MockQuestions

Optum Interview Questions

To help you prepare for an Optum job interview, here are 28 interview questions and answer examples.

Optum was written by and updated on December 12th, 2019. Learn more here.

Question 1 of 28

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

How to Answer

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 Optum.

Written by Ryan Brunner on December 12th, 2019

Next Question

28 Optum Interview Questions & Answers

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

      How to Answer

      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 Optum.

      Written by Ryan Brunner on December 12th, 2019

      1st Answer Example

      "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."

      Written by Ryan Brunner on December 12th, 2019

      2nd Answer Example

      "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 Optum 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."

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

      How to Answer

      As with any server or database storage, unique security risks are posed to organizations that have moved their data and applications to the cloud. At Optum, part of your role will be to ensure that all security measures are in place with the organizations data in the cloud and your interviewer is looking to hear that you are familiar with diagnosing security risks and taking action to prevent them with this question. Talk about your knowledge of the different cloud service providers and other security measures that you are familiar with taking in your work.

      Written by Ryan Brunner on December 12th, 2019

      1st Answer Example

      "For me, the planning stage of the cloud deployment process really sets the groundwork for security in a project. In my current role, each project adopts a cloud framework that suits the project the best. This framework is the base for our security measures in the cloud. From there, I always look to utilize a cloud service that encrypts our data and take all measures to steer away from storing sensitive information within the cloud. Last, as with any project, I help implement strict testing measures to check on the security of our cloud operations."

      Written by Ryan Brunner on December 12th, 2019

      2nd Answer Example

      "In my current role, the biggest security risks that we face are loss of sensitive data and malware infections. To take all security measures possible, our first plan of attack for security is to ensure that all of our data is backed up locally with electronic copies of data. To prevent malware in all ways possible, we have implemented a strict password strength policy and we install anti-virus software in our own equipment and recommend that customers do the same as well."

  • 3. How do you stay organized and on track when working on multiple projects or duties at the same time?

      How to Answer

      In this role with Optum, you will likely be expected to manage multiple projects at the same time. Your ability to plan, manage deadlines and handle high needs items that come up on a regular basis will be essential to your success in this role and your interviewer is looking to hear how you plan for success. Whether you utilize an electronic tool or a written list, there are no right or wrong answers as long as you can prove in your answer that this method works out great for you.

      Written by Ryan Brunner on December 12th, 2019

      1st Answer Example

      "With any project that I am working on, I make sure to set benchmarks to meet deadlines ahead of time and set early personal deadlines to allow for some wiggle room. To do this, I am a proponent of using the Microsoft Outlook calendar and tasks functions to help keep me organized. I find that this method helps me stay on track with multiple projects while also leaving me wiggle room each day to fight the high needs fires that do come up in this job."

      Written by Ryan Brunner on December 12th, 2019

      2nd Answer Example

      "For me to stay on track, I make sure to take ten minutes at the end of each day to recap what was accomplished, what new came up on my task list and re-prioritizing my work for the next day. Then, upon arriving the next day and working through emails from the previous evening, I can adjust my task list for the day if needed. I tend to set aside two hours per day to work on long-term project needs while focusing a majority of my time on the short-term needs."

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

      How to Answer

      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.

      Written by Ryan Brunner on December 12th, 2019

      Answer Examples Have Been Hidden

      Please upgrade to view

  • 5. At Optum we value organization. Tell us about a time when you were particularly effective on prioritizing tasks and completing a project on schedule.

      How to Answer

      An interviewer needs to hear that you have a plan in place to keep yourself organized. Start off by mentioning that you are typically an organized person. From here, dive into a recent time-consuming project that you were involved with.

      You might say, 'I recently was involved with a project that required 30 hours of my time in a two week period while I was also in the middle of several other projects.'

      Tell the interviewer that you started off by ensuring you had your schedule mapped out before you dove into your workload. Discuss if you made a to-do list, updated your calendar, or created a color-coded agenda. Share whatever organization method worked for you! Next, tell the interviewer how you prioritized the work. You may share that each day you sat down to determine the urgent needs for that day and marked them with a letter A. Perhaps you identified anything that would be nice to get done that day with a letter B. And, maybe you just left everything else that could wait for another day unmarked. Tell the interviewer how you diligently stuck with this plan for the duration of the project and how it allowed you to complete the project on time without any stress successfully.

      Answer Examples Have Been Hidden

      Please upgrade to view

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

      How to Answer

      Optum 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.

      Written by Ryan Brunner on December 12th, 2019

      Answer Examples Have Been Hidden

      Please upgrade to view

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

      How to Answer

      As a company that utilizes Java, Optum 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.

      Written by Ryan Brunner on December 12th, 2019

      Answer Examples Have Been Hidden

      Please upgrade to view

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

      How to Answer

      This question is allowing you to have the floor during your interview to wow your interviewer with something they might not know about you yet from your resume or time so far during the interview. Think about a strong, unique trait that you have that has led to prior success in your field and explain in detail how this will help further you in your career with Optum. If possible, be very unique in your answer to draw a direct line between your personality and success in this role.

      Written by Ryan Brunner on December 12th, 2019

      Answer Examples Have Been Hidden

      Please upgrade to view

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

      How to Answer

      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.

      Written by Ryan Brunner on December 12th, 2019

      Answer Examples Have Been Hidden

      Please upgrade to view

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

      How to Answer

      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.

      Written by Ryan Brunner on December 12th, 2019

      Answer Examples Have Been Hidden

      Please upgrade to view

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

      How to Answer

      Depending on your training and your past roles prior to interviewing at Optum, you may be familiar with one or two of the many trains of though regarding the steps of a data validation. Whatever formal process you are familiar with, be sure to check the boxes of discussing data screening and data verification as part of your process. Your interviewer will be looking to hear that you check those boxes as they are imperative in the software field.

      Written by Ryan Brunner on December 12th, 2019

      Answer Examples Have Been Hidden

      Please upgrade to view

  • 12. What programming languages would you consider yourself fluent in?

      How to Answer

      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 Optum as you can prior to your interview and try to speak to the specific languages that they work with.

      Written by Ryan Brunner on December 12th, 2019

      Answer Examples Have Been Hidden

      Please upgrade to view

  • 13. If hired here at Optum, what do you feel would be the biggest hurdle for you to overcome from the start?

      How to Answer

      The key to answering this question with confidence starts with understanding that you are interviewing with Optum 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.

      Written by Ryan Brunner on December 12th, 2019

      Answer Examples Have Been Hidden

      Please upgrade to view

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

      How to Answer

      As a software engineer for Optum, 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.

      Written by Ryan Brunner on December 12th, 2019

      Answer Examples Have Been Hidden

      Please upgrade to view

  • 15. Culture fit is important to us at Optum. How would you describe your personality?

      How to Answer

      Personality and character are two very different things. The interviewer is looking for more information on your traits vs. your integrity. This answer could include buzzwords such as introverted, energetic, and confident.

      Answer Examples Have Been Hidden

      Please upgrade to view

  • 16. At Optum, we take security risks very importantly in our products. In your experience, what are the biggest security risks in software and what is your experience in any prevention methods?

      How to Answer

      As an expert in software industry, you are obviously aware of the many security risks that systems face in this day and age. For your answer to this question, talk knowledgeably about the security risks that you are most familiar with combating in your day to day work. Explain why the posed risk is important to combat against and talk about the methods you used to minimalize risk in the finished product.

      Written by Ryan Brunner on December 12th, 2019

      Answer Examples Have Been Hidden

      Please upgrade to view

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

      How to Answer

      The world of software engineering has greatly benefited from advancements in computer aided software engineering tools. Because Optum is at the forefront of the industry, your interviewer will be looking to hear which tools you have experience with. Make sure not to concern yourself with providing a correct answer here, but rather focus on your flexibility to learn new aides when needed while explaining what you have experience with.

      Written by Ryan Brunner on December 12th, 2019

      Answer Examples Have Been Hidden

      Please upgrade to view

  • 18. If hired for this position here at Optum, would you be comfortable handling overall project manager responsibilities for new software development?

      How to Answer

      As a skilled software engineer, you have all of the necessary tools in your bag to be a successful engineer at Optum. This question is allowing your interviewer to get a better sense of your project management skills and people skills if you were to join the team at Optum. In your answer, talk about your ability to estimate the time and cost of a project, the staffing needed and the overall scope of planning for a particular project. If you have direct experience in being the lead on a large development project, be sure to discuss that experience with your interviewer.

      Written by Ryan Brunner on December 12th, 2019

      Answer Examples Have Been Hidden

      Please upgrade to view

  • 19. Do you have experience writing a custom exception in Java?

      How to Answer

      As a Java expert, you will hopefully have the ability to inform your interviewer that you do have experience in writing custom exceptions in Java. As a reputable software company, the engineers and architects with Optum often need to demonstrate the ability to do just this. While talking about the experience that you do have, be sure to discuss your thought process in initially determining the need for writing a custom exception above and beyond the standard Java exceptions.

      Written by Ryan Brunner on December 12th, 2019

      Answer Examples Have Been Hidden

      Please upgrade to view

  • 20. Looking at our products and services, what do you think we do better at Optum than any of our competitors?

      How to Answer

      Before your interview, be sure to research Optum and any awards or recognition they have recently received. In their industry, and competitive space, where do they stand out? Be sure to speak positively about the organization's recent achievements to show that you are interested and engaged in their work.

      Answer Examples Have Been Hidden

      Please upgrade to view

  • 21. What SDLC models are you familiar in working with?

      How to Answer

      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 Optum by asking your interviewer which model they work off of.

      Written by Ryan Brunner on December 12th, 2019

      Answer Examples Have Been Hidden

      Please upgrade to view

  • 22. Here at Optum, we strive for continuous delivery and continuous deployment with our software. Are you familiar with these processes in your current work?

      How to Answer

      In the industries that Optum 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, Optum 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.

      Written by Ryan Brunner on December 12th, 2019

      Answer Examples Have Been Hidden

      Please upgrade to view

  • 23. Here at Optum, we utilize feasibility studies with our customers to consider all impacts of a new system for them. Do you have familiarity working with feasibility studies in your work as a software engineer?

      How to Answer

      To properly answer this question, make sure you understand the reasons why feasibility studies are important. In essence, a feasibility study helps to determine if conditions are right to implement a project. The study looks at economic, operation, legal and technical aspects of the project to determine if moving forward with the project is best for all involved. If you have experience in the studies, talk about a specific time that you utilized a study, the steps you took and explain why it was important to do in the end. Make sure that your interviewer walks away from the interview comfortable with your ability to utilize feasibility studies in your work.

      Written by Ryan Brunner on December 12th, 2019

      Answer Examples Have Been Hidden

      Please upgrade to view

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

      How to Answer

      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 Optum performs and the end users of the software.

      Written by Ryan Brunner on December 12th, 2019

      Answer Examples Have Been Hidden

      Please upgrade to view

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

      How to Answer

      As a reputable company, Optum 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.

      Written by Ryan Brunner on December 12th, 2019

      Answer Examples Have Been Hidden

      Please upgrade to view

  • 26. What data cleaning methods are you familiar with and comfortable using if hired for this role at Optum?

      How to Answer

      To improve data quality and increase overall productivity of a system, Optum relies on their data analysts to use data cleansing methods to ensure quality data exists in their software. Be open and honest with the ways that you've helped ensure quality and accurate data in the systems that you've worked with while also showing that you have an open mind to learning and utilizing more methods if hired for this position.

      Written by Ryan Brunner on December 12th, 2019

      Answer Examples Have Been Hidden

      Please upgrade to view

  • 27. What do you feel is one of the top issues that is faced by data engineers today?

      How to Answer

      Being in the midst of the greatest technological revolution in the history of man, data engineers face many difficult issues in the work that they perform on a daily basis. While there are many directions that you can go with this question, be sure to focus your answer on something that you can speak passionately about. If you can research a common issue in the industry that Optum works in, you may likely score some bonus points with your interviewer.

      Written by Ryan Brunner on December 12th, 2019

      Answer Examples Have Been Hidden

      Please upgrade to view

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

      How to Answer

      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.

      Written by Ryan Brunner on December 12th, 2019

      Answer Examples Have Been Hidden

      Please upgrade to view