Kobo Interview Questions & Reviews

Updated Jul 17, 2014
Updated Jul 17, 2014
18 interviews

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Candidate Interview Reviews

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  1.  

    Intern Interview

    Anonymous Employee  in  Toronto, ON (Canada)
    Anonymous Employee in Toronto, ON (Canada)
    Application Details

    I interviewed online. The process took 2 weeks - interviewed at Kobo.

    Interview Details

    Very few pros, many cons.

    An HR manager reached out to me within a week of submitting my resume via a phonecall. Although she was fairly scattered (she forgot to specify the time or with whom the interview was going to be - I had to ask before she hung up), the initial communication was pleasant; she seemed nice and open. To plan, I researched the company, the departments, industry, internship role, etc. and felt fairly confident in my knowledge going into the interview. The building itself was quite nice as well and had a cozy vibe.

    The interview itself was a completely different story. From their end, the appeared completely unprofessional and unorganized. Three managers interviewed me (only one of them was an HR manager), and for a lack of better words - it felt like I was being interviewed by a group of frat boys. The three of them were more interested in sharing inside jokes and appearing "cool" than they were in the interview itself. It was CLEAR that they hadn't planned the questions in advance because they'd take awkward, long pauses to go "uh...um..." before coming up with a question that was completely left-field, random and unrelated to the one before. The manager who had initially contacted me wasn't as bad but the two others were rude and made no effort to make me feel comfortable either. They looked unbelievably bored and and kept chuckling in between answers when they'd share an inside joke that I was not privy to. I am making no exaggerations here, this actually happened. I guess there's a first for everything. I suppose managers forget that not only are they interviewing possible employees the process works two ways - I had no desire to work for them after the interview was over.

    However, by far the most absurd part of it all was that during the interview - they didn't ask ONE question about me, my personality or my educational background. It was all about how much I knew about Kobo, the industry and the market trends. How does that make sense? While I was prepared for this, I thought an interview was about getting to know the potential employee, not how much the potential employee knows about the market. It was as if they were playing around with me, to see how much I knew until I was caught off guard. Another clear indicator that they had come into the interview completely unprepared and were winging it.

    Very glad I didn't look back after leaving the interview. Not an environment I'm dying to work in, thanks. The company is clearly run by little boys (fun fact: HQ has no female representation) who were randomly promoted and then pumped with ego. VERY disappointed in Kobo's culture, was expecting different from a "hip, young and book-loving" organization. I would tell those interviewing for Kobo to be VERY CAUTIOUS. Those who interviewed me were condescending, to say the least.

    Another word of warning, Kobos are becoming obsolete anyway. There is no way that Kobo will continue to outpace Kindle and other e-reader/tablet sales in the future (lack of R&D and growth ops.) and their loss of profit can be seen in the way that the company is falling apart. I had an insider view; this is a company that is struggling to stay relevant, as proven by profit margins and corporate culture itself.

    Interview Questions
    • The whole interview was unexpected. Probably the most unexpected thing was that they didn't ask questions about me. They were more interested in hearing what I knew about the company. Felt like Kobo is what they probably fantasize about in bed.   Answer Question
    No Offer
    Negative Experience
    Average Interview
  2.  

    Analyst Interview

    Anonymous Employee
    Anonymous Employee
    Interview Details

    I applied online, received a phone interview. They focused on the technical questions.

    Interview Questions
    • Do you know how to use data mining to detect wrong record?   Answer Question
    No Offer
  3.  

    Marketing Designer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate  in  Toronto, ON (Canada)
    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Toronto, ON (Canada)
    Application Details

    I interviewed online - interviewed at Kobo.

    Interview Details

    Terrible experience with HR leading up to the interview. The internal recruiter missed several schedule calls, forgot to email information about interview times, and had a perpetually full voicemail so it was impossible to even leave a message. It was so bad, I considered removing myself from the running rather than continue to deal with her.

    The actual interview was fine, if a bit misleading about the culture. People were nice, and the location/building is nice.

    Interview Questions
    • As stated above, the interview itself was fine. Most difficult was dealing with HR to get the interview details set. Serious lack of responsiveness.   Answer Question
    Negotiation Details
    I was able to negotiate. Advice to others same as for any job: you never know what the raise system will be like, so negotiate up front.
    Accepted Offer
    Neutral Experience
    Average Interview
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  5.  

    Marketing Interview

    Anonymous Employee
    Anonymous Employee
    Application Details

    I interviewed online - interviewed at Kobo.

    Interview Details

    Horrible interview experience; I will definitely never use their products or services again. Also, in the future, if ever faced with a proposition to do business with them I'll seek other partners.

    A recruiter contacted me via email at 12AM on a Friday to schedule the initial screening interview (frist redflag).

    She then failed to actually connect with me for a telephone interview that she initiated (this occurred twice).

    Anyway, after passing the screening interview, it was then hiring by committee. I'm really surprised that they insist on having you interview with an entire team. The hiring manager was explicit in saying that "fit" -- above all -- mattered most.

    While I was really disappointed with the experience, I'm glad that I'm not a part of a team that would be so callous. Also, it was evident that innovation is not encouraged.

    Insights gleaned from interview: Incredibly laden with processes for such a young company! Definitely not a startup environment; seems like a highschool environment.

    Interview Questions
    • Which of your jobs did you enjoy the most? (or something to that effect was asked of me at two separate interviews).   Answer Question
    No Offer
    Average Interview
  6.  

    Senior QA Automation Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Employee  in  Toronto, ON (Canada)
    Anonymous Employee in Toronto, ON (Canada)
    Application Details

    I interviewed online. The process took 1+ week - interviewed at Kobo in December 2013.

    Interview Details

    By far the RUDEST most PASSIVE-AGGRESSIVE company I've ever interviewed for.

    I was contacted by Kobo for an automation developer position.
    I notified them I work full-time so my availability to meet is limited.

    Kobo's recruiter set an initial phone interview with me.
    She didn't call me at the scheduled time and basically ignored that meeting. (1st no-show)
    She did book me (by email) for a face-to-face interview with the QA lead.

    The interview with the QA lead was professional, friendly, and respectful.
    I was asked to code in Python a script to interact with a popular website
    and validate the result. I was also asked general QA questions.
    It took about 3 hours and went well. I left with a positive impression of the QA lead.

    I was then contacted to come to the final interviews.
    1 hour with the team, and 30 minutes with the VP of R&D. Booked back-to-back.
    I was pressured to come in a time that caused me to take a day off work, to meet the VP and team's tight schedule.
    I was told that prior to the interview, I'll be getting an email with some questions, followed by a phone interview with Kobo's recruiter.
    Both NEVER happened.(2nd no-show)

    I've showed up to the interview with the team.
    Only 2 developers out of 3 team members that I was suppose to meet with, actually showed up. (3rd no-show)
    The devs that interviewed me have zero knowledge in automation or QA, they didn't bother to prepare themselves for the interview, but did try to cover that by a very arrogant, dismissive attitude.
    One dev said he will "grill" me, and just shot random questions he improvised on the spot.
    The interview only lasted 25-30min even though we were scheduled for an hour.

    I was asked if I'm working on any side-projects, and I've mentioned a financial portfolio optimization module I'm developing.
    The arrogant dev, which is not familiar with basic financial engineering principals, replied dismissively as if my idea is stupid.
    Again, I didn't bother to "school" him about it, as it was pointless.

    I was asked "why would someone prefer to use node.js over Java to build a website?".
    I gave a solid answer as I also do node.js coding, even though the job is for Python automation dev, NOT Java or node.js
    I was asked "have you ever used Google's AP JS engine?"
    Google's JS engine name is V8, and node.js is based on it.
    I felt my interviewer who presented himself as a Java back-end dev, didn't really know what he was talking about.

    those were the ONLY tech questions I was asked.
    Again, NOTHING about automation, python, webdriver, QA, CI servers, parallel distribution..

    It was obvious that the dev was a young guy who felt his role in the interview process
    is to prove to himself that he's the best Java developer around, and that everyone else is stupid.

    I was also asked the generic questions of "why would you like to come and work for Kobo? tell us about a previous conflict you had at work? what's the last book you've read? What are your hobbies?" More of an HR question than a dev question, but I guess this is what
    you get when your interviewer doesn't know much about the role they are interviewing you for.

    After that brief "interview" I was asked to wait for 20-25min at the interview room.
    The two devs then came back and told me I can leave.
    I told them I have an interview scheduled with the VP of R&D. They replied by saying I don't have any interview with him, and that he has already left for the day. (4th no-show)

    I was very upset for being lied to in my face, and having to waste a vacation day, for such rude, lazy, passive-aggressive group of people.

    I've tried getting an answer from Kobo's recruiter, as to what happened with the booked meeting with the VP that was a no-show.
    Kobo's recruiter chose to ignore that question.

    Usually companies try to sell a better than real-life positive image of themselves during the interview process.
    If this is Kobo on their best behavior, I can't even start to imagine how they treat their employees.

    To sum up the numbers:
    5 interviews booked (2 phone-calls and 3 in-person).
    4 no-shows.
    2 face-to-face meetings.
    1 meeting that can actually be categorized as an interview.

    Interview Questions
    • Have you ever used Google's AP JS engine?   View Answer
    No Offer
    Negative Experience
    Easy Interview
  7. 1 person found this helpful  

    Senior QA Engineer (Automation) Interview

    Anonymous Employee  in  Dublin, Dublin (Ireland)
    Anonymous Employee in Dublin, Dublin (Ireland)
    Application Details

    I interviewed through a recruiter. The process took 1+ week - interviewed at Kobo.

    Interview Details

    The first step of the interview process was a technical test to be completed in your own time and emailed back to the recruiter. This test had three parts, a simple enough programming exercise, a SQL part and a test case part(not coded, just writing test cases).

    The next stage was interview. General discussion around my experience and further discussion around scrum and testing, surprisingly enough, no questions around types of testing, risk based testing etc. Then came the unexpected - a maths problem described by the interviewer where i had to write the maths problem as a function, f(n). I then had to write the code to implement this function and also list test scenarios. The function was a recursive function and i was not expecting to write more code considering i had done a comprehnsive technical test and also as i was applying for a testing role with a mix of automation and manual testing.

    The interviewers were very friendly and supportive but I felt the maths problem was difficult and then having to write code as well was a bit too much for the role I was applying for considering a technical test had already been passed. I didn't get an offer.

    Interview Questions
    • A maths question which ended up being a recursive function.   Answer Question
    No Offer
    Negative Experience
    Difficult Interview
  8.  

    Marketing Analyst Interview

    Anonymous Employee
    Anonymous Employee
    Application Details

    I interviewed online - interviewed at Kobo.

    Interview Details

    Met with the hiring manager which went well. He seemed very interested and we had a very good rapport. Many of my skills aligned with the position and we discussed even more initiatives that I would be able to contribute to, above and beyond the job description.

    My second interview with the Head of Marketing was completely the opposite. Must have caught him on a bad day or he was just rude. Interview was at the end of the day (4:30pm) and he was literally falling asleep in his office. I was talking and his eyes were closing like he was watching paint dry. He then had the nerve of ending the interview with "I'm the kind of guy that doesn't hire someone just because we need the position filled" ... I regret not addressing his rudeness/sleepiness in the interview.

    Despite coming in twice for an interview, I did not hear back from HR in regards to this position as it was passed along to others with internal turnover.

    Interview Questions
    • Please describe for me a time whe...ZZzzzzzz   View Answer
    No Offer
    Negative Experience
    Average Interview
  9.  

    QA Analyst Interview

    Anonymous Employee
    Anonymous Employee
    Application Details

    I interviewed online - interviewed at Kobo.

    Interview Details

    My God terrible
    Are they hiring for qa or dev

    They will give you 3 parts of written test
    1. Sql
    2. Java code debugging( if you don't know coding in java no use to attend the interview)
    3. Write test case by seeing code

    Purely code code

    I am sure they need to change the job title as technical qa analyst

    Dev can try and get it for sure.

    Waste of my time

    Interview Questions
    No Offer
    Negative Experience
    Difficult Interview
  10.  

    Analyst Interview

    Anonymous Employee  in  Toronto (Australia)
    Anonymous Employee in Toronto (Australia)
    Application Details

    I interviewed through a recruiter. The process took 1 week - interviewed at Kobo.

    Interview Details

    went through a recruiter, interview went well. not very formal interview. their building is really nice

    Interview Questions
    No Offer
    Neutral Experience
    Easy Interview
  11.  

    QA Analyst Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Application Details

    I interviewed through college or university. The process took a day - interviewed at Kobo.

    Interview Details

    Went though your resume and asked questions accordingly.
    No behaviour based questions.

    Interview Questions
    Accepted Offer
    Neutral Experience
    Average Interview

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