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WillowTree Software Engineer Interview Questions

Interviews at WillowTree

14 Interview Reviews

Experience

Experience
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Getting an Interview

Getting an Interview
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Difficulty

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Helpful (9)  

Software Engineer Interview

Anonymous Employee
Accepted Offer
Positive Experience
Difficult Interview

Application

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

Interview

There was a recorded video interview that tested your knowledge at a very high level. The answers are not meant to be very in depth as you only have about a minute to answer each one. After that, a recruiter called me and we discussed basic information about the company and what it had to offer. The recruiter then scheduled a phone interview for me with the team lead where he discussed topics related to the particular type of work that I was interviewing for.

Next I was sent a test project that I was to complete and send back to them for review. I would rate the test project as fairly easy and can be completed in less than 10 hours. After reviewing the test project, they invited me to visit their office where I spent the day in various interviews, some technical and some more personality related.

Finally, a few days later, during which I assume they reviewed all facets of the process that I traversed, they sent me an offer which I accepted.

Overall, I felt like they were very selective regarding which candidates they send offers to. The entire experience was difficult but extremely rewarding and everyone was very nice, sincere and helpful.

Interview Questions

  • Describe the different types of Java references and what they are used for.   Answer Question

Other Interview Reviews for WillowTree

  1. Helpful (14)  

    Software Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Employee in Charlottesville, VA
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Easy Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 2+ weeks. I interviewed at WillowTree (Charlottesville, VA) in July 2015.

    Interview

    Received email for a video interview. This was really amazing to me because I hadn't ever done a video interview. The site for the interview allowed time to practice so you could make sure you had good lighting and audio and understood the process: you get x seconds for prep and x seconds to respond. All of the questions were relevant to the position and to the point. Next was an email from HR asking if I could do an in-person or a phone interview and what was my availability. I set up for a phone interview with the Director of QA. The interview was succinct lasting only 15 minutes, his questions were specific to the role and my experience and he was very open to any questions I had and frequently asked if I had any questions. The next step was to meet in-person so I could meet with team members so they may get an impression of me. This was a great opportunity to see the office and the environment they provide. Upon entering, the receptionist offered me something to drink of which I had the choice of soda, coffee, tea, or water. I accepted water and was apologized to for it not being in a glass. I was not kept waiting long at all. I was met downstairs and accompanied upstairs where we sat in a project room for the interview. The questions were very specific to my experience, my willingness to learn new testing methods/software, my favorite and least favorite apps, and my openness to an agile, fast-paced environment. I was given positive feedback in the interview and advised that the next step was to do a test project. The contents of the test project were kept super-secret, which is understandable given that it is to gauge several things about my work personality and experience. I was given a tour of the office following that interview and received the test project in my email before I made it home. There was no set time-limit for turning in the project, even so I worked on it late into the night and turned it in the next evening. The next morning, I received an email asking if I could come in the following Monday to meet with the VP of Software Development. I agreed. It was in that meeting that I was given my offer letter.

    Interview Questions


  2. Helpful (6)  

    Software Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Charlottesville, VA
    No Offer
    Negative Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 1 day. I interviewed at WillowTree (Charlottesville, VA) in June 2016.

    Interview

    After applying online, they invited me for a recorded video interview. A website presents you with a series of timed questions for which you have anywhere from 45 seconds to 2.5 minutes to answer. You answer to your computer camera – there is no person on the other end. It is high-pressure mainly because you can't re-do an answer. Unlike an in-person interview or phone interview with actual human beings, you cannot make a correction, clarify your thoughts, or build a thought or conversation through discussion. In addition, gives WillowTree recruiters an opportunity to see your age, gender, and ethnicity without having to interact with you in person. This seems extremely problematic from a race, gender, and age blind hiring perspective. After going through the process, I lost any desire to apply again in the future – a company that goes through a soulless system like that to evaluate potential interviewees wants to attract a very specific type of person and culture. From looking at their team members page, they are apparently successful at getting it.

    Interview Questions

    WillowTree Response

    Jul 14, 2016 – VP of HR & Recruiting

    I'm sorry you didn't enjoy the video interview. It is a very important part of our interview process with the next steps being phone calls with our team and visits to our office. I think it is

  3. Helpful (7)  

    Software Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Employee in Charlottesville, VA
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied through a recruiter. The process took 4+ weeks. I interviewed at WillowTree (Charlottesville, VA) in July 2016.

    Interview

    INFORMAL CALL
    -------------------------
    I first had an informal phone call with the COO, where I was given an overview of the company and given an opportunity to ask any questions I had (throughout the entire process, everyone was very open to answering any questions I had). The COO was very passionate about both technology and WillowTree and the call was enjoyable.

    PHONE INTERVIEW
    -------------------------
    Soon after, I was in contact with a recruiter and she helped me set up a technical phone interview. With the technical phone interview, I didn't have to do any programming. I talked about a handful of projects that I've worked on and explained the processes I take while working on projects.

    TAKE-HOME PROJECT
    -------------------------
    After the phone interview, I had to complete a project to showcase my coding skills. The project was very open ended, allowing you to complete the task in pretty much any way that you wanted to. The time spent was limited to 8 hours.

    ONSITE INTERVIEW
    -------------------------
    The last step was an in person interview, which would last an entire day. They covered both transportation, and housing for the night before my interview. I stayed at a very nice bed and breakfast which was a five minute walk away from their office.

    The day of the interview I was given a tour of the office. I then had my first (of four) one-on-one interviews. Each of the interviews had 3-4 behavioral questions (they asked the same questions to see how my answers would evolve throughout the day). The first one didn't involve me looking at any code because part of the time slot was devoted to giving me an overview of what the day would look like. We talked about projects I had worked on and talked about how I tackled my take-home project.

    The next interview (in addition to the behavioral questions) was dedicated to the take-home project. I gave an overview of the entire project. I then was given a task to extend the functionality of my project. I added the new functionality while explaining my thought processes to the interviewer.

    After the two interviews, I went to lunch with four WillowTree members. It was an opportunity for me to ask about WillowTree and get to know some of my potential teammates.

    After lunch, I had another interview. This interview got into the details of Swift as a language. Unfortunately, I haven't done much with Swift (other than a few side projects) so I had difficulties with this. The interviewer was able to pick up on this, so we went in a different direction and started talking about a course I'm currently in (Computational Photography) and he gave me a programming problem related to that.

    The last interview delved into the details of JavaScript as a language. Thankfully, I had more experience with this and was able to answer these questions properly.

    After all the interviews, I chatted with the VP of Engineering where I was given the opportunity to ask any last questions I had. He also asked me for any ways that the interview process could be improved.

    I received my offer the next day (in the morning).

    TAKEAWAYS
    -------------------------
    Overall, I was very impressed with the interview process. The time between my very first call and my offer was less than a month. For the onsite, I was expecting to be asked generic programming questions where I'd be showing my knowledge of Big-O. The interviews were more tailored towards showing knowledge of languages.

    I recommend that future interviewees have a handful of experiences in the back of their mind that they can use for the behavioral questions as it is a core part of the interview.

    Interview Questions

    WillowTree Response

    Jul 15, 2016 – VP of HR & Recruiting

    Thanks for this great feedback on our interview process. I'm glad you had a good experience.


  4.  

    Software Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Employee in Charlottesville, VA
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 4+ weeks. I interviewed at WillowTree (Charlottesville, VA) in May 2017.

    Interview

    Long but quick.

    The interview process is several steps. It started with a very awkward video interview, not with a person but just a website and my webcam. The site provides several questions, gives you a minute (1 minute) to think about your answer, than 1-2 minutes to answer before it cuts you off mid sentence. It was very awkward as I couldn't really prepare for it and as it wasn't with anyone, it was impossible to get any kind of feedback. However, the questions weren't technical or tricky, mostly just talking about your experience as a developer and why you want to work at WillowTree. I assumed that it was just to weed out those who didn't understand the job they were applying for or were grossly unqualified.

    Next was a phone interview with the recruiter. This happened within 2 days of the awkward video and was very friendly. Again it was mostly just talking about my experience and the company. At the end, I was scheduled for a technical phone interview with an engineer for later in the week.

    The technical interview was also very friendly. The interviewer had prepared ahead of time by looking over my GitHub (which I included on my resume and on the application). Most of the interview was him asking questions about the repos on my GitHub, and asking general questions about iOS development. Although there was supposed to be a coding exercise as well, my interviewer opted not to do it after reviewing my GitHub.

    The next day, I was invited to do the take-home test project. This was kinda like a homework assignment, in that I was given instructions to build an app, which I was allowed to do at my own pace with the understanding that I shouldn't spend more than 8 hours total on it (I probably spent 10 in total over a few days). The project was actually pretty fun and I enjoyed doing it over a weekend, sending it back on Sunday night.

    By Tuesday or Wednesday, I was invited to Charlottesville, VA for a day of in-person interviews at WillowTree. I was put in touch with their travel coordinator, who set up round-trip flight and a night at a local hotel (I was coming from out of state), and put together my interview itinerary. As part of the interview, I was also asked to put together a presentation / class on a topic of my choice, and asked to bring my laptop.

    The in-person was a full day of interviews with like half a dozen people. I showed up a couple minutes early (interview was scheduled for 930) and was greeted (by name!) at the door. The technical recruiter met me a minute later and gave me a tour of the office before bringing me to a conference room for the first interview. The morning's interviews were what I would think typical developer interviews are. Mostly they involved problem solving and white board coding. The air was casual but professional, and the interviewers were friendly, smart and helpful.

    Lunch was provided, which itself was an interview with two current engineers who took me to a local restaurant.

    The afternoon interviews were different from the mornings. They included an HR interview, a pair-programming exercise, and delivering the presentation I had prepared to a few people (apparently I was the second person to be asked to do this). The final interview was a walk with the head of engineering and was very casual. The day ended at 430ish. Overall it was a good experience, although a full day of interviewing was rather exhausting.

    I received a written offer via email an hour after leaving.

    Overall, the entire process lasted less than a month, which was lengthened primarily because of my availability to travel.

    Interview Questions

    • Pair-programming with a current engineer. It was labeled as test project review, but was implemented as somewhat pair programming to implement another feature in the project.   1 Answer

  5.  

    Software Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Employee
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 4+ weeks. I interviewed at WillowTree in October 2017.

    Interview

    I found WillowTree through my college's career fair. After talking to a recruiter there I applied online. There are four main steps to the interview: A video interview where you record yourself answering question prompts, a phone interview with a principle engineer, a coding project they assign you, and then a whole day of onsite interviews.

    Interview Questions

    • The phone interview was a few questions centered around binary trees.   Answer Question

  6. Helpful (4)  

    Software Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Employee in Charlottesville, VA
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 4 weeks. I interviewed at WillowTree (Charlottesville, VA) in August 2016.

    Interview

    First I was asked to complete a video interview, where I was asked to record video answers to written questions. This part was a little bit awkward, but not a big deal.

    After this I was contacted by a recruiter who asked me some questions about myself and then set up a technical phone interview with an engineer at the company. For this technical interview, I talked on the phone with one of the engineers and completed some basic programming/problem solving tasks. None of these was very hard and the interviewer was very helpful/friendly.

    I was contacted by the recruiter again, who told me that the next step would be for me to complete a take home project. The take home project was very open-ended, and I probably went a little overboard.

    After submitting the take-home project, I was then asked to complete a final round of interviews onsite in Charlottesville (I was applying for the Durham office). This day of interviews was very casual, and largely consisted of talking shop with several (clearly bright, and very friendly) engineers, with a little whiteboard coding peppered in.

    I received an offer shortly afterwards and I accepted it.

    Interview Questions

    • I believe I signed an NDA, but the general theme of the questions involved algorithmic thinking, software design practices, and cultural fit.   Answer Question

  7. Helpful (1)  

    Software Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Durham, NC
    Declined Offer
    Positive Experience
    Easy Interview

    Application

    I applied through college or university. The process took 2+ weeks. I interviewed at WillowTree (Durham, NC) in September 2016.

    Interview

    I went to a campus recruiting event, talked to the person there. I then had an in person on campus interview - very quick, the technical portion was maybe 20 minutes, and then also a conversational portion. Was then asked for an on-site interview, with three different interviews. They weren't super tough, but weren't the easiest thing ever either.

    Interview Questions

    • I was asked to describe my biggest technical project that I had worked on.   Answer Question
  8. Helpful (7)  

    Software Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Employee in Charlottesville, VA
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 8 weeks. I interviewed at WillowTree (Charlottesville, VA) in November 2016.

    Interview

    I applied online through the company website. Within about 3 days I heard back from a Technical Recruiter who asked me to complete a video "interview". As others have mentioned on here, it was a website where you were prompted with a question with a brief amount of time to prepare (~30 seconds) and a short time to answer the questions (~1 - 2.5 mins). I found this to be a fun experience. It's inherently awkward so I ended up smiling most of the time but it was a fun way to provide an introduction to myself and my background, while showing that I was excited about the company and the position I was applying for.

    Within about 2-3 days I heard back from the same Technical Recruiter who asked to set up a phone call with her, which happened not more than a few days after she reached out to me. She was extremely nice and more than happy to spend as much time as I wished talking about the company, the role and even the area (I am not from the immediate area), which I greatly appreciated. I left this interview with a lot of notes about WillowTree that I constantly referred back to throughout the process. We were scheduled to speak for 30 minutes, and typically calls with recruiters are even shorter than the allotted time, but we spoke for over 45 minutes. This is a recurring theme I sensed with every person I interviewed with, which made the entire process quite pleasant. By the end of this phone call, we set up a Technical Interview for the next week.

    For the Technical Interview, I was on a Google Hangout VIDEO chat with a Principal iOS Developer (I was interviewing for an iOS Software Engineer position). I have done a number of technical interviews before, but never a video one. While this originally stressed me out more, my interviewer was very pleasant and made me feel comfortable, so I didn't mind the video. This interview also went over our allotted time over 1 hour, which consisted primarily of me elaborating on my technical experience and answering technical questions about what I had brought up. Some of these questions were quite challenging, so I was honest and admitted when I did not know the answer. After one of the times that I said this, feeling a bit frustrated with myself, the interviewer told me "it's okay, you don't have to know everything", which made me feel much less stressed and re-instilled my confidence to finish the interview strong. We concluded this interview with a small coding problem and a reflection about it.

    Within a few hours (impeccable turnaround), I was informed by the Technical Recruiter that I would be moving onto the final stage of the process in the office. This process was made super easy, with the company booking my entire travel itinerary for me, even booking me to stay over two nights (the night before and the night of my interview), so that I could spend some time in Charlottesville, which I greatly appreciated and really enjoyed. Upon arriving at the office, I was greeted by a Campus Recruiter, toured around the two offices which they have in Charlottesville (only a few minute walk between them), and then it was off into my interviews. I had two technical interviews with very bright, relaxed and fun engineers, one with HR, one with VP of Engineering and another casual interview with an engineer over lunch. I truly had an amazing time in every interview. I had great conversations with all of my interviewers and they flew by. For the technical interviews there was some white board coding mixed in, but again these were mostly experiential based. I got the impression that all of the in person interviews were primarily checking for cultural fit.

    I went in for my final interview on a Friday and received my offer the following Tuesday. The entire interview process was fantastic and I always felt extremely comfortable and confident in the fact that I would love working for WillowTree, so I happily accepted the offer.

    Interview Questions


  9. Helpful (2)  

    Software Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Employee in Durham, NC
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 8 weeks. I interviewed at WillowTree (Durham, NC) in August 2016.

    Interview

    The whole process took about 8 weeks.
    I think I applied online on willowtreeapps.com website.
    Then I got an email from recruiter with a link for a video interview.
    It was a fun experience. 30 min with each question about 2 min to answer. Very general questions, no specific tech question. i think it is a great way of screening people to see whether they match the core value of the company.

    Then I got an email to schedule a phone interview with the recruiter. She was very friendly and willing to answer a lot of my questions. I then got interested in this company a lot more from talking with her.

    Third Step is tech phone interview. Talked with VP of Operation, brilliant guy, talked about my experience and then did some simple online coding stuff. Again, no programing language requirement, I think it is a good way of testing whether a candidate can program.

    After the phone interview, I got an email with a test project. Very general topic, very open options, It was a fun experience for me, really enjoy it!

    Then I got an email invite me to have lunch with the hiring group. I did, meet great team, great lunch, great talk.

    Then the final step is for me to go to Charlottesville and have a one day interview. I drove up in the afternoon previous day, then had a formal day interview. mostly personality questions with some whiteboard coding. Everyone there is very kind, and I actually learned a lot from them! I drove back that day after interview and got an offer the next morning.

    Overall, the interview process is tough mainly because it is a LONG process. I think they tried to hire someone who can program, who is curious and willing and able to learn, most importantly, who is honest and nice to work in a team. I do think this is a great mentality of hiring people. I hope they keep doing the great job on hiring great team players to the big family. :)

    Interview Questions

    • I don't believe I should share any particular questions here...   1 Answer

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