I have been working at Pixar Animation Studios full-time (More than 8 years)
The people are awesome. Also there are a lot of opportunities for creative art projects with fellow employees. Cafe is great.
Management consists of very awkward individuals with poor social skills. Little to no room to advance
Advice to Management
HR needs to pay close attention to what employees say about their managers, and take them seriously. There seems to be a lot of paranoia around the studio about the direction of the company becoming too corporate.
I applied online. The process took 3+ months. I interviewed at Pixar Animation Studios.
I applied online and got a form email saying that my application was received. A few weeks later I got an email setting up a technical phone interview. The interviewer asked questions about my work history and technical questions focusing on C++ and STL. Especially about STL set.
After the phone interview I got several odd follow-up recruiter emails with stalling tactics. The usual out-of-the-office type excuses. This was annoying, but I tried to remain positive. It continued for 4-6 weeks until the recruiter set up an interview with the team.
The team interview was more of the same: questions about my background, C++ and STL (including implementing the STL set). The questions were relatively straight-forward, but I got the impression that the bar for answers was VERY high. One of the more absurd questions was "what is your greatest contribution to computer science?". It seemed unfair for a basic engineering role, but keep in mind that they mainly want engineers from MIT, Stanford, etc. If you don't have a degree from a top 5 school you'd better act like you do. Pixar is big on thinking the world of themselves, and it sure seemed like employees are expected to be huge self-promoters. There was a weird mix of false humility and elitism that didn't sit well with me. I hope I'm wrong, but that was my impression after meeting with the team.
About a week later I got another form email saying that the company gets lots of great applicants and that they weren't interested in me anymore. It wasn't even from the recruiter, just a generic automated email. It felt like a rude ending to a long and often frustrating process that dragged on for over three months.
I'm still a fan of their movies, but I don't want to work at Pixar anymore.
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