Help Scout Java Software Engineer Interview Questions | Glassdoor

Help Scout Java Software Engineer Interview Questions

Interviews at Help Scout

2 Interview Reviews

Experience

Experience
50%
0%
50%

Getting an Interview

Getting an Interview
100%

Difficulty

2.5
Average

Difficulty

Hard
Average
Easy

Helpful (5)  

Java Software Engineer Interview

Anonymous Interview Candidate in Boston, MA
No Offer
Negative Experience
Easy Interview

Application

I applied online. The process took 1 day. I interviewed at Help Scout (Boston, MA) in May 2016.

Interview

I applied for a position as a Java software engineer. I have experience at a public company working on terabyte-level Oracle data warehouses, Oracle Exadata, and an ecosystem of Java web services. Since Help Scout only has 6,000 customers, I thought I'd be a fit for the requirement of "building RESTful APIs and other web services at scale".

The online application requires coding a simple Java method to determine if a string starts with an uppercase letter. I provided 3 options for the solution: 1) using isUpperCase; 2) using an ASCII char code range; 3) using REGEX. I unit tested the solution (just to be paranoid) and it worked fine.

Two days later they emailed me stating that I didn't make the next round of their search, and that "sometimes it's simply not the right combination of skills/experience". I had just started my job search and was eager to improve my resume, so I sent several followup emails asking for constructive feedback on how I could have stood out more. My emails were ignored.

It's a negative signal when a company isn't transparent about their hiring criteria and is unwilling to provide any feedback for a candidate. I've hired numerous candidates into senior engineering roles and I always provide constructive feedback when requested, since I feel that flat-out ignoring candidates is rude and unhelpful.

It's worth noting that immediately after I applied, Help Scout emailed me an Equal Employment Opportunity form requesting my ethnicity, gender, and disability status. I declined to provide that information. This practice is common at larger companies, but Help Scout is a small 18-person engineering team. Whether my refusal was a factor in their decision is unknown, since Help Scout has refused to respond to any requests for constructive feedback.

Perhaps it's a great place to work, but not a great place to apply.

Interview Questions

  • Write a method to determine if a string starts with an uppercase letter.   1 Answer

Help Scout Response

Feb 2, 2017 – Engineering Coach

Thanks very much for taking the time to leave this feedback. While we try to provide candidates an excellent experience, it sounds like we came up short. I wish I could provide concrete feedback to... More

Other Interview Reviews for Help Scout

  1. Helpful (4)  

    Java Software Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 5 days. I interviewed at Help Scout in June 2016.

    Interview

    After filling in an application form on their website with basic questions and a simple coding example, I was contacted to begin remote interviews over video (using appear.in). This happened fairly quickly.

    I interviewed with (who I believe would normally be called) the manager and then a developer. The questions were solid and meaningful (no goofy, unhelpful teasers). Both people were sharp and friendly, the kind of people you would like to work with.

    After I passed that round, I had a remote video discussion with their People Ops (HR) representative about the process. I learned my next step would be a small software project to be submitted and judged. If I passed that round, I would then interview with another developer and then someone like a CTO/VP IT/etc (they have a flat org structure).

    The project given to me took more time than was advertised but I didn't mind. However, I did run out of time personally as my family was struck by illness. So I didn't complete everything I should have. I also took shortcuts and wrote experimental modules that you wouldn't for a real project but I assumed they just wanted to see my style, to see how I thought out problems in real time, etc.

    However, I was mostly wrong. I misjudged the goal and thus did not effectively use the little time I had. I can't say exactly what they were looking for since I didn't achieve it, but I would say focus on completing the requirements, keep everything standard and clean, and show your mastery of the technology.

    So I failed the project portion and that was the end. The developer sent back thoughtful and accurate critiques of my project. They were kind and professional in their resolution.

    I'd recommend applying to Help Scout. They seem like a great company and everyone I talked to was spot-on someone I want to work with. But learn from my mistakes and set aside ample time for a complete, clean project submission.

    Interview Questions


Don't Miss Out On a Job You Love
Upload a resume to easily apply to jobs from anywhere. It's simple to set up.