Valve Corporation Interview Questions | Glassdoor

Valve Corporation Interview Questions

Interviews at Valve Corporation

33 Interview Reviews

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  1. Helpful (24)  

    Software Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Bellevue, WA
    No Offer
    Negative Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied through an employee referral. The process took 1 day. I interviewed at Valve Corporation (Bellevue, WA) in March 2009.

    Interview

    The interview lasted all day, and happened in phases. Each phase consisted of being interviewed by 2 people at a time. They asked questions about experience (based on resume) and then pose a problem to solve, with the help of a white-board to explain details. Two of the phases entailed technical questions (e.g. how would you solve a specific toy technical problem). One of the phases was a game design problem (e.g. explain a design for a game, in sufficient detail that after leaving the meeting, people would know what to code and assets to start creating). One phase was just lunch, where they asked about work ethic and standards success. I believe they wanted to hear that your definition of success is that the product satisfies the consumers' needs. The final phase entailed a conversation with the owner.

    Interview Questions


  2. Helpful (21)  

    Software Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Bellevue, WA
    Declined Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied through an employee referral. The process took 4+ weeks. I interviewed at Valve Corporation (Bellevue, WA) in July 2015.

    Interview

    Asked to be introduced to a VALVe employee by a common friend and inquired about working at VALVe. Since I was local, the initial screen was in person rather than over the phone. 80% was a discussion of my experience and background and 20% was specific coding problem. Once I passed that, an on-site loop was scheduled.

    There were supposed to be 5 interviews, including a lunch interview. All VALVe interviews are with pairs for developers. All of them are very smart so bullshitting your way though will definitely not work. Although there are plenty of questions about coding and algorithms, I got the feeling that cultural fit is even more important than technical skills.

    VALVe is a truly unique and awesome place to be (Google for their employee handbook). Not having a boss can be great but it is definitely not for everyone. This is why cultural fit is so important. They are looking for people who can really really work as part of the team without having a boss. I guess that this is what the lunch interview is mostly about. It is definitely not a mere social event like in Facebook and Google. I guess that people who have made this mistake are among the reviewers who mentioned being rejected after 3 interviews (lunch is usually the 3rd one)

    Having an entrepreneurial or game modding experience is definitely a big plus, because it shows that you can work independently.

    In the end I got the offer, but after some very hard deliberations decided to join another company which is a different kind of awesome. Apples and oranges...

    Interview Questions

  3. Helpful (3)  

    Software Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Bellevue, WA
    No Offer
    Neutral Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 4+ weeks. I interviewed at Valve Corporation (Bellevue, WA) in May 2016.

    Interview

    Phone Interview, they asked me about what projects I've worked on, what I'm doing now, and why Valve. Then, they asked if I had any questions.

    Then, I didn't hear anything back for a couple weeks and they flew me out to Bellevue, WA.

    The first two interviews were technical. Each interview has two interviewers.

    Interview Questions


  4. Helpful (4)  

    Software Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Employee in Bellevue, WA
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 1+ week. I interviewed at Valve Corporation (Bellevue, WA) in February 2011.

    Interview

    The interview process was not easy to even qualify in the first place. In order for Valve to take someone, they look at your portfolio which has to be quite impressive. It really helps if you are well-known in the industry. So in suggesting on how to get a job, first work on something or as some of my colleagues have said "just make something."

    Interview Questions

    • They asked me about the games that I have worked on.   1 Answer

  5.  

    Software Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Bellevue, WA
    No Offer
    Neutral Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 2 weeks. I interviewed at Valve Corporation (Bellevue, WA) in January 2018.

    Interview

    1 phone conversation about resume and past experience

    1 lunch conversation about past experience and areas/features applicant would like to improve/contribute to any of Valve products (from both technical and business perspectives)

    Full-day of on-site interviews:
    3 design/coding sessions
    1 session about general topic outside of candidate comfort/experience zone
    1 lunch conversation about general technical/business thinking, aptitude and customer focus

    Interview Questions

    • - Implement itoa, i.e. convert integer to string

      - Design an elevator (how would you decide where the elevator should stop, go next ... etc.)

      - Design/implement a simple calculator (simple display, 1 key press at a time ~ state machine)

      - Compute the distance between 2 axis-aligned rectangles where the distance is defined such that it is:
      1. Zero if both rectangles intersect.
      2. The vertical/horizontal distance between the edges in case they're adjacent or on top of each other
      3. The euclidean distance between the corners otherwise.

      - How would you devise a scoring function for players' performance in a game like Counter Strike?   Answer Question

  6. Helpful (3)  

    Software Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Seattle, WA
    No Offer
    Negative Experience
    Easy Interview

    Application

    I applied online. I interviewed at Valve Corporation (Seattle, WA) in June 2017.

    Interview

    I was scheduled for my phone screen at 3pm on a Friday afternoon. I took off work early to be home for this. At 3:19, they emailed me telling me that they were having a "bit of a delay". They asked if I could wait a bit longer.

    I replied that I had taken off work early and had planned to return afterwards, but that I would wait a bit.

    At 3:54pm, I replied again saying (copied and pasted) "Actually, now I'm thinking rescheduling might be best. This has been a long, taxing week at work, and I want to be the sharpest I can be for this."

    At 3:57, they (there were two interviewers) called. They asked me to tell them about myself. I went through some highlights, but I'm normally used to something a little more concrete. It's not a question I hear often in technical interviews.

    Then, they asked me a bunch of general knowledge questions. They asked what the difference between a regular index and a clustered index is in SQL Server. Nowhere have I claimed to be a SQL expert, by the way. I told them that I didn't know, but if I did need to know, I could look it up in ten seconds.

    The only coding problem they asked was for me to code itoa. Obviously, this wasn't hard.

    Two days later, I got an email that said "We found evidence for a wide a breadth of dev experience. We did not find evidence during the interview for the strong technical depth that we need at Valve."

    The guys who interviewed me were pleasant and friendly. As I said in my email to them, I was exhausted after a long stressful week, so I'm sure that I didn't sound sharp on the phone.

    Still, would they have been as pleasant and friendly if I were as disrespectful of their time and made myself available an hour late on a Friday afternoon, especially if they had to leave the office to take my call?

    Valve has a great history of making great products. I have to believe that my experience is not typical.

    Interview Questions

    • Code itoa.   1 Answer
    • What is the difference between a clustered index and regular index in SQL Server?   1 Answer

  7. Helpful (12)  

    Senior Software Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Bellevue, WA
    No Offer
    Negative Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 1 day. I interviewed at Valve Corporation (Bellevue, WA).

    Interview

    They did not go very deep. They asked some abstract questions, and unfortunately seems they may have had some animosity towards a former employer. They did give me feedback on why they turned me down, but it was essentially an inverse of strengths I've successfully demonstrated (and even gave several examples of) in previous work experience.

    I like to be transparent with my resume, so I was upfront with my weaknesses. Surprisingly they did not mention those as the reasons. That was a little concerning. I think they just saw the former employer they did not like, drew some generalizations and jumped to conclusions.

    In the end, the interview processes worked. It helped me realize that the culture there is probably too abstract (and maybe short-sighted) for my tastes. Though Valve has made some great games, I am a bit concerned about the future growth of this company. For example, they tried to grow their hardware team once, but it seems the culture was unable to diversify itself enough to support that change. The company even renamed itself from "Valve Software" to "Valve Corporation" but sadly it seems their culture, coupled with the beaten path that their original team members created, have gotten them stuck with what they're only familiar with.

    I hope I'm wrong. Valve has done some pretty amazing products in the past and still I'll cheer for them. But if you worked for a company of which they shared some animosity towards, I wouldn't waste your time. They're (unfortunately) unable to look past the surface. If you get rejected, I wouldn't take it seriously. Valve kinda lives in their own world and can have some unusual reasons for turning you down.

  8. Helpful (1)  

    Systems Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    No Offer
    Negative Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied online. I interviewed at Valve Corporation in August 2014.

    Interview

    I had a two person phone interview. The first person asked almost all of the question with the second person only asking me one question about something on my resume.

    Overall the interview was really strange as they started asking me network questions about how to implement a VLAN. When I asked for clarification on which platform he asked how I would code it.

    I had several other developer oriented questions and no real SE questions.

    After the interview I received an email with feedback about areas I could focus on however those were all things I know well that they didn't even mention in the interview.

    Overall it was very confusing, I felt like I might have been interviewed for a completely different position. Afterwards I emailed the recruiter to confirm but never got a response back.

    Interview Questions


  9. Helpful (6)  

    Systems Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Bellevue, WA
    No Offer
    Negative Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied online. I interviewed at Valve Corporation (Bellevue, WA) in July 2017.

    Interview

    Rough legacy whiteboarding process. Valve unfortunately is using whiteboard interviews. Something that fortunately most companies have abandoned.
    Whiteboarding, while great for fresh out of college comp sci students, is not something I learned to do as I have been in the industry for 20 years now. I worked through the problem, but overall had a really difficult time having a zero feedback loop environment and occasional scoffs from the interviewers. The entire process was extremely demoralizing and wasted their time and mine without getting to actually show any of my strengths. It's unfortunate that a candidate who's employers have included NASA, Sony, and other Fortune 500's isn't able to share my experience with them. But I think they are looking for a younger crowd.

    If you want to pass this interview, brush up a lot on your whiteboarding, communication and coding.

    Advice to Valve: Please try out take home assignments. You are severely limiting your talent pool otherwise.

    Interview Questions


  10. Helpful (3)  

    Systems Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Bellevue, WA
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied online. I interviewed at Valve Corporation (Bellevue, WA) in April 2017.

    Interview

    I was asked to give a phone interview a few weeks after submitting my resume. The person who interviewed me was very personable and professional, asking me a little bit about my background on my resume and giving me the opportunity to ask any questions I had about the company or the position I would be working in.

    Afterwards, I was given a technical questions screening over three different technology sets: Networking, Linux System Administration and Windows System Administration.

    Afterwards, I received an email a few days later telling me that I wasn't quite technically ready for the position, but I was told exactly what areas to improve on and was told that I could reapply in future when I feel like I had improved enough to try again.

    Interview Questions


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