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F5 Networks Interview
Questions

28 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 28

If hired here at F5 Networks, what do you feel would be the biggest hurdle for you to overcome from the start?

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F5 Networks Interview Questions

  1. 1.

    If hired here at F5 Networks, 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 F5 Networks 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

      "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 F5 Networks."

      Ryan's Answer

      "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."

  2. 2.

    What is one thing that really tests your patience when dealing with your coworkers?

      While on the surface this question may seem like your interviewer is trying to get you to talk negatively about a situation, it is really more of a test to see what can potentially drive you crazy on the job in a team atmosphere and how you handle those situations. In your answer, be honest about your pet peeves when it comes to coworkers and do so in a positive light. Then, expand on your answer by talking about how you handle those situations.

      "As a person that values diversity and differences of opinion in the workplace, there aren't many things that grind my personal gears when it comes to my colleagues. The only real true test of my patience is a coworker that doesn't pull their weight in a team effort. When I've been in this situation in the past, I first seek to learn if the issue is a lack of training or knowledge. If it is, I take the necessary steps to help my colleague get on track. But if I find that it is due to a lack of effort, I talk to the person immediately in a professional manner. The sum is only as good as the effort of all of its parts and a team efforts requires everyone's maximum effort."

      Ryan's Answer

      "As a person that values diversity and differences of opinion in the workplace, there aren't many things that grind my personal gears when it comes to my colleagues. The only real true test of my patience is a coworker that doesn't pull their weight in a team effort. When I've been in this situation in the past, I first seek to learn if the issue is a lack of training or knowledge. If it is, I take the necessary steps to help my colleague get on track. But if I find that it is due to a lack of effort, I talk to the person immediately in a professional manner. The sum is only as good as the effort of all of its parts and a team efforts requires everyone's maximum effort."

      Ryan's Answer

      "Having been raised in a rural farm setting, I have always been a stickler for being on time and holding meetings to set lengths of time. While watching people show up late for meetings has bothered me internally because of how I am wired, I don't let it bother me on the exterior. We are all very busy in our lines of work and showing up a few minutes late is only normal from time to time."

  3. 3.

    Tell me about your greatest work related accomplishment.

      Talking about your most significant accomplishment will give the interviewer a firm idea of where you place your values. It will also show the interviewer more about your personality, how you like to be motivated, and how to coach you in the future. It is okay to brag a little bit when answering this question. Show that you are proud of yourself and your career accomplishments!

      Ryan's Answer

      "The greatest accomplishment in my career was graduating University as an honors student while still working full time in a related field. I was top of my class, and working full time. This accomplishment showed me that I could dedicate myself to my career, and reach the goals that I set for myself. It felt great to accomplish so much and be recognized for my dedication."

      Ryan's Answer

      "My greatest work-related accomplishment was the management promotion I received at Company X after just one year. I worked very hard for that promotion and was so happy when my work and dedication was rewarded. It kick-started my career."

  4. 4.

    How have you handled obstacles that you've faced during information gathering processes in your time as a technical writer?

      To successfully document and write about software products, information gathering from subject matter experts will be a key part of your process if hired for this role at F5 Networks. As you have likely experienced during your career, the information gathering process can be one of the most painstaking processes within the life of a project. For this question, your interviewer is looking to hear what obstacles you have faced in this situation in the past and how you handled those situations. This will give them insight on how you will work as part of a larger team in handling these perceived obstacles if hired for this position.

      Ryan's Answer

      "Because the information gathering phase is a vital step in my finished projects, I take the time to meet as many credible sources as possible. This includes design engineers, automation engineers, product designers and many other folks and the biggest hiccup that I usually come across is coordinating time with folks that have busy schedules. To help minimize the total time frame for info gathering, I am very direct in my communications to key leaders that I want to meet with to finish a project and my directness is always taken well. Like any obstacle we face in our work, I find that being upfront and direct is the best manner for handling them."

      Ryan's Answer

      "I'd say that one of the more common obstacles that I have faced in my current role as a technical writer is a lack of expectations from the experts that I consult with through the process. To better this over time, I have created a set of general expectations that I provide to people ahead of our meetings that help them prepare information ahead of time. This approach not only helps me get more relevant information up front, but also helps speed the information process up significantly."

  5. 5.

    What publication tools do you have experience working on during your time as a technical writer?

      On top of the basic word processing tools, your interviewer will be looking to hear that you have familiarity with some of the various diagramming tools, online content management tools and other digital publishing tools. Be open and honest with what you are experienced with and don't hesitate to point out where you may be inexperienced, as long as you can point out that you are willing and able to learn new tools of the trade.

      Ryan's Answer

      "For document processing, I would consider myself on expert on both Microsoft Word and Adobe FrameMaker. I have received extensive training on both programs. I also would consider myself very fluent in Microsoft Visio for creating robust diagrams within my projects. A newer system that I have been learning over the past two years is Calameo. My current organization utilizes the site to share my departments online through interactive publications."

      Ryan's Answer

      "Having been in the technical writing trade for almost 20 years now, I sure have seen an array of great advancements in technology that has bettered my work over time. Other than the basic processing tools, one of the unique tools that I have mastered is Sublime Text. This HTML editor is used to write the basis of our website and technical documents online and I have received a lot of training on utilizing the system. With my experience on this system, I feel like I could flawlessly learn and master other HTML editors here at F5 Networks."

  6. 6.

    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 F5 Networks by asking your interviewer which model they work off of.

      Ryan's Answer

      "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

      "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 F5 Networks, can you expand on what models you use here in your software development life cycle?"

  7. 7.

    Talk about a recent successful project that you worked on that required you to navigate some troubled waters during the project. What were the roadblocks and how did you overcome them?

      While your resume and your past experiences can easily show your interview that you have the technical abilities for this position with F5 Networks, your interviewer needs some insight on your problem solving skills. This question allows your interviewer a chance to see how you handle adversity by using resources available to you. In your answer, talk about your ability to think critically and leverage people and resources to the advantage of beating a roadblock in your work. Make sure that your answer provides an example of a project that ended in success.

      Ryan's Answer

      "A couple of years ago, I was the lead architect on a new software package that we were developing. As in any project, I was tasked with reviewing and approving the code the would be enveloped in the software. Because the final code impacted our potential clients and this was certainly a unique package we were developing, I proposed putting together a focus panel of existing clients to discuss potential needs out of a new system. My senior leaders were very reluctant to do this as they didn't want any word getting out about the program in its infancy. Knowing that we really wanted their feedback to start the coding process, I worked with our sales staff to build a list of our most dedicated customers. Then, I approached out leadership with this group and they approved without reluctance. After putting together the focus panel and gathering their thoughts, we built a phenomenal program that exceeded all of our sales and performance expectations."

      Ryan's Answer

      "I know that a large part of my success in the software architecture field is due to my ability to work collaboratively with others and provide mentorship to those on my team. On a recent project, I faced a design engineer that was very rigid in their ways and was unable to conform with new requirements for a system we were designing. In one of our first planning meetings, it became very evident that he would be unwilling to change in his ways. Being a person that wants to talk things out before escalating things further, I invited him to my office to talk one on one. I used a very educational approach to explain why we would be using the process we would be and I encouraged his participation in that approach. He hesitantly agreed. As we moved from design phase to the implementation phase, the engineer went right back to his old way of doing things and not embracing our new process. Rather than upsetting the entire project time, I immediately approached the engineer with a your either on board the ship or off the ship approach. Rather quickly, he asked that his seat on the team be reassigned to another engineer. In doing that quickly, our project was back up and running with success."

  8. 8.

    In SQL, how do you explain the differences between clustered and non-clustered indexes? Can you name a time that you used each?

      F5 Networks 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

      "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

      "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."

  9. 9.

    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 F5 Networks, 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 F5 Networks 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

      "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

      "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 F5 Networks, 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."

  10. 10.

    F5 Networks embraces an Agile environment. Explain your experience in Agile methodologies and why you think it is important.

      The interviewer would like to understand the depth of your knowledge in Agile. The interviewer would also like to know if you work well with team collaboration, are responsive to stakeholder needs, and can work well with team defined milestones. Give a specific example of your experience.

      Ryan's Answer

      "The majority of my experience has been in an Agile environment. For ten years I have been personally responsible for leading agile teams, and I have helped define team goals and milestones. This approach is important to me as I see how Agile methodology helps employees deliver better products in less time. In my current role, team productivity increased by 34% once we introduced an Agile environment, and our on-time project rate skyrocketed another 18%."

      Ryan's Answer

      "I especially want to work for F5 Networks because I have friends who have worked here before with really positive feedback on their experiences. I am looking for a positive work environment where I can stay for a long time to come."

  11. 11.

    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?

      As your role with F5 Networks will look to help further their automate testing processes for new systems, you will need to have a good sense for when automation makes sense and when it does not. Reiterate your sense for this to your interviewer by sticking to the high level response that repetitive tasks, as are common with large software companies, are prime candidates for automation whereas one time test cases are not.

      Ryan's Answer

      "Having been in automation in both manufacturing for many years and now software for the last three years, a common misconception among people is that automation can help improve any situation and that couldn't be further from the truth. The amount of time, effort and resources that goes into an automation process makes it ideal for repetitive tasks and tests that have multiple data sets. If a testing process calls for unique and one time process, it would make the most sense to run that process manually."

      Ryan's Answer

      "I"n my current position, most of the automation testing that I design is in program sanity testing. These automated tests work great because they run on similar systems following changes in code to ensure that no bugs remain in the system. If our group of engineers are working on unique, one off type projects, my automation processes are not utilized."

  12. 12.

    Talk about a time when things didn't go as planned on the job. What was the situation and what allowed your to persevere in that situation?

      As a professional in the tech industry, you have likely had a project that failed, a promotion that passed you over or a meltdown occur at some point in time. Realizing that your interviewer fully understands and expects that failure happens, talk openly and honestly about a situation where you experienced failure or failed plans. Most importantly in your answer, focus on how you overcame the particular situation and discuss lessons that you learned moving forward that you can bring to this role at F5 Networks.

      Ryan's Answer

      "A couple of years ago in my first role as a UI designer out of college, my team was tasked with coming up with a very short notice proposal for a potential high end customer. With a week turnaround time, I set right to spending my time gathering information on the company to build a mock design. When the proposal was submitted, I found out that the potential customer scoffed at my idea and the customer went with another organization's proposal for their use. The biggest piece of feedback that I got was that the UI design just wasn't conducive to the type of customers they were expecting. From that point forward, whether it has been with short notice or long-term products, I take the time to communicate with key decision makers from clients to gather information for making my design as user friendly as possible."

      Ryan's Answer

      "Last year, I was working on a large scale project that put me face to face with a key customer. After traveling onsite with the customer to spend time with them, I exchanged contact information with two of the key decision makers. In the weeks following, I was sending them follow up emails with our business proposals and was getting frustrated at the lack of response from the clients. After my manager had questioned the viability of the potential customer, I picked up the phone and called them directly. It turns out that their responses back to me were being sent to a junk email folder that I neglected to consider. I apologized for the mistake, took action quickly and we came to a great agreement on future business together. After having a laugh about it with my boss, I now incorporate diligent communication follow ups both by phone and email with customers while also regularly checking all email inboxes."

  13. 13.

    What unique values can you bring to F5 Networks in your user experience design skills?

      While your interviewer has shown confidence in your technical abilities to succeed at F5 Networks 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

      "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

      "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 F5 Networks 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."

  14. 14.

    What do you see as the top benefits of moving to a cloud based computing platform?

      While cloud based computing has certainly had its positive impacts across many different industries, the field of software and technology development has its own unique benefits. For this question, your interviewer will be looking to hear that you understand just how a cloud based platform benefits the field. In your answer, focus on resources that impact both the work that the team at F5 Networks performs and the end users of the software.

      Ryan's Answer

      "Over the past couple of years in my current position, we have greatly benefited from the vast amount of testing and staging servers that available on the cloud. In developing new programs, our testing and delivery has greatly increased our team's productivity to new levels. Add on the simple cost savings of the cloud and a move to the cloud was a no brainer for us in the end. If hired for this role here at F5 Networks, I'd be able to bring new cloud computing ideas to your team from day one on the job."

      Ryan's Answer

      "As with any of the work that I have done in this field, I focus on the consumer and the benefits that they can reap from my work. In the cloud, updates to existing software are made available almost instantaneously and end users have access to those updates with the simple click of a button. Rewind to years prior, these software updates took time and manpower that are almost unthinkable by today's standards."

  15. 15.

    If hired for this position at F5 Networks, what leadership skills would you bring to our team?

      While this position at F5 Networks 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

      "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 F5 Networks 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

      "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."

  16. 16.

    Here at F5 Networks, we subscribe to the domain-driven design approach for our customers. If hired for this role, what will you do in your first 90 days on the job to ensure you can sustain in this job with that approach?

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  17. 17.

    At F5 Networks, 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?

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  18. 18.

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

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  19. 19.

    What would you say is your top non-technical skill that will help you succeed in this role here at F5 Networks?

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  20. 20.

    Our cloud computing at F5 Networks requires our experts to take proper security measures in their work. What security measures are you familiar with utilizing in a cloud platform?

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  21. 21.

    In your current work, what are the important steps you take in the data validation process?

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  22. 22.

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

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  23. 23.

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

    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 F5 Networks?

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  26. 26.

    Talk about your previous user interface design experience in detail. Why do you feel that this experience will translate well to this role with F5 Networks?

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  27. 27.

    Here at F5 Networks, we ask our test engineers to follow specific QA protocols. What role do you feel QA plays in software development and testing?

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  28. 28.

    What programming languages would you consider yourself fluent in?

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