F5 Networks Software Engineer II Interview Questions & Reviews
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Software Engineer II Interview (Positive Experience; Difficult Interview)
I applied through another source and the process took 3 weeks - interviewed at F5 Networks.
Interview Details I was cold called off my LinkedIn profile then went through a phone screen. It was 2 algorithm questions followed up by general person questions and information about the job.
I was then flown out for an in person interview. They put me up in a pretty nice hotel within walking distance of the HQ where my interview was taking place. It started off with a written test covering java fundamentals as well as a short coding problem. I then had 7 back to back interviews that lasted the rest of the day. (Lunch was purchased for me by the boss of the team I was interviewing for and over lunch it was a very informal interview, mostly me asking questions about the job and the team and getting answers)
The interviews covered asking me to design a program on a whiteboard, code on a whiteboard covering data structures and algorithms, multi-threading, concurrency as well as being asked about SQL backend and databases. They hit as many bases as possible They interviewers were good with coaching and hints. They don't expect you to be perfect which is really nice. Overall I'd say I did really well on 2 of the interviews, good on 3 of the interviews, just ok on 1 and really bombed the last one at the end of the day but still got the offer.
Interview Question – How would you design an backend SQL database system for very large loads? (I have no database experience and my resume reflected this so this question really caught me off guard) Answer Question
Negotiation Details – A little back and forth with HR. I was able to negotiate a higher salary. They also seemed to be interviewing for multiple levels of Software Engineer and allowed me to pick to be hired as a I or a II. I was able to get a verbal agreement on an offer about a week after the interview but it took them another few weeks to get that in writing. They had some issues with getting a relocation package ready they said. This put me off some but wasn't a big deal at the end of the day.
Software Engineer II Interview (Neutral Experience)
I applied online and the process took 6 weeks - interviewed at F5 Networks.
Interview Details very good hiring process
Interview Question – parse tcpdump output using peerl Answer Question
Reason for Declining – another job offer
Software Engineer II Interview (Negative Experience; Average Interview)
I applied online and the process took 4 weeks - interviewed at F5 Networks in September 2013.
Interview Details One phone session followed by 5 sessions of 1-1 interviews. HR was all praises on how good F5 is but I found it quite otherwise. We discussed salaries and F5 pays well. Technology is good, but they have some old timers who are trying to protect their turf. The office location is decent, but the buildings shake when trains pass through.
2/5 Interviewers were very well prepared and had specific questions related to position and work at the team. Even though I did not nail all the questions, I enjoyed the discussions and the problem solving mode they worked in. DNS, HTTP, TCP/IP, C++, Security, Data Structures.
1/5 interviewer asked very open ended general questions. I caught him yawning, before lunch.
2/5 interviewers were not well prepared and to a certain extent were hostile, aggressive and offensive. Both were older. One was very knowledgeable but arrogant. It was difficult to understand whether this person was asking a question or just giving an opinion for me to comment on. Twice, the other interviewer hinted that I was lying about how I executed on a problem and project. Did not provide any supporting evidence for me to counter. I tried to defend myself but this one nodded, waved and moved on, making notes and letting me know who was in control and who was being judged. This nasty behavior put me off for the rest of my time at F5.
My own assessment after the interviews was that I did good technically at 3/5 interviews and ok at 1/5 but this team will not be a good cultural fit.
Interview Question – I did not fare too well on DNS use cases and data structures around them. Answer Question
Software Engineer II Interview (Neutral Experience; Average Interview)
I applied through an employee referral and interviewed at F5 Networks.
Interview Details Phone interview . 30 minutes call
Interview Question – Tell me about yourself ?
Technical Questions :
Multiple inheritance and how to avoid problems
Difference between IMAP vs POP vs SMTP
define Forests in Active Directory
Rate yourself in C++ on a scale of 1:10
Rate yourself in Java on a scale of 1:10
Behavior Questions :
Whats your strength?
Whats your weakness ? Answer Question
Software Engineer II Interview (Positive Experience; Easy Interview)
I applied through an employee referral and the process took a day - interviewed at F5 Networks in August 2012.
Interview Details My interview was more on the Front end development side (Web development) After an Initial phone screen, where everything went pretty smooth, I was called onsite.
I had a total of 5 panels and the people who interviewed were pretty cool.
My first interview was with the Director of the team who asked me all non technical questions, this was more about knowing my background and my past experience.
In my second round I was interviewed by a UI designer who asked me questions related to the UI design principles. It was not much difficult and it was not a typical interview where people drill you with questions. I showed them my portfolio of what I did in my previous job and explained about them. Most of my time went in that, so there was not much time to have that question answer thing!
Later, I was interviewed by my manager, which was a proper interview ;) He asked me almost about everything... Right from backend till the frontend, but the questions were very basic and straight forward.
Overall, the interview went pretty well and the people were pretty cool. You will not feel like you are getting drilled by gazillion of questions, it will be more of a conversation and discussion more than a Q&A round. So be confident, get your portfolios and be ready to explain everything from your resume!
All the best
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