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What it’s like to interview at Pinterest

What it’s like to interview at Pinterest

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Real solutions, no gotchas.

Real solutions, no gotchas.

  • Candidates can use a machine with the most common Ides, like Vscode and sublime, so they feel at home with the code completion, syntax highlighting, and shortcuts they’re used to.
  • They retired a whole host of questions for this reason. We want to challenge candidates to show us diligent critical thinking skills.
  • You won’t be asked a question that requires dynamic programming. Instead, you’ll be asked to tackle a programming problem representative of the work engineers typically encounter.

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What’s next?

After your interviews, you’ll hear from your recruiter to discuss the outcome. If there was a match for the role (Congrats!), they’ll let you know the next steps, including compensation and specifics.

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The details.

Interviewing at Pinterest consists of three main steps:

  • Recruiter Call
  • Phone Screen
  • Onsite Interview

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Data Structures / Algorithms

Additional tips:

  • It can be harder to improve and Refactor code on the Whiteboard compared to an Ide.
  • Communicating your plan is important, and Pseudocode is one way to do this. But talking through your plan or making a diagram may be faster.
  • Most candidates tend to pick languages like python, Java, Javascript, Ruby, C/C++, or C #.
  • Ideally your solution should fail gracefully when invalid inputs are provided. Ask the interviewer for their constraints or characteristics.
  • Ask the interviewer whether you should add tests for your solution. Make sure your solution works as planned.

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Architecture / Systems Design

Tips

  • Requirements: Be sure you fully understand the problem, its final high level goal, and technical and non-technical constraints.
  • Discuss with your interviewer this before starting.
  • Brainstorm many possible ways to solve the problem. Be open to any new idea or solution.
  • Explain the pros and cons of different possible solutions. Explain why you would propose one solution versus another.
  • Make sure you have thought through and explained the different aspects of your solution. The proposed solution should fit the requirements and constraints.

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There’s not just one type of engineer.

  • Showing a growth mindset is a signal we take into account during debriefs.
  • Some people talk through it aloud as they write their code while others silently brainstorm before diving into solutions.
  • If you’re coming from a non-traditional background, going through a full interview loop isn’t the only option. We also provide programs like our apprenticeship program.
  • Pinterest takes unconscious bias seriously. They have reminders and tips for checking unconscious bias every time we enter candidate feedback.

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Lunch Interview / Hiring Manager / Values

Many times there’ll also be a hiring manager and values interview during lunch time so you and your interviewer can get to know one another a bit better. The main goal is to see how your values align with our company values , but it’s also a great opportunity for you to ask any questions you may have about the role, team, and life at Pinterest.

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Domain-Specific

This type of interview helps assess the interviewee’s skills and expertise on a given domain. It might focus on Ios, Android, web, machine learning, distributed systems, data processing, infrastructure, or other specific areas.

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CURATED BY

ronale

Systems Programmer

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