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eBay Interview
Questions

27 Questions and Answers by Ryan Brunner

Published January 14th, 2020 | Ryan has over 10 years of experience interviewing
candidates in the healthcare, public service, and private manufacturing/distribution industries.
Question 1 of 27
What programming languages would you consider yourself fluent in?
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How to Answer
While this question gives your interviewer insight into the diversity of your programming language experience, they most importantly want to know that you are adaptable and able to learn on the fly if needed. Talk about the different languages that you consider yourself fluent in and, if possible, do as much research into eBay as you can prior to your interview and try to speak to the specific languages that they work with.
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Top 25 eBay Interview Questions
1.
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 eBay 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 eBay."
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 eBay, 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."
2.
Talk about your previous user interface design experience in detail. Why do you feel that this experience will translate well to this role with eBay?
While your interviewer can get a good sense of your experience from your resume, they are looking for you to talk in details about your experiences in UI design in your previous work. While explaining your previous experience, be sure to highlight the skills that you developed that will help you be successful in designing new products with eBay. Prior to your interview, be sure you research and are family with the products that eBay puts out.

Ryan's Answer #1
"Ten years into my career out of college, I consider myself very blessed to have such a well rounded background in user interface design. I have experience designing cutting edge mobile app designs, website design, video game design and software design. Here at eBay, your education software would greatly benefit from my creative designs to be user friendly and appealing to educators, parents and students and I'd love to bring these skills to work for you."
Ryan's Answer #2
"While my experience in user interface design has really focused on web design over the past five years, I think my current skill set will benefit the team here at eBay greatly. In my web design, I prepare mockups and wireframes for customers and have experience utilizing a lot of different resources in doing these. In the software world, I would love to use these same principles. As well, my web experience has really driven me to be user focused. In this role, a more user focused drive is required out of your user interface design and I would be able to bring that to the team here."
3.
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."
4.
In your experience in software testing, would you consider yourself proficient in both testing and debugging processes?
As a reputable provider of software, eBay 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."
5.
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."
6.
eBay 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 eBay 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."
7.
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 eBay works in, you may likely score some bonus points with your interviewer.

Ryan's Answer #1
"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 eBay, 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 #2
"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 eBay and working in the financial industry, how have you seen this need for real-time data impact your products?"
8.
What software analysis and design tools do you have familiarity working with?
As a software engineer for eBay, 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."
9.
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 eBay 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."
10.
If hired here at eBay and tasked with helping design a UI for a new mobile app, what important factors would you consider in that design?
With consumer mobility being at an all-time high and only increasing year after year, just about every industry has entered the mobile app game and life at eBay is no different. For this question, it is important to have a good understanding of the different mobile UI designs and your job for this question will be tying the business needs of eBay into an effective mobile app. In your answer, talk about what you know about the business needs of eBay and then explain to your interviewer how you would build those into a great mobile app for their future.

Ryan's Answer #1
"Here at eBay, I envision users of your products in the banking industry to want security and ease of use in their products. In looking to design a UI for a new mobile app, my considerations would be a secure log-in screen and user profile section of the app. As well, I would put an automatic log out into place within the app. On top of these security items, I would prioritize ease of placement for a contact screen, services screen and an aesthetically pleasing home screen."
Ryan's Answer #2
"In the private insurance industry, I can imagine that an onboarding tutorial screen would be very beneficial to users using the app for the first time. I have experience designing these for a few different mobile apps. Other factors I would consider would be prioritizing the important information to have laid out within the app and how to best lay it out. If a menu will be utilized, I would work with key decision makers on what would make the most sense for a menu layout within the app."
11.
Do you consider yourself stronger in C++, C#, Java, or Python?
Before your interview, do some research to understand what tech stack eBay 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 eBay."
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."
12.
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 eBay, 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 eBay 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 eBay, 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."
13.
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 eBay, 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"
14.
What data cleaning methods are you familiar with and comfortable using if hired for this role at eBay?
To improve data quality and increase overall productivity of a system, eBay relies on their data analysts to use data cleansing methods to ensure quality data exists in their software. Be open and honest with the ways that you've helped ensure quality and accurate data in the systems that you've worked with while also showing that you have an open mind to learning and utilizing more methods if hired for this position.

Ryan's Answer #1
"In my current work, I use a very methodical fashion in cleaning data for finished systems. My first step is to remove duplicate and irrelevant observations within the data. Then I scan the data to remove extra spaces, convert numbers stored as text into numbers and remove duplicate data. These steps help ensure clean and accurate data and I never overlook them. If hired for this position, what methods does the current data analyst team her at eBay utilize?"
Ryan's Answer #2
"I am familiar with many methods used in the cleansing of data. The initial monitoring of errors within a system is very important to identifying where errors occur and give insight into how to fix corrupt data. I have utilized the tools within Domo software to validate data accuracy and scrub for duplicate data in my processes as well. Being very proficient in data analysis, I'm very open to learning new methods as well if hired for this position."
15.
In SQL, how do you explain the differences between clustered and non-clustered indexes? Can you name a time that you used each?
eBay uses indexes to improve query performances within their software and for this question, your interviewer is looking to hear that you have a basic understanding of both clustered and non-clustered indexes. Explain the differences between the two types of indexes and be sure you can either speak to relevant times that you've used each or when would be the appropriate application to use each.

Ryan's Answer #1
"In the simplest of terms, a clustered index order records in a table the way that they are physically stored. There can only be one clustered index per table. Non-clustered indexes do not store data to match the physical order that it is stored. Rather, it can hold up to 249 indexes per table. Both types come with their own benefits over the other. In my experience, clustered indexes are suited best for programs that use primary key as an identity integer column. On the other hand, non-clustered make the most sense for programs that need JOIN and WHERE clauses within them."
Ryan's Answer #2
"In my experience, clustered indexes are faster to read but very slow when it comes to update data within. Non-clustered indexes are just the opposite in that they are slower to read but much fast to insert new data into them. In my current role, I mostly use clustered indexes when large numbers of rows need to be retreived and when insert operations are important. Most other times, I will use non-clustered as the standard."
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