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Zimbra Interview
Questions

28 Questions and Answers by Ryan Brunner

Published March 9th, 2020 | Ryan has over 10 years of experience interviewing
candidates in the healthcare, public service, and private manufacturing/distribution industries.
Question 1 of 28
Here at Zimbra, we strive for continuous delivery and continuous deployment with our software. Are you familiar with these processes in your current work?
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How to Answer
In the industries that Zimbra 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, Zimbra 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.
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28 Zimbra Interview Questions
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Interview Questions
  1. Here at Zimbra, we strive for continuous delivery and continuous deployment with our software. Are you familiar with these processes in your current work?
  2. In designing Android software, what is your experience using parcelable versus serializable within an app?
  3. What unique values can you bring to Zimbra in your user experience design skills?
  4. How do you ensure that you have a healthy work-life balance in your career?
  5. What do you feel are the primary features and benefits of the Java programming language?
  6. What experience do you have in the different types of software maintenance?
  7. What skills do you use to cope with the day to day stress and pressure on the job?
  8. What is one thing that really tests your patience when dealing with your coworkers?
  9. 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?
  10. When do you consider a project to be finished?
  11. Do you have experience working with different CASE tools? If so, what do you have experience with?
  12. What software analysis and design tools do you have familiarity working with?
  13. If you were confronted with a time where you wouldn't be able to meet a deadline here at Zimbra, what steps would you take when you made that realization?
  14. What programming languages would you consider yourself fluent in?
  15. In your mind, when is monkey testing the most effective in testing new software?
  16. Zimbra embraces an Agile environment. Explain your experience in Agile methodologies and why you think it is important.
  17. If you were asked to review a colleague's code that they had written, what key things would you look for?
  18. Zimbra hires developers with a strong understanding of object-oriented programming. Discuss your knowledge in this area.
  19. If hired for this position at Zimbra, what leadership skills would you bring to our team?
  20. In Java, why shouldn't you use strings to store a password?
  21. Can you describe the software development lifecycle?
  22. What do you know about our products and how do you think you'll be able to handle a support role surrounding them?
  23. A huge part of our business here at Zimbra is designing software for iOS. In this role, how would you steer away from retain cycles when using closures in Swift programming language?
  24. In your experience in software testing, would you consider yourself proficient in both testing and debugging processes?
  25. 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?
  26. In a technical support role here at Zimbra, 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.
  27. 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?
  28. Do you have any unique skills or past work experiences that we can't see on your resume that would benefit the team here at Zimbra?
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Answer Examples
1.
Here at Zimbra, we strive for continuous delivery and continuous deployment with our software. Are you familiar with these processes in your current work?
In the industries that Zimbra 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, Zimbra 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.

Ryan's Answer #1
"In my current role, we utilize a 100% continuous deployment process with our end users when we role out new changes to existing software. We use automated testing in our process to validate that code changes are correct and able to be deployed without issue. Once validated, changes are automatically rolled out to our end users. Having once utilized a continuous delivery system, I am very appreciative of working in an environment utilizing continuous deployment as it negates any need for human intervention in the roll out."
Ryan's Answer #2
"In my current position, we've slowly grown from a continuous integration process to a continuous delivery process. I love the automated testing process when we are looking at rolling out new changes to existing software and my role as the architect for our projects puts me in the drivers seat for sending out these changes. If hired for this role here at Zimbra, I'd be very intrigued at learning and working with continuous deployment practices as well."
2.
In designing Android software, what is your experience using parcelable versus serializable within an app?
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.

Ryan's Answer #1
"Having written code for Android apps for many years now, I am very familiar with both serializable and parcelable methods. In my first hand experience, parcelable provides a much faster and better user experience so I will always strive to take the time to write custom code for marhsaling and unmarshaling to create less garbage objects within an app."
Ryan's Answer #2
"Due to it being a standard Java interface and its ease of implementation, serializable interface is pretty commonly used. But, because it uses reflection, many temporary objects are created within Android apps and this creates a very poor user experience. When the parcelable interface was introduced for Android systems, I have extensively focused on its use and finished products have benefited greatly."
3.
What unique values can you bring to Zimbra in your user experience design skills?
While your interviewer has shown confidence in your technical abilities to succeed at Zimbra 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 #1
"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 #2
"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 Zimbra 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."
4.
How do you ensure that you have a healthy work-life balance in your career?
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 Zimbra.

Ryan's Answer #1
"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."
Ryan's Answer #2
"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 Zimbra 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."
5.
What do you feel are the primary features and benefits of the Java programming language?
As a company that utilizes Java, Zimbra and your interviewer want to make sure that you have an understanding of the Java programming language and they do so by asking this question. Obviously a language packed with unique features, talk about the features that you can speak the most knowledgeably about and tie your direct experience to.

Ryan's Answer
"When I started working with Java three years ago, the first huge benefit was the fact that the Java syntax was based on C++. At that time, I had a great working knowledge of C++ and my transition to Java was absolutely seamless. The other amazing feature that I've come to appreciate with Java is how robust the memory management is in exception handling and automatic garbage collection."
6.
What experience do you have in the different types of software maintenance?
As a reputable company, Zimbra takes their software maintenance processes seriously and your interviewer is looking to hear that you are familiar with the four different types of software maintenance. Talk to your interviewer about any work you have done in the past with corrective, adaptive, perfective and/or preventative software maintenance. Use specific examples and make sure that your interviewer walks away from your conversation knowing that you understand the importance of proper system maintenance.

Ryan's Answer #1
"Being familiar with all four types of software maintenance, my most used method of maintenance in my current role is corrective. Based on bug reports from end users, I work through coding and logic issues to resolve issues in a timely and effective manner. In the maintenance I perform, I never hesitate to pick up the phone and contact customers to hear first hand about what they are experiencing. By doing this, they feel like they are an important part of the process and it reflects well on me and my organization."
Ryan's Answer #2
"In my current role, I'd definitely say that a majority of the maintenance work that I do is adaptive maintenance. Working in banking software that is used around the globe, I help perform system maintenance for changes in currency on a pretty regular basis. This work requires research and talking with end users to help adapt the programs for their use. If hired here at Zimbra, I also have experience performing perfective, preventative and corrective maintenance on software as well."
7.
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."
8.
What is one thing that really tests your patience when dealing with your coworkers?
While on the surface this question may seem like your interviewer is trying to get you to talk negatively about a situation, it is really more of a test to see what can potentially drive you crazy on the job in a team atmosphere and how you handle those situations. In your answer, be honest about your pet peeves when it comes to coworkers and do so in a positive light. Then, expand on your answer by talking about how you handle those situations.

"As a person that values diversity and differences of opinion in the workplace, there aren't many things that grind my personal gears when it comes to my colleagues. The only real true test of my patience is a coworker that doesn't pull their weight in a team effort. When I've been in this situation in the past, I first seek to learn if the issue is a lack of training or knowledge. If it is, I take the necessary steps to help my colleague get on track. But if I find that it is due to a lack of effort, I talk to the person immediately in a professional manner. The sum is only as good as the effort of all of its parts and a team efforts requires everyone's maximum effort."
Ryan's Answer #1
"As a person that values diversity and differences of opinion in the workplace, there aren't many things that grind my personal gears when it comes to my colleagues. The only real true test of my patience is a coworker that doesn't pull their weight in a team effort. When I've been in this situation in the past, I first seek to learn if the issue is a lack of training or knowledge. If it is, I take the necessary steps to help my colleague get on track. But if I find that it is due to a lack of effort, I talk to the person immediately in a professional manner. The sum is only as good as the effort of all of its parts and a team efforts requires everyone's maximum effort."
Ryan's Answer #2
"Having been raised in a rural farm setting, I have always been a stickler for being on time and holding meetings to set lengths of time. While watching people show up late for meetings has bothered me internally because of how I am wired, I don't let it bother me on the exterior. We are all very busy in our lines of work and showing up a few minutes late is only normal from time to time."
9.
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 Zimbra 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."
10.
When do you consider a project to be finished?
When answering this question, be sure to understand what the employer is truly asking. They are looking to see where you think the project ends, whether that is when it's completed and all testing is done, or whether you think projects are ongoing and require constant work. It can be a trick question as many companies believe a project is never truly finished. Be sure to give an explanation with your answer to back up your belief.

Ryan's Answer #1
"In my mind, a project is never truly finished. Once it's rolled out, upgrades will have to be performed, quality checks will have to be completed, and the product will inevitably change based on customer needs, new technologies, and trends in the market. We have to take that all into consideration when working on a project and while maintaining the product that was completed as a result of the project."
Ryan's Answer #2

"I should disclose to you that I have a mark on my criminal record. I have a DUI from 1998. Since then I have maintained a clean record and I am willing to comply with any form of background check that you require."
11.
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 Zimbra 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 Zimbra."
12.
What software analysis and design tools do you have familiarity working with?
As a software engineer for Zimbra, your interviewer wants to hear that you have experience in utilizing tools that you make you more proficient in your work. Dig back on your past experiences and talk openly about your experiences with the different analysis and design tools that are available to help you be better in the work that you do. In the end, make sure that your interviewer understands that you are proficient in the use of these tools and open to learning and using new tools as well.

Ryan's Answer #1
"As my career and experience in software engineering has grown over the years, I've come to really appreciate and utilize these tools that are available. A great example of this would be my recent education and use of Structured English for designing insurance claim software for a large auto insurer. The simplicity of the structured decisions in the program were a perfect example of a program that could utilize the tool and the end product ended up very functional for our customer."
Ryan's Answer #2
"I have great working knowledge in creating and reading data flow diagrams. To help with both our own sales staff and with customers, DFD's have been super helpful and I consider myself very proficient in creating them. I've also recently been introduced to decision tables to aid in product testing. I was working on a new system that involved some very complicated business rules and the decision table helped outline everything perfectly for our testing."
13.
If you were confronted with a time where you wouldn't be able to meet a deadline here at Zimbra, what steps would you take when you made that realization?
At some point in any person's career, the inevitable happens and an important deadline needs to be missed. With your interviewer fully understanding this fact, they are solely interested in how you react to this situation and what you do to make the situation right. In your answer, focus on the refocused planning and communication needed while also avoiding blaming others for the situation. Your interviewer holds accountability as a desirable virtue, so be sure to take accountability for actions in your response.

Ryan's Answer #1
"In my current position, I am very used to handling multiple tasks and projects on a day to day basis. Last year, my team was tasked with what started as a low priority project. After assembling a team to initially discuss the details and set a deadline for completion with our management, the project unfortunately fell off the radar of everyone on the team with many more high priority projects coming up each week. As the initial project's deadline was within a week of being due, our CEO reached out to me for a progress report. I immediately took full responsibility for letting this fall off the radar and I ensured our CEO that we would have an updated timeline set by the end of the week. In doing this and completing the project to his satisfaction, this was really the tipping point in our department moving forward utilizing a detailed project management tracking system. To this day, I can't say enough about how appreciative I am about utilizing this awesome system. Moving forward, you can rest assured knowing that I take full accountability for my actions and do what is necessary to communicate new expectations and meet them fully."
Ryan's Answer #2
"Having been in this situation before, I would first sit down to gather all the facts possible in the situation. What was the deadline, why wasn't it met and what can be done are all important questions moving forward. From there, communicating to all key parties is extremely important and doing so in a timely manner is critical. In this communication, taking accountability and setting new expectations for delivery in a concise and tactful manner will most often put stakeholders at ease and allow for successful completion."
14.
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 Zimbra as you can prior to your interview and try to speak to the specific languages that they work with.

Ryan's Answer #1
"From the start of college, where software engineering grew into a passion for me, I've become very fluent in Java, JavaScript and C++. My current role has me working primarily with C++, but I pride myself on my ability and passion to learn new programming languages and would be able to do so if hired for this role with Zimbra."
Ryan's Answer #2
"During my training to be an engineer and then in my current role since graduating, a majority of my experience falls within Python. My current role delves deeply into artificial intelligence and Python is awesome with this advanced technology. As I understand it from talking to another engineer here at Zimbra, 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."
15.
In your mind, when is monkey testing the most effective in testing new software?
By utilizing random inputs to check the behavior of a program, monkey testing has its time and place in the software testing process. For this question, your interviewer is looking to hear that you have an understanding of the theory behind monkey testing and how you would look to put it to work at Zimbra to test their products.

Ryan's Answer #1
"In my experience, monkey testing has been very effective in load testing and stress testing new software as standard testing methods couldn't do this without a lot of extra work. Because of the adhoc approach to the testing, load and stress on the software was most highly gauged through monkey testing."
Ryan's Answer #2
"Because monkey testing is able to find unique bugs that standard testing won't find, I've found it to be very effective for testing new pilot software programs that are reaching new bounds. At my current job, I helped design a brilliant monkey testing process that utilized user behavior to look for certain probabilities of bugs within our systems that we were designing."
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