Getting an Interview
Getting an Interview
Interviews for Top Jobs at Synapse Product Development
- Software Engineer (4)
- Electrical Engineer (4)
- Embedded Software Engineer (2)
- Project Manager (1)
- Senior Electrical Engineer (1)
- Senior Mechanical Engineer (1)
- Deployment Engineer (1)
- RF Engineer (1)
- Marketing and Communications (1)
- Mechanical Engineering (1)
- Nike Account Director (1)
- Electtrical Engineering Intern (1)
- Senior Embedded/Firmware Software Engineer (1)
Electrical Engineer Interview
I applied online – interviewed at Synapse Product Development.
I had a phone screen initially. They asked me to look at a pretty simple op-amp circuit and answer some questions about it. After that, they had me come in to interview with their team. I had two interviews - one with a number of EEs and a programmer. They asked me various technical questions, nothing too crazy - op amps, microcontrollers, code, etc. All basic stuff. They were clearly trying to assess if I knew the basics. Ater that, I had another interview with non EEs. Was clearly just a personality fit interview.
- What does the volatile keyword mean in C? Answer Question
They were not willing to negotiate anything.
Other Interview Reviews for Synapse Product Development
Electrical Engineer InterviewNo OfferPositive ExperienceAverage Interview
I applied online. The process took 4+ weeks – interviewed at Synapse Product Development (Seattle, WA) in September 2012.
Applied via emailed resume. Received request for Phone Interview after a a week or so. The Phone Interview was a week later. The week after that, was invited for an Onsite Interview. Flew out a week later, flubbed the interview, and was sent home. The request for a phone interview came from their HR department. They offer you a few days, and ask you to supply preferred times. You'll need to be near a computer with internet access, and be in a quiet location so you can communicate easily. The Phone Interview is more of a screening than anything else. The questions aren't difficult, and barely touch on the basics of schematic reading and simple circuit analysis. This is mostly a check to make sure you're not wasting their time. It should only take 5-10 minutes, but they ask you to allocate 30 minutes. The on-site interview request was also painless. They offer days and times, and are very accommodating if you need to travel to attend. The Per Diem is quite comfortable. I have not received my reimbursement yet, but given the process so far, I'm not worried. They require you to sign an NDA for the on-site. As such, I won't go into certain details in this review. The On-Site Interview is broken up into various sections... 2 panel interviews with a pair of people, covering various technical questions. From my perspective, these were completed in order of increasing difficulty. That said, none of the questions were complicated or difficult. Make sure your ALL fundamentals are solid, and easy to recall. Be able to work through the proofs of some of the equations you use from memory. Touch up on flip-flops; they use them in the interview even though they know they're mostly not practical. Review a recent product you've worked on, and be able to block diagram it and explain it in detail. Don't be afraid to offer up an example of a skill where you are comfortable; chances are they'll take you up on it. Learn to estimate. If you've worked on Reg Testing, make a quick review of common techniques, issues, and resolutions. Know how to handle pcb planes and the issues that arise, especially when it comes to ground paths. Do a quick review on the analog aspects of your digital communication interfaces. If you've read other interview reviews on Glassdoor, you may have seen the Encoder Question. They will likely ask it. Treat it as an integrity test, and let them know you've seen it. Go ahead and solve it, so they know you can do it, but speak up first so it doesn't look like you're trying to cheat. I solved it and was honest afterwards, which was likely a point against me. After these 2 sessions, I was let go. In theory, I would have had lunch with a department manager, then spent the afternoon in their behavioral interviews... which I have a sneaking suspicion is mostly a hang-out session. They were very polite on the way out, and went out of their way to make me comfortable for the rest of my stay. Overall, it's not a difficult interview unless you make it one. I did not receive an offer, but it was a good time regardless.
- I was surprised by a quick embedded software question at the beginning of the first session. It involved function calls and the stack. Not difficult, but also didn't seem to count for much, so don't worry about it if you mess it up. Answer Question
Electrical Engineer InterviewNo OfferDifficult Interview
I applied through an employee referral – interviewed at Synapse Product Development (Seattle, WA).
- Sent a basic op amp circuit. Was asked what it did. 1 Answer
Electrical Engineer InterviewNo OfferNeutral ExperienceDifficult Interview
I applied online. The process took 2 days – interviewed at Synapse Product Development (Seattle, WA) in May 2010.
Initial pre-screen was on the phone, where the emailed me a circuit schematic and asked me to analyze it. This seemed like a simple and effective way to test that the person interviewing knew what they were doing. At the same time, it was easy if the example was in the area you dealt with all day, but would have been difficult if you were spending your days designing PC's and they were asking about LED's. The circuit was based around something the founder has a bunch of patents in, so it was something they cared about, but this is a company that prides themselves on doing a huge range of things. The in-person interview didn't go as well. They were not ready for me at all, I waited, and then the guy I talked to on the phone was busy and walked in much later. They went straight to targeted, hard, technical questions. Seemed to care very little about experience, what your current job was, or what expertise you had. They had a set of specific circuits they wanted you to draw off the top of your head. These again are easy if you either remember them from college or work on them every day, but require some real struggling to re-derive on the spot if you need to. I didn't remember these as well, and I knew that was the end of my chances there- it was pretty clear their interview process was like a final exam, with defined questions with correct and incorrect answers. They weren't looking for thought processes. I actually am pretty sure that I got 80% of their questions right, but they needed 99%. In the end I consider the interview process a failure since I basically do in my current job what these guys at least described they wanted in the description, and I am very good at what I do. It sounds very stuck up, but I have been a top engineer at many companies. So if they found me insufficient for the job based on the fact that I slipped up on an Op-Amp circuit I haven't seen in a decade, that's not really finding engineers that will succeed. Plus, in a bad economy filled with lots of laid off people, the job was still open 9 months later.
- Design a circuit to indicate what direction a encoder on a rotating shaft is going without using a microcontroller. Answer Question