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Garmin Software Engineer Interview Questions

Updated Nov 30, 2014
Updated Nov 30, 2014
51 Interview Reviews

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Software Engineer Interview

Anonymous Interview Candidate
Anonymous Interview Candidate
Application Details

I applied through a recruiter. The process took 3 weeksinterviewed at Garmin in March 2012.

Interview Details

Got called by a recruiter. Got a phone screen. They flew me to Olathe and I was interviewed by 4 groups. At the time the money the recruiter was quoting me was not what I would have wanted but I needed a job so I went through the process. I'm going to say that one of the best things that ever happened to my career was not getting an offer there. About 3 weeks later I got an offer that was 50% higher than what I would have accepted there. The company that made the offer was not only a much larger company, one that is truly on the leading edge of technology but also a company that treats it's employees fanstastically.

I answered their technical questions correctly. However, one of the developers who interviewed me was openly hostile to me. He grilled me about polymorphism in C++ and I patiently explained to him about base classes, virtual functions, function signatures, and overriding methods. Even though my explanation was correct he wrote in his comments that I was confused. He took a completely hostile approach from the gitgo with his opening comments. He may or may not work there any longer but he probably does. The amusing part about this is that I have my doubts that they really write a lot of code in C++.

Also there was a form for reimbursement of incidental expenses. I filed the form but I never received a cent.

My impression of the software development teams was that they are competent but probably lack decent leadership which means that there are probably not as productive as they could be. Of course some of the groups that I interviewed with have probably cut back (like consumer electronics), not sure about the OEM (car infotainment work), and some are probably doing well like the marine equipment and avionics.

I think one should expect less pay than industry norms when working there. I would put them in the average category. Some interesting work perhaps but a fair amount of incompetance in managing resources.

They also asked me to bring a sample of my code. They never asked to look at it in the five hours I was there. Today, git might be something they use now to review your code samples.

Interview Questions
  • They had do a logic puzzle. It wasn't hard and I think the interview though it would take me awhile but I did it in about 3 minutes.   Answer Question
No Offer
Negative Experience

Other Interview Reviews for Garmin

  1. 4 people found this helpful  

    Software Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Kansas City, MO
    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Kansas City, MO
    Application Details

    The process took a dayinterviewed at Garmin in February 2012.

    Interview Details

    Did a phone interview, they then flew me in to Olathe for an in-person interview. Met with HR first, had lunch with another engineer, and then 2 interviews with 2 different groups [1 person for one group, 2 for the other].

    Questions asked were computer science 101 level and led me to believe they were hiring for a junior or intern, not a senior or principal. This may have explained the interviewers I encountered as several didn't seem to be too senior in their knowledge areas. They also have no formal development methodology, no project management standards, etc. This was my take after a 4 or 5 hour interview that could have easily been done over the phone or skype.

    Interview Questions
    Reasons for Declining

    Although the organization is successful, I felt the engineers and project managers I met were not on top of their game. Also, lunch in the lunch room reminded me of a funeral-- not a happy soul in sight. Compensation was far below industry, benefits were mediocre, personal work environments appeared very (!!!!) cramped and congested. Limited opportunity for personal and professional growth were my take from this interview.

    Declined Offer
    Negative Experience
    Easy Interview
  2. 1 person found this helpful  

    Software Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Kansas City, MO
    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Kansas City, MO
    Application Details

    The process took 2+ monthsinterviewed at Garmin in February 2012.

    Interview Details

    They have a simple and yet complex way of hiring people. They will do a telephonic interview with HR at first and then will call you onsite. At onsite, they will arrange for meetings with different teams which have open positions. If any one of the team is interested in you. They will hire you! period. See how simple it seems - but the problem (at least what happened with me(check other people views)) is their HR is very very slow to react (if at all they do). I cracked each and every phase of the interview, the HR called me the very next day after the interview and said that they would like to go ahead and offer the job after a background check for which they need some specific details of mine. I waited for that email (of course i called and emailed) for a month without any result; at last I got hold of HR and asked for the reason of delay , HR replied- "Sorry! we decided not to go ahead with your application and we never got to start your BG check. I am sure I emailed you about this". The second sentence is what made me shocked. The least an interviewer can do is to update the interviewee for their efforts. It seemed very unprofessional for a company which I admire bcoz of their work.

    Interview Questions
    • All technical and HR questions were easy. The most difficult question for me was - would you like to relocate?   View Answer
    No Offer
    Negative Experience
    Average Interview
  3.  

    Software Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Olathe, KS
    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Olathe, KS
    Application Details

    I applied online. The process took 2+ weeksinterviewed at Garmin in February 2012.

    Interview Details

    Had initial phone screen interview, it was almost what everybody said here in glass door. Then had an onsite interview with Garmin fitness and Aviation. Fitness interview was very easy asked behavioral questions and a C program to do factorial of a number. Aviation interview was relatively hard with a puzzle and I had to explain a program which they had it in a piece of paper.

    Interview Questions
    • The puzzle was most difficult, I can't even remember what it was all about. I felt no one could answer it   Answer Question
    No Offer
    Neutral Experience
    Average Interview
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  5.  

    Software Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Kansas City, MO
    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Kansas City, MO
    Application Details

    The process took a dayinterviewed 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 Questions
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview
  6.  

    Software Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Overland Park, KS
    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Overland Park, KS
    Application Details

    I applied online. The process took 1+ weekinterviewed at Garmin in September 2011.

    Interview Details

    The phone interview was basically by HR. She asked me the basic HR questions. Got an email inviting for an onsite interview. They took care of all the accommodation. The same HR asked the same questions once again and if there was a change in compensation requirements. Later it was a group interview where 2 team leads interviewed me with basic C questions.

    Interview Questions
    • They gave me a code and asked me how I could optimize it.   Answer Question
    No Offer
    Neutral Experience
    Average Interview
  7. 4 people found this helpful  

    Software Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Olathe, KS
    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Olathe, KS
    Application Details

    I applied online. The process took 3 weeksinterviewed 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.
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Easy Interview
  8. 1 person found this helpful  

    Software Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Olathe, KS
    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Olathe, KS
    Application Details

    The process took a dayinterviewed 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 Questions
    • 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
  9.  

    Software Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Olathe, KS
    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Olathe, KS
    Application Details

    I applied online. The process took a dayinterviewed 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 Questions
    No Offer
    Negative Experience
    Difficult Interview
  10.  

    Software Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Kansas City, MO
    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Kansas City, MO
    Application Details

    I applied online. The process took a dayinterviewed 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
    Neutral Experience
    Average Interview

See What Garmin Employees Are Saying

 Former Anonymous Employee in Olathe, KS

Pros: “Relaxed and friendly work environment. Not a bad place to start work and get experience. Potential to work on some consumer products.” Full Review

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