Getting an Interview
Getting an Interview
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Mobile Software Engineer Interview
I applied through a recruiter. The process took a week – interviewed at Symantec in January 2013.
Symantec DLP in San Francisco is hiring Mobile Engineers and so I got a chance to meet with the team for a few hours during a recent on-site interview.
Much of Symantec can be found down in Silicon Valley but this San Francisco outpost is the result of Symantec purchasing Vontu back in 2007. They take up at least three floors of a building in SOMA.
The brief glimpse I got of the office environment were that everyone was in a mostly open-plan environment with very short cubicle walls. Everything seems pretty modern (exposed ceiling with pipes, opaque and transparent glass, etc.). There was a nice looking auditorium area downstairs from the main lobby/reception area on the 10th floor. The interview itself was in a small meeting room with a white board. I met with three sets of two people -- for me it was always a developer and a QA person to go with him -- and the hiring manager. The engineers I spoke would only give me a vague idea of what the actual job I was interviewing for was all about, and the hiring manager couldn't disclose too much as well. It may have been that the group is still defining what needs to be done, or they might be keeping these new developments extremely close to their chest (competitive pressures being what they are). Either way the fuzziness of this particular job requirement was somewhat of a turn off.
Since they don't have deep expertise in the world of mobile computing, the questions were kept to high level computer science concepts. The matrix question was the (surprisingly) toughest one for me to conquer under the job interview pressure, and judging from the reaction of the two guys, I'm guessing this will be my "thumbs down" vote.
But hopefully my experience flunking the interview will help you to properly prepare to pass yours. If my interview notes helped you out, please let me know by voting "yes" on the "Helpful?" question below.
- given a matrix where the numbers ascend both in rows & columns, e.g.
1 3 5 7 9
11 13 15 18 20
22 24 26 28 30
31 33 36 38 39
42 44 47 49 50
If you're asked to write a function that provides a boolean (YES or NO) answer to "does this number exist in this matrix", explain how you would design an algorithm to be most optimal. View Answers (2)
- Design a stack implementation that has "push", "pop" and "peek" functions (look at the top-most value of the stack without popping it off the stack), and then design a function that tells the caller what the "minimum" value in the stack will be. View Answer