Pocket Gems
4.6 of 5 19 reviews
www.pocketgems.com San Francisco, CA 150 to 499 Employees

Pocket Gems Interview Questions & Reviews

Updated Mar 14, 2014
All Interviews Received Offers

Getting the Interview 

45%
20%
14%

Interview Experience 

52%
35%
11%

Interview Difficulty 

85 candidate interviews
Relevance Date Difficulty

Declined Offer

Positive Experience

Average Interview

Software Engineer, Backend Intern Interview

Anonymous Interview Candidate

I applied through college or university - interviewed at Pocket Gems in October 2013.

Interview Details – Started the interview process from Oct 2013. Asked LCA and some other similar coding questions. Got the offer in Jan 2014, but I was already pursing other interviews at that time.

Interview Question – They like LCA   Answer Question

Reason for Declining – Got a better offer

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No Offer

Negative Experience

Difficult Interview

Mobile Engineer Interview

Mobile Engineer
San Francisco, CA

I applied through college or university and the process took 3 weeks - interviewed at Pocket Gems in February 2012.

Interview Details – I approached them at my school's career fair. They invited me to have dinner with them that night with a few other candidates. The next day they arranged interviews on campus, which where about 30-45 minutes and consisted of basic programming questions and writing some code on a white board.

Following the on-campus interview they scheduled a phone interview. The phone interview included more basic programming questions and writing some code in a shared Google Doc. It was about 20-30 minutes.

After passing the phone interview they flew me to their office in San Francisco. The interview lasted for seven hours, during which I sat in a conference room as various members of the development team came in and asked me questions. I was offered bathroom and water breaks but no food, nor was I told to bring anything to eat beforehand.

Most of the questions asked me to describe or write code for an algorithm on a whiteboard. Many of the questions were the sort that if you'd happened to learn them in school or seen them somewhere online you'd be able to answer them right away, but if not you were screwed. Not the kind that you could reason through in a few minutes if you'd never seen them before.

The last person to interview me was the lead programmer. I could tell from the minute he walked in that he didn't like me. While writing on the white board he would make comments about the syntax like "What language is that? C++? Because that's not C++." I knew at that point that this was definitely not the place for me (although the seven hours without food being bombarded with interview questions was another hint).

Interview Question – Describe how to sort integers read one at a time from an infinite stream.   Answer Question

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No Offer

Neutral Experience

Software Engineer, Backend Interview

Software Engineer, Backend

Interviewed at Pocket Gems

Interview Details – Phone screen. After the initial greeting, the interviewer jumped to a technical question without telling about himself or the company or the role. Overall, the interviewer was very rude. I wouldn't want to work here.

Interview Question – The unexpected thing was being asked a technical question immediately after picking up the phone and since I was taken by surprise I stumbled a bit. I was promptly kicked out of the phone interview while I was still trying to get my head into the problem.   Answer Question

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No Offer

Positive Experience

Average Interview

Software Engineer, Backend Interview

Anonymous Interview Candidate
San Francisco, CA

I applied through a recruiter and the process took a day - interviewed at Pocket Gems in November 2013.

Interview Details – This company seems like they're growing fast and hiring to catch up. They clearly are willing to spend money to attract and keep talent, as they have many in-office facilities to make work life enjoyable (ping pong, video games, catered lunch, social events, etc).

The actual interview consisted of 3 employees who each asked me one or two algorithm questions.

One set (my first) was about the design of a custom class to take surveys and the other two consisted of more simple problems that tested asymptotic complexity.

Overall it seemed like a fun-loving new company out to make some campy iPhone games. Nothing was unexpected.

Interview Question – They asked me to scan a string and return true if it could be divided into substrings that all appear in a dictionary. Then I had to identify its complexity at 2^n and improve it.   Answer Question

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No Offer

Neutral Experience

Average Interview

Software Engineer Intern Interview

Anonymous Interview Candidate

I applied through college or university and the process took 3 weeks - interviewed at Pocket Gems in December 2013.

Interview Details – Dropped off resume at career fair, got an email from HR with a big "Congratulations!" which asks me for availability for technical interviews. I get a phone call from a backend engineer. Very technical (isn't interested in talking about resume/experience) goes straight to questions after some of my questions. Oh, they also provided a stypi link for both of the interviews.

LCA of tree & Reverse a string. Cool.

I land the second interview. This guy is also not very interested about talking about stuff, he'd rather just go to the technical questions. My memory is vague but it was substrings and deep copying a graph.

I ran out of time and wasn't able to think quickly enough. Haven't gotten a rejection yet, it's been more than a week.

Interview Question – 1. LCA of tree & reverse string
2. Substring & Deep copy graph
  Answer Question

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No Offer

Neutral Experience

Average Interview

Developer Interview

Anonymous Interview Candidate
San Francisco, CA

I applied through college or university and the process took 2 weeks - interviewed at Pocket Gems in October 2013.

Interview Details – Two phone interviews
1. LCA
2. clone a graph

Interview Question – No specifically difficult part   Answer Question

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No Offer

Neutral Experience

Software Engineer Intern Interview

Anonymous Interview Candidate

I applied through a recruiter and interviewed at Pocket Gems.

Interview Details – The recruiter emailed but never responded back for an interview. They were fishing.

Interview Question – The recruiter emailed but never responded back for an interview. They were fishing.   Answer Question

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No Offer

Positive Experience

Average Interview

Software Engineer Intern Interview

Anonymous Interview Candidate

I applied through college or university and interviewed at Pocket Gems.

Interview Details – My first phone interview experience is quite pleasant. The interviewer went straight for technical questions like reverse a string and find the lowest common ancestor of a binary tree and was patient during the whole process.

Interview Question – Reverse a string and find common lowest ancestor in a binary tree.   Answer Question

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No Offer

Positive Experience

Average Interview

Software Engineer Intern Interview

Anonymous Interview Candidate
San Francisco, CA

I applied through college or university and the process took 3 weeks - interviewed at Pocket Gems in October 2013.

Interview Details – Standard phone interview with some introductions and then they headed into the programming questions. How to reverse a string, LCA, etc.

Interview Question – Given 8/9 jars with a marbles weighing 1 gm and 2/1 jars with marbles weighing 1.1 gm each, how many weighs are necessary to find the heavier jars in minimal possible weighs.   Answer Question

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No Offer

Negative Experience

Average Interview

Product Interview

Anonymous Interview Candidate
San Francisco, CA

I applied through an employee referral and the process took 4+ weeks - interviewed at Pocket Gems in June 2013.

Interview Details – I had 3 interviews, each spaced about one week apart. The first two Pocket Gems employees I spoke with were very professional and friendly, but I had a negative experience with the third employee I spoke with. I could tell from the get-go that this person was not excited to speak with me, and came across as though I was wasting their time (this is especially frustrating because in a startup workplace, you have to accept that the fate of your employment lies in the hands of someone who is probably much younger than you, and they just don't seem to care as much about the hiring process).

It's also unfortunate that Pocket Gems is biased towards people with consulting backgrounds, and this is apparent in their interviewing style. There are so many facets of product management that are not reflective in their interview process, so they don't give non-consultants a chance to shine.

Interview Question – Questions ranged from brainteasers, to questions specifically regarding Pocket Gems apps, to theoretically-based statistical questions on life time value, etc.   Answer Question

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Pocket Gems – Why Work for Us?

At Pocket Gems, We’re Serious About Fun Pocket Gems develops free-to-play mobile games that are ridiculously fun. We were founded in 2009 by Daniel Terry and Harlan Crystal, engineers and gaming industry outsiders, who… Full Overview

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