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Vertafore 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

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

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Vertafore Interview Questions

    1.

  1. Do you have experience working with different CASE tools? If so, what do you have experience with?
    • The world of software engineering has greatly benefited from advancements in computer aided software engineering tools. Because Vertafore 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.

      Ryan's Answer #1

      "In my current role, I regularly utilize both diagramming and web development tools. The diagram tools assist our software projects by outlining the system data and components in a graphical form for us and this saves us a great amount of time while also being very reliable. The web development tools greatly help me visualize site changes that I am making because I don't have a deep background in web development. If hired for this position, I'd look forward to learning other CASE tools for prototyping, quality assurance and maintenance."

      Ryan's Answer #2

      "During my career and in my experience with CASE tools, most of my experience is in the lower CASE elements that focus on coding and testing the software after initial development. CASE tools have certainly made life as a software engineer more efficient and effective and I'd look forward to learn any new CASE tools if hired for this position here at Vertafore."

    2.

  1. Vertafore embraces an Agile environment. Explain your experience in Agile methodologies and why you think it is important.
    • The interviewer would like to understand the depth of your knowledge in Agile. The interviewer would also like to know if you work well with team collaboration, are responsive to stakeholder needs, and can work well with team defined milestones. Give a specific example of your experience.

      Ryan's Answer #1

      "The majority of my experience has been in an Agile environment. For ten years I have been personally responsible for leading agile teams, and I have helped define team goals and milestones. This approach is important to me as I see how Agile methodology helps employees deliver better products in less time. In my current role, team productivity increased by 34% once we introduced an Agile environment, and our on-time project rate skyrocketed another 18%."

      Ryan's Answer #2

      "I especially want to work for Vertafore because I have friends who have worked here before with really positive feedback on their experiences. I am looking for a positive work environment where I can stay for a long time to come."

    3.

  1. Tell me about your problem-solving skills. Do you enjoy analyzing and solving complex problems?
    • Software developers spend a great deal of time debugging programs. It is essential for Vertafore to have someone experienced in quickly identifying problems and responsive in providing solutions. The interviewer would also like to gauge how you work with internal and external customers when problem-solving.

      Ryan's Answer #1

      "In my last development position, I was responsible for front-line communications with end users. Third tier helpdesk staff would contact me with software bugs, and I was able to quickly and professionally respond to problems. I was able to reduce the bug backlog by 70%."

      Ryan's Answer #2

      "If you did not have a good relationship with your previous boss: "I have had healthier relationships in the past with previous employers, but we did the best that we could. Our communication styles were very different which made it challenging at times."

    4.

  1. Beyond revenue, how do Vertafore's products benefit our clients?
    • An excellent software product can positively affect a business in a multitude of ways. From organization to client relationships, increasing leads, offering better data collection and, and information management. The interviewer wants to see that you have spent the time getting to know the features and benefits of their software before your interview. Discuss the ways that Vertafore's offering can benefit potential customers far beyond revenue.

      Ryan's Answer #1

      "I fully understand that, although revenue is a significant driver, it is not everything to companies when they are deciding on their software products. Additional benefits to Vertafore's software, from my research, include better organization of data so that information can be leveraged in areas of product development, market research, smarter hiring decisions, and more."

      Ryan's Answer #2

      "From what I see, there are a plethora of benefits to Vertafore's products. When a company embraces organization, has access to insightful analytics and a full support team, they can make business decisions that improve not only profits but also employee morale, customer feedback, or research and development."

    5.

  1. Can you describe a project where you used Integration testing, and why is it important in the software testing process?
    • It is common for a Software Testing Engineer to use Integration Testing throughout the lifecycle of a development project. It's important to communicate this to the hiring manager in a way that describes your proficiency with integration testing and your knowledge of the various integration testing techniques that are used in most companies like top-down testing and bottom-up testing. The hiring manager at Vertafore might also ask you what the purpose is for integration testing, and why it is important in the testing process.

      Ryan's Answer #1

      "When I am tasked with undertaking Integration Testing, I Integrate or combine the unit tested module one by one in isolation, and I also test the behaviors as a combined unit, until all the modules are integrated collectively to validate whether the requirements are implemented correctly or not. As the primary function or goal of this testing is to test the interfaces between the units/modules. Here's an example of Integration Testing Techniques:

      1) Top-down testing approach
      2) Bottom-up testing approach
      3) Big-Bang testing approach
      4) Sandwiched testing approach"

      Ryan's Answer #2

      "I perform unit testing as a normal step in the process as well. It's important to understand that Integration testing doesn't happen at the end of a cycle, rather it is conducted simultaneously with development. The reason why it is important to do Integration testing is that it needs to establish whether components interact with each other or meet specifications.
      In most cases, all the modules are not actually available to test, and this is one of the challenges with testing something that does not exist. The goal of integration testing is to make sure system components and specifications are put together. Here's an example of Integration Testing Types:

      1) Top-Down Integration Testing: As the name suggests, this testing always starts at the top of the program hierarchy and travels towards its branches. This can be done in either depth-first or breadth-first.
      2) Bottom-Up Integration Testing: This testing always starts at the lowest level in the program structure."

    6.

  1. In Java, why shouldn't you use strings to store a password?
    • While this may seem like a rudimentary question regarding your knowledge of Java, your interviewer is looking to ideally hear that you understand the principle differences between string and character arrays. Asking about the storage of passwords within a system gives you the opportunity here to point out the differences between the two. In the end, while explaining the differences, be sure to tie it back to the original question on why strings shouldn't be used to store passwords.

      Ryan's Answer #1

      "To store a password, character array is the obvious best choice because character arrays are mutable. If a string was utilized to store passwords, a definite security risk would be present to anyone that would have access to the memory dump from the system."

      Ryan's Answer #2

      "This question simply boils down to a string being immutable. Because strings are a sequence of characters represented as a single data type, the system requires garbage creation to fully get rid of it out of memory. In my time designing software, I have used Char array and its mutable features to store passwords for the security of our end users "

    7.

  1. At Vertafore we take pride in our ability to stay one step ahead of our competitors. How will you contribute to this trend?
    • It is critical that you research Vertafore and their most vigorous competitors, before your interview. What does Vertafore do best, and who is trying to do it better? Speak openly with the interviewer about your ability to work competitively and how you plan to contribute to their continued success.

      Ryan's Answer #1

      "I believe the best way to stay ahead of your competitors is to pay a big amount of attention to the fine details. When you put out a great product, others will try to mimic your work, but they will cut corners because they will feel rushed to get it out on the marketplace first. I will contribute to the success of Vertafore by committing my most attentive work to you every day."

      Ryan's Answer #2

      "I think that the best way to stay ahead of competitors is to keep your projects as simple as possible while remaining innovative. People want simple, easy products, which they can understand. What I've seen from my competitors lately is that they overcomplicate their products. I offer clean and consistent work that your buyers would relate to."

    8.

  1. 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 Vertafore, 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 #1

      "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 #2

      "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"

    9.

  1. How would you handle a situation where a colleague was being very difficult to work with?
    • In the team based atmosphere at Vertafore, departments with different skills and backgrounds can often see things from different points of view and these situations can cause some internal conflict between coworkers. With this question, your interviewer is looking to hear how you handle situations where you are working with someone that can be seen as difficult. To give them the sense that you are able to work through conflict in a professional and sensible manner, try to talk through how you handled a conflict at work previously in the past and highlight the interpersonal skills that you used to help make it a positive situation.

      Ryan's Answer #1

      "In all honesty, any great work atmosphere that I've been a part of in the past has involved conflict between colleagues. In situations I have witnessed, conflict has stemmed from very open-minded people giving their two cents in particular situations and two people not seeing eye to eye. This happened recently to me in the planning phases of a new project. On of our UX Designers and I had a disagreement on the final layout of a new software roll out we were planning. It worked best for both of us to talk about our ideas and list the pro's and con's for our ideas. I kept an open mind to learn from her point of view and she did the same to me on my end. This led us to come up with a great compromise in the end."

      Ryan's Answer #2

      "Last year, we had a new engineer join our team that was hired on from his internship with us. From his first day, he made it very evident that he would only handle certain tasks within our team and only work on certain projects. As his mentor to help get him up and running, I sat him down and discussed the expectations of each of our engineers as part of our larger team. I explained to him that our approach was not to pigeonhole ourselves into smaller tasks, but rather be well rounded engineers that could handle any project and be able to cover for each other if needed. He really appreciated this approach when I explained the benefits for his long term career goals with this approach. This example shows my approach to being very direct with people that I have a conflict with in the workplace and doing so in a very professional and educational manner."

    10.

  1. At Vertafore, we rely on a full team effort to deliver top quality products to our customers. Tell me about a time that you worked well as part of a team. Are you comfortable in a similar role here?
    • While this potential role with Vertafore will require your to be an independent worker that can think on your feet, you will also need to work as part of a larger team that is working toward one common goal. Because of this fact, your interviewer will want to hear that you thrive in an environment where you work with team members from other disciplines than you are trained in. In your example, stress to your interviewer that you have excellent communication skills and that you fully understand that every person on a team plays a vital role in the organization's success.

      Ryan's Answer #1

      "Throughout my career, I've always enjoyed working as part of a larger team on the job and this personal enjoyment started with my love of and participation in team sports like baseball and basketball. Growing up playing sports, I learned that each team member brought a unique skill set that could help us achieve our goals. Through a great coaching staff that knew how to make these individual skills shine, this same philosophy holds true for a team that is looking to design a new software system. I know that my skills as an engineer are just part of the final product and I work very well with designers, architects, analysts and sales to help build the greatest system possible."

      Ryan's Answer #2

      "I am a people person by nature and my current role has me working very closely with our engineering and design staff on writing technical manuals for our products. While I certainly can handle long days at my computer in solitude, my desire to work hand in hand with others really sets me apart from my peers in this field. I have excellent verbal, listening and written communication skills that, if hired here at Vertafore, your entire team would appreciate from my first day on the job."

    11.

  1. What skills do you use to cope with the day to day stress and pressure on the job?
    • In modern technology industries, consumer demand has led to high volume of work and high pressure situations to work on tight deadlines. To prove that you are able to handle high stress, high pressure situations on the job, your interviewer is looking to hear first hand how you handle this type of environment in your own words. As you answer the question, try to turn potential perceived stress into a positive by highlighting your personal skills that enable you to perform well in those situations. If possible, try to use specific examples in your answer.

      Ryan's Answer #1

      "Where many others get overtaken by stress to the point that they can't function in this field, high pressure situations sharpen my focus and that helps me work through them with ease. Last year, I was assigned a high priority, short notice project for a high profile customer. My manager gave it to me because of my proven success in those situations. From the start, I created a timeline for completion and mapped out a plan to make it happen. While staying in communication with my leaders and the client, I was able to create a great system update in just a few short weeks."

      Ryan's Answer #2

      "I am confident in high stress work situations because of my ability to adapt, communicate and be organized in my work. These skills came in very useful a few weeks ago when our support staff were experiencing an extremely high volume of help desk calls. My adaptability helped me go with the flow and handle items on at a time. My communication skills enabled me to quickly and efficiently call on needed support. My organization skills helped me be prepared for anything on that day and enabled me to work through tickets in a quick and efficient manner."

    12.

  1. In your experience in software testing, would you consider yourself proficient in both testing and debugging processes?
    • As a reputable provider of software, Vertafore 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."

    13.

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

      Ryan's Answer #1

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

      Ryan's Answer #2

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

    14.

  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 Vertafore 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 Vertafore, can you expand on what models you use here in your software development life cycle?"

    15.

  1. Here at Vertafore, 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?
    • 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.

      Ryan's Answer

      "I do have familiarity with feasibility studies throughout my career as a software engineer. On a current project that I am working on, we utilized a study to analyze if the project we were tasked with could use current technologies available to us while meeting a timeline for completion. On my end, I had to spend time researching the resources that were available, gauge their functionality and come up with a plan for action based on that. Where the project stands today, we are on pace for delivering a revolutionary system for a large security industry customer."

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