Tessella Interview Questions & Reviews
Getting an Interview
Graduate Developer Interview (Positive Experience; Average Interview)
I applied online and the process took 1 week - interviewed at Tessella in October 2012.
Interview Details – I am a recent engineering graduate (not in Computer Science) and I submitted an application online. A few days later I received an email about scheduling a phone interview. The person I spoke to was friendly. He did a lot of the talking, and a lot of my answers were yes/no answers to questions like: Would you be willing to travel to client location? He asked three basic programming concept questions. My programming background was essentially just two programming classes but programming is something I really enjoy.
Interview Question – I'm not sure which part of the interview made them not want to call me back, but if I had to do it again, I would emphasize my programming ability and experience. That is what they really care about. Answer Question
Software Developer Interview (Positive Experience; Average Interview)
I applied online and the process took 1 week - interviewed at Tessella in August 2012.
Interview Details – I was contacted a week before the actual interview by phone & e-mail. I was contacted by a woman with an English accent , but the actual interview was with a man who spoke in a thick Chinese accent. He asked me basic programming questions for 20 minutes, then talked about the companies goals for 20 minutes.
Interview Question – What is polymorphism? View Answer
Scientific Software Developer Interview (Positive Experience; Average Interview)
I applied online and the process took 4 weeks - interviewed at Tessella in April 2014.
Interview Details – First stage: Phone interview
Second Stage: assessment day down in Abingdon. This involved a short face to face interview, a simple programming task and a short presentation in front of a manager.
Interview Question – No questions were unexpected or difficult to answer Answer Question
Reason for Declining – Relocation issue on my part. The company and job however were perfect.
Junior Analyst Programmer Interview (Positive Experience; Average Interview)
I applied online - interviewed at Tessella in April 2010.
Interview Details – I applied by online, I first received a phone call for the first interview and arranged to have it next week. After the first interview I received another phone call for the second interview. Second interview involve a programming task and a presentation of your choice.
Interview Question – Create a command line text editor in C# Answer Question
Developer (Abingdon UK) Interview (Negative Experience; Average Interview)
I applied online and the process took 2 weeks - interviewed at Tessella.
Interview Details – First interview:
40 minute interview with HR. Usual basic stuff.
On arrival asked to fill in a 12 page medical questionnaire, detailed and personal, which I thought was inappropriate as part of candidate selection. I also handed over some example documentation I had been asked to bring.
Then a programming exercise, fairly straightforward 2 or 3 hours work. Took place in their crowded developers office. I was introduced to a team leader who I was told I should ask if I had any questions about the exercise, but when I later did he gave the impression of being annoyed that I'd interrupted him.
Later I was taken up to see one of the directors and I was asked to give a ten minute presentation on "any subject" (I had been told about this prior to interview day). I played safe and covered a techie subject. I was a little taken aback when he suggested afterwards that I'd chosen a boring subject; he told me the person he had in the day before was much more entertaining on circuses.
Then another manager took me to the pub for lunch, he was more affable.
Then back to the office to finish off the programming exercise. When time was up I was asked to demo it for two people and undertake a code walk-through. The questions they asked were fairly straightforward.
I was not offered a job and they didn't give a reason. I came away from the experience with a feeling that as a company they were somewhat arrogant and quite geeky.
Interview Question – I don't think any of the questions were particularly difficult but the interviewers made little effort to make me feel welcome or put me at ease and consequently I didn't feel I gave my best. Answer Question
Associate Analyst Programmer Interview (Positive Experience; Average Interview)
I applied online and the process took 2 months - interviewed at Tessella in February 2014.
Interview Details – I was referred by a friend who has been working for Tessella for the past 2 years. I applied online and heard back from them two days later asking me to attend a first interview at their head office in Abingdon. The interview was fairly informal: I was asked about my background, mathematical interests and programming skills. The whole interview lasted about an hour.
A couple of weeks later I heard back from them asking me to attend a second interview. The day started at 9:30 with a half hour briefing of what I will get up to throughout the day. The bulk of the day is spent writing an example program in either one of Tessella's core languages (C#, C++, C, Java) at one of their office desks. The example program you work on depends entirely on the amount of programming experience you have stated you have on your CV. Throughout the day you take a number of breaks from working on your program and talk to staff of various seniority levels, as well as give a 5 minute presentation on a topic of your choice. At the end of the day you get to present the example program you have written and explain how you have implemented it.
Interview Question – Nothing particularly unexpected or difficult but make sure you are comfortable with your programming skills. Answer Question
Graduate Software Developer Interview (Positive Experience; Easy Interview)
I applied online and the process took 4 weeks - interviewed at Tessella in January 2014.
Interview Details – I was referred by a friend who has a job there. I applied online and was contacted for a telephone interview. The telephone interview was quite relaxed and more like an informal chat with a HR guy. Following that I was invited for an interview day at their Abingdon office.
The interview day began with me arriving half an hour late after my alarm didn't go off - whoops. I phoned them before arriving, and they were very understanding and told me to still come for the interview. Upon arriving I was introduced to a few people, and then given a programming task to complete. The programming task was fairly trivial and could really have been finished within an hour. As I was given the whole day to do it (more or less - 10am until 4pm with a couple of hours taken for lunch and being shown around), I went overboard with my solution in an attempt to impress.
At 4pm I told them that I had finished my solution, and a couple of guys came over to have a look. They played with it for a bit, tried to break it, checked my code, questioned me on various bits of code. Thankfully, despite being probably over-complex, my code didn't fall to bits. Make sure that you check for invalid inputs, as they seemed keen to make sure that it wouldn't crash with an invalid input.
After that I gave a short presentation to someone, and then had another chat with the HR guy. He discussed various terms of the contract, and I explained that I had another offer with a deadline.
Interview Question – There really wasn't anything unexpected - they were all standard interview questions. Answer Question
Reason for Declining – Despite explaining that I had a certain deadline to respond to another offer, I heard nothing by the deadline and accepted another job. A week after the deadline passed I received an offer. In fairness, I probably would have chosen the other company anyway. Their Abingdon office was very hot, and I was sat next to a very loud sales guy for the whole day who was incredibly annoying.
Associate Analyst Programmer Interview (Positive Experience; Easy Interview)
I applied online and the process took 5 weeks - interviewed at Tessella.
Interview Details – Simple CV and covering letter application for the a graduate scientific software developer position, applied after finishing my PhD and I got the impression the process is slightly different if you apply as a graduate without a PhD.
They emailed to arrange a phone interview very quickly, they were able to reschedule to a time I could make with no problems. After the phone interview they quickly arranged a second interview in Abingdon and made an offer within a few days of that.
Phone interview lasted about 40 minutes, consisted of simple questions relating to points on my CV, mostly relating to exact nature of programming experience. There were also a number of technical questions relating to programming - nothing too difficult if you are familiar with the languages you put on the CV. Finally they asked a lot of yes/no questions about willingness to work for a range of clients, away from the office etc.
Interview day mostly consisted of a programming exercise which was fairly straightforward - good understanding of classes/inheritance/etc required, supported by one of their software engineers. This was interspersed with a short presentation, tour, demo of one of their projects, and lunch away from the office. At the end of the day, I demoed the software exercise, and had a short interview with a HR person.
Overall lots of opportunity to ask questions, and the day was conducted in a friendly way with nothing that seemed designed to trip you up.
Interview Question – The programming exercise has the most potential to shine/not. None of the interview process had any unexpected or hugely difficult questions. Answer Question
Reason for Declining – Nothing specific. Difficult decision against another offer, I still think Tessella would be a good company to start a career with.
Junior Analyst Programmer Interview (Positive Experience; Easy Interview)
I applied online and the process took 3 weeks - interviewed at Tessella in January 2013.
Interview Details – Very simple CV and cover letter, heard back promptly to confirm I had been given a phone interview. The HR team were very patient as I was still in Uni and working a lot, meaning I re-arranged the interview a couple of times and they were very understanding. The phone interview was very basic, covered CV and motivation, asking about some background of me and basic programming ability. Once this was complete I heard back the following week, being invited to an assessment day/ interview.
The day was started at 9am where you had a brief introduction and outline of the day. I was very quickly taken to my desk introduce to my helper for the Java exercises. The exercises was set and a book was given to help with it. My helper checked in a couple of times and seemed impressed with how well I was getting on. I was then taken for lunch with a manager which was very relaxed and we spoke in detail about the work being performed at the company. Finally I was taken back to the office, showed around and asked to keep working on the exercise until I was taken for my interview with one of the directors who was very friendly and seemed interested. I finished off my Java and was shown some work one of the teams were working on. I finally had to demo my program and talk two HR people and my helper how it all worked.
The day was very enjoyable and relaxed. A de-brief was given and I was sent on my way after being told I would hear within 2 weeks.
Interview Question – Java exercise which was quite simple using inheritance etc. Answer Question
Negotiation Details – No negotiation.
Scientific Software Developer Interview (Negative Experience; Average Interview)
I applied through other source and the process took a day - interviewed at Tessella in August 2012.
Interview Details – 1. Arrived, brief intro from HR lady.
2. Went upstairs to start Java test. Fellow talked to me about it and then spent 45mins getting the Java development envuironment working. I wish they were organised and had done this beforehand.
3. Left me to develop the sample program.
4. Took me to lunch. Told me I would be working on lots of different projects and they wouldn't all be scientific software despite the job title I was applying for. He talked to me about some Java archiving thing at length that wasn't interesting that he felt I would be good for.
5. I continued with my program.
6. They took me on an office tour (Abingdon UK) and again showed me this archiving thing. Yawn !!
7. They told me to finish the program to where I got to at 4:15 and then they tried to break it with me demonstrating the software.
8. I had a final chat with the HR lady and then they let me go.
They paid my train and taxi fare for the interview.
Reason for Declining – It was a big open office and there was lots of noise from the marketing or sales or admin people that sit in the office and chat on the phone all day. It was hard to concentrate.
Also there were people there that thought they were clever. I think they might have been but I don't think they were as clever as they thought they were.
The computer they gave me to work on was not a high specification PC and it looked like the others that people were using. The office chair was relly uncomfortable too and wouldnt fit under the desk properly. I had a bad back at the end of the day and was glad to leave.
I didnt think I would fit in to the working enviuronment and I didn't want to do archiving. I have a Ph.D. in maths and physics and I think the work was beneath me. I am a woman and the only other women were in admin and the HR lady.
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