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.


What it’s like to interview at Pinterest


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.


Interviewing at Pinterest consists of three main steps:

  • Recruiter Call
  • Phone Screen
  • Onsite Interview



  • 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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


Deepstash helps you become inspired, wiser and productive, through bite-sized ideas from the best articles, books and videos out there.



The Interviewer’s Perspective

When the interviewer asks you, “Tell me about yourself”, he is hoping this question will get you talking. It will give him a first impression of you, and set the tone for the interview. He wants to establish if you can be a good fit.

This is a good opportunity for you to highlight the points that you want this potential employer to know about you.


Pamela Skillings

  1. Screening call or on-site interview: lengthy when done by HR and short when it’s someone technical, also not a good time to fire all your questions.
  2. Technical interview: where your knowledge is assessed by professionals of the field.
  3. Technical assessment, homework or pair programming: a practical test of your skills.
  4. Final interview: meeting the rest of the team or company leaders.
  5. Offer.



How to interview your interviewers when you're looking for a job

  • Prepare your questions based on the attributes of an ideal candidate,
  • Reduce stress level. Tell the candidates in advance the questions you plan to ask.
  • Involve enough people for multiple checks.
  • Assess potential. Look for signs of the candidate's curiosity, insight, engagement, and determination.
  • Ask behavioral and situational questions.
  • Consider "cultural fit", but don't obsess because people adapt.
  • Sell the role and the organization once you're sure in your candidate.



How to Conduct an Effective Job Interview