I applied through a recruiter and the process took 4+ weeks - interviewed at Deutsche Bank in July 2011.
Interview Details – Typical start with a phone screen, included IT engineers from London as well as local resources. Subsequently brought in for face-to-face. They were not concerned that I didn't have investment banking background as they know that the need the technical skills and can teach the subject matter to qualified candidates.
Interview Question – Created a scenario where a subordinate was underperforming and asked how I would deal with it. I went down the personal problem path, but they were seeking an answer more like whether or not that person was being adequately challenged. Answer Question
Negotiation Details – I had a skill that they really needed and they were willing to pay. I was looking for a different title that would have given me better upward mobility, but there were extenuating circumstances.
I applied through a recruiter and the process took 4+ weeks - interviewed at Deutsche Bank in January 2010.
Interview Details – At the end of December 2010 I was contacted by Deutsche Bank internal recruiting. They were specifically seeking functional programming experience with languages such as Erlang, Haskell or Scala, and came looking for me based on this expertise.
I was unable to get in touch with the recruiter after this for two weeks. When contacted again, they set up a first phone interview with one of their people, a PhD, for the following week.
Our 30-minute long talk was almost entirely about functional programming concepts: recursion, first-class functions, and type systems. I was told that there is also a fair amount of Java at this company and I asked specifically if the group was interested in starting to explore Scala for this work. I was told yes, they do want to use Scala at the company.
I was also told that the gentleman heading the Erlang work for the group (let's call him Manager A) told my interviewer only days before that they "really need to use Haskell here." This was of great interest to me. I came away from this positive interview thinking this team was very serious about FP.
HR set up a second phone interview with myself and Manager A for a few days later. Three hours before this interview, on the day it was supposed to happen, HR contacted me to explain that there had been a mistake, Manager A was still away on business and unavailable for another week to 10 days. I was disappointed at the unprofessional inability to figure this out until the actual interview day.
During the second phone interview, Manager A was interested in parallel processing experience. It was clear that he would really prefer someone with experience processing large data sets and distributed programming, hence the Erlang. In any case, the interview is tough but fair, and included some logic and computation problems.
During the interview, I ask about what I was told regarding Haskell. Manager A tells me that this isn't true, never happened, there is no interest in Haskell. Later on he asks me if I will be unhappy if I must write Java. I say no, but I was also told that there is enthusiasm for Scala at the firm. He tells me no, "we don't like the Java VM." In the end, I'm left with some confusion, this doesn't seem like the same job.
Within a day HR contacts me to set up a third in-person interview at the office.
The first hour goes well. Manager A talks about the company in general. Aggressive work ethic, etc, none of which is surprising. It's discussed that Manager A is really seeking someone with more math background and experience with distributed processing. It seems to me that, although perhaps not ideal, I am still a viable candidate for this position.
The second hour with a Developer consists of going over my past work with Java. Developer knows very little about FP so far and asks me much about functional programming.
The third hour is with Manager B, in charge of much Java development here. Most of this interview consists of personality and attitude questions designed to test 'cultural fit.' Also during this period are some abstract problem-solving questions. Some of which I get, others I do not. One thing we discuss is that abstract problems like this are good to get you thinking outside conventional solutions. This part of the interview is a positive experience for all.
At the end of the third hour we have some time left, so I am asked if I'd like to ask any questions. Again I bring up the issue of using Scala together with Java at the company. These lines of inquiry are met negatively and with questions like "What do you think functional programming is, explain it to me." I explain things like first-class functions and how this kind of design, coupled with a more functional languages like Scala, can dramatically affect things like amount of code being written to solve a given problem. Less code is a win for the company in a variety of ways.
At this point I seem to have managed to make Manager B hostile towards me. He goes so far as to tell me that languages are all the same, doesn't make any difference what you write in. This is a common misconception in computer programming that's just not true, but I do not argue it further. Damage already seems to be done. The interview is now over and things are terse as they walk me out of the office.
I'd like to point out here that I was particularly disappointed that this person can see it's good to try to attack the abstract interview problems in new and novel ways but he is unable or unwilling to see value in trying to do the same with programming techniques or different languages.
The following day HR informs me via phone call that they will not be making an offer. I feel that this position was misrepresented from the beginning. The company was not honest about what they were looking for, perhaps there is some politics being exposed here, who knows. In the end, I feel that a significant portion of my time was wasted by this exercise.
Your feedback has been sent to the team and we'll look into it.
The difficulty rating is the average interview difficulty rating across all interview candidates.
The interview experience is the percentage of all interview candidates that said their interview experience was positive, neutral, or negative.
Your response will be removed from the review – this cannot be undone.
Simply post an anonymous review for a recent interview experience or current/former employer. Your post is anonymous – and if you're worried someone will be able to identify your review, you can even post without telling us your job title and location. Learn More.
No thanks –