Valve Corporation Interview Questions | Glassdoor

Valve Corporation Interview Questions

Updated Sep 14, 2017
31 Interview Reviews

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  1. Helpful (11)  

    Office Assistant Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Declined Offer
    Neutral Experience
    Easy Interview

    Application

    I applied online. I interviewed at Valve Corporation.

    Interview

    Very weird. Done entirely through google hangout chat. It was not too hard but the medium through which it was done made me wary. The interviewer was very straightforward.

    Interview Questions

    • Why do you want this job and are you available to start immediately.   14 Answers

  2. Helpful (5)  

    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

  3. Helpful (2)  

    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

  4. 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


  5. Helpful (9)  

    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

  6.  

    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


  7. Helpful (8)  

    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
  8. Helpful (1)  

    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


  9. Helpful (4)  

    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

  10. 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


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