Dolby Staff Engineer Interview Questions | Glassdoor

Dolby Staff Engineer Interview Questions

Interviews at Dolby

2 Interview Reviews

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Staff Engineer Interview

Anonymous Employee in Santa Clara, CA
Accepted Offer
Positive Experience
Difficult Interview

Application

I applied online. The process took 4+ months. I interviewed at Dolby (Santa Clara, CA) in January 2010.

Interview

I applied for another position within Dolby, that was more focused on networking technologies. I went through an initial phone screen with the recruiter and an engineer for that. I think it went really well, but the position got canceled while the group was re-focusing its efforts. I was really bummed at that piece of news, but chose to stay in touch with the recruiter over time.

About a month ago, the recruiter emails me again, but for said Staff Engineer position. When I looked at the JD, I was really hard-core with the guy, making sure that the interest was serious about me. My biggest concern was a mismatch of background to the job need. The recruiter did stress that they were looking for embedded C programmers. I told him I was shocked to hear they were having such trouble finding that kind of programmer, in Silicon Valley after all! The guy said everybody they grilled did not pass their programming trials, and just didn't know their C well enough. I've seen enough tough C interview questions in the past little while that I wasn't too worried about not measuring up either. I did ask them if my lack of A/V knowledge was significant, and it wasn't...they'd be willing to train for that (Score, I thought!)

So, on to the phone screen with the hiring mgr. Lasted about 30 mins, we talked about my general interests, Linux knowledge, and basic C questions. I even told him I could program in Perl and Python too. I got word that I was gonna get an interview, but it had to wait, because the team was off getting ready for CES. Sigh, more waiting.

Finally, interview day: I had to take time off work for this one, since it was going to last a full day. I show up at 9 am sharp, and looked sharp! Wore shoes, beige slacks, blue Apple trade-shirt (I could get away with this, since Dolby and Apple do not compete). I was lead to a conference room and waited...patiently...till after 10 am!

Internally I was a little mad, but then I thought people had trouble coming in, since it was pouring rain outside...eventually I emailed the recruiter, to see if I should reschedule for another time, since I probably should go back to work. Shortly thereafter, the 2nd guy on the panel arrived (late), and the recruiter guy came by...everyone was extremely apologetic about the rough start to the interview. I was very cool with it, and got down to business at winning the interview. They even treated me to a lunch, which was nice.

The questions were pretty challenging, and far-reaching. I answered a low-level question by writing a pseudo-ISR (which was the tougest question), to writing code on abstract binary trees. I even talked about some Python. They liked I could do Python, but it wasn't required (someone else was being interviewed for that role...fine by me!)

The rest of the interview mostly talked about what I've done, what I want to do, and to see if I fit into the social structure..and I pretty much connected with everyone there!

They were pretty quick with a decision; although, I wasn't sure if I'd be getting the job or not...the recruiter just said he wanted to speak with me, but didn't tip his hand one way or the other. Turns out the team was interested in me. After a brief negotiation phase, I ended up accepting their offer, which was excellent, considering I am now doing a lateral career move into an area I truly think I can excel and have fun with! Oh, and the commute: 5 mins from my house!

I think I hit the bull's eye with this one! It goes to show, that if one perseveres and waits, that good things sometime happen.

Interview Questions

  • How do you reverse an integer value (e.g. 1234 => 4321)   2 Answers
  • Suppose you have a device that fires an interrupt every time it fills up with 5 bits of information; how do you commit this data into a 32-bit addressable memory location, without any padding bits?   3 Answers

Negotiation

Small bump in salary, which I got. Everything else about the offer was kick-butt!

Other Interview Reviews for Dolby

  1.  

    Staff Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in San Francisco, CA
    Declined Offer

    Application

    I applied through a recruiter. I interviewed at Dolby (San Francisco, CA).

    Interview

    The recruiter at Dolby found me on LinkedIn and contacted me. He scheduled a non-technical call to me first asking me about what kind of job I want to work with. Then he quickly contacted another technical recruiter to schedule an 60 minute phone interview few days later after. Which was followed by an onsite interview with 7 people (Hiring manager, marketing director and few engineers)

    The questions were combination of classical software development, signal processing and and C programming. The employees were courteous and the interview seemed like an discussion. They were interested in understanding the approach I was taking and the reasoning behind it rather than the solution itself - which I appreciated.

    I was impressed by their work environment - most people in the company have been there for 10+ years, most researchers have been with dolby for 20+ years.

    Interview Questions

    • What is the most technically challenging problem you have worked on ? If you had a clean slate how would you do it again   Answer Question

    Reasons for Declining

    Would have loved to work in the company but I had to stay in LA for personal reasons. Hopefully I would be able to sort the personal issues out soon.


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