I applied through a recruiter and the process took 1 week - interviewed at Shutterfly in July 2010.
Interview Details –
I have to say I was under-estimating the programmers there, since this is only a card manufacturer's website. But, apparently, a lot goes on behind-the-scenes that we as a user are not aware of.
I had a phone interview with a project manager, who asked me questions regarding my resume, qualifications etc. There were some minor technical questions, but I think he realized that he needs to bring me on site.
So for the on-site interview, it started at approximately 1pm and ended at 6pm. I was grilled by 2 project managers, 1 senior developer and 2 other software engineers. I have to say, I was not prepared as much and extremely nervous. They definitely grilled me really well, but I made it a point to communicate my thought process so that they have an idea of how my thought-analysis progresses.
Either way, they tested me on some fundamental CS questions regarding data-structures, sorting algorithms and RDBMS. One of the junior software engineers presented a problem posed in a white-paper, which took me 45mins to figure out. I was not able to crack the solution, but I think more than solving, he was interested in how I went about solving it and what concepts I dug in to solve it. The senior developer asked me some "out-of-the-box" questions. The project managers asked me about sorting algorithms, which I forgot to brush up before I went for the interview. So I did my best to figure out the solution.
I was asked to come in again for the second day, met the VP of engineering who asked me explain my Master's thesis on white-board as quickly as possible. After that, another senior developer grilled me with questions. He asked me 3 questions, the first one was simple, but I think my nervousness got the worst of me. However, for the second and the third one, I definitely nailed it.
Alas, on the 4th day, I found out that they were not going to go ahead with my application. They told me that I have potential, good character, attitude etc., but they were looking for someone who can work more independently since I mentioned that I do look forward to code-reviews and like to ask questions. I think it was all due to my nervousness. I was so sure I was going to get this job, but even the managers were not expecting this.
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