IBM Research
3.8 of 5 333 reviews
www.research.ibm.com Yorktown Heights, NY

IBM Research Research Staff Member Interview Questions & Reviews

Updated Jan 30, 2014
All Interviews Received Offers

Getting the Interview 

83%
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5%

Interview Experience 

81%
9%
9%

Interview Difficulty 

12 candidate interviews Back to all interview questions
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Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Average Interview

Research Staff Member Interview

Research Staff Member
Yorktown Heights, NY

I applied through an employee referral and the process took 2 days - interviewed at IBM Research in January 2010.

Interview Details – I was recruited while in the last year of a Ph.D. program. The interview process consisted of presenting my Ph.D. work to date (what could be presented in 60-90 minutes), answering (lots of) questions during my talk, and two full days of 45 minute interviews with other Research Staff Members: Non-managers, Managers, Sr. Managers, Directors, and a VP. In these interviews I was asked questions about my research, given some puzzles (typically related to their own research), asked about where I wanted my career to go, etc. It was, generally, a very friendly process.

Interview Question – I was asked if I was willing to move to NY. This was unexpected because I would not have been going through the interview process if I were not so willing. There were several difficult questions. These questions tended to be difficult because the research area was not mine, but the RSMs asking understood this and were prepared with "suppose you had a method that could answer <X>." They wanted to gauge your ability to problem solve ... not see if you had read a particular paper (outside of your own area).   Answer Question

Negotiation Details – I did not negotiate.

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Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Easy Interview

Research Staff Member Interview

Research Staff Member
Yorktown Heights, NY

I applied through other source and the process took 2 days - interviewed at IBM Research in January 2010.

Interview Details – You will be invited to a site visit. You will give a seminar to researchers, some of whom will be interviewing you. Your interviewers will be talking to you one to one in their private rooms. They are not given a prescription by IBM as to what questions to ask. So, it all depends on the interviewer. Some may ask you technical questions, some will ask soft qualitative questions. Make sure you present well, answer questions well, and show interest and curiosity. Do your homework, and take a look at IBM Research publications. They always like it if you mention one or two publications or patents they published.

Interview Question – 1. Industry versus academia. Why do you want to work for industry and particularly for IBM Research.
2. Salary expectation. Check glassdoor.
  View Answer

Negotiation Details – I liked the offer the first time and accepted it

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Declined Offer

Positive Experience

Average Interview

Research Staff Member Interview

Research Staff Member
New York, NY

I applied through an employee referral and the process took 2 days - interviewed at IBM Research in December 2013.

Interview Details – Entire process is like interview for faculty position. You will meet at least 20 researchers, managers, and VPs. Each individual meeting lasts 45-60 mins. You will feel beaten at the end of a day. However, there is another day and you will go through the process all over again.
No hard questions are asked. Most around your own research. Overall, it is a very pleasant interview process.

Interview Question – Being asked how my research can be transformed to business, and help IBM business in general. To be honest, never think about things this way. So, better get prepared for such questions.   Answer Question

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Accepted Offer

Neutral Experience

Very Easy Interview

Research Staff Member Interview

Anonymous Employee

I applied through an employee referral and the process took 2 days - interviewed at IBM Research.

Interview Details – You will deliver a talk/presentation based on your Ph.D. work. There will be one-to-one interviews that last for two full days. There will typically be a round table with those who interviewed you. The hiring manager will lead the discussion and make the final decision whether to give you an offer.

Interview Question – Your career goals.   Answer Question

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Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Average Interview

Research Staff Member Interview

Research Staff Member
Yorktown Heights, NY

I applied through an employee referral and the process took 2 days - interviewed at IBM Research in April 2010.

Interview Details – group presentation first followed by 10-12 one on one discussions about your previous research projects. no coding questions.

Interview Question – what is the business potential of your projects   Answer Question

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4 people found this helpful

Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Difficult Interview

Research Staff Member Interview

Research Staff Member
Yorktown Heights, NY

I applied through an employee referral and the process took 4 days - interviewed at IBM Research in February 2011.

Interview Details – The company knows me well from my previous work and multiple patents and publications.
The interview therefore consisted of many 1:1 meetings with key research persons who proposed multiple research subjects for me to work on and discussed with me to see what best fits both. Before these multiple 1:1 meetings I did a comprehensive presentation about my past research to most of them together.

Interview Question – There were no difficult or unexpected questions in the regular sense.
The difficulty was in the effort to analyze the existing research options given plus to show my competence to face various research challenges in a sincere and thoughtful manner.
  Answer Question

Negotiation Details – I was doing my best during the interview to be as effective and productive as I could in presenting my research wish list and responding to the various suggestions. When I received the first offer by mail I have checked it and found that it fits what I expected, so I accepted my first offer without negotiation. As part of the offer testing procedure, I checked the data on Glassdoor which was indeed helpful and helped me to confirm that my offer was fair.

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Accepted Offer

Negative Experience

Average Interview

Research Staff Member Interview

Research Staff Member
Hawthorne, NY

I applied through an employee referral and the process took 3 days - interviewed at IBM Research in October 2009.

Interview Details – There was a phone interview. Basically, we discussed what I worked on for my dissertation and also previous research work at the PhD level. We discussed the impact of the research and how it fits with the group I interviewed with. After that, I received an email asking me to come in to give a job-talk and have one-on-one interviews with others. This was for 2.5 days. Nothing really special. They tried hard selling the job. There were no brain teasers and such. The interview process was more of a get-to-know you type of interview.

Interview Question – What do you think is the impact of your research work? How do you think your research plans will fit with your perceived goals in our lab?   Answer Question

Negotiation Details – Did not negotiate.

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Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Average Interview

Research Staff Member Interview

Research Staff Member
Haidian, Beijing (China)

I applied through college or university and the process took 2+ weeks - interviewed at IBM Research in October 2009.

Interview Details – three rounds of interview. First round asked about some basic questions on programming. The second round was a presentation for one of your previous projects. The third round was a bit the same as the second, though the audience is different.

Interview Question – One unexpected question was: how to measure the length of Huang He River.   View Answer

Negotiation Details – no negotiation. The offer is pretty good for me at that time.

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1 person found this helpful

Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Difficult Interview

Research Staff Member Interview

Research Staff Member

I applied through an employee referral and the process took 3 days - interviewed at IBM Research in July 2010.

Interview Details – The interview starts with an hour research talk and is followed by a round-table Q&A. Then you will meet with individual researchers and will touch on a variety of topics. Some will want to further discuss your research with you and ask pointed questions. Other one on ones will focus on the interviewers research and your thoughts about, e.g. how you would tackle that problem, how you would extend it, where you see collaboration, discussion a specific problem they are currently facing. All in all 3 fun days, which include going out to dinner and asking questions in return.

Interview Question – What would you suggest for efficient thread synchronization?   View Answer

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2 people found this helpful

Declined Offer

Positive Experience

Average Interview

Research Staff Member Interview

Anonymous Interview Candidate

The process took 2 days - interviewed at IBM Research in February 2011.

Interview Details – I started with a presentation of my PhD work, followed by lots of questions. Then I had one on one meetings with at least 6 people each day. They were interesting research discussions and a couple were about quizzy math questions. I actually really enjoyed it b/c everyone was very nice and interested in my work.

Interview Question – Derive the entropy of a Gaussian distribution   Answer Question

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Glassdoor is your free inside look at IBM Research Research Staff Member interview questions and advice. All 12 interview reviews posted anonymously by IBM Research employees and interview candidates.