Synapse Product Development
Synapse Product Development Interview Questions & Reviews
Getting an Interview
- Popular Job Titles:
- Electrical Engineer (4)
- Software Engineer (3)
- Embedded Software Engineer (1)
- Project Manager (1)
- Senior Electrical Engineer (1)
- Senior Mechanical Engineer (1)
- Deployment Engineer (1)
- RF Engineer (1)
- Marketing and Communications (1)
- Nike Account Director (1)
- Electtrical Engineering Intern (1)
- Mantenance Manager (1)
Embedded Software Engineer Interview (Positive Experience; Average Interview)
I applied online and the process took 2+ weeks - interviewed at Synapse Product Development in February 2014.
Interview Details – Applied on line. You will be asked to upload a small sample code with the application. Get the phone interview with a senior engineer. Answer question (programming) on line. Very easy question on embedded system design, Make sure you are really familiar with your projects on the resume. And make sure you are prepared for behavior questions.
Interview Question – What is static variable/functions?
Why do you want to apply? Answer Question
Senior Electrical Engineer Interview (Neutral Experience; Average Interview)
I applied online and the process took 2+ weeks - interviewed at Synapse Product Development in March 2013.
Interview Details – I was contacted by email to arrange a phone interview. Shortly after the interview began, I was emailed a schematic to be used for discussion. We talked about the components of the circuit and what functions they performed. It was not a difficult circuit but was also not one that I knew particularly well. The discussion was casual / comfortable but it was sometimes unclear whether I had included the particular points they were looking to hear.
Interview Question – I think the most difficult question might actually have come from me -- I asked about the financial stability of the company. The response was vague. I did not hear back after that (no further interviewing) but saw the exact same position posted as a contract position rather than a full time position 2 months later. It's difficult to know if I failed the technical interview or caused them to rethink the position. Maybe both. View Answers (2)
Deployment Engineer Interview (Positive Experience; Difficult Interview)
I applied through a recruiter and the process took 2 weeks - interviewed at Synapse Product Development in October 2012.
Interview Details – Was approachd by a slick recruiter who sold this as a great opportunity for contract to perm with a growing company. Did eventually convert to perm only to be laid off a few months later. Recruiter made a mint, though!
Interview Question – Standard brain teaser nonsense. "If you are in a canoe in a pool holding a bowling ball, and then drop the ball in the water, does the water level go up or down" Answer Question
Electrical Engineer Interview (Positive Experience; Difficult Interview)
I applied online and interviewed at Synapse Product Development.
Interview Details – 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.
Interview Question – What does the volatile keyword mean in C? Answer Question
Negotiation Details – They were not willing to negotiate anything.
Software Engineer Interview (Positive Experience; Average Interview)
I applied online and the process took 2+ weeks - interviewed at Synapse Product Development in August 2013.
Interview Details – Submitted my application and heard back from HR within the week and was scheduled for a phone screening interview a few days later. The online application had me submit a coding sample and I had an opportunity to submit a writing sample as well.
The phone screening wasn't difficult. I had an online coding problem to solve with one of their Senior Software Engineers. This problem was quickly solved through a simple brute force method. It was basically finding the center of gravity of an array. After the simple solution was done the conversation about optimization and it's big O difficulty.
I received a phone call scheduling an in person interview the following week. I drove to Seattle, was given a tour of their offices in downtown Seattle and had a 2 hour interview split into two shifts. The first hour with one team of engineers, including the one I interviewed on the phone with, and the second were another pair of engineers that I found out later were the heads of the project that was hiring.
Each section followed the same pattern. A series of conceptual questions about large topics, such as how would you draw the layers in a real time embedded system. Each had a coding problem to solve as well.
The first was a problem involving convolution within a two dimensional array. I quickly solved it through the simple method while noting the optimal solution. I just didn't write the code to do so.
The second was to implement a stack. It was straight a simple straight forward problem.
There were discussions about my previous projects and things problems I had encountered within different places. Such as things that are particular to small embedded systems.
I interviewed on Wednesday, the goal from HR was to contact me by Friday. Due to unexpected meetings they did not call till Monday. By Monday afternoon however I had received a verbal offer.
Time start to finish was just less than 3 weeks.
Interview Question – Honestly there wasn't anything that was terribly difficult or unexpected. This was everything I expected to have thrown at me for an embedded systems software position.
Questions about operating systems, problem solving, hardware, abstraction, interrupts, communications. Answer Question
Negotiation Details – There wasn't much of a negotiation from my side. The offer was reasonable from the start which made the negotiation part unnecessary.
I had received other offers in the preceding weeks and this was much better than those.
Electtrical Engineering Intern Interview (Positive Experience; Difficult Interview)
I applied online and the process took 4+ weeks - interviewed at Synapse Product Development in July 2013.
Interview Details – Applied online via their website and received a response back by email a month or so later. Set up an initial phone interview with an engineering manager. Pulled up a schematic of a circuit that they ask all participants apparently whether they're interns or senior engineers. Consisted of a lot of parts including an op amp, transistor, etc.. Asked what it's overall function was. The diagram was a bit confusing so study up on circuit schematics and fundamentals.
Interview Question – What does an op amp follower do? View Answer
Nike Account Director Interview (Negative Experience; Easy Interview)
I applied online and the process took 3 months - interviewed at Synapse Product Development in January 2013.
Interview Details – Was walked through the building by HR, who explained the layout and some of the projects they are working on. Got a bit awkward when I was highly encouraged to have a glass of tap water. The interviews were rather vanilla and I felt a bit disengaged. Honestly, one of the executives I interviewed with made me feel very out of place and awkward.
Interview Question – Tell me how you would grow our Nike account. View Answer
RF Engineer Interview (Neutral Experience)
Interviewed at Synapse Product Development
Interview Details – Phone interview+one full day interview
Interview Question – No difficult questions. A lot of questions are vague. They show the tear up of their Nike fuel product with a non-standard antenna design and ask where the antenna is Answer Question
Electrical Engineer Interview (Positive Experience; Average Interview)
I applied online and the process took 4+ weeks - interviewed at Synapse Product Development in September 2012.
Interview Details – 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.
Interview Question – 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 Interview (Neutral Experience; Difficult Interview)
I applied through an employee referral and interviewed at Synapse Product Development.
Interview Details – Phone interview
Interview Question – Sent a basic op amp circuit. Was asked what it did. View Answer