Pivotal Labs Interview Questions

Updated Mar 14, 2015
Updated Mar 14, 2015
51 Interview Reviews

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Candidate Interview Reviews

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  1. 4 people found this helpful  

    Product Manager Interview

    Anonymous Employee
    Anonymous Employee
    Application Details

    I applied online – interviewed at Pivotal Labs.

    Interview Details

    Started with a phone interview with a sr product manager and then ended with an onsite with a product manager and sr product manager. Like the other pm interviews, had a homework assignment about their pivotal tracker tool which we went over during the first hour of the onsite interview. the remaining hour and a half was doing a role playing exercise using the white board.

    Overall, interviewers were nice but the role playing exercise wasn't the best. The scenario presented was a bit lame in the sense that the client was a very non-technical old school person in silicon valley. From what I understand about pivotal labs they wouldn't even accept a client assignment like this in the first place.

    Glad i didn't get an offer as the role isn't really product management. It's more of a placeholder role where you are the "interim" pm who doesn't own the roadmap, doesn't really come up with features, and so is not a very creative role. The role is more project management and consulting. The actual pm work is with the client pm as you will be passing on whatever is road mapped or developed to the client pm for each project. In other words, it's just project based consulting work.

    Interview Questions
    No Offer
    Negative Experience
    Average Interview
  2.  

    Software Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Employee
    Anonymous Employee
    Interview Details

    Three rounds of pair programming interviews, two over skype and one day spent in the office where I spent the morning pair programming with one person and the afternoon with another on two separate projects. Every interview was in a new language (some of which I didn't know), which was okay because the person I was programming with would drive until I got comfortable enough to start attempting to write my own code. None of the questions were particularly hard; they're clearly mainly looking for problem-solving abilities (over knowledge of programming langauges) + communication skills + flexibility.

    Interview Questions
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
  3.  

    Software Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Employee
    Anonymous Employee
    Application Details

    I applied online. The process took 3 weeksinterviewed at Pivotal Labs in February 2015.

    Interview Details

    Really fun. Pair programming with their engineers working on real products. I didn't have a background in TDD or pair programming, and they got me up to speed in a short interview followed by a full day working on features for projects they were working on. By far the best interview experience I've had.

    Interview Questions
    • They didn't really ask questions, it was more like a conversation for implementation.   Answer Question
    Declined Offer
    Positive Experience
    Easy Interview
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  5.  

    Software Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Employee
    Anonymous Employee
    Interview Details

    Applied online, the hiring manager reached out and scheduled a first interview. It was an hour long programming exercise - pair programming exercise with the interviewer to implement a data structure via TDD.

    Interview Questions
    • It was a single programming exercise (~1 hour) so you only get to, initially, present one aspect of your skills.   Answer Question
    No Offer
  6. 5 people found this helpful  

    Product Manager Interview

    Anonymous Employee
    Anonymous Employee
    Application Details

    I applied online. The process took 2 weeksinterviewed at Pivotal Labs in January 2015.

    Interview Details

    Applied to a LinkedIn posting, was contacted by a recruiter to have a 30 minute phone screen, this progressed to a 1 hour phone interview with a Sr. Product Manager, followed by an in-person interview with the Sr. Product Manager and another Product Manager.

    Prior to the in-person interview there was a homework assignment centering around their Tracker project management tool with general questions as well as new feature ideation and prioritization questions.

    Upon arriving for the in-person there was a 1 hour homework debriefing where I explained my answers and thinking. Then there was a 1 1/2 hour interactive session where they described a product need and I had to get up in front of a whiteboard and create a product (an app) on the fly, describing feature sets, user flow, an MVP, answering questions all the while, and then sit down and write up and prioritize user stories on index cards. This was followed by a 1 hour lunch with one of their developers and one of their designers.

    The interactive part is definitely somewhat of a pressure cooker for those that don't come from consulting backgrounds. Those with prior experience presenting for clients consulting style will do best, but this is still a juggling act: ideating features and user flow on the fly, answering questions, and writing and prioritizing user stories as your interviewers stare you down and the clock ticks.

    Don't go for the interview until you've practiced this sort of improvisational presentation on your own white board, with proxy interviewers, hopefully who also have a product background.

    I left the interview with the deflated feeling of having taken a shot at something without being prepared, practiced and polished enough.

    Interview Questions
    • Make up a new product idea on the fly, write and prioritize requirements- there's the whiteboard, the clock is ticking.   View Answer
    No Offer
    Neutral Experience
    Difficult Interview
  7. 1 person found this helpful  

    Product Manager Interview

    Anonymous Employee
    Anonymous Employee
    Application Details

    I applied through a recruiter. The process took 2 daysinterviewed at Pivotal Labs in January 2015.

    Interview Details

    I just had my first (and I'm sure only) phone interview with the hiring manager of the local Pivotal Labs office (not SF). Manager was immediately dismissive of my c.v. and experience and I just as immediately wondered why they even called me at all (very late, I'll add). At the end, when I asked what qualities make a person successful there as a Product Manager, they answered "culture fit" and being nice" and made it very clear with their tone they didn't thinkI was either of those things. Company already has an iffy review history here; but it must not bother their executives enough to train managers in interviewing.

    Call was a waste of time, but instead of angry I feel relieved.

    No Offer
    Negative Experience
    Average Interview
  8.  

    Visual Designer UI/User Experience Interview

    Anonymous Employee
    Anonymous Employee
    Application Details

    I applied online. The process took 2+ weeksinterviewed at Pivotal Labs in December 2014.

    Interview Details

    First there's a phone interview with the in-house recruiter. Easy easy. Though the recruiter was 15 mins late.

    Then they bring you in. Breakfast, standup, meet the team, and formal interview with the team lead and potential co-worker. Then they ask you to wireframe a project. Scant details. They will answer questions, but won't participate. They ask you to talk a lot. They give you lots of colors. Apparently that's important.

    If you pass, they ask you to flesh out the wire-framed project. Mine was a mobile app. I ended up doing an online presentation / screencast. They liked it enough to ask me back.

    Next step is a full day of pairing. We set a date. They canceled the day before and said they would reschedule. They didn't.

    When pressed, they said there was a change in management and I was no longer being considered.

    Interview Questions
    • The recruiter was wildly disorganized. It was very off-putting. Many excuses given like "there was an emergency at my apartment", "There's a problem with my email", "this was sitting in drafts" and the king: "sorry I forgot". Not impressed. But Pivotal has a good reputation so I hoped that behavior was an aberration.   Answer Question
    No Offer
    Average Interview
  9. 4 people found this helpful  

    Product Manager Interview

    Anonymous Employee
    Anonymous Employee
    Application Details

    I applied through a recruiter. The process took a weekinterviewed at Pivotal Labs.

    Interview Details

    The interview process was a little unconventional. They gave me a problem and asked me to map out what my process would be for the solution. Any thinking, collaboration, pictures, etc were fair game. I sat in a room with 3 other employees as they basically listened to my process and took notes. They also had me create stories using their tool which I think they really just wanted to get some usability feedback. I was not really impressed with the team and their ego's seemed bigger than the building they were in. There was really no back and forth conversation, it was really just them judging me.

    Interview Questions
    • None were that difficult but I do feel like it was just a series of trick questions.   Answer Question
    No Offer
    Negative Experience
  10. 2 people found this helpful  

    Software Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Employee
    Anonymous Employee
    Application Details

    I applied through an employee referral. The process took 3+ monthsinterviewed at Pivotal Labs in November 2014.

    Interview Details

    Avoid unless absolutely desperate. I've interviewed at a wide variety of places and this is by far the worst. They seem to only have one recruiter (judging from my own experience as well as others who interviewed there) who is grossly incompetent, rude, and downright an embarrassment for the company.

    Expect long delays and gaps between communication, low enthusiasm, and terse and unclear emails.

    While initially excited for the company (the engineers I met were truly a pleasure to talk to), the recruiter did such a poor job that I was completely put off of the job. The process became an absolute waste of my time and shortly withdrew my application.

    Interview Questions
    No Offer
    Negative Experience
    Easy Interview
  11. 1 person found this helpful  

    Software Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Employee
    Anonymous Employee
    Application Details

    I applied online. The process took 2 weeksinterviewed at Pivotal Labs in August 2014.

    Interview Details

    Applied online and received an email request for an onsite pair programming interview. During the interview, we went straight into programming, no background questions, interests, etc. I am not that experienced with Java, so the interviewer did all of the keying. The task was to implement a Set with the basic functionality. All questions were easy. In fact, this was the easiest technical interview I have ever done. The interviewing engineer was extremely nice. Unfortunately I did not get a second interview. Since I answered all the technical questions well, I believe this was a test of personality, initiative, mental speed, and critical thinking.

    Interview Questions
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Easy Interview

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