Benchling Product Designer Interview Questions | Glassdoor

Benchling Product Designer Interview Questions

Interviews at Benchling

3 Interview Reviews

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Helpful (6)  

Product Designer Interview

Anonymous Interview Candidate in San Francisco, CA
No Offer
Negative Experience
Easy Interview

Application

I applied through a recruiter. The process took 5+ months. I interviewed at Benchling (San Francisco, CA).

Interview

First of all, the job had been open for a very long time which was a huge red flag for me but I proceeded anyway. What can I say, I'm a fool for a neat product.

Just a quick hour and a half lunch portfolio review. My interview was from 12:00-1:30pm. Upon arrival I was greeted at the door by a very smug and rude individual. I was asked if I wanted some water and I said yes, which was apparently the wrong answer. A catered lunch arrived as my interview started and I wasn't offered anything to eat. It was really disappointing considering I didn't have time to grab lunch before heading back to my regular job. Offering something to eat during a lunch interview is just common courtesy.

Anyhow, I met with three individuals; a front-end engineer who was cool, a contract designer who didn't seem to know what the hell was going on, and a self-important product manager who couldn't have been more eager to tell me that he worked at Twitter. I've done a lot of hiring over the years and applicants from Twitter typically go to the bottom of the heap.
Benchling got really lucky with their first designer, who is now gone which is unfortunate because the product itself is pretty neat. I wouldn't have too much faith in the company going forward as they're very inexperienced and there were red flags left and right. I can tell you that experience at a big company or a PhD does not translate to startup success. In my experience it's quite the opposite.

Interview Questions

Benchling Response

May 25, 2018 – Recruiting Manager

Benchling is sorry to hear you had a negative recruitment experience, and we deeply appreciate that you've taken the time to tell us about it. We agree with you that our product is pretty neat, and our customers would likely agree. While it sounds like we missed the mark and did not put our best foot forward, we sincerely hope that you've found an employer that meets your needs and expectations and you are thriving in whatever role you've accepted. We apologize about the lunch oversight, and hope we will have the opportunity to make it up to you in the future.

Other Interview Reviews for Benchling

  1. Helpful (7)  

    Product Designer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in San Francisco, CA
    No Offer
    Negative Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 5 weeks. I interviewed at Benchling (San Francisco, CA) in May 2017.

    Interview

    I feel a lot better after reading about everybody else's terrible experiences with their interview process knowing that it wasn't my fault things went poorly. I too had a very long and drawn out experience that resulted in NO results.

    The process consisted of a phone interview, followed by a whole day presenting my portfolio and presenting on improvements I thought could be made on their site

    The presentation itself took me about 7 hours over 2 days to complete. I took 2 half days from work to get it done, and an entire vacation day for the in-person.
    Around 6 people were at the meeting. They did seem interested and were very polite with their questions, listening to my suggestions and critiques. Some seemed interested and some seemed bored. I was wondering why those ppl even bothered showing up.

    I received a curt email 4 weeks later that they decided to go in another direction, despite having followed up once each week after the interview. After wasting vacation time on work and spending hours on their assignment, they could have had the common courtesy to tell me earlier. I have 7 years of design experience from notable and established companies and frankly felt like they are in desperate need for someone to clean up their site. I was really surprised with the way I was rejected.

    I agree with the other person that they were probably trying to squeeze free work out of me and it really left me with a bitter taste in my mouth. REALLY consider if you are ready to spend hours of work for this company with the high chance of getting nothing in return.

    It’s probably better I didn’t get the job. If this is how they treat people who are doing valuable work for them for FREE, I can’t imagine how poorly they treat people they are paying.

    Interview Questions

    Benchling Response

    Jun 1, 2018 – Recruiting Manager

    Thank you for taking the time to detail your interview experience. Benchling apologies that you had an overall negative interview experience. We are sorry you felt strung along and not given good follow up, especially after you took so much time to prepare your presentation, and even had to take time off work.

    In regards to your allegations that we are trying to 'squeeze' free work from you, that is simply not true. Here at Benchling, we create our product with integrity, and stealing is not a business practice we would ever engage in. We are sorry we gave off the wrong impression! Based on the interview feedback we've received from former design candidates like yourself, we have updated our interview process. We are no longer asking design candidates to tell us what is wrong with our site, or work on a case study. Again, we do not want candidates to feel they are doing free work, or being taken advantage of in any way.

    We hope that you will accept our apology and understand that while the people here Benchling are really top-notch, we are still human, still fallible, and still make mistakes. It does seem that our former recruitment process missed the mark, and we are sorry that you had to experience it! We do truly appreciate your feedback, though. If candidates like yourself don't tell us about their experience, we can't improve. Thank you for giving us the opportunity to change for the better. Mastery is an asymptote that we are always striving towards :)

    We hope you landed a job where your design skills and years of experience are appreciated.


  2. Helpful (6)  

    Product Designer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in San Francisco, CA
    No Offer
    Negative Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied online. I interviewed at Benchling (San Francisco, CA) in May 2017.

    Interview

    It was pretty confused all around and disorganized which mirrored their work as well. The screening lady on the phone was nice enough so I came in. For the interview they changed the date and what they wanted from me 3 times before I came in.
    The first round was with 7 or so workers where I presented my portfolio for an hour then they left. Then in the 2nd hour the marketing guy and a coder had me review their site for them (i was told to do this before the onsite interview). The marketing guy (who seemed nice and very eager to hear me) took copious notes on my presentation. After I detailed the issues with their application there was a pause and everyone left. Then I was told I was not right for them and shown the door. On my way out the marketing guy saw me leave and he looked very confused.
    It appeared that the company was looking to juice me for free information then show me the door. Its a heavily youth oriented run place - meaning first job out of east coast school grad school. Note there were only engineers designing everything when I went in for an interview and it showed. The entire place made me realize they had no real interest in both myself and in design. Interviewee beware...

    Interview Questions

    • Review their work for them and give them feedback on there site.   1 Answer

    Benchling Response

    May 25, 2018 – Recruiting Manager

    Thank you for taking the time to detail your interview experience. Benchling apologies that you had an overall negative interview experience, and that you felt that our team had no interest in you, especially after you took time to prepare your presentation. We have taken the feedback you left above to implement a recruiting process that better highlights our interest in design, and also ensures that our candidates do not feel they are doing free work!

    In regards to your allegations that we were 'juicing' you for information, that is simply not true. Here at Benchling, we create our product with integrity, and stealing is not a business practice we would ever engage in. We are sorry we gave off the wrong impression! Based on the interview feedback we've received from former design candidates like yourself, we have updated our interview process. We are no longer asking design candidates to tell us what is wrong with our site, or work on a case study. Again, we do not want candidates to feel they are doing free work, or being taken advantage of in any way.

    We hope that you will accept our apology and understand that while the people here Benchling are really top-notch, we are still human, still fallible, and still make mistakes. It does seem that our former recruitment process missed the mark, and we are sorry that you had to experience it! We do truly appreciate your feedback, though. If candidates like yourself don't tell us about their experience, we can't improve. Thank you for giving us the opportunity to change for the better. Mastery is an asymptote that we are always striving towards :)

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