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Sabre Holdings Corporation Interview
Questions

28 Questions and Answers by Ryan Brunner

Published January 8th, 2020 | Ryan has over 10 years of experience interviewing
candidates in the healthcare, public service, and private manufacturing/distribution industries.
Question 1 of 28
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?
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How to Answer
As your role with Sabre Holdings 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.
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Top 25 Sabre Holdings Corporation Interview Questions
1.
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 Sabre Holdings 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."
2.
How have you handled obstacles that you've faced during information gathering processes in your time as a technical writer?
To successfully document and write about software products, information gathering from subject matter experts will be a key part of your process if hired for this role at Sabre Holdings. As you have likely experienced during your career, the information gathering process can be one of the most painstaking processes within the life of a project. For this question, your interviewer is looking to hear what obstacles you have faced in this situation in the past and how you handled those situations. This will give them insight on how you will work as part of a larger team in handling these perceived obstacles if hired for this position.

Ryan's Answer #1
"Because the information gathering phase is a vital step in my finished projects, I take the time to meet as many credible sources as possible. This includes design engineers, automation engineers, product designers and many other folks and the biggest hiccup that I usually come across is coordinating time with folks that have busy schedules. To help minimize the total time frame for info gathering, I am very direct in my communications to key leaders that I want to meet with to finish a project and my directness is always taken well. Like any obstacle we face in our work, I find that being upfront and direct is the best manner for handling them."
Ryan's Answer #2
"I'd say that one of the more common obstacles that I have faced in my current role as a technical writer is a lack of expectations from the experts that I consult with through the process. To better this over time, I have created a set of general expectations that I provide to people ahead of our meetings that help them prepare information ahead of time. This approach not only helps me get more relevant information up front, but also helps speed the information process up significantly."
3.
What is one unique personality trait you possess that would help you be successful in this role with Sabre Holdings?
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 Sabre Holdings. If possible, be very unique in your answer to draw a direct line between your personality and success in this role.

Ryan's Answer #1
"From what my parents have told me about me as a young child, passion has been a personality trait that has driven me my whole life. When I tackle something in life, I need to be passionate about it for it to be a success. From my time as a young child up to today, I have been passionate about physical fitness and this has driven me to participate in running and biking races across the country. This same passion in the pursuit of excellence has translated into my career as a software engineer. From tinkering with computer hardware at a young age and learning the internal components of a system to learning how to create and design software, you'll quickly find that my passion to engineer the most unique software here at Sabre Holdings will be extremely beneficial to your team."
Ryan's Answer #2
"I would have to say that my humility has been instrumental in getting me to where I am at today in my career. Having worked with one of the largest software companies in the world, egos were certainly high with a lot of my teammates and I have always used my humility to let my work do my talking for me while remaining a friendly and curious colleague to all."
4.
The next cloud engineer that we hire here at Sabre Holdings needs to be able build a system that can handle a high amount of traffic. How would you test our system's ability to handle large amounts of traffic?
This question allows your interviewer to gain insight into your thought process and ability surrounding building a cloud network that has an architecture that can handle large amounts of traffic without failure. Some key points to focus on your answer are your ability to match capacity to system demand and use horizontal scaling in the design of the system.

Ryan's Answer #1
"Cloud computing has certainly revolutionized the storage of high amounts of data and a key piece that cloud based systems bring to the table are their elasticity for handling large amounts of traffic. I see my job as building a cloud based system to scale horizontally to be able to handle the most data and traffic possible. To test systems, I've used a few different tools that were all very accurate prior to go-live."
Ryan's Answer #2
"In my current position as a cloud engineer, I have utilized internet scale services like Amazon S3 and Elastic Load Balancing to ensure that our cloud systems could handle large volume that fluctuate seasonally. Because of the great functionality of the internet scale services, internal testing wasn't necessary as we knew we were in good hands through those services."
5.
If hired for this position here at Sabre Holdings, would you be comfortable handling overall project manager responsibilities for new software development?
As a skilled software engineer, you have all of the necessary tools in your bag to be a successful engineer at Sabre Holdings. 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 Sabre Holdings. 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.

Ryan's Answer #1
"Looking to join the team here at Sabre Holdings directly out of college, I feel very confident in my abilities to manage the entire scope of a new development project. I have leadership experience as my campus' president of the software engineering club. In that role, I developed skills that would help me utilize staff and resources in the best way possible. During my internship, I was exposed to the planning stages of new projects and I have a very good feel of estimating the budget and length of time needed to have a fully functional system."
Ryan's Answer #2
"I would absolutely be comfortable if tasked with project manager duties here at Sabre Holdings. In my last two roles, I have led successful projects that started with great planning and budgeting process and went through to completion with great people and processes in place under my leadership. While it's not a regular duty for me in my current role, I always welcome leadership duties."
6.
If hired here at Sabre Holdings, what do you feel would be the biggest hurdle for you to overcome from the start?
The key to answering this question with confidence starts with understanding that you are interviewing with Sabre Holdings 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.

Ryan's Answer #1
"As you can see from my resume, I don't have any direct working experience with the financial industry and I would see that as my largest learning opportunity if offered this position. Like I did with my current job in the healthcare industry, I would take the time to learn the basics of the industry that would help me design the most intuitive user interfaces in the products here at Sabre Holdings."
Ryan's Answer #2
"Being a team player by nature, I've always considered my first challenge at any new company to be the task of getting to know my colleagues, their work preferences and their work styles. In the same breath, I want them to know who I am and how I best work as part of a team with them. To accomplish this, I would take the initiative to set one on one meetings with individuals that I didn't get to touch base with during my orientation process to get to know them better."
7.
Our cloud computing at Sabre Holdings 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 Sabre Holdings, 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 #1
"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 #2
"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."
8.
As the onsite consultant for our clients here at Sabre Holdings, you may be privy to confidential information or data. How can we ensure that you will hold client data security in the highest confidence?
The consulting world at Sabre Holdings will put your in a position to have access to client databases, applications and directories that could potentially contain sensitive data. Consultants have a responsibility to their clients to maintain that privacy. Be sure that your interviewer understands that you adhere to that responsibility by talking about past experiences where you have been exposed to and kept sensitive data confidential. It is important to talk about your own personal morals and values in your answer to this question.

Ryan's Answer #1
"Having worked as a consultant for a large healthcare medical record software organization, I had access to thousands of medical records with each new client that we brought aboard. While often required to sign confidentiality and HIPAA agreements with each client, my own values would never allow me to compromise the secure data of a patient. If hired for this role, I would hold the confidential data with your clients in the highest regard and wouldn't hesitate to take all measures possible to ensure that data is secure."
Ryan's Answer #2
"Successful consulting relationships with customers are built on trust and I value and respect the trust that my customers show my by maintaining all policies on confidentiality with each customer. My current role in the banking industry allows me access to the software of many banking institutions when I am onsite with them. When working with staff at bank branches, I don't discuss any personal financial data that I have access to even with them."
9.
We are looking for innovators to join us here at Sabre Holdings. 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 Sabre Holdings 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 Sabre Holdings.

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."
10.
Tell me about a time that there was a delay in the project and how did you handle that delay?
In your answer, be sure to tell your prospective employer why there was a delay, but most importantly, how you handled it and got back on track. It's important to use the STAR format for questions like these: situation, task, action, result. Situation: the delay. Task: resolving it quickly and getting back on track. Action: how you went about executing the task. Result: how the steps you took to resolve it led to the effective and successful resolution of that delay.

Ryan's Answer #1
"I was working with my team on the configuration of the new HR system we were rolling out and the HR team asked for a new module that we thought would significantly delay the launch. In order to meet our internal client's needs, we offered to add the new module, but to avoid delays to the project, we reallocated a resource to work exclusively on the module. We all chipped in extra effort on the major project parts to make up for our coworkers' absence as he was working on the module. The coworker who did the module did a fantastic job which didn't require many changes from the group. Through all this, we were able to roll the product out on time and within budget."
Ryan's Answer #2
"I am motivated by knowing something about the end customer and being able to relate to them as a person. A personal touch is always helpful for me."
11.
Our implementation consultants here at Sabre Holdings often face conflicts with our customers while onsite during implementations. What interpersonal skills do you use to handle conflicts with clients?
In the software implementation process for large customers of Sabre Holdings, you will be working with top level managers and key decision makers onsite and more often than not, issues can arise. In your role as the implementation consultant, these issues come directly to you and your interviewer will be looking to hear how you will handle these issues to maintain both a great relationship with the customer and honor to the Sabre Holdings. In your answer, focus on finding solutions to issues that benefit both parties and talk about the important communication skills that you possess that will make this possible in any situation that you may face.

Ryan's Answer #1
"Any time that I face a conflict in the workplace, I maintain my own personal composure by not taking things personally and keeping a smile on my face. After setting myself, I look to gain insight into the potential conflict by using my reflective listening skills and then problem solve from there. In this role, I would listen to the needs of the client and be empathetic in my approach with them. My ability to creatively problem solve would take over from there to help find a solution for the client."
Ryan's Answer #2
"The biggest skill that I would bring to the team here at Sabre Holdings as a consultant to clients would be my ability to express mutual respect to all that I work with. As an organization, Sabre Holdings has their own goals that I will be vital in helping to achieve. Your clients also have their own goals that can offer different greatly from yours. A sense of mutual respect allows me to put myself in the shoes of all involved and that really helps me find solutions that work for everyone."
12.
Do you consider yourself stronger in C++, C#, Java, or Python?
Before your interview, do some research to understand what tech stack Sabre Holdings uses so you can best prepare and highlight your expertise. If you aren't as strong in one of the skills you feel is necessary, be sure to explain how you've used it and how you are growing your knowledge to become better. Be sure to be honest in your answer, as the company will likely test your strengths.

Ryan's Answer #1
"In my last company, we had a bit of an outdated tech stack and used C# and .NET. I found myself fully immersed in those technologies, but had a strong desire to learn more and become more familiar with modern technologies and how I can apply that in my career. That's what has me so interested in this role. Over the last year, I've taken courses in Java and C++, which I noticed you prefer. I've become proficient in the skills and in side projects, applied my increasingly strong knowledge. I'm probably strongest professionally in C# as that has been where my experience lies, but my passion and dedication is on the Java and C++ side, as I feel that's the more modern alternative. I'm excited about the possibility of applying that knowledge in a role at Sabre Holdings."
Ryan's Answer #2
"I am motivated and excited about this new opportunity because it will challenge me to grow in my (X) skills. I love soccer and enjoy spending time with my teammates. I am interested in continuing my education by studying (Y) to further my career."
13.
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 Sabre Holdings, 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."
14.
Do you have experience utilizing Bayesian networks in designing artificial intelligence?
Because of their ability to provide a graphical model for relationships among a set of variables, Sabre Holdings is a firm believer that Bayesian networks are a critical part of their artificial intelligence design. To fortify your knowledge of the networks, give a high level overview of your understanding of them and also talk about any experience you have in utilizing them. Make sure your interviewer walks away from your conversation knowing that you are able to utilize Bayesian networks in your future work with Sabre Holdings.

Ryan's Answer
"I do have very direct experience in creating Bayesian networks and I've done so in the healthcare industry over the past couple of years. One that we designed looked at all of the potential symptoms and effects of heart disease and built this all into a very complicated Bayesian network. With this given, we were able to create an AI program for a health insurer that could program in known information from their insured individuals to gauge their probability for heart disease."
15.
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 Sabre Holdings by asking your interviewer which model they work off of.

Ryan's Answer #1
"During my training in software engineering and in my early career, the waterfall model was the standard. In this model, each phase of the development process happens in a set order and projects using this model are easily managed. But over time, as the development projects that I have led have become more complicated and intricate, I have implemented the spiral model. This model has allowed the ability of end users to give feedback early on and often during development and helps to build a more customized product to our customers."
Ryan's Answer #2
"In my current position with XYZ Company, my department utilizes the agile model in development life cycle. Since our products are so tailored to the needs of our customers, we get a working product very early on in the process and then I work hand in hand with customers to fine tune the software moving forward. It is a very effective model that has built a great reputation for our software among customers. I also have familiarity working with the iterative model and it has similar advantages to the agile model. If I were hired here at Sabre Holdings, can you expand on what models you use here in your software development life cycle?"
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