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Qualcomm Staff Software Engineer Interview Questions & Reviews

All Interviews Received Offers

Getting an Interview  

58%
41%

Interview Experience  

33%
33%
33%

Interview Difficulty  

Average Difficulty
7 candidate interviews Back to all interview questions
Relevance Date Difficulty
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Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Easy Interview

Staff Software Engineer Interview

Staff Software Engineer

I applied through an employee referral and the process took 1+ week - interviewed at Qualcomm in January 2011.

Interview Details – Dealing with recruiter was a mess, but interview itself was nice and smooth; really good engineers!

Interview Question – I was asked to program at one of the engineers computer...   Answer Question


Accepted Offer

Neutral Experience

Staff Software Engineer Interview

Staff Software Engineer

I applied through an employee referral and interviewed at Qualcomm.

Interview Details – phone interview about 1 hour, very technical
on site interview: very friendly

Interview Question – no   Answer Question


Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Average Interview

Staff Software Engineer Interview

Staff Software Engineer
San Jose, CA

I applied online and the process took 1 week - interviewed at Qualcomm in August 2011.

Interview Details – The phone interview was pretty detailed. Lots of detailed questions about C and networking.... enough detail that I had to write down diagrams on paper to make sense of the questions. The in-person interviews consisted of C coding, describing the projects I have worked on, networking questions, cpu architecture, board bringup, behavioral questions -- it was pretty thorough. If you understanding of networking (L2/L3) is solid and you are a strong C programmer you'll do fine. But given my experience at QCA -- I'd say beware. Make absolutely sure you will be working on development (and not just bug fixing).

Interview Question – Write the code (in C) to insert an element into a linked list.   Answer Question

Negotiation Details – They were very inflexible when it came to negotiations. They pretty much said 'no' to everything and anything i asked for. That being said the offer was pretty good so I really shouldn't complain.


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No Offer

Negative Experience

Average Interview

Staff Software Engineer Interview

Staff Software Engineer
San Diego, CA

The process took 4+ weeks - interviewed at Qualcomm in December 2009.

Interview Details – Applied through their website and got an email from recruiter a couple of days later. She arranged a phone interview with the group leader and two engineers at the same time. They asked a bit about my experience, a few C++ questions and some very basic unix shell command questions - I did not expect for such basic questions.

After a few days I was invited for an onsite interview with this group. I had 10 1:1 interviews plus HR at the end of the day. My interview was scheduled for 8:30 with HR, but he did not show up. Started 1:1 interviews with engineers at 9:30.

Most questions where about C++, software engineering practices, networks (TCP/UDP). There were a few of those annoying trick questions. I got to talk about some of my projects with a few of the engineers, which then asked about some specifics.

In the interview with the group leader he described at a high level the project that the position was for, and emphasized that work may get hard often - many releases and pressure. He warned me about that many times as my previous employer dealt with research projects and didn't have as many hard deadlines.

More than a month passed without any feedback and any refunds from my expenses during the trip - not very professional of them. Overall it was good for me to see how I did not fit in that group. The vast majority of engineers are from the same country, and I prefer a bit more diverse group. Also most of them look very tired, which is not a good sign.

Benefits seemed to be very good and location can't get any better. Maybe I'll try a position with another group at QC.

Interview Question – Tell me a joke :)   View Answer


No Offer

Neutral Experience

Average Interview

Staff Software Engineer Interview

Staff Software Engineer
San Diego, CA

I applied online and the process took 2 months - interviewed at Qualcomm in December 2009.

Interview Details – I got interviewed for the Staff Engineer position. First two levels of phone interview and then 4 or 5 direct interviews same day.

Good : You will come to know what exactly is the environment of the team you are going to work. Phone interviews are good .Direct interviews also test your domain knowledge as well as your language specific skills. There will be 5 to 6 direct interviews with the team members.

Bad : They are simply wasting time of those who are not selected. One day is wasted fully of the candidate in case he is not selected. They call several guys for direct interview. Its better if they call only those who have a better chance . The HR never gets back to you after the interview, if you ask them after two weeks or so, they will tell they are looking for closest match. Same profile you can see opened in there site after some months time. Nobody knows what they are looking for ?

In brief, you need to be somewhat technically sound for clearing the interviews. But rest is mere luck , nothing else. It seems there is internal politics in decision making.

Interview Question – Implement Malloc   View Answer


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Declined Offer

Neutral Experience

Average Interview

Staff Software Engineer Interview

Staff Software Engineer
Hyderābād (India)

I applied through an employee referral and the process took 3 months - interviewed at Qualcomm in December 2009.

Interview Details – After the resume was referred by one of the employees, got a call from the HR after 2 to 3 months. A telephonic discussion was setup and the hiring manager explained about the position and tried to understand my areas of expertise.
After the telephonic discussion was cleared, on-site interview was scheduled and there were 3 technical interviews with peers of hiring manager. Finally there was a discussion with the hiring manager and also with the group VP.

Interview Question – How can you access global static variables from other files   View Answers (2)


Accepted Offer

Negative Experience

Very Difficult Interview

Staff Software Engineer Interview

Staff Software Engineer

I applied through an employee referral and the process took a day - interviewed at Qualcomm.

Interview Details – After initial phone screening, a grueling day with interviews back-to-back followed. Some interviewers were not related to the position and asked questions unrelated to the required background. It would have been better to have fewer but to the point interviews. The focus was completely technical and a very limited view of the company culture and work environment was offered. On the other hand, I could sense very different personalities, which I should have understood not as a strength, but as a sign of a conflicted work environment. Basically, a Californian company which doesn't get Austin.

Interview Questions

  • The position was not for graphics development and neither is my background, but an interviewer insisted on probing on such algorithms and linear algebra, about which I know about only cursorily and recall only vaguely.   View Answer
  • An interviewer whose background was similar to mine asked a question about a feature of an old processor architecture that I never worked on, but, seeing my difficulty, spent the time to explain it to me.   View Answer

Negotiation Details – The negotiation was carried out over email, since I was vacationing then. It went fairly well and I believe that I was able to high-ball my salary without much push-back.

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