director (1)
- Director - Program Management Office (1)
- Senior Staff Electrical Design Engineer (1)
- Senior Engineering Management (1)
- Elect Design Engineer (1)
- Staff Applications Engineer Member of Technical Staff (1)
- Design Engineer and Above (1)
- Operations Analyst II At Bangalore, India (1)
- Yield Engineer (1)
- Electronics Engineer (1)
- Co-Op Engineer (1)
- Marketing Analyst (1)
- Finance Intern (1)
- Staff Applications Engineer (1)
- Human Resources Generalist (1)
Applications Engineer Interview (Positive Experience; Easy Interview)
I applied through an employee referral and the process took 7 weeks - interviewed at Cypress Semiconductor.
Interview Details – First there was a Phone screen by the hiring manager.
This was followed by a single site visit about two weeks later.
Site visit consisted of several one on one interviews and a group interview.
There were a few technical and job specific questions but nothing too difficult or awkward/unexpected.
Overall, it was fine.
Interview Question – nothing stands out Answer Question
Negotiation Details – Not able to negotiate.
Industrial Engineer Interview (Neutral Experience; Easy Interview)
I applied through college or university and the process took 2 months - interviewed at Cypress Semiconductor.
Interview Details – I submitted my resume online, and got a call from my hiring manager 1-2 weeks later. She asked some clarification questions and invited me in for an in person interview.
When I got to the interview, i received a short tour of the offices and the manufacturing area (we didn't go inside the fab). After, I had to file out a paper application (which was odd because i filled out an application online). This paper application had all the basic questions, and about 10 short answer questions (2-3 lines) mostly about your work habits.
Then we started the interview process, the first 30 minute interview was with three managers from different areas in the site (internally they call this the "wolfpack" interview). They asked many questions that related the the company's core values. Very few of these questions were technical.
The next two 30 minute interview were with other people that i would be directly working with. These questions were similar to the first questions, but were slightly more technical.
After the interviews i finished up the paper application and was done with the interview process. The entire process took about three hours.
After the interview i kept getting weekly updated from my hiring manager that they were still reviewing my application and she would get back to me next week. I later found out that they were on a hiring freeze, and no new hire paperwork was allowed to be submitted. About a month later i received an email that i was being offered the job.
Interview Question – What are your 3 worst qualities? Answer Question
Negotiation Details – Didn't seem like they were going to negotiate
Product Engineer Interview (Positive Experience; Easy Interview)
I applied through college or university and the process took 2 weeks - interviewed at Cypress Semiconductor in January 2010.
Interview Details – Initial one hour technical phone screen, 4 - 6 hours in-person interview. Seperate inteviews with hiring group, senior management and panel interviews. Technical questions, previous experience questions and personality questions
Interview Question – Nothing very surprising. Usual technical questions, puzzles, some MS tools questions, how would you respond questions. Answer Question
Negotiation Details – Did not negotiate much. This was a first job out of college.
Applications Engineer Interview (Neutral Experience; Average Interview)
I applied through college or university and the process took 2 days - interviewed at Cypress Semiconductor in February 2014.
Interview Details – Met the personnel at the career fair. Got an interview for the next day. The first round of interview in not HR but technical. They tested whether I knew what I was talking about and asked a lot of questions on my resume. The company work culture is pretty serious.
Interview Question – They check whether you have insight on what you are talking about. Asked about power converters questions, to draw circuit diagrams and explain what is going on. Answer Question
Director - Program Management Office Interview (Positive Experience; Difficult Interview)
I applied online and the process took 3 months - interviewed at Cypress Semiconductor in July 2010.
Interview Details – Approval is at the Executive level for all openings, even replacements due to attrition.
At least three or four rounds of interview. Even one "no hire" decision is a no-go for hiring the candidate.
Emphasis given to the technical and functional qualifications along with leadership / entrepreneurial traits. Negotiation of salary and perks is commensurate with the job requirement and your fit.
Interview Question – You have to be technically quite competent to get into Cypress. The CEO himself is highly technical with a Ph.D. and stays up to date on technology developments. View Answer
Negotiation Details – Not too difficult although cumbersome since my assignment included international relocation.
Co-Op Engineer Interview (Positive Experience; Average Interview)
I applied through college or university and the process took 1+ week - interviewed at Cypress Semiconductor in April 2012.
Interview Details – The interview was for a Co-Op position for technical marketing.
The first step was a phone interview. It started with general questions, and then narrowing down the focus to PSoC. I had some prior experience so I was asked about the projects I had done. They dug deeper into that and asked varied questions on general MCU components.
On the marketing side, were general questions which tested how good I was at getting the complete picture and my marketing skills.
I was then asked to develop a business case, and also a simple PSoC project, and had to submit it in a few days.
This followed with another phone interview similar to the first one, but taken by another person.
Interview Question – There is nothing in particular that was difficult. I was tested on general concepts. They were looking for quick-thinking, flexible and smart people, who are also familiar with Cypress products. Answer Question
Negotiation Details – It was fixed already.
Applications Engineer Interview (Positive Experience; Difficult Interview)
I applied through college or university and the process took 2 months - interviewed at Cypress Semiconductor.
Interview Details – Interview process consists of a wolfpack interview which is a stress simulation interview.
The interview is very technical.
Interview Question – What would you do if you dont agress with the CEO's policy Answer Question
Product Manager Interview (Positive Experience; Difficult Interview)
I applied through an employee referral and the process took 2 days - interviewed at Cypress Semiconductor.
Interview Details – Submitted resume via friend who was a Cypress employee with his recommendation. Phone interview with hiring manager. All day onsite interview. Each interviewer had a page assigned by Cypress to fill up a "hiring" notebook for the CEO TJ Rodgers to personally sign off on, so they took it pretty seriously, etc.
Interview Question – One of the hour long interview was called the tiger team interview engineers. They asked rapidly paced questions to learn your depth and shake you up. Since they were reluctant to ask a marketing guy too many technical questions, I probably got off easier than usual. View Answer
Negotiation Details – A change in job title was arranged to accommodate my salary range. I was upgraded from staff PME to a PMM. A great hiring manager was the key.
Software Engineer Consultant Interview (Positive Experience; Average Interview)
I applied through a recruiter and the process took 5 days - interviewed at Cypress Semiconductor in October 2012.
Interview Details – Initial phone interview with Director of Software Engineering, general discussion about my past projects.
2nd phone interview with team lead: Discussion about my previous projects, handling project from start to end including information gathering, designing and code. Simple technical questions.
Interview Question – string vs stringbuilder Answer Question
Negotiation Details – It was contract, I already knew my hourly rate before interview.
Design Engineer and Above Interview (Negative Experience; Difficult Interview)
I applied through an employee referral and the process took 4 months - interviewed at Cypress Semiconductor in January 2009.
Interview Details – I'm writing this as a former Cypress hiring manager for over a decade. I've conducted hundreds of interviews for Cypress.
Getting your resume in the door:
Cypress does not usually advertise or use recruiters. Both of these require CEO approval which is hard to get.
The best way to enter Cypress is from campus as an NCG (New College Grad.) or through an employee referral.
Cypress does not have the usual req system which exist in other companies. It is called an ATR (authorization to recruit) and is merely permission from the division Exec. VP to attempt to hire.
All ATRs will show up in an external hiring portal. If you are lucky, you may actually see this online.
The hiring manager will prepare a set of questions for that position and recruit 5 to 7 interviewers. There will be at least 3 to 4 one on one interviews and one group interview called a "wolf pack." This is to generate fear and stress in the candidate to see if they will survive under pressure.
Each interviewer is assigned a "hard skills" domain and "soft skills" domain for the interview but they are not restricted to those and may ask almost anything relevant or irrelevant.
Soft skill questions are linked to the publicly visible "core values" on the Cypress website.
The one on one interviews will be either on the phone, or face to face at Cypress. For some candidates, Cypress might conduct the interviews offsite but this is rare.
The wolf pack is almost always on site.
On completing the interviews, the hiring manager will over the next few days make a series of calls for reference checking. In addition they will forward the completed "offer book" to HR which will in turn forward to central HR in San Jose. Once a week, all offerbooks and their perceived impact are presented to the CEO for review and if there is money available, the offer may or may not be made that week. This process will continue until the money becomes available, or the candidate gives up. The best case is 3 days and the worst case can be months. Hiring managers will pretend that they are in control of this process, but the reality is that it all depends on the political equation between the division EVP and the CEO.
The CEO, T. J. Rodgers is very proud of this process and has described it in some articles under the term "hiring auction."
Unlike other companies, where hiring dollars are made available up front, Cypress schedules it at their convenience and expects candidates to wait. The money for hiring is usually made available by laying off staff at "high cost" regions and hiring is usually in "low cost" regions.
Interview Question – The technical questions depend on the domain. Most candidates stumble on the core value questions if they haven't done their homework. Answer Question
Negotiation Details – It took several weeks at my level. It is shorter at junior levels. At mid levels you may be able to get a joining or relocation bonus. You can also ask for RSUs instead of stock. If you play hardball, and the hiring manager is desperate since they spend a lot of time on this, you might be able to get a better deal. Remember that all decisions are made at the CEO level so you have to help the hiring manager with information which they can use to get it approved. Be prepared to wait for long periods without any information on the process.
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