Guidewire
4.5 of 5 245 reviews
www.guidewire.com Foster City, CA 1000 to 5000 Employees

Guidewire Interview Questions & Reviews

Updated Apr 10, 2014
All Interviews Received Offers

Getting the Interview 

43%
23%
14%

Interview Experience 

46%
24%
28%

Interview Difficulty 

89 candidate interviews
Relevance Date Difficulty
in

Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Easy Interview

Senior Software Engineer Interview

Senior Software Engineer
San Mateo, CA

The process took 2 days - interviewed at Guidewire in November 2009.

Interview Details – After a short phone screen, I had a four hours of interviewing. The interviewers wanted to see if we could work well together. Other companies wanted me to prove that I was good enough to work there. The difference: Guidewire respects their candidates. Interviews focused on writing clean, maintainable code, communication and problem decomposition. Other companies tested me on trivia or implementing algorithms that I doubt someone in the position in question would need to implement. In addition to being smart, Guidewire wants to know the quality of the code you produce and what it would be like to work with you to solve problems. This told me that I'd like working with other at Guidewire, and I was right.

Interview Questions

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No Offer

Positive Experience

Average Interview

Senior Software Engineer Interview

Senior Software Engineer
Foster City, CA

I applied through a recruiter and the process took a day - interviewed at Guidewire in February 2011.

Interview Details – I was called for an Interview for a Senior Software Engineer Applications position.
The interview lasted 4 hours.

First hour I was asked to calculate price of a cofee. You can chose the cofee and add additional items like milk creamer etc.

Second Hour same problem but now cost of extra items depends on the size of the cup.

Third hour i was asked to fix issues in an artificially badly written Set class.

Fourth hour was a general discussion with the Project manager.

All interviewers were very good. Treated me with respect. All of them seem to be good technically.

i received a call from HR next day that i was rejected. Which i appreciate, since many companies dont call if you are rejected.

They also gave me the reason of my rejection saying i had over engineered the cofee vendor and i took around 1 hour and 50 mins to solve the first problem. They expected me to solve it sooner.

On the Set Class i knew i couldnt identify problems immidietely so i knew i wont get through.

Overall very good experience no regrets even though i got rejected. This is a good company to work for !

Interview Question – I was asked to identify problem in artificiallly incorrect class   View Answers (2)

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1 person found this helpful

Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Difficult Interview

Support Interview

Support
San Mateo, CA

I applied through a recruiter and the process took 2 days - interviewed at Guidewire in May 2009.

Interview Details – Phone Screening was basic support and technical skills for support job, face to face was detailed cultural fit, job skills, technical , troubleshooting experience. It took 3+hrs for face to face and was exhaustive. The team was friendly and professional. The interview initially was set for professional service , but later was directed to support, which was uneasy surprise, but later found the technology and job role was really interesting

Interview Questions

Negotiation Details – Negotiated on salary with immigration visa application benefits. The start salary was not great and took 3 years to get to level I wanted to start, growth opportiunity are really good.

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No Offer

Neutral Experience

Average Interview

Senior Software Engineer Interview

Senior Software Engineer
San Mateo, CA

I applied through a recruiter and the process took 2 days - interviewed at Guidewire in December 2010.

Interview Details – First I've got a written test at home to implement function that validates user input for their Wordy game. I did it over weekend and submitted to them. Then I was invited for on-site interview. On-site interview took 4 hours. First hour I was asked to write function that calculates price of the coffee in the coffee machine depending on size (small, large ...) and selection of condiments (sugar, milk, ...). You have to program it with interviewer sitting behind your back. Second hour - the same problem just conditions become slightly more complex - now price of condiments depends on the coffee cup size. Third hour I was asked to fix some issues in their artificially incorrect implementation of Set class. All this time you practically don't communicate with interviewers they just sit behind your back and watch at what you are doing. Last hour I've talked with project manager. It was free flowing discussion about my experience.

At the end I didn't get an offer even so I don't exactly understand the reason. I was told that team was satisfied with my technical skills but didn't feel that I was exited (eager) enough to work for their company. Which sounds really weird to me.

Interview Question – Write the function that calculates price of the cup of coffee where price of the condiments depends on size of the coffee cup. For example milk cost 10 c for small cup 15 c for medium and 20 c for large   View Answers (3)

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1 person found this helpful

Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Average Interview

Sales Interview

Anonymous Employee
San Mateo, CA

I applied through an employee referral and the process took 1 week - interviewed at Guidewire in September 2008.

Interview Details – Straightforward, reasonable process. Many 1:1 interviews and a test presentation.

Interview Questions

  • What is your experience selling complex industry solutions?   Answer Question
  • Give me an example of dealing with an unreasonable question from a prospect.   Answer Question

Negotiation Details – Reasonable and fair.

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No Offer

Negative Experience

Difficult Interview

Senior Software Engineer Interview

Anonymous Interview Candidate
San Mateo, CA

I applied through a recruiter and the process took 2 weeks - interviewed at Guidewire in August 2010.

Interview Details – Here’s my review of one of the four interviewers at Guidewire. His primary issue was that he had only one solution in mind, which was syntactically and semantically broken, and yet dogmatically tried to push me towards it the entire time. It went flawlessly with the other three interviewers that day, both in terms of their interviewing style and my performance, which makes this all the more painful a loss.

The scenario is that a customer orders a coffee from a vending machine by selecting a choice from several categories, such as size, flavor, and creamer type. Given their choices, we then have to figure out the cost. The twist is that the various creamer choices cost slightly more if you get an extra-large coffee. For example, if you choose milk as your creamer, it’s normally 50 cents; but, if you also choose XL as your size, the milk costs 60 cents.

The interviewer’s solution (in Java) was to have an enum for each category: Size, Creamer, Flavor, etc. Each choice in a category is one of the instances of the enum: “enum Creamer{ NONE, MILK, HALF_N_HALF }”. Rather than have each enum instance store its normal cost as an int, we cleverly set the int value of the instances to the cost of the choice: “enum Creamer{ NONE = 0, MILK = 50, HALF_N_HALF = 45 }”. To deal with the fact that creamer cost depends on the size you choose, we add the method getPriceGivenSize(Size). If later on there are new dependencies between categories (I asked him this “what if”.), we just add methods, such as getPriceGivenFlavor(Flavor), getPriceGivenSizeAndFlavor(Size, Flavor), etc. The contents of these methods are simply switch statements which return a value based on the Size/Flavor passed in.

So here’s my critique of his solution. First off, it’s entirely hard-coded; to add a new choice/category, change a cost, or add/change a dependency between categories, you have to directly edit the Java code that runs the vending machine, recompile and reinstall it. How do we know when to use the “int value” of the enum to get the cost of a choice, versus calling getPriceGivenSize(), or even getPriceGivenSizeAndFlavor()? In other words, there’s no real way for the client to describe the business logic (costs and dependencies), and no way to use that business logic when figuring the cost to charge the customer. The idea of setting the enum instances to their cost is unsound because it breaks as soon as we have two choices that cost the same amount. Also, the interviewer was thinking of a syntax, “MILK = 50”, which is only available in C/C++, not Java. Conversely, enum methods aren’t available to enums in C/C++.

His confusion about enums is ironic. After giving me several hints to try to push me towards his expected solution, he suspected I simply didn’t know enough about enums to think of his “MILK = 50” solution. So he had me look up information about Java enums on the internet during the interview. I mildly protested that I already knew plenty about Java enums and their use, which isn’t much really, but he still had me go through the motions.

Despite the constant misdirection, I came up with a perfectly good solution and presented it to him. He admitted that he didn’t understand my solution and spent the next 10 minutes at the board describing his solution, as I fully detail above. We’re running out of time at this point. I patiently waited for him to finish his presentation and then reflected back my understanding of his solution to him so he knew that I got it. I then asked to try presenting my solution to him again on the board. After he started to get it, I had to deflect a couple straw-man arguments against it, and then finally, he seemed to “understand” the solution. He walked out of the room to get the next guy without saying bye or shaking my hand. He seemed upset.

Interview Question – Support dependent costs between categories. Please reference the question mentioned above.   View Answer

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No Offer

Negative Experience

Difficult Interview

Software Engineer Interview

Software Engineer
Foster City, CA

I applied online and the process took 5 days - interviewed at Guidewire in April 2010.

Interview Details – 1. wordy puzzle game
2. went over the solution with interiewer
3. on-site interview, coding about coffee-vendor machine

Interview Question – Wordy puzzle game to implement two missing classes   Answer Question

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No Offer

Neutral Experience

Average Interview

Curriculum Developer Interview

Anonymous Interview Candidate
San Mateo, CA

I applied through an employee referral and the process took 2+ weeks - interviewed at Guidewire in February 2010.

Interview Details – The actual interview was very professional. However there was an unnecessary wait after interview. I knew through a friend that the decision had been taken not to make me an offer a full week before the HR rep contacted me with the news.

Interview Question – What is the difference between a goal and an objective?   View Answer

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1 person found this helpful

Accepted Offer

Neutral Experience

Average Interview

Integration Architect Interview

Integration Architect
San Mateo, CA

I applied through a recruiter and the process took 1 week - interviewed at Guidewire in January 2007.

Interview Details – A traditional recruiter contacted me having seen my resume online. I don't recall the specific order, but the interview process included the following steps. There was a phone screen (as expected), a coding/skills test, a single face-to-face interview involving a series of people, and a discussion with the VP of Services.

The code test was a problem emailed to me and then the entire solution was emailed back. I seem to recall the problem being language agnostic, but their software is in Java so I would expect a "winning" solution would be written in Java.

There was very little "hoop jumping" involved, to their credit. Each step felt like it served a purpose and was well thought out. It was challenging to get a firm handle on the exact kind of work their services arm endured on a day-to-day basis, but that could have been my inexperience not leading me to ask the right questions.

The "hiring" process extends past the welcome letter with Guidewire. A successful new employee is flown out to San Mateo and then is expected to pass a two-week "certification" process on their platform. If a candidate is not able to demonstrate competency after that time, the employment relationship is severed. This is not just talk; there have been multiple people who made it past the interview process, but are then dismissed afterward. That indicates the interview process needs to be tightened up, but also demonstrates the commitment Guidewire has to only employing competent workers (by and large).

Interview Question – How would you paginate an extremely large dataset in the app-server?   Answer Question

Negotiation Details – The compensation seemed fair and at market value considering the amount of travel and adverse working conditions for the job. Thus, I did not negotiate beyond asking to be considered for the "senior" position by the same name.

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No Offer

Negative Experience

Difficult Interview

Technical Consultant Interview

Anonymous Interview Candidate

I applied online and the process took a day - interviewed at Guidewire in October 2009.

Interview Details – I recently interviewed for Technical Consultant (travel) position for professional services group . The phone interview lasted 90 minutes . A long technical interview .I was asked basic to advanced java programming, j2ee, application servers, xml, SQL query, messaging , integration and hands on coding questions .I felt the company is looking for technology champions . I don't understand the reason for asking basic oo concepts , programming syntax to a senior level technical person .

Interview Question – how do you compare two java string object if they have the same string stored in them ?   View Answers (3)

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 Current Software Engineer in Foster City, CA

Pros: “* flexible work hours * Study groups, clubs and seminars allowing you to learn new skills outside the daily work * the release cycle is not short so it allows you to explore and do…” Full Review


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