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How to nail a Hybris Interview

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Nowadays, if you search for “Hybris interview questions”, you’ll find tons of stuff on the internet. But it hasn’t always been like that: until a couple of years ago, there were hardly any blogs or questions on Stack Overflow. Having access to this quantity of information can be good as well as bad: it’s good in a way that you find answers to some of the problems you’re facing, but it might also divert you from the important things you should be sure to brush up before an interview.

In this blog, I will share my experience and the strategy to nail my Hybris interviews: it has worked best for me and other developers in my community. You should take it as a template and personalize it in the way which suits you the best.

As a premise, I will make clear that I use “Hybris” instead of “SAP Commerce” in this blogpost, just to keep things simple, but be aware that the correct name you should be using in your interviews is, indeed, “SAP Commerce” or “SAP Commerce Cloud”. If you’re keen to know more about Hybris history, here’s my previous blogpost dedicated on this topic: From Hybris to SAP Commerce Cloud.

Let’s be realistic: the usual candidate starts preparing for an interview only after receiving the first call from the recruiter, so they don’t have much time to prepare. To make the most of your time it’s important to have structure and strategy.

To crack an interview, it’s important to understand the phases of the interview process. Usually a Hybris interview will consist of three parts:

  1. Coding test
  2. Technical interview
  3. Managerial/HR round

Coding test

It’s very common these days that the first round of the recruitment process is some sort of coding test: it can be anything between an hour online test on HackerRank/Codility to a little project you need to complete in a week. Usually these tests allow you to pick a coding language of your choice; however, for a Hybris position the typical preference is that you use Java. Typically these tests aim at verifying your logical skills more than anything else, and there are a few websites (as mentioned above) where you can sign up and practice for free. If you don’t have an account yet, I would highly recommend creating one and practice some coding puzzles whenever you get some free time. This will help you a lot in your preparation for the interview test.

Technical Interview

Format

Ask beforehand whether it’s an audio, video or face-to-face interview. If you have any preference, then you should ask for it. For example, I prefer a video call over an audio for interviews, because then I can see the expressions of the interviewers. It helps me perform better, because I am more comfortable when I can see a person’s face rather than talking to a voice.

Java and Spring

Spend some time brushing-up on the basic Java and Spring concepts. There is lots of material online. Even if you don’t do your best on Hybris questions, it is important that you do well on the Java part. You should invest 10 to 20% of your time brushing up these core concepts.

Hybris

The best way to prepare for Hybris interviews is the official SAP Help Documentation. This is The Bible of Hybris. It is very well documented and covers everything you need to know for an interview. The release notes and the version selector at the left top corner are very useful tools that allow you to easily check differences between versions: make sure to select the most recent version to ensure that you’ve got your knowledge up to date. Also, there are Trails (guided coding exercises), which you should do if you haven’t already done. You should spend 50 to 60% of your time here.

Some things that will surely be of interest:

  1. Hybris Architecture and extensions
  2. Product and Data modelling (items.xml)
  3. Integrating with Hybris (ImpEx, OCC, Extension Factory)
  4. Content editing (WCMS & SmartEdit)
  5. Development Best Practices
  6. Indexing (SOLR)
  7. Order management (OMS)
  8. Backoffice and cockpits

Look back into the past

Go through your CV and spend some time recollecting things you did for every project. The path you took and the growth you made are something quite valuable for the interviewers, and they will not fail to ask you a few questions on your past work experiences. Ask yourself questions like this:

  • What was my role in the project/team?
  • What did I learn from that project?
  • What were the challenges I faced?
  • What are the different versions of Hybris I have worked on, and how they are different?
  • How is this new feature better than the previous? (e.g. Promotion Engine)
  • How did I solve that problem?
  • What are my achievements?

Quite often, interviewers are also interested if you have worked on some of the following topics:

  • Hybris Version Upgrade
  • Performance and Monitoring
  • Deployments (Jenkins etc.)

Most importantly, DON’T LIE IN YOUR CV. You will be caught in minutes my friend.

You don’t know everything

Hybris is a huge piece of software: not only it has been around for 20 years, but it also has evolved a lot after becoming an SAP product. So, it is okay if you haven’t worked on some modules (such as DataHub or SmartEdit, to give a couple of examples). What’s important, is that you are aware about them – at least you must have read the official documentation to the extent that you can explain the basic function of the module. It will be highly beneficial for your confidence in the interview if you have done the Trails of that topic – and, if you did so, you should tell this to your interviewer when you get a chance. This way you can showcase not only that you are a self-learner, but also that you know how to do your preparation for any anticipated work.

Document

Keep a record of the questions you couldn’t answer in an interview, so that you can research them later and make sure not to fail on the same things in the next interview. Questions are often repeated in interviews.

It need not be a very detailed document: for example, I have a Google Keep note for it – easy to refer to and difficult to lose.

Managerial/HR round

If you reach this stage, it means they already like you and you are on a shortlist! Do your best to impress the people with your personality, but most importantly stay true to yourself and don’t be afraid of exposing what makes you unique. As a developer, people will appreciate if you have good soft skills and team spirit. There are some very common questions which you can rehearse for this round:

  1. What are your strengths and weaknesses?
  2. How do you handle a difficult situation?
  3. This will be a new environment for you (for e.g. you are working in a Consulting firm, and interviewing for a start-up), how will you cope with this change?
  4. If given a chance to select your teammates, what kind of people you will look for?

I hope this article can be a stepping stone to help you in the preparation for your next interview. All the best for your future!

 

Vivek Singh
Vivek Singh

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