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AddThis Interview
Questions

27 Questions and Answers by
| 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 were faced with a situation that you didn't know the answer to or understand, what would your next steps be?

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AddThis Interview Questions

  1. 1.

    If you were faced with a situation that you didn't know the answer to or understand, what would your next steps be?

      Work as an IT support specialist in the software industry could potentially put you in a situation to handle a question or issue that leaves you scratching your head. While explaining to your interviewer that you have the ability to take a methodical approach to getting a problem solved with the help of others, make sure not to lost sight on what is important to the customer. Talk about how you will put the customer at east by considering their needs as part of your process.

      Ryan's Answer #1

      "In times where this has happened in my current role, I have explained to the customer that an advanced issue like theirs needs to go to one of our subject matter experts to ensure that they get the best support possible. I explain that I am going to put their call on hold and reach out to the department that I need to. If possible, I connect them immediately. If not possible, then I walk through our protocol of submitting a help desk ticket to the appropriate group while explaining to the customer that our expectation is a 24 hour turnaround. I am very appreciative of these protocols because they set very easy to follow standards for our customers and help to avoid unnecessary follow up calls."

      Ryan's Answer #2

      "My first step would be to ask for help from my lead in the department or my supervisor. I would let the customer know that I would be putting them in contact with another person that has more expertise on their problem and doing so was best to help problem solve in this case. If hired for this role here at AddThis, would that method meet the expectations of the department?"

  2. 2.

    What experience do you have in the different types of software maintenance?

      As a reputable company, AddThis 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 AddThis, I also have experience performing perfective, preventative and corrective maintenance on software as well."

  3. 3.

    What is one unique personality trait you possess that would help you be successful in this role with AddThis?

      This question is allowing you to have the floor during your interview to wow your interviewer with something they might not know about you yet from your resume or time so far during the interview. Think about a strong, unique trait that you have that has led to prior success in your field and explain in detail how this will help further you in your career with AddThis. If possible, be very unique in your answer to draw a direct line between your personality and success in this role.

      Ryan's Answer #1

      "From what my parents have told me about me as a young child, passion has been a personality trait that has driven me my whole life. When I tackle something in life, I need to be passionate about it for it to be a success. From my time as a young child up to today, I have been passionate about physical fitness and this has driven me to participate in running and biking races across the country. This same passion in the pursuit of excellence has translated into my career as a software engineer. From tinkering with computer hardware at a young age and learning the internal components of a system to learning how to create and design software, you'll quickly find that my passion to engineer the most unique software here at AddThis will be extremely beneficial to your team."

      Ryan's Answer #2

      "I would have to say that my humility has been instrumental in getting me to where I am at today in my career. Having worked with one of the largest software companies in the world, egos were certainly high with a lot of my teammates and I have always used my humility to let my work do my talking for me while remaining a friendly and curious colleague to all."

  4. 4.

    Here at AddThis, we strive for continuous delivery and continuous deployment with our software. Are you familiar with these processes in your current work?

      In the industries that AddThis works in, updates to software are vital to end users for them to stay at the forefront of their business. To ensure that updates happen as quick and smoothly as possible, AddThis utilizes continuous delivery and continuous deployment for their customers. For this question, talk about what you know about these processes as a software architect, why they are important and what experience you have with them.

      Ryan's Answer #1

      "In my current role, we utilize a 100% continuous deployment process with our end users when we role out new changes to existing software. We use automated testing in our process to validate that code changes are correct and able to be deployed without issue. Once validated, changes are automatically rolled out to our end users. Having once utilized a continuous delivery system, I am very appreciative of working in an environment utilizing continuous deployment as it negates any need for human intervention in the roll out."

      Ryan's Answer #2

      "In my current position, we've slowly grown from a continuous integration process to a continuous delivery process. I love the automated testing process when we are looking at rolling out new changes to existing software and my role as the architect for our projects puts me in the drivers seat for sending out these changes. If hired for this role here at AddThis, I'd be very intrigued at learning and working with continuous deployment practices as well."

  5. 5.

    Tell me about your problem-solving skills. Do you enjoy analyzing and solving complex problems?

      Software developers spend a great deal of time debugging programs. It is essential for AddThis to have someone experienced in quickly identifying problems and responsive in providing solutions. The interviewer would also like to gauge how you work with internal and external customers when problem-solving.

      Ryan's Answer #1

      "In my last development position, I was responsible for front-line communications with end users. Third tier helpdesk staff would contact me with software bugs, and I was able to quickly and professionally respond to problems. I was able to reduce the bug backlog by 70%."

      Ryan's Answer #2

      "If you did not have a good relationship with your previous boss: "I have had healthier relationships in the past with previous employers, but we did the best that we could. Our communication styles were very different which made it challenging at times."

  6. 6.

    The next cloud engineer that we hire here at AddThis needs to be able build a system that can handle a high amount of traffic. How would you test our system's ability to handle large amounts of traffic?

      This question allows your interviewer to gain insight into your thought process and ability surrounding building a cloud network that has an architecture that can handle large amounts of traffic without failure. Some key points to focus on your answer are your ability to match capacity to system demand and use horizontal scaling in the design of the system.

      Ryan's Answer #1

      "Cloud computing has certainly revolutionized the storage of high amounts of data and a key piece that cloud based systems bring to the table are their elasticity for handling large amounts of traffic. I see my job as building a cloud based system to scale horizontally to be able to handle the most data and traffic possible. To test systems, I've used a few different tools that were all very accurate prior to go-live."

      Ryan's Answer #2

      "In my current position as a cloud engineer, I have utilized internet scale services like Amazon S3 and Elastic Load Balancing to ensure that our cloud systems could handle large volume that fluctuate seasonally. Because of the great functionality of the internet scale services, internal testing wasn't necessary as we knew we were in good hands through those services."

  7. 7.

    What SDLC models are you familiar in working with?

      As a software engineer, you are very familiar with the software development life cycle. For this question, your interviewer is looking to hear what models you have worked on in the past. While there isn't necessarily a right or wrong answer to this question, try to show your flexibility to working with different SDLC models by bringing up your past experiences. Then, show you have knowledge of different models like the waterfall model or agile model. It is also a good idea to use this question as an opportunity for you to learn more about AddThis by asking your interviewer which model they work off of.

      Ryan's Answer #1

      "During my training in software engineering and in my early career, the waterfall model was the standard. In this model, each phase of the development process happens in a set order and projects using this model are easily managed. But over time, as the development projects that I have led have become more complicated and intricate, I have implemented the spiral model. This model has allowed the ability of end users to give feedback early on and often during development and helps to build a more customized product to our customers."

      Ryan's Answer #2

      "In my current position with XYZ Company, my department utilizes the agile model in development life cycle. Since our products are so tailored to the needs of our customers, we get a working product very early on in the process and then I work hand in hand with customers to fine tune the software moving forward. It is a very effective model that has built a great reputation for our software among customers. I also have familiarity working with the iterative model and it has similar advantages to the agile model. If I were hired here at AddThis, can you expand on what models you use here in your software development life cycle?"

  8. 8.

    What software analysis and design tools do you have familiarity working with?

      As a software engineer for AddThis, 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."

  9. 9.

    Talk about your previous user interface design experience in detail. Why do you feel that this experience will translate well to this role with AddThis?

      While your interviewer can get a good sense of your experience from your resume, they are looking for you to talk in details about your experiences in UI design in your previous work. While explaining your previous experience, be sure to highlight the skills that you developed that will help you be successful in designing new products with AddThis. Prior to your interview, be sure you research and are family with the products that AddThis puts out.

      Ryan's Answer #1

      "Ten years into my career out of college, I consider myself very blessed to have such a well rounded background in user interface design. I have experience designing cutting edge mobile app designs, website design, video game design and software design. Here at AddThis, your education software would greatly benefit from my creative designs to be user friendly and appealing to educators, parents and students and I'd love to bring these skills to work for you."

      Ryan's Answer #2

      "While my experience in user interface design has really focused on web design over the past five years, I think my current skill set will benefit the team here at AddThis greatly. In my web design, I prepare mockups and wireframes for customers and have experience utilizing a lot of different resources in doing these. In the software world, I would love to use these same principles. As well, my web experience has really driven me to be user focused. In this role, a more user focused drive is required out of your user interface design and I would be able to bring that to the team here."

  10. 10.

    What do you feel are the primary features and benefits of the Java programming language?

      As a company that utilizes Java, AddThis 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."

  11. 11.

    If hired here at AddThis, what do you feel would be the biggest hurdle for you to overcome from the start?

      The key to answering this question with confidence starts with understanding that you are interviewing with AddThis because your interviewer feels that you are a strong candidate for this position. What your interviewer is focusing on with this question is how they could be of most help to you if hired for the job. So, take the time prior to your interview to think about an aspect of the position that would be the most difficult for you to overcome to be up and running at full speed and then take time to explain how you would plan to overcome that hurdle if hired. This structured answer will tell your interviewer that you have put thought to your potential shortcoming with a plan of action.

      Ryan's Answer #1

      "As you can see from my resume, I don't have any direct working experience with the financial industry and I would see that as my largest learning opportunity if offered this position. Like I did with my current job in the healthcare industry, I would take the time to learn the basics of the industry that would help me design the most intuitive user interfaces in the products here at AddThis."

      Ryan's Answer #2

      "Being a team player by nature, I've always considered my first challenge at any new company to be the task of getting to know my colleagues, their work preferences and their work styles. In the same breath, I want them to know who I am and how I best work as part of a team with them. To accomplish this, I would take the initiative to set one on one meetings with individuals that I didn't get to touch base with during my orientation process to get to know them better."

  12. 12.

    Do you have any unique skills or past work experiences that we can't see on your resume that would benefit the team here at AddThis?

      This question is providing you the opportunity to potentially set yourself apart from your competition for this position. To do just that, it will be important for you to make sure that the unique skill or experience that you discuss matches with a critical need for AddThis and the position that you are interviewing for. Whether you talk about a unique skill or experience, your research on this job will prove vital in your ability to make sure that it impresses your interviewer.

      Ryan's Answer

      "In my current role as a data engineer, I have gotten the opportunity over the last five years to work with clients in many industries. One of the industries that I've worked most closely with has been the private insurance industry. This experience and my gaining of insider knowledge in the insurance industry would benefit me greatly if brought aboard the team here at AddThis."

  13. 13.

    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 AddThis 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 AddThis."

      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 AddThis, 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."

  14. 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. 15.

    AddThis 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 AddThis 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."

  16. 16.

    What would you consider your technical specialty?

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  17. 17.

    Do you have experience working with different CASE tools? If so, what do you have experience with?

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  18. 18.

    The software we develop here at AddThis requires you to have working knowledge of both privileges and roles within Oracle. Can you talk about your knowledge and experience of both within Oracle?

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  19. 19.

    Give an example of a time that you used a universal design practice in your work as a UI or UX designer. Why was it important to do this?

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  20. 20.

    In a technical support role here at AddThis, we expect that you would be able to bring great customer service skills to the role. Describe your customer service philosophy in the support that you would provide.

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  21. 21.

    When do you consider a project to be finished?

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  22. 22.

    Talk about a recent successful project that you worked on that required you to navigate some troubled waters during the project. What were the roadblocks and how did you overcome them?

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  23. 23.

    How do you ensure that you have a healthy work-life balance in your career?

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  24. 24.

    When would you utilize a trigger within Oracle to execute a function automatically?

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  25. 25.

    What skills do you use to cope with the day to day stress and pressure on the job?

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  26. 26.

    How do you feel cloud computing has positively impacted the software industry?

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  27. 27.

    If hired for this position at AddThis, what leadership skills would you bring to our team?

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