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Nearsoft 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

Tell me about the most interesting project you have worked on this year and the biggest thing you learned from it.

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Nearsoft Interview Questions

  1. 1.

    Tell me about the most interesting project you have worked on this year and the biggest thing you learned from it.

      Discuss with the interviewer one of your recent projects that particularly piqued your interest. Did it stretch you professionally? What was the biggest takeaway for you from that particular project?

      Ryan's Answer #1

      "In my previous role we were working on a variety of projects with fingerprint recognition software. One of the most interesting projects was a fingerprint-based ATM system. It was a test project for a large banking institution. In addition to learning a great deal about fingerprint recognition, I was also able to learn a lot about the critical relationship between software and security."

      Ryan's Answer #2

      "I find the majority of the projects that I have been working on this past year to be very interesting. If I had to choose one, I would choose to work on the Uber app. Since I am still in my internship, I didn't have any major contributions; however, I learned a lot about on-demand apps and building a friendly user interface."

  2. 2.

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

      By utilizing random inputs to check the behavior of a program, monkey testing has its time and place in the software testing process. For this question, your interviewer is looking to hear that you have an understanding of the theory behind monkey testing and how you would look to put it to work at Nearsoft to test their products.

      Ryan's Answer #1

      "In my experience, monkey testing has been very effective in load testing and stress testing new software as standard testing methods couldn't do this without a lot of extra work. Because of the adhoc approach to the testing, load and stress on the software was most highly gauged through monkey testing."

      Ryan's Answer #2

      "Because monkey testing is able to find unique bugs that standard testing won't find, I've found it to be very effective for testing new pilot software programs that are reaching new bounds. At my current job, I helped design a brilliant monkey testing process that utilized user behavior to look for certain probabilities of bugs within our systems that we were designing."

  3. 3.

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

      As a software engineer for Nearsoft, 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."

  4. 4.

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

      As a software architect at Nearsoft, you will be relied upon to be the bridge to between the business and technical side of the organization. Your work my be relied upon to work within many silos of the organization. Because of this need, your interviewer is asking you to dig deep inside of yourself and talk about what you feel is your greatest skill to help you do this that is outside of your technical ability. As you prepare for this question, there are many ways that you can answer. No matter how you answer, be sure that your answer relates to your ability to work with other people in some way, shape or form.

      Ryan's Answer #1

      "As I grew in the software development field over my career, I was best suited to be a architect because of my ability to be a great project manager. If hired for this role here at Nearsoft, you'll quickly find that I have the ability to lead others, negotiate, budget and oversee a project from idea to final delivery."

      Ryan's Answer #2

      "From a self introspection point of view, I think that my ability to be empathetic towards others that I work with has led to a huge amount of my success in the software architecture field. While I do have the technical skills to do great things here at Nearsoft, my ability to learn from others, see their point of view and become a great teach to them when needed will really set me apart from others that you are interviewing for this position. If given the opportunity to work here, this skills will greatly improve the team atmosphere."

  5. 5.

    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 Nearsoft 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 #1

      "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 #2

      "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."

  6. 6.

    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."

  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 Nearsoft, 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 #1

      "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 #2

      "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.

    If you were confronted with a time where you wouldn't be able to meet a deadline here at Nearsoft, 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."

  9. 9.

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

      While this position at Nearsoft 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 Nearsoft 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."

  10. 10.

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

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

  11. 11.

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

      As a company that utilizes Java, Nearsoft and your interviewer want to make sure that you have an understanding of the Java programming language and they do so by asking this question. Obviously a language packed with unique features, talk about the features that you can speak the most knowledgeably about and tie your direct experience to.

      Ryan's Answer

      "When I started working with Java three years ago, the first huge benefit was the fact that the Java syntax was based on C++. At that time, I had a great working knowledge of C++ and my transition to Java was absolutely seamless. The other amazing feature that I've come to appreciate with Java is how robust the memory management is in exception handling and automatic garbage collection."

  12. 12.

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

      Nearsoft 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."

  13. 13.

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

      As a reputable provider of software, Nearsoft relies on their software testing engineers to both test and debug their products when necessary. Make your interviewer aware that you are knowledgeable on both processes by briefly explaining each process as you've worked on them in the past. Then, talk about your openness to working both testing and debugging processes if hired for this position.

      Ryan's Answer #1

      "Yes, I definitely would consider myself proficient in both testing and debugging software. My current role that I've held for four years since graduating from college has exposed me to both processes. In testing, I use known conditions and predefined methods to test for expected outcomes to find errors within the system. I utilize testing prior to new software rollouts. The debugging process happens to already released software that has had issues and comes with unknown conditions and unpredictable outcomes. In this process, my goal is to find the cause of the error to fix it efficiently and effectively to roll an updated program back out to end users."

      Ryan's Answer #2

      "While a majority of my career has been focused on software testing, I am very familiar with debugging processes as well. If hired for this position, I would take the time to focus on debugging processes to bring myself up to speed while being able to hit the ground running on testing processes."

  14. 14.

    In your current role, how would describe your ability to communicate and coordinate with the developers, testers and architects that you work closely with?

      At Nearsoft, teamwork is of utmost importance for the system analysts to perform their job well. Talk to your interviewer about your most comfortable methods to communicate with others on your team and give examples of how you've contributed to a team based atmosphere. Be sure that your interviewer walks away from your conversation without a shadow of a doubt that you will be a team player if hired for this position.

      Ryan's Answer #1

      "As you can see from my resume, my current job is with a worldwide software development organization. Because of our reach, a lot of my colleagues that I work with are in different locations than me. Most communications are in email and I consider myself great at communicating clearly through email. We also utilize Skype for video meetings when I need to get face to face with my engineers and testers on my projects. While not having someone in an office next door can be difficult at times, especially when looking to coordinate high needs tasks, being organized and timely in communications is key to success."

      Ryan's Answer #2

      "I consider myself excellent at coordinating activities among my team of colleagues and keeping lines of communication open with them as well. In my current role, I lead a bi-weekly huddle where our testers, architects, engineers and analysts can get together in a room for 30 minutes to discuss high needs items as a group. All of the individuals involved in these meetings have been very thankful for my coordination of them because of the eventual time that is saved through elimination of email chains and one-off conversations between people."

  15. 15.

    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 Nearsoft 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 Nearsoft."

      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 Nearsoft, 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."

  16. 16.

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

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  17. 17.

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

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  18. 18.

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

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  19. 19.

    Here at Nearsoft, 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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  20. 20.

    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 Nearsoft?

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  21. 21.

    Can you describe the software development lifecycle?

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  22. 22.

    What data cleaning methods are you familiar with and comfortable using if hired for this role at Nearsoft?

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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.

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

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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.

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

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  27. 27.

    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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  28. 28.

    Tell me about your problem-solving skills. Do you enjoy analyzing and solving complex problems?

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