Green Hills Software

  www.ghs.com
  www.ghs.com

Green Hills Software Interview Questions

Updated Nov 21, 2014
Updated Nov 21, 2014
6 Interview Reviews

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  1.  

    Field Services Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Santa Barbara, CA
    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Santa Barbara, CA
    Application Details

    I applied through college or university. The process took 3 daysinterviewed at Green Hills Software in October 2014.

    Interview Details

    Interviewing with Green Hills was easily the best interview process that I've gone through.

    The first step of the interview process was an online test that I took at home. The questions weren't too bad, but I thought the timing was too short. I was given 90 minutes to complete it and could have used at least 180, so I ended up guessing on a lot of the questions. I guess I did OK though because I made it to the next step.

    The second step was the in-person interviews where they flew me out to Santa Barbara for 3 nights. For me this was a very pampered process that included lots of great free food. (I don't think I paid for a single meal while I was there.) I had 2 technical interviews over the 3 days, and it was a very casual process. I wore flip flops and jeans for every interview, which the recruiter reassured me was fine.

    The first technical interview was a coding assignment where I was given 6 hours to implement a program that performs the described task. To do so I was supplied a Linux computer that included a compiler, man pages, but no internet connection. I was given the option to implement the assignment in C, C++, or Java, and I was allowed to reference the supplied books for my chosen language. I expected this assignment to blow my mind and to not be able to finish it, given that GHS describes itself as elite programmers that "develop software that never fails and can't be hacked." It turned out that the assignment was do-able and I completed it with a little time to spare. (Although I ran out of time while I was trying to optimize it.)

    The second technical interview was a debugging session where I was given a buggy program, a debugger, and in 2 hours I was told to fix the program in front of a GHS engineer. This was fairly straightforward as the bugs weren't too insidious.

    Overall I found that interviewing with GHS was a very pleasant experience. I'm not sure you can describe interviewing as 'fun', but I think GHS is about as close as you can get. The people that I met at GHS were top-notch (both technically and personally), professional, kind, and seemed very genuine.

    Interview Questions
    • The coding assignment was the hardest part of the interview process, but I found it do-able in the time given.   Answer Question
    Reasons for Declining

    The offer that GHS gave me was better than my other one, and the only reason that I turned it down was because I've wanted to work for the other company since I was a kid. I'm still not sure I made the right decision and may go running back to GHS before long!

    Declined Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview
  2. 1 person found this helpful  

    Software Development Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Santa Barbara, CA
    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Santa Barbara, CA
    Application Details

    I applied online. The process took 2 weeksinterviewed at Green Hills Software in June 2014.

    Interview Details

    I am from out of town, so this was the experience from someone literally on the other side of the country.

    It started with a phone interview to discuss background, technical experience and gauge personality. Then there was a 90-minute written test to verify CS competency (very difficult!) and a programming test that they allow 3 hours to complete (you can finish in 1-2 hours if you're skilled, but not more than 6 hours).

    Then they flew me out to Santa Barbara and put me in the Harbor View Inn (very nice hotel right on the beach!) All expenses were paid by the company, including the hotel, all meals, taxi or rental car. They even gave me a nice care package with edibles when I arrived at the hotel. The whole trip requires about 4 days. The first day was just for settling in, adjusting for the time difference and seeing the city on my own.

    The second day I went to the office and received a tour. It looked like a very geeky nerd-topia (which is awesome, in my book!) Everyone had 2-4 giant screens for their computers and there was low-level hardware and computer parts all over the place. You could tell that they hack this kind of stuff every day. After the tour 4 of us went out to lunch, including the exam proctor and two senior engineers. At the end of lunch they gave me a programming problem to solve for the afternoon. We went back to the office and I had 5.5 hours to hack away on it with no internet connection and no "cheating" other than the linux man-pages and some reference books. This was a very tough problem with no easy solution (but no details here, sorry!) and I really felt like it tested my abilities thoroughly. After the exam I was completely mentally drained, but then the proctor took me and another GHS employee out to dinner. This was hard being social after hacking for 5 hours on such a tough problem, but I did my best to forget about it and have a good time.

    The third day the department head for which I was applying took me out to breakfast and then on a driving tour of Santa Barbara. Afterwards we went back to the office where I had a follow-up technical interview with a senior engineer where we discussed my solution to the programming problem from the day before. I did not receive any feedback on how well I scored, because presumably they were more interested in the way I solved it and how I worked through the challenges and how I used my time. This was very helpful, because it gave me a chance to demonstrate the way I thought about the problem and they didn't seem to care about the actual auto-grader score.

    Then came the absolutely unbelievable part of the whole trip (if I didn't have pictures I would assume I dreamed it). After the final technical interview, the department head, who is also an amateur private airplane pilot, offered to take me up in the sky in his private plane as a final glamorous farewell to Santa Barbara. At first I declined because I'm terrified of small planes, but I knew it was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity so I mustered my courage and agreed. What followed was one of the most memorable journeys of my life. Santa Barbara is a beautiful city, but you haven't fully experienced it until you see it from the sky! We flew along the coast to Carpinteria, then over the mountains to Santa Ynez before landing safely at the SB airport. It was absolutely one of the best experiences of my life. I guess this part of the recruiting process was not typical, because he told me he never even took another GHS employee with him in his plane, let alone a recruit, so I really felt special!

    The 4th and final day was the return trip home.

    With the rockstar treatment I received on the trip, I am only left wondering how they treat people they DO give offers to ;) In the end they left an indelible positive mark in my mind, and now all I dream about is living in Santa Barbara and working for GHS.

    Interview Questions
    • The final programming test was an extremely hard problem with NP complexity. I will not give details here because they obviously want that to be a surprise when you take the test.   Answer Question
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview
  3. 2 people found this helpful  

    Technical Writer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Application Details

    I applied through an employee referral – interviewed at Green Hills Software.

    Interview Details

    Very thorough and clear in the communication about the process, from start to finish.
    The interview itself was nearly a full day of interviews and evaluations with various levels of staff at the company, plus lunch.

    Interview Questions
    • The final evaluation involved writing documentation for a process I was unfamiliar with, after viewing a presentation on it by an engineer.   Answer Question
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview
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  5. 2 people found this helpful  

    Systems Software Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Application Details

    The process took 2+ monthsinterviewed at Green Hills Software.

    Interview Details

    Programming test covering basic CS fundementals, phone interview, on-site interview including a programming test in C.

    Interview Questions
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview
  6.  

    Software Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Goleta, CA
    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Goleta, CA
    Application Details

    The process took 2 weeksinterviewed at Green Hills Software in December 2011.

    Interview Details

    Got the first interview at an on campus job fair. Called up for a 1 on 1 interview the next week at my campus's career fair. Interviewer was very chill and just asked questions about my past projects and general resume details. Afterwards, I got 1 phone interview with HR and then another phone interview with the team I would potentially work with. The next week, I visited the place and got a tour of the company and then programmed for a few hours.

    Interview Questions
    No Offer
    Neutral Experience
    Average Interview
  7.  

    Software Systems Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Application Details

    I applied through college or university. The process took a dayinterviewed at Green Hills Software in October 2010.

    Interview Details

    A very informal interview where I discussed various parts of my programming history. No coding challenges, at least not on the on campus interview portion. Interviewer seemed interested and friendly.

    Interview Questions
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Easy Interview

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