Senior Principal Engineer Interview Questions in San Diego, CA | Glassdoor

Senior Principal Engineer Interview Questions in San Diego, CA

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Two trains are traveling towards each other at a certain closing speed and initial distance between them. A bird at another speed is flying from one train to another, turning around every time it reaches a train. How far does the bird fly before the trains collide?

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If you go brute force, you will surely bore the interviewer, but at least think out loud so he/she knows your thought process. Brute force will mean that you're computing how far the bird flies each time it turns around. This isn't necessary at all. The trick is to forget the bird at first and figure out how long until the trains collide. Then take the time t and multiply it by the bird's speed to figure out distance (x=vt). The trick is that it doesn't really matter where the bird is flying; if the interviewer had said that the bird is on another planet and started flying, then the answer is pretty simple. But people like me visualize the problem without decomposing the problem into separate (independent) problems. The bird's flight and the trains paths were completely independent. Don't sweat brain teasers; if you get it right, great. But brain teasers are meant to evaluate how you think. Practice a few and you'll start to get used to techniques like decomposing the problem as mentioned above.

General questions on based on your experience. Coding challenge about sorting, string processing.

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On interviewer spoke broken english and was very hard to understand, asked textbook and theory questions and not in a very clear process, seemed like he Googled and wrote down a bunch of questions from a search to ask prior to the interview, saw notes and theory written on a legal pad. Asking questions on free body diagrams, mechanics and thermodynamics, like write and explain Gibbs free energy equation and explain the three laws of thermodynamics. Did not ask too much that would be used daily as the job was described, the theory can be referenced in a book or Googled when needed, people do it all the time and little is used daily unless you work in a research. No applicable skills and appears this person was a recent fresher with not too much practical experience in the field.

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