Lab49 Interview Questions & Reviews
Getting an Interview
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Front-End Engineer Interview (Positive Experience; Average Interview)
I applied through a recruiter and the process took 2 months - interviewed at Lab49.
Interview Details – * Introductory call with recruiter.
* Technical phone interview with engineer.
* Live coding challenge, done over the phone with screen-sharing, using Node.js with an option of using CoffeeScript. Involved multiple separate challenges to complete, each of which came with a test suite for the interviewee to check his/her work.
Interview Question – Design the back-end architecture for a music-recognition service on the whiteboard. Answer Question
Very Difficult Interview
Agile Project Manager Interview (Positive Experience; Very Difficult Interview)
I applied through a recruiter and the process took 3 weeks - interviewed at Lab49 in July 2013.
Interview Details – Was initially contacted by an internal recruiter (not a head hunter) 10-15min screening to see if I was currently looking for a new job, if my background was generally a good fit, what my salary requirements were etc. This was followed by 2 phone interviews. The first one was fairly high level "tell me about some of the projects you're working on now" "how much experience do you have with Fixed income", etc. The 2nd phone interview was a bit more difficult. this was much more detailed in regard to what are the different charts or tools used to measure success\risk\budget on projects. After the 2 phone interviews they had me come in for a 4hr face to face interview. This interview was very interesting. They started out by telling me that they only hire 10% of the people who make it to this point. They also tell me that project managers rarely do very well with the exercise they were about to ask me to do. They gave me a list of different types of projects, and asked me to create a project, identify all the functional components, stakeholders, everything. Then detail how I would plan it, how I would deliver it, how I would mitigate risk, what my product backlog would look like, how I would manage expectations, etc etc. This was about a 2-3hr process. Though this was intense, it was really a GREAT way for them to see how I actually manage projects and for me to show my style, creativity, etc. After this process I spoke with the regional HR manager about the typical things like Comp, benefits, travel, etc. As a final measure, I was asked to come back in for a 4th round and meet with the COO and the head of North America Delivery as a 2 on 1 interview. This interview was clearly designed to apply stress and pressure to see how I would react when put in an uncomfortable position. Throughout the whole process it was constantly reiterated that Lab49's project managers would be facing off against very senior members of hedge funds and investment banks, and that being able to deal well with stress and pressure was key to this role.
I think it is important to note, that through this entire gauntlet of an interview process, everyone was very encouraging. It was clear that no one, at any time, was TRYING to trip me up. they WANTED me to do well, and they knew that their process was stressful. As soon as I realized this it helped tremendously. So if I didn't know the exact answer to a question, I would just walk them through how I might " measure risk" or " set the length of a sprint" even though there probably was a textbook correct\incorrect answer. They seemed happy with this approach.
Interview Question – "name the 3 types matrices used to manage risk in a project using information taken from PMBOK (Project Management Book of Knowledge)
"If you have 5 projects running concurrently, describe a single matrix that would easily show how each of those projects were doing" View Answer
Negotiation Details – they told me up front, didn't really matter too much what I was making or what I was looking to make, they measured my experience, my background, and how well I did with the interviews and my comp would be in line with what others in the role they offered. When given the offer, I did say I had another offer on the table for the exact same amount, and they upped my base by 5K without me even asking for it. Truthfully, that extra $5K didn't matter from a monetary prospective, but was a major plus for me from an integrity prospective. Made me feel like my offer wasn't just the product of a cold calculation dropped into an excel sheet. Which is how I have felt at other places before.
Delivery Manager Interview (Positive Experience; Average Interview)
I applied through a recruiter and the process took 4 weeks - interviewed at Lab49 in March 2013.
Interview Details – Their internal recruiters handle outreach and initial screening, very to the point, nice and brief, say 10-15 minutes. Subsequently, a couple of phone screens of a technical / process nature to suss out your talents. In person interviews handled by internal recruitment co-ordinators, very professional, courteous and helpful. Before and after each round there's introductions and then contact details provided for followup.
Interview Question – If you were setting up your own consulting practice from the ground up, how would you get everyone aligned in practice and make sure they were doing a great job? View Answer
Very Difficult Interview
Senior Consultant Interview (Positive Experience; Very Difficult Interview)
I applied through a staffing agency and the process took 2 weeks - interviewed at Lab49 in March 2013.
Interview Details – Three phone interviews, with the first being with HR and very basic, the second two being with different developers. Finally in-person interview with various employees. The process was relatively quick, and relaxed. The in-person interviews got very technical, and they are clearing looking for exceptional candidates.
Senior Developer Interview (Positive Experience; Average Interview)
I applied online and the process took 1 week - interviewed at Lab49 in February 2013.
Interview Details – The Hiring and interview process is well organized and seemed professional. The turn around time was quick. The Hiring person asked basic, six, core java/OOPs questions to validate our java knowledge. Followed by two levels of technical, phone interviews (scheduled on different days).
Both interviewers asked questions adaptively on what i have worked and what i spoke about. The interviewers were giving some hints for me to think on the areas where i was not strong, to check on my thinking process.
Interview Question – Not difficult questions if you are technically strong. Answer Question
Senior Associate Interview (Positive Experience; Average Interview)
I applied through a recruiter and the process took 2 weeks - interviewed at Lab49.
Interview Details – Contacted by an in-house recruiter through LinkedIn. Two phone interviews, both technical software engineering phone screen type interviews. If you are comfortable with Java and/or C# these should be easy.
The on-site consisted of four interviews. The first interview started with a coding exercise on a laptop. I thought this was a great idea, because it allowed me to code as I normally do. The second interview had an algorithms and architecture focus. The third interview was with a senior manager, but that too was technical.
Following that I spoke with HR.
Interview Question – I was asked some behavioral questions with respect to how I would handle clients and I was also asked my opinion of the financial services industry. Answer Question
Developer Interview (Negative Experience; Easy Interview)
I applied through a recruiter and the process took 2+ weeks - interviewed at Lab49 in November 2012.
Interview Details – Got contacted by recruiter. I was hesitant to interview at first since i'm pretty well placed at my current company. Later decided to interview with them since recruiter mentioned that they can match/exceed my current compensation.
There were 2 Phone Screens and 4 in person interviews.
Phone screens were very basic - One went over basic web concepts and other one was on web security and distributed systems.
Onsite interviews had some whiteboard programming and some basic questions. Overall the level was easy.
I did not find the employees smart or up to date with technologies. There were some instances where they were wrong. One positive thing is that they accepted it instead of arguing, which would have been a major turn off for me.
2) How do you implement last-mile messaging.
3) How to avoid CSRF
4) Problems with updating DOM with a fast moving data.
Interview Question – Are you married?
Why the hell do they even need this information Answer Question
Reason for Declining – Offer was pretty low compared to my current comp. It was a waste of my time going onsite by taking a day off. Recruiter told me that they will match/exceed my comp but i was let down.
Also, they are still on some legacy stuff (IMO) - Silverlight, .Net. I wanted to do more cutting edge.
Senior Consultant Interview (Positive Experience; Difficult Interview)
I applied through a recruiter and the process took 5 days - interviewed at Lab49 in November 2012.
Interview Details – I was contacted by a recruiter, who right away gave me a quick multiple choice test on Java; mostly basics but there were some technical details about the garbage collection implementation. Next step was a 1 hour phone interview with what I understood to be the hiring engineer. At first he seemed a little surprise to have gotten my resume. Most of this interview was technical, starting with some very basic Java stuff and moving on to Spring framework (which unfortunately I had not worked with) and unit testing/mocking frameworks. Some questions addressed my approach to problem solving and working with teams.
Interview Question – How do you maintain a mock as the mocked component evolves. Answer Question
Senior Software Developer Interview (Negative Experience; Easy Interview)
I applied through other source and the process took 3 weeks - interviewed at Lab49 in June 2012.
Interview Details – I was contacted out of the blue by one of the directors of development New York City. I had previously never heard of the company, but was intrigued by their consultancy, so decided to follow through with their interview process. I had the director call me for my first interview, he asked me several relatively easy questions about my experience and tested my technical knowledge. I think received another call from the recruiter describing the position. I received a third call from one of their developers asking me technical questions (this interview lasted an hour). The questions were easy enough, however, the developer asked a lot of conflicting questions that made me question is skills and technical knowledge (a couple of questions about outdated but still implemented features of Java). Finally, I was sent a document outlining a simple set of requirements -- I finished the assignment quickly, wrote a set of unit tests, and ensured that the code worked perfectly. After a week of waiting, I finally received an email from the recruiter saying I was not a good fit for the position. This was confusing to me since I had made it this far into the interview process, written code that was not only unit testable, but also correct. I requested feedback on why I was not a good fit and never received a reply. I would HIGHLY recommend you stay away from this company. Not only is the interview process a waste of time, it seems they are arbitrary in their hiring and will likely pass on you, even if you really are a good fit. Based on my knowledge of how they handle their hiring process now, I would never work for this company.
Interview Question – Describe a system which allows you to detect and upward trend in stock prices and generate a trade object based on that trend. Answer Question
Java Developer Interview (Neutral Experience; Difficult Interview)
I applied through other source and the process took 2 weeks - interviewed at Lab49 in July 2011.
Interview Details – 3 stage phone interview. 1 stage easy quesitons, 2 stage bit more technical, 3 very specific in regards to memory leak detection and investigation. Got good sense of what would be the job description out of it.
Interview Question – How would you identify java process (windows or linux) and after who would you go about finding memory leaks with in that process. View Answer
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See What Lab49 Employees Are Saying
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Pros: “Some high level people. This company may give you exposure to working at Top Tier Banks but most projects are now run in-house in a sweatshop style set-up.” “Some high level people. This company may give you exposure to working at Top Tier Banks but most projects are now run in-house in a sweatshop style set-up.” – Full Review