ServiceNow Interview Questions & Reviews
Getting an Interview
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- Associate Software Development Engineer (4)
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Trainer Interview (Positive Experience; Difficult Interview)
I applied online and the process took 2 months - interviewed at ServiceNow.
Interview Details – Excellent company and a great group of people. I enjoyed the process and it was very professional and pleasant. I had to do the following:
1. HR interview - 3 phone calls with the same person
2. Direct supervisor interview
3. Interview with the Manager of my potential supervisor
4. Technical interview
All of the above where online/phone, nothing onsite
Senior Functional Analyst Interview (Positive Experience; Difficult Interview)
I applied online and the process took 2+ weeks - interviewed at ServiceNow in November 2013.
Interview Details – All day interviews. Culture matters, so come with an attitude of expecting change and exciting growth. Whatever you do, don't lie- all references are verified. Dude, seriously- shortcomings are cool, but never lie.
Interview Question – Describe where you see yourself in five years and what you're doing to get there. View Answer
Negotiation Details – Zero hassle, and very fair.
Sales Interview (Positive Experience; Easy Interview)
I applied through other source and the process took 1 week - interviewed at ServiceNow in March 2014.
Interview Details – The interview was well thought out and the person interviewing was highly qualified, intelligent and very professional. I would interview again if given the chance. Thriving company providing excellent product and support.
Interview Question – Where is your resume? Why are you an hour late? View Answer
Software Development Engineer Interview (Neutral Experience; Easy Interview)
I applied online and the process took a day - interviewed at ServiceNow in November 2013.
Interview Details – Half year ago I had the most unpleasant interview experience in my career. 5 interviewers out of 6, including the hiring manager, were Indians. In my last round of interviews 2 years ago, I got offers from every interview I conducted. I don't want to go into the detail of my interview, just want to say the branch were full of Indian employees, I had the strong gut feeling that the Indian interviewers would make sure only Indians could pass the hiring bar.
Developer Interview (Neutral Experience; Average Interview)
I applied through an employee referral and the process took a day - interviewed at ServiceNow in November 2013.
Interview Details – A former colleague talked me into interviewing here. I had never heard of the company. Some early research led to stories of people being fired on whims. I've seen maaaaybe three people fired in my lifetime. I asked my former colleague about this and he "Nope!" ... all rumors. He would later resign in seven or eight months. He went on to tell various version of internal strife, mass firings, and close calls. I guess some people will do anything for a referral bonus. Needless to say, I'm glad I didn't move to ServiceNow.
My interview didn't consist of anything special. There were a few non-trivial algorithm questions. If you're out of college for more than a few years, you may need to study up on algorithms and big O. It's a shame. These questions show such a small slice of the interviewee: how well he/she can retain someone else's work or if not, how well he can BS. Asking for the Gettysburg Address has the same merit. There were a few string coding problems which were very easy. One elderly interviewer used up an hour of my time on completely useless philosophical ramblings. Another guy was a little thick headed and I let myself get into a debate on Guice (he didn't like DI).
I just read another review that talked of reverse-racism. I'd agree that there is a cultural misbalance in the company. All the people who interviewed me came from India. Treatment was harsh and blunt. The company is well out of line with demographics.
Interview Question – One guy forgot about the interview and was at home. There was plenty of scrambling to get Skype going. This led to an extremely awkward interview with the dog parking in the background, "can you hear me now," and folks trying to print up his interview question. The other interviewers managed to get a hardcopy of his code, but the font was too big. I got maybe columns 1-60 and the rest fell off the end of the page. The interview should have been called at this point. Answer Question
Architect - Platform Persistence Interview (Positive Experience; Average Interview)
I applied through an employee referral and the process took 2 weeks - interviewed at ServiceNow in April 2014.
Interview Details – I have a friend that works ServiceNow, so after I applied online I asked him if he could bring some visibility of my application to the hiring manager. The position I applied for was named "Architect - Platform Persistence".
It took a day or for my friend at SN to determine who the hiring manager was and to reach out to him, but once he did, I received an email from the HM almost immediately, locking in the date/time (the following Monday) for the phone interview.
The phone interview was with the HM, a Manager/Lead developer and a Principal Developer on the Cloud Platform team. We had 45 minutes scheduled.
I am currently a Senior Staff Software Engineer so they asked me a lot of questions about my role , why I'm looking at other opportunities, etc. FWIW, I am looking for *growth* opportunities, particularly towards formal Architecture jobs, which is what I applied for at SN.
I liked the two gentleman I spoke to on the phone. You could tell they had personalities. They were friendly, articulate, and came across highly intelligent and experienced. Yet, I didn't pick up on very much (if any) condescension or arrogance that often comes out of senior developers, especially those judging you for employment at their company. I respect and appreciate that.
The technical part of the interview was probably medium difficulty. I wasn't prepared (mentally) for a technical interview (which is my own fault), so I think I rambled on at times. They were very patient most of the time, however. :)
It seemed like this particular position mainly required SQL (MySQL or MS SQL in particular) and Java knowledge.
Here are just a small sample of the questions they asked me:
One question that caught me off guard was "How does Java implement generics?" Apparently, Java uses "type erasure". Perhaps that's a basic Java question- in that case, that's embarassing that I didn't know the answer to that. I have used generics in Java, C#, and C++ (templates), and have spent my career (14 years) writing in many languages from the database up to the UI, rather than only doing Java for 14 years, so perhaps the specifics of "how generics are implemented in Java" eluded me, although I use generics all the type in practice when working with Java.
They also asked me if I ever use the "finalize" or “volatile” word in Java, and I stated that I don't. They asked me where and why I've used a Try-Catch (which was easy), and I fought the urge to find that insulting.
For an Architect position, they didn't ask me a single question about design patterns, which I happen to be really good with, so that was a bummer.
They asked me a lot of SQL questions. Mainly it was around how Indexes work, execution plans, etc. They also asked me about some difference between MS SQL and MySQL. I described the manner in which MySQL executes subqueries, and they were satisfied and moved on.
Then I was asked the difference between InnoDB and MyIsam engines. Unfortunately, I've never used myisam, so couldn't answer this question.
We went over the alotted phone call (which some times is a good sign?), and they gave me a few more minutes to ask questions. I asked about the title "Architect - Platform Persistence" and why the actual description stated "Senior Software Engineer". The HM said that "Architect" was a typo and I would in fact be interviewing for a mid or senior level developer role. He mentioned that their platform is so complex that it would be very difficult to hire an Architect from external sources. Makes sense to me- but I was disappointed at this because I am presently in a senior role, paid very well, treated extremely well, and life is GREAT other than growth (architecture) opportunities. Obviously, I can't see myself leaving for a lateral (Senior) or lower (mid) role, even if the new role paid me slightly higher. Nonetheless, SN seems like a really cool place to work and I thought I'd love to work with the Cloud Platform team over there because I liked the HM and the Principal Dev I spoke to on the phone so much. So, when they invited me to an onsite interview, I agreed to it.
Before the phone call ended they were gracious enough to give me some feedback and advice for my on-site. I really appreciated that.
I ended up contacting the HM just before the on-site interview day, after much consideration and deliberation, and cancelled the interview. The reason is that they wanted me for a mid or senior developer role... and as I mentioned before, while I think it would be great to work at SN as a mid or senior developer, it simply just isn't the right career move for me. I thought it prudent to spare the entire panel of interviewers (and myself) from a day of technical interviewing for a position that my heart was not in. I hated to cancel last minute, but I hope they can appreciate that I didn't want to waste their time in the end.
Applications Developer Interview (Positive Experience)
I applied through an employee referral and the process took 2 months - interviewed at ServiceNow in February 2014.
Interview Details – Went through a referral. Had three rounds in total and took two months.
1> The first round--> This was a phone interview. The questions were based on design principles and few on the basics . The interviewer expected non-textbookish answers. Design a car manufacturing plant.
2> Second Round--> Again a phone interview. This time it was on sql and fine tuning queries. Indexing to be more specific. After that was a few question on algorithms and a coding workout on collabedit.
3> Third round --> The third round was a casual chat with the manager. My likes,dislikes etc. I was asked to come for a face to face round.
4>Fourth round--> A white board session with algorithms and data structures questions. The questions were on strings. Later had a chat with two product managers . They asked me my experience with agile and how I would handle agile environment related challenges. I
The whole process,although it took a bit longer , was smooth and very organized and relaxed.
After two weeks I got an offer.
Interview Question – was asked to design a disaster recovery( not IT RELATED) system. Answer Question
Senior Applications Developer Interview (Negative Experience; Difficult Interview)
I applied through an employee referral and the process took 3 months - interviewed at ServiceNow in February 2014.
Interview Details – Interview consisted of 2 phone interviews, a take home project and in person interviewing.
First phone interview with hiring manager was a "get to know you" call. Easy.
Second phone interview was with engineer who asked some specific questions (some of which were) related to my skill set. (1) Hibernate: how to perform a save; diff between save and update; attached vs detached (2) diff between HashMap and HashSet (3) Hash code and collision avoidance. Some tough questions in there about data structure implementation in Java. Moderate difficulty.
He also got me onto CollabEdit to produce some code for him: (1) reverse array (2) prime factors. Follow up questions were on how to make the code more efficient (time and memory). Easy except no auto-complete in CollabEdit.
Received a take home project (Bliffoscope). They give you a week to implement it. It takes about that long to complete working evenings. Moderate difficulty, just time consuming.
Interviews started at 11 am and ended at 6 pm - total of 6 interviews. No breaks, no lunch. Pretty intense. Some of these guys are very smart. Out of the 6 interview there were a couple where the interviewer was out to lunch. Literally texting on their phone or "only have 20 minutes" and rushing out the door.
First interview (Senior): Don't recall much about this, I had brought a presentation on my current project which I walked him through and he asked questions about.
Second interview (Principle): This guy had other things on his mind. Gave me a problem to work on the white board and sat back and responded to texts. Reverse the words in an array using one char of swap space. If you figure out the trick, it's easy (reverse the whole array then reverse each word back). I didn't figure out the trick and got zero input from interviewer. Normally, you get a little bit of guidance if you are off track. Floundered here with a brute force approach which is tough to figure out on a whiteboard.
Third Interview (Senior): Another I have blanked on. Asked me to write some SQL - even though they don't really use it? Very friendly, relaxed.
Fourth Interview (Senior): Solid interviewer. Asked me the usual questions, then got me on his laptop to fix a bug in some code (Tennis match scoring app). Most difficult part was working Eclipse on a mac (they use all mac at ServiceNow). After figuring out how tennis scoring works (crazy!) resolved the bug fairly quickly and discussed how the app could be made better. This guy was involved, interested and helpful when I asked questions.
Fifth Interview (Director): This guy was on his way out the door. Dropped the "shortest path in a graph" algorithm on me. I wasn't ready for this one, but worked it out. Lots of discussion on this, peppered me with questions. He left before I completed it which led to Interview #6
Sixth Interview (unknown): This guy got thrown in the room when the Director left, he sat there and texted as well as I worked the problem on the board. Funny thing is I finished and he didn't even look up, just said "OK". Fact of the matter was that the algorithm was *not* correct.
I followed up with e-mails (including completed solutions for those that I hadn't fully completed for them) thanking them for their time. No response, which was a harbinger of things to come.
4 weeks after interview, still no response (Yeah, I've got that high school dating feeling now). No scheduled call, no information what-so-ever.
End of 4th week I get a call at 6:30 PM from hiring manager. Not going to be a fit. I ask for any specific feedback he can provide to help me. Response is "You need to interview more" and "Your failure to focus on the problem at large".
Now for my commentary:
OK. Not a fit, that's cool. He would not give me specific interviews where these comments would apply (I was a referral, so I know someone there and it makes sense he didn't want to upset anyone).
My general feeling on ServiceNow is that they want to find people who are super smart or study data structures and algorithms. I asked a couple of times after given a problem "Do you guys do a lot of stuff like this?" and the answer was always "No". My impression, based on the interviews is that there are a lot of "thinkers" and not too many "do-ers".
Negative experience is due to:
1. Some interviewers were out to lunch
2. Amount of time for a response was un-professional and insulting
Very Easy Interview
Software Engineer - Quality Engineering Interview (Neutral Experience; Very Easy Interview)
I applied through college or university and the process took 2 weeks - interviewed at ServiceNow.
Interview Details – Applied and gained interview chance at campus job fair. Meet with recruiters during school's info session again. It took 2 weeks to have an onsite interview with three technical engineers. Everything was good. Some general questions and easy technical questions.
Interview Question – Nothing unexpected. Asked the very common BizzBuzz java programming question Answer Question
Associate Software Development Engineer-Automation Services Interview (Positive Experience; Average Interview)
I applied online and the process took 3 weeks - interviewed at ServiceNow in March 2014.
Interview Details – 3 Phone Interviews. You will be called onsite after these interviews.
Interview Question – 1st Phone Interview (45 minutes):
1) SQL: Joins, Primary Key, Foreign Key, BETWEEN clause
2nd Phone Interview (1 hour):
1) Implement add functionality in ArrayList.
2) Why do we use linked list and array list?
3) Reverse an integer array.
3rd Phone Interview(1 hour):
1) Difference between Abstract Classes and Interfaces? When do we use each of them?
2) Design a Zoo using Animal, Cages class.
3) What is Object oriented programming?
4) Difference between overloading and overriding. Answer Question
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