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Hewlett-Packard Software Design Engineer Interview Questions & Reviews

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Software Design Engineer Interview

Software Design Engineer
Fort Collins, CO

I applied online and the process took 1+ week - interviewed at Hewlett-Packard.

Interview Details – Applied for specific opening through central HR system. HP uses Taleo's horrible web hosting for that. See jobs.hp.com.

Interested manager called for phone screen. There may have been 2 calls, cannot remember for sure. Invited me to on-site interview. Note: in prior years, I had also worked for HP and been involved in interviewing. Back then, it was often left to an experienced engineer to take on the job of all phone screenings, and then a hiring manager might pick from the pool of those who passed that stage, in order to invite someone in for an interview.

My interview this time was not nearly as challenging or difficult as the interviews I had given when I had worked for HP previously. Similar format, though. Several different people within a broader team would each take a turn at a sub-interview asking questions intended to discern whether I could do the job with respect to some general aspect of skills, such as understanding or being able to reason about deployment issues at an architectural level, having basic problem-solving skills toward algorithm generation, and so on. A different team member hosted me for lunch at the local cafeteria in order to allow me to ask questions without any concerns about how it might affect the outcome (this person would not be involved in the final decision). Frankly, I was a bit disappointed that the interview was not more rigorous, though at the same time, I was relieved. Perhaps it was the strength of my background/resume, my former employment in an equivalent position with the company, or something like that; or maybe this particular team so rarely had the opportunity to hire anyone that they were just out of practice at interviewing candidates.

Interview Question – Work out an algorithm for printing out the individual characters to show the decimal representation of an arbitrary integer.   View Answer

Negotiation Details – I didn't attempt any negotiation. The offered salary was more than I expected.

Accepted Offer

Neutral Experience

Average Interview

Software Design Engineer Interview

Software Design Engineer
Fort Collins, CO

The process took a day - interviewed at Hewlett-Packard in November 2009.

Interview Details – Met a manager at an HP event on a college campus. Connected really well with him, and sensed that he was really looking for top talent, and willing to pay for it. Did an on site tour, and was impressed with the size of the campus. Did a 4 hour interview a few weeks later, split into 4 one hour interviews. Two with developers, two with management. Technical interviewers weren't very engaging, and didn't really dig very deep to find out much about my potential and how much I really knew. Management interviews were much more engaging.

Interview Questions

  • Some vague questions about Java web server containers. Other questions about beans, servlets, etc.   View Answers (3)
  • A logical math problem involving a rowboat, a lake, and a lion that can go 3x as fast as the boat. The question was whether or not I could make it to the shore.   View Answers (2)

Negotiation Details – It helps if you have another offer on the table, but I wouldn't try to be too obvious in using it for leverage. They'll offer what they think you're worth, and if that's not enough, then it's not the place for you.

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