Valve Corporation Interview Questions | Glassdoor

Valve Corporation Interview Questions

Updated Apr 25, 2017
28 Interview Reviews

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  1. Helpful (2)  

    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


  2. Helpful (6)  

    Customer Support Interview

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

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 3 weeks. I interviewed at Valve Corporation (Bellevue, WA) in June 2016.

    Interview

    Phone interview: It was all scenarios and thinking through problems with a specific game as an example - no real traditional interview questions.

    In-person: They did 2 rounds with a panel of 3 people each, then I was taken to lunch with 2 people who asked more low-key questions over the course of lunch. Each round, I was given a few support problems to think through and answered questions on my thinking process.

    After lunch, they left me alone for 10 minutes - and came back to tell me they were going to make mean offer, right there. They don't wait to tell you!

    Interview Questions

    • Design a scoring system for the next Left for Dead game.   Answer Question
    • The CEO has just told you, "Support is broken." How do you fix it?   Answer Question

  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


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  5. Helpful (6)  

    Designer Interview

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

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 4 days. I interviewed at Valve Corporation (Bellevue, WA) in April 2016.

    Interview

    I interviewed with Valve yesterday. This, in my mind, is a dream job. Just the lobby alone makes you want to work there. I had applied for a Designer position and couldn't believe they wanted to bring me in, as my background is in Avionics. Very casual atmosphere, very personal guys who interviewed me. We sat in a conference room and discussed my work online. They asked questions regarding a few of my projects and were interested in the background of them and what had been shipped, and was an actual product.

    Interview Questions

    • In addition to wanting to see my portfolio online (although they had already reviewed it), they wanted to know a little bit about the work that was done, my contribution to it, any team members, and so forth.   2 Answers

  6.  

    Designer Interview

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

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 3 weeks. I interviewed at Valve Corporation (Seattle, WA) in January 2016.

    Interview

    After a phone interview that seemed to go well, they brought me in for an in person interview. They brought me in to a conference room to face 5 groups of people, 1 hour each, each group from a different area of the company asking me questions and looking over my work. I found the interview process very dis-organized. Many of the people who came in to interview me had never seen my resume, and hadn't spoken to the person who did the pre-screening interview to find out about my skillset. Many of the questions I was asked were on topics I had no experience with, and taking a quick peak at my resume would have told them that. Overall I found it very confusing, they were looking for someone with a different skillset than my own, which is fine, but my resume and the pre-screening would have told them I didn't have the skillset they were looking for. So I'm not really sure why they brought me in for the in person interview. Everyone was very courteous though, and the HR folk were super on the ball and professional.

    Interview Questions


  7. Helpful (2)  

    Economist Interview

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

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 2 weeks. I interviewed at Valve Corporation (Bellevue, WA) in September 2015.

    Interview

    Applied by email. Was contacted 3-months later for a phone interview. Phone interview was on advanced economic theory and C++ programming.

    Be sure to write a very detailed economics essay, review or paper on a topic relevant to the video game industry or Valve. Ideally this paper should be published, or at the very least reviewed by an economist, like a supervising professor. This paper should be over 20 pages in length and include advanced mathematical derivations for an economics model. As well it should include a detailed econometrics analysis of the data used in your paper. Finally your paper should include an implementation of your findings in code (ideally C++, but mine was in MATLAB). Include this essay with your resume in your initial application.

    I thoroughly recommend writing some sample code beforehand. Submit it to the interviewer a day or two before your phone interview. The sample code should be for a small game written in C++. This game should have a strong UI component (like a basic first-person-shooter or a 2D platformer/puzzle game). Along with the code sample specify how many hours you spent on it. Be sure to include advanced C++ concepts in the game, like child classes, virtualization tables, pointer arithmetic, dynamic casting and memory management.

    Interview Questions

    • What is 2^16?   5 Answers
    • What is a virtualization table; I.E., a virtual method table?   1 Answer
    • Describe in detail how you would devise a Monte Carlo simulation to test user subscription rates to an online game service like Valve Steam?   1 Answer
    • What is a C++ virtual method?   1 Answer
    • What project would you implement at Valve? How would your project benefit other developers?   1 Answer

  8. Helpful (18)  

    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


  9. Helpful (4)  

    Embedded Software Engineer Interview

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

    Application

    I applied in-person. The process took 1 day. I interviewed at Valve Corporation (Seattle, WA) in May 2015.

    Interview

    Applied online, heard back relatively quickly. Had lunch with recruiter/hiring manager, they decided to move forward with an interview loop. Brushed up on embedded questions (bit manipulation, string/array management, kernel optimization, multithreading, interrupt contexts) and just in case, also brushed up on irrelevant high level CS BS, such as graphs, binary trees, heaps, etc.

    Unfortunately, they only asked game development-related software questions (geometry-heavy simple math questions implemented efficiently in code), and then proceeded to assume that kernel software engineers should know how to design hardware at a high level of competency. Explained that I could design simple hardware like a prototype gamepad or customize a reference design, but it takes years of relevant experience to make something ready for mass production.

    They ended the interview loop early since I didn't do well on the software question, did not offer me a chance to redeem myself with another question. I went home with a bad taste in my mouth both about their level of professionalism and their hardware design prospects. They have a cavalier attitude about hardware mass production and driver development which is going to serve them very poorly as they attempt to ramp up. Most of the real work in designing a hardware product comes after the prototype phase, as Kickstarter has publicly demonstrated.

    Interview Questions

    • Find shortest distance between axis-aligned rectangles   Answer Question
    • How would you improve the hardware design of a dismantled example gamepad?   Answer Question

  10. Helpful (11)  

    Translator Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    No Offer
    Negative Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 3 weeks. I interviewed at Valve Corporation in March 2015.

    Interview

    The interview process is very long and is in stages. I made it to the second stage.

    After sending in my resume without a cover letter, since there is no specific area on their career page for localization and translations as is with their competitors, I received notification of their interest within a week. I was asked to complete a translation test within 24 hours into my "native" language (my native language is obviously English as noted on the top of my resume, so I asked which of my fluent, native-level languages to translate into, to which the recruiter replied quickly that I should do whatever felt most comfortable in.) I chose to translate into my two strongest foreign languages, which I feel extremely comfortable writing and translating in. Since this was a Monday and the test was timed, I had to quickly inform my grad school professors that I would be unable to come to class that day. I would have really appreciated doing the test on the weekend. However, when a job interview comes in you have to be flexible.

    The test was 3 parts:
    1. Write a business letter in English in response to a complaint and then translate said message.
    2. Translate a short advertisement for a game on Steam called Peggle.
    3. What is your opinion on Steam and how can it be improved?

    Since the second element was an artistic and technical translation, I spent a bit of time doing research on the game and understanding how it works before getting started translating. Completing this test and then proofreading for 2 languages was time consuming and tiring, however I was proud of my translations (that's my profession after all) and confident.

    Two days later I noticed they checked out my LI profile and the day after I received an email concerning a phone call to discuss opportunities at Valve. Over a week later, at their convenience, I had a phone-conference call at 4 PM with two guys. At the beginning of the interview, I could tell that they did not take me seriously as they joked the entire time and did not ask much about the specific professional and academic challenges that I have faced, perhaps because I am underestimated for being a female seriously interested in the video game industry or because I am only 26 and looking to start a career now and settle down somewhere to start my own life. I wish they would have been a bit more professional. Specifically, they only asked me one short question about my professional experience and focused mainly on overly-long problem solving questions (perhaps trying to fill their required 1 hour time requirement). Plus, the two guys interviewing me didn't sound very serious and actually hung up on me once as they were joking around.

    I was informed the next day that they would not be continuing with the interview process. I simply felt that an interview should not be conducted this way and I felt very hurt afterwards. This makes me feel not as positively about Valve as a company and by effect their products. The main recruiter however is excellent and responds even on the weekend with updates. I wished him well and thanked him for his time and asked him to thank my interviewers for the one hour they took out of their schedules to talk to me.

    Interview Questions

    • We are making a new controller for Steam and there will be some bugs when it first comes out, how would your respond/prepare for these extremely rare questions?   2 Answers

  11.  

    No Role Specified Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 2 weeks. I interviewed at Valve Corporation.

    Interview

    I posted my resume in their career site and was hoping for any opportunities in Sales. I was contacted by their recruiting team and was asked to take an exam through email, It was just a phone interview and it lasted for an hour. Most of the questions were about online games and if I had any strategies to suggest for their sales team. I was accommodated with respect and the interviewers were very kind.

    Interview Questions


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