Railinc Interview Questions & Reviews
Getting an Interview
Applications Architect Interview (Positive Experience; Average Interview)
I applied through a recruiter and interviewed at Railinc.
Interview Details – I worked through a recruiter that arranged the initial phone screen with the team manager. After the phone screen came an onsite interview process with multiple team members looking at technical ability and cultural fit, and finally a wrap up session. After the process it was a few days later that the offer was extended.
Interview Question – Design for a distributed message based architecture that accounted for multiple input sources while respecting FIFO. View Answer
Negotiation Details – Most of this was handled through the recruiting company and expectations were set with a narrow scope upfront.
Infrastructure Manager Interview (Positive Experience; Average Interview)
I applied online and the process took 1+ week - interviewed at Railinc in July 2013.
Interview Details – I met with two of who would become my peer managers and had an enjoyable time. What was supposed to be a 60 minute interview lasted nearly twice as long. We got along very well and were able to finish each other sentences, so it seemed as though we were on the same page. When I met later with the hiring manager and the peer that I would be working closest with, I was offered the position in the first 10 minutes. I should have spent more time with them and asked better questions about how they dealt with SLAs and their management styles.
Interview Question – The interview was very much more personality oriented that technical. The focus was on fitting in to the culture. Their biggest concern was how I had handled firing someone in the past. View Answer
Negotiation Details – There was little room for negotiation. While they offer some excellent benefits, they were not 100% forthright with some of the descriptions and costs.
Business Analyst Interview (Neutral Experience; Average Interview)
I applied online and the process took 3 weeks - interviewed at Railinc.
Interview Details – Submitted resume. Contacted by internal recruiter. Phone screen. Interview. When starting you could experience a delayed start date. Company primarily starts people at beginning of pay cycle.
Be prepared for multiple interviews, one on one and team. Possible to interview with multiple departments. Company runs background check.
Interview Question – Lots of scenario questions...Name a time when..... How did you react when.... Answer Question
Negotiation Details – Not a lot of room for negotiation. Get what you can when coming in. Expect a 2-3% annual raise.
Product Support Interview (Neutral Experience; Easy Interview)
I applied through an employee referral and the process took 4 weeks - interviewed at Railinc.
Interview Details – Very nice folks at Railinc. Had a pre-screen call, a 1:1 phone interview, and an in person group interview. I found the questions to be relatively generic, but then again I am a recent grad; not so specialized. Pretty positive experience. I would not characterize the interview process as aggressive at all. In fact, at the end of my panel interview I asked a pretty difficult/pointed question of the hiring manager and I definitely--based on their response--felt like they were caught off guard.
Interview Question – If you had to optimally fill a train car with marbles, how would do it?
Super open ended, I asked if they meant I had to do it by hand, what tools I had, if I needed to be cost effective, did it need to be repeatable etc. and they didn't want to specify. View Answer
Negotiation Details – They came in low, but were willing to negotiate. Even though I don't feel like it really fits the company culture, I was aggressive when I got to this phase.
Business Architect Interview (Negative Experience; Difficult Interview)
I applied through a recruiter and the process took 6+ weeks - interviewed at Railinc in May 2013.
Interview Details – Interviewer was more concerned about my knowledge of Ralinc rather than my knowledge and skills required for the position.
Interview Question – Questions about specific Railinc functions and business processes Answer Question
Senior Software Engineer Interview (Neutral Experience; Difficult Interview)
I interviewed at Railinc in April 2013.
Interview Details – I was called in for a personal interview, there were 2 persons, one was senior software engineer another is the dev manager. Both were technically strong. They asked me about my background and my previous work experience. The interview was more of tricky questions, and there is no straight forward answers. It lasted for about and hour.
Interview Question – You have a random number generator, it generates numbers randomly from 1-100. What is the probability of getting a number from 60 - 100.
Types of B- trees. Answer Question
Business Analyst Interview (Neutral Experience; Easy Interview)
I applied online and the process took 3 weeks - interviewed at Railinc in June 2012.
Interview Details – I applied online and was contacted by HR about 1 week later to set up an interview via email. Interview was setup and I was also sent an application via email to fill out.
The first interview was with 2 senior business analysts. Their questions were general, they just looked at my resume and asked me questions about what I had done. Nothing difficult here, just an honest attempt to learn more about me. Friendly and productive interview, lots of good questions.
The 2nd interview was with 2 managers, one was the hiring manager. The managers had a very different demeanor from the analysts. I had the impression at times that they really didn't want to be talking with me, they really seemed to disregard a lot relevant experience that I had. Most of their interview was taken up with generic behavioral questions. I tried to be positive throughout the interview and end on a good note, but I knew before the second interview was over that this was the end of the road.
Interview Question – Three jars of marbles(black, white, mixed) with mismatched labels. How can you put the labels on the correct jar. View Answer
Java Developer Interview (Negative Experience; Average Interview)
I applied through a recruiter and the process took a day - interviewed at Railinc in November 2011.
Interview Details – I went through a recruiting company and was asked for an in person interview. I was pretty excited for the interview and felt I had a really good shot at the job. I had all the qualifications they asked for plus some and had more experience than they asked for. However, I was a little surprised to see that I had more experience than two out of the three who were interviewing me.
So, I get there and things are going fine for the first 90% of the interview. The interview is pretty disorganized with just the three people asking me random things about my background and then moving to basic questions. The basic questions are not too hard - things that take five seconds to google that you hardly need to spit out day to day unless you are in an intro to Java/JEE class. Mostly, the questions were either amorphous or pretty amateur as in basic OO questions and such.
So, towards the very end of the interview I get a couple questions that just do not make sense. I try to answer them, but I wonder if the interviewer knew how to explain what they were asking. So, their demeanor totally changes for the worse. After the interview, I found out that they were looking for some specific method calls and was disqualified for not rattling them off of the top of my head (basic JEE stuff any seasoned developer knows where to find but isn't something used everyday).
The architect (person with the most experience) then seemed to get a little antsy and basically annoyed to even have to be there. Questions I asked about the company were answered somewhat gruffly, but I remained polite. At the end of the interview, I was not even shown out of the office. I felt really disrespected - all because I could not answer one or two question out of at least 25 to their liking.
Overall, I got the feeling that a development job at Rail Inc will consist of less thinking and more just taking instructions from "architects." I think the development staff seemed less experienced than I would like at a company, and I think they may want an automaton and not someone who wants to think for themselves and grow. I also thought the attitude of the interviewers was disrespectful and would be concerned that it would spill over into a position there.
I had made the decision to reject any offer made from Rail Inc, but I found out the feeling was mutual the next day. I must say I was relieved that I did not get an offer. Plus, I found a better job the next day!
Interview Question – They asked for details about something I had done in college about 8 years ago to make sure I was who I said I was. View Answer