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Tumblr Interview Questions

Updated Aug 11, 2014
Updated Aug 11, 2014
15 Interview Reviews

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Candidate Interview Reviews

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  1.  

    Mobile Software Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in New York, NY
    Anonymous Interview Candidate in New York, NY
    Application Details

    I applied through an employee referral. The process took 1+ weekinterviewed at Tumblr.

    Interview Details

    I was referred by an employee there who knew me from internet collaboration. My first call was with their recruiter. It was fine, she asked why I was interested in Tumblr. The only weird thing is she wanted to know my current salary and other compensation. Sorry, but we haven't even had our first date yet!

    We arranged a phone screen with one of their engineers. They used a kind of horrible online code collaboration tool to have me implement a pretty basic algorithm. The engineer was friendly and helpful during the process, and seemed to understand it wasn't the best environment (no syntax highlighting or code completion of course). I did pretty well on it and they sent me a "homework" code test to implement.

    It was only supposed to take two hours, but that is a joke. The things they wanted it to include were a network implementation to download from a feed, displaying the feed and detailed information from it, implementing a paging, updating scroll of the items in the feed, data persistence to the device so that the information would be later retrievable without network, and of course, it should have a nice design and polish. I spent more like 12 hours on it and I was proud of the end result. I guess they were OK with it too, because then they arranged for interviews at their NYC office.

    The first "interview" was a disinterested-seeming, rather unfriendly engineer from the team who hadn't looked at my resume, nor at my homework project (!!!) but wanted me to implement one of two projects within the 45 minutes allotted (he was also late, so it was actually 35 minutes). The choice was to write a Flappy Birds clone, or to write an app that would verify Sudoku input (in the style of those high school programming contests where you take input, process it, and output it). I don't care for either test, actually. What can they learn from me when I am nervous and know I only have 35 minutes to try to show what I can do? This was the worst part of the day.

    I chose the Flappy Birds, and felt OK about what I accomplished in the *35 minutes* (ridiculous) while he looked at code or email or something. He was a pretty swift dude because he looked up from whatever he was doing to throw some tips my way and that was actually cool, but the who thing was very unpleasant.

    The next interview was with the member of the team who phone screened me, and we talked about my homework code test and how it could be modified to do different things, or deal with certain other changes in the design, etc. It went well I thought.

    The next interview was with their head of mobile design. He was awesome and I really liked him. I have no idea what he thought of me. We talked about design issues and what it's like to work with designers (I like working with designers).

    The next interview (yep they keep coming) was a couple of managers. They had been at the company for a long time and had no questions for me, but rather, took my questions. I probably rattled on a bit by now because I was quite fatigued and at the same time I was feeling very good about the place and my performance, but I felt good about that interview.

    Finally, another member of the engineering team gave me a whiteboard (no code) interview where we talked about how I would think an API ought to work to communicate certain information to and from a mobile app. He was friendly and wanted to see what I knew without appearing to want to "trap" me with trick questions. It seemed fine.

    So after that 4-5 hour series, I was thanked and left their office.

    Here is where the real horrible part comes in. A day went by. Then two. Three. Four. Nothing. I asked the person who referred me what was up. He said that they probably weren't going to go with me because a couple of the people gave me Thumbs Down. But still, no official communication from the company or recruiter.

    Five days, six, seven, eight, nine!

    So finally I figured I had nothing to lose, so I sent an email to the recruiter saying how much I enjoyed interviewing with them (that was not a lie) a week and a half ago, and I was looking forward to starting. When is my first day?

    Finally a response. A canned email saying they weren't interested. No "sorry we forgot to call you", no nothing.

    I had spent all that time on the homework assignment, taken a vacation day from work, spent 4-5 rather grueling hours getting interviewed by 8 people and they don't even have the courtesy to let me know their answer? It's rather disgusting and I would not recommend applying there.

    Interview Questions
    No Offer
    Negative Experience
    Difficult Interview
  2.  

    Systems and Performance Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in New York, NY
    Anonymous Interview Candidate in New York, NY
    Application Details

    I applied online – interviewed at Tumblr.

    Interview Details

    submitted resume online and asked to talk to recruiter on in a few days
    the call is not pleasant. the recruiter from Barnard sounds cocky and indifferent. questions are why tumblr, why leave the current firm, technical background, previous project, salary expectation. The process is like interrogating.

    Interview Questions
    No Offer
    Neutral Experience
    Average Interview
  3. 1 person found this helpful  

    Front End Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in New York, NY
    Anonymous Interview Candidate in New York, NY
    Application Details

    I applied through a recruiter. The process took 1+ weekinterviewed at Tumblr in April 2014.

    Interview Details

    I got asked by my recruiter if I was free the following day for a 45 minute call with a Tumblr employee, and I said yes. I first spoke with a member of the team on which I'd eventually be placed to discuss my resume. I was told to expect a technical interview, but ended up discussing my then-current job, what was involved, why I wanted to leave, etc. We also discussed code I had placed on my github account, so be prepared to do that as well. There were no programming tests or technical questions asked at this phase. The phone call lasted for 45 minutes.

    The next day I was asked if I was free for another quick call with someone in their HR department. The call lasted for 15-30 minutes and consisted of three basic questions:

    1. Why do you want to work for tumblr?
    2. What do you do now and why do you want to leave?
    3. What are you looking for in terms of salary, stock options, etc.

    The call went well enough for them to set up an on site with me then and there, which I graciously accepted for a few days later. The on-site was three hours and consisted of four, fourty-five minute interviews. The first was a standard code review.

    The second was a series of questions about how I'd model the data for a simple game. I wrote my answers on a whiteboard and explained my pseudocode as I went. As the criteria for the game got more complex, I had to modify what was there and explain how the code needed to evolve and change to fit the new criteria.

    The third interview was a few coding exercises: one in CSS dealing with the box model and one in JS which required more critical thinking than JavaScript knowledge.

    The last was with a few managers who started out asking "culture fit" and general resume questions before getting into a code question. When all was said and done, I was given a tour of the office and a tee shirt and told I'd know in a few days.

    Interview Questions
    • The Hamming Weight of a string is the number of symbols that are different from the zero-symbol of the alphabet used (From Wikipedia). Write a function that, given a number in decimal (87 or 255) will return the Hamming Weight of that number (for instance, the decimal 4 is 100 in Bimary, so the Hamming Weight is 1 since there is one '1' in '100').   View Answer
    Negotiation Details
    I felt the compensation and offer were competitive - generous and did not feel the need to negotiate
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview
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  5.  

    Sales Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Interview Details

    Very informative, fast and easy!

    Interview Questions
    Accepted Offer
  6.  

    Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in New York, NY
    Anonymous Interview Candidate in New York, NY
    Application Details

    I applied online. The process took 2 weeksinterviewed at Tumblr in March 2014.

    Interview Details

    I received initial communication back from Tumblr on the second business day after submitting my application online, wherein we setup a time for an initial phone screening two days later. The initial phone screen went very well. The recruiter was very pleasant to speak with and the conversation flowed quickly. The phone screening took about 15 minutes and covered the basics including, desired salary, work experience, why tumblr, and when I'd be ready to start.

    I shortly received another email from tumblr asking to setup a technical phone interview and the following week I spent about an hour on the phone with one of the engineers. The engineer was surprisingly very patient and even encouraging when I got stuck on one of the questions. We did basic coding challenge (brush up on basic algorithms) and it went very well. We talked a bit about some of the challenges I'd dealt with in past work experience and the questions went from mild to moderately difficult. Regardless, there were no tricks and the interviewer did a very thorough job.

    I received an email from tumblr that same day, just a few hours after my technical phone screen, inviting me out to Tumblr HQ in NYC to do a round of in-person interviews. Since I wasn't located in NY they offered to pay for my flight and arrange for transportation. I flew out to New York city the following week and did about 4 rounds of interviews that lasted roughly 3 hours. I met with 7 different engineers/managers during that time. We did everything from code reviews to coding challenges, and architectural/design challenges. It was a pretty grueling 3 hours, to be honest, so be sure to do your prep.

    Everyone I met with was extremely nice and inviting. The conversations were pretty casual and encouraging. I was offered cool Tumblr swag, free food and drinks. So overall my impression of Tumblr was pretty good.

    A few days after my final round of interviews I got a phone call with a generous offer that included stock options and a signing bonus. I was very happy with the offer and accepted right there. I received a start date two weeks from signing my offer letter and relocated to NYC.

    Interview Questions
    • If you have 50TB of access log files on a shared network storage device. You also have 50 servers with basic 500GB disks, 16 GB RAM, dual/quad core CPUs. What's the best way to use these servers to sort all 50TB of access logs by timestamp (assuming you have unlimited storage capacity on the shared network storage device).   View Answer
    Negotiation Details
    The salaries are pretty competitive, but if you have other offers on the table be sure to make that know as it is a valuable negotiating chip. My offer was contingent on responding within a set time frame, but I was already very happy with the offer and didn't feel that I needed to renegotiate anything as they gave me exactly what I asked for. I think they're pretty firm on the stocks as they're restricted, but you may be able to renegotiate your signing bonus if you can justify any placed burden such as relocation, etc...
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview
  7.  

    Director of Site Reliability Engineering Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Application Details

    I applied online. The process took a weekinterviewed at Tumblr in March 2014.

    Interview Details

    HR phone screen.
    Tech phone screen

    Interview Questions
    • code in the language of your choice:

      A site has 4,320,000 users. The users are sequentially numbered -- each user has a user_id between 1 and 4320000.

      You want to slowly roll out a new feature to all users, at a consistent rate of X users per second. The roll-out should start at noon today, beginning with the newest user (id 4320000). The rollout should last two days, so user_id 1 gets the feature around noon two days from now.

      $Write a function to determine whether the feature is currently enabled for a given user_id:

      can_use_new_feature(int user_id) -> bool.
       
      Answer Question
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview
  8.  

    BI Analyst Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Application Details

    I applied online. The process took 2 weeksinterviewed at Tumblr in March 2014.

    Interview Details

    Applied on their website. Contacted by the recruiter right away. Talked to her first on the phone. Mainly about my background and why I am interested in Tumblr. After a couple day, she set up a phone interview for me to talk to one of the team member. I had to do some online coding during the interview. Not too hard, but I made some stupid mistake. Guess it ruined the whole game.

    The whole experience is pretty smooth and fast. I hadn't heard back from them more 2 weeks after the phone interview so I shot an email and was told they were not going to continue.

    Interview Questions
    No Offer
    Neutral Experience
    Average Interview
  9.  

    Dev Ops Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in New York, NY
    Anonymous Interview Candidate in New York, NY
    Application Details

    I applied through a recruiter. The process took 3 weeksinterviewed at Tumblr.

    Interview Details

    What a mess. I went through two rounds of interviews. The first interviewer missed the first interview because he was sick, missed the second one because he was called away to another office and then was late for the 3rd call. The second interviewee had to interview me immediately very late in the day, and then was a no-show. He then called me direct an hour and a half after the call was scheduled and asked me two nonsensical questions. Not once during any of these interviews did they tell me in advance that the plans are changed, and they never followed up with me to tell me that i wasn't going to go further in the process. This was literally the worst conducted interview i have ever been on in my life. They spent more time talking about their own roles than they did probing my technical background.

    Interview Questions
    • I didn't have time to read your resume so tell me something about your background that i wouldn't get from this piece of paper.   View Answer
    No Offer
    Negative Experience
    Average Interview
  10.  

    Software Engineer Intern Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Application Details

    I applied online. The process took a weekinterviewed at Tumblr.

    Interview Details

    An initial phone interview

    Interview Questions
    • If you were to implement an online, global marketplace, what technology stack would you use?   Answer Question
    No Offer
  11.  

    Dev Ops Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in New York, NY
    Anonymous Interview Candidate in New York, NY
    Application Details

    I applied through a recruiter. The process took 2+ monthsinterviewed at Tumblr.

    Interview Details

    Worst interview I've ever dealt with. I canceled after two interviews which took 5 weeks to setup. The first interviewer missed the first call because he was sick (an never bothered to reach out to the recruiter) and then was 45 minutes late for the second. He then just talked all about how amazing the company was and asked me one question. The second interviewer was an hour late. Opened with ..i read your resume so tell me something else about you that i wouldn't know .. and then asked me two questions that were basically comsci with no relation to the job.

    Interview Questions
    Reasons for Declining

    Wouldnt work at this mess of a company if they doubled my salary.

    Declined Offer
    Negative Experience
    Average Interview

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