I applied online and the process took 3 weeks - interviewed at ThoughtWorks in May 2011.
Interview Details – They flew me to Chicago where I spent several hours doing tests.
2 hours in the morning on skills testing then 3 1 hour interviews after lunch: (a) pairing interview: some pair programming; (b) technical interview; (c) values and consulting interview.
It has been a while now but what was clear was that they were probing me for my political opinions. That was surprising and seemed unprofessional. I was mostly non-committal in my responses. I had the impression they were looking for more enthusiastic endorsement of the various political causes they mentioned. They apparently don't want a diversity of opinion within their walls.
No offer. Quite happy to pass them up too. Struck me as being a rather odd shop, condescending, intolerant, unprofessional.
Interview Question – What did I think about boycotting the state of Israel? Answer Question
I applied through a recruiter and the process took 3 months - interviewed at ThoughtWorks in October 2013.
Interview Details – I met a recruiter at the Grace Hopper Conference in Minneapolis in October. While there I took two of their tests, the Wonderlic test and a basic, hour long logic test. Waited about a month before hearing back from them asking me to send in a code sample (they gave me three problems and I had to choose one to solve). Once that was submitted, I had to fill out a graduate questionnaire which took about an hour. Be careful to think about your answers because I was asked about my answers during the final round interviews. After I had submitted both of those I had to wait a few weeks before getting an hour long HR interview with a recruiter. It wasn't much like an interview, and more like a conversation about your beliefs, topics you're interested in, etc. At the end of the interview, the recruiter told me she'd be setting me up for a final round of interviews in San Francisco. Went to SF, had 1 group interview and 3 interviews and a STEM presentation. The group interview was the puggle problem (I think a few other people posted about it) with people interviewing for all different TW positions (not just JC). Basically, the problem is about communication and optimization. The problem asks you to make a house with the lowest cost possible. My group successfully did this and our interviewer said it was the lowest cost she'd seen. The other group with us in the room decided to make a really fun house and not pay attention to the cost requirement and I think the interviewer was disappointed in this. So make sure you remember to follow requirements (seems obvious...). The next day, the first interview was the pair programming where two programmers come in and talk to you about your code you'd sent in earlier. They didn't have much to improve so they gave me an extension problem to implement with them. Both were really nice and very patient and helped me walk through the problem. Second interview was the Values interview. I'd recommend you're updated on current events and have a few issues you're passionate or knowledgable about. Third interview was the Technical interview. Pretty basic stuff. My interviewers were both pretty young and were both in the JC program so I got to ask them a lot about their work. You also present your STEM presentation to them. You basically get an hour to make a 5 minute presentation about any topic in science, technology, engineering or medicine and present it to your technical interviewers.
Interview Question – What makes you privileged? View Answer
Negotiation Details – No negotiations allowed
Very Easy Interview
I applied online and the process took 1 week - interviewed at ThoughtWorks in April 2012.
Interview Details – First a HR phone call to introduce the company. Then code assessment. Then onsite interview. There were four rounds 1. Logic thinking. 2. Cultural interview. 3. Technical interview. 4. Pairing interview
Negotiation Details – They informed me the offer and I accepted. No negotiation.
I applied through college or university and the process took 4+ weeks - interviewed at ThoughtWorks in November 2013.
Interview Details – Got the lead through campus job fair.
First round was a coding assignment. I had to choose one of three questions and submit my code and allied files in one week. I chose a question of medium simplicity so I could show off my object oriented knowledge and code portability and best practices principles.
After this I had to submit a questionaire. This was way too lengthy and to me pointless. It is supposedly to assess creative thinking.
Next came the logical assessment round. This took half a day at their Chicago office. A bunch of applicants, including me went through logical tests- these were timed tests; and needed intense concentration to complete in time allocated. Then we were formed into teams to work on some problems. It tested a combination of skills- logic, business sense, math ability, presentation. The activity itself was fun though. (I was teamed with 2 people applying for BA and QA roles respectively. )
All this was followed by a behavioural interview a week later. This is where I started getting some inkling that I probably am not going to make the cut. I was asked a lot of questions regarding college curriculum, learning habits, current affairs. I was also asked questions on any social cause dear to me. I am not much into social causes (which is a big point at thoughtworks), so those Qs did not really do my interview any good. I also probably did not do myself any good by saying that I do not have any issues traveling and stuff so long as the projects are challenging. Maybe that was a bad idea. But overall, the interviewers and employees at their office seemed quite enthusiastic and knowledgeable and courteous. Even their rejection letter came within a week so, I was not left in limbo or anything.
Interview Question – Name a recent technology trend that you read about.
What is your style of learning? How do you gain knowledge from others, especially from people younger than you? Answer Question
I applied through other source and interviewed at ThoughtWorks.
Interview Details – the process was very pretentious - I could feel the condescension in the interviewers' questions and style. Obviously she was 'drinking the kool-aid' there and acted as if very few are worthy of working there.
Interview Question – was trying to dig into my political views which was inappropriate - was asking in a very back-door way Answer Question
Very Difficult Interview
I applied online and the process took 3 months - interviewed at ThoughtWorks in January 2013.
Interview Details – From initial communication with HR to the results from the final interview, the process took about 3 months. First was a visit to the ThoughtWorks office for two analytical examinations and a group exercise. Next step was a written questionnaire, a phone interview and a coding challenge. The final step was an all day in office interview broken up into four sections - code pair, values and culture, TW Pillar 3 and a technical discussion.
Interview Question – How would you explain the reason for racial segregation in the city of Chicago? Answer Question
I applied online and the process took 3 months - interviewed at ThoughtWorks.
Interview Details – I initially found out about ThoughtWorks through a LinkedIn search. I applied on their website and I received a response within about a month. After they first contacted me back, they made me complete two assignments: a coding assignment and a questionnaire.
The coding assignment is as difficult or as hard as you want it to be. Being the overachiever I am, I chose the hardest one which was a train path optimization solver. They also had another one which I think was a simple sales tax calculator. I would advise NOT to doing the trains problem - it took a long time and it didn't seem to boost my application in any way.
One thing about their recruitment process is that it takes an extremely long time; multiply whatever timeline they give you by 3x. They said they would contact me back in less than 2 weeks but it took them at least a month and a half before they asked me to do the phone screen. The phone screen is pretty straightforward, they ask you why you want to be a software developer and work at ThoughtWorks. Be ready to tell them what programming you have done. They also ask you here about where you want to live after the initial year in Chicago. I told them I was flexible, but I think they wanted a more concrete answer. They also pressured me into giving them a salary expectation here. While I thought I did well on the phone interview, they told me a few weeks after they "did not have a position matching my skills".
All in all, this is certainly the most complex and lengthy hiring process I have come across. I hear that they hire a lot of non-programming types/art majors. Apparently at least enough to warrant sending everyone to India for 5 weeks to learn basic programming. I'm not exactly sure why I didn't get hired - maybe my technical skills were TOO strong. I don't know what kind of people they are aiming to hire, but if you are skilled at multiple things and at the top of your class you may want to look elsewhere.
Interview Question – Why do you want to be a software developer? Why do you want to work here? Answer Question
I applied through a recruiter and the process took 4+ weeks - interviewed at ThoughtWorks in August 2013.
Interview Details – Started with outreach from a HR representative calling to see if I was interested in applying. I sent resume, answered a *very* in depth questionnaire on my personality. and was asked to complete a coding question over the next few days. The whole process was great. Everyone was nice, polite but informal, I really did think I wanted to work there.
And that's where things started to get strange. I had about an hour long HR interview after submitting my code. Things were still pleasant, and was told they wanted to fly me to New York for in person interviews at the end. But, part of my work history is for a government contractor and I was told specifically to not bring that up. Suddenly my rep starts talking about the Snowden scandal and how Thoughtworks as a company they stood with him, which was odd considering it was completely out of left field. I listened and did my best to stay neutral on the matter.
Going in for interviews on site was a 2 day process. Day one was a presentation on the company and some on paper tests. Day two was much longer. Everyone was on a different schedule but there were about 4 or 5 interviews in total. Everything from presentations, to technical interviews, to team interviews, to personality discussions. I did my best and when I asked for feedback, got only positive remarks.
The personality discussion I think is where I faltered. Like I've said, everyone I met that day was extremely nice until that point. My interviewer here however, was abrasive and downright rude. I did my best to be polite and honest, but I went back to my hotel and cried after finishing that day. Which is absolutely outside of my personality. Regardless of your interviewer, expect to be grilled. They go over your answers to your personality questionnaire from the preliminary levels and ask you why you wrote what you did. And why you think that way. And why Thoughtworks should bother hiring someone that thinks that way. The only advice I'll offer is that they don't want to hear anything but the truth. Don't bother doing anything else. Finally, there was an exit interview.
The *worst* part of it was how they got back to me. The HR representative I'd been speaking to left me a voicemail. The rejection was incredibly unprofessional. She stuttered through the whole thing, said she had "bad news" without explaining, and then hung up without so much as a goodbye. I sent a follow up email thanking her for her time. About 3 months later I get contacted by *the same* recruiter to start the process over again. When I explained I'd already been through they apologized and said they still weren't interested and there had been a filing error.
Interview Question – Know what the word meritocracy means. Fully. Answer Question
I applied online and the process took 2 days - interviewed at ThoughtWorks in December 2013.
Interview Details – The process took well over 2 months in total. I first applied through the LinkedIn Jobs Board. I was contacted by one of their "Talent Scouts" via email with a lot of information about the company. Also included was a questionnaire and a programming test; both were fairly straight forward. The questionnaire had questions like, "What is one thing you have taught yourself during your own free time," or "You have been appointed Ruler of the World. What are the 5 most important things you will do while ruler?" The programming test had 3 questions and allowed you to choose and develop one in any of the three listed languages (Java, Ruby, and C#). I personally wrote my solution in C# because I had been using C++ for the past 2 years, however, the company mainly has projects that use Java and Ruby on Rails.
After I had submitted both the questionnaire and programming test, it was a long process of waiting to hear back. I sent a follow up email about 2-3 weeks after submitting the questionnaire and test just to check if I was still being considered for a position. They emailed me a week later asking what day the following week would be best for a phone interview. As others have posted on here, the phone interview is a personal discussion about your desires and aspirations for the future and for working with ThoughtWorks. They are also looking to see if you keep yourself busy by your own free will. They have something within the company called "The Beach" which is where all idle workers go to stay busy with personal work or helping on other projects.
It took a week and a half to hear back, but I finally was told that I made it through to the in-person, 2 day interview process. This process was really laid back. I never felt nervous at any point, even during the technical interviews. Be warned, if you think you're right for the job because you have a background in Comp Sci, then you are in for a shock. This company is very reliant on "equal opportunity" and they bring in anyone. I had people with backgrounds ranging from economics to education without any Comp Sci degree or experience apart from the Dev Boot Camp 5 month course. They really don't weigh your worth based on your knowledge of the theory and concepts of programming. Be ready to be grilled on your cultural background and your social views. If you don't enjoy a more liberal approach to the workplace, then you may want to reconsider your application. You won't find many conservative minds at this company.
The first day of interviews were more about getting settled in their office. Everyone that was in my group got together to talk about each other so we can more fully understand everyone's background. We had a discussion on your personal thoughts of meritocracy. This is where I had the biggest issue with the company. It felt more like entrapment than an actual discussion. They already knew the answer they wanted to hear, but they wanted to see how you would respond. You can discern the answer to the question yourself. After the meritocracy discussion, we took 2 assessments, the Wonderlic test and a test designed and developed by ThoughtWorkers. The Wonderlic is straight forward; you can find the test online for free. The ThoughtWorks logic test was so simple. It's very basic logic based thinking. If you can follow the directions and think through the problem like a programmer would, then you're going to blow through it in no time. I finished in 20 minutes leaving me 40 minutes to double and triple check my work to make sure I didn't make any stupid mistakes. Surprisingly, others didn't even finish which was quite astonishing.
The second day was where the real interview process began. They give you a schedule that outlines what interview you have at what time and in what room of the office. There is two technical interviews, one where you refactor your code through pair-programming with an actual ThoughWorker and one where you discuss your education background in development. The education background technical interview also included a STEM presentation that you were to create with little time to prepare and then present to 2 interviewers. It also included a Tic-Tac-Toe problem which was very easy to work your way through. If you take the steps of TDD (Test-Driven Development) and make small, quick iterations on your AI process, then you should be able to create a non-losing strategy. The last interview that part of the day is the culture interview. This interview is very much like the the phone interview, but they ask you even more hypothetical questions to see how you will respond. I was asked, "What is one person you would not want to work with," and "What is one industry you would not want to work in."
Interview Question – "What is one thing in the recent news that has upset you." View Answer
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