Pure Storage Interview Questions & Reviews in Mountain View, CA

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  1. 2 people found this helpful  

    Systems Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate  in  Mountain View, CA
    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Mountain View, CA
    Application Details

    I interviewed through a recruiter. The process took 2 weeks - interviewed at Pure Storage in May 2013.

    Interview Details

    I was probably most surprised that it wasn't just other engineers and hiring managers meeting with me and interviewing me. I met a lot of people from all different areas in the company. Company culture is very important here, and everyone is very serious about ensuring it stays a great place to work.

    Interview Questions
    • Technical questions were relevant to the position I was applying for, and I felt they were straight forward enough. I think there was a great focus on why I wanted to work here, and how I felt the culture would fit me and vice versa.   View Answers (3)
    Negotiation Details
    Pure is very generous, and wants to make sure they get the best employees. I would suggest you go in knowing what you are worth and what you want, and asking for it.
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview
  2. 3 people found this helpful  

    Software Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate  in  Mountain View, CA
    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Mountain View, CA
    Application Details

    I interviewed through an employee referral. The process took 4+ weeks - interviewed at Pure Storage in September 2013.

    Interview Details

    I got several interviews before receiving the offer. The first one is the online webpage interview and the 10 questions are very easy. I did not do very well yet, since I did that on 2 am before I sleep. But they let me pass. Forgot the questions but if you know how computers work you should pass them easily. Then two telephone interviews, one about C++ programming -- the program they show me was simple but the questions are very tough, you have to know quite a lot of details of the language. I will recommend reading Inside C++ Object Model before the interview. The other one is programming, with no difficulty, I can do that when I was in high school.

    Then I got the onsite. The HR will manage everything, you only tell them when you are available. Also I have signed not telling the interview details so I will just give some side-information about the problem. Hope it does not conflict with the policy. The first interview was done by the CTO and was about something related with binary tree, if you are familiar with the data structure you will be fine. Knowledge of heap would be also used. But still there are nasty pitfalls. The second interview is related with big O-notation, easy to go if you know basic data structures like array, stack and link-list, also think a little harder; after that, a thread-race problem was tested. Just remember the concept of "atomic operation" and everything would be straightforward. I was then offered a free lunch with the person who referred me. Later, the 3rd person tested me some software design issues. I suck at that but the interviewee behaved like a tutor, so I was quite appreciate for his friendly and also surprised he let me pass. Finally, the last interview was involved with some math issue and optimizations exploiting the discrete nature of computer mathematics. I was too tired and did not do that very well, requested a few hints. Anyway they almost immediately gave me the offer after that, and the HR took me around to see different departments.

    Everyone is friendly and helpful, and I can smell they are really tech experts. Also the company environment is excellent and the salary is pretty good. So I am looking forward to working there. The only problem is the company is located in part of a building and it took me some time to find the entrance until a kind guy showed me the way. The boss should set some obvious signs to guide newcomers, it is not involved with drugs or other illegal stuffs so why not make a big ad? :D

    Interview Questions
    • Signed not leaking questions. But if you prepare everything I mentioned in the process, you should be fine.   Answer Question
    Negotiation Details
    Before you talk with them, make sure you know what stocks means. I am surprised they assume me know a lot on that, and have to tell them I do not understand what they are talking at all.
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview
  3.  

    Software Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Employee  in  Mountain View, CA
    Anonymous Employee in Mountain View, CA
    Application Details

    The process took 2 weeks - interviewed at Pure Storage.

    Interview Details

    Was contacted by HR about an opening. She seemed really enthusiastic and friendly, and I'd read great things about the company, so I decided to interview. The phone screen went really well; the interviewer was great and I answered the questions well. The following week, I went to their office to interview. The work place seemed cool. Something about the feel of being in an innovative startup.

    And then everything went downhill. The first interviewer asked me the most bizarre questions. It wasn't that they were hard, they just seemed stupid and pointless. He also grilled me with some follow up questions, which were equally stupid. To make it worse, the entire time, he had a condescending tone. Throughout the interview, I just wanted to get out of that room. He also claimed some things about standard C that weren't true.

    The second interviewer was better. The questions he asked were actually not bad. But he did rush me a little, I wish he would just sit back and leave me be.

    All in all, the first interviewer made this one of the worst interviews ever. They stopped interviewing me after the second round. They said I didn't have what they were looking for. What the company needs to realize that they don't have what most qualified candidates are looking for in an interview either: a good experience.

    Interview Questions
    No Offer
    Negative Experience
    Average Interview
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  5. 3 people found this helpful  

    Software Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate  in  Mountain View, CA
    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Mountain View, CA
    Application Details

    I interviewed through a recruiter. The process took 4+ weeks - interviewed at Pure Storage in December 2012.

    Interview Details

    I was initially contacted by a recruiter who asked if I'd be interested in working at Pure. I was wary about moving from Madison, WI to the Bay Area; I'd been in Madison for years and intended (at the time) to stay there. When the recruiter heard I was interviewing at Google (hopefully for the Madison, WI office) he convinced me to interview at Pure as well while I was in the Bay Area. He described the interview process: an online quiz, a phone screen, and an afternoon of in-person interviews. It's probably worth mentioning that, since I had just finished my degree, Pure would be the first interview I had done in more than a decade. Since my goal at the time was Google, though, I wasn't worried; I think that helped quite a bit.

    Before I go into detail, a quick summary. I found the interviews harder but more interesting than the other companies I spoke with; Google in particular to name-drop. There was less "do you have searches memorized" and more "how would you handle this situation". Very nice to see.

    The online quiz was interesting for its breadth; it asked questions about systems, compilers, and architecture. Not to go into painful detail, but it should be straightforward for anyone with a good grounding in computer science (not necessarily just programming). For example, can a CPU correctly represent 1/10 as a floating point value, or is there inherent rounding error?

    The phone screen was somewhat stressful since it touched on an area that I wasn't expert in - virtual methods and handling multiple inheritance. Multiple other reviews have already gone over the questions, so I won't rehash them again. My advice is to think about whether casting a pointer (from child class to parent class) keeps its value the same or not; this isn't something people normally think about but will get you on the right track. One amusing note - I passed the interview, but the interviewer ended with "I think we can end here". I thought I'd washed out - and at the phone screen! Then he went on to say he was looking forward to meeting me in person.

    The in-person interview came the afternoon after a long morning of travel, but the folks at Pure were very helpful in working out my schedule - with multiple plane delays. My first session was with the CTO and his infamous buddy bitmap question. I didn't find it that bad; while he was hard to read and not exactly friendly, he's no worse than my adviser in grad school was. I was used to not having my hand held, after all. More advice: think about corner cases, how you can push information forward through an algorithm to avoid having to calculate it again, and understand the costs of executing code at an assembler/hardware level.

    The remaining interviewers were a lot less stressful, and I was happy to see that they were focusing less on algorithms (I got enough 'implement a DFS!' the next day at Google) and more about underlying knowledge (how can you can screwed by concurrency) and the ability to work with people. I ended up in a very nice extensibility vs. security discussion that arose from co-designing a callback interface.

    Overall I found the interview much more interesting than any of the others I had later. I was a little concerned about moving my family to the Bay Area and joining a startup, but the folks at Pure worked with me to allay those concerns.

    I was called two days later (at the airport) by the CTO to let me know they were planning on making me an offer, and were very flexible in waiting until I had heard back from the other companies I interviewed with (which took a lot longer).

    Interview Questions
    • The infamous buddy bitmap question. Specifically, the ability to whiteboard some code and then determine whether it works or not given a number of boundary cases and other corner conditions.   View Answers (2)
    Negotiation Details
    I found that honesty worked very well - I was concerned about both the cost of moving from Madison to the Bay Area (which ended up being a significant expense) and the lack of a Mountain View-capable emergency fund. They worked well to give me a sufficient signing bonus to cover both.
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview
  6. 2 people found this helpful  

    Software Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate  in  Mountain View, CA
    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Mountain View, CA
    Application Details

    I interviewed through a recruiter. The process took 4+ weeks - interviewed at Pure Storage in August 2012.

    Interview Details

    Contacted by recruiter. Talked to founder to learn more about company. Did on-line quiz, then phone screen, then internal interview.

    Unlike many other interviews, where you spend a lot of time chatting about what you did and what you'd like to do, etc. - this interview focused entirely on coding skills. It was refreshing though I'm glad I had some previous interviews at other companies to practice coding on a whiteboard.

    I felt like everybody in the interviews was hoping I'd find the solution - nobody was rooting for me to fail (i.e. no ass-holes). They gave nudges when I invariably fell off track.

    Take the time to check your work with examples -- it won't count against you. Wouldn't hurt to practice doing coding problems on a whiteboard at home.

    The interview process is over-selective - Pure probably says no to candidates who would be valuable contributors.

    Interview Questions
    • Tricky problem relating to figuring out the value of a counter in the presence of race conditions.   Answer Question
    Negotiation Details
    The company was open to negotiating but didn't give much. Then again, I sent many signals indicating that I wanted the job. FWIW, company later upped compensation based on performance.
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview
  7. 2 people found this helpful  

    Software Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate  in  Mountain View, CA
    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Mountain View, CA
    Application Details

    I interviewed through a recruiter. The process took 6 weeks - interviewed at Pure Storage in November 2012.

    Interview Details

    I was contacted by a head hunter, was impressed by the company and team background. Did an online test on computer science concepts, not very tricky but filters well, I suppose. Had a phone interview, then a sequence of interviews on site. I was treated very well during the entire process. I think that the interview questions were very good, not too tricky. You have to be a quite good experienced programmer to answer them correctly...

    Interview Questions
    • I signed papers that prohibit me from posting about the interview questions   Answer Question
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview
  8. 2 people found this helpful  

    Director of Operations Interview

    Anonymous Employee  in  Mountain View, CA
    Anonymous Employee in Mountain View, CA
    Application Details

    I interviewed through an employee referral. The process took 1+ week - interviewed at Pure Storage in May 2013.

    Interview Details

    Met with great team except for Director of HW Engineering. That person does not understand that the company needs to convince people to join as much as the candidates need to show motivation if not more. Person came across as borderline rude, with little vision or low to no interviewing skills. Proceeded with some semi technical questions about MTBF and some other irrelevant acronyms. Had some very unusual ideas about program management with what would be consider a sure path to failure. It is rare these days to meet people with such attitudes and egos who think they know better than you because they consider themselves in positions of power.

    Interview Questions
    • None. Straight forward questions, just need to brush up on useless MTBF and other acronyms used at Pure Storage (non industry standard).   Answer Question
    No Offer
    Negative Experience
    Average Interview
  9.  

    Software Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Employee  in  Mountain View, CA
    Anonymous Employee in Mountain View, CA
    Application Details

    I interviewed through a recruiter. The process took 2 weeks - interviewed at Pure Storage in November 2012.

    Interview Details

    Interview process is in 3 phases. The process starts with a fairly straightforward 30 minute online test; followed by an hour long screening call, completing with a 4+ hour onsite interview with the Engineering Director, CTO and 3 other engineers. I found everyone I interacted with very friendly and helpful and I enjoyed the experience even though I didn't get an offer.

    Interview Questions
    • The CTO's buddy bitmap question was the most difficult to get my head around.   Answer Question
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview
  10.  

    Member of Tech Staff Interview

    Anonymous Employee  in  Mountain View, CA
    Anonymous Employee in Mountain View, CA
    Application Details

    I interviewed online - interviewed at Pure Storage in June 2010.

    Interview Details

    I was contacted by their HR person who sent me an online link asking me to complete a quiz consisting of 10 CS questions in half-an hour. These questions were pretty simple and another reviewer has already posted some of the tougher questions on glassdoor.

    After this I had a phone screen and I was basically asked to explain how C++ implements polymorphism behind the scenes. A good knowledge of pointers and virtual table mechanism helped me get through this.

    I was called on-site and the first interview was with a director who basically asked me work-ex related questions. The next interview was with the CTO who was curt and did not offer any help or hints when I got stuck. It was tough to figure out what he wanted me to answer [i.e. did he want me to just explain the algo, or also write the code ?]. I explained the algo, coded up a functioning version of the answer in C. However, he wanted me to optimize this code as much as possible to minimize cache misses - essentially remove any 'if' statements in the code. It took me some time to get this working but he wasnt satisfied and asked me to leave. Looks like these guys are looking for a high degree of perfection. I understand that but they can atleast be nice about the way they go about it.

    Interview Questions
    • Implement a buddy bitmap with APIs for setting and unsetting bits in the bitmap.   Answer Question
    No Offer
    Negative Experience
    Difficult Interview
  11. 2 people found this helpful  

    Software Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate  in  Mountain View, CA
    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Mountain View, CA
    Application Details

    The process took 1 week - interviewed at Pure Storage in October 2011.

    Interview Details

    The process started with the recruiter getting back via email to set up the online skills test. This was followed by a phone screen with an engineer, going through a sample problem in ADT design. The in-person interview was with (if I remember correctly) three engineers and the CTO, in sequence, and primarily focused on more problem solving. I found the process a lot of fun; the questions were interesting, and just the right level of complexity to work through in the individual sessions. There was time in each session to ask questions back, which was especially productive with the CTO, as you might expect.

    Everyone involved was friendly, professional, and smart. This was the best interview process I've seen in several years, and so I was delighted to accept their offer. My initial impressions from the interview have been born out on the job, too: everyone is still friendly, professional, and smart.

    Interview Questions
    • Describe how you would write a function to draw a circle (given a function to turn on an individual pixel).   Answer Question
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview

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