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Avature Interview
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27 Questions and Answers by Marissa Letendre

Published January 20th, 2020
Question 1 of 27
What methods do you use to stay up-to-date on the latest trends in tech?
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How to Answer
With technology constantly changing, employers want to know that they are hiring people who are committed to learning and growing. Be sure to explain to your prospective employer how you stay up-to-date and how you're committed to growing your knowledge as your industry grows. They want to know that they're investing in someone who is also investing in themselves.
27 Avature Interview Questions
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  1. What methods do you use to stay up-to-date on the latest trends in tech?
  2. Do you consider yourself stronger in C++, C#, Java, or Python?
  3. A huge part of our business here at Avature is designing software for iOS. In this role, how would you steer away from retain cycles when using closures in Swift programming language?
  4. If you can, please provide your thoughts on the function of managed object context in developing iOS apps and software.
  5. Looking at our products and services, what do you think we do better at Avature than any of our competitors?
  6. What software analysis and design tools do you have familiarity working with?
  7. 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?
  8. What programming languages would you consider yourself fluent in?
  9. How do you ensure that you have a healthy work-life balance in your career?
  10. What skills do you use to cope with the day to day stress and pressure on the job?
  11. How would you handle a situation where a colleague was being very difficult to work with?
  12. In SQL, how do you explain the differences between clustered and non-clustered indexes? Can you name a time that you used each?
  13. What SDLC models are you familiar in working with?
  14. Here at Avature, we ask our test engineers to follow specific QA protocols. What role do you feel QA plays in software development and testing?
  15. What do you feel are the primary features and benefits of the Java programming language?
  16. How do you measure the success of a data integration project?
  17. We are looking for innovators to join us here at Avature. Where have you brought innovation in automation to a process in your career?
  18. If hired here at Avature, what do you feel would be the biggest hurdle for you to overcome from the start?
  19. Talk about a data integration project where you encountered an issue with completing tasks due to the negligence of others. How did you handle this issue to ensure solid completion of the project?
  20. 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?
  21. What is one unique personality trait you possess that would help you be successful in this role with Avature?
  22. 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 Avature?
  23. If hired for this position here at Avature, would you be comfortable handling overall project manager responsibilities for new software development?
  24. If hired here at Avature to develop iOS and Android software, when would you use a fragment rather than an activity?
  25. Talk about your previous user interface design experience in detail. Why do you feel that this experience will translate well to this role with Avature?
  26. If hired for this position at Avature, what leadership skills would you bring to our team?
  27. If you were asked to review a colleague's code that they had written, what key things would you look for?
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15 Avature Answer Examples
1.
What methods do you use to stay up-to-date on the latest trends in tech?
With technology constantly changing, employers want to know that they are hiring people who are committed to learning and growing. Be sure to explain to your prospective employer how you stay up-to-date and how you're committed to growing your knowledge as your industry grows. They want to know that they're investing in someone who is also investing in themselves.

Marissa's Answer #1
"I have leveraged a number of sources to stay up-to-date on my knowledge, including LinkedIn Learning and industry sites such as TechCrunch. I'm also active on Github where I'm able to work on projects to grow my knowledge. Quora is a place where I lend my knowledge to others and also read about topics I may not be fully versed in, or want to learn more about. Technology has really benefited me in learning more about technology and that excites me about what the future holds for further learning and development."
Marissa's Answer #2
"I am newer to my financial services career and have worked very hard to develop a strong portfolio this past year. Currently my portfolio is worth $$. What size of portfolio would I be responsible for at Avature?"
2.
Do you consider yourself stronger in C++, C#, Java, or Python?
Before your interview, do some research to understand what tech stack Avature 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.

Marissa'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 Avature."
Marissa'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."
3.
A huge part of our business here at Avature is designing software for iOS. In this role, how would you steer away from retain cycles when using closures in Swift programming language?
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.

Marissa's Answer
"Because ARC handles most of the memory knowledge in Swift, I know ARC is prone to memory leaking and this can cause major issues in apps over time. The fix that I've used in my career to avoid retain cycles is using weak references in my coding."
4.
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.

Marissa'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."
Marissa'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."
5.
Looking at our products and services, what do you think we do better at Avature than any of our competitors?
Before your interview, be sure to research Avature and any awards or recognition they have recently received. In their industry, and competitive space, where do they stand out? Be sure to speak positively about the organization's recent achievements to show that you are interested and engaged in their work.

Marissa's Answer #1
"When I was preparing for this interview I noticed that Avature was recently recognized for innovation in XYZ. You are a trailblazer in this particular arena which is amazing."
Marissa's Answer #2
"After reading reviews on your company, I believe that your reputation is the most solid and sincere of all your competitors. Amazing service is always the best way to stand out."
6.
What software analysis and design tools do you have familiarity working with?
As a software engineer for Avature, 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.

Marissa'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."
Marissa'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."
7.
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?
In the technology, software and mobile app fields today, accessibility is a huge topic. As a designer with Avature, 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 Avature 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.

Marissa's Answer #1
"From a very high level, the business success of a program really relies on being universally designed. If we pigeon hole ourselves, a product will only reach a very limited group of end users. But taking that a step further, universal design is the morally right thing to do to help reach people that may not have access to the average program design. Last year, I was part of a project that utilized a voice user interface for users that were deaf or hard of hearing. This simple yet effective design was a huge win for our current customers and in helping drive new business with our groundbreaking software."
Marissa's Answer #2
"Early in my career, the best piece of advice that I receive was from an experience designer and she said that when UX doesn't consider all potential users, we are no longer working on the user experience. We live in a very diverse world and the programs that I've designed for in the past have certainly had the goal to reach a wide audience. With your financial products here at Avature, this same philosophy applies. Last year, based on some feedback from current customers, we switched our design to include a strong color contract to make the system much more user friendly to color blind users. This was both a simple and very effective change to enhance the look of the program."
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 Avature as you can prior to your interview and try to speak to the specific languages that they work with.

Marissa'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 Avature."
Marissa'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 Avature, 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.
How do you ensure that you have a healthy work-life balance in your career?
In the fast paced world in software and technology development, heavy work loads and potential on-call duties have created a lot of burnout in professionals. Your interviewer is looking to hear that you are cognizant of the risks of burnout and that you do what is necessary to maintain your own personal health and well being and that of your family as well. While you can use this time to talk about personal interests or hobbies outside of work, try to focus on how these items help keep you refreshed for the work that you'll be doing for Avature.

Marissa's Answer #1
"As I am passionate about my career as a UX designer, I am also passionate about my family. Any moments outside of work are spent coaching my kids traveling baseball teams in the summer months and then spending as many weekends as possible on the ski slopes. These activities help keep me active, physically fit and keep my mind centered on what it truly important in my life when work weeks get stressful."
Marissa's Answer #2
"Having watched many of my senior colleagues over time suffer from work burnout that has caused marital issues and health issues, I make it a priority to maintain a healthy balance between my work and my home life. My free time is spent in the outdoors with my wife, whether that be on the lakes and rivers fishing or biking around town. I consider myself fortunate to be considered for a position here at Avature because I know that you put a focus on your employees maintaining this healthy balance because the organization realizes how important this is to be productive."
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.

Marissa'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."
Marissa'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.
How would you handle a situation where a colleague was being very difficult to work with?
In the team based atmosphere at Avature, departments with different skills and backgrounds can often see things from different points of view and these situations can cause some internal conflict between coworkers. With this question, your interviewer is looking to hear how you handle situations where you are working with someone that can be seen as difficult. To give them the sense that you are able to work through conflict in a professional and sensible manner, try to talk through how you handled a conflict at work previously in the past and highlight the interpersonal skills that you used to help make it a positive situation.

Marissa's Answer #1
"In all honesty, any great work atmosphere that I've been a part of in the past has involved conflict between colleagues. In situations I have witnessed, conflict has stemmed from very open-minded people giving their two cents in particular situations and two people not seeing eye to eye. This happened recently to me in the planning phases of a new project. On of our UX Designers and I had a disagreement on the final layout of a new software roll out we were planning. It worked best for both of us to talk about our ideas and list the pro's and con's for our ideas. I kept an open mind to learn from her point of view and she did the same to me on my end. This led us to come up with a great compromise in the end."
Marissa's Answer #2
"Last year, we had a new engineer join our team that was hired on from his internship with us. From his first day, he made it very evident that he would only handle certain tasks within our team and only work on certain projects. As his mentor to help get him up and running, I sat him down and discussed the expectations of each of our engineers as part of our larger team. I explained to him that our approach was not to pigeonhole ourselves into smaller tasks, but rather be well rounded engineers that could handle any project and be able to cover for each other if needed. He really appreciated this approach when I explained the benefits for his long term career goals with this approach. This example shows my approach to being very direct with people that I have a conflict with in the workplace and doing so in a very professional and educational manner."
12.
In SQL, how do you explain the differences between clustered and non-clustered indexes? Can you name a time that you used each?
Avature uses indexes to improve query performances within their software and for this question, your interviewer is looking to hear that you have a basic understanding of both clustered and non-clustered indexes. Explain the differences between the two types of indexes and be sure you can either speak to relevant times that you've used each or when would be the appropriate application to use each.

Marissa's Answer #1
"In the simplest of terms, a clustered index order records in a table the way that they are physically stored. There can only be one clustered index per table. Non-clustered indexes do not store data to match the physical order that it is stored. Rather, it can hold up to 249 indexes per table. Both types come with their own benefits over the other. In my experience, clustered indexes are suited best for programs that use primary key as an identity integer column. On the other hand, non-clustered make the most sense for programs that need JOIN and WHERE clauses within them."
Marissa's Answer #2
"In my experience, clustered indexes are faster to read but very slow when it comes to update data within. Non-clustered indexes are just the opposite in that they are slower to read but much fast to insert new data into them. In my current role, I mostly use clustered indexes when large numbers of rows need to be retreived and when insert operations are important. Most other times, I will use non-clustered as the standard."
13.
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 Avature by asking your interviewer which model they work off of.

Marissa'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."
Marissa'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 Avature, can you expand on what models you use here in your software development life cycle?"
14.
Here at Avature, we ask our test engineers to follow specific QA protocols. What role do you feel QA plays in software development and testing?
As an experience software testing engineer, quality assurance should be ingrained in your brain and your interviewer is looking to get a sense of your personal feelings towards it in your work with this question. In your answer, be sure to highlight QA's importance in reducing errors, maintaining specifications, testing failure parameters and preventing defects from occurring. In the end, make sure that quality is your mantra in the eyes of your interviewer by giving an example or two of how you put QA in the forefront of your work.

Marissa's Answer #1
"As a test engineer, I take great pride in my role of ensuring that systems go out to consumers as error free as possible. In my current role, I take the time to learn all of the system specifications that are laid out by our design engineers and customize my testing to follow those specifications."
Marissa's Answer #2
"In my work throughout my career, quality assurance in my testing was an every minute of every day job on my part. While creating effective testing processes on new software is extremely important in following QA protocols, the recording of defects, issuing of reports and assisting the designers on fixing issues are equally important parts of the process that I'd love to let shine here at Avature."
15.
What do you feel are the primary features and benefits of the Java programming language?
As a company that utilizes Java, Avature 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.

Marissa'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."
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