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Guide to Working at Pinterest

Working at Pinterest

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If you’ve ever sought inspiration for a recipe, big event, or project, you’ve probably stumbled upon Pinterest, a global visual discovery engine designed to spark inspiration. But have you ever considered working at Pinterest? If you’re interested in a vibrant career in social media, this guide covers what you need to know about Pinterest careers, student opportunities, benefits, and more.

What Is Pinterest?

In 2010, Ben Silbermann, Evan Sharp, and Paul Sciarra founded and launched Pinterest to spark creativity and inspire its users to create their dream lives. As a social network site where people can discover different hobbies and interests, Pinterest hopes to help customers create a life they love by combining discovery, emotion, and action to show what’s possible.

By 2011, Pinterest had 11 million visits per week. Today, over 440 million users visit the website each month, and about half of these “Pinners” come from outside the U.S. More than 300 billion ideas have been shared on Pinterest since its inception. 

Although headquartered in San Francisco, Pinterest is expanding its global workforce with over 2,200 employees and 27 office locations worldwide. Bill Ready, a former Google executive, became CEO in June 2022. 

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Student and New Grad Opportunities at Pinterest 

Pinterest offers students and new graduates various opportunities to begin their career exploration, starting with a remote program students can embark on part-time.

The Engage Scholars Program is an unpaid virtual professional training opportunity for undergraduate students in the technical field. Open to first and second-year students, the program takes place in June and July during weekly (1-2 per week) virtual sessions. Students attend workshops to improve their technical and interpersonal skills via mock interviews, recruiting deep dives, and skill set development. In addition, participants get partnered with an engineering mentor.

Pinterest also has several longer-term internships and programs for students and graduates.

Engineering Internship Program

This 12-week summer internship enables “Pinterns” to work on high-exposure projects alongside engineering employees. Applicants should be working on a computer science or related degree with 2-3 years of computer science classes completed. An aptitude for programming languages and non-academic coding experience is required — along with communication and problem-solving skills. This internship is available in Palo Alto, San Francisco, Seattle, and Toronto. Applications open in the fall.

>>MORE: Need coding experience? Check out the best online coding bootcamps.

Sales Internship Program

Available in San Francisco, Chicago, and New York City, this 12-week summer internship has Pinterns working on various sales and advertising initiatives. Applicants should be pursuing an undergraduate degree in business, marketing, analytics, math, or a related field. Requirements include PowerPoint or Google Slides experience and analytical, presentation, and collaboration skills.

>>MORE: Learn about careers in sales with Forage’s free sales virtual experience programs.

Machine Learning Internship

Also 12 weeks during the summer, machine learning internships are based in Palo Alto or San Francisco, with interns working on machine learning and artificial intelligence projects. Applicants should be pursuing a master’s degree in computer science, information sciences, statistics, ML, or a related field and have machine learning and big data technology experience and mastery of one systems language or ML framework. Applications open in the fall.

Data Science Program

Open to both current graduate students and university graduates, this San Francisco-based program allows master’s or Ph.D. students and soon-to-be graduates the opportunity to apply statistical techniques, data mining skills, and quantitative analysis to draw insights from data. An in-process or graduate degree in a related field, experience with one scripting language, and proficiency in SQL/Hive are required.

>>MORE: What Is a Data Scientist and What Do They Do?

Pinterest Labs Research

Only open to Ph.D. students in ML, computer science, NLP, information sciences, statistics, or related fields, research interns work on machine learning and artificial intelligence over a 12-week summer internship in San Francisco, Palo Alto, Seattle, or Toronto. Mastery of a systems language or ML framework and analytical skills are required, and applications open in the fall.

Engineering University Grad Program

Students with a bachelor’s or higher degree in computer science or related fields (preferably with prior software engineering internship experience) can apply to join the university grad program to collaborate with engineers, write code, and build new features.

University Grad Machine Learning Program

With options for graduates with master’s degrees and Ph.D.s, this program helps graduates kick off their careers in AI and machine learning at Pinterest. Requirements and specific tasks vary based on the degree level and applications open in the fall.

Apprenticeship and Development Programs

Pinterest also offers several apprenticeship and development programs for candidates from non-traditional tech backgrounds and those who face barriers to entry into tech. Apprentices have opportunities to work on high-impact projects while collaborating with a mentor. Apprenticeships last up to a year, with the opportunity to transition into a full-time role. 

Pinterest apprenticeships are available in product management, engineering, product design, and UX research. 

Pinterest Jobs and Salaries

Pinterest’s mission to help its users create a life they love expands to its “Pinployees.” The company offers many career paths, including finance, marketing, human resources, design, sales, public relations, and more. 

Depending on your Pinterest team and your work experience, your compensation and team logistics may vary. But, the company does list base salary ranges at the bottom of U.S. job postings, which can give you an idea of your earning potential. Final salaries are based on location, experience, skills, and travel requirements.

Pinterest Engineering Team 

Pinterest’s engineering team is one of the largest in the company. According to Glassdoor, these are the estimated average salaries for early-career positions (0-1 years of experience) on the team: 

  • Software engineer: $191,100
  • Senior software engineer: $222,100
  • Full stack developer: $155,600
  • Engineering manager: $235,500
  • Site reliability engineer: $185,200

>>MORE: Guide to the Software Engineer Career Path

Pinterest Sales Team 

If you’re good at managing vendor relationships and analyzing data to hit new revenue targets, Pinterest’s sales team could be the right fit for you. 

Below are the average salaries for people with 0-1 years of experience for various positions on Pinterest’s sales team:

  • Account manager: $116,800
  • Senior account manager: $182,200
  • Sales manager: $163,300
  • Product specialist: $111,300
  • Account executive: $171,100

Pinterest Benefits 

Pinterest offers traditional benefits such as vacation and holiday time, retirement plans, and comprehensive health and mental health plans. 

Beyond these, Pinterest employees also have access to some unique perks: 

  • PinFlex: PinFlex is a flexible work model, and employees can work remotely from anywhere in the country. Although there is some required in-person work, Pinterest pays for travel for employees who live outside a commutable distance to an office location. The company’s additional work-from-anywhere benefit also allows employees to work for up to three months a year from another country. To support PinFlex, Pinterest offers enhanced Wi-Fi, mobile and commuter subsidies, and reimbursement funds for home offices. 
  • Parental leave: Birthing parents in the U.S. receive 26 weeks of parental leave; global parental leave is at least 20 weeks. Adoptive parents get 20 weeks of paid leave and up to $10,000 in adoption assistance. After leave ends, both birthing and adoptive parents can return to work gradually for the first four weeks, working at least one full day per week for full pay. 
  • Family building: Pinterest supports its employees in starting their families with IVF and egg-freezing benefits and four weeks of paid leave for pregnancy loss.

Other benefits for Pinterest employees are meals and snacks in the office, fitness offerings, year-end paid holiday company closure, and personal and professional development resources. 

How do employees view these benefits? According to Glassdoor, Pinterest employees rate benefits 4.4 out of 5 stars. One of the most commented-about benefits is the company’s paid parental leave, including long-term maternity and paternity leave and the slow return to work. 

On Comparably, employees rate the benefits 81 out of 100, or an A-. Seventy-nine percent of employees are satisfied with their benefits, and 24% rate their office perks as “fantastic.”

Pinterest Culture 

Pinterest builds its company culture on five core values

  • Put Pinners first: Pinterest is committed to making products that work and solving problems for Pinners to improve their lives.
  • Aim for extraordinary: Pinployees push themselves and each other to build extraordinary products.
  • Create belonging: Everyone is responsible for creating a culture of belonging by encouraging honest debate and divergent thinking.
  • Act as one: The company is committed to eliminating silos by working together to help everyone succeed and ensuring wins belong to the entire team.
  • Win or learn: Evolving includes taking smart risks and learning something when things don’t work.

What’s more, the company has removed degree requirements from 90% of job postings to attract qualified candidates from a variety of educational backgrounds.

>>MORE: New Collar Jobs: Why Companies Are Prioritizing Skills Over School

Diversity and Inclusion

Diversity and inclusion are essential aspects of Pinterest’s culture. As of 2021, the company was well on its way toward its 2025 goals of 36% women in leadership (at 33% in 2021) and 20% underrepresented races and ethnicities (at 16% in 2021). Pinclusion groups and communities — such as PinAble and Todos Pincluidos — empower the workforce and provide opportunities for meaningful connections.

Other diversity and inclusion initiatives include:

  • Bloom 2021: Bloom 2021 was Pinterest’s first internal conference. The conference brings together Black employees to attend and participate in panels to gain professional development skills and inspiration. 
  • Women’s Conference: Pinterest holds annual women’s conferences. These conferences started in 2018 as a local office event and have expanded to include employees, external partners, job candidates, and advisors. 

According to Comparably, the overall culture rating at Pinterest is 3.8 out of 5 stars (a B). Employees rate perks and benefits, team, and happiness among the top cultural metrics, while office culture, gender, and professional development scores are among the lowest.

Typically, employees receive valuable feedback on their work every week and experience a comfortably fast work pace. When discussing the work environment, 88% of Pinterest employees look forward to interacting with their coworkers daily, while 75% call their work environment positive. Sixty percent are happy with their work-life balance.

Pinterest vs. Other Top Companies

Do you want a career with a social networking company but aren’t sure if working at Pinterest is the right fit for you? Other companies in the social media space are Twitter, Meta, and Snap. According to Glassdoor and Comparably, here’s how working at Pinterest compares to working at other top companies: 

Comparably CultureGlassdoor OverallCulture & ValuesDiversity & InclusionWork-Life BalanceCompensation & BenefitsRecommend to a Friend
Pinterest3.8 / 54.0 / 54.1 / 54.0 / 54.1 / 54.1 / 577%
Twitter4.0 / 53.4 / 53.5 / 53.6 / 53.5 / 53.6 / 542%
Meta4.6 / 54.0 / 53.9 / 54.2 / 53.6 / 54.6 / 576%
Snap4.7 / 53.8 / 54.1 / 54.1 / 53.8 / 54.4 / 571%

How Does the Pinterest Interview Process Work?

The first step to landing a job at Pinterest is getting an interview. Glassdoor reports the most common path to securing a Pinterest interview is applying online (61%), followed by employee referrals (19%) and working with recruiters (13%). Interviewees report an average (3 out of 5) interview difficulty, and 49% had a positive interview experience, while 33% had a negative experience. The hiring process takes around 23 days, according to Glassdoor reviews.

Pinterest doesn’t provide specific interview information for early career roles, but if you’re preparing to interview for an engineering position, the Pinterest engineering blog offers detailed advice on the technical interview process.

Recruiter Call

Your initial call will be with a Pinterest recruiter to get details about the role and interview process. This is also a chance for you to ask questions.

Phone Screen

This 45-60 minute phone interview is with a Pinterest engineer to assess your interests, programming skills, and specialized domain knowledge. The format is as follows:

  • Five minutes of introductions
  • One to two coding questions around data structures and algorithms using a collaborative coding tool (like CoderPad)
  • Five minutes for you to ask questions during the interview

Onsite Interview

This process usually includes five interviews spread across data structures/algorithms, architecture/systems design, domain specific, and lunch interview/hiring manager/values. Fortunately, Pinterest provides plenty of guidance to help you have a successful interview.

Overall, the engineering team is looking for candidates with strong problem-solving skills and a growth mindset.

>>MORE: 5 Technical Interview Questions for All Careers


  • Pinterest is a social networking platform designed to “give everyone the inspiration to create a life that they love.”
  • The company offers a wide variety of internships, programs, and apprenticeships for students and recent graduates.
  • Pinterest has many unique benefits and perks, including PinFlex, meals and snacks in the office, fertility support, and extended parental leave. 
  • Pinterest aims to create a culture of belonging with several diversity and inclusion initiatives.
  • On average, Pinterest’s interviews are rated as average difficulty, with 49% of interviewees reporting a positive experience.

Learn more about working at other top U.S. companies with Forage’s company guides

Image credit: MichaelVi / Depositphotos.com

Erica started as a Content Writer Intern with Forage in January 2021; previously, she interned with The Borgen Project and wrote for HerCampus.