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CarGurus Interview
Questions

28 Questions and Answers by Ryan Brunner

Published December 27th, 2019 | Ryan has over 10 years of experience interviewing
candidates in the healthcare, public service, and private manufacturing/distribution industries.
Question 1 of 28
What is one unique personality trait you possess that would help you be successful in this role with CarGurus?
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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 CarGurus. If possible, be very unique in your answer to draw a direct line between your personality and success in this role.
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1.
What is one unique personality trait you possess that would help you be successful in this role with CarGurus?
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 CarGurus. 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 CarGurus 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."
2.
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 CarGurus, 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"
3.
In SQL, how do you explain the differences between clustered and non-clustered indexes? Can you name a time that you used each?
CarGurus 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.

Ryan'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."
Ryan'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."
4.
Beyond revenue, how do CarGurus's products benefit our clients?
An excellent software product can positively affect a business in a multitude of ways. From organization to client relationships, increasing leads, offering better data collection and, and information management. The interviewer wants to see that you have spent the time getting to know the features and benefits of their software before your interview. Discuss the ways that CarGurus's offering can benefit potential customers far beyond revenue.

Ryan's Answer #1
"I fully understand that, although revenue is a significant driver, it is not everything to companies when they are deciding on their software products. Additional benefits to CarGurus's software, from my research, include better organization of data so that information can be leveraged in areas of product development, market research, smarter hiring decisions, and more."
Ryan's Answer #2
"From what I see, there are a plethora of benefits to CarGurus's products. When a company embraces organization, has access to insightful analytics and a full support team, they can make business decisions that improve not only profits but also employee morale, customer feedback, or research and development."
5.
How do you feel artificial intelligence could further our business here at CarGurus?
As an AI engineering expert, you know that AI is now being utilized across many businesses and industries with great success. For this question, your interviewer is expecting that you have done your homework on CarGurus and hopefully can be an outside the box thinker in coming up with new and creative solutions for their customers. Be sure that you do your research on the software systems that CarGurus produces and think of creative ways that you can help benefit them.

Ryan's Answer #1
"Where I see artificial intelligence greatly impacting social media more in the future is through marketing and support from advertisers. In my current role, I've designed AI to spot popular search trends on our platform and this has enabled our sponsors to create creative and focused marketing campaigns to our users. If hired here at CarGurus, I would love to continue this focus on AI seeking out popular trends with users."
Ryan's Answer #2
"As you can see from my resume, I have vast amounts of experience in the financial and banking industries and I think this experience would transition nicely to a role here at CarGurus. As you are probably seeing with your software here for the industry, the need to reach customers that are banking electronically is a very high need. The days of stopping by the corner bank are now a thing of the past. If hired for this role, I would love to help design chat bots and robotic help for customers. I have a vast amount of experience in designing and training chat bots in the industry and would love the bring that experience here."
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