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Systems Validation Engineer Interview Questions

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You have 8 pennies, 7 weight the same, one weighs less. you also have a judges scale. Find the one that weighs less in less than 3 steps.

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Set two pennies aside, put 3 on each scale and if they weight the same the lighter one is one of the other two, if not it is one of the three on the scale, repeat for the two or three remaining.

A better answer: Split the 8 pennies into 3 groups of 3,3,2 pennies. Weight the first two groups of 3 pennies each. Case 1) - They weight the same. Therefore, take third group of 2 pennies and find the lighter coin. Case 2) Group 1 weights more than Group 2. Take group 2 (3 pennies) and pick any 2 out of 3. If they weight the same, then the third penny is lighter. Answer is trivial if they don't weight the same. It works for any scenario. Always split the groups in 3.

It's a lot simpler than you'd think Divide the current number of coins by two and put them on both sides of the scale, remove the side that weighs more, and divide the lighter side in half, repeat so you start with 8: |||| |||| (4/4) || || (2/2) | | (1/1) Three steps, simple, logical, and and can get the right answer each time.

During the behavioral portion of an interview, I was asked how would I deal with a room-mate who didn't pay rent on time, or stopped paying rent altogether?

1 Answer

I was asked how to tell if a number was even or odd based on binary. This was by no means a hard question. I simply said check the LSB, least significant bit, for being a 1 or 0. This must have been enough, or maybe i answered with enough confidence, because the next question was what languages do you know.

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How would you deal with a manager that dislikes you at work?

Describe how you would perform validation for lab systems

Surprisingly very little about anything to do with System Validation or Verification. Just general background. No chemistry, no instrumentation testing... rather easy interview. It seamed like my answers were well received.

1 Answer

Tell me about yourself? Give me one challenging project you worked on? describe one conflict you had in your research? how did you solve it? Technical questions on electronics, software language (C++) followed by personality based questions Situation-Action-Result Hiring manager asked me to put the answers in the above format for each of the questions. He asked me to give an example where your opinion was different from other team members - describe the situation, what was your solution, how was it different from the solution that majority suggested, how you put your idea on the table, what was the result. He asked me to tell him about some previous experiences (can be from work, education or life) where you have to react quickly. What were the results?

The only things that were somewhat difficult is when I was asked detailed questions about computer architecture concepts I had little experience with. For example, I was asked to explain out-of-order instruction execution. This is something I am familiar with at a high level, but have never had direct experience with, and in fact, it wasn't a direct requirement for the job. Overall, the interviewers were just asking me questions about their area of expertise even though expertise in that area wasn't required for the job I interviewed for. I found this a bit strange.

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