MockQuestions

Automattic Interview Questions

To help you prepare for an Automattic job interview, here are 28 interview questions and answer examples.

Automattic was written by and published on December 11th, 2019. Learn more here.

Question 1 of 28

What SDLC models are you familiar in working with?

How to Answer

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 Automattic by asking your interviewer which model they work off of.

Written by Ryan Brunner on December 11th, 2019

Next Question

28 Automattic Interview Questions & Answers

  • 1. What SDLC models are you familiar in working with?

      How to Answer

      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 Automattic by asking your interviewer which model they work off of.

      Written by Ryan Brunner on December 11th, 2019

      1st Answer Example

      "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."

      Written by Ryan Brunner on December 11th, 2019

      2nd Answer Example

      "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 Automattic, can you expand on what models you use here in your software development life cycle?"

  • 2. If you were asked to review a colleague's code that they had written, what key things would you look for?

      How to Answer

      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.

      Written by Ryan Brunner on December 11th, 2019

      1st Answer Example

      "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."

      Written by Ryan Brunner on December 11th, 2019

      2nd Answer Example

      "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."

  • 3. Do you consider yourself stronger in C++, C#, Java, or Python?

      How to Answer

      Before your interview, do some research to understand what tech stack Automattic 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.

      Written by Marissa Letendre on December 11th, 2019

      1st Answer Example

      "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 Automattic."

      Written by Marissa Letendre on December 11th, 2019

      2nd Answer Example

      "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."

  • 4. A huge part of our business here at Automattic is designing software for iOS. In this role, how would you steer away from retain cycles when using closures in Swift programming language?

      How to Answer

      This question allows your interviewer to assess your technical knowledge and skills in designing apps for iOS products in a very simple way. To successfully answer it, make sure that you can speak knowledgeably about the swift programming language and using closures to capture and store references within the software. To piece together everything for your interviewer, give a clear understanding of why retain cycles must be avoided in your processing.

      Written by Ryan Brunner on December 11th, 2019

      Answer Examples Have Been Hidden

      Please upgrade to view

  • 5. Walk me through your experience in enterprise software sales, and complex sales cycles.

      How to Answer

      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.

      Written by Rachelle Enns on December 11th, 2019

      Answer Examples Have Been Hidden

      Please upgrade to view

  • 6. Here at Automattic, we utilize feasibility studies with our customers to consider all impacts of a new system for them. Do you have familiarity working with feasibility studies in your work as a software engineer?

      How to Answer

      To properly answer this question, make sure you understand the reasons why feasibility studies are important. In essence, a feasibility study helps to determine if conditions are right to implement a project. The study looks at economic, operation, legal and technical aspects of the project to determine if moving forward with the project is best for all involved. If you have experience in the studies, talk about a specific time that you utilized a study, the steps you took and explain why it was important to do in the end. Make sure that your interviewer walks away from the interview comfortable with your ability to utilize feasibility studies in your work.

      Written by Ryan Brunner on December 11th, 2019

      Answer Examples Have Been Hidden

      Please upgrade to view

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

      How to Answer

      As a company that utilizes Java, Automattic 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.

      Written by Ryan Brunner on December 11th, 2019

      Answer Examples Have Been Hidden

      Please upgrade to view

  • 8. What is one unique personality trait you possess that would help you be successful in this role with Automattic?

      How to Answer

      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 Automattic. If possible, be very unique in your answer to draw a direct line between your personality and success in this role.

      Written by Ryan Brunner on December 11th, 2019

      Answer Examples Have Been Hidden

      Please upgrade to view

  • 9. We seek to hire highly ambitious people. Where would you like your career with Automattic take you?

      How to Answer

      Have you researched Automattic enough to know how their internal hierarchy works? Do they have a variety of departments and management levels, offering you choices when it comes to carving out your career path? Talk to the interviewer about your career ambitions specifically related to this role and their organization.



      Answer Examples Have Been Hidden

      Please upgrade to view

  • 10. 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 Automattic?

      How to Answer

      At the heart of this question lies your interviewers desire to see what motivates you as a potential employee at Automattic. 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.

      Written by Ryan Brunner on December 11th, 2019

      Answer Examples Have Been Hidden

      Please upgrade to view

  • 11. At Automattic, we rely on a full team effort to deliver top quality products to our customers. Tell me about a time that you worked well as part of a team. Are you comfortable in a similar role here?

      How to Answer

      While this potential role with Automattic will require your to be an independent worker that can think on your feet, you will also need to work as part of a larger team that is working toward one common goal. Because of this fact, your interviewer will want to hear that you thrive in an environment where you work with team members from other disciplines than you are trained in. In your example, stress to your interviewer that you have excellent communication skills and that you fully understand that every person on a team plays a vital role in the organization's success.

      Written by Ryan Brunner on December 11th, 2019

      Answer Examples Have Been Hidden

      Please upgrade to view

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

      How to Answer

      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.

      Written by Ryan Brunner on December 11th, 2019

      Answer Examples Have Been Hidden

      Please upgrade to view

  • 13. 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?

      How to Answer

      In the technology, software and mobile app fields today, accessibility is a huge topic. As a designer with Automattic, you will be expected to help create products that are as accessible as possible to as many end users as possible. In this two part question, talk about why you feel that universal design is important in the work that you will be doing with Automattic and then really sell your ability to do this by giving an example of a time you used a universal design in your previous work.

      Written by Ryan Brunner on December 11th, 2019

      Answer Examples Have Been Hidden

      Please upgrade to view

  • 14. If you can, please provide your thoughts on the function of managed object context in developing iOS apps and software.

      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.

      Written by Ryan Brunner on December 11th, 2019

      Answer Examples Have Been Hidden

      Please upgrade to view

  • 15. What unique values can you bring to Automattic in your user experience design skills?

      How to Answer

      While your interviewer has shown confidence in your technical abilities to succeed at Automattic as a UX designer, this question is helping them gain insight into your ability to see the big picture in the work that you do. As you think about the unique personal values that you would bring to the role, try and paint a picture of your work tying to the end user and how you can help make it more productive, enjoyable and satisfying for them.

      Written by Ryan Brunner on December 11th, 2019

      Answer Examples Have Been Hidden

      Please upgrade to view

  • 16. Discuss a couple of software sales techniques. Which sales technique do you think is most effective for Automattic, and why?

      How to Answer

      The interviewer would like to see that you have researched Automattic, putting some thought into the most significant selling features of their products and services. When it comes to software sales closing techniques, you could:

      - Offer a short trial for free
      - Have a great email marketing campaign showing off the features of your software
      - Give product or software demos, but keep the short
      - Sell pre-paid annual memberships

      Perhaps you have some ideas of your own! Discuss which selling options you think would be the best fit for what Automattic is offering. Be ready to support your answer with facts.

      Written by Rachelle Enns on December 11th, 2019

      Answer Examples Have Been Hidden

      Please upgrade to view

  • 17. If hired for this position at Automattic, what leadership skills would you bring to our team?

      How to Answer

      While this position at Automattic may not hold the title of manager, supervisor or director, the organization firmly believes that employees that demonstrate key leadership qualities are better set for future career success. Aside from that, leadership skills help you work better as part of a larger team and with potential customers as well. Prior to your interview, think about one or two leadership qualities that you possess and talk in detail about how you've exemplified those qualities in the past.

      Written by Ryan Brunner on December 11th, 2019

      Answer Examples Have Been Hidden

      Please upgrade to view

  • 18. In designing Android software, what is your experience using parcelable versus serializable within an app?

      How to Answer

      Because parcelable is optimized for Android to be faster and more customizable, your interviewer will be looking to hear that you are willing to put in the extra work to utilize the parcelable method to achieve better performance within the software that you design. Give your interviewer your thoughts on the differences between the two methods of passing object references to activities within an app that you design and make sure that they understand that you are ready to perform the work to utilize the parcelable method when necessary.

      Written by Ryan Brunner on December 11th, 2019

      Answer Examples Have Been Hidden

      Please upgrade to view

  • 19. If hired for this position here at Automattic, would you be comfortable handling overall project manager responsibilities for new software development?

      How to Answer

      As a skilled software engineer, you have all of the necessary tools in your bag to be a successful engineer at Automattic. This question is allowing your interviewer to get a better sense of your project management skills and people skills if you were to join the team at Automattic. In your answer, talk about your ability to estimate the time and cost of a project, the staffing needed and the overall scope of planning for a particular project. If you have direct experience in being the lead on a large development project, be sure to discuss that experience with your interviewer.

      Written by Ryan Brunner on December 11th, 2019

      Answer Examples Have Been Hidden

      Please upgrade to view

  • 20. What programming languages would you consider yourself fluent in?

      How to Answer

      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 Automattic as you can prior to your interview and try to speak to the specific languages that they work with.

      Written by Ryan Brunner on December 11th, 2019

      Answer Examples Have Been Hidden

      Please upgrade to view

  • 21. Do you have experience writing a custom exception in Java?

      How to Answer

      As a Java expert, you will hopefully have the ability to inform your interviewer that you do have experience in writing custom exceptions in Java. As a reputable software company, the engineers and architects with Automattic often need to demonstrate the ability to do just this. While talking about the experience that you do have, be sure to discuss your thought process in initially determining the need for writing a custom exception above and beyond the standard Java exceptions.

      Written by Ryan Brunner on December 11th, 2019

      Answer Examples Have Been Hidden

      Please upgrade to view

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

      How to Answer

      The key to answering this question with confidence starts with understanding that you are interviewing with Automattic 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.

      Written by Ryan Brunner on December 11th, 2019

      Answer Examples Have Been Hidden

      Please upgrade to view

  • 23. If hired here at Automattic to develop iOS and Android software, when would you use a fragment rather than an activity?

      How to Answer

      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.

      Written by Ryan Brunner on December 11th, 2019

      Answer Examples Have Been Hidden

      Please upgrade to view

  • 24. What do you know about our products and how do you think you'll be able to handle a support role surrounding them?

      How to Answer

      This question allows your interviewer to gain insight into both your interest in this position and the skills that you will be able to bring to the table. To show your interest, be sure to do as much research on Automattic as possible and get to know their products. Ensuring that you know the job description from front to back is important as well. Then, talk about how you feel that your skills will apply to working with end users that are contacting about the software.

      Written by Ryan Brunner on December 11th, 2019

      Answer Examples Have Been Hidden

      Please upgrade to view

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

      How to Answer

      The world of software engineering has greatly benefited from advancements in computer aided software engineering tools. Because Automattic is at the forefront of the industry, your interviewer will be looking to hear which tools you have experience with. Make sure not to concern yourself with providing a correct answer here, but rather focus on your flexibility to learn new aides when needed while explaining what you have experience with.

      Written by Ryan Brunner on December 11th, 2019

      Answer Examples Have Been Hidden

      Please upgrade to view

  • 26. This role with Automattic is highly technical. What is your understanding of this position and the responsibilities that come with it?

      How to Answer

      Assure the interviewer that you bring a full understanding of the technical requirements attached to this particular job. It is essential that you research the role and thoroughly consume the information provided in the company's job posting/job description. Keep your answer to the point.

      Answer Examples Have Been Hidden

      Please upgrade to view

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

      How to Answer

      As a reputable company, Automattic 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.

      Written by Ryan Brunner on December 11th, 2019

      Answer Examples Have Been Hidden

      Please upgrade to view

  • 28. In Java, why shouldn't you use strings to store a password?

      How to Answer

      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.

      Written by Ryan Brunner on December 11th, 2019

      Answer Examples Have Been Hidden

      Please upgrade to view