gregbo (gregbo) wrote,

Equinix interview

Since I'm sure you're dying to read all about it ...

There were four interviewers: the group manager and three engineers. The first two
interviewed me together; most of their questions were general. The group manager gave me
an overview of the corporate structure, including how his group fits into the grand scheme
of things, and also asked some general questions. There were a couple worth noting. For
one, he seemed concerned that I didn't currently have a job, remarking that "things are
pretty good (job market wise) these days." He also asked me based on my background, in
what way did I think I would best fit into the group. I said it would be providing tools
for the customers to automatically build the relationships they need with other customers,
similar to the types of tools that Nominum provided to manage IP address and DNS

The last guy was the one who interviewed me on the phone. He asked me which of the
languages I programmed in did I think I was best at. I said Perl and C. So (as you might
imagine), I got two programming-at-the-whiteboard questions, one in Perl and one in C.
I did ok on the first one, although I had to start over a couple of times because I made a
couple of mistakes (one he spotted, one I spotted). I commented that I wouldn't have made
those mistakes if I'd had the Perl book to reference. He seemed ok with that. In the
next question, I had to stop and think about what to do. I started writing a recursive
solution (which it seemed like he wanted, based on how the question was phrased). He
stepped out for a bit while I continued to work. I got to a point where I was trying to
figure out whether I'd taken care of all the cases. When he came back, he asked me to
rewrite it using iteration, because he thought it would be easier. So I proceeded to do
that, but then I had another of my "I got stuck" moments. I couldn't quite think of how
to take care of one of the cases. I think I was still trying to think recursively. Also,
my shoulder and hand started to hurt. It has been some time since I've had to stand up
and write. It could have been a combination of nervousness and a little bit of RSI.
Anyway, after some prompting from him, I finally thought of the last case. I think I would
have had less problems with this if I'd been typing it into an editor. His overall
assessment of me was basically what he told me on the phone, that it seemed like there
would be a steep learning curve because there are things I'm rusty at, not having done
them recently.

The group manager came back, asked a couple of "how did it go"-type questions, and
thanked me for coming in. He said he'd talk to the rest of the team, and if there was
good feedback, he'd bring me back in for another round with more people. So basically, this
was one of those "could've done better, could've done worse" interviews.

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