Palantir Technologies Business Development Interview Questions & Reviews
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Writer, Business Development Interview (Negative Experience; Easy Interview)
I applied through an employee referral and the process took 2+ weeks - interviewed at Palantir Technologies in August 2012.
Interview Details – I was referred for an interview by a friend who works for Palantir. The communication with HR and the interviewer was good and prompt. Interview had a very "holier than thou" attitude and mentioned the fact that he attended Stanford repeatedly.
Interview Question – Interviewer was someone on the team I would potentially join. Did not seem like he had experience interviewing (first time perhaps?). He came off as very arrogant and not friendly. Questions included: "How would you describe what we do to a 3 year old;" "what is the Internet?"... Answer Question
Business Development Interview (Negative Experience; Average Interview)
I applied online and the process took 2 weeks - interviewed at Palantir Technologies.
Interview Details – WORST recruiters I have ever interacted with. I have worked for Facebook and Google before interviewing at Palantir and haven't seen such unprofessionalism. The onsite interview was actually challenging with each of the interviewers who were quite pleasant and definitely intelligent.
I think witnessing hearing the recruiters talk about other candidates in the same room as me while I was waiting made me feel uneasy. At one point, the two girls were laughing at one of the candidates and said 'she's probably not going to make it'. There was a dog in the lobby that defecated right near where we were all sitting which was quite gross and embarrassing. The candidates and I just all stood up and move to a different corner of the lobby.
While waiting for my recruiter to close me out, I could hear the people outside saying that she wasn't around because she was late coming back from the gym from some class. I sat in the interview room for about 35-45 minutes with random non-recruiters asking me if I was ok or needed anything. Finally my recruiter came in, she was all sweaty and still in gym clothes and said she was late from a meeting which I knew was crap.
Unfortunately I didn't get an offer, I actually knew I wasn't when one of the other recruiters said something outside the door "we're just waiting to close her out, she's not going to make it".
I'm ok with not getting an offer from this company. I truly appreciate how awesome the recruiters at Google and Facebook are, and left this company with a not so pleasant experience.
Interview Question – Explain how I would model data for a changing market in a specific industry. Answer Question
Business Development Interview (Positive Experience; Easy Interview)
The process took 4 weeks - interviewed at Palantir Technologies.
Interview Details – I got contacted just a little over a week after submitting my resume to schedule a phone interview. The interview was pretty friendly and informal; they just wanted to make sure I was truly interested in their company and understood what they do. They asked me questions like, "How did you hear about Palantir?", "What is your understanding of what we do?", "Why do you want to work here?", etc.
Interview Question – "How would you explain our platform to a 10-year-old boy?" Answer Question
Business Development Interview (Positive Experience; Difficult Interview)
I applied online and the process took 5 weeks - interviewed at Palantir Technologies.
Interview Details – Total interviews: 8 (including phone and on-site)
I didn't find the interview questions especially tough, as long as you thought creatively. I had a few interviews and then lunch (which I think was a "culture fit" interview, to be honest) followed by a product demo and then more interviews.
If they like you, they let you stay after the product demo to do more interviews, and everyone who is hired interviews with a founder during their on-site day.
Honestly, it's pretty stressful/long, but not unbearable. Everyone seems to know it's a long day, and offers you breaks, drinks, and snacks constantly.
Interview Question – How would you describe the Palantir platform to your grandmother? Answer Question
Negotiation Details – They give three offers with different mixes of salary and stock options and you pick what works for you.
Business Development Operations Analyst Interview (Neutral Experience; Average Interview)
I applied online and the process took 4 weeks - interviewed at Palantir Technologies.
Interview Details – I received two phone interviews that were about 30 minutes long. It most consisted of behavioral questions.
I then was asked to come on-site for a round of interviews and I actually spoke with between 8-10 people including one of the co-founders of the company. Palantir has a grueling interview process but they are considerate of the interviewee's time. They offer lunch and frequent bathroom breaks when needed.
Interview Question – Why would you like to join Palantir? View Answer
Business Development Operations Analyst Interview (Positive Experience; Easy Interview)
The process took a day - interviewed at Palantir Technologies in April 2012.
Interview Details – Phone call was with a member of the Business Development Operations team and just consisted of behavioral questions. I went over some of the Palantir software beforehand but there were no questions relating to that.
Overall, it was very relaxed and informal but they're clearly looking for something specific because I didn't feel like I did anything wrong.
Interview Question – Why Palantir? Answer Question
Business Development Engineer Interview (Positive Experience; Difficult Interview)
The process took 2 days - interviewed at Palantir Technologies in January 2012.
Interview Details – I met some Engineers from Palantir at UIUC career fair. They asked me some algorithm questions at the site. After a few weeks, I received an email asking to set up a phone interview. two weeks later, another round of phone interview. Both phone interview are very similar. I assume I did two rounds because I am living outside of California. After I've passed the phone interview, they flew me for an on-site interview. They offered me two nights at Palo Alto, and It took me three days. The hotel was very nice and cozy. They basically will pay everything you spend in the hotel. The on-site consists of four one on one interviews and a product demo. All the interviews were technical. They were much harder than the phone interviews. I really like the atmosphere of the Palantir and surroundings. Such a pity I didn't get an offer.
- Generate a fibanocci sequence: dach number is the sum of the THREE previous numbers. View Answer
- Do a postorder binary tree traversal with constant memory (no stacks). View Answers (2)
- given an array of n unsorted integers and each number is at most k positions away from its final sorted position, give an efficient sorting algorithm. View Answers (4)
Business Development, Embedded Analyst Interview (Neutral Experience; Difficult Interview)
I applied through an employee referral and the process took 3 months - interviewed at Palantir Technologies in January 2012.
Interview Details – The first two rounds were fairly straightforward. Because bizdev folks are supposed to understand the Palantir platform, the first round was a timed test about their software and their proprietary programming language. The second round was a phone interview, where I was given various graphs and asked to analyze them based on some fairly well-known metrics (I have a finance background).
Passed both tests with flying colors, and made it to the in-person interview round, which I will describe in detail now. Basically, the moral of the story is to get some sleep before the interview, or you'll end up muffing basic math. Also, I spent a lot of time rehearsing brain teasers; in my experience, that was totally useless. No brain teasers were asked, just domain specific stuff (basic finance & very elementary CS knowledge).
- Interview 1: More graph interpretation using well-known financial metrics. The issue here is to not think about them in finance terms, but completely mathematically. If you have a finance background, do *not* jump to conclusions about what they are asking.
- Interview 2: Questions about their software and proprietary programming language; fairly easy. You don't need to be a programming whiz to understand how their software works.
- Interview 3: Basic algorithm questions, very similar to the ones on projecteuler.net. As some have mentioned, they focus on the length of time it takes the algorithm to run.
- Interview 4: Lunch with the team lead. Very laid-back, nothing technical.
- Interview 5: Discussion of some very well-known financial metrics (again, in completely mathematical terms). At one point, had to compare two customized metrics against each other and see if they were the same. This involved comparing two semi-complicated series of fractions.
I haven't heard back from Palantir yet, but I'm assuming I didn't get the job because I didn't meet any founders, and because I genuinely feel I flubbed the 5th interview (and the 1st to some extent). Basically, this was my first round of technical interviews ever, and by the time I got to #5, I just didn't feel like wrestling with fractions. Ugh!
On the other hand, I actually think that the interview style was fair and relevant. They didn't ask stupid brain teasers and all of the questions actually seemed germane to the job.
Interview Question – One of the questions involved creating a generic financial metric, but applying it to an index instead of a security, and writing it two different ways. Answer Question
Business Development Interview (Neutral Experience; Difficult Interview)
The process took 2 months - interviewed at Palantir Technologies in April 2010.
Interview Details – Strange. I had a couple of phone screens then flew out for on-sites which they do on wednesdays. I interviewed with the finance team--the interviews were casual and the questions were interesting quantitative questions mostly. A couple algorithm/coding questions and a couple problems involving dice, jelly beans, jars, goats, doors and the like.
The office is typical silicon valley: jeans and t-shirts, video game rooms, scooters, free drinks and caf etc. I frankly find that whole vibe a little phony--somebody's paying for the redbull--but some people are into it. The senior people came across as super arrogant, with one enumerating the alma mater's of various engineers. Which is annoying--if I wanted to put up with that crap then I'd work at a bank.
Anyways, they called back and asked me to interview at an office near me. Which went fine. Then I had phone calls with two "of the founders", which were pretty much non-eventful if a little awkward. Then they called and said I was a bad fit. Which was honestly probably true, but it shouldn't have taken two months and a ton of my time to determine that.
Interview Question – unix question: find a file containing a word in a file structure View Answers (4)
Business Development Associate Interview (Positive Experience; Average Interview)
The process took 1+ week - interviewed at Palantir Technologies in April 2009.
Interview Details – Submitted resume via university website, phone interview. Basically walked through my resume, did a short technical interview even though I was not applying for an engineering position. They prefer everyone to have a technical background. Got a little flustered about what exactly they were asking for and b otched a question I shouldn't have missed. Let down gently via e-mail.
Interview Question – Given a text file, how would you print out all phone numbers in it? View Answer
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