Capital One Software Engineer Interview Questions + Guide in 2024

Capital One Software Engineer Interview Questions + Guide in 2024Capital One Software Engineer Interview Questions + Guide in 2024

Introduction

Capital One Bank offers its customers highly reputable web and mobile banking services. Behind these services are some of the best software engineers in the business.

Being part of the Capital One team comes with excellent perks, including comprehensive medical plans, a stock purchase program, and friendly working hours. Plenty of software engineers are eager to be part of this team, but this guide aims to put you ahead of the pack.

Our Capital One Software Engineer Interview Guide contains information on the interview process for this position, plus questions you might be asked in your interview. You’ll also find tips on how to make the most of your interview when your day comes.

What is the Interview Process Like for a Software Engineer Role at Capital One?

Capital One’s interview process for software engineers is unique. There is a preliminary assessment followed by an intensive series of interviews crammed into a single day, a.k.a. Power Day. This approach helps to shorten the process. Candidates who impress on Power Day will receive an offer.

Application

Most candidates for software engineering positions at Capital One apply online. A good number also come from campus recruitment or are contacted by recruiters. You can also be referred for the role by a Capital One employee.

Online Assessment / Tech Screen

Coding is a major part of the online assessment. Candidates are given around 4 questions that they must complete within a given amount of time. The questions are similar to LeetCode’s medium and easy problems.

Power Day: Coding Interview

During this interview round, you’ll be given LeetCode-type questions and asked to code solutions. The difficulty level can range from medium to hard, and you may be asked to explain your code.

Power Day: System Design Interview

For this round, candidates have to design a software system to solve a specific problem, e.g. design a banking system or a smart metering system.

Power Day: Case Study

This typically involves solving a business-oriented problem. A situation is described, and you’re tasked with coming up with an efficient solution to solve the problem. You may also be given code to read, understand, and suggest improvements.

Power Day: Behavioral Interview

Standard behavioral interview questions are asked in this round. These are used to assess candidates’ personalities and whether they’ll fit in well with the culture at Capital One.

What Questions Are Asked In A Capital One Software Engineer Interview?

Software engineers should expect a wide range of questions during their interview at Capital One. The questions will cover advanced programming principles, system design, software architecture, and other technical areas in addition to behavioral and cultural fitness. Take a look at some possible interview questions below.

1. Talk about a time when you challenged the status quo.

Traditional institutions such as banks can be set in their ways. The Capital One interviewer may ask this question to test if you can help the company evolve by pointing out areas of stagnation in your role as a software engineer or another area.

The STAR technique is an excellent method for responding to this. It will give you a chance to show how you used your skills to effect meaningful change in the past.

Example Answer

“When I started my current job, customers only received notifications when large purchases were made. This led to many complaints about unexplained low-value transactions. I suggested that the bank switch to a system where customers could sign up to receive notifications for any transaction regardless of value. 63% of our customers signed up in the first three months, and the complaints dropped by 48% after six months.”

2. Describe a time you handled something you didn’t know well.

Banks like Capital One can have layered problems. Interviewers want to know if you understand that you won’t always be in your comfort zone as a software engineer in the banking industry. They always want to establish how you respond when you face these challenges.

Show that you understand you will struggle in some situations. Use the STAR approach to highlight a time when this was true and how you responded in a manner that prioritized a good outcome.

Example Answer

“When I started my first job, I had no idea how to use a certain software package. After many tries, I finally approached someone and asked them to help me make sense of it. It turned out I was never expected to start using the software on my own since it was developed in-house. I was given the material I needed to get started, and I had it figured out in around two weeks.”

3. Tell me about your involvement in your most recent project.

Interviewers can ask this to better understand your previous experience. They are trying to see what specific skills you possess as a software engineer that are relevant to the company.

The STAR technique will once again be useful when responding to this question. Give specifics but focus on the key points. Talk about the outcome and ensure your role and contributions stand out. Focus on the positives even if the project wasn’t a huge success.

Example Answer

“We were tasked with developing a system to increase the detection rate of fraudulent transactions. My role was to develop a tiered notification system to send out different alerts depending on the potential for fraud. The challenge was identifying the thresholds for different notifications to limit false alarms. I worked with a machine learning expert to develop a model that assigned probabilities of fraud to transactions, and I also color-coded the alerts for a better user experience.”

4. How do you follow and keep up with tech innovations?

Companies like Capital One are eager to take advantage of any new tech that can give them an edge. They expect their software engineers to be in the loop so they don’t miss out. Your response can also give them insights into how you handle change.

Talk about some of the ways you receive news about new advancements in tech. It’s important to mention a few reputable sources to demonstrate that your information is reliable.

Example Answer

“I subscribe to a variety of tech magazines, including Wired, Popular Mechanics, ComputerWorld, and MIT Technology Review. I also follow certain tech leaders on social media, and I attend a few industry events every year.”

5. Tell me about a time you had to collaborate with a teammate in another field to achieve a common goal.

At Capital One, you’ll not just be working with other software engineers. Interviewers want to see your team-oriented skills and if you can collaborate effectively with professionals from other fields.

Use the STAR approach to formulate your response. Demonstrate a positive attitude towards teamwork by highlighting other people’s roles in the success of the project.

Example Answer

“We were developing an app to keep track of areas our marketing teams had visited. The team consisted of software engineers, marketing agents, and data scientists. As engineers, we worked on the core software and integrated the map. The marketing agents gave us insights into how they chose target areas and what features would be useful to them in the app. The data scientists created models to help the marketing team determine if their present location was good.”

6. How do customers and the company benefit from having a chatbot?

Chatbots have become vital to the operations of service-oriented companies such as Capital One. Software engineers may be asked to work on chatbot features, and interviewers will want to test if you understand their importance.

Give a summary of the different ways chatbots benefit customers and companies in the context of the banking industry.

Example Answer

“Chatbots ensure customers have round-the-clock assistance in multiple languages and that the quality of support is consistent. They can also proactively assist customers by offering suggestions when they are using the website. For companies, they make it easier to get customer feedback, reduce requests sent to agents, improve sales, and lower business costs.”

7. What issues will you face when bringing an app to the cloud?

According to Capital One, their entire enterprise is on the public cloud. Their software engineers need to know the challenges cloud-based apps face so they can mitigate these challenges.

Talk about the challenges of cloud computing that are most relevant to a banking institution and suggest how these challenges can be handled or avoided entirely.

Example Answer

“Some of the key issues that come with moving to the cloud are performance shortfalls, poor scalability, frequent downtimes, and security. These challenges can be mitigated by taking measures such as thoroughly vetting service providers, ensuring all data is strongly encrypted, and closely monitoring the performance and availability of the cloud resources the company uses.”

8. What ORMs can be used to access a Java database?

Software engineers for banks will typically be developing solutions around databases. Interviewers can ask this type of question to test if a candidate knows the tools they need for such operations.

Give examples of ORM tools that can be used when developing software using Java.

Example Answer

“ORM tools that can be used to access Java databases include Hibernate, OpenJPA, and EclipseLink.”

9. What does specificity mean in CSS?

As a company that offers online services, Capital One needs software engineers who have a good grasp of web development languages, including CSS. That is what this question is testing.

Explain what specificity is and give an example.

Example Answer

“Specificity is the algorithm that applies different weights to declarations when multiple CSS rules are applied to the same element. These weights determine which declaration is applied. For example, if a class selector specifies the color of an element is blue but an ID selector says it’s green, specificity will give the ID selector higher priority, and the element will be green.”

10. How can you rollback a MongoDB query?

Working with databases is a key part of a software engineer’s job. Interviewers may ask questions like this to test your familiarity with database applications like MongoDB.

Explain how changes to a database can be effected when using MongoDB.

Example Answer

“Technically, you can’t rollback a change once it has been committed to the database. Changes to databases are not expected to be reversible, and restoration should ideally be done from a backup. One workaround is to use the Oplog and the last backup of the database before the error to do a selective restoration of the data and operations before the faulty operation.”

How to Prepare for a Software Engineering Role At Capital One

The interview process for a software engineering position at Capital One is a grueling one. With the right preparations, you will find it easier and greatly improve your chances of getting an offer.

Try As Many Test Questions as You Can

It’s important to get as familiar as possible with the type of questions you can be asked during your interview. Software engineering candidates at Capital One have been asked questions that ranged from easy to hard, many similar to the questions listed above.

Interview Query provides access to a range of easy, medium, and hard questions that are focused on this position at Capital One. The questions cover algorithms, DBMSs, Coding, and other areas.

Know the Company

Capital One has very specific needs from its software engineers because it’s in the banking business. This will be reflected in many of the questions you’ll be asked. Take the time to know what Capital One does and the role of software engineers in it.

You can talk to experts who have worked as software engineers in different industries on Interview Query’s Slack channel. They can give you more insight into the position.

Get Some Coaching

You can take your interview preparations to the next level by getting professional coaching. Coaches can offer suggestions on how to answer questions, insider tips, and constructive feedback. You can also be taken through a mock interview to test your skills.

Interview Query’s coaching services are offered by experts with real industry experience at top tech companies, and they have made a difference for candidates who’ve signed up.

Revise Your Software Engineering Skills

The technical interviews at Capital One will test your knowledge of many software engineering concepts. Take time to revise areas that seem relevant based on the job description.

The learning paths on Interview Query can help you brush up on specific areas of software engineering, such as Python, SQL, and Machine Learning.

FAQs

How much is the salary of software engineers at Capital One?

$145,544

Average Base Salary

$151,157

Average Total Compensation

Min: $95K
Max: $210K
Base Salary
Median: $143K
Mean (Average): $146K
Data points: 3,285
Min: $5K
Max: $250K
Total Compensation
Median: $149K
Mean (Average): $151K
Data points: 3,261

View the full Software Engineer at Capital One salary guide

Are there any job ads for Capital One SEs here on Interview Query?

Yes, there are! We have tons of job postings for Capital One’s software engineering positions. If you want to check any of them out, then you’d better head on over to our job boards.

Does Interview Query offer other features that can help me pass my Capital One software engineer interview?

Of course! We offer various services that can help you ace and land your role at Capital One. From our mock interviews, challenges, and take-home assignments, we have tons of resources that can help you. Check them out!

Conclusion

Interview Query’s main interview guide for Capital One is a good resource if you plan on interviewing for any position at this company. You can also find interview guides for other positions within the company, including data science and product manager roles.

You can access more questions on software engineering in Interview Query’s interview questions section. You can also try your hand at our challenges to see how you rank against other experts in various skills.

In the age of digital banking, more software engineers are eager to switch gears and work in the banking industry. Hopefully, this guide, plus the other resources we offer at Interview Query, will give you a head-start on your software engineer interview at Capital One.