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iCIMS Interview
Questions

28 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 28
In SQL, how do you explain the differences between clustered and non-clustered indexes? Can you name a time that you used each?
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How to Answer
iCIMS 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.
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Top 25 iCIMS, Inc. Interview Questions with Full Content
1.
In SQL, how do you explain the differences between clustered and non-clustered indexes? Can you name a time that you used each?
iCIMS 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."
2.
If you were asked to review a colleague's code that they had written, what key things would you look for?
For this question, your interviewer will obviously be looking to hear that you have adequate knowledge when it comes to coding processes. But most importantly, your interviewer will be looking to gauge your ability to be a team player and focus on the bigger picture when working on a project. In your answer, focus on your attention to detail and your ability to help others when needed.

Ryan's Answer #1
"As an experienced software engineer, I fully expect my colleagues to reach out to me for my insight and I never hesitate to provide open and honest feedback. When asked to do this, my main focus is ensuring that the code is readable and functional. If there are lines of code that need to be removed, I don't hesitate to let my colleague know that while also giving them feedback on why I feel it is unnecessary."
Ryan's Answer #2
"When I'm asked to do this in my current position, my main focus is on regulatory requirements that were put in place for the project and security issues. I work with a team of great engineers that are very efficient coders and these two areas are most often overlooked."
3.
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 iCIMS 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."
4.
If hired here at iCIMS 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 iCIMS 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 iCIMS into an effective mobile app. In your answer, talk about what you know about the business needs of iCIMS 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 iCIMS, 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."
5.
If you were confronted with a time where you wouldn't be able to meet a deadline here at iCIMS, 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."
6.
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 iCIMS, 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 iCIMS 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 iCIMS, 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."
7.
As a consultant with iCIMS, your role will be vital in gather information from our customers in building new technology for them. What would be your goals in an initial consultation with a new or existing client?
Software consultants are the bridge between the end users and the development teams of new software to help come up with new and creative solutions for the business. In this role with iCIMS, you will be expected to live in two different worlds and this question focuses on how you will work with end users of the companies products. In an initial consultation, focus your efforts on how you will learn the business needs of the client, talk about what can potentially be offered and then how you will start the creative problem solving process with them.

Ryan's Answer #1
"As an experienced consultant looking to break into the technology field, I will break a lot of awesome client focused skills to your team. In an initial consultation, my number one goal is to learn the business of the client and listen to what they are looking for in my products. Once their need is known, I can knowledgeably speak to the products that I work with to help them create a custom solution to fit their needs. If hired for this position, my first order of business would be to work very closely with the design and engineering staff to know the possibilities of customization. From there, my natural ability to consult with clients would take over in a win-win situation for all involved."
Ryan's Answer #2
"In consulting with a new client or an existing client looking for system modifications, my number one goal in a first meeting with them would be to lay the framework for how we will move forward and to set expectations moving forward. I would look to understand their business needs and talk with them about all of the solutions possible for them with us as their software provider. From there, I have the ability to set expectations on a time frame for a solution proposal and we can move forward from there. At the end of a first meeting, I want to ensure that the key decision makers are comfortable with me and the business that I represent so they don't hesitate to reach out to me with questions or for clarification on items discussed."
8.
Do you have experience working with data in a cloud computing environment?
Over recent years, more and more companies are converting to cloud based computing services because the conversion allows them to save money and have better auditing trails. As a prospective data engineer with iCIMS, your interviewer will be looking to hear that you are at least familiar with the concepts of working with cloud based data. Talk in details about the experiences you have while keeping your mind open to working with more in the future if hired with iCIMS.

Ryan's Answer
"My current organization has been using Apprenda, a PaaS, that allows us to develop, test and maintain our software projects. I also have experience mining and converting data off of public, community and private cloud networks. If hired here at iCIMS, I think I would bring a wealth of cloud based experience to the data engineering team."
9.
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 iCIMS 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 iCIMS, can you expand on what models you use here in your software development life cycle?"
10.
As you reflect back on your career to this point in your search for a new position, what would you say is your ideal work environment or culture?
While using this question as a key indicator on how you'll fit with the team and the organization at iCIMS, it will be very important for you to research as much as you can on the work environment at iCIMS so you can match your priorities to that environment. If you have the opportunity to speak with an employee at iCIMS prior to your interview, that can shed valuable information. In the end, the culture and value of an organization are often a key indicator of long-term success in a job, so make sure that you reflect your values into what the company values.

Ryan's Answer #1
"As I begin this job search now 15 years out of college, I'm looking for an employer that promotes and encourages innovation, new ideas and collaboration among all members of the team. From what I know about iCIMS from speaking with others, you sound like a perfect match for what I am looking for in a career."
Ryan's Answer #2
"With all of the companies that I have both worked for and consulted with in the past, I realize that a company culture is basically the personality of the company and I am looking for a new organization that really meshes well with my personality. I am a casual person that believes in hard work, teamwork and having fun on the job. As I embarked on a job search, I was so happy to see that iCIMS was hiring because I believe our styles will fit perfectly together."
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