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RetailMeNot Interview
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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

What SDLC models are you familiar in working with?

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RetailMeNot Interview Questions

  1. 1.

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

      Ryan's Answer

      "During my training in software engineering and in my early career, the waterfall model was the standard. In this model, each phase of the development process happens in a set order and projects using this model are easily managed. But over time, as the development projects that I have led have become more complicated and intricate, I have implemented the spiral model. This model has allowed the ability of end users to give feedback early on and often during development and helps to build a more customized product to our customers."

      Ryan's Answer

      "In my current position with XYZ Company, my department utilizes the agile model in development life cycle. Since our products are so tailored to the needs of our customers, we get a working product very early on in the process and then I work hand in hand with customers to fine tune the software moving forward. It is a very effective model that has built a great reputation for our software among customers. I also have familiarity working with the iterative model and it has similar advantages to the agile model. If I were hired here at RetailMeNot, can you expand on what models you use here in your software development life cycle?"

  2. 2.

    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

      "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

      "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."

  3. 3.

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

      This question allows your interviewer to assess your technical knowledge and skills in designing apps for iOS products in a very simple way. To successfully answer it, make sure that you can speak knowledgeably about the swift programming language and using closures to capture and store references within the software. To piece together everything for your interviewer, give a clear understanding of why retain cycles must be avoided in your processing.

      Ryan's Answer

      "Because ARC handles most of the memory knowledge in Swift, I know ARC is prone to memory leaking and this can cause major issues in apps over time. The fix that I've used in my career to avoid retain cycles is using weak references in my coding."

  4. 4.

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

      "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

      "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. 5.

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

      Depending on your training and your past roles prior to interviewing at RetailMeNot, 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.

      Ryan's Answer

      "As I embark on a data validation process in my current role, my first step is to roadmap a detailed plan to keep on task. I utilize benchmarks and the expectations of key stakeholders as my guide. Once underway, I validate the database and the data formatting to ensure that data is properly screened for its overall health. Then, by finishing with sampling, tests are performed to hopefully show that the data is useful within the system."

      Ryan's Answer

      "The most important steps in a data validation process are determining the data to sample, scouring the existing database and validating the final data format. My first step is to use my best judgment to determine if I will validate a sample or the entire data set. This determination is based on overall size of the set and the timeframe that I have to work on the project. Then, I take the time to screen data in the existing database to calculate the number of unique ID's and records to come into the system. Last, I have to verify that the source data matches the schema within the targe"

  6. 6.

    How do you measure the success of a data integration project?

      Similar to evaluating any project, measuring the success and impact of any data integration project should rely on goals that were defined at the start of the project. In your answer, be sure that you speak about the consideration for the people involved in the project (i.e. customers, sales, IT, engineering) and how success was measured in their eyes. Another great point to touch on in your answer is using the SMART method for setting goals to assure that they are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time oriented.

      Ryan's Answer

      "With any large data integration project that I have managed in the past, success starts with setting realistic yet high standard goals for the project. To do this, I need to make sure that I get input from all key stakeholders in the project. With a recent project, we measure our success in a few different ways. Because of the need set forth by our sales force to be more competitive with our competition in the market, we measured timeliness of the system pre and post integration. Then, to measure the financial impacts of the project, we measured our end of project costs versus what was budgeted. Because our goals were measurable, it was easy to see that the project was a huge success."

      Ryan's Answer

      "I think that I can best demonstrate this by talking about a recent data integration project we worked on in creating new banking software. At the beginning of the project, we clearly defined the end goals of the project in the data we wanted converted with a set deadline for completion. Our design team added their expectations on their desired workflow following the data conversion. One integration was complete, our goals were easily measured for the project to be considered a success."

  7. 7.

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

      While this position at RetailMeNot may not hold the title of manager, supervisor or director, the organization firmly believes that employees that demonstrate key leadership qualities are better set for future career success. Aside from that, leadership skills help you work better as part of a larger team and with potential customers as well. Prior to your interview, think about one or two leadership qualities that you possess and talk in detail about how you've exemplified those qualities in the past.

      Ryan's Answer

      "I would say that my credibility is my best leadership skill. My openness and honesty suits me well when working among a team of individuals and this helps them gain trust in following my lead when working on projects. Another skill I would bring here to RetailMeNot would be my ability to lead by example. I'm not afraid to take a risk in seeking innovation and I've been commended for this trait many times by my current manager."

      Ryan's Answer

      "If you were to offer this position to me, you'd quickly find that my positive attitude is an inspiration to those that I work closely with. In my current job, we work under the constant stress of tight deadlines and my positivity can be infectious to help others maintain their focus when negativity can easily take over in most situations. I would say that my other strong suit as a natural leader is my ability to be fluid on a day to day basis. Sometimes our world can be monotonous and when change comes, most resist that change. For me, change is a chance to break the current mold and grow as an employee."

  8. 8.

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

      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 RetailMeNot, 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.

      Ryan's Answer

      "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."

      Ryan's Answer

      "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."

  9. 9.

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

      As a reputable company, RetailMeNot 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

      "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

      "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 RetailMeNot, I also have experience performing perfective, preventative and corrective maintenance on software as well."

  10. 10.

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

      While your interviewer has shown confidence in your technical abilities to succeed at RetailMeNot as a UX designer, this question is helping them gain insight into your ability to see the big picture in the work that you do. As you think about the unique personal values that you would bring to the role, try and paint a picture of your work tying to the end user and how you can help make it more productive, enjoyable and satisfying for them.

      Ryan's Answer

      "I have really taken pride in my ability to add value to the business needs of the customers that I work with. During any design project, I take the time to work with end users to find their wants and needs out of the program. Then, as I create the UX design, I keep their needs at the forefront and do anything possible to exceed their expectations."

      Ryan's Answer

      "As you can see from my resume, I have formal training and experience in user experience research and I know that this would benefit the work that I would be doing here at RetailMeNot if hired for this position. I pursued this additional training in my career because of my passion for the customer journey in the programs that I design."

  11. 11.

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

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

      Ryan's Answer

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

      Ryan's Answer

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

  12. 12.

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

      Ryan's Answer

      "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 RetailMeNot."

      Ryan's Answer

      "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 RetailMeNot, 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."

  13. 13.

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

      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 RetailMeNot works in, you may likely score some bonus points with your interviewer.

      Ryan's Answer

      "Over the past couple of years, I've come to realize that one of the largest issues we face as data engineers is the large amounts of data that are needed to store and then draw information from. Here at RetailMeNot, I can only imagine how big of an issue that is in the healthcare industry. I have a lot of experience with cloud based data storage and also server based storage."

      Ryan's Answer

      "In my recent experiences, continuous, real-time integration is an issue that we will face each and every day moving forward. The need for fast paced information is certainly to blame for this. To stay on top of the continuous integration landscape, I am happy to hear that new and improved systems are being created to stay more real-time and up to the minute. Here at RetailMeNot and working in the financial industry, how have you seen this need for real-time data impact your products?"

  14. 14.

    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?

      While using this question as a key indicator on how you'll fit with the team and the organization at RetailMeNot, it will be very important for you to research as much as you can on the work environment at RetailMeNot so you can match your priorities to that environment. If you have the opportunity to speak with an employee at RetailMeNot prior to your interview, that can shed valuable information. In the end, the culture and value of an organization are often a key indicator of long-term success in a job, so make sure that you reflect your values into what the company values.

      Ryan's Answer

      "As I begin this job search now 15 years out of college, I'm looking for an employer that promotes and encourages innovation, new ideas and collaboration among all members of the team. From what I know about RetailMeNot from speaking with others, you sound like a perfect match for what I am looking for in a career."

      Ryan's Answer

      "With all of the companies that I have both worked for and consulted with in the past, I realize that a company culture is basically the personality of the company and I am looking for a new organization that really meshes well with my personality. I am a casual person that believes in hard work, teamwork and having fun on the job. As I embarked on a job search, I was so happy to see that RetailMeNot was hiring because I believe our styles will fit perfectly together."

  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 RetailMeNot, 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 RetailMeNot and then really sell your ability to do this by giving an example of a time you used a universal design in your previous work.

      Ryan's Answer

      "From a very high level, the business success of a program really relies on being universally designed. If we pigeon hole ourselves, a product will only reach a very limited group of end users. But taking that a step further, universal design is the morally right thing to do to help reach people that may not have access to the average program design. Last year, I was part of a project that utilized a voice user interface for users that were deaf or hard of hearing. This simple yet effective design was a huge win for our current customers and in helping drive new business with our groundbreaking software."

      Ryan's Answer

      "Early in my career, the best piece of advice that I receive was from an experience designer and she said that when UX doesn't consider all potential users, we are no longer working on the user experience. We live in a very diverse world and the programs that I've designed for in the past have certainly had the goal to reach a wide audience. With your financial products here at RetailMeNot, 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.

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

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  17. 17.

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

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  18. 18.

    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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  19. 19.

    In a technical support role here at RetailMeNot, 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.

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  20. 20.

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

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  21. 21.

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

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  22. 22.

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

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  23. 23.

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

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  24. 24.

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

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  25. 25.

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

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  26. 26.

    When do you consider a project to be finished?

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  27. 27.

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

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  28. 28.

    How would you say that you would help bring sound data governance philosophies to this role at RetailMeNot?

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