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IBM Interview Questions & Reviews

Updated Apr 14, 2014
All Interviews Received Offers

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Interview Experience 

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1,943 candidate interviews
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Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Difficult Interview

Financial Analyst Interview

Anonymous Employee
Markham, ON

I applied online and the process took 4+ weeks - interviewed at IBM in March 2014.

Interview Details Received an email from HR to have two interviews with two Finance Managers. One interviewer scrutinized my resume in detail; the second one was easy going. Received invitation to the second round. I interviewed with the CFO of IBM Canada - she was very straightforward

Interview Question – What is the relationship between the nature of your jobs as an intern? Caught me off-guard because I had four internships in four different companies & industries   Answer Question

Negotiation Details – No negotiation; new grad so not much beside internships under my belt.

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Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Easy Interview

Software Engineer Intern Interview

Anonymous Employee
Ottawa, ON

I applied through college or university and the process took 1 week - interviewed at IBM in October 2011.

Interview Details Campus recruiting. Phone interview.

Interview Question – Normal questions. Now of them is challenging.   Answer Question

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No Offer

Neutral Experience

Average Interview

Deskside Support Representative Interview

Anonymous Interview Candidate

I applied through a staffing agency and the process took 2+ weeks - interviewed at IBM in February 2014.

Interview Details Plain and standard.

Interview Question – Technical question is pretty basic.   Answer Question

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No Offer

Positive Experience

Average Interview

Rational Software Delivery Developer Intern Interview

Anonymous Interview Candidate

I applied online and the process took 4+ weeks - interviewed at IBM in February 2014.

Interview Details After applying through the company website, I received an email about a week and a half later that said I needed to complete their IPAT Test (which is pretty much a pattern recognition and math problem solving test, and most math problems were the "if a train leaves the station at 9am going 100km/h, and another train leaves at 9:30am going 80km/h, when will they meet?" type of question).

While I was writing the test (which I thought was very difficult), I received another email saying that I had been selected for an interview. This means that they had selected me for an interview before I had completed the test (and before seeing my result), which I thought was strange.

The interview was around an hour long. I was interviewed by three people: one was the team lead, the other was a system admin, and the other was a current intern. They began by telling me about their team and what they did, and then proceeded to ask me about my resume. They were extremely thorough, going through my resume line by line and asking me to elaborate on every point I made.

After that, they asked some behavioural questions. The two I can remember were:

- "What would you do if an important client had completely changed their mind about what they wanted, and that meant that you had to restart from scratch to fulfill their new request?"

- "How would you deal with a member of a team that wasn't pulling their weight on a project?"

From there, they began to ask basic technical questions. The first were simple ones about general web development (what's a CSS media query, how does search engine optimization work, what are some best practices in web security). The next questions were related to Java (explain the differences between procedural programming vs object oriented programming, what's an object, what's a thread). The last few questions were related to linux system administration (how do you add a new user, how would you schedule a task to execute a week from now). The final question was kind of unexpected, since it was simply "what is agile development?"

The interview concluded with all three interviewers talking about open source projects they had been working on.

Interview Question – On a linux system, how would you schedule a task to execute a week from now?   View Answer

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No Offer

Positive Experience

Difficult Interview

Virtual Machine Developer Interview

Anonymous Interview Candidate
Ottawa, ON

I applied online and the process took 1 week - interviewed at IBM in February 2014.

Interview Details The interviewer was very nice and cool, it was the kind of guy I'd love to work with !!!
Phone Interview that lasted more than an hour. Got asked about almost everything in Java and C++ for more than 30 minutes: classes objects inheritance interface abstract class void pointers recursion trees binary trees linked list vs array and more and more and more...

Then I was given the following programming task to finish online:

/*
 * Using no libraries, compress a nul terminated sequence of characters, in
 * place. The input characters are all in the range a-z. The input does not need
 * to be validated. The result overwrites the input and is nul terminated.
 * Return the number of characters in the result, not including the nul
 * terminator.
 *
 * The compression algorithm is: - any letter which is not repeated is
 * represented in the output by the same letter - any letter which is repeated
 * is compressed by appending it with a series of ascii numbers which represent
 * the number of repeats - any repeat bigger than 9 is represented by a series
 * of 9's and the remaining count, i.e., a repeat of 10 is represented as 91, 11
 * as 92, etc
 *
 * Examples: abab -> abab
 * aaacbbb -> a3cb3
 * addddddddddddc -> ad93c
 *
 * @param letters
 * a nul terminated sequence of the letters a-z
 * @return the length of the compressed character sequence not including the nul terminator
 */

public class Compress {

}

I was not able to finish the task on time which was about 30 minutes. It simply was not my day, I was very tired and the 30 minutes questions/answers session gave me a headache. I was able to finish it after the interview was over :P

Interview Question – nothing complicated given you know about OOP, Java and C++   Answer Question

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No Offer

Positive Experience

Average Interview

Technical Analyst Interview

Anonymous Interview Candidate

I applied through college or university and the process took 1 week - interviewed at IBM in February 2014.

Interview Details Not much stuff. Just went through your resume, and discuss about your knowledge and experience of SQL.

Interview Question – What do you do if one of your teammate is slacking off while the deadline of a big project is approaching?   Answer Question

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No Offer

Neutral Experience

Average Interview

Software Developer Interview

Anonymous Interview Candidate
Toronto, ON

I applied online and the process took 4+ weeks - interviewed at IBM.

Interview Details The job is an entry-level software developer position. There are two rounds of interviews.

The first round happened in about 2-3 weeks after I applied. Since I am local, they asked me to come onsite, and talked to 2 software developers. It took about 1 hour, and the questions are of 2 kinds: algorithm and OOD.

The second round happened in about 3 weeks after the first round. I was interviewed with the hiring manager and 2 software developers. It took about 2 hours. The technical questions are similar to the first round. Besides that, the hiring manager spent 15 minutes to describe the position in details, and then keep asking me questions like "How do you like the position?", "Why?", "What kind of job do you like?", e.t.c. I gave a honest but maybe a very bad answer "I like this job because it is local"....

After the second interview, they hold me for a month, then told me they decided not to move forward my application.

Interview Question – Similar to those in careercup   Answer Question

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Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Easy Interview

IT Professional Interview

Anonymous Employee
Toronto, ON

I applied through college or university and the process took 2+ weeks - interviewed at IBM in October 2010.

Interview Details On Campus recruiting, progression from a summer internship. 2 interviews both behavioral and some technical. On Campus recruiting, progression from a summer internship. 2 interviews both behavioral and some technical. On Campus recruiting, progression from a summer internship. 2 interviews both behavioral and some technical. On Campus recruiting, progression from a summer internship. 2 interviews both behavioral and some technical.

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1 person found this helpful

Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Difficult Interview

Software Developer Interview

Software Developer
Markham, ON

I applied in-person and the process took 2 weeks - interviewed at IBM in June 2013.

Interview Details I applied online after finishing my undergrad. They did not reply me for more than a month, so I asked my friend to refer me and then things moved quickly. I was contacted directly by hiring manager. I gave IBM's IQ test and then decided the date to do a phone interview with hiring manager. In phone interview, I was asked bit manipulation question, reverse a single linked list and anagram questions. It was about 45 mins interview with all tech question. I knew all the questions and had them practiced before hand so I did pretty well. During the phone interview, I was told that I'm selected for on-site interview. I choose to give on-site interview monday of next week. I had about 3 days to prepare, I did not choose to wait longer because I did not have job that time. It was 5.5 hours of on-site interview which included 4 interviews and 1 lunch interview. lunch interview was not counted in selection process. There were 3 tech interviews and 1 manager interview. Each 1 hour long, in manager interview I was asked behavior questions and other standard easy HR questions. Job was related to compiler so they asked me lot of low level questions including reduce the cache contention in matrix multiplication and etc. Some of the coding question were:

1. Find 2^n without using any airthemetic operator. 1 >> n
2. Find double of a number without using airthmetic and lots lots of bit manipulation questions.
2. Reduce cache contention in given code. Code was matrix multiplication algorithm.
3. Explain in pseudo code, how overriding a functions in OOO languages work. And is overriding function resolved at compile time? And how about function overloading?
4. Write a function that takes two unsigned int and returns true if multiplication of these two integers will be overflow (means number exceed limit of sizeof(unsigned int) bytes) otherwise returns false.
5. Design stack using single linked list.
6. Given an array of positive and negative ints , find an continuous subarray with maximum sum. On first try I was able to write an algorithm with o(1) space and o(n) time complexity so he was happy.
7. Write a basic hashing algorithm (then he asked my why I did this way and how can I improve). And some theory about has functions.

If you applying in compiler department be sure to prepare bit manip questions and know some basic things of compilers like parsing, linking, how compiled languages different from interpreted ones, how 32 bit compiled program diff from 64 bit and other basic stuff.

Interview Question – Reduce cache contention on given code. Code was multiple multiplication algorithm. I did not have slightest clue of how to do that.   Answer Question

Negotiation Details – It was good salary already as new graduate.

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Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Difficult Interview

IT Specialist Interview

Anonymous Employee
Toronto, ON

I applied through other source and the process took 4+ weeks - interviewed at IBM in January 2009.

Interview Details Hiring process was thru a job fair and first interview was done by HR, then submitted to hiring manager. After 2 weeks, technical architect would interview for about 1 hours, after passing the technical session , then hiring manager would conduct the behavioral interview, all these process took 1 months.

Interview Question – Could you tell me few example of your job achievement   Answer Question

Negotiation Details – Hiring manager will contact you asking for salary range, advice to others please do not hesitate to negotiate.

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