Palantir Technologies Software Engineer Intern Interview Questions & Reviews
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Very Difficult Interview
Software Engineer Intern Interview (Positive Experience; Very Difficult Interview)
I applied through college or university and the process took 1+ week - interviewed at Palantir Technologies.
Interview Details – Apply on University job board. Got an email to do the code challenge. HR gets back the next day and schedule an phone interview. Another phone interview and then the thank you letter. The two interviewers were nice and walk me through the problem. But I didn't figure out the second problem(run out of time).
Interview Question – Coding questions are all on Graphs. Answer Question
Full-Stack Software Engineer Intern Interview (Positive Experience; Difficult Interview)
I applied through college or university and the process took 4+ weeks - interviewed at Palantir Technologies in November 2013.
Interview Details – I applied to Palantir Technologies through my university's career portal. I was soon emailed an online coding challenge (the rain basin problem) and was given two hours to complete it. I did and submitted it and got an email the next day to schedule a phone interview. This interview was 45 minutes long and covered a bunch of binary tree problems. I solved them fairly quickly, and an hour after the interview, I received an email to schedule an on-site visit to their Palo Alto, CA headquarters.
That was scheduled for about a month later. This day consisted of three interviews in the morning, then lunch and a demo. They only tell you about three interviews in the morning, but if you don't get any after lunch, it means you didn't get the job. Since I was interviewing for a full-stack position, one of my interviews was a design interview, and we talked about designing an interface to display data about volcano eruptions. Another covered algorithm stuff (binary trees, dynamic programming), and the last was finding a bug in a program on the interviewer's laptop. He was not allowed to say anything while I searched for and fixed the bug.
I had two more interviews that afternoon, which were with a specific team. They went over more basic algorithms, and I did well on the first, but not on the second.
I was not offered the job after that, which I think came down to the last interview of the day. The guy kept interrupting me. But oh well.
Interview Question – Check if a sub-string with a given string-sum exists in a string. So if each character has an integer value associated with it, the string-sum is the sum of each character in the string's values. First part of the problem, you are given the length of the string, second part, you do not have the length of the string. Answer Question
Software Engineering Intern Interview (Neutral Experience)
Interviewed at Palantir Technologies
Interview Details – Took a very long time to hear back (around 2 months), but response after the interview was very timely and smooth.
Interview Question – I was unfamiliar with a particular data structure related question and took too long on it. Answer Question
Software Engineer, Product Support Intern Interview (Neutral Experience; Difficult Interview)
I applied through college or university and interviewed at Palantir Technologies.
Interview Details – Gave resume at career fair. Was offered a phone interview. I felt it went well but received a rejection email a few days later.
Interview Question – standard algorithm questions as well as troubleshooting Answer Question
Software Engineer Intern Interview (Neutral Experience; Average Interview)
I applied through a recruiter and the process took 2 weeks - interviewed at Palantir Technologies.
Interview Details – A recruiter wrote to me on LinkedIn about job offerings. I decided to go forward with an internship application. During the process I talked with three different recruiters -- all of them were very kind and one of them invited me for an 1-hour lunch/tour.
I got a technical phone interview. I didn't get the impression from the interviewer that he wanted to do interviews and he may not have done a lot of interviews. Maybe he was as nervous as I was, I'm not sure.
I ended up using Java even though I was told by the recruiters that I could use any language (I specifically asked about C++ and C#). I have no problem with Java programming but at the time of the interview I hadn't used Java for a year. I did okay on two questions and wrote a solution for another question that I improved with a few hints. In the end I asked standard questions about culture, etc. But also a more bold question about his impression of the handling of the NSA/Wikileaks cases. Those issues means a lot to me.
A day later I got a standard email from Palantir (not from any of the three recruiters or from a physical person!) telling me that they didn't see my experience/skills fit the position. I think that was very unrespectful. When I (and one of their engineers) use 45 min for a phone interview, I think the least they can do is to use 3-5 min to tell you why they didn't see you fit such that you can improve, etc.
I wrote to one of the recruiters about it and after a few emails I got more details. While I don't agree on all the points, I was satisfied to get an explanation. The explanation from the recruiter made this a neutral experience instead of a negative one.
Interview Question – Not anything fancy. First/second year CS algorithm questions. Answer Question
Software Engineer Intern Interview (Positive Experience; Difficult Interview)
I applied through college or university and the process took 3 weeks - interviewed at Palantir Technologies in March 2013.
Interview Details – Had phone screens and onsite interviews. While both were technical, the phone screen was a lot more intense than the in-person interview. They were both entirely algorithmically focussed and for some odd reason.
The on-site interviews were all coding-based – they asked me questions that looked initially easy but blew up in my face, and questions that were just hard from the beginning. I had to ask for help for at least a quarter of them, and the interviewers also helped me debug 2 of them. I couldn’t answer one. I must say that it was, though grueling, an interesting, and in some ways, a fun experience.
Software Engineering Intern Interview (Positive Experience; Difficult Interview)
I applied through college or university and the process took 2 weeks - interviewed at Palantir Technologies in February 2012.
Interview Details – Applied to a software engineering internship through my University's job center. Received a 30 minute phone screen and then an hour long in-person interview on campus. While both were technical, the phone screen was a lot more intense than the in-person interview. They were both entirely algorithmically focussed and for some odd reason, I only ever saw dynamic programming question. As a result, I didn't really feel like it required lots of knowledge and was only moderately difficult, although your mileage may vary.
Didn't fly down to Palo Alto at the time and I declined the offer. A year later, they contacted me again, offering to fly me down to Palo Alto and see the offices. I was then extended an offer again without having to interview.
Interview Question – You have a set of envelopes of different widths and heights. One envelope can fit into another if and only if both the width and height of one envelope is greater than the width and height of the other envelope. What is the maximum number of envelopes can you russian doll? View Answers (3)
Reason for Declining – Their recruiter at the time was non-existent. I had little to no communication with the recruiting team and by the time I finished the interview, I still knew very little about Palantir. It should be noted that, when recruiters from Palantir reached out to me again, they were much better and I accepted their offer.
Software Engineering Simulation Intern Interview (Positive Experience; Average Interview)
I applied online and the process took 1 week - interviewed at Palantir Technologies in April 2012.
Interview Details – Applied online and received an email to set up a phone interview. They also provided helpful links to aid in preparation. During the phone interview, he asked about my resume a little bit before launching into the technical questions. Mostly data structures and algorithms questions, with a few general programming questions. I answered them as best I could, and unfortunately they found my programming knowledge to be lacking.
Interview Question – General algorithms, data structures questions. Answer Question
Software Engineering Intern Interview (Positive Experience; Difficult Interview)
I applied online and the process took 3 weeks - interviewed at Palantir Technologies in November 2012.
Interview Details – One phone interview followed by an in person interview at the Palo Alto location. The company is very good to its potential interns. When I interviewed at the location, there were about 25 other interns doing the same. Apparently they get this many potential interns on a weekly basis.
Interview Question – Find the border length created from a conglomeration of various 2D rectangles. View Answer
Software Engineer Intern Interview (Neutral Experience)
I applied through college or university and the process took 3 weeks - interviewed at Palantir Technologies.
Interview Details – Met the recruiter at my university career fair. After a short talk I was told to take the coding challenge. Bombed the coding challenge, was followed up by a phone interview. The phone interview went great, and I got the concepts and the programming question correct. The guy seemed to really like me. 2 hours after the phone interview I received an email saying they didn't want to hire me.
Interview Question – Write a minPeak function for a stack (function that returns the minimum element in the stack). View Answer
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