Very Difficult Interview
I applied through a recruiter and interviewed at Fitbit.
Interview Details – A recruiter reached out to me on LinkedIn based on my past experience and told me a bit about Fitbit as a company. I was interested, so he connected me with them directly, and I scheduled a phone screen for a week or so later.
The phone screen was with the Director of Engineering, but he failed to identify his role or tell me much about what he did at the company (even when asked). He asked me if I had experience with a variety of technologies that they apparently use, which I indicated that I did not (my resume lists technologies I have used most recently). He asked me what sort of engineer I was, then asked me what my ideal job was. When I explained that I would prefer to not do certain aspects of the stack, he was insulting. So... to say that we were off on a bad start would be an understatement.
At this point, he asked me to do a technical exercise online. As someone with a fair amount of interiewing experience on both sides of the desk, I'd say that it was probably the hardest phone screen question I'd encountered. At the end, he thanked me.
My biggest issues with the screen are two:
- Insulting a candidate when you ask them about their ideal role is unprofessional.
- They entirely failed to follow up with me after the screen; even though I am sure they did not want to continue the interview process, it's unprofessional to fail to respond end the process and tell the candidate their status.
Interview Question – Deep copy a list of nodes (a graph). Answer Question
I applied online and the process took 2 weeks - interviewed at Fitbit in March 2014.
Interview Details – Found the job posting on Indeed website. Had two phone interviews and an on-site visit. First phone interview was with the recruiter. She was very nice and easy to talk to. The conversation was mostly about what my job duties currently are and how they relate to the position I was applying for. The second phone interview was with a Firmware QA Engineer. The conversation wasn't as technical as I had imagined it would be. We just had a nice discussion about my job duties and responsibilities, why I want to leave my current job, and why I want to work for Fitbit. We also discussed a little bit about debugging hardware issues and travelling to China for work.
The on-site interview was quite the learning experience. I have only had one other technical interview, which was nothing compared to this at all. Total, I met with 4 groups of 2 people. Each for an hour at a time. I started with two more Firmware QA Engineers, both were super nice guys. We talked about the "day-to-day" routine for them. Next, I met with the Firmware Project Manager and a Program Manager for Beta Testing. They took me to lunch and we talked more about who I am as an employee/person and how I handle stress. We ate cheeseburgers while we talked. Overall it was a nice conversation. Both employee's really enjoyed the people they work with and appreciated their coworkers.
After those interviews were the meetings with the Firmware Engineers. Again, each group I met with was very nice. I spoke with 2 engineers at a time. Each seemed extremely intelligent and highly knowledgeable. No engineer I spoke with was rude, arrogant, or condescending in any way (sometimes that can be the case with engineers). The conversations were about the following: programming knowledge, debugging hardware/firmware problems, solving a generic work-related problem on the white-board, and what my passion is in engineering. I think of myself as a bright person and I know that I'm a relatively talented EE for the little experience I actually how. The engineers that I met were truly inspiring. They all loved the people they work with and knew SO MUCH.
They let me direct the topics of conversation. If I mentioned something, they would ask many questions in order to see exactly how deep my knowledge of that topic was. And when my knowledge of said topic ran out, they did not make me feel bad or stupid. They are all very gifted in discovering how much you actually know. I learned that if I mention something in an interview, then I need to be ready to thoroughly discuss it. I can't bring up some project I worked on unless I know EVERYTHING about it.
Lastly, I met with the System Architect. He is the head of the Firmware Department. Nice person. Short 30-40 minute conversation.
Workplace was very small. Everyone was working SO close to the person next to them. Then again, they are moving offices to a larger space.
I applied online and the process took 2 months - interviewed at Fitbit in March 2014.
Interview Details – 1. Applied Online
2. Recruiter Contact
3. Phone Chat with Recruiter
4. Handed off to second recruiter
5. Arranged phone interview with engineer
6. Phone interview with second engineer
Interview Question – A few open-ended scenarios Answer Question
I applied online and the process took 2 weeks - interviewed at Fitbit in December 2013.
Interview Details – Terrible experience. This was actually the second time that happened. Both interview processes ended up in unanswered emails and lack of communication from their side. The first time I wasn't able to go to the on-site interview and I never managed to reschedule. I decided to give it another try for a similar opening and after a brief chat with the hiring manager I went on site. The interviews were rescheduled the day of the interview and two of the interviewers were not there so I only spoke with 3 people. Apart from the first person who was going to be my reportee, the interviewers were extremely not interested on talking. The attitude in general was terrible. I don't even think that they wanted to talk to me in the first place.
After following up the next day I never heard back.
I was really disappointed of how they managed to waste my time.
Interview Question – What would be the first project that you address in our site? Answer Question
I interviewed at Fitbit in January 2014.
Interview Details – Two round of interview, one with HR and one with 3 senior scientists. The one with HR is about general questions like why Fitibit. The second round is more research related. Since it's a research intern, most of the time they are asking about things on your resume. It is important to tell a good story from you resume.
Interview Question – Nothing really. Just try to lead the conversation and provide ideas that can bring to the company. Answer Question
I applied online and the process took 4+ weeks - interviewed at Fitbit in December 2013.
Interview Details – Interview process consisted of a phone interview with HR, then the manager. I was later invited for an on-site interview with the same manager and two other team members. Even though I had extensive experience in my field from working with a private company, it seems they are looking to hire somebody with experience in implementing a supply chain program/process.
Interview Question – There weren't any questions that were difficult. Most questions were about supply chain and my resume. Answer Question
I applied online and interviewed at Fitbit.
Interview Details – Process went very quickly, applied online, spoke to the recruiter and hiring manager, and was on-site soon thereafter. My schedule was packed at my previous job, so I appreciated that the coding test wasn't too demanding on my schedule. The day on-site consisted of a very full day of technical interviews with everyone on my team. It was good to meet all the people I would be working with, but I was getting burned out towards the end. Left with a very good impression of the company.
Interview Question – No one question was difficult, but I think there were > 7 sessions coding on the whiteboard, so by the end the jet lag was kicking in and I wasn't at my best. Answer Question
Reason for Declining – Company felt too large - not in a bad way, but personally I felt that I wanted to work somewhere smaller.
I applied online and the process took 2 months - interviewed at Fitbit in November 2013.
Interview Details – Originally applied online for the full-time research position, and quickly got a reply. During the initial phone screening, I showed interested in internship instead since I was still waiting for graduate school results. The recruiter told me she'd send my resume to the intern recruiter.
After waiting for 1 month, I got a surprising contact from the intern recruiter. I then had a 3 hours, 3 people back-to-back phone interview with two research engineers and the director or research (pretty cool!). The questions were not very technical in nature, but more towards critical thinking. I am an EE and did not get an actual circuit question.
I think the fact that I played around with many DIY projects involving wearable devices really helped me give meaningful conversation topics and critical thinking responses. I'd advise anyone trying to get into any startup company to get your hands dirty before hand to get an authentic exposure to the problem space of their products.
I applied online and the process took 1+ week - interviewed at Fitbit.
Interview Details – Initial phone screen--asked about my previous experience, the interviewer didn't sound very enthusiastic or informative about the position or the company and just seemed like she wanted to get the interview over with so that she could leave for the day. I received a rejection email the next day
Interview Question – None. Just asked to explain background/previous experience Answer Question
I applied online and the process took 3 days - interviewed at Fitbit in November 2013.
Interview Details – The interview included: 1HR Screener, 1 Phone interview with Product Director. The role was rather limited seeing that the company hasn't put the resources behind the Premium product. The firm is not sure about the product strategy and the value proposition to the consumer. Most of the interview revolves around your product knowledge with the current Fitbit products (What do you like about them, What do you not like about them). What would you do differently about Fitbit Premium? The team is looking to mine ideas but the interview did not flow like a discussion. The PM team has limited Product Management and Technical background so do not expect engineering-oriented questions. This is more of an execution role to maintain the minor revenue producting product. Do not rock the boat with very innovative features - the team is very risk averse.
Interview Question – What would you do differently with Fitbit Premium? (no knowledge given about the existing platform infrastructure) Answer Question
Reason for Declining – PM leadership lacked the pedigree that I needed for mentoring and personal growth. Better role for someone with very little PM experience. Fitness role would have been more appealing.
An Idea was Born In 2007, our founders, Eric and James, realized that sensors and wireless technology had advanced to a point where they could bring amazing experiences to fitness and health. They embarked on a journey… — Full Overview
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