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Senior UI Engineer - Devices Interview
The process took 1+ week – interviewed at Netflix in March 2012.
I was contacted by a Netflix recruiter via LinkedIn. After replying back, she called me on the phone a few days later and discussed the position, my background, and setup a tech screen (phone). A manager of one of the device teams contacted me and completed the tech screen, which went well. He advised me at the end of the interview they would be sending a "take home exercise". The exercise arrived a few days later and I had the weekend to complete it. It consisted of mocking up a simple TV UI (keyboard controls) with some typical requirements and urging you to "show off" your abilities as far as making it abstract and extensible.
I completed the exercise and sent it back to them. A few days later I followed up with the recruiter, who said she heard positive feedback from the team, and arranged an in-person interview. I interviewed first with a HR person, and then had a technical interview with two engineers who asked me questions about my implementation, the conversation mostly about architecture and high level abstraction concepts, with some misc technical questions thrown in. After that, I had another technical interview with an additional two engineers. This interview was mostly whiteboard exercises. I did ok, arriving at a solution for all the questions with some coaching from the interviewers. I could tell they were looking for a specific implementation for some of the questions, so solving the problem wasn't enough. I wish I would have checked here first, because I was also asked the contains function and I got the sense they didn't like my recursive solution (which wasn't as efficient, but solved the problem and not bad for little whiteboarding exercise under pressure).
A few days later I followed up with the recruiter, who informed me I was not a "perfect match". Oh wells. I got the sense that they are truly looking for a perfect candidate - or rather someone who interviewed especially well that day and probably needed the entire team consensus before they would hire someone. They seemed to not be in "hiring mode" and could wait a long time, probably interviewing many candidates. The recruiter said she heard positive things, but wouldn't go into detail on areas of improvement. She encouraged me that I'd be considered in the future.
Overall the experience was positive, albeit lengthy and requires you to invest time in the take home exercise and still perform well on the (stressful) whiteboarding exercises - not technically too difficult but still stressful - you get the idea. Practice whiteboarding before you go in! The office was nice and the interviewers were professional.