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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
What would you say is your top non-technical skill that will help you succeed in this role here at Accuity?
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How to Answer
As a software architect at Accuity, you will be relied upon to be the bridge to between the business and technical side of the organization. Your work my be relied upon to work within many silos of the organization. Because of this need, your interviewer is asking you to dig deep inside of yourself and talk about what you feel is your greatest skill to help you do this that is outside of your technical ability. As you prepare for this question, there are many ways that you can answer. No matter how you answer, be sure that your answer relates to your ability to work with other people in some way, shape or form.
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Top 25 Accuity Interview Questions
1.
What would you say is your top non-technical skill that will help you succeed in this role here at Accuity?
As a software architect at Accuity, you will be relied upon to be the bridge to between the business and technical side of the organization. Your work my be relied upon to work within many silos of the organization. Because of this need, your interviewer is asking you to dig deep inside of yourself and talk about what you feel is your greatest skill to help you do this that is outside of your technical ability. As you prepare for this question, there are many ways that you can answer. No matter how you answer, be sure that your answer relates to your ability to work with other people in some way, shape or form.

Ryan's Answer #1
"As I grew in the software development field over my career, I was best suited to be a architect because of my ability to be a great project manager. If hired for this role here at Accuity, you'll quickly find that I have the ability to lead others, negotiate, budget and oversee a project from idea to final delivery."
Ryan's Answer #2
"From a self introspection point of view, I think that my ability to be empathetic towards others that I work with has led to a huge amount of my success in the software architecture field. While I do have the technical skills to do great things here at Accuity, my ability to learn from others, see their point of view and become a great teach to them when needed will really set me apart from others that you are interviewing for this position. If given the opportunity to work here, this skills will greatly improve the team atmosphere."
2.
Accuity 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 Accuity 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."
3.
What do you feel are the primary features and benefits of the Java programming language?
As a company that utilizes Java, Accuity 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."
4.
If you were confronted with a time where you wouldn't be able to meet a deadline here at Accuity, what steps would you take when you made that realization?
At some point in any person's career, the inevitable happens and an important deadline needs to be missed. With your interviewer fully understanding this fact, they are solely interested in how you react to this situation and what you do to make the situation right. In your answer, focus on the refocused planning and communication needed while also avoiding blaming others for the situation. Your interviewer holds accountability as a desirable virtue, so be sure to take accountability for actions in your response.

Ryan's Answer #1
"In my current position, I am very used to handling multiple tasks and projects on a day to day basis. Last year, my team was tasked with what started as a low priority project. After assembling a team to initially discuss the details and set a deadline for completion with our management, the project unfortunately fell off the radar of everyone on the team with many more high priority projects coming up each week. As the initial project's deadline was within a week of being due, our CEO reached out to me for a progress report. I immediately took full responsibility for letting this fall off the radar and I ensured our CEO that we would have an updated timeline set by the end of the week. In doing this and completing the project to his satisfaction, this was really the tipping point in our department moving forward utilizing a detailed project management tracking system. To this day, I can't say enough about how appreciative I am about utilizing this awesome system. Moving forward, you can rest assured knowing that I take full accountability for my actions and do what is necessary to communicate new expectations and meet them fully."
Ryan's Answer #2
"Having been in this situation before, I would first sit down to gather all the facts possible in the situation. What was the deadline, why wasn't it met and what can be done are all important questions moving forward. From there, communicating to all key parties is extremely important and doing so in a timely manner is critical. In this communication, taking accountability and setting new expectations for delivery in a concise and tactful manner will most often put stakeholders at ease and allow for successful completion."
5.
Talk about a time when things didn't go as planned on the job. What was the situation and what allowed your to persevere in that situation?
As a professional in the tech industry, you have likely had a project that failed, a promotion that passed you over or a meltdown occur at some point in time. Realizing that your interviewer fully understands and expects that failure happens, talk openly and honestly about a situation where you experienced failure or failed plans. Most importantly in your answer, focus on how you overcame the particular situation and discuss lessons that you learned moving forward that you can bring to this role at Accuity.

Ryan's Answer #1
"A couple of years ago in my first role as a UI designer out of college, my team was tasked with coming up with a very short notice proposal for a potential high end customer. With a week turnaround time, I set right to spending my time gathering information on the company to build a mock design. When the proposal was submitted, I found out that the potential customer scoffed at my idea and the customer went with another organization's proposal for their use. The biggest piece of feedback that I got was that the UI design just wasn't conducive to the type of customers they were expecting. From that point forward, whether it has been with short notice or long-term products, I take the time to communicate with key decision makers from clients to gather information for making my design as user friendly as possible."
Ryan's Answer #2
"Last year, I was working on a large scale project that put me face to face with a key customer. After traveling onsite with the customer to spend time with them, I exchanged contact information with two of the key decision makers. In the weeks following, I was sending them follow up emails with our business proposals and was getting frustrated at the lack of response from the clients. After my manager had questioned the viability of the potential customer, I picked up the phone and called them directly. It turns out that their responses back to me were being sent to a junk email folder that I neglected to consider. I apologized for the mistake, took action quickly and we came to a great agreement on future business together. After having a laugh about it with my boss, I now incorporate diligent communication follow ups both by phone and email with customers while also regularly checking all email inboxes."
6.
As a consultant with Accuity, 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 Accuity, 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."
7.
What software analysis and design tools do you have familiarity working with?
As a software engineer for Accuity, your interviewer wants to hear that you have experience in utilizing tools that you make you more proficient in your work. Dig back on your past experiences and talk openly about your experiences with the different analysis and design tools that are available to help you be better in the work that you do. In the end, make sure that your interviewer understands that you are proficient in the use of these tools and open to learning and using new tools as well.

Ryan's Answer #1
"As my career and experience in software engineering has grown over the years, I've come to really appreciate and utilize these tools that are available. A great example of this would be my recent education and use of Structured English for designing insurance claim software for a large auto insurer. The simplicity of the structured decisions in the program were a perfect example of a program that could utilize the tool and the end product ended up very functional for our customer."
Ryan's Answer #2
"I have great working knowledge in creating and reading data flow diagrams. To help with both our own sales staff and with customers, DFD's have been super helpful and I consider myself very proficient in creating them. I've also recently been introduced to decision tables to aid in product testing. I was working on a new system that involved some very complicated business rules and the decision table helped outline everything perfectly for our testing."
8.
In your mind, when is monkey testing the most effective in testing new software?
By utilizing random inputs to check the behavior of a program, monkey testing has its time and place in the software testing process. For this question, your interviewer is looking to hear that you have an understanding of the theory behind monkey testing and how you would look to put it to work at Accuity to test their products.

Ryan's Answer #1
"In my experience, monkey testing has been very effective in load testing and stress testing new software as standard testing methods couldn't do this without a lot of extra work. Because of the adhoc approach to the testing, load and stress on the software was most highly gauged through monkey testing."
Ryan's Answer #2
"Because monkey testing is able to find unique bugs that standard testing won't find, I've found it to be very effective for testing new pilot software programs that are reaching new bounds. At my current job, I helped design a brilliant monkey testing process that utilized user behavior to look for certain probabilities of bugs within our systems that we were designing."
9.
What do you feel is one of the top issues that is faced by data engineers today?
Being in the midst of the greatest technological revolution in the history of man, data engineers face many difficult issues in the work that they perform on a daily basis. While there are many directions that you can go with this question, be sure to focus your answer on something that you can speak passionately about. If you can research a common issue in the industry that Accuity works in, you may likely score some bonus points with your interviewer.

Ryan's Answer #1
"Over the past couple of years, I've come to realize that one of the largest issues we face as data engineers is the large amounts of data that are needed to store and then draw information from. Here at Accuity, I can only imagine how big of an issue that is in the healthcare industry. I have a lot of experience with cloud based data storage and also server based storage."
Ryan's Answer #2
"In my recent experiences, continuous, real-time integration is an issue that we will face each and every day moving forward. The need for fast paced information is certainly to blame for this. To stay on top of the continuous integration landscape, I am happy to hear that new and improved systems are being created to stay more real-time and up to the minute. Here at Accuity and working in the financial industry, how have you seen this need for real-time data impact your products?"
10.
In your current work, what are the important steps you take in the data validation process?
Depending on your training and your past roles prior to interviewing at Accuity, you may be familiar with one or two of the many trains of though regarding the steps of a data validation. Whatever formal process you are familiar with, be sure to check the boxes of discussing data screening and data verification as part of your process. Your interviewer will be looking to hear that you check those boxes as they are imperative in the software field.

Ryan's Answer #1
"As I embark on a data validation process in my current role, my first step is to roadmap a detailed plan to keep on task. I utilize benchmarks and the expectations of key stakeholders as my guide. Once underway, I validate the database and the data formatting to ensure that data is properly screened for its overall health. Then, by finishing with sampling, tests are performed to hopefully show that the data is useful within the system."
Ryan's Answer #2
"The most important steps in a data validation process are determining the data to sample, scouring the existing database and validating the final data format. My first step is to use my best judgment to determine if I will validate a sample or the entire data set. This determination is based on overall size of the set and the timeframe that I have to work on the project. Then, I take the time to screen data in the existing database to calculate the number of unique ID's and records to come into the system. Last, I have to verify that the source data matches the schema within the targe"
11.
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 Accuity?
At the heart of this question lies your interviewers desire to see what motivates you as a potential employee at Accuity. 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."
12.
In your experience in software testing, would you consider yourself proficient in both testing and debugging processes?
As a reputable provider of software, Accuity relies on their software testing engineers to both test and debug their products when necessary. Make your interviewer aware that you are knowledgeable on both processes by briefly explaining each process as you've worked on them in the past. Then, talk about your openness to working both testing and debugging processes if hired for this position.

Ryan's Answer #1
"Yes, I definitely would consider myself proficient in both testing and debugging software. My current role that I've held for four years since graduating from college has exposed me to both processes. In testing, I use known conditions and predefined methods to test for expected outcomes to find errors within the system. I utilize testing prior to new software rollouts. The debugging process happens to already released software that has had issues and comes with unknown conditions and unpredictable outcomes. In this process, my goal is to find the cause of the error to fix it efficiently and effectively to roll an updated program back out to end users."
Ryan's Answer #2
"While a majority of my career has been focused on software testing, I am very familiar with debugging processes as well. If hired for this position, I would take the time to focus on debugging processes to bring myself up to speed while being able to hit the ground running on testing processes."
13.
What data cleaning methods are you familiar with and comfortable using if hired for this role at Accuity?
To improve data quality and increase overall productivity of a system, Accuity relies on their data analysts to use data cleansing methods to ensure quality data exists in their software. Be open and honest with the ways that you've helped ensure quality and accurate data in the systems that you've worked with while also showing that you have an open mind to learning and utilizing more methods if hired for this position.

Ryan's Answer #1
"In my current work, I use a very methodical fashion in cleaning data for finished systems. My first step is to remove duplicate and irrelevant observations within the data. Then I scan the data to remove extra spaces, convert numbers stored as text into numbers and remove duplicate data. These steps help ensure clean and accurate data and I never overlook them. If hired for this position, what methods does the current data analyst team her at Accuity utilize?"
Ryan's Answer #2
"I am familiar with many methods used in the cleansing of data. The initial monitoring of errors within a system is very important to identifying where errors occur and give insight into how to fix corrupt data. I have utilized the tools within Domo software to validate data accuracy and scrub for duplicate data in my processes as well. Being very proficient in data analysis, I'm very open to learning new methods as well if hired for this position."
14.
If you were asked to review a colleague's code that they had written, what key things would you look for?
For this question, your interviewer will obviously be looking to hear that you have adequate knowledge when it comes to coding processes. But most importantly, your interviewer will be looking to gauge your ability to be a team player and focus on the bigger picture when working on a project. In your answer, focus on your attention to detail and your ability to help others when needed.

Ryan's Answer #1
"As an experienced software engineer, I fully expect my colleagues to reach out to me for my insight and I never hesitate to provide open and honest feedback. When asked to do this, my main focus is ensuring that the code is readable and functional. If there are lines of code that need to be removed, I don't hesitate to let my colleague know that while also giving them feedback on why I feel it is unnecessary."
Ryan's Answer #2
"When I'm asked to do this in my current position, my main focus is on regulatory requirements that were put in place for the project and security issues. I work with a team of great engineers that are very efficient coders and these two areas are most often overlooked."
15.
What do you consider to be a good litmus test for when you would automate a test process for a new system versus testing manually?
As your role with Accuity will look to help further their automate testing processes for new systems, you will need to have a good sense for when automation makes sense and when it does not. Reiterate your sense for this to your interviewer by sticking to the high level response that repetitive tasks, as are common with large software companies, are prime candidates for automation whereas one time test cases are not.

Ryan's Answer #1
"Having been in automation in both manufacturing for many years and now software for the last three years, a common misconception among people is that automation can help improve any situation and that couldn't be further from the truth. The amount of time, effort and resources that goes into an automation process makes it ideal for repetitive tasks and tests that have multiple data sets. If a testing process calls for unique and one time process, it would make the most sense to run that process manually."
Ryan's Answer #2
"I"n my current position, most of the automation testing that I design is in program sanity testing. These automated tests work great because they run on similar systems following changes in code to ensure that no bugs remain in the system. If our group of engineers are working on unique, one off type projects, my automation processes are not utilized."
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