Getting an Interview
Getting an Interview
Interviews for Top Jobs at Garmin
- Software Engineer (54)
- Software Engineer I (12)
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Software Engineer Interview
I applied through other source. The process took 3 weeks – interviewed at Garmin in December 2009.
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
Offer was fair; did not negotiate much.
Other Interview Reviews for Garmin
Software Engineer InterviewNo OfferNeutral ExperienceDifficult Interview
I applied online. The process took 1 day – interviewed at Garmin in March 2010.
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.
- Java programming question about string copy function. Answer Question
Software Engineer InterviewNo OfferNegative ExperienceDifficult Interview
I applied online. The process took 1 day – interviewed at Garmin (Olathe, KS) in June 2010.
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.
- Implement a bubble sort algorithm in C Answer Question
Software Engineer InterviewNo OfferPositive ExperienceDifficult Interview
The process took 1 day – interviewed at Garmin (Kansas City, MO) in January 2012.
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.
- What is a mutex? 2 Answers
Software Engineer InterviewNo OfferPositive ExperienceDifficult Interview
I applied online. The process took 3 weeks – interviewed at Garmin (Chandler, AZ) in April 2014.
Smooth process. I was contacted by HR and the hiring manager. HR call was non technical, and the Hiring manager called me in for a fact to face interview which was very technical
- Several questions were somewhat difficult, but not unusually so. The most difficult one involved developing an efficient sort algorithm for a specific data structure. Answer Question
Software Engineer InterviewAccepted OfferPositive ExperienceDifficult Interview
I applied through an employee referral. The process took 4 weeks – interviewed at Garmin (Olathe, KS) in January 2013.
Initial hiring process is started by filling an application through their online system. Even at job fairs at college and such, that's how it works. If your resume attracts attention, and they don't lose you in their paperwork (as happened to me the first time) then you get a phone interview. Having a friend on the inside to speak on your behalf can cut the change of being overlooked, since their HR hiring people are scatterbrained. If you pass the phone interview, then you are invited to Garmin for a tour, and a series of interviews with the departments looking for new hires. They ask you to bring code you have written for them to review, but only 2 out of the 10 or so people I interviewed with actually looked at it. If the general consensus among those you interview with is good, then you are offered a job. You get to choose preferences for department, and as far as I can tell, you get the most preferred department that also wanted you.
- The in-person interviews at Garmin that follow the phone interview are done by engineers, and the interviews are very technical. Keep in mind that most of Garmin deals mostly in C, and plan for a technical interview accordingly. The hardest questions was probably about the minimum number of bits required to encode information about a street in a GPS system (including speed limit as a multiple of 5, up to a certain limit, and several other bits of info they give you). 1 Answer
They did not seem open to negotiation, but mine was an interview for an entry-level position, so that may have affected it.
Software Engineer InterviewDeclined OfferAverage Interview
I applied through college or university. The process took 2 weeks – interviewed at Garmin in September 2012.
I gave my resume to some Garmin associates at a career fair at my university, and later that night I received a phone call to set up an on campus interview. The interview consisted of two 30 minute sessions, first with a software engineer and then with someone from human resources. The software engineer went over my resume and asked general questions for the majority and then gave me a piece of code to look at towards the end. The human resources part consisted of general interview questions; nothing rigorous. About a week later I received a phone call with a internship offer.
- I was asked to look at some C code and describe what it did. Then, I was asked to describe three ways in which the code could be improved. Answer Question
Software Engineering InterviewNo OfferAverage Interview
You will have to code a simple program for half an hour. Then they will ask you simple questions about embedded development. Review your OS book from college (threads, stacks, locks, etc). Garmin works on embedded devices so it's fair that they test on these low level topics. Then one puzzle at the end, google style. I would buy one of those puzzle books and work through some of them just to get the basic concept (generally the puzzle looks unsolvable, will have some unnecessary information designed to send you down the wrong path, etc) and techniques to solve it.
I was only there for a few hours but this garmin LA site would be a nice place to work. It's a small engineering group- very laid back with no dress code or even fixed hours. Nice equipment. Standard corporate building just off the freeway. The management structure is fairly flat so I don't think there is much advancement but if you love just coding, it'd be a great place to work.
The manager at the branch is very sharp so that's good news. The best part of the interview was just talking shop about industry trends and emerging technologies.
I think Garmin has a lot of potential as a company and its diversification will help it keep its edge. I wouldn't be worried about job security at all at this branch as they seem to be expanding their operations.
- Why is using an initialization list faster than just putting the code in the constructor. 1 Answer
Software Engineer InterviewDeclined OfferPositive ExperienceAverage Interview
I applied through college or university. The process took 2 days – interviewed at Garmin (Olathe, KS) in September 2012.
30 min HR interview followed up with a 30 min test
- They have you look at code and tell them what it does and what you could do to make the code more efficient. Answer Question
Reasons for Declining
I love the company very much but Kansas isn't my type of place.
Software Engineer InterviewAccepted OfferPositive ExperienceAverage Interview
I applied through college or university. The process took 3 weeks – interviewed at Garmin (Olathe, KS) in October 2013.
Talked to a recruiter at the University career fair. Then had a phone interview mainly focused on my resume and past projects. From there I was brought onsite for two technical interviews with their engineers.
- Calculate a moving average that considers the last N values. Then discuss handle incoming data. Consider time and memory complexity. 1 Answer
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