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Garmin Software Engineer Interview Questions & Reviews

Updated Jul 7, 2014
All Interviews Received Offers

Getting an Interview  

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4 people found this helpful

Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Easy Interview

Software Engineer Interview

Software Engineer
Olathe, KS

I applied online and the process took 3 weeks - interviewed at Garmin in July 2011.

Interview Details – To start off, I am a fresh college graduate (B.S.) in computer science and this was my first corporate interview ever. I simply applied on their website and was contacted in about a week.
    I received a call from HR to kick off the process. It was about 1 hour long and mostly non-technical. A few simple technical questions like 'What is function overloading? overriding? What is a semaphore?', etc. but that was it. The usual questions were more like 'Describe your resume experiences. What is your favorite programming language?' etc. After that I was contacted in a few business days (less than a week) for an on site interview scheduled for 2 weeks later. They flew me in and paid for the rental car and hotel. The on site interview was actually a mini-interview to start, 4 1-hour interviews, and a free lunch intermission tour of the campus and offices. The mini-interview was just a recap of the previous HR interview with an HR representative. Then I had a 1:1 interview where I was asked to solve a problem with the interviewer. Given a general Image View that can zoom, pan, scroll, etc. write an algorithm that can determine the absolute image coordinates of a user click even if they have zoomed in and/or scrolled. It was an interesting problem and I had a semi-working solution by the time the interview was over. Then I had a panel interview with 1 project manager and 2 team leaders. This was more laid back. We talked about the research I did in college and my opinions about different programming languages. The third interview was 1:1 and it was half technical. First I talked about major projects and challenges I had worked on and then the second half was rapid fire questions about C and a little object oriented stuff. Questions like: 'Write a routine to do an in order traversal of a binary tree (then do it without recursion). How would you set only 1 bit in a 32 bit value. What is the difference between big and little endian? Here are some common data structures, where would you normally see them and why? Explain negative runtime impacts caused by inheritance.' Then there was a free lunch tour with a regular employee. After that was my last 1:1 interview. There was a quick discussion and then all technical questions. I had teaching assistant experience on my resume and the interviewer asked me to teach him what a semaphore was. Then he showed me some C code and asked me what was wrong with it. Then finally he gave me a problem to solve in less than 10 minutes. The problem was to shuffle a deck of cards. I barely got a solution down that I explained while I was writing it. He was happy that I even finished a solution even though it was hideously inefficient. He was the only interviewer to ask me to see the self coding example that I was told to bring.
    The interviewers were all pleasant and willing to work with me when I stumbled through some of the questions. There were a few tricky ones that I definitely was not able to answer right off the top of my head. One last note for what it's worth, all of my interviewers were white males with an average age probably in the mid to late twenties though there were a couple in their late thirties for sure. Overall the interviews were pretty simple and not very stressful.

Interview Questions

  • Imagine a screen space that can scroll and zoom in on an image, translate any user click from coordinates in the screen space to absolute coordinates in the image.   Answer Question
  • Write a routine to do an in order traversal of a binary tree. Now do it without using recursion.   Answer Question
  • What are some negative runtime impacts of inheritance?   Answer Question
  • Retrieve the third byte of a 4 byte integer. How would you do it differently if the architecture was big-endian? little-endian?   Answer Question

Negotiation Details – I tried to negotiate a higher starting salary and they were not very receptive to it at all. I was ignored for about a week and when I was finally contacted (after leaving a few messages to different people) I was simply told that they wanted to keep a consistent hiring salary and that none of my team leaders wanted to compromise on that. That said, I did receive a higher salary offer than I expected and I am happy with it.


1 person found this helpful

Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Average Interview

Software Engineer Interview

Software Engineer
Olathe, KS

The process took a day - interviewed at Garmin in June 2010.

Interview Details – Initial contact was made by submitting my resume on the Garmin.com careers site. I submitted for two different positions. I was then contacted for a phone interview within a week (they were hiring for several positions at the time). After the phone screening, I was contacted a few days later to request an in person interview. I already had a planned trip to the area, so they did not offer to compensate me for travel for the interview.
My on-site interview began with basic HR and personality questions with the recruiter. They gave me a brief tour of the site and provided lunch. After lunch I was taken to a conference room where I was interviewed by team leads for three different positions. Two of the interviews involved skills tests in programming.
The culture was very relaxed. Most employees were wearing jeans and many even shorts and flip-flops. The people interviewing me took their work very seriously, but were kind and friendly. They gave me the opportunity to ask any questions I had.

Interview Question – Write an algorithm in any programming language for calculating the amount of change needed. As a follow up, can you modify this algorithm to avoid using the division operator?   View Answers (2)

Negotiation Details – They were not able to meet my desired salary amount, but offered a sign-on bonus to help cover moving expenses, etc. I asked further about covering actual moving costs, or additional sign-on amounts and was offered an additional $1000 which was helpful considering the ~40% income tax on the bonus! I did have to go back and forth with them a couple of times to get that, and I just had to figure out what I needed to cover my transition and transfer for my family.


Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Average Interview

Software Engineer Interview

Software Engineer
Olathe, KS

I applied online and the process took 2 days - interviewed at Garmin in July 2008.

Interview Details – My first contact was by email to set up a phone interview. The phone interview was just your standard HR personality and basic background interview. There were questions like "Describe a time when you had a conflict at work and how it was resolved". The interviewer was very nice and personable. The next interview was on site with two managers from the department I was applying for. There was nothing exceptional about the interview. They asked a few technical questions but were prefaced with questions that would pinpoint what I was familiar with. For example, they asked if I was familiar with sql and when I said not too much, they said OK and left it alone. However, when they asked about C++, I said I was proficient and they went on to ask me more detailed questions about C++.

Interview Question – Describe a time when you had a conflict at work with another coworker and how you resolved it.   Answer Question


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No Offer

Negative Experience

Difficult Interview

Software Engineer Interview

Software Engineer
Olathe, KS

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


Accepted Offer

Neutral Experience

Very Easy Interview

Software Engineer Interview

Software Engineer
Olathe, KS

I applied online and the process took 1 week - interviewed at Garmin in September 2009.

Interview Details – one phone interview with the recruiter, Just general hr questions. Onsite interview was all programming questions. Had interview with 3 team leaders.

Interview Question – There were no difficult questions   Answer Question


No Offer

Neutral Experience

Average Interview

Software Engineer Interview

Software Engineer
Kansas City, MO

I applied online and the process took a day - interviewed at Garmin in April 2010.

Interview Details – I got a phone call at first to schedule a phone interview. scheduled on one week later. on the phone interview, we talked about 30 mins, they asked me about some personality testing questions,and also asked me to imagine a situation where i have conflicts with my supervisor & coworkers. They asked me to show them my work which I sent through my email. no information after that. then got a reject email later.

Interview Questions

  • why did you want to work in this field?   View Answer
  • what computer languages are you familiar with/proficient in?   View Answer


No Offer

Negative Experience

Average Interview

Software Engineer Interview

Software Engineer
Kansas City, MO

The process took 1 week - interviewed at Garmin in November 2009.

Interview Details – First, I was called by a recruiter and had a phone interview. It lasted for 50 min. After 5 days, I got an email asking me to set up an appointment for the inperson interview. The interview lasted for 4 hours. The first was by the recruiter again.,..Just asked the same stuff they asked on the phone. After that there were 3 interviews...each by different teams. One interview was mainly on C, C++, other was on complete JAVA, other was on C#, .net. I was into .net stuff...but I was asked questions on java... Any one who had experience in java can answer those questions...

Interview Question – what is singleton class   View Answers (3)


No Offer

Neutral Experience

Average Interview

Software Engineer Interview

Software Engineer
Kansas, OH

I applied online and the process took 4 weeks - interviewed at Garmin in January 2010.

Interview Details – I applied to the software engineering job through the companies career section. I got a call from HR representative asking for dates for telephone interview. Questions were more of HR type. Why Garmin ? Salary expectation,... I was able to pass through the phone interview and they called me for on-site interview. I had three 1:1 interview with technical lead that lasted for 3 hours. Question were of average difficulty. Few programming questions. I thought i did well but i got an email after 1 month saying I was not accepted.

Interview Question – Implement binary search.   View Answers (2)


No Offer

Neutral Experience

Average Interview

Software Engineer Interview

Software Engineer
Chandler, AZ

I applied online and the process took 2 weeks - interviewed at Garmin in February 2010.

Interview Details – first round -hr phone interview
second round - tech interview

Interview Question – questions on my projects
questions on multithreading
one puzzle.
  Answer Question


No Offer

Neutral Experience

Average Interview

Software Engineer Interview

Software Engineer
Kansas, AL

I applied online and the process took a day - interviewed at Garmin in May 2009.

Interview Details – first phone, then on site, three round, technical Q

Interview Question – what's your favorite working environment   View Answer

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