Wireless Generation, Inc.
Wireless Generation, Inc. Interview Questions & Reviews
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Senior Software Developer Interview (Negative Experience; Average Interview)
I applied online and the process took 3 months - interviewed at Wireless Generation, Inc. in January 2011.
Interview Details – A phone interview which consisted mainly of C++ questions and some problem-solving. About an hour long, moderate difficulty.
A very lengthy coding project was set, which took a lot of time to do properly (as most things done properly do). Upon submitting it, they took several weeks to even respond. I should have heeded the signs...
Finally I got called in for a 3 hour in-person interview, which I felt (judging by their reactions to me) went pretty well. The people were nice and the tasks interesting. All good. I was told I'd hear within 3 days at the very latest.
All the WGen contacts subsequently studiously and deliberately ignored my emails. Pretty disgraceful behaviour towards someone who's put a lot of time into the process. I'm very glad I didn't end up working for them, if this is indicative of their culture.
Java Developer Interview (Neutral Experience; Average Interview)
I applied through a recruiter and the process took a day - interviewed at Wireless Generation, Inc. in March 2012.
Interview Details – Submitted my resume through a recruiter and scheduled a phone interview immediately. The interview lasted for 1 hour. Started off with general question - "Tell me about yourself" and then Moved on to theoretical questions in java and OOP concepts. This last for about 1/2 hour or so and then was given a programming questions to solve.
Interview Question – Write a function that takes a price and returns the minimum set of coins that add up to that amount. Answer Question
Software Engineer Interview (Negative Experience; Difficult Interview)
I applied online and the process took 3 weeks - interviewed at Wireless Generation, Inc. in November 2011.
Interview Details – I applied online. They got back to me quickly and were very interested in my background.
First, I had a quick phone screen with the HR guy. We talked about technologies I've used and what I'm looking for in a job. It was not difficult at all.
Then, I had a technical phone interview with an experienced software architect. During the first half of the call, he asked some basic software engineering questions (e.g. "What's the difference between an interface and an abstract class?"). During the second half, we got onto collabedit.com and shared an interactive session. He asked me to write a method that accepts two character arrays and determine whether the first could be recreated using only the characters in the second. I solved the problem by putting both arrays into hashmaps (with the character as the key and the number of occurrences of that character as the value), then checking the number occurrences of the first hashmap against the second.
Finally, I had an in-person interview at their Durham office. They sat me in a little meeting room (that could hold maybe 5 people max). I met with four people, for one hour each. Each person would ask me some questions about my background, some technical questions, and one big problem for which they wanted me to write stuff on the a white board. The big problems I encountered were:
-Write a method that accepts a list of integer pairs. The method should compare the integer pairs and combine/delete pairs that intersect/comprise other pairs on the number line(for instance (1,4) and (2,5) could be reduced to (1,5); (1,4) and (1,3) could be reduced to (1,4); (1,4) and (6,8) couldn't be reduced). The method should return this list of integer pairs. This problem took me a while to solve. It was important to sort the list first.
-Design the class structure and explain the general methodology of software that would guide museum-goers on an audio tour. The museum-goers enter a customized list of which exhibits they want to see and the software figures out the best path for them to take. Also design a file format so that the museum can tell the software the layout of the museum (I did a simple XML format that gave each room a name and described which rooms connected to each other).
- Write a method that accepts a list of integers and returns each number as a percentage of the largest number. This wasn't too difficult, though it did bring to light some questions about efficiency. Again, it was a big help to sort the list first.
- (The fourth interviewer didn't have a big question.)
I thought I did pretty well on the interview. It seemed more like a stress test than anything else. Though the HR guy told me that they usually only take 48 hours to make a decision, a week had gone by and I'd heard nothing. I called and emailed the HR guy, but I couldn't get a response from him. It took him almost 4 weeks to finally get back to me and tell me that they weren't interested in hiring me. Then I got a check in the mail for a third of my interview costs (hotel room and mileage). I tried to ask for the rest, but again couldn't get ahold of anyone.
Wireless Generation was pretty professional up until the end there. They seemed like a cool company, but now that I know how they deal with people they aren't interested in anymore, I'm glad I have nothing to do with them.
- Write a method that accepts a list of integer pairs. The method should compare the integer pairs and combine/delete pairs that intersect/comprise other pairs on the number line(for instance (1,4) and (2,5) could be reduced to (1,5); (1,4) and (1,3) could be reduced to (1,4); (1,4) and (6,8) couldn't be reduced). The method should return this list of integer pairs. View Answer
- Design the class structure and explain the general methodology of software that would guide museum-goers on an audio tour. The museum-goers enter a customized list of which exhibits they want to see and the software figures out the best path for them to take. Also design a file format so that the museum can tell the software the layout of the museum. View Answer
- Write a method that accepts a list of integers and returns each number as a percentage of the largest number. This wasn't too difficult, though it did bring to light some questions about efficiency. View Answer
Engineering Interview (Positive Experience; Difficult Interview)
I applied through other source and the process took 1 week - interviewed at Wireless Generation, Inc. in December 2011.
Interview Details – Very impressed with the company and became more impressed as the interview process went on. Spoke with great people; you need to come VERY prepared. For coding positions, expect a coding test (either whiteboard or written). Met with architects, engineering directors, and then had a phone interview with some higher-ups. Finally, was taken to lunch by team members of two of the teams. Very positive experience in a fast-growing company.
- How would you handle acceptance testing of a huge project spread across two geographies and five teams? Answer Question
- If different architectural teams had come to different decisions on a technology foundation for part of the system, how would you work to resolve the differences and come to the best decision for the team? Answer Question
Negotiation Details – They made a great offer at the top of the range I was expecting. Accepted without negotiation.
Operations Analyst Interview (Positive Experience; Easy Interview)
I applied through a staffing agency and the process took 3 weeks - interviewed at Wireless Generation, Inc. in September 2011.
Interview Details – A technical recruiter at a staffing firm made first contact via email, which included a brief job description. A few additional emails were exchanged to further describe the position and to setup a phone discussion. A phone interview was then arranged with HR at WiGen. This was a brief discussion that included a simple 10 question technical quiz, which is meant to weed out people who aren't even close to be qualified.
Next came a phone interview with the hiring manager. This discussion was a two-way exchange of information. The manager asked questions about my background and experience and I was able to ask about the company and position.
The final stage involved traveling to the company for an in-person interview. The recruitment firm requested a meeting prior to the interview. This meeting was somewhat of a stress test as they asked a lot of in-depth technical questions. The actual interview at WiGen was much more pleasurable. It was the best interview I've ever experienced. It was more of a conversation and I felt completely at home. The hiring manager first asked me to write a couple of scripts to parse some XML data. Then I had to analyze some server performance charts generated from their actual monitoring system. One of the Unix Admins was then brought in to ask some additional technical questions. I was then given a chance to meet some of the other employees when the hiring manager took us to lunch. I had an offer two days later. Overall this was a great experience.
Interview Question – Write a script to parse N data from files X, Y, and Z in directories A, B, and C. View Answer
Negotiation Details – I was able to negotiate a slightly better salary, but the initial offer was fair. My advice for others would be to verify what other companies are paying for similar roles and use that information to base your negotiations. Also be sure to reiterate how you can go above and beyond the responsibilities of the position based on the job description.
Senior Software Developer Interview (Negative Experience; Average Interview)
I applied through a recruiter and the process took a day - interviewed at Wireless Generation, Inc. in July 2011.
Interview Details – Interview consisted of a coding exercise and various questions on patterns. Finally I was asked how I would break down a spell check service into sub modules and direct the work of other developers.
I felt the feedback provided after the interview was substandard. I was told that I didn't have enough 'runtime' experience and that my definition of 'loose coupling' didn't match their definition.
Not sure what is meant by 'runtime' experience. My definition of 'loose coupling' was, I thought, quite brilliant.
After asking for code samples, and an hour on the phone, I would appreciate more substantial feedback. This seemed all rather vague based the time I spent with them. Would I work there?
Interview Question – Define 'loose coupling' View Answer
Quality Assurance Interview (Positive Experience; Average Interview)
I applied online and the process took 1 week - interviewed at Wireless Generation, Inc. in February 2011.
Interview Details – I first got a phone interview with someone from the development team asking technical questions. Some of the questions were about the difference between JDK and JVM, arrays,pass by reference or pointer. I was called in a week later for an in person interview. The interview lasted about 3 hours and consisted of 5 person doing the interview in a linear fashion. They gave an SQL test, it was about 5 questions total, nothing hard. They ask about your test experience. It did seem like a nice place to work and the culture seem laid back.
Project Manager Interview (Positive Experience; Difficult Interview)
I applied online and the process took 4+ weeks - interviewed at Wireless Generation, Inc. in June 2009.
Interview Details – I started off with a polite, if sparse in information, phone conversation with the Wireless Generation recruiter. Then, I had a 30 minute phone interview with a senior project manager, which consisted of a few background questions, and then some scenario-based questions (eg. give me an example where...). After a few days of consideration, they scheduled me for a 3-hour in-person interview where I met with an experienced software engineer, the director of the department, and two senior project managers (for a simulation-style interview). The simulation was quite challenging, but rewarding in the sense that you got a feel for how things work, and it's way more thoughtful than having a barrage of people asking the same questions over and over again.
Interview Question – Tell me about a time where a team member or external person was highly relevant to the project's success, whose lack of co-operation threatened the project. View Answer
Negotiation Details – I didn't negotiate much and frankly, got an offer at the base level of compensation for my seniority. Although I didn't take a pay cut from my previous position, I would suggest deferring the salary question from the recruiter or giving a range that you would be comfortable with without a specific number.
A Recruitment Role, Exact Seniority of Which Was Undetermined Interview (Negative Experience; Average Interview)
The process took 1 week - interviewed at Wireless Generation, Inc. in March 2011.
Interview Details – Introduction was made by a headhunter who described the role somewhat differently than was the actual case. Following that conversation, I was put in touch with the head of HR who did a phone interview. Following that, another phone interview was held with the head of recruitment. A face to face interview was scheduled which consisted of meeting with those two folks plus two staff recruiters (those two were at the same time). The visit took under 2.5 hrs. The topics were more about creative tactics used in previous firms rather than recruitment skills. Some discussions were about technical knowledge, but mostly only about their tech stack, not general knowledge.
Overall I think the company has a noble product but my general impression based on all the conversations was the department needs serious work especially at the very top. There seems to be little vision, only scrambling to try to meet heavy hiring goals.
When departing the interview, an agreed upon date for follow up was made. Since then there's been no word back even though I followed up with several of those met with. Unfortunately that's all too common but only reinforces the poor impression of their HR department.
Associate Customer Support Analyst Interview (Neutral Experience; Easy Interview)
The process took 3 days - interviewed at Wireless Generation, Inc. in July 2010.
Interview Details – Applied online
Email from recruiter came next day or 2
1:1 interview with manager of Customer Care team on a Thursday
Got offered the job on that following Monday
Interview consist of a VERY detailed description of company's history and procedures. The candidate is to ask questions as the description is being stated.
Its best to ask as MANY questions as possible. Do research on the company as well.
Interview Question – Tell me what you know about Wireless Generation? Answer Question
Negotiation Details – This position has no negotiation b/c its started as a temp position. Standard pay rate for all new hires
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See What Wireless Generation, Inc. Employees Are Saying
Pros: “Pleasant surroundings and co-workers. Nice place to go to work.” “Pleasant surroundings and co-workers. Nice place to go to work.” – Full Review