Pivotal Labs Interview Questions

Updated Jul 27, 2015
68 Interview Reviews

Interview Experience

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Candidate Interview Reviews

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  1.  

    Software Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Employee
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Easy Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took a weekinterviewed at Pivotal Labs.

    Interview

    Applied online. Received an email from a recruiter who scheduled a video call a few days later. The call lasted an hour and was a 1:1 pair programming TDD exercise. It was actually very nice and organized, unlike a lot of other interview processes. The Pivotal engineer took the reigns of coding as we covered the problem. The problem seemed to be heavily rehearsed/practiced. It was in a language I did not know (nor claimed to know), so there was a bit of extra hand-holding with some of the concepts. Received a response email a few days later from the initial recruiter.

    Interview Questions

  2. Helpful (1)  

    Software Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Employee in Seattle, WA
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 4 weeksinterviewed at Pivotal Labs (Seattle, WA) in July 2015.

    Interview

    Started with a 1 hour pair programming interview they call RPI where the senior engineer drove and I navigated. We built a Java Set. Second was a full day, production code, interview where I was treated like an employee. First was 3 hours working on their in house app in rails because at the moment that team wasn't working on a project.. Second was another 3 hours working on an app they built specifically for interviews. It was all pretty simple stuff, nothing too crazy. I was told they were just looking for a culture fit during the all day interview.

    Interview Questions

    • First was a Java set. Second was just working on code. Solving problems that require experience. Nothing you can really study for.   Answer Question
  3.  

    Senior Product Manager Interview

    Anonymous Employee in San Jose, CA
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 3 weeksinterviewed at Pivotal Labs (San Jose, CA) in July 2015.

    Interview

    The process was well defined, and the HR team was very good at updating/communicating. It started with a typical phone screen, very nice and professional. Then a video chat with a Director, also very nice and professional. Then I was given a "homework assignment" about the Pivotal Tracker product, and then went into the office to present this project. The people that I interviewed were very kind and professional, and although it was clear that what we weren't a match, the interview went well.

    Interview Questions

    • The oddest/most difficult question was: What if you asked for a dashboard to be made, and the developer put a picture of a cat on the page instead, because they did not know what a dashboard was?   1 Answer
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  5.  

    Software Engineer Interview

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

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 2 weeksinterviewed at Pivotal Labs (New York, NY).

    Interview

    Pivotal labs has a refreshing interview process that reflects the job very well. You come in to the office for a full day and work with one or more pivots, pair programming on an actual project. Gives good insight into pivotal methodologies, agile programming, and whether you'd be a match for the company.

    Interview Questions

    • Implement a Set in java, pair programming and using TDD   Answer Question
  6.  

    Senior Product Manager Interview

    Anonymous Employee in San Francisco, CA
    No Offer
    Negative Experience
    Easy Interview

    Application

    I applied through an employee referral – interviewed at Pivotal Labs (San Francisco, CA).

    Interview

    Applied through a current employee. A couple of weeks later, I was offered an interview (no screen call) with a product manager at the SF office. The interview was about 45 minutes long. Mostly fit, and superficial on the technical level. The conversation was engaging and the interviewer and I exchanged ideas on modern product management practices and the finer details of agile practices. I was told I would be asked to come back for a day of a product management exercise and additional interviews. No one bothered to follow up with me and my email inquiry were ignored. I eventually got a generic rejection email to which I replied asking for feedback, with no response. I've spoken to a number of Pivotal Labs employees when I recruited with the company, and everyone says the same positive things (small community, decent perks, strong agile culture) while acknowledging many, many underlying issues such as PMs being second-class employees, billable hours being the only thing management cares about, inability to get promoted, favortism, strong bias towards men and even racism to some extent. All in all, pretty happy I ended up with another company.

    Interview Questions

    • Based on simple specs from a Pivotal Labs customer, what user stories would I write.   Answer Question
  7.  

    Senior Product Manager Interview

    Anonymous Employee in San Francisco, CA
    No Offer
    Negative Experience
    Easy Interview

    Application

    I applied through an employee referral – interviewed at Pivotal Labs (San Francisco, CA) in June 2015.

    Interview

    Phone screen with recruiter followed by a phone screen with a PM. If you make it to the on-site, it's a two-part interview, including a homework assignment. I did get beyond the phone screen. My take-away was that they are mainly looking for PMs who are scrum experts with their style of scrum. I got the impression they want people they can drop in and have working/thinking how they do within a day. That's fine, but it's a different experience from many other top tech companies who look for smart people and teach them how to operate within the organization. The interview questions that I received reflect that bias. (Also note this is not my being bitter because I didn't receive an offer but rather what I observed and what made me think I'd hesitate before accepting an offer.)

    Interview Questions

    • What's a sample user story you would write? Discuss agile processes you've worked in before.   Answer Question
  8.  

    Senior Product Manager Interview

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

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 3 weeksinterviewed at Pivotal Labs (New York, NY) in May 2015.

    Interview

    The best job interview I've ever had! Although I didn't get an offer, I walked out from the interview feeling very energized and with the sense that I've actually accomplished something! It was the job interview, and I didn't add any actual value to the company, I know lol))But it still gave me the impression of how things are at Pivotal on a day to day basis, what are the processes and how would it feel to work in the environment like this one.

    Interview Questions

    • Describe the changes you would do in Product X in order to accomplish Business Goal 1 and Business Goal 2 (can't disclose it); present the roadmap, prioritized backlog etc.   Answer Question
  9.  

    Intern Interview

    Anonymous Employee
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 1 dayinterviewed at Pivotal Labs.

    Interview

    Basically it was a skype interview where you paired with the interviewer and implement a set class. There isn't much personal questions and the entire thing is pretty much driven by you and the interviewer to implement the set class.

    Interview Questions

  10. Helpful (1)  

    Software Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Employee in New York, NY
    No Offer
    Neutral Experience
    Easy Interview

    Application

    The process took 3 weeksinterviewed at Pivotal Labs (New York, NY).

    Interview

    Expect delays from HR when trying to setup an interview or follow up. The interview process consisted of directly discussing about designing a Set class using TDD approach. There was no discussion about interests, experience etc.

    Interview Questions

    • Design a Set class using TDD. No clear description/explanation of the constraints during the process so it might throw some people off. Not allowed to ask a lot of questions.The interviewer chose an array as a way to implement a set, but I am not allowed to touch it during refactoring. Not a difficult interview or a problem, but it could be more of a culture match.   Answer Question
  11. Helpful (7)  

    Product Manager Interview

    Anonymous Employee
    No Offer
    Negative Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied online – interviewed at Pivotal Labs.

    Interview

    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

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