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National Information Solutions Cooperative 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

If you were faced with a situation that you didn't know the answer to or understand, what would your next steps be?

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National Information Solutions Cooperative Interview Questions

  1. 1.

    If you were faced with a situation that you didn't know the answer to or understand, what would your next steps be?

      Work as an IT support specialist in the software industry could potentially put you in a situation to handle a question or issue that leaves you scratching your head. While explaining to your interviewer that you have the ability to take a methodical approach to getting a problem solved with the help of others, make sure not to lost sight on what is important to the customer. Talk about how you will put the customer at east by considering their needs as part of your process.

      Ryan's Answer #1

      "In times where this has happened in my current role, I have explained to the customer that an advanced issue like theirs needs to go to one of our subject matter experts to ensure that they get the best support possible. I explain that I am going to put their call on hold and reach out to the department that I need to. If possible, I connect them immediately. If not possible, then I walk through our protocol of submitting a help desk ticket to the appropriate group while explaining to the customer that our expectation is a 24 hour turnaround. I am very appreciative of these protocols because they set very easy to follow standards for our customers and help to avoid unnecessary follow up calls."

      Ryan's Answer #2

      "My first step would be to ask for help from my lead in the department or my supervisor. I would let the customer know that I would be putting them in contact with another person that has more expertise on their problem and doing so was best to help problem solve in this case. If hired for this role here at National Information Solutions Cooperative, would that method meet the expectations of the department?"

  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 #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."

  3. 3.

    We are looking for innovators to join us here at National Information Solutions Cooperative. Where have you brought innovation in automation to a process in your career?

      Innovation in software has occurred in many phases over the last 20 years and National Information Solutions Cooperative is always striving to be on the forefront of innovation in their field. For this question, think back on your automation experience and talk about a concept that you helped create that you felt was innovative. Really sell your interviewer on your ability to think outside of the box with this question by hammering home the idea that you can help bring new innovations to the team at National Information Solutions Cooperative.

      Ryan's Answer #1

      "To be very honest with you, I was really drawn to the automation side of engineering because of the constant need to be flexible and continuing me education to stay ahead of new trends. Last year, I helped develop a codeless test automation for my company that brought together our software engineers and end users to test in environments in a fast and efficient manner. The codeless testing was a first for my organization and really helped free up time for our software engineers to come up with solutions rather than spend time testing."

      Ryan's Answer #2

      "About four years ago, I was on a team that developed an AI bot that could test scripts and provide analysis on extremely large amounts of data in a short period of time. Our work focused on the algorighms that the AI would utilize in its testing work. From the start, the AI process was extremely accurate and efficient. Now, as things have changed over time, modifications to the AI system all center around changes to the algorithms. Based on our success, we presented our AI system at a national conference last year and it received a lot of great accolades."

  4. 4.

    Here at National Information Solutions Cooperative, we strive for continuous delivery and continuous deployment with our software. Are you familiar with these processes in your current work?

      In the industries that National Information Solutions Cooperative works in, updates to software are vital to end users for them to stay at the forefront of their business. To ensure that updates happen as quick and smoothly as possible, National Information Solutions Cooperative utilizes continuous delivery and continuous deployment for their customers. For this question, talk about what you know about these processes as a software architect, why they are important and what experience you have with them.

      Ryan's Answer #1

      "In my current role, we utilize a 100% continuous deployment process with our end users when we role out new changes to existing software. We use automated testing in our process to validate that code changes are correct and able to be deployed without issue. Once validated, changes are automatically rolled out to our end users. Having once utilized a continuous delivery system, I am very appreciative of working in an environment utilizing continuous deployment as it negates any need for human intervention in the roll out."

      Ryan's Answer #2

      "In my current position, we've slowly grown from a continuous integration process to a continuous delivery process. I love the automated testing process when we are looking at rolling out new changes to existing software and my role as the architect for our projects puts me in the drivers seat for sending out these changes. If hired for this role here at National Information Solutions Cooperative, I'd be very intrigued at learning and working with continuous deployment practices as well."

  5. 5.

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

      As a reputable company, National Information Solutions Cooperative 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 National Information Solutions Cooperative, I also have experience performing perfective, preventative and corrective maintenance on software as well."

  6. 6.

    In a technical support role here at National Information Solutions Cooperative, we expect that you would be able to bring great customer service skills to the role. Describe your customer service philosophy in the support that you would provide.

      While your interviewer will be able to get great insight into your technical expertise during your interviewer, this one question will allow you the opportunity to describe how you will bring solid interpersonal skills to the role. Your interview knows that customers will rely on you to provide quick and sensible support for their needs, but the expectation to do that in a pleasing manner is of utmost importance. Talk from a high level about your feelings on why providing great service is important and give an example or two of ways that you have done that in the past.

      Ryan's Answer #1

      "To me, my job duties aren't fully satisfied if an end user leaves our conversation without a smile on their face. While any technical support specialist can handle the customer aspect of the job, few have the people skills to do so pleasantly for their customers. In any interaction that I have with a customer, I talk in a calm and boosting manner. If they are upset or mad about a situation, I reflectively listen and never place any blame back on them. By taking this approach, my customer surveys in my current position have been excellent for the three years I've held that role."

      Ryan's Answer #2

      "If hired for this role here at National Information Solutions Cooperative, you'll quickly find that my mantra in working with customers is speed with a smile. To do this, I need to be resourceful in providing them with an answer or triaging them to the correct person. I need to be knowledgeable in our product base to give them answers with confidence. And last, but not least, I need to be positive in all interactions with them."

  7. 7.

    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 #1

      "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 #2

      "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."

  8. 8.

    If hired here at National Information Solutions Cooperative to develop iOS and Android software, when would you use a fragment rather than an activity?

      In the development of apps for both iOS and Android, using code to create an activity versus a fragment is a highly debated topic to this day. For this question, your interviewer is looking to hear that you understand what the differences between the two are and when you feel that using a fragment is the proper direction to go. Make sure to speak to the high level overview of what an activity does to an app versus fragments.

      Ryan's Answer #1

      "As a best practice in my development of Android apps in the past, activities are really the complete screen that a user experiences as part of the app. Fragments are really small sub activities that take place within the activity. Because fragments within an app have their own life cycle and receive their own input events within the app, there are specific times where fragments make the most sense to use in development. In my experience, I always use fragments when the app is working with UI components that are going to be uses across multiple activities within the app. As well, fragments have also served very well when using swipe views within the app."

      Ryan's Answer #2

      "In the past year, I honestly don't recall designing a new app that ran solely on an activity alone. The fragments are almost necessary today to bring life to an app. I use retained fragments to persist across activity restarts within the app and this helps make a user friendly experience for our end users."

  9. 9.

    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 National Information Solutions Cooperative?

      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 National Information Solutions Cooperative 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 National Information Solutions Cooperative."

  10. 10.

    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."

  11. 11.

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

      While the core data framework and the managed object context may seem pretty easy to comprehend and simple from a first look, a deeper look into managed object context shows that it can be misused to the point where obscure bugs can enter the system. Give your interviewer your own personal insight into the purpose of managed object context and how it works behind the scenes to help an app properly run.

      Ryan's Answer #1

      "In my current work, I work with both main queue and private queue manged object contexts. It is important that I avoid non user related data processing on the main queue of an app that I am developing. In times where this has happened in the past, the user interface becomes unresponsive and crashes. As well, I work to avoid instances passing between the main and private queues to avoid corruption of data within the app."

      Ryan's Answer #2

      "Knowing that a managed object context's job is to manage a number of records within an app, my job is to successfully manage each object within the app and assign it to a correlating context within the app. I have to consider the persistent store coordinator and code the app to fetch requests from the correct one."

  12. 12.

    What would you consider your technical specialty?

      Do you have any particular areas of interest or ability? Talk to the interviewer about your strengths and be sure to highlight any specific skills that you excel in. It's a great idea, if you can, to highlight particular skills that may be listed on the company's job posting/job description. If there is a related area of interest where you'd like to expand your skills, you can mention those as well.

      Ryan's Answer #1

      "Computing and Network Communications has always been a solid area for me. I have a big interest in how network communication improves our daily lives and our overall business efficiency. I see that you are looking for team members who are experts in network communications which is what caught my eye when I first saw your job posting."

      Ryan's Answer #2

      "I have been focusing my career on becoming a cloud integration specialist although I do have cross-platform app development expertise as well."

  13. 13.

    What programming languages would you consider yourself fluent in?

      While this question gives your interviewer insight into the diversity of your programming language experience, they most importantly want to know that you are adaptable and able to learn on the fly if needed. Talk about the different languages that you consider yourself fluent in and, if possible, do as much research into National Information Solutions Cooperative as you can prior to your interview and try to speak to the specific languages that they work with.

      Ryan's Answer #1

      "From the start of college, where software engineering grew into a passion for me, I've become very fluent in Java, JavaScript and C++. My current role has me working primarily with C++, but I pride myself on my ability and passion to learn new programming languages and would be able to do so if hired for this role with National Information Solutions Cooperative."

      Ryan's Answer #2

      "During my training to be an engineer and then in my current role since graduating, a majority of my experience falls within Python. My current role delves deeply into artificial intelligence and Python is awesome with this advanced technology. As I understand it from talking to another engineer here at National Information Solutions Cooperative, a requirement would be for me to learn Scala. Though I haven't worked directly with Scala, I believe my experience and willingness to learn would have me up and running in no time if hired for this role."

  14. 14.

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

      Because parcelable is optimized for Android to be faster and more customizable, your interviewer will be looking to hear that you are willing to put in the extra work to utilize the parcelable method to achieve better performance within the software that you design. Give your interviewer your thoughts on the differences between the two methods of passing object references to activities within an app that you design and make sure that they understand that you are ready to perform the work to utilize the parcelable method when necessary.

      Ryan's Answer #1

      "Having written code for Android apps for many years now, I am very familiar with both serializable and parcelable methods. In my first hand experience, parcelable provides a much faster and better user experience so I will always strive to take the time to write custom code for marhsaling and unmarshaling to create less garbage objects within an app."

      Ryan's Answer #2

      "Due to it being a standard Java interface and its ease of implementation, serializable interface is pretty commonly used. But, because it uses reflection, many temporary objects are created within Android apps and this creates a very poor user experience. When the parcelable interface was introduced for Android systems, I have extensively focused on its use and finished products have benefited greatly."

  15. 15.

    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 National Information Solutions Cooperative, 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 National Information Solutions Cooperative 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 National Information Solutions Cooperative, 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."

  16. 16.

    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?

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  17. 17.

    What do you know about our products and how do you think you'll be able to handle a support role surrounding them?

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  18. 18.

    What SDLC models are you familiar in working with?

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  19. 19.

    Talk about a data integration project where you encountered an issue with completing tasks due to the negligence of others. How did you handle this issue to ensure solid completion of the project?

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  20. 20.

    A huge part of our business here at National Information Solutions Cooperative is designing software for iOS. In this role, how would you steer away from retain cycles when using closures in Swift programming language?

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  21. 21.

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

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  22. 22.

    What unique values can you bring to National Information Solutions Cooperative in your user experience design skills?

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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.

    How would you say that you would help bring sound data governance philosophies to this role at National Information Solutions Cooperative?

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  25. 25.

    What skills do you use to cope with the day to day stress and pressure on the job?

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  26. 26.

    What would you say is your top non-technical skill that will help you succeed in this role here at National Information Solutions Cooperative?

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  27. 27.

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

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