Getting an Interview
Getting an Interview
Interviews for Top Jobs at Garmin
- Software Engineer (55)
- Software Engineer I (12)
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- Product Support Specialist (10)
- Senior Software Engineer (6)
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- Embedded Test Software Engineer (4)
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- Aviation Systems/Software Engineer (2)
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- Internet Applications Developer (2)
- C++ Software Developer (1)
- Mechanical Engineer I (1)
- Customer Care (1)
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- Avionics Software Engineer (1)
- Director of Recruitment and Retention (1)
- Mechanical Engineer Entry Level (1)
- OEM Software Developer Intern (1)
- Oracle EBS (1)
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Software Engineer 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.
Other Interview Reviews for Garmin
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 InterviewNo OfferNeutral ExperienceEasy Interview
I applied online. The process took 3 weeks – interviewed at Garmin (Olathe, KS) in November 2012.
Applied for a position in California through the Garmin website, was denied a position but invited to apply at their headquarters in Olathe, KS. Received an initial HR phone interview which was very basic and nothing to worry about. Mainly just normal resume review and a few basic technical questions (What is function overloading, what is a semaphore, a mutex).
A few days later I was invited to interview on-site. After a coupe weeks I flew there and interviewed with four different groups, primarily one-on-one. The interviews were not difficult, most of them starting with the manager describing their department and myself describing my background. Then we went into technical questions that were not at all challenging. I was able to solve the questions fairly quickly which left a decent amount of time at the tail end of the interview to ask some more specific questions of each interviewer as we waited for the next manager to arrive.
- Given an integer, write a function that returns the number of bits in the integer that are set. 2 Answers
- Two people are walking down a tunnel, they are 1/3 of the way through the tunnel when they hear a train behind them. One of the people runs back towards the entry where they started and exits the tunnel just as the train is entering. The second person runs towards the exit where they were heading and exits just as the train is exiting the tunnel.
Relative to the people how fast is the train moving and how far away was the train when they heard it? 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 online. The process took 2+ months – interviewed at Garmin (Olathe, KS) in May 2012.
Initial phone call told me that teams were asking HR about me because I had sent my resume to a friend of a friend who passed it on to the managers. Did a technical phone screen with a team lead for an Aviation Embedded Test Software Engineer. After phone screen, I was notified that they wanted to bring me onsite for an interview. I had to postpone the onsite after it was scheduled due to some surgery complications, but the company worked very well with me, basically told me that as soon as I could make it to let them know. It was one month later when I was able to go onsite. I interviewed with 4 teams, each interview consisted of several behavioral type questions then ended with technical questions such as finding errors in code, or writing a function to do some thing. Very focused on multithreading and real time embedded systems, even if you have no experience actually doing this stuff if you know the concepts you should be good. I was offered a job just under a week later.
Asked for a little more than the offer and was given a sign on bonus instead that made up for two years at the rate I had asked for.
Software Engineer InterviewNo OfferNegative Experience
I applied through a recruiter. The process took 3 weeks – interviewed at Garmin in March 2012.
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.
- 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
Software Engineer InterviewDeclined OfferNegative ExperienceEasy Interview
The process took 1 day – interviewed at Garmin (Kansas City, MO) in February 2012.
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.
- Flip a bit in a uint32 using C. 3 Answers
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.
Software Engineer InterviewNo OfferNegative ExperienceAverage Interview
The process took 2+ months – interviewed at Garmin (Kansas City, MO) in February 2012.
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.
- All technical and HR questions were easy. The most difficult question for me was - would you like to relocate? 1 Answer
Software Engineer InterviewNo OfferNeutral ExperienceAverage Interview
I applied online. The process took 2+ weeks – interviewed at Garmin (Olathe, KS) in February 2012.
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.
- The puzzle was most difficult, I can't even remember what it was all about. I felt no one could answer it 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
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