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Access Softek Interview
Questions

27 Questions and Answers by Ryan Brunner

Published January 15th, 2020 | Ryan has over 10 years of experience interviewing
candidates in the healthcare, public service, and private manufacturing/distribution industries.
Question 1 of 27
If you can, please provide your thoughts on the function of managed object context in developing iOS apps and software.
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How to Answer
While the core data framework and the managed object context may seem pretty easy to comprehend and simple from a first look, a deeper look into managed object context shows that it can be misused to the point where obscure bugs can enter the system. Give your interviewer your own personal insight into the purpose of managed object context and how it works behind the scenes to help an app properly run.
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Top 25 Access Softek, Inc. Interview Questions
1.
If you can, please provide your thoughts on the function of managed object context in developing iOS apps and software.
While the core data framework and the managed object context may seem pretty easy to comprehend and simple from a first look, a deeper look into managed object context shows that it can be misused to the point where obscure bugs can enter the system. Give your interviewer your own personal insight into the purpose of managed object context and how it works behind the scenes to help an app properly run.

Ryan's Answer #1
"In my current work, I work with both main queue and private queue manged object contexts. It is important that I avoid non user related data processing on the main queue of an app that I am developing. In times where this has happened in the past, the user interface becomes unresponsive and crashes. As well, I work to avoid instances passing between the main and private queues to avoid corruption of data within the app."
Ryan's Answer #2
"Knowing that a managed object context's job is to manage a number of records within an app, my job is to successfully manage each object within the app and assign it to a correlating context within the app. I have to consider the persistent store coordinator and code the app to fetch requests from the correct one."
2.
We are looking for innovators to join us here at Access Softek. Where have you brought innovation in automation to a process in your career?
Innovation in software has occurred in many phases over the last 20 years and Access Softek is always striving to be on the forefront of innovation in their field. For this question, think back on your automation experience and talk about a concept that you helped create that you felt was innovative. Really sell your interviewer on your ability to think outside of the box with this question by hammering home the idea that you can help bring new innovations to the team at Access Softek.

Ryan's Answer #1
"To be very honest with you, I was really drawn to the automation side of engineering because of the constant need to be flexible and continuing me education to stay ahead of new trends. Last year, I helped develop a codeless test automation for my company that brought together our software engineers and end users to test in environments in a fast and efficient manner. The codeless testing was a first for my organization and really helped free up time for our software engineers to come up with solutions rather than spend time testing."
Ryan's Answer #2
"About four years ago, I was on a team that developed an AI bot that could test scripts and provide analysis on extremely large amounts of data in a short period of time. Our work focused on the algorighms that the AI would utilize in its testing work. From the start, the AI process was extremely accurate and efficient. Now, as things have changed over time, modifications to the AI system all center around changes to the algorithms. Based on our success, we presented our AI system at a national conference last year and it received a lot of great accolades."
3.
Walk me through your experience in enterprise software sales, and complex sales cycles.
Software sales can be complicated, time-consuming, and rarely come with a quick close. The interviewer would like to discuss any experience you have had, selling software products into enterprise accounts, where the sales cycle is even more robust than the typical small to medium-sized businesses.

The typical software sales cycle includes:

- Prospecting and generating leads
- Initiating contact
- Qualifying the lead
- Presenting the product or offer
- Booking a product demonstration
- Overcoming objections
- Closing the deal
- Implementation
- Training

This list is just a simplified breakdown of the steps and could occur throughout weeks, or even months. Discuss the exposure you have had in closing complex software deals.

Ryan's Answer #1
"Although I have never had an official sales title, I am often called into the sales process as the subject matter expert when it comes to data migration and security questions. I know enough to understand the typical questions asked during the sales cycle, and also know that it's important to give case examples for most FAQ's. Decision makers feel much better knowing that their concern has been presented, and corrected, in the past."
Ryan's Answer #2
"My previous company was a startup that ran very lean, financially speaking. For that reason, I was both a front-end developer, product demonstrator, and sales assistant. I would be on the sales calls with the business development lead, offering my expertise for the most technical discussions. From the time we launched our product, to the first sale, was over 12 weeks, so I fully understand that the typical software sales cycle is complex and lengthy, especially when dealing with major corporations and large business."
4.
As a consultant with Access Softek, your role will be vital in gather information from our customers in building new technology for them. What would be your goals in an initial consultation with a new or existing client?
Software consultants are the bridge between the end users and the development teams of new software to help come up with new and creative solutions for the business. In this role with Access Softek, you will be expected to live in two different worlds and this question focuses on how you will work with end users of the companies products. In an initial consultation, focus your efforts on how you will learn the business needs of the client, talk about what can potentially be offered and then how you will start the creative problem solving process with them.

Ryan's Answer #1
"As an experienced consultant looking to break into the technology field, I will break a lot of awesome client focused skills to your team. In an initial consultation, my number one goal is to learn the business of the client and listen to what they are looking for in my products. Once their need is known, I can knowledgeably speak to the products that I work with to help them create a custom solution to fit their needs. If hired for this position, my first order of business would be to work very closely with the design and engineering staff to know the possibilities of customization. From there, my natural ability to consult with clients would take over in a win-win situation for all involved."
Ryan's Answer #2
"In consulting with a new client or an existing client looking for system modifications, my number one goal in a first meeting with them would be to lay the framework for how we will move forward and to set expectations moving forward. I would look to understand their business needs and talk with them about all of the solutions possible for them with us as their software provider. From there, I have the ability to set expectations on a time frame for a solution proposal and we can move forward from there. At the end of a first meeting, I want to ensure that the key decision makers are comfortable with me and the business that I represent so they don't hesitate to reach out to me with questions or for clarification on items discussed."
5.
Would you say that you are a goal oriented on the job? What would I be able to do as your manager to help you achieve your goals if hired here at Access Softek?
At the heart of this question lies your interviewers desire to see what motivates you as a potential employee at Access Softek. Make it clear to your interviewer that you certainly are motivated by on the job goals and do this by using an example of a time where you were motivated by and achieved a goal. Then, think deeply about the type of manager that you like to work for in terms of goal setting and helping our achieve your goals. Let your interviewer know what type of management styles you appreciate the most while being open to any style.

Ryan's Answer #1
"I would definitely say that I am goal oriented on the job in wanting to contribute any way that I can to the overall benefit of the organization. In my current organization, our leadership focuses on overall sales numbers at the end of the year. To help achieve these goals, our department creates our own goals to help achieve the sales numbers needed to succeed. Last year, one of those goals was to be as creative as possible in our user experience design processes. With the launch of an exciting new app midyear, sales numbers skyrocketed and our department was instrumental in that. For me, it was important that we determined our goals as a team with the final stamp of approval from our manager. While this style of management really helped motivate me, I can thrive under any management style as long as expectations and goals for my work are clearly set."
Ryan's Answer #2
"For me, my day to day work is much more meaningful when I have goals to work for. In my current role, we have set timelines for our projects and this helps lay the framework for our goals. If hired for this position, my expectations of you as my manager would be to have goals clearly defined and a supportive atmosphere to be provided to work within."
6.
Do you consider yourself stronger in C++, C#, Java, or Python?
Before your interview, do some research to understand what tech stack Access Softek uses so you can best prepare and highlight your expertise. If you aren't as strong in one of the skills you feel is necessary, be sure to explain how you've used it and how you are growing your knowledge to become better. Be sure to be honest in your answer, as the company will likely test your strengths.

Ryan's Answer #1
"In my last company, we had a bit of an outdated tech stack and used C# and .NET. I found myself fully immersed in those technologies, but had a strong desire to learn more and become more familiar with modern technologies and how I can apply that in my career. That's what has me so interested in this role. Over the last year, I've taken courses in Java and C++, which I noticed you prefer. I've become proficient in the skills and in side projects, applied my increasingly strong knowledge. I'm probably strongest professionally in C# as that has been where my experience lies, but my passion and dedication is on the Java and C++ side, as I feel that's the more modern alternative. I'm excited about the possibility of applying that knowledge in a role at Access Softek."
Ryan's Answer #2
"I am motivated and excited about this new opportunity because it will challenge me to grow in my (X) skills. I love soccer and enjoy spending time with my teammates. I am interested in continuing my education by studying (Y) to further my career."
7.
If hired here at Access Softek to develop iOS and Android software, when would you use a fragment rather than an activity?
In the development of apps for both iOS and Android, using code to create an activity versus a fragment is a highly debated topic to this day. For this question, your interviewer is looking to hear that you understand what the differences between the two are and when you feel that using a fragment is the proper direction to go. Make sure to speak to the high level overview of what an activity does to an app versus fragments.

Ryan's Answer #1
"As a best practice in my development of Android apps in the past, activities are really the complete screen that a user experiences as part of the app. Fragments are really small sub activities that take place within the activity. Because fragments within an app have their own life cycle and receive their own input events within the app, there are specific times where fragments make the most sense to use in development. In my experience, I always use fragments when the app is working with UI components that are going to be uses across multiple activities within the app. As well, fragments have also served very well when using swipe views within the app."
Ryan's Answer #2
"In the past year, I honestly don't recall designing a new app that ran solely on an activity alone. The fragments are almost necessary today to bring life to an app. I use retained fragments to persist across activity restarts within the app and this helps make a user friendly experience for our end users."
8.
What programming languages would you consider yourself fluent in?
While this question gives your interviewer insight into the diversity of your programming language experience, they most importantly want to know that you are adaptable and able to learn on the fly if needed. Talk about the different languages that you consider yourself fluent in and, if possible, do as much research into Access Softek as you can prior to your interview and try to speak to the specific languages that they work with.

Ryan's Answer #1
"From the start of college, where software engineering grew into a passion for me, I've become very fluent in Java, JavaScript and C++. My current role has me working primarily with C++, but I pride myself on my ability and passion to learn new programming languages and would be able to do so if hired for this role with Access Softek."
Ryan's Answer #2
"During my training to be an engineer and then in my current role since graduating, a majority of my experience falls within Python. My current role delves deeply into artificial intelligence and Python is awesome with this advanced technology. As I understand it from talking to another engineer here at Access Softek, a requirement would be for me to learn Scala. Though I haven't worked directly with Scala, I believe my experience and willingness to learn would have me up and running in no time if hired for this role."
9.
Tell me about a time that there was a delay in the project and how did you handle that delay?
In your answer, be sure to tell your prospective employer why there was a delay, but most importantly, how you handled it and got back on track. It's important to use the STAR format for questions like these: situation, task, action, result. Situation: the delay. Task: resolving it quickly and getting back on track. Action: how you went about executing the task. Result: how the steps you took to resolve it led to the effective and successful resolution of that delay.

Ryan's Answer #1
"I was working with my team on the configuration of the new HR system we were rolling out and the HR team asked for a new module that we thought would significantly delay the launch. In order to meet our internal client's needs, we offered to add the new module, but to avoid delays to the project, we reallocated a resource to work exclusively on the module. We all chipped in extra effort on the major project parts to make up for our coworkers' absence as he was working on the module. The coworker who did the module did a fantastic job which didn't require many changes from the group. Through all this, we were able to roll the product out on time and within budget."
Ryan's Answer #2
"I am motivated by knowing something about the end customer and being able to relate to them as a person. A personal touch is always helpful for me."
10.
What skills do you use to cope with the day to day stress and pressure on the job?
In modern technology industries, consumer demand has led to high volume of work and high pressure situations to work on tight deadlines. To prove that you are able to handle high stress, high pressure situations on the job, your interviewer is looking to hear first hand how you handle this type of environment in your own words. As you answer the question, try to turn potential perceived stress into a positive by highlighting your personal skills that enable you to perform well in those situations. If possible, try to use specific examples in your answer.

Ryan's Answer #1
"Where many others get overtaken by stress to the point that they can't function in this field, high pressure situations sharpen my focus and that helps me work through them with ease. Last year, I was assigned a high priority, short notice project for a high profile customer. My manager gave it to me because of my proven success in those situations. From the start, I created a timeline for completion and mapped out a plan to make it happen. While staying in communication with my leaders and the client, I was able to create a great system update in just a few short weeks."
Ryan's Answer #2
"I am confident in high stress work situations because of my ability to adapt, communicate and be organized in my work. These skills came in very useful a few weeks ago when our support staff were experiencing an extremely high volume of help desk calls. My adaptability helped me go with the flow and handle items on at a time. My communication skills enabled me to quickly and efficiently call on needed support. My organization skills helped me be prepared for anything on that day and enabled me to work through tickets in a quick and efficient manner."
11.
In Java, why shouldn't you use strings to store a password?
While this may seem like a rudimentary question regarding your knowledge of Java, your interviewer is looking to ideally hear that you understand the principle differences between string and character arrays. Asking about the storage of passwords within a system gives you the opportunity here to point out the differences between the two. In the end, while explaining the differences, be sure to tie it back to the original question on why strings shouldn't be used to store passwords.

Ryan's Answer #1
"To store a password, character array is the obvious best choice because character arrays are mutable. If a string was utilized to store passwords, a definite security risk would be present to anyone that would have access to the memory dump from the system."
Ryan's Answer #2
"This question simply boils down to a string being immutable. Because strings are a sequence of characters represented as a single data type, the system requires garbage creation to fully get rid of it out of memory. In my time designing software, I have used Char array and its mutable features to store passwords for the security of our end users "
12.
What experience do you have in the different types of software maintenance?
As a reputable company, Access Softek takes their software maintenance processes seriously and your interviewer is looking to hear that you are familiar with the four different types of software maintenance. Talk to your interviewer about any work you have done in the past with corrective, adaptive, perfective and/or preventative software maintenance. Use specific examples and make sure that your interviewer walks away from your conversation knowing that you understand the importance of proper system maintenance.

Ryan's Answer #1
"Being familiar with all four types of software maintenance, my most used method of maintenance in my current role is corrective. Based on bug reports from end users, I work through coding and logic issues to resolve issues in a timely and effective manner. In the maintenance I perform, I never hesitate to pick up the phone and contact customers to hear first hand about what they are experiencing. By doing this, they feel like they are an important part of the process and it reflects well on me and my organization."
Ryan's Answer #2
"In my current role, I'd definitely say that a majority of the maintenance work that I do is adaptive maintenance. Working in banking software that is used around the globe, I help perform system maintenance for changes in currency on a pretty regular basis. This work requires research and talking with end users to help adapt the programs for their use. If hired here at Access Softek, I also have experience performing perfective, preventative and corrective maintenance on software as well."
13.
As you reflect back on your career to this point in your search for a new position, what would you say is your ideal work environment or culture?
While using this question as a key indicator on how you'll fit with the team and the organization at Access Softek, it will be very important for you to research as much as you can on the work environment at Access Softek so you can match your priorities to that environment. If you have the opportunity to speak with an employee at Access Softek prior to your interview, that can shed valuable information. In the end, the culture and value of an organization are often a key indicator of long-term success in a job, so make sure that you reflect your values into what the company values.

Ryan's Answer #1
"As I begin this job search now 15 years out of college, I'm looking for an employer that promotes and encourages innovation, new ideas and collaboration among all members of the team. From what I know about Access Softek from speaking with others, you sound like a perfect match for what I am looking for in a career."
Ryan's Answer #2
"With all of the companies that I have both worked for and consulted with in the past, I realize that a company culture is basically the personality of the company and I am looking for a new organization that really meshes well with my personality. I am a casual person that believes in hard work, teamwork and having fun on the job. As I embarked on a job search, I was so happy to see that Access Softek was hiring because I believe our styles will fit perfectly together."
14.
What do you feel are the primary features and benefits of the Java programming language?
As a company that utilizes Java, Access Softek and your interviewer want to make sure that you have an understanding of the Java programming language and they do so by asking this question. Obviously a language packed with unique features, talk about the features that you can speak the most knowledgeably about and tie your direct experience to.

Ryan's Answer
"When I started working with Java three years ago, the first huge benefit was the fact that the Java syntax was based on C++. At that time, I had a great working knowledge of C++ and my transition to Java was absolutely seamless. The other amazing feature that I've come to appreciate with Java is how robust the memory management is in exception handling and automatic garbage collection."
15.
Access Softek embraces an Agile environment. Explain your experience in Agile methodologies and why you think it is important.
The interviewer would like to understand the depth of your knowledge in Agile. The interviewer would also like to know if you work well with team collaboration, are responsive to stakeholder needs, and can work well with team defined milestones. Give a specific example of your experience.

Ryan's Answer #1
"The majority of my experience has been in an Agile environment. For ten years I have been personally responsible for leading agile teams, and I have helped define team goals and milestones. This approach is important to me as I see how Agile methodology helps employees deliver better products in less time. In my current role, team productivity increased by 34% once we introduced an Agile environment, and our on-time project rate skyrocketed another 18%."
Ryan's Answer #2
"I especially want to work for Access Softek because I have friends who have worked here before with really positive feedback on their experiences. I am looking for a positive work environment where I can stay for a long time to come."
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