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EBSCO Publishing 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

Do you have experience utilizing Bayesian networks in designing artificial intelligence?

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EBSCO Publishing Interview Questions

  1. 1.

    Do you have experience utilizing Bayesian networks in designing artificial intelligence?

      Because of their ability to provide a graphical model for relationships among a set of variables, EBSCO Publishing is a firm believer that Bayesian networks are a critical part of their artificial intelligence design. To fortify your knowledge of the networks, give a high level overview of your understanding of them and also talk about any experience you have in utilizing them. Make sure your interviewer walks away from your conversation knowing that you are able to utilize Bayesian networks in your future work with EBSCO Publishing.

      Ryan's Answer

      "I do have very direct experience in creating Bayesian networks and I've done so in the healthcare industry over the past couple of years. One that we designed looked at all of the potential symptoms and effects of heart disease and built this all into a very complicated Bayesian network. With this given, we were able to create an AI program for a health insurer that could program in known information from their insured individuals to gauge their probability for heart disease."

  2. 2.

    At EBSCO Publishing, we take security risks very importantly in our products. In your experience, what are the biggest security risks in software and what is your experience in any prevention methods?

      As an expert in software industry, you are obviously aware of the many security risks that systems face in this day and age. For your answer to this question, talk knowledgeably about the security risks that you are most familiar with combating in your day to day work. Explain why the posed risk is important to combat against and talk about the methods you used to minimalize risk in the finished product.

      Ryan's Answer #1

      "As I'm fully aware, cyber-security has become a very important issue over the past ten years. In my current role, our biggest security risk is injection of code used by hackers to access information in our web applications. To help prevent any risks associated with injection, we've implemented the use of a safe API and using specific LIMIT and other SQL controls within queries to prevent loss of records in case of an injection."

      Ryan's Answer #2

      "In the healthcare field where I currently work, broken authentication vulnerability has allowed attackers to hack into electronic medical records and gain control over those systems. This type of attack potentially puts hundreds of thousands of people at risk within a given system. We use many methods to prevent this type of security risk. First, we take the time to properly test the code before rolling out new updates to software. We also utilize very detailed external security audits. Other details we have implemented have been multi-factor authentication processes and recommendations to align password requirements with the NIST guidelines."

  3. 3.

    What unique values can you bring to EBSCO Publishing in your user experience design skills?

      While your interviewer has shown confidence in your technical abilities to succeed at EBSCO Publishing 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.

      Ryan's Answer #1

      "I have really taken pride in my ability to add value to the business needs of the customers that I work with. During any design project, I take the time to work with end users to find their wants and needs out of the program. Then, as I create the UX design, I keep their needs at the forefront and do anything possible to exceed their expectations."

      Ryan's Answer #2

      "As you can see from my resume, I have formal training and experience in user experience research and I know that this would benefit the work that I would be doing here at EBSCO Publishing if hired for this position. I pursued this additional training in my career because of my passion for the customer journey in the programs that I design."

  4. 4.

    In your experience in software testing, would you consider yourself proficient in both testing and debugging processes?

      As a reputable provider of software, EBSCO Publishing 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."

  5. 5.

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

      As a software engineer for EBSCO Publishing, 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."

  6. 6.

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

      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 EBSCO Publishing. 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 EBSCO Publishing 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."

  7. 7.

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

      While this position at EBSCO Publishing 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.

      Ryan's Answer #1

      "I would say that my credibility is my best leadership skill. My openness and honesty suits me well when working among a team of individuals and this helps them gain trust in following my lead when working on projects. Another skill I would bring here to EBSCO Publishing would be my ability to lead by example. I'm not afraid to take a risk in seeking innovation and I've been commended for this trait many times by my current manager."

      Ryan's Answer #2

      "If you were to offer this position to me, you'd quickly find that my positive attitude is an inspiration to those that I work closely with. In my current job, we work under the constant stress of tight deadlines and my positivity can be infectious to help others maintain their focus when negativity can easily take over in most situations. I would say that my other strong suit as a natural leader is my ability to be fluid on a day to day basis. Sometimes our world can be monotonous and when change comes, most resist that change. For me, change is a chance to break the current mold and grow as an employee."

  8. 8.

    How would you handle a situation where a colleague was being very difficult to work with?

      In the team based atmosphere at EBSCO Publishing, 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.

      Ryan'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."

      Ryan'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."

  9. 9.

    How do you keep up-to-date on new technologies and trends in this industry?

      One way that a potential employer will gauge 'fit' is by ensuring that you are passionate about your particular industry. Show the interviewer that you are passionate about your industry by openly discussing how you stay on top of industry trends.

      Ryan's Answer #1

      "I keep up to date on new technologies and trends through a variety of sources. I follow three different blogs from industry leaders as well as read multiple articles online per week."

      Ryan's Answer #2

      "I keep up on new trends in this industry by taking additional coursework online, whenever possible. I also follow a few of my favorite influencers on social media."

  10. 10.

    If hired here at EBSCO Publishing, 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 EBSCO Publishing 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 EBSCO Publishing."

      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."

  11. 11.

    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 EBSCO Publishing?

      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 EBSCO Publishing 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 EBSCO Publishing."

  12. 12.

    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 EBSCO Publishing, 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 EBSCO Publishing 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.

      Ryan'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."

      Ryan'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 EBSCO Publishing, 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."

  13. 13.

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

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

      Ryan'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 EBSCO Publishing."

      Ryan'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."

  14. 14.

    If hired for this position here at EBSCO Publishing, would you be comfortable handling overall project manager responsibilities for new software development?

      As a skilled software engineer, you have all of the necessary tools in your bag to be a successful engineer at EBSCO Publishing. 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 EBSCO Publishing. 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.

      Ryan's Answer #1

      "Looking to join the team here at EBSCO Publishing directly out of college, I feel very confident in my abilities to manage the entire scope of a new development project. I have leadership experience as my campus' president of the software engineering club. In that role, I developed skills that would help me utilize staff and resources in the best way possible. During my internship, I was exposed to the planning stages of new projects and I have a very good feel of estimating the budget and length of time needed to have a fully functional system."

      Ryan's Answer #2

      "I would absolutely be comfortable if tasked with project manager duties here at EBSCO Publishing. In my last two roles, I have led successful projects that started with great planning and budgeting process and went through to completion with great people and processes in place under my leadership. While it's not a regular duty for me in my current role, I always welcome leadership duties."

  15. 15.

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

      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 EBSCO Publishing. Prior to your interview, be sure you research and are family with the products that EBSCO Publishing 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 EBSCO Publishing, 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 EBSCO Publishing 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."

  16. 16.

    What would you say is your top non-technical skill that will help you succeed in this role here at EBSCO Publishing?

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  17. 17.

    What programming languages would you consider yourself fluent in?

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  18. 18.

    EBSCO Publishing embraces an Agile environment. Explain your experience in Agile methodologies and why you think it is important.

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  19. 19.

    We are looking for innovators to join us here at EBSCO Publishing. Where have you brought innovation in automation to a process in your career?

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  20. 20.

    In your mind, when is monkey testing the most effective in testing new software?

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  21. 21.

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

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  22. 22.

    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?

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  23. 23.

    What SDLC models are you familiar in working with?

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  24. 24.

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

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  25. 25.

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

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  26. 26.

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

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  27. 27.

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

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