MockQuestions

Pinterest Interview Questions

To help you prepare for a Pinterest job interview, here are 30 interview questions and answer examples.

Pinterest was written by and updated on September 6th, 2021. Learn more here.

Question 1 of 30

How would you handle a situation where a colleague was being very difficult to work with?

How to Answer

In the team-based atmosphere at Pinterest, departments with different skills and backgrounds can often see things from different points of view. These situations can cause some internal conflict between coworkers. With this question, your interviewer is looking to hear how you handle situations where you are working with someone who can be difficult. To give them the sense that you can work through conflict professionally and sensibly, try to talk through how you handled a conflict at work previously in the past and highlight the interpersonal skills that you used to help make it a positive situation.

Written by Ryan Brunner on September 6th, 2021

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30 Pinterest Interview Questions & Answers

  • Communication

    1. How would you handle a situation where a colleague was being very difficult to work with?

      How to Answer

      In the team-based atmosphere at Pinterest, departments with different skills and backgrounds can often see things from different points of view. These situations can cause some internal conflict between coworkers. With this question, your interviewer is looking to hear how you handle situations where you are working with someone who can be difficult. To give them the sense that you can work through conflict professionally and sensibly, try to talk through how you handled a conflict at work previously in the past and highlight the interpersonal skills that you used to help make it a positive situation.

      Written by Ryan Brunner on September 6th, 2021

      1st Answer Example

      "In all honesty, any great work atmosphere that I've been a part of in the past has involved a conflict between colleagues. In situations I have witnessed, the conflict has stemmed from very open-minded people giving their two cents in particular situations and two people not seeing eye to eye. This happened recently to me in the planning phases of a new project. One of our UX Designers and I disagreed on the final layout of a new software rollout we were planning. It worked best for us to talk about our ideas and list the pros and cons of our ideas. I kept an open mind to learn from her point of view, and she did the same to me on my end. This led us to come up with a great compromise in the end."

      Written by Ryan Brunner on September 6th, 2021

      2nd Answer Example

      "Last year, we had a new engineer join the team that was hired on from his internship with us. From his first day, he made it evident that he would only handle certain tasks within our team and only work on certain projects. As his mentor to help get him up and running, I sat him down and discussed the expectations of each of our engineers as part of our larger team. I explained to him that our approach was not to pigeonhole ourselves into smaller tasks but rather be well-rounded engineers who could handle any project and cover for each other if needed. He really appreciated this approach when I explained the benefits for his long-term career goals with this approach. This example shows my approach to being very direct with people that I have a conflict with in the workplace and doing so in a very professional and educational manner."

      Written by Ryan Brunner on September 6th, 2021

  • Competency

    2. What programming languages would you consider yourself fluent in?

      How to Answer

      While this question gives your interviewer insight into the diversity of your programming language experience, they most importantly want to know that you are adaptable and can learn on the fly if needed. Talk about the different languages that you consider yourself fluent in. If possible, do as much research into Pinterest as you can before your interview and try to speak to the specific languages they work with.

      Written by Ryan Brunner on September 6th, 2021

      1st Answer Example

      "From the start of college, where software engineering grew into a passion for me, I've become very fluent in Java, JavaScript, and C++. My current role has me working primarily with C++, but I pride myself on my ability and passion for learning new programming languages and would be able to do so if hired for this role with Pinterest."

      Written by Ryan Brunner on September 6th, 2021

      2nd Answer Example

      "During my training to be an engineer and then in my current role since graduating, a majority of my experience falls within Python. My current role delves deeply into artificial intelligence, and Python is awesome with this advanced technology. As I understand it from talking to another engineer here at Pinterest, a requirement would be for me to learn Scala. Though I haven't worked directly with Scala, I believe my experience and willingness to learn would have me up and running in no time if hired for this role."

      Written by Ryan Brunner on September 6th, 2021

  • Competency

    3. What software analysis and design tools do you have familiarity working with?

      How to Answer

      As a software engineer for Pinterest, your interviewer wants to hear that you have experience utilizing tools that make you more proficient in your work. Dig back on your past experiences and talk openly about your experiences with the different analysis and design tools available to help you be better in your work. In the end, make sure that your interviewer understands that you are proficient in using these tools and open to learning and using new tools.

      Written by Ryan Brunner on September 6th, 2021

      1st Answer Example

      "As my career and experience in software engineering has grown over the years, I've come to really appreciate and utilize these available tools. A great example of this would be my recent education and use of Structured English for designing insurance claim software for a large auto insurer. The simplicity of the structured decisions in the program was a perfect example of a program that could utilize the tool, and the end product ended up very functional for our customer."

      Written by Ryan Brunner on September 6th, 2021

      2nd Answer Example

      "I have great working knowledge in creating and reading data flow diagrams. To help with both our own sales staff and with customers, DFD's have been super helpful, and I consider myself very proficient in creating them. I've also recently been introduced to decision tables to aid in product testing. I was working on a new system that involved some very complicated business rules, and the decision table helped outline everything perfectly for our testing."

      Written by Ryan Brunner on September 6th, 2021

  • Competency

    4. What data cleaning methods are you familiar with and comfortable using if hired for this role at Pinterest?

      How to Answer

      To improve data quality and increase the overall productivity of a system, Pinterest relies on their data analysts to use data cleansing methods to ensure quality data exists in their software. Be open and honest with how you've helped ensure quality and accurate data in the systems you've worked with while also showing that you have an open mind to learning and utilizing more methods if hired for this position.

      Written by Ryan Brunner on September 6th, 2021

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  • Diligence

    5. As a machine learning engineer, how do you avoid the curse of dimensionality in your designs?

      How to Answer

      To effectively answer this question, it is important to first understand what dimensionality means about machine learning and how it can curse a project. As the number of features increases compared to the number of observations within a data set, some algorithms struggle to pull correct data. Your job on this question is to talk about ways to avoid the curse in your designs. Some possible things that you may mention and describe are feature selection, correlation thresholds, and variance thresholds.

      Written by Ryan Brunner on September 6th, 2021

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  • Direct

    6. How do you feel cloud computing has positively impacted the software industry?

      How to Answer

      While the reasons are plentiful as to how cloud computing has directly impacted developing and refining software for organizations, your interviewer is looking to hear which reasons you are willing to speak most passionately about. However you answer this question, try to either focus on the ease and accessibility for end-users or cost savings for organizations in your answer.

      Written by Ryan Brunner on September 6th, 2021

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  • Direct

    7. What do you feel is one of the top issues that is faced by data engineers today?

      How to Answer

      Being in the midst of the greatest technological revolution in the history of man, data engineers face many difficult issues in the work they perform daily. While there are many directions that you can go with this question, be sure to focus your answer on something that you can speak passionately about. If you can research a common issue in the industry that Pinterest works in, you may likely score some bonus points with your interviewer.

      Written by Ryan Brunner on September 6th, 2021

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  • Direct

    8. If hired here at Pinterest to develop iOS and Android software, when would you use a fragment rather than an activity?

      How to Answer

      In the development of apps for both iOS and Android, using code to create an activity versus a fragment is a highly debated topic to this day. For this question, your interviewer is looking to hear that you understand the differences between the two and when you feel that using a fragment is the proper direction to go. Make sure to speak to the high-level overview of what an activity does to an app versus fragments.

      Written by Ryan Brunner on September 6th, 2021

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  • Experience

    9. In designing Android software, what is your experience using parcelable versus serializable within an app?

      How to Answer

      Because parcelable is optimized for Android to be faster and more customizable, your interviewer will be looking to hear that you are willing to put in the extra work to utilize the parcelable method to achieve better performance within the software you design. Give your interviewer your thoughts on the differences between the two methods of passing object references to activities within an app that you design. Make sure that they understand that you are ready to perform the work to utilize the parcelable method when necessary.

      Written by Ryan Brunner on September 6th, 2021

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  • Experience

    10. What experience do you have in the different types of software maintenance?

      How to Answer

      As a reputable company, Pinterest takes its software maintenance processes seriously, and your interviewer is looking to hear that you are familiar with the four different types of software maintenance. Talk to your interviewer about any work you have done in the past with corrective, adaptive, perfective, and/or preventative software maintenance. Use specific examples and ensure that your interviewer walks away from your conversation, knowing that you understand the importance of proper system maintenance.

      Written by Ryan Brunner on September 6th, 2021

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  • Experience

    11. Do you have experience working with data in a cloud computing environment?

      How to Answer

      Over recent years, more and more companies are converting to cloud-based computing services because the conversion allows them to save money and have better auditing trails. As a prospective data engineer with Pinterest, your interviewer will be looking to hear that you are at least familiar with the concepts of working with cloud-based data. Talk in detail about the experiences you have while keeping your mind open to working with more in the future if hired with Pinterest.

      Written by Ryan Brunner on September 6th, 2021

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  • Experience

    12. Talk about your previous user interface design experience in detail. Why do you feel that this experience will translate well to this role with Pinterest?

      How to Answer

      While your interviewer can get a good sense of your experience from your resume, they are looking for you to talk in detail about your experiences in UI design in your previous work. While explaining your previous experience, be sure to highlight the skills you developed that will help you successfully design new products with Pinterest. Before your interview, be sure you research and are familiar with Pinterest's products.

      Written by Ryan Brunner on September 6th, 2021

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  • Experience

    13. What do you feel are the primary features and benefits of the Java programming language?

      How to Answer

      As a company that utilizes Java, Pinterest and your interviewer want to make sure that you understand the Java programming language, and they do so by asking this question. Obviously, in a language packed with unique features, talk about the features that you can speak the most knowledgeably about and tie your direct experience to.

      Written by Ryan Brunner on September 6th, 2021

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  • Experience

    14. Do you have experience working with different CASE tools? If so, what do you have experience with?

      How to Answer

      The world of software engineering has greatly benefited from advancements in computer-aided software engineering tools. Because Pinterest is at the forefront of the industry, your interviewer will be looking to hear which tools you have experience with. Make sure not to concern yourself with providing a correct answer here, but rather focus on your flexibility to learn new aides when needed while explaining what you have experience with.

      Written by Ryan Brunner on September 6th, 2021

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  • Experience

    15. Do you consider yourself stronger in C++, C#, Java, or Python?

      How to Answer

      Before your interview, do some research to understand what tech stack Pinterest uses so you can best prepare and highlight your expertise. If you aren't as strong in one of the skills you feel is necessary, be sure to explain how you've used it and how you are growing your knowledge to become better. Be sure to be honest in your answer, as the company will likely test your strengths.

      Written by Marissa Letendre on September 6th, 2021

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  • Experience

    16. What unique values can you bring to Pinterest in your user experience design skills?

      How to Answer

      While your interviewer has shown confidence in your technical abilities to succeed at Pinterest as a UX designer, this question is helping them gain insight into your ability to see the big picture in the work you do. As you think about the unique personal values that you would bring to the role, try and paint a picture of your work tying to the end-user and how you can help make it more productive, enjoyable, and satisfying for them.

      Written by Ryan Brunner on September 6th, 2021

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  • Experience

    17. What SDLC models are you familiar in working with?

      How to Answer

      As a software engineer, you are very familiar with the software development life cycle. For this question, your interviewer is looking to hear what models you have worked on in the past. While there isn't necessarily a right or wrong answer to this question, try to show your flexibility in working with different SDLC models by bringing up your past experiences. Then, show you know different models like the waterfall model or agile model. It is also a good idea to use this question as an opportunity for you to learn more about Pinterest by asking your interviewer which model they work off of.

      Written by Ryan Brunner on September 6th, 2021

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  • Job Satisfaction

    18. As you reflect back on your career to this point in your search for a new position, what would you say is your ideal work environment or culture?

      How to Answer

      While using this question as a key indicator of how you'll fit with the team and the organization at Pinterest, it will be imperative for you to research as much as you can on the work environment at Pinterest so you can match your priorities to that environment. If you have the opportunity to speak with an employee at Pinterest before your interview, that can shed valuable information. In the end, the culture and values of an organization are often a key indicator of long-term success in a job, so make sure that you reflect your values into what the company values.

      Written by Ryan Brunner on September 6th, 2021

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  • Leadership

    19. If hired for this position at Pinterest, what leadership skills would you bring to our team?

      How to Answer

      While this position at Pinterest may not hold the title of manager, supervisor, or director, the organization firmly believes that employees that demonstrate key leadership qualities are better set for future career success. Aside from that, leadership skills help you work better as part of a larger team and with potential customers. Before your interview, think about one or two leadership qualities you possess and talk in detail about how you've exemplified those qualities in the past.

      Written by Ryan Brunner on September 6th, 2021

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  • Scenario Based

    20. In SQL, how do you explain the differences between clustered and non-clustered indexes? Can you name a time that you used each?

      How to Answer

      Pinterest uses indexes to improve query performances within its software. Your interviewer is looking to hear that you have a basic understanding of both clustered and non-clustered indexes for this question. Explain the differences between the two types of indexes, and be sure you can either speak to relevant times that you've used each or when would be the appropriate application to use each.

      Written by Ryan Brunner on September 6th, 2021

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  • Scenario Based

    21. How would you say that you would help bring sound data governance philosophies to this role at Pinterest?

      How to Answer

      This big picture question will allow your interviewer to get a sense of how you understand that your work will benefit the greater good of Pinterest through following repeatable processes to maintain consistency in your work. When you talk about your experience and methods that you would help bring to the table in this role, maintain a focus on minimizing risk and reducing costs for the organization.

      Written by Ryan Brunner on September 6th, 2021

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  • Scenario Based

    22. A huge part of our business here at Pinterest is designing software for iOS. In this role, how would you steer away from retain cycles when using closures in Swift programming language?

      How to Answer

      This question allows your interviewer to assess your technical knowledge and skills in designing apps for iOS products straightforwardly. To successfully answer it, make sure that you can speak knowledgeably about the swift programming language and using closures to capture and store references within the software. To piece together everything for your interviewer, give a clear understanding of why retain cycles must be avoided in your processing.

      Written by Ryan Brunner on September 6th, 2021

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  • Scenario Based

    23. If you were confronted with a time where you wouldn't be able to meet a deadline here at Pinterest, what steps would you take when you made that realization?

      How to Answer

      The inevitable happens at some point in any person's career, and an important deadline needs to be missed. With your interviewer fully understanding this fact, they are solely interested in how you react to this situation and what you do to make the situation right. In your answer, focus on the refocused planning and communication needed while avoiding blaming others for the situation. Your interviewer holds accountability as a desirable virtue, so be sure to take accountability for actions in your response.

      Written by Ryan Brunner on September 6th, 2021

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  • Scenario Based

    24. If hired here at Pinterest and tasked with helping design a UI for a new mobile app, what important factors would you consider in that design?

      How to Answer

      With consumer mobility being at an all-time high and only increasing year after year, just about every industry has entered the mobile app game, and life at Pinterest is no different. For this question, it is important to understand the different mobile UI designs, and your job for this question will be tying the business needs of Pinterest into an effective mobile app. In your answer, talk about what you know about the business needs of Pinterest and then explain to your interviewer how you would build those into a great mobile app for their future.

      Written by Ryan Brunner on September 6th, 2021

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  • Software Engineer

    25. How do you go about organizing CSS files, and why do you prefer this approach?

      How to Answer

      This is an example of an operational question that has technical aspects to it. Your interviewer is interested in learning more about how you would go about organizing CSS files while in this role with Pinterest. There are no right or wrong answers to this question as long as you can highlight why the method of organization you used worked in your previous roles. As well, it is important that you talk about how you can be flexible in this role with Pinterest if you were to be offered the job.

      Written by Ryan Brunner on September 6th, 2021

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  • Software Engineer

    26. How experienced are you with the Agile software development process?

      How to Answer

      This question asks about your familiarity with a specific process used in software development, specifically the Agile methodology. It is important to know that Pinterest embraces the agile best practices in their methodology, so when asked this type of question, you should first define what Agile means in your work and then explain how it is used in your job. This will demonstrate your knowledge of the Agile methodology and your experience employing it in your work.

      Written by Ryan Brunner on September 6th, 2021

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  • Software Engineer

    27. How would you go about explaining cloud computing to someone that doesn't have a technical background?

      How to Answer

      The purpose of this question is to understand the communication skills you would bring to the Pinterest Software Engineering team. Throughout the interview, the hiring manager will seek to understand some of the soft skills pertaining to this job. These include communication, teamwork, conflict resolution, and others. Every time you answer a question, you are being evaluated for both your experience and skills, as well as your ability to communicate. This question relates directly to this objective. As you answer, this question gives you the opportunity to explain a complicated process to someone with little technical knowledge. Your interviewer will be looking to hear that you can do this effectively.

      Written by Ryan Brunner on September 6th, 2021

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  • Stress

    28. What skills do you use to cope with the day to day stress and pressure on the job?

      How to Answer

      In modern technology industries, consumer demand has led to a high volume of work and high-pressure situations to work on tight deadlines. Your interviewer is looking to hear firsthand how you handle this type of environment in your own words to prove that you can handle high-stress, high-pressure situations on the job. As you answer the question, try to turn potential perceived stress into a positive by highlighting your personal skills that enable you to perform well in those situations. If possible, try to use specific examples in your answer.

      Written by Ryan Brunner on September 6th, 2021

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  • Teamwork

    29. At Pinterest, we rely on a full team effort to deliver top quality products to our customers. Tell me about a time that you worked well as part of a team. Are you comfortable in a similar role here?

      How to Answer

      While this potential role with Pinterest will require you to be an independent worker who can think on your feet, you will also need to work as part of a larger team working toward one common goal. Because of this fact, your interviewer will want to hear that you thrive in an environment where you work with team members from other disciplines than you are trained in. In your example, stress to your interviewer that you have excellent communication skills and that you fully understand that every person on a team plays a vital role in the organization's success.

      Written by Ryan Brunner on September 6th, 2021

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  • Teamwork

    30. If hired for this position here at Pinterest, would you be comfortable handling overall project manager responsibilities for new software development?

      How to Answer

      As a skilled software engineer, you have all of the necessary tools in your bag to be a successful engineer at Pinterest. This question allows your interviewer to get a better sense of your project management skills and people skills if you were to join the team at Pinterest. In your answer, talk about your ability to estimate the time and cost of a project, the staffing needed, and the overall scope of planning for a particular project. If you have direct experience in leading a large development project, be sure to discuss that experience with your interviewer.

      Written by Ryan Brunner on September 6th, 2021

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