Palantir Technologies
3.6 of 5 58 reviews
www.palantir.com Palo Alto, CA 500 to 999 Employees

Palantir Technologies Interview Questions & Reviews in Palo Alto, CA

Updated Apr 8, 2014
All Interviews Received Offers

Getting the Interview 

29%
27%
26%

Interview Experience 

56%
25%
18%

Interview Difficulty 

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No Offer

Negative Experience

Easy Interview

Forward Deployed Engineer Interview

Anonymous Interview Candidate
Palo Alto, CA

I applied through an employee referral and the process took 3 months - interviewed at Palantir Technologies in November 2012.

Interview Details – I met an early employee of Palantir at a conference and he put me into the recruiting system. We did a phone interview, and then scheduled an in person interview. They paid for my travel to attend a four hour interview process. Others have described the process as being a cattle call, and I found that to be an apt and accurate description.

The interview process was a big production but in the end didn't have much substance. They flew me all the way over there, and then didn't seem to actually have any real questions to ask me once I was there. This is a problem that I have run into interviewing as a senior statistician. They want to give a hard technical interview, but don't seem to know what questions to ask someone like me. Even though they ended each interview chunk with a 'do you have any questions' moment, the interviewers were so clearly rushed and frazzled I didn't really feel like questions were all that welcome.

The whole process felt more like applying for grad school at Stanford than applying for an actual job. They seemed more concerned with assessing if I was a 'winner' (with all of the implied superficiality and vagueness) than whether or not I would be a good addition to their team. This was kind of sad too, because everyone I talked to was soooo tired. They really seemed like they could use some help.

Even though everyone tried really hard to be nice, and they were quite generous with my travel accommodations, the overall process was pretty demoralizing. I left feeling judged but not really measured. That seems to be the Silicon Valley culture these days.

Interview Question – Design an iPhone ap.   Answer Question

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No Offer

Positive Experience

Difficult Interview

Software Engineer Interview

Anonymous Interview Candidate
Palo Alto, CA

I applied through college or university and the process took 1 week - interviewed at Palantir Technologies in November 2013.

Interview Details – Initiated contact at a career fair. They asked me a technical question at the fair. The question was: You have a set of (time,value) pairs. How can you find the first and last values in the time interval [a,b]. Answer: You do binary search. Then I was called to an on campus interview. I didn't get further than that.

Interview Question – Print a binary tree using breadth first search, i.e. print all numbers level by level on a tree. Add a line break between each level.   View Answer

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No Offer

Positive Experience

Average Interview

Build Systems Engineer Interview

Anonymous Interview Candidate
Palo Alto, CA

I applied online and the process took a day - interviewed at Palantir Technologies in March 2014.

Interview Details – Received a HR phone call a week after the application. Then, in the very next day had a techinical phone interview which was fairly easy. Two day after, received an email invitation to their HQ. Met three people from different roles. Had a product demo in the afternoon.

Interview Question – Suppose you have a DAG to represent the dependency map of a system. How can you write a program to update one package and all related dependencies?   Answer Question

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3 people found this helpful

Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Average Interview

IT UNIX Systems Engineer Interview

Anonymous Employee
Palo Alto, CA

I applied through an employee referral and the process took 2 weeks - interviewed at Palantir Technologies in February 2012.

Interview Details – - Trivial phone interview ("find an IP address", "how many (IPs|hosts) in a /(0-32)")
- Less trivial phone interview (abstract scenario questions, problem solving using userland)
- Multi-person all-day onsite interview (takes all day, with the possibility of being let go earlier if it is decided you're not a fit to move forward).

Interview Question – "You've been at your current position for several years, we're concerned that you're going to come in here and want to tell us how we're doing everything wrong and how it needs to change. Can you answer my concerns about that?"   View Answer

Negotiation Details – received 3 choices. A) less salary more stock; B) equal; C) more salary less stock.

i negotiated for the salary in C and stock in B and got it.

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3 people found this helpful

No Offer

Positive Experience

Difficult Interview

Full-Stack Software Engineer Intern Interview

Anonymous Interview Candidate
Palo Alto, CA

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

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No Offer

Positive Experience

Difficult Interview

Product Design Intern Interview

Anonymous Interview Candidate
Palo Alto, CA

I applied online and the process took 3 weeks - interviewed at Palantir Technologies in February 2014.

Interview Details – Applied online and was contacted the next day for a phone interview. Had the phone interview two days later and a few days after that was invited to an onsite interview. They treat you really nicely as a candidate and are great with communicating. I spoke with a recruited a few days before the interview and she detailed the schedule for the interview day and was very clear and straightforward.

The day of the onsite consisted of 3 back-to-back interviews in the morning as others on here have said. I had a portfolio review and two interaction design exercises. The portfolio was 1:1 but the two exercises had an interviewer and a newer hire shadowing the process, so it got a little hectic with two people firing questions and ideas at me during the whiteboard exercises. The questions weren't extraordinarily difficult but I couldn't keep up with all the questions and iterations that they expected. Each of the interviews were fairly casual but still stressful nonetheless.

After the interviews, I went to lunch with a couple people from the team that hadn't interviewed and then did a tour of the design space. After that we did a demo of the product. After the demo, those who move forward are invited to do more interviews, but I didn't make the cut.

It was my first onsite design interview -- I wasn't prepared (mostly mentally) for the whiteboard exercises- I felt really scatterbrained and my wireframes were all over the place. They got back to me with feedback promptly- though I wish it were more in depth, it was clear that they take the hiring process seriously and thoughtfully.

Overall it was a good experience. The people LOVE the work they do and believe in the company's mission and culture. That was really motivating and awesome to see.

Interview Question – Whiteboard ideation/design exercise regarding e-ink screens   Answer Question

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2 people found this helpful

No Offer

Neutral Experience

Average Interview

Product Quality Engineering Intern Interview

Anonymous Interview Candidate
Palo Alto, CA

I applied online and the process took 2 months - interviewed at Palantir Technologies in December 2013.

Interview Details – Was emailed after submitting my resume online to set up a phone interview - the emailer prompt replies to all my questions. First interview was a phone screen, which asked one question on arrays and then a testing question about an office printer. Then they went silent for two weeks until another phone interview, which was more behavioral and another testing question about a GPS. Next, after a month of silence, I got offered an on-campus interview, which consisted of 3 interviews back-to-back, then a tour of the campus. If you do well they ask you back for another round, I didn't and was given a t-shirt and a thank you. Their cafeteria is great though!

Interview Question – Technical questions weren't difficult - top k values of an array, fibonacci numbers recursively/iteratively. Testing question: how would you test a defective Google Docs?   Answer Question

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Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Average Interview

Forward Deployed Engineer Interview

Forward Deployed Engineer
Palo Alto, CA

I applied online and the process took 2+ weeks - interviewed at Palantir Technologies.

Interview Details – 2 phone interviews, onsite for 1 day.

Interview Question – How would you program a computer to shuffle a deck of cards? (Generate a permutation of the numbers from 1 to 100, uniformly at random)   View Answers (3)

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1 person found this helpful

Declined Offer

Positive Experience

Difficult Interview

Software Engineer Interview

Software Engineer
Palo Alto, CA

I applied through college or university and the process took 3 weeks - interviewed at Palantir Technologies.

Interview Details – Campus career fair, followed by one phone screen and an onsite interview.

Interview Question – Getting to the founder interview is a good sign. Don't worry about it being very short. Make sure to brush up on dynamic programming, heaps, and recursive algos.   Answer Question

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No Offer

Negative Experience

Difficult Interview

Product Quality Engineer Interview

Product Quality Engineer
Palo Alto, CA

I applied through a recruiter and the process took 2 weeks - interviewed at Palantir Technologies.

Interview Details – Met a current PQE for a casual meet and greet. About a week later, I went for 2 full days of interviews with current employees. I didn't feel like any of the interviewers had actually read my resume. Then, I got invited back to interview with one of the founders. He definitely hadn't read my resume, and seemed disinterested in interviewing. Overall, not a great experience, but I stuck it out because I had heard good things about working there.

Interview Question – I don't remember any specific questions, but I was presented with mostly algorithm questions, problem solving scenarios, and riddles.   Answer Question

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