Palantir Technologies Software Engineering Intern Interview Questions

17 Interview Reviews

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Software Engineer Intern Interview

Anonymous Employee in New York, NY
No Offer
Positive Experience
Difficult Interview

Application

I applied through college or university. The process took 1+ week. I interviewed at Palantir Technologies (New York, NY).

Interview

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 Questions

Other Interview Reviews for Palantir Technologies

  1.  

    Software Engineering Intern Interview

    Anonymous Employee
    No Offer

    Interview

    Took a very long time to hear back (around 2 months), but response after the interview was very timely and smooth.

    Interview Questions

    • I was unfamiliar with a particular data structure related question and took too long on it.   Answer Question
  2. Helpful (4)  

    Software Engineer Intern Interview

    Anonymous Employee in Palo Alto, CA
    No Offer
    Neutral Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied through a recruiter. The process took 2 weeks. I interviewed at Palantir Technologies (Palo Alto, CA).

    Interview

    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 Questions

    • Not anything fancy. First/second year CS algorithm questions.   Answer Question
  3. Helpful (2)  

    Software Engineer Intern Interview

    Anonymous Employee in Palo Alto, CA
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied through college or university. The process took 3 weeks. I interviewed at Palantir Technologies (Palo Alto, CA) in March 2013.

    Interview

    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.

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  5. Helpful (1)  

    Software Engineer Intern Interview

    Anonymous Employee
    No Offer

    Application

    I applied through college or university. The process took 3 weeks. I interviewed at Palantir Technologies.

    Interview

    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 Questions

    • Write a minPeak function for a stack (function that returns the minimum element in the stack).   3 Answers
  6.  

    Software Engineer Intern Interview

    Anonymous Employee
    No Offer
    Neutral Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied through college or university. The process took 5 days. I interviewed at Palantir Technologies.

    Interview

    Spoke to a recruiter at a career fair and then set up a phone interview - I thought it went well but no offer. They only asked one very basic question which I fumbled on (thinking that it would be harder) and was turned down a day or two later. Bottom line for college students applying for internship positions: don’t get freaked out by how hard everyone says the interview is.

    Interview Questions

    • Design a function in your favorite programming language to convert a camelCase string to all lowercase.   1 Answer
  7.  

    Software Engineering Intern Interview

    Anonymous Employee in Palo Alto, CA
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 3 weeks. I interviewed at Palantir Technologies (Palo Alto, CA) in November 2012.

    Interview

    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 Questions

    • Find the border length created from a conglomeration of various 2D rectangles.   2 Answers
  8. Helpful (16)  

    Software Engineering Intern Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Palo Alto, CA
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied through a recruiter. The process took 2 weeks. I interviewed at Palantir Technologies (Palo Alto, CA) in March 2012.

    Interview

    I was scheduled firstly for an on-site interview because of a referral. Three days after that, I got a call from one of the interviewers that I would have a Skype phone call with the founder of the company a week later. Three more days after that Skype call, I got a call from that interviewer again, saying that I had an offer. 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. Overall, this company was pretty intense. One of the things I noticed first when I went for my on-site interview was that the employees loved coding, and the company of others who love working with tech like they do. They're all extremely smart, and they enjoy that extremely intelligent atmosphere - they can all hold each other up in projects, and also work on all kinds of different things. It also means many of them can interview you - when I went on-site, I was there for 9 hours, and was grilled by 5 different people, for 1 hour each. If you are going for an interview here, remember to be yourself. Though you will be interviewed alongside master’s student candidates, and maybe even people from out of the county, this is one of the most important things. Though it may seem like at such a high-stakes company, and you want to put your best out there, it is especially important to be real. Don’t stretch the truth about what you can or can’t do, and at the same time, don’t be intimidated by all of the flashy stuff (like a limo to the company, etc). They are looking for a good fit, and a good fit is a hard worker who is smart but doesn’t ruin their atmosphere of equality among all their workers. Sure, you’ll need a certain degree of professionalism to get this job, but this is equally important.

    Interview Questions

    • Implement the C function atoi   3 Answers
    • Implement a hashset   Answer Question
    • Implement an iterative deepening algorithm   Answer Question
    • Given a list of "threads", which contain 2 variables - starting and ending times - implement a function that will return all running threads at some time t. Optimize it. (faster than O(n) )   7 Answers
    • Say you have a single-column table of entries of variable size. Implement this table to also contain methods to lengthen one cell, cut a cell shorter, and to return which cell we're pointing at if given a certain distance from the beginning of the table. All methods need to be fast (assume a single-column table with many many entries).   6 Answers

    Negotiation

    I didn't negotiate at all. I never expected to be offered as much pay as I was when I got this job offer.

  9. Helpful (6)  

    Software Engineering Intern Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Palo Alto, CA
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    The process took 2 weeks. I interviewed at Palantir Technologies (Palo Alto, CA) in March 2012.

    Interview

    The interview process consisted of two phone interviews and then an on-site interview. The first phone interview was an algorithms-based one and the second one was a coding-one. Both interviews had some questions ranging from medium to hard difficulty. The coding one was especially stressful as the questions were not trivial (reverse a list, find duplicates, etc) but were still algorithmically somewhat interesting. The on-site interview was intense. I was driven in a limo over to the Palo Alto site, and it consisted of breakfast, 2 interviews, lunch, 3 more interviews, founders interview, and then dinner. People usually stay for dinner but I had another event planned that night so I skipped out on the dinner. All interview questions are tough. Most of the questions I had to ask for help/hints to get the answer. I still ended up getting the offer though :) Also, this place is like an interview slaughterhouse. When I was there, I estimate they interviewed 20-30 people that day, and it seems like they interview that many people onsite at least 3 days a week.

    Negotiation

    I did not choose to negotiate. They pay more than what I would've thought.

  10.  

    Software Engineering Intern Interview

    Anonymous Employee in Palo Alto, CA
    Declined Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied through college or university. The process took 2 weeks. I interviewed at Palantir Technologies (Palo Alto, CA) in February 2012.

    Interview

    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 Questions

    • 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?   3 Answers

    Reasons 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.

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