Nail the Interview

Ace Your Embedded Software Engineers Interview

embedded software enginer

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Time for that interview, and if you’re an Embedded Software Engineer you know how tough those interviews can be. Just like all of the work leading up to becoming an Embedded Software Engineer, doing great on an interview is all about studying the right things before the interview.

Interview basics:


1. Know Your Company

This actually refers to knowing all you can about the company where you are interviewing. If the company is public, there is bound to be tons of information available on the Internet. Even if it’s not public, there may be some information.  Know key locations, the number of employees, company financials and key products.

2. Strengths and Weaknesses

This question will be asked, be prepared. Make sure your compliment the position and your experience. Make sure the weaknesses are not fatal (like you always make mistakes).  Your weaknesses should include skills that are not critical for the job.   You should also mention weaknesses where you have improved (such as creating presentations).

Just like all of the work leading up to becoming an Embedded Software Engineer, doing great on an interview is all about studying the right things before the interview.

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3. Specific Questions

You will, no doubt, be asked questions specific to your field.  You know the questions you hate the most and struggle with.  Make a list of these questions, come up with great answers and practice with a friend or family member. If you nail these questions, the rest is easy.

We will get into more detailed questions later but here are some examples.

  • What is Flow Control?
  • “How would you design (enter something technical here)”?  – This question is not really about the specific item to be designed, it’s about how you approach and manage the design phase of a project.
  • What is your typical debugging approach?

Create a Work Portfolio

A work portfolio is a collection of your work that will give the employer an example of your experience, work product and skills. Your portfolio can be in digital form or can be a “hard copy” portfolio of your work that highlights your skills.

If your portfolio is digital, ensure there is a way for it to be accessed during the interview or bring a hard copy.

If you don’t already have a portfolio, start to collect examples of your work prior to the interview. Quality counts, so ensure your portfolio represents the highest level of quality.

“Practice makes perfect, and that includes job interviews. How many times have you been asked that tough question and didn’t have a good answer? We’ve included some typical (and sometimes challenging) interview questions along with some suggested answers. While specific answers are impossible to provide, the responses provided below should help you in crafting your own responses.” – 14 Challenging Job Interview Questions With Answers

Market Yourself

Can you imagine if you had to interview for your next job in front of everyone else interviewing for that job? Practice your 3-minute “elevator speech” as if you were interviewing in front of your competitors.

Showcase your skills, now is the time to be your own biggest fan. You need to be able to show that your skills and abilities can get the job done better than anyone else.

Have examples ready and be prepared to create something if an interviewer asks. Have you rehearsed for your interview?

Body Language Matters

Eye contact, sitting straight, not frowning, hand gestures, nodding your head in response to questions, all of these impacts how your interviewer sees you. Treat the interview as a regular conversation. Remember, sometimes it’s not what you say but how you present yourself physically.

The Five Stages of the Embedded Software Engineer Interview

1st round involves a written test on aptitude, real-time OS and embedded concept

2nd round involves a written test on C objective questions, Real-time OS and C programming

3rd stage is the face-to-face technical round. It involves questions on RTOS and C programming basics; bitwise operations related concept in C and around 3 to 5 programs to check your problem understanding and solving skills

4th stage of HR round is about terms and conditions that include the instructions regarding the rules and regulations of the company to be followed

HR will take the signature if you agree to their terms and conditions

5th stage of the technical round with the manager is about checking your technical skills. This is an important stage wherein you are asked several technical questions and judged accordingly. This blog would emphasis on a few common questions asked by the interviewer to a software engineer specialized in an embedded system.

Now you must be thinking about the correct answers. Let us take a look at it.

Photo by Evan Dennis on Unsplash

Common Technical Questions For Embedded Software Engineers

What is interrupt latency? How can you reduce it?

It is the time taken to return from the interrupt service routine post handling a specific interrupt. Interrupt latency can be reduced by writing minor ISR routines.

Can structures be passed to the functions by value?

Yes, it can be passed. However, it has several disadvantages.

What are the qualifiers in C?

Volatile- it is about instructing the compiler that a variable will change

Constant- it is about instructing the compiler that a variable will not change.

Can you have constant volatile variables?

Yes, we can have constant volatile variables

What are the 4 types of inheritance relationship?

4 different types of inheritance relationships are Single, Multiple, Multilevel and Hybrid.

What are the different storage classes in C?

Auto, Register, Static and Extern or Global

Increase your chances of getting hired by practicing for assessment tests.

Interview Checklists

Be Prepared to Answer

  • Projects or initiatives where you were successful
  • Projects or initiatives where you failed
  • Your top 5 skills
  • Why do you like engineering
  • Why do you want to work at the company where you are interviewing

 Make Sure You…

  • Turn off your cellphone
  • Dress appropriately for the interview
  • Look you interviewer in the eye
  • Have a firm handshake
  • Have high energy
  • Your keywords that highlight your experience and fit the job description

Make Sure You Don’t…

  • Undersell yourself
  • Chew gum
  • Forget the question
  • Yawn (or doze off) during the interview
  • Forget the details of your resume
  • Forget the name of the interviewer(s)
  • Arrive late

You can certainly expect these questions in most of the interview sessions. Make sure you are aware of these interview questions before applying for embedded software jobs. There are plenty of European recruitment embedded software jobs available for you. European recruitment is one of the renowned companies in the UK who deal with embedded software jobs.

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