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Entercoms 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

How do you feel artificial intelligence could further our business here at Entercoms?

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Entercoms Interview Questions

    1.

  1. How do you feel artificial intelligence could further our business here at Entercoms?
    • 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 Entercoms 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 Entercoms 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 Entercoms, 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 Entercoms. 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."

    2.

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

    3.

  1. 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 Entercoms, 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"

    4.

  1. 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 Entercoms, 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 Entercoms 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 Entercoms, 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."

    5.

  1. Here at Entercoms, we have adopted the cleanroom software engineering philosophy. Are you familiar with this philosophy?
    • Whether you do or don't have formal experience with the cleanroom philosophy, it is important to know the history and the basics of the philosophy to best answer this question. The cleanroom name comes from the semiconductor industry, where units are manufactured in a super clean environment to prevent defects. In software development, cleanroom refers to the use of of formal methods of development and strict inspection processes to avoid software defects. Make sure that you reiterate to your interviewer that you believe in the philosophy to show that you will fit in the team at Entercoms.

      Ryan's Answer #1

      "While my current organization doesn't formally call our process a cleanroom process, I am very familiar with the philosophy and I think the processes I have worked on in my career really mirror the thought process of cleanroom. I am a firm believer in the incremental development of new software and utilizing a structured programming processes. Both of these processes are a staple of the cleanroom process. If hired for this position, you can be comfortable in knowing that I would be a firm advocated of the cleanroom process."

      Ryan's Answer #2

      "I am very familiar with the cleanroom philosophy as my current employer utilizes the entire process in our development of banking software. While a part of the entire development process, I lead our certification team as part of the process. As part of that team, we are responsible for developing the testing of the system after it has been developed."

    6.

  1. How would you handle a situation where a colleague was being very difficult to work with?
    • In the team based atmosphere at Entercoms, 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."

    7.

  1. As a consultant with Entercoms, your role will be vital in gather information from our customers in building new technology for them. What would be your goals in an initial consultation with a new or existing client?
    • Software consultants are the bridge between the end users and the development teams of new software to help come up with new and creative solutions for the business. In this role with Entercoms, you will be expected to live in two different worlds and this question focuses on how you will work with end users of the companies products. In an initial consultation, focus your efforts on how you will learn the business needs of the client, talk about what can potentially be offered and then how you will start the creative problem solving process with them.

      Ryan's Answer #1

      "As an experienced consultant looking to break into the technology field, I will break a lot of awesome client focused skills to your team. In an initial consultation, my number one goal is to learn the business of the client and listen to what they are looking for in my products. Once their need is known, I can knowledgeably speak to the products that I work with to help them create a custom solution to fit their needs. If hired for this position, my first order of business would be to work very closely with the design and engineering staff to know the possibilities of customization. From there, my natural ability to consult with clients would take over in a win-win situation for all involved."

      Ryan's Answer #2

      "In consulting with a new client or an existing client looking for system modifications, my number one goal in a first meeting with them would be to lay the framework for how we will move forward and to set expectations moving forward. I would look to understand their business needs and talk with them about all of the solutions possible for them with us as their software provider. From there, I have the ability to set expectations on a time frame for a solution proposal and we can move forward from there. At the end of a first meeting, I want to ensure that the key decision makers are comfortable with me and the business that I represent so they don't hesitate to reach out to me with questions or for clarification on items discussed."

    8.

  1. If hired for this position here at Entercoms, 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 Entercoms. 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 Entercoms. 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 Entercoms 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 Entercoms. 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."

    9.

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

    10.

  1. If hired here at Entercoms, 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 Entercoms 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 Entercoms."

      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.

  1. As a machine learning engineer, how do you avoid the curse of dimensionality in your designs?
    • To effectively answer this question, it is important to first understand what dimensionality means in reference to machine learning and how it can curse a project. As the number of features increases in comparison to the number of observations within a data set, some algorithms struggle in pulling correct data. Your job on this question is to talk about ways that you can avoid the curse in your designs. Some possible things that you may mention and describe are feature selection, correlation thresholds and variance thresholds.

      Ryan's Answer #1

      "A common example that I use with people to explain complications in dimensionality is dropping a pin on a 10 foot straight line. This would be relatively simple to find. Next, if you dropped the pin in a 10 foot by 10 foot square, the task of finding the pin becomes more difficult. Adding a third dimension to make a 10 foot cubed area makes it all the more difficult to find the pin if placed within it. In bringing this back to machine learning, my job is to somehow make the three dimensional field that the machine will pull from easier to pull from. Last year, I was part of a team that developed a system for pulling public health data. We were able to set many variance thresholds that removed values that didn't change much from observation to observation. After careful testing, the system was able to pull information quickly and accurately based on these thresholds."

      Ryan's Answer #2

      "As you can see from my resume, I've spent the last six years working in the electronics industry. Most of my machine learning work has focused audio data. To avoid the curse of dimensionality within the systems I've designed, autoencoders have been tremendous in pulling information. While a great amount of time and effort was needed to effectively train the systems, the work was well worth it in the end."

    12.

  1. 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 Entercoms.

      Ryan'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."

      Ryan'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 Entercoms 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."

    13.

  1. What experience do you have in the different types of software maintenance?
    • As a reputable company, Entercoms 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 Entercoms, I also have experience performing perfective, preventative and corrective maintenance on software as well."

    14.

  1. What software analysis and design tools do you have familiarity working with?
    • As a software engineer for Entercoms, 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."

    15.

  1. 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 Entercoms 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."

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