Palantir Technologies Engineering Interview Questions | Glassdoor

Palantir Technologies Engineering Interview Questions

Updated May 23, 2017
480 Interview Reviews

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  1. Helpful (91)  

    Software Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in New York, NY
    No Offer
    Negative Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied through an employee referral. The process took 2+ months. I interviewed at Palantir Technologies (New York, NY) in August 2016.

    Interview

    Steps 1 and 2 were a typical online coding challenge and a tech phone screen.

    3. On-Site Interviews Part 1
    - Informal 1-on-1 chat with a current engineer, which they called the "Palantir 1 on 1."
    - 1st coding interview. Standard coding interview with a team lead engineer. We talked about a backgrounds a bit, he actually asked me to go into a fair amount of detail about my current work and I even ended up drawing a diagram on the whiteboard to explain some system design stuff I ended up talking about. Then he asked me an easy coding question.
    - 2nd coding interview. Less background, went into the coding problem fairly quickly. The interviewer was only a couple years out of college and seemed a bit inexperienced technically. When talking about runtimes I actually corrected the interviewer about some python API runtimes, which the interviewer seemed to appreciate and seemed to regard as a positive.
    - 3rd coding interview. This was stated to be a "decomp" (decomposition) interview, which is basically Palantir's version of the design interview, but was essentially no different from a regular coding interview. The question itself was technically easy
    - Informal lunch chat. My host for this seemed pretty distracted and was on her phone a lot and even interrupted to take a few phone calls in the middle.
    - 1-on-1 Product demo. It essentially turned into another informal 1-on-1 chat.

    4. On-Site Interviews Part 2

    I was invited to more on-site interviews, which wasn't a surprise. I was surprised however when the recruiter said that they wanted me to do one more coding interview (in addition to the hiring manager interview) because some of the feedback indicated that my coding was a bit slow. Fine, but I'm not sure how much faster they expect you to code if they also want you to properly explain everything you're doing.

    - Another informal warmup chat to start, with a team lead engineer
    - The coding interview. Jumped straight into the question.
    - Hiring manager interview. First half of this was going through my resume and asking about my background. I did not major in CS in college, so they really wanted to understand my switch from physics to CS, my previous job, etc. They were also very focused on understanding why I wanted to join Palantir. The second half was another decomp question, this time no actual coding, but just talking about the problem on the board with rough diagrams.

    The recruiter called me a couple days later to tell me that all the feedback was "very positive" and that my coding, culture fit, behavioral questions, motivation for joining Palantir, etc. were all extremely positive. However, this is when stuff started to get weird for me. Instead of proceeding with an offer (which is what I had been led to believe would happen after the 2nd round of on-site interviews), the recruiter asked me if I were interested in a Forward Deployed Software Engineer role instead. This role requires lots of travel directly into client offices, and is essentially just being a consultant. I had been very clear since the very first recruiter call (right after the online coding challenge, but before the tech phone screen) that I was not interested in this position and that travel was a big no for me. At that time, they had clearly understood my desire and said that I would be proceeding with interviews in consideration for the regular Software Engineer role. So I was surprised that they seemed to be trying to do a bait-and-switch for the FDSE role instead at this late stage. I pushed back--I asked if this was a choice or if it was being forced onto me--and the recruiter backed off a bit, although she still said they would have to talk more about it. Another review here on glassdoor has said that Palantir is desperate for people to fill the FDSE role, since it doesn't seem to be very popular. I really felt this when the recruiter tried to gauge my interest for the FDSE role.

    A couple of days later the recruiter gets back to me and says that they would like me to do yet another interview, this time with a Team Lead Software Engineer so gauge my fit for the regular Software Engineer role. At this point I am starting to get uncomfortable flags in my head. I had already talked to two Team Lead Software Engineers in my interviews--why weren't they able to get the feedback they wanted from those guys?

    Continued in "interview questions" section


  2.  

    Software Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Palo Alto, CA
    No Offer
    Negative Experience
    Easy Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 4+ weeks. I interviewed at Palantir Technologies (Palo Alto, CA) in May 2017.

    Interview

    Went down for an on-site for software development and they immediately hinted they aren't looking for junior SEs. So I was suspicious from the get go. Had a weird culture vibe going on too where they smothered the guy that was there from the NSA and kinda ignored the others. Questions asked I felt measured very little. They try to ask cute real world questions and they didn't really specify that my algortihms complexity wasn't adequate before I dove into implementation so i didn't have time to optimize it at the end. This is coming from someone who did very well on Amazon Google and Facebook interviews. They really try to throw you off.

    Then they told me my coding wasnt up to snuff as they have a really high bar. So they asked me if I wanted to interview for the deployment strategist interview but that it may involve flying down for a few more on-site. They didn't seem to care I'd already had to fly halfway across the world to get there and that they had info on my already. So I did a screen with them for that one but wasnt interested and that was it. Don't bother interviewing here look at top tech companies first they treat young people with much more respect and regard and they don't mess around and waste your time. Terrible experience.

    Interview Questions


  3. Helpful (3)  

    Forward Deployed Software Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Washington, DC
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied through a recruiter. The process took 4+ weeks. I interviewed at Palantir Technologies (Washington, DC) in March 2017.

    Interview

    I was contacted on Linkedin by a recruiter. I had a conversation with a FDE in the field, and was invited onsite for an interview. While other recruiters might have been distant, the one I worked with was amazing. Overall, loved the experience.


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  5.  

    Software Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    No Offer
    Negative Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took a week. I interviewed at Palantir Technologies in March 2017.

    Interview

    Applied online and got a link to complete the coding challenge "Catching an Insider Trader" which is pretty easy. After completing this challenge I got a email to set up a phone interview with a HR, where she asked me about my previous experiences and why I want to join Palantir.

    The HR didn't even seem interested in taking the interview and called me 14 minutes after the scheduled time and she kept yawning during the whole interview.

    Interview Questions

    • 1. What do you know about Palantir?
      2. Previous experience?
      3. Why did you choose Computer Science?  
      Answer Question

  6.  

    Software Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    No Offer
    Negative Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied online. I interviewed at Palantir Technologies in March 2017.

    Interview

    I received an email to take a HackerRank Test.
    I completed the test within time where all of my test cases passed.
    Two days later I receive a rejection email.
    Not sure what more can be done in an online HackerRank Test.

    Interview Questions


  7. Helpful (1)  

    Forward Deployed Software Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in New York, NY
    No Offer
    Negative Experience
    Easy Interview

    Application

    The process took 2+ months. I interviewed at Palantir Technologies (New York, NY).

    Interview

    The recruiter reached out to me via LinkedIn and was very pleasant. However, the rest of the process was pretty frustrating. I got flaked on for various phone calls 3 or 4 times (after making arrangements to work from home to take a call) and the on-site was rescheduled twice.

    I found the technical questions on the easier side, compared to other companies I interviewed with. Interviewers were exclusively 20-something white dudes, and (with one exception) they seemed pretty checked out. I have something of a non-traditional background for a SWE and the recruiter thought it would be relevant to the FDSE role, but I didn't get a lot of interest on that front from my interviewers. At the end of the on-site, another recruiter (kind of awkwardly) assured me that there would be some further steps. I got a form letter rejection 2 days later and no further feedback or communication.

    Interview Questions


  8. Helpful (3)  

    Software Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Palo Alto, CA
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied through an employee referral. The process took 5 weeks. I interviewed at Palantir Technologies (Palo Alto, CA) in February 2017.

    Interview

    The hiring process for interns is the same as for full-time engineers. After an initial auto-graded coding challenge on hackerrank, they gave me a phone screen, then a phone coding interview. At the end of the phone coding interview, they immediately told me they were going to recommend me for an on-site. It took less than two weeks to go through the process up until here.

    The on-site was pretty standard: demos, three coding interviews, lunch, more demos. At the end, they had me interview with the hiring manager, which I thought was a good sign. In fact, I felt like I did quite well all day -- I solved every problem I was given, and I thought I did a decent job of explaining my thought process. They contacted me after a week and a half to say they weren't going to make an offer. Not real sure what went wrong, but the interview experience itself was pleasant.

    Interview Questions

    • The decomposition problem was to sketch out an implementation of Asteroids.   Answer Question

  9. Helpful (1)  

    Software Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Houston, TX
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Easy Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took a week. I interviewed at Palantir Technologies (Houston, TX) in February 2017.

    Interview

    I applied online and got the reply in about a week. It was an OA invitation on hackerrank. Basically you need to finish it within five days. You can pick whatever date and time you like but you need to let them know ahead of time and finish it within 75mins. The name of the quiz problem is also given ahead of time called catching an insider trader. My suggestion is to read the questions "Carefully" because there were usually slightly subtle change of the problem statement compared to those you find online.

    Interview Questions

    • It's a mid size quiz called catching an insider trader.   1 Answer

  10. Helpful (2)  

    Software Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in New York, NY
    No Offer
    Negative Experience
    Easy Interview

    Application

    I applied through an employee referral. The process took a week. I interviewed at Palantir Technologies (New York, NY).

    Interview

    I interviewed with a recruiter from the NYC office. Initial communication was positive but it quickly became clear the only purpose for the interview was to conduct competitor research. The interview was extremely focused on particular details about one specific previous employer. I recieved a reject shortly after. Internal feedback was positive, as reviewed by a senior referrer.

    It's really scummy that Palantir is using interviews to conduct corporate espionage. Be careful if you're interviewing there. Clearly Palantir is a company that does not have hiring ethics listed in their corporate culture dictionary.

    Interview Questions


  11.  

    Software Engineer Interview

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

    Interview

    Pretty standard. Phone screen then phone interview then Onsite. Three interviews onsite. Everything went very well, though. My recruiter was friendly, the interviewers were friendly. Everyone understood how difficult the process is. They were willing to work with me.


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