SolutionStream Interview Questions & Reviews
Getting an Interview
Applications Developer Interview (Positive Experience; Average Interview)
I applied through a recruiter and the process took 5 days - interviewed at SolutionStream in January 2013.
Interview Details – I was contacted by a Recruiter who was the nicest lady I ever spoke to. She treated me like an old friend while screening me for my technical abilities. It was refreshing to talk to someone who was not trying to sale me a used car, but actually be genuine with me in a conversation. When she finished my technical screening she sent my information on to the team Architect and shortly after called me in for an interview.
I came in and met with first the Recruiter then the Architect and Team Manager. The interview was very technical and forward. They were honest and forthright which I appreciate in a potential employer.
Interview Question – I was shown a short Java program, asked what it would do, and then shown it did something totally different. The interviewer then said, "Don't worry, this is a tricky problem no one gets right the first time. How would you figure this out?" I would step through it in a debugger, I replied. "Fine, let's do that." The interviewer watch as I debugged the program and figured out why it was acting so weird. He got to see how I approached problems and that I knew my way around a debugger. Answer Question
Negotiation Details – I started with SolutionStream at an offer that was fair market value. Over time I have worked and proved myself to the company. When my review came I got a raise without asking for it.
Project Manager Interview (Positive Experience; Average Interview)
I applied through other source and the process took 4+ weeks - interviewed at SolutionStream.
Interview Details – SolutionStream took me to interview with the client. Once the client decided they wanted me on the job, then SolutionStream hired me. Every client's interview process will be different, but in this case I interviewed with several people over the course of a few hours. The interview with SolutionStream itself was more informal because I had already worked with some of the people there at other companies.
Interview Question – In this type of business it is common to be interviewed by both the company hiring you and the client. Answer Question
Senior Software Engineer Interview (Positive Experience; Difficult Interview)
The process took 5 days - interviewed at SolutionStream in June 2011.
Interview Details – I was called by a hiring manager performed a quick phone interview. He emailed me the next day to set on an on site interview.
The on site interview had four parts, not including the obligatory tour:
First I was interviewed by two project managers and the hiring manager, who asked fairly typical interview questions about my experience and probed my resume a bit.
Next I was interviewed by a lead programmer and a couple of developers. Again, they asked the sort of questions you expect about data structures, algorithms, and general programming knowledge, basically making sure you knew what you said you did. The developers then left and there was a one on one interview with the lead programmer, who probed much more deeply into my knowledge and experience with specific technologies, especially hibernate.
Finally there was a one on one interview with one of the owners. He was very candid about the type of environment I could expect, the variety of projects one would have to work on, the variety of technologies you would have to learn, and the difficulty of staying on the leading edge as a developer. He described it as "drinking out of the fire hose". He was very clearly proud of his company and it's culture, but wanted potential employees to know what they were getting into. He was very forthright and honest, and in hindsight his descriptions of the company culture were spot on.
Finally there was a final interview with the hiring manager discussing salary expectations and benefits.
All in all I found the Hiring Manager and Owner to be refreshingly forthright and honest.
- Can you explain your experience with Hibernate? Answer Question
- Explain to me what a java annotation is? Answer Question
Negotiation Details – I received a phone call two days later from the hiring manager wanting to make an offer. I really liked working with him, he was very strait forward and didn't use any of the traditional bartering tactics or play any games. I informed him I liked the company, but was in the process of interviewing with several companies and wanted to make a good decision. I told him i didn't really like negotiating games, and would like to work at Solutionstream, but wanted to make sure I got the best offer, and that if he could hit x (about 33% over what I was currently making, I thought I was shooting high for sure) I would know I was getting as good a deal as I could expect, and would accept the offer without further negotiation.
He let me know that the team lead had asked him to try and get me on, and said my offer was higher than they would normally expect, but since the team lead was interested and they needed a new engineer he could probably convince him to meet my request. Again, in hindsight I can say I think he was being very honest and strait forward, and really acted as my advocate during negotiations instead of trying to get the best possible deal.
The next day they called back to make an offer at my asked amount.
Project Manager Interview (Negative Experience; Average Interview)
I applied online and the process took 2 days - interviewed at SolutionStream in February 2011.
Interview Details – Initially I was called on the phone and given a phone interview immediately, which caught me off guard. I was not contacted soon after, but I sent a thank you e-mail to the recruiter and received a reply pretty soon after asking to set up a one on one interview. I was told I would be meeting with multiple people and I was given their names, which was nice. When I arrived for my interview no one was at the front desk so I waited a while in the lobby until someone showed up to greet me. I was then interviewed by the hiring manager, then the recruiter talked to me briefly about the company, benefits, etc. Then one of the owners of the company interviewed me. He then wanted me to talk again to the recruiter so we could discuss salary, but the recruiter was busy and would not be available for some time. So the owner asked what my salary range was and I gave it to him. I have not heard back since.
I was not impressed with the organization or planning of the interview process. It was as if they had forgotten I was coming in for the interview and everything seemed hectic and "off the cuff". The hiring manager from the beginning told me "I hate interviews" which kind of set the tone for me. He was also a bit negative towards the position and even suggested that others had described it as a "meat grinder" type of environment. He readily admitted that there was quite a bit of turnover in the position because of it. I was much more impressed with the owner of the company, the vision he had for the company, and the way that he described how he felt towards his employees.
After the interview process I really had no desire to work for the hiring manager that interviewed me so I never followed up with an e-mail or anything like that. The only type of position I would be interested in at the company would be working closely with the owner in some capacity. I did feel like there was a close-knit "family oriented" environment at the company.
Interview Question – What is more important to you the health of the company or the health of your specific job? View Answer
Developer Interview (Negative Experience; Average Interview)
The process took a day - interviewed at SolutionStream in June 2010.
Interview Details – They got me in really quickly and did not do any sort of pre-screening over the phone to determine my skillset, wants, personality etc... The Lead Developer came off as very knowledgeable and professional. However one of the big whigs got me in there (and for the life of me I can remember) and flat out told that with over 3 years of professional experience in Development (not to mention the years before I spent in Network Administration and programming at home) and an Associates Degree that I would be lucky to make 40k a year. My response was "thats funny, I already make 45k, and I'm looking to make 55k." This guy was very unprofessional and I knew I wasn't getting the job and wouldn't take the job at the point. He then took me back into the technical guy and instructed him to grill me on technical questions to see if I was a "rock star" programmer.
This has nothing to do with being declined the position. I've been declined more times then I can count, but there is a professional way to handle that situation and this guy did it in a very unprofessional way. Shortly after this interview I received an offer from another company for 48k and then a day later received another offer for 55k. I took the 55k one. Thanks Solution Stream!
Interview Question – What makes you think you're worth 55k? View Answer