Priceline.com Interview Questions & Reviews
Getting an Interview
- Popular Job Titles:
- Senior Software Engineer (3)
- Sales Coordinator (1)
- Senior Java Developer (1)
- Data Analyst (1)
- Regional Revenue Manager (1)
- Hotel Operations Manager (1)
- Front-End Engineer (1)
- Mobile Software Engineer (1)
- Vice President of Xxx (1)
- Online Marketing Manager Analytics (1)
- Associate Software Engineer (1)
- Internship (1)
Regional Revenue Manager Interview (Positive Experience; Average Interview)
I applied online and the process took 4+ weeks - interviewed at Priceline.com in December 2012.
Interview Details – Relatively challenging process overall. Initially met with HR who was knowledgeable followed by a hiring manager, peers and ultimately, SVP of division. The questions were engaging and everyone seemed very passionate about the role, people and products.
Interview Question – I didn't find any of the questions difficult or unexpected. Answer Question
Negotiation Details – I negotiated.
Online Marketing Manager Analytics Interview (Negative Experience; Average Interview)
I applied online - interviewed at Priceline.com in July 2014.
Interview Details – Interviewed with hiring manager using skype. He was very dry and bored with the interview process. When his question did not come through clear due to audible complications I asked him to repeat his question and got a rude reply in a monotone manner. I interviewed the day before writing this post so don't know the outcome of the interview. But if asked to come back for in person meeting I would decline due to not wanting to work with this person
Interview Question – What data programs do you work with? Answer Question
Senior Software Engineer Interview (Negative Experience; Average Interview)
I applied online and the process took 2 days - interviewed at Priceline.com in May 2014.
Interview Details – I had applied for ETL position in early May and could find the job responsibility very exciting.
Initial round started with phonic discussion which went through a healthy discussion and i was looking forward to meet the team and have face to face interview done.
Iwas not local to the place being available in other city which was too far and commute time was spending a day in transit, so seeked company sponsorship to have ease of commute but unfortunately declined by company as they have sponsoring criteria only for opposite Coast of Globe.
I was called upon and had first round was being interviewed by 4 project representative and it went good where i was provided laptop and asked to implement x different things irrelavant to actual reallife process.
Then it was followed by HR which was pleasingly good.
Interview Question – Then came the most untidy round where in senior lead chipped in giving self introduction showcasing rudely of having expert level experience in almost all IT technologies. I was asked all irrelevant question , be it personal and behaviorual with absurd categories of architect level out of scope /unexpected question which lasted for appx 60+ min leaving me exhausted and lost interest in what i was actually looking for.
A couple of my counter question were taken very rudely as if i was offending Babu's ego against his commitment to not reveal certain company/project levels details.
I was at last verbally told that the company usually goes out with 1 open position in 2 or 3 years and it was normal policy to regress 100 odd guys for single position to choose appropriate candidate, to which i still personally feel is a kind of stress test, showcasing the level of flexibility and freedom to be provided to employees by senior management.
With all of above stress and hardest commute of my life to appear for such interview was toughest experience and my recommendation for anyone would be not to appear for one job which is listed on companies website for decades as these guys seems to be really not interested in hiring but have intent of some internal benefits. Answer Question
Reason for Declining – Senior leadership under which project was aligned and who took my interview seemed to be over qualified to work with considering the ego and temper to delegate entire world to my footstep.
My decision was not supporing Mindset of leader
Associate Software Engineer Interview (Positive Experience; Easy Interview)
I applied through other source and the process took 3 weeks - interviewed at Priceline.com in April 2014.
Interview Details – Saw the job opening on LinkedIn and directly contacted the recruiter. Got a response from him for a behavioral interview and scheduled for a technical interview. Technical interview was for 1 hr two teams half hour each. Questions related to object oriented Java concepts and linked list simple algos. After the interview got call for onsite. Onsite was for 4 hrs, started with half hour HR and other 5 rounds were technical. Only the first round was grilling, remaining rounds were chilled. 3 teams interviewed me as there were 3 openings, one in each team.
Got response from them after a week.
Interview Question – All were easy.
Find middle element in a LL in one iteration.
JAVA oops concepts. Final,static etc.
Write any recursion that you know.
etc Answer Question
Negotiation Details – Yes, they are negotiable.
Hotel Operations Manager Interview (Positive Experience; Average Interview)
I applied online and the process took 2+ weeks - interviewed at Priceline.com in August 2013.
Interview Details – I applied to this role through their website by submitting a resume tailored to the role and a cover letter outlining my interest and how my experience and skills matched the job requirements. I was contacted two weeks later by an HR representative for an initial screening. My resume suggested that I might be overqualified for the position and she wanted to make sure we were in the same ballpark regarding salary. Companies are usually backwards about this - saving the salary question until after a protracted interview process, and wasting everyone's time when there's a big disparity between expectations and reality. In fact, there was a large disparity, but I was more interested in getting hired into this company than making a ton of money.
I was scheduled for a phone interview with the hiring manager. That interview was over an hour long discussion about the role and her answering my questions.
Mobile Software Engineer Interview (Positive Experience; Easy Interview)
I applied online and the process took 3 weeks - interviewed at Priceline.com in March 2013.
Interview Details – I recently did an on-site interview for a Mobile Developer role at Priceline and thought it would be good to recap my experience for other job seekers coming along down the line.
My overall impression of the office environment was that it's "evolving". Right now everyone has assigned seats and name plates, but eventually it'll be "sit where you want" (with collaborative seats/tables for impromptu meetings and a few small conference rooms for scheduled or formal meetings) open-plan environment, which seems to be the latest fashionable craze among companies (plus it allows a company to pack more employees into a limited amount of office space). For their main office, Priceline takes up the 2nd & 3rd floors of a generic looking office building in the leafy Connecticut suburb of Norwalk. The first floor has a semi-decent cafe which looks like it could be easily converted into additional office space if the landlord desired.
The interview day itself was kept relatively short, as Priceline has their mobile engineers split between their two offices (one office is in Norwalk and the other office is in New York City). The entire group gets together about once a month, which isn't too difficult to do since the Priceline offices are within an hour's driving distance (or a commuter train ride) of each other.
My day started chaotically, as I never received an interview itinerary and I therefore didn't have a clue when exactly I was supposed to show up at the 2nd floor reception. If you want a network connection (to demo your site or anything that requires Internet access), you must arrange this before arriving on-site as network guest access apparently requires time and bureaucratic hurdles to set up. Candidates who fly in from outside of the area will be put in at the Doubletree across the street from the office building and you'll be set up to use a car service to get to and from the airport.
If you passed the technical phone calls and get to go on site, here's how my interview went (and may be the same style you'll be subjected to):
I first did a panel interview with three people from the team at once: the v.p. of mobile (who reminded me of Gary Cole's role from the movie Office Space), the product manager and the lead Mobile guy (turns out he's the only mobile engineer in Norwalk; the other technical people are in New York City).
I was then introduced to a bubbly VP of Customer something (Experience?). She was fun to talk to but not technical whatsoever. From what I could gather she was just sent in to basically get a feel for me as a person.
And lastly, I got to do a hastily arranged video conference with the two mobile engineers in New York. One of them was either super junior or an intern and not talkative at all. The other, more experienced guy, attempted to blast me with a bunch of mobile questions which I felt completely comfortable answering (and ones that most experienced mobile engineers shouldn't have too much trouble working with). If the recruiter had been a bit more on-the-ball in arranging things, I can easily imagine that a candidate could visit *both* Priceline offices to meet a team in both locations and get a feel for which place is a better place to hang their hat (that is, if one is considering a Priceline position that offers this choice). Instead, my interview day was over after about 4 hours.
The recruiter never followed up in the weeks following my on-site so I had to reach out to him just to confirm that they passed on me.
In the end, I don't believe it was any technical foul up that doomed my candidacy but instead it felt more like my (outsized or extroverted) personality didn't fit the reserved, possibly introverted team of co-workers. But in any event, I was glad to get to visit the people at Priceline and I hope my experience going through the process will help you to prepare and pass your own interview day. If my notes helped you out, please let me know by voting "yes" on the "Helpful?" question below.
Interview Question – New York guy asked typical iPhone engineering questions but none particularly egregious or challenging, e.g. memory management and ARC View Answer
Front-End Engineer Interview (Positive Experience; Average Interview)
I applied online and the process took 2 weeks - interviewed at Priceline.com in December 2012.
Interview Details – I applied for the Front-end Engineer position online after seeing the job posting on Indeed.com. I was first contacted by their Senior Recruiter by email asking me to set up a time to have a quick phone interview. During the phone call I was asked why I was leaving my current job and to describe my current role and skill set. He then told me he would set up a technical interview with their Principal Software Engineer based in California. The phone call lasted about 15-20 minutes.
I was contacted by the Senior Recruiter about a few days later to set up a time for an in person interview in Norwalk, CT where their main office is. I called him back a couple of hours later and had to leave a message. He didn't call me back until a day or two later. I was sent an email with information about what would happen during the interview and how long I should expect it to last. I was given driving directions. He also provided a link to a PDF file that I had to print out and bring with me all filled out. It was a standard employment form (very similar to the one I filled out years ago when applying to work for Bed Bath & Beyond for a retail position).
I arrived for my interview about 15 minutes early. The Senior Recruiter told me to ask for him at the security desk in the lobby. The security guard called his phone but he didn't pick up. The Director was standing on the second floor landing and yelled down that she would escort me up. It turned out the recruiter wasn't back from lunch yet and I waited in a small office for a few minutes until a group of developers and a UI manager entered and interviewed me. They were my favorite group of people and I thought I did well with them. Afterwards two separate developers came in and interviewed me. They initially wanted me to go up to a whiteboard and work on some Ajax related problems but being that I didn't have any real working experience with Ajax this exercise was skipped. They asked me to describe my coding practices in detail and also asked me how I would improve their current website. Questions even ventured into design territory since I've done web design work in the past and also majored in Art while in college.
I was told if I were to be hired I could expect to commute to Norwalk, CT for training (this could take anywhere between a week to a month) and then I would be placed in their Manhattan office where I was intending to work. Their working hours were very attractive to me--9-5 but you can show up at 11 if you want. You have the option of working from home often.
I was supposed to have met with the recruiter after the last group of developers but he was still not back from lunch (a holiday lunch apparently). The Director was nice enough to show me to their break room so I could have some water while I waited for the recruiter to return. I probably waited about 15-20 minutes until he finally came. My conversation with him was very brief and it felt a little rushed. I handed over the papers I had to fill out. He told me a bit more about the company. I told him I didn't have a chance to ask for anyone's business cards and he told me he would email me all of their contact information so I could follow up with them. He informed me I wouldn't hear from them until after the holidays.
He didn't email me that evening and I assumed he would the next day (a Friday). Friday came and went, he didn't email me any contact information, and unfortunately it was the last day before Christmas vacation.
After I wasn't contacted the day after New Years Day I gave him a call. He didn't answer so I left a message. He never called me back and later in the afternoon the next day I received a robotic rejection letter from him.
I was shocked to receive a rejection email because I was under the impression that I performed well during my interview and got along well with everyone. I hope it had nothing to do with me not following up with the people who interviewed me because I was definitely intending to do so but like I said the recruiter was of no help in that department. I even went so far as to search for the few people's names I could remember on LinkedIn to send an "InMail" message but no such luck because I wasn't already within their network.
Interview Question – What is the difference between display: none and visibility: hidden? View Answer
Senior Software Engineer Interview (Positive Experience; Easy Interview)
I applied through a recruiter and the process took 1+ week - interviewed at Priceline.com in October 2012.
Interview Details – Fairly simple interviews, I had 3. 2 on the phone, and 1 in person. The first phone interview was with their HR, it only lasted 5 minutes and he scheduled the follow up technical phone interview while we were on the phone. All he was interested in was my past experience. He also asked for my current pay and desired range (I lied about my current pay and shot myself in the foot here, dont do that).
The second interview was also quite easy, I interviewed with a lead developer who asked about a few sites I built in the past. He wanted details on how we did it , how long it took, and what technologies we used. I heard back about a final interview within an hour after the call.
The third/final interview was an in-person. It started off with 20 minutes with the HR guy, then 45 minutes - 1 hour with two developers. They were quite friendly and asked a series of questions to test my skillset and knowledge. There was a whiteboard with the classic "fizzbuzz" test written at the top but I was not asked to take it. The next step was 3 managers, they were more interested in my experience / goals. Lastly they brought in the CTO and I met with him for another 20 minutes. Extremely friendly guy, and quite the visionary. I'm sure he would be a great guy to work for.
- I didnt have to do it but the FizzBuzz seems to be their standard test. View Answer
- How would you improve our site? View Answer
Reason for Declining – I lied about my previous salary (come on, who doesn't?), they requested paycheck stubs and caught me in that lie. What a shame, I would've been a great employee for them and was hoping to work there very long term.
Vice President of Xxx Interview (Negative Experience; Easy Interview)
I applied through a recruiter and the process took 4+ weeks - interviewed at Priceline.com.
Interview Details – First of all, I did not get an offer. Regardless, I walked away seeing first hand that Priceline is a pretty disorganized place with some serious declining business issues in the US.
1. Hiring manager had a hard stop even before interview started cutting the interview time in half. This is after he asked me to make the trip to meet with him in person.
2. Recruiter has no follow-up skills. Doesn't pick up his phone and fails to reply back to e-mails.
3. The place looks depressing straight out of 1970's.
4. Very little process and tons of legacy systems. People sort of do stuff with no real structure and often because they are the only ones that know the spaghetti code.
5. The interviewers really had no idea who they were interviewing and had no interviewing skills. I actually had to keep the conversation going because they had nothing to ask.
Interview Question – None. Just a big waste of time and effort. Answer Question
Sales Coordinator Interview (Positive Experience; Easy Interview)
I applied online and the process took 2 weeks - interviewed at Priceline.com in August 2011.
Interview Details – I worked as a Customer Care Executive so my interview was within the company. It was on the phone with the Senior Sales Coordinator and about 30 minutes I was offered the job the next day.
Interview Question – All questions were easy . Answer Question
Negotiation Details – No