Very Difficult Interview
I applied through a recruiter and the process took 2 weeks - interviewed at Garmin in August 2012.
Interview Details – Three weeks of phone calls hyping the company and arranging an onsite interview at Olathe. Hyped to believe that an offer was highly likely. They wanted me to provide written performance evaluations from former bosses. The hiring event brought in about twenty engineers on one day. The group of twenty was divided to to two groups - the young ones and the old ones. I was in the old group. We were sent on a four hour drive around the Kansas City are to educate us on the advantages of moving to KC. Then, a four hour interview schedule where each group lead me to believe I would "almost certainly get an offer". HR was taking down information from me as if it was certain I'd get an offer. Interviewed with Marine, aviation and automotive. The aviation guy gave me a riddle/puzzle to solve - how to guess a sequence given some information about each guess. I passed, but he thought I took too long. He also wanted me to do some sort of word association. Careerbuilder / Personified ran the event and bungled the company's response, which was to decline to make an offer. I waited for an email that didn't come. The HR babe who had been sooo supportive a few days later would not offer any advice as to why I was not selected or answer phone calls. I thought it was very inconsiderate when one considers how many hours I had to put in to attend this event. I went away from this interview never wanting to work there.
Interview Question – "Technical challenge" - with two anxious interviewers staring at you across a table provide code / pseudo code of how to reverse a linked list in five minutes or less with them showing visible frustration if you weren't ready for this. No other questions about C or C++, just do you remember data structures class from 20 years ago which you haven't had reason to use since. View Answers (3)
The process took a day - interviewed at Garmin in September 2008.
Interview Details – First I started with 1:1 HR interview on campus, that went well so they set up an on site interview at Garmin Headquarters in Olathe, KS. They had 2 hiring managers interview me together. I had interviewed with Garmin for an internship the previous year, so they already had my file open at the new interview. They threw out the standard questions, and started asking me ones they were making up on the fly. It was very difficult and not exactly clear what they wanted me to do.
Interview Question – Tell me about yourself Answer Question
I applied through a recruiter and the process took 3 weeks - interviewed at Garmin in December 2012.
Interview Details – I was contacted by a recruiter who saw my resume on a University career network. After applying they set me up with a phone interview. It was mostly technical questions, many of them operating system related. A week or two later they contacted me and wanted me to come in for a tour and interviews. This was basically 5 interviews with 5 different teams, all mostly technical in nature again. Lots of "write me a piece of code that does this" type of questions. Took them about 2 months to tell me I didn't get the job even though they said they'd contact me within the week. They move very quickly when they want you and disappear when they don't. On the nice side they pay all expenses for the trip, you fill out an expense report just aas you would if you were traveling on the job.
Interview Question – There were a few questions regarding bit shifts, which I have no experience with. Find the least significant bit in a number. Answer Question
I applied through college or university and the process took 1 week - interviewed at Garmin in March 2010.
Interview Details – Consisted of initial Phone HR interview followed by on site interview. Three teams interviewed me in the field of OOPS, C++, Embedded C , memory management and DAta STructures and algorithms.
THe interview lasted for 5 hours totally. The interviewers were very friendly and helpful. There was an initial HR interview on site as well. It consisted of usual questions like where do u see urself in 5 years, what is ur expected salary etc.
I applied through other source and the process took 3 weeks - interviewed at Garmin in December 2009.
Interview Details – HR phone screened at first; checked technical & personality skills and experiences. On-site consisted of an interview with HR, then a group interview with several managers. Detailed questions on my previous experiences; was asked for how I would solve problems in detail. Asked for specific examples of how I solved engineering challenges in the past
Negotiation Details – Offer was fair; did not negotiate much.
I applied online and the process took a day - interviewed at Garmin in March 2010.
Interview Details – Attended job fair and was contacted by HR recruiter a few weeks later.
The HR recruiter setup an hour long phone interview, mostly HR questions, salary history, behavioral questions, personality questions, etc
On-site interview was setup for a week later. At on-site interview, met with 5 people. Engineers asked technical questions and programming and logic questions. Managers asked about work history and experience and described the company and answers my questions. HR asked basic HR stuff.
Interview Question – Java programming question about string copy function. Answer Question
I applied online and the process took a day - interviewed at Garmin in June 2010.
Interview Details – I had the opportunity to interview with Garmin in Olathe, KS a couple of weeks ago. The first interview was with HR and the interviewer asked basic personality questions such as describe 3 major lifetime achievements, describe your ideal workplace, etc. It was a little more in depth than the 30 minute phone screen. I was told I would have 4 technical interviews with different managers throughout the day, lunch, and a tour.
It started out pretty well I thought. During the first 2 interviews, I was asked intermediate questions about C++ and Java, my work experience and asked to solve some problems. One question was to describe the difference in an STL string and a Java String. I didn’t do very well on the problem solving. My nerves got the better of me and I just couldn’t think clearly in that high pressure situation. I do better taking a problem to my desk and working through it in silence. Something I need to work on for future interviews… but anyway…
There wasn’t a single question on design patterns, which every good programmer should be familiar with. And nobody asked to see my code which they told me to bring.
The 3rd interview is what got me. The interviewer was a low level programmer, ( OS, device driver level ) guy, and he began asking me bit twiddling questions. When I told him those are things I studied for certifications years ago, but nothing practical I have used in my over 9 years of experience, he seemed annoyed. The position was for an application programmer, so I didn’t review this kind of low level programming questions. “I know how to build houses, not bricks and nails.” That’s what I should have told him, but didn’t. Then he asked me to implement a bubble sort algorithm on paper while he’s looking over my shoulder. Again, I just couldn’t do it. Sure, I know what a bubble sort is and yes I have used it. But in practice, I have never had to implement one. There is already a good implementation in every major language, so why should I. I build houses. ( which is what the position was for ) If I had been prepared for this sort of questioning or just graduated from college, I could have answered these questions without any problem. ( I didn’t tell him any of this, but it’s what I was thinking. ) So the interviewer kindly told me the interview process was over and escorted me to the door. I said no problem.
This is a very green group of people. All the interviewers, who were mostly managers, were under 30. They definitely value academic knowledge over years of practical real-world experience. And it seems they expect you to know about everything, rather than focusing on your skills and experience you can bring to the company. If you just graduated college, this might be a good place for you, but if you have real experience I wouldn’t bother.
Now here is the real question. There was no technical phone interview. So why did they fly me out to Kansas when they are clearly looking for a certain type of person. Yeah, they paid for my expenses but I wasted 2 of my vacation days for nothing. I could have saved us both some time and money if I knew up front what they were specifically looking for. It seems very odd to me. Usually a company will fly you out to headquarters when they are really serious about hiring you. The only thing that comes to mind is it’s a big tax write off. Makes you wonder.
Interview Question – Implement a bubble sort algorithm in C Answer Question
The process took a day - interviewed at Garmin in January 2012.
Interview Details – I had three interviews with Garmin for three different positions in the company. Each interview consisted of questions asking me what I was looking for in a company, a set of technical questions (what is a pointer, etc.), and a software engineering puzzle I had to solve. Know your general terminology and be good at solving puzzles and you'll be set.
Interview Question – What is a mutex? View Answers (2)
I applied online and the process took 1+ week - interviewed at Garmin.
Interview Details – It's about a two hour interview. You get a combination of technical and behavioral questions. There is a half hour programming exercise which you then review with the interviewer. After that you're given a brain teaser question.
Interview Question – Brain teaser: most buckets filled with infinite number of balls that weigh 1 gram, but one bucket has balls that weigh 2 grams. How do you find the bucket that has the 2 gram balls with only one weigh in? Follow up after you solve it, is what if there are two buckets with 2 gram balls? View Answer
I applied online and the process took 1 week - interviewed at Garmin in September 2008.
Interview Details – The HR asked behavior questions first and decided whether it was good enough to go to the second round.
1. what are you doing now?
2. why do you want to leave your company?
3. why do you want to apply for Garmin?
4. Do you have any difficulty in your previous work? How do you solve the problem?
5. Have you ever had problem with your co-work? How do you solve the problem?
If you say no, then she will continue to question you ...
6. What do you have knowledge about this position?
Over all, HR question is very tough, and she will make the decision first. If you fail in the first round, you will never have technical question, and never meet hire manager.
Interview Question – Do you ever have any problem with your co-worker? and how solve it? View Answers (2)
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