Counsyl Interview Questions | Glassdoor

Counsyl Interview Questions

Interviews at Counsyl

65 Interview Reviews

Experience

Experience
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Getting an Interview

Getting an Interview
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  1.  

    People Operations Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    No Offer
    Negative Experience
    Easy Interview

    Application

    I applied through a recruiter. I interviewed at Counsyl.

    Interview

    I received a call from the recruiter and we had a basic, pleasant first call. They promised to get back to me in a few days but I never heard back. Not the best recruitment experience.

    Interview Questions

    • Usual first phone screen. Walked through my resume, what I want in new role etc   1 Answer

  2.  

    People Operations Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    No Offer
    Negative Experience
    Easy Interview

    Application

    I applied online. I interviewed at Counsyl.

    Interview

    Applied online, completed phone screen with the hiring manager, never heard back for ~1 month until I received a rejection via e-mail, even though the hiring manager in the HR department said he would get back to me by "early next week."

    Interview Questions

    • Describe why you left your past job, why People Operations, what do you hope to gain in this role   Answer Question
  3. Helpful (3)  

    Software Engineer Interview

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

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 2+ weeks. I interviewed at Counsyl (South San Francisco, CA).

    Interview

    1. They give you 1 week for a code test with two problems. One problem is much harder than the other, and the code must be efficient enouch (BigO) to pass all their test cases.
    2. Skype Interview with CoderPad. They have you do some simple python coding questions while the interviewer watches you code.
    3. Onsite Interview. You meet with 5 engineers and do a white board coding problem with each of them.

    Interview Questions

    • Code Test is pretty rough. Don't be sad about not getting all the test cases to pass.   Answer Question

  4. Helpful (8)  

    Software Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    No Offer
    Easy Interview

    Application

    I applied through a recruiter. I interviewed at Counsyl in August 2013.

    Interview

    I was contacted by a recruiter through the normal recruiter spam channels, but decided to bite on this one since I was planning on moving to the area, they use Python heavily, and it seems like a useful company to exist.

    We went through some initial phone/skype interviews, I believe, but I don't really remember much about them. Nothing major, just verifying you're not completely unqualified.

    I'm in web ops, which is something Counsyl didn't have at the time (developers ran things). As such, they didn't really know how to interview me, and basically just interviewed me as a developer. That's ok, because I can handle that, but it's not what I'm interested in and it's not what I'm going to be doing, so it doesn't seem like it'd be terribly useful.

    In-person interviews consisted of five different developers (seemingly pulled at random) spending an hour each with me, followed by some time with one of the higher-ups (CTO or something?). I got a bit annoyed because none of them seemed to have prepared at all - they came into the room reading my resume and asked me a lot of questions that could've been answered by looking over my Github profile. If i'm going to work hard to make it easy to see the work I've done, the least you can do is not waste my time flying me up there to rehash all that same stuff; it meant we couldn't talk about any of the more interesting stuff I'd like to get to in an interview.

    Oh, and every single one asked me to code up a solution to a problem where the answer was memoization. Some companies' thing is recursion, some really like pointers, but Counsyl is all about memoization. I just wished they coordinated a bit so I didn't have to do the same damn thing five times over.

    The only one that was different was talking to the bigwig. He asked me to describe how I'd architect Imgur, and go through what happens when a user uploads an image. I think the frontend is pretty trivial (it's basically just a form), so I skipped past that pretty quickly, but he kept bringing me back - obviously wanting something else, but I had no idea what. Maybe it's just because I'm a backend guy, but I think everything interesting about a site like that is done on the server(s).

    I come from a pretty practical background; my uni puts students in lab on the first day and effectively requires all CS majors to have an internship, and I worked part-time in the field all throughout college. Counsyl was very obviously filled with people of a much more academic nature; in the few minutes I got to ask each interviewer about themselves (part of my annoyance with them not reading my open-source code is that I only had time to ask them one or two questions), I found that none of them had worked in industry before; they were all years into academic research and viewed Counsyl as just a better-paying research job. My impression was that while they had plenty of smart people, they were desperately in need of some grounded engineering sense - someone who recognizes that complex systems fail, so we need to plan for that, and that humans make subpar decisions all the time (so we need to plan for that, too).

    In fact, one of the interviewers, when asked about the hardest thing about working at Counsyl, responded that it was users, because he had never before dealt with people who used anything he had produced (and used it in all sorts of ways he hadn't thought of)!

    In the end, they said they rejected me because they wanted to kickstart operations with someone with more experience. I don't blame them for that, although I think they underestimated just how much experience I had (although a year out of school, I had five years of experience, with several of those leading an Alexa global top-5k site).

    I think they've got a good, solid base, and if they start hiring less PhDs they'll end up a successful company.

    Interview Questions

    • I don't recall any of the questions being particularly difficult.   Answer Question

  5. Helpful (2)  

    Software Engineer Interview

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

    Application

    I applied through an employee referral. The process took 6+ weeks. I interviewed at Counsyl (South San Francisco, CA).

    Interview

    I was referred by a current employee. First I did a Skype session with an engineer ("Make a function that takes a string of characters and an integer as an input, and return all possible strings of that size made from the characters given"). My performance wasn't good enough for them, so they gave me a programming assignment. When I did well with that, they brought me in for interviews. They didn't feel that my performance made the cut.

    Interview Questions


  6. Helpful (1)  

    Software Engineer Interview

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

    Application

    I applied online. I interviewed at Counsyl (South San Francisco, CA) in June 2015.

    Interview

    This was actually the easiest interview I've ever had. I never received an offer thought, so you can take it with a grain of salt.

    I had two Skype interviews. Both interviews were easy, I knew answers right away to 95% of the questions.

    The team was not impressed by the quality of code I wrote, even though my solution to both problems were complete and I provided Big-O analysis of the computational complexity. I got an impression that they want you to write production ready code on the interview, so take you time and prepare well. It was a very unusual experience because you don't normally write production ready in an environment like this. Anyway, try to relax and think more about architecture of your solution before coding it up.

    Overall, it was a pleasant experience and I'd probably reapply.

    Interview Questions


  7. Helpful (2)  

    Software Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Declined Offer
    Negative Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I interviewed at Counsyl in October 2015.

    Interview

    I don't remember the details about the interviews, but I do remember this -- Counsyl hands out more offers for interns than they actually have spots for (which, as far as I know, is unprecedented in the tech industry). I get an email saying that "there are only a couple of spots left", I respond with a quick question about the internship (almost about to accept), and I get a response 3 or 4 days later saying that all the spots are filled and that they can't move forward with my offer.

    I would have MUCH preferred to have just had a deadline to accept or reject my offer, which is done at almost every other company I know of. Instead, they said there was "no hard deadline", but that the slots are done first-come, first-served.

    Interview Questions

    • There was a system design question, SQL question, debugging a big program question, tries, other smaller stuff I don't remember.   Answer Question
  8. Helpful (9)  

    Software Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    No Offer
    Negative Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 2 weeks. I interviewed at Counsyl.

    Interview

    First round is a fairly difficult hackerrank challenge. It was indeed nice to solve the problem. I successfully solved it(13/17 test cases were successful but others had timeout error, which was okay considering the rules provided) It took almost 2 days to complete the problem. Strict coding standards were required(which I love to follow).
    However I got a reply saying that team has decided to move with another candidate. No reason at all! and no feedback! The frustrating part is that you work hard to solve the problem, and you receive a reject without any feedback, or reason!! It felt like a complete time waste. It was highly unexpected from a company like Counsyl.


  9.  

    Software Engineer Interview

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

    Application

    I applied through a recruiter. The process took a week. I interviewed at Counsyl (San Francisco, CA) in November 2017.

    Interview

    I was originally contacted by a recruiter via LinkedIn for the opportunity.

    The process is a standard phone screen and then if that goes well you will proceed to an onsite with several interviews.

    The recruiter was incredibly helpful and so was the interviewer. During the entire process, the communication was very honest and open. I really do appreciate the transparency at the company and would have loved to join the team.

    Interview Questions

    • Implementing data structures in python, Django fundamentals, Database design   Answer Question

  10. Helpful (1)  

    Software Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    No Offer
    Negative Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied online. I interviewed at Counsyl in February 2018.

    Interview

    Recruiter reached out after I had applied to a senior role, but as I was a new grad, she said they're hiring for New Grads as well, so, I agreed to interview. Initially, she was extremely nice and cooperative (Late for interview call)... Keyword: "Initially". The coding exercise was a complicated very DNA specific challenge for which you'd have to understand the science behind it. Took many hours to figure it out. Once submitted, she completely ghosted me. Not even a rejection email. It was very insulting. Forget feedback, at least be courteous enough to respond to emails. Anyone who takes the interview, please, for the sake of your own time, at least let the HR person know that you want some sort of feedback or at least a rejection email. Notice to company, please respect candidates and their time. If we invest time in your problem, at least acknowledge it. Please beware people.

    Interview Questions


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