Verseon Interview Questions | Glassdoor

Verseon Interview Questions

Updated Dec 9, 2016
10 Interview Reviews

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  1.  

    Software Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in New York, NY
    No Offer
    Neutral Experience
    Easy Interview

    Application

    I applied through college or university. The process took 2 weeks. I interviewed at Verseon (New York, NY).

    Interview

    The interview process took 2 weeks. I had a phone screening and the interviewer asked about my background. He asked about the details of projects and experience I had on my resume. No technical question.

    Interview Questions


  2.  

    Scientist - Biology Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Berkeley, CA
    Declined Offer
    Neutral Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 3 weeks. I interviewed at Verseon (Berkeley, CA) in November 2016.

    Interview

    I first applied through university career website with my resume and directly contact to the recruiter from the company also. The recruiter did phone interview with me and connected me to bio department director for another phone interview.

    Interview Questions


  3. Helpful (3)  

    Software Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Fremont, CA
    No Offer
    Negative Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied through a recruiter. The process took 2 weeks. I interviewed at Verseon (Fremont, CA) in October 2016.

    Interview

    I started with a quick phone call with an internal recruiter. After that, I set up a phone interview with their one engineer in charge of software infrastructure. The interviewer asked questions about my experience, recent projects, tech stack. That conversation was decent and directly led to an onsite at their office near Milpitas.

    The on-site was an extremely disorganized six hour experience. I was given no interview schedule in advance, and it seemed like they were organizing it on the fly. Some interviewers went on long strange tangents while others did ask some solid direct questions. I spoke to four or five different people over the course of six hours, with a code challenge on an old greasy laptop at the end.

    The code challenge didn't have any of the algorithmic questions you see on most programming interviews, rather it tested some OOP and c++ specific knowledge. It was an average test of c++ knowledge but in no way tested ability to use algorithms and data structures to solve a problem.

    As others have mentioned, there was the guy who asks brain teasers. Those questions can be fun, but after one or two they seem like a real waste of time. He brought a very weird vibe to the interview, reacting to basic questions about the company as if I was challenging/grilling him.

    There was no consistent narrative of their software product direction or the actual responsibilities and function of the available role. I felt like I entered Seinfeld's bizzaro world for a day.

    Finally, I didn't receive any communication after the interview until I reached out a month later to inquire about what happened and tell them I had taken a different role.

    Interview Questions


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  5. Helpful (1)  

    Scientist Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Fremont, CA
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied through an employee referral. The process took 4 weeks. I interviewed at Verseon (Fremont, CA).

    Interview

    I interviewed for a bench scientist position at Verseon. 2 phone interviews, 2 in-person interviews. The HR staffs were very nice and they promptly responded to my emails. During the onsite interviews, I talked with several senior scientists and one of the co-founder, and they were very smart, nice and very approachable. They seemed to be pleasant to work with and they are good at what they do there.

    I did notice that Verseon handles the interview process in an interestingly unique way. First of all, this is the first company that didn't send me the interview schedule for both on-site interviews. When I requested for the schedule, the HR told me that the interviewers' schedules could change the last minutes. So I interviewed without know who would be interviewing me or what their roles beforehand. Second, I interviewed for a Ph.D-level bench scientist position, but I was not requested to give a presentation, and I was only asked very few technique questions during all the phone screenings and the in-person interviews. I feel that they give a lot of weight to how you answer the brainteaser questions and behavioral questions. Having said that, the brainteaser part itself was a lot of fun. My interviewers were patiently guiding me through these questions.

    Overall, although I didn't get the offer, it was a quite pleasant process.

    Interview Questions


  6. Helpful (1)  

    Scientist Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Fremont, CA
    No Offer
    Neutral Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied through an employee referral. The process took a week. I interviewed at Verseon (Fremont, CA) in June 2016.

    Interview

    I had this all filled out and connection to Glassdoor failed after submitting, so this is a very brief version instead.

    Two phone screens. Initial contact was with junior recruiter who set up a phone screen with senior recruiter. Senior recruiter went over background in reasonable detail, and probed about professional interests and which positions might be appropriate. Slipped in a short, single-answer math question which you'd either know or not -- not a straightforward one.

    After that, a phone screen with R&D manager was arranged which consisted of three main parts: 1) "Tell me about yourself" in the sense of how you present what you feel are your most important qualities, not just a laundry list of facts. 2) "What were your most important contributions" and "What should you have done better?" 3) A couple of math questions along the lines of the old-style Google questions, even though Google has determined they have no correlation to job performance.

    Felt like not a good match between background and expected role which should have been more carefully scoped.

    Interview Questions


  7. Helpful (11)  

    Scientist Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    No Offer
    Negative Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied through college or university. The process took 5 weeks. I interviewed at Verseon.

    Interview

    I was asked if I would be interested in a campus interview without actually applying for a position in this firm. This first one was very nice, had a nice atmosphere and included several brainteasers. After that, I had 3 telephone interviews. The first one was a very bad experience. The person I interviewed with had a very belittling attitude, asked questions in a very pushy way and laughed at times about my lag of specific knowledge. After the first 45 minutes of feeling like I want to hang up on this guy, we discussed for about one hour (!) a couple of brainteasers involving statistical paradoxes (which are none, in fact!), and which he probably did not completely grasp himself. After this, believing that this must have been it, the following two telephone interviews included more questions about my motivation (I was asked these standard questions during the curse of the whole interview process about 5 times...) and, who can guess? -> Three more brainteasers that became hard to work on via phone. All interviewers were very arrogant, asking me about why I would like to work for them and why I think I'd be worth it. Remember? I didn't even apply for this...

    Overall, it was a miserable process that cost me a lot of nerves and time. The whole thing was very poorly organized and seemed like no one knows what the others are doing. The attitude in this firm (I talked to 4 different people) seems to be obnoxious (to say the least). Of course I am a little pissed that I didn't get the offer, but after going through this and being able to compare it to other interview processes I must say that this company seems to be by far the most poorly organized one.

    Please improve the interview process and don't steal peoples valuable time!

    Interview Questions

    • In total I was asked 8 brainteasers, including:

      - The burning rope question.
      - If a man has a son, born on a Friday, what is the chance to get another son?
      - Flipping around pancakes in a very efficient way.  
      Answer Question

  8. Helpful (15)  

    Scientist Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    No Offer
    Negative Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied through a recruiter. I interviewed at Verseon.

    Interview

    I interviewed for a biology position in 2015 and was asked over half a dozen brainteasers over the course of 3.5 hours by the 3 theoretical physicist co-founders. They barely asked any behavioral interview questions or questions about my qualifications for the specific job responsibilities.

    Although Google was once infamous for the use of brainteasers in their interviews, they have since banned them. Why? A senior VP of google has said, "[They are a] complete waste of time. They don’t predict anything. They serve primarily to make the interviewer feel smart."

    Maria Kannokova at The New Yorker elaborates, "The attempt takes place in a generalized environment, as opposed to the context in which a behavior or trait naturally occurs. Google’s brainteasers measure how good people are at quickly coming up with a clever, plausible-seeming solution to an abstract problem under pressure. But employees don’t experience this particular type of pressure on the job. What the interviewee faces, instead, is the objective of a stressful, artificial interview setting: to make an impression that speaks to her qualifications in a limited time, within the narrow parameters set by the interviewer. What’s more, the candidate is asked to handle an abstracted “gotcha” situation, where thinking quickly is often more important than thinking well. Instead of determining how someone will perform on relevant tasks, the interviewer measures how the candidate will handle a brainteaser during an interview, and not much more."

    One of the co-founders told me they wanted to revolutionize not just molecular drug design, but also the entire drug discovery process from start to finish. When pressed on what his strategy was for accomplishing this, he told me they wanted to hire smart people and that that was why they asked brainteasers during the interview process. They want to test people for their IQ.

    Even if brainteasers were a precise measure of IQ:

    1) Hiring smart people is not a revolutionary idea.
    2) Selecting team members for intelligence and no other characteristics will not make a winning team.
    3) Applied knowledge can be more useful than pure intelligence. You can hire the "smartest" theoretical physicists to do your cell-based assays, but I can guarantee that I will be able to them faster and better. Maybe this is why the company has been in existence for >10 years and has only 3 discovery programs and no drugs in clinical trials.
    4) Biology does not occur inside a computer. You can't solve biology questions with a computer. You can come up with hypotheses. But, at the end of the day, a biologist is going to have to test these hypotheses in cells and living animals. And this requires a different skill-set that is equally if not more important than the skill-set required to generate biological hypotheses using math.
    5) I have a Ph.D. from a prestigious university. Clearly, I'm not an idiot. But instead of looking comprehensively at the sum of my qualifications, what mattered most to them was whether I could measure time by burning ropes (using a watch would be easier) or design an algorithm for cooking pancakes (the "correct" answer wouldn't even make sense in real-life because it's not practical to remove a half-cooked pancake from a pan!). In biology, it's important to be able to discern between reality and theory.

    What's more, they freely admitted that candidates have walked out of their interviews before. Is this something you should be proud of? How self-absorbed can you be? They are losing good candidates with their uninformative screening process.

    This is what happens when you have 3 theoretical physicists running a biotech. I wish them the best of luck and advise you to search elsewhere and not waste your time.

    I have since interviewed with a number of other biotechs and accepted a position elsewhere. No where did I experience anything like Verseon.

    Interview Questions

    Verseon Response

    Jan 16, 2016 – Senior Recruiter

    It is unfortunate that you did not have a positive experience. On the first phone interviews the recruiter informs every candidate that our interview process will include logic based problem solving ... More


  9. Helpful (6)  

    Scientist Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Fremont, CA
    Declined Offer
    Negative Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied through a recruiter. The process took 5 days. I interviewed at Verseon (Fremont, CA) in October 2015.

    Interview

    3 phone interviews, 2 in-person interviews. They have a very different approach to interviewing asking many irrelevant questions. Not sure if they know what pharmaceutical R&D is. Not sure how much technical experience the employees have. Lunch interview was interesting...there were 2 employees that seemed to have a strange brother/sister relationship.

    Reasons for Declining

    Would rather gain experience with a company that has experience in pharm R&D and proper mentors.


  10. Helpful (3)  

    Scientist Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Fremont, CA
    No Offer
    Negative Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 1+ week. I interviewed at Verseon (Fremont, CA).

    Interview

    Standard phone interview followed by invitation to on-site interview.
    Had more of an interrogation feel to it than an interview.
    Questions were often irrelevant to the skills needed for the job.
    Very condescending management towards people outside their field of specialization which is theoretical physics as stated on their web site.
    Interesting to see how physicists can tackle drug discovery!

    Interview Questions

    • Why do you want this job?
      Tell us about yourself?
      Several brain-teaser questions like the previous posting.
      Why this company?  
      1 Answer

  11. Helpful (4)  

    Computational Research Scientist Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Fremont, CA
    No Offer
    Neutral Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    The process took 2 days. I interviewed at Verseon (Fremont, CA) in April 2008.

    Interview

    I had two phone interviews for a scientist position at Verseon. The first was with a recruiter who asked general questions about my scientific background and computational/mathematical skills. Following this I had an interview with the hiring scientist. In this interview I was asked in more detail about scientific programming skills- what languages had I coded in, how many lines was the largest code I had written, as well as questions about the types of simulations I had worked on (molecular dynamics, fluid dynamics). I was also given a number of puzzles. For example: suppose you have a lighter two ropes that will each burn for one hour if lit from one end. How would you measure a time of exactly 45 minutes?

    Interview Questions

    • You are given two ropes and a lighter. This is the only equipment you can use. You are told that each of the two ropes has the following property: if you light one end of the rope, it will take exactly one hour to burn all the way to the other end. But it doesn't have to burn at a uniform rate. In other words, half the rope may burn in the first five minutes, and then the other half would take 55 minutes. The rate at which the two ropes burn is not necessarily the same, so the second rope will also take an hour to burn from one end to the other, but may do it at some varying rate, which is not necessarily the same as the one for the first rope. Now you are asked to measure a period of 45 minutes. How will you do it?   1 Answer

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