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Lithium Technologies Interview
Questions

28 Questions and Answers by Ryan Brunner
Published February 18th, 2020 | Ryan has over 10 years of experience interviewing
candidates in the healthcare, public service, and private manufacturing/distribution industries.
Job Interviews     Companies     Technology     Software And Technology    

Question 1 of 28

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

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Answer Examples

1.

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

Lithium Technologies 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."

2.

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

While this position at Lithium Technologies 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 Lithium Technologies 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."

3.

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 Lithium Technologies.

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 Lithium Technologies 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."

4.

If you were confronted with a time where you wouldn't be able to meet a deadline here at Lithium Technologies, what steps would you take when you made that realization?

At some point in any person's career, the inevitable happens and an important deadline needs to be missed. With your interviewer fully understanding this fact, they are solely interested in how you react to this situation and what you do to make the situation right. In your answer, focus on the refocused planning and communication needed while also avoiding blaming others for the situation. Your interviewer holds accountability as a desirable virtue, so be sure to take accountability for actions in your response.

Ryan's Answer #1

"In my current position, I am very used to handling multiple tasks and projects on a day to day basis. Last year, my team was tasked with what started as a low priority project. After assembling a team to initially discuss the details and set a deadline for completion with our management, the project unfortunately fell off the radar of everyone on the team with many more high priority projects coming up each week. As the initial project's deadline was within a week of being due, our CEO reached out to me for a progress report. I immediately took full responsibility for letting this fall off the radar and I ensured our CEO that we would have an updated timeline set by the end of the week. In doing this and completing the project to his satisfaction, this was really the tipping point in our department moving forward utilizing a detailed project management tracking system. To this day, I can't say enough about how appreciative I am about utilizing this awesome system. Moving forward, you can rest assured knowing that I take full accountability for my actions and do what is necessary to communicate new expectations and meet them fully."

Ryan's Answer #2

"Having been in this situation before, I would first sit down to gather all the facts possible in the situation. What was the deadline, why wasn't it met and what can be done are all important questions moving forward. From there, communicating to all key parties is extremely important and doing so in a timely manner is critical. In this communication, taking accountability and setting new expectations for delivery in a concise and tactful manner will most often put stakeholders at ease and allow for successful completion."

5.

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 #1

"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 #2

"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."

6.

If you were asked to review a colleague's code that they had written, what key things would you look for?

For this question, your interviewer will obviously be looking to hear that you have adequate knowledge when it comes to coding processes. But most importantly, your interviewer will be looking to gauge your ability to be a team player and focus on the bigger picture when working on a project. In your answer, focus on your attention to detail and your ability to help others when needed.

Ryan's Answer #1

"As an experienced software engineer, I fully expect my colleagues to reach out to me for my insight and I never hesitate to provide open and honest feedback. When asked to do this, my main focus is ensuring that the code is readable and functional. If there are lines of code that need to be removed, I don't hesitate to let my colleague know that while also giving them feedback on why I feel it is unnecessary."

Ryan's Answer #2

"When I'm asked to do this in my current position, my main focus is on regulatory requirements that were put in place for the project and security issues. I work with a team of great engineers that are very efficient coders and these two areas are most often overlooked."

7.

How do you feel cloud computing has positively impacted the software industry?

While the reasons are plentiful as to how cloud computing has had a direct impact on developing and refining software for organizations, your interviewer is looking to hear which reasons you are willing to speak most passionately about. However you answer this question, try to either focus on the ease and accessibility for end users or cost savings for organizations in your answer.

Ryan's Answer #1

"Being in the software industry for over 20 years, I feel like the biggest impact that the cloud has had reflects directly to our customers in the software industry. In days of yore, we spent years working through software updates and releases. And now, I look to how we are continuously rolling out small scale, yet impactful, updates through the cloud and end users are able to see that impact the next day!"

Ryan's Answer #2

"One commonly overlooked area where I feel cloud based systems have brought a major improvement is in analytics. Ten years ago, it took a lot of time and resources to pull relevant data to build analytics and visualization tools. Today, information can be automatically built to pull in the snap of a finger and that is something that I never take for granted in my work."

8.

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

As an experience software testing engineer, quality assurance should be ingrained in your brain and your interviewer is looking to get a sense of your personal feelings towards it in your work with this question. In your answer, be sure to highlight QA's importance in reducing errors, maintaining specifications, testing failure parameters and preventing defects from occurring. In the end, make sure that quality is your mantra in the eyes of your interviewer by giving an example or two of how you put QA in the forefront of your work.

Ryan's Answer #1

"As a test engineer, I take great pride in my role of ensuring that systems go out to consumers as error free as possible. In my current role, I take the time to learn all of the system specifications that are laid out by our design engineers and customize my testing to follow those specifications."

Ryan's Answer #2

"In my work throughout my career, quality assurance in my testing was an every minute of every day job on my part. While creating effective testing processes on new software is extremely important in following QA protocols, the recording of defects, issuing of reports and assisting the designers on fixing issues are equally important parts of the process that I'd love to let shine here at Lithium Technologies."

9.

Do you have experience working with data in a cloud computing environment?

Over recent years, more and more companies are converting to cloud based computing services because the conversion allows them to save money and have better auditing trails. As a prospective data engineer with Lithium Technologies, your interviewer will be looking to hear that you are at least familiar with the concepts of working with cloud based data. Talk in details about the experiences you have while keeping your mind open to working with more in the future if hired with Lithium Technologies.

Ryan's Answer

"My current organization has been using Apprenda, a PaaS, that allows us to develop, test and maintain our software projects. I also have experience mining and converting data off of public, community and private cloud networks. If hired here at Lithium Technologies, I think I would bring a wealth of cloud based experience to the data engineering team."

10.

Lithium Technologies 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 #1

"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 #2

"I especially want to work for Lithium Technologies 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.

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 Lithium Technologies?

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 Lithium Technologies 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 Lithium Technologies."

12.

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

13.

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 Lithium Technologies. 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 #1

"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 #2

"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."

14.

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

As a reputable company, Lithium Technologies 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 Lithium Technologies, I also have experience performing perfective, preventative and corrective maintenance on software as well."

15.

Do you have experience in developing white papers as part of your technical writing experience?

In the software industry, Lithium Technologies uses white papers to explain complex terms in more simpler terms for their end users. If you do have experience creating white papers, discuss your experience in detail and explain what types of products you wrote them for. If you don't have direct experience, make sure that you can explain the basic premise of a white paper and talk about the skills that you have that give you the ability to write them effectively.

Ryan's Answer #1

"In my current role in the medical device industry, I have a lot of experience writing white papers for prospective and current customers. In this role, our white papers were what I would call a blend between a technical document and a marketing document as they really outlined how new products would help solve a problem for our customers. The process of my writing required a great amount of technical knowledge and the ability to convey that knowledge in layman's terms."

Ryan's Answer #2

"As a newer technical writer, I don't have direct experience writing white papers but I think my skills would be great for producing great ones here at Lithium Technologies. From what I know about white papers, they are very concise and to the point. They are reaching to a specific audience to explain a product and convey the benefits that customers can get from the product. In the software industry, I think my excellent technical writing skills will be very beneficial in the creation of white papers for your clients here at Lithium Technologies."

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28 Lithium Technologies Interview Questions
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Interview Questions

  1. In SQL, how do you explain the differences between clustered and non-clustered indexes? Can you name a time that you used each?
  2. If hired for this position at Lithium Technologies, what leadership skills would you bring to our team?
  3. How do you ensure that you have a healthy work-life balance in your career?
  4. If you were confronted with a time where you wouldn't be able to meet a deadline here at Lithium Technologies, what steps would you take when you made that realization?
  5. What is one thing that really tests your patience when dealing with your coworkers?
  6. If you were asked to review a colleague's code that they had written, what key things would you look for?
  7. How do you feel cloud computing has positively impacted the software industry?
  8. Here at Lithium Technologies, we ask our test engineers to follow specific QA protocols. What role do you feel QA plays in software development and testing?
  9. Do you have experience working with data in a cloud computing environment?
  10. Lithium Technologies embraces an Agile environment. Explain your experience in Agile methodologies and why you think it is important.
  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 Lithium Technologies?
  12. What SDLC models are you familiar in working with?
  13. How have you handled obstacles that you've faced during information gathering processes in your time as a technical writer?
  14. What experience do you have in the different types of software maintenance?
  15. Do you have experience in developing white papers as part of your technical writing experience?
  16. What do you feel are the primary features and benefits of the Java programming language?
  17. As you reflect back on your career to this point in your search for a new position, what would you say is your ideal work environment or culture?
  18. What software analysis and design tools do you have familiarity working with?
  19. We are looking for innovators to join us here at Lithium Technologies. Where have you brought innovation in automation to a process in your career?
  20. In Java, why shouldn't you use strings to store a password?
  21. What do you think you will like about this role with Lithium Technologies?
  22. Tell me about your problem-solving skills. Do you enjoy analyzing and solving complex problems?
  23. Do you have experience working with different CASE tools? If so, what do you have experience with?
  24. 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?
  25. What skills do you use to cope with the day to day stress and pressure on the job?
  26. In your current work, what are the important steps you take in the data validation process?
  27. In your experience in software testing, would you consider yourself proficient in both testing and debugging processes?
  28. If hired for this position here at Lithium Technologies, would you be comfortable handling overall project manager responsibilities for new software development?
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