Netflix Data Scientist Interview Questions & Reviews
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Data Scientist Interview (Positive Experience; Average Interview)
I applied through an employee referral and the process took 1+ week - interviewed at Netflix.
Interview Details – They move quite fast. One phone interview with the recruiter, and another detailed one with the hiring manager. Two onsite interviews with around 4 people first time (data scientists/engineers) and 3 people (higher level execs) second time. A mix of product, business, analytical and stats questions. Stats questions mostly revolved around A/B testing: hypothesis testing, etc. A couple easy-medium SQL questions. Analytical question included a hypothetical problem to analyze, metrics to evaluate product performance, etc. Higher level executives mostly focused on background and past experience.
Interview Question – Toughest question was not technically tough, but helping a non-technical exec understand some technical concepts. Answer Question
Data Scientist Interview (Negative Experience; Difficult Interview)
I applied through a recruiter and the process took 2 weeks - interviewed at Netflix in August 2012.
Interview Details – Contacted by HR recruiter through LinkedIn, they came back only after a month for phone screening. This was followed by phone screening by hiring mgr, it was very quick <15 mins, I was told that I will get in-person interview soon.
In-person scheduling happened very quickly too. I interviewed 4 ppl, 45 mins each. HR person was very nice, approachable and easy to converse with. The following 2 ppl from peer teams also were quite nice; I was asked SQL questions and analysis approach which I expected to be asked.
The last 45 mins was with hiring mgr who seemed a bit uptight. He/she asked a very in-depth SQL question to solve a problem he/she had recently worked on. It was interesting to me that he/she would ask something which definitely didn't fit into the 45 min window that we had. He/she herself vaguely acknowledged it was a hard question. After 10 mins of try, it was followed by another in-depth SQL question.
It looked like they needed super analyst who could crack all kinds of in-depth data problems in span of minutes. I couldn't imagine working with somebody who had unrealistic expectations like this. I was happy when I got a call from there HR that they didn't pursue it. HR team though is super nice and persuasive and do a good job in profile matching. Just that Netflix's expectations are way out there and a geeky few will fit into that category.
Interview Question – In-depth SQL questions, that can't be solved in the given time frame with lack of tools. Answer Question
Data Scientist Interview (Negative Experience)
I applied online and the process took 2 weeks - interviewed at Netflix in July 2012.
Interview Details – HR phone screen, then an interview with a hiring manager
Interview Question – How do you know if one algorithm is better than other? View Answer
Data Scientist Interview (Neutral Experience; Easy Interview)
I applied through a recruiter and the process took 3 days - interviewed at Netflix in December 2011.
Interview Details – I really thought the interview went well. Or so I thought. The director was impressed so was the manager and recruiter. Netflix is expanding into other markets and they like the experiences I have.
The position is with the analytics dept, which is more horizontal than vertical. Would have loved to work in a dept like that.
I have a lot of experiences with rec eng/sys and I seriously thought that I had a chance. Come to think of it, I feel that they are prying for what I do in my current company, ie methods, algorithms etc.
Ideas are dime and a dozen. Good thing is I have more in the bag.
Interviews for Top Jobs at Netflix