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Yahoo Senior Software Engineer Interview Questions & Reviews

Updated Jul 9, 2014
All Interviews Received Offers

Getting an Interview  

36%
33%
20%

Interview Experience  

48%
28%
24%

Interview Difficulty  

Average Difficulty
26 candidate interviews Back to all interview questions
Relevance Date Difficulty
in

Accepted Offer

Neutral Experience

Easy Interview

Senior Software Engineer Interview

Senior Software Engineer
Sunnyvale, CA

I applied online and the process took 4 weeks - interviewed at Yahoo in January 2010.

Interview Details – First time through was quite a cursory interview. I had come from Microsoft, where I interviewed in the late nineties. During that time, Microsoft interviews were infamous for difficulty (now they would be akin to Google interviews). My Yahoo interview, by contrast, was cushy. When I came back to Yahoo a second time, I didn't even formally interview. We just set up the HR appointment and went through the motions. That explains how Yahoo has bloated in the way that it has.

Interview Question – Design a crossword puzzle generation algorithm   View Answer

Negotiation Details – Short and amicable


Declined Offer

Positive Experience

Difficult Interview

Senior Software Engineer Interview

Senior Software Engineer
Sunnyvale, CA

I applied through an employee referral and the process took 2 weeks - interviewed at Yahoo in April 2014.

Interview Details – I was referred to Yahoo! by a friend after which the hiring manager reached out to me with regards to an opening in a team which sounded really interesting. Instead of the usual telephone chat, I decided to walk into Yahoo HQ. We had an hour long conversation/interview where we primarily spoke about issues one would face writing software on linux platforms - OOM killer, cgroups, /proc. I felt this to be one of the best conversations.

After this, I was called onsite. For Yahoo!, this moved pretty quick. The hiring manager made a very sincere effort to hasten the onsite process. I met 3 people for my onsite.

++ Onsite 1 ++
In a client/server scenario, serialize/de-serialize a balanced binary tree which is to be sent from the client to the server.
Linux system programming fundamentals including /proc filesystem, OOM killer

++ Onsite 2 ++
Linux system fundamentals - more /proc filesystem based questions
Structure of a binary (assuming ELF) on Linux.
Programmatically print the offset of a member inside a variable of struct type.
Virtual Memory fundamentals

++ Onsite 3 ++
Given a binary min heap, insert a new member.

Interview Question – Given a binary min heap, insert a new member.   Answer Question

Reason for Declining – It wasn't a written offer. Yahoo! moves very slowly to send out a written offer after an onsite interview. This has come about after the introduction of a Googlesque hiring committee. For the hiring manager to get back to me after running the decision through the hiring committee would have taken anywhere between 2-4 weeks. I already had 2 other offers and had to make a choice. If it wasn't for this delay, I would have most certainly accepted Yahoo's offer.


No Offer

Negative Experience

Very Easy Interview

Senior Software Engineer Interview

Senior Software Engineer
Sunnyvale, CA

I applied online and the process took 1 week - interviewed at Yahoo in April 2014.

Interview Details – I applied online and was contacted via email to arrange a phone interview a few days later. The interview consistent for frequent communication problems, but not because of the phone. In fact, the interviewer spoke poor English and was very difficult to understand. When I mentioned I was having trouble understand him, he would just repeat himself, which usually ended up being very broken English or total gibberish. After attempting to field a single technical question, I decided this was not a manager I could communicate with and ended the interview. Also note, I was only informed of the need for a computer after the interview had started -- we never got to the coding as I ended the interview early.

Interview Question – The most difficult part was understanding what the interviewer was saying.   Answer Question


2 people found this helpful

No Offer

Positive Experience

Difficult Interview

Senior Software Engineer Interview

Senior Software Engineer
Carlsbad, CA

I applied through a recruiter and the process took 2 weeks - interviewed at Yahoo in May 2013.

Interview Details – There are two phone interviews before the onsite interviews. I made to the second phone interview. The goal of the first interview seemed to mainly be about getting a good feel for the candidate. The interviewer asked me about past projects I had worked on and any problems that I had to overcome. The second phone interview was a technical test. He asked me technical questions, many of which I had found online from past candidates. The twist was how well you knew the subject, and not necessarily whether or not you got the correct answer. This interviewer's tactic was to continuously ask me "how can you make that solution better" after each question. He told me I got most answers correct, yet I stumbled each time he asked me to find a better solution. The stumbling, I feel, kept me from the onsite interviews.

Interview Question – How can you tell if a linked list is circular (goes on forever because it connects to a previous node)?   View Answer


No Offer

Neutral Experience

Average Interview

Senior Software Engineer Interview

Senior Software Engineer
Sunnyvale, CA

I applied through a recruiter and the process took 4 days - interviewed at Yahoo in July 2013.

Interview Details – I was asked about circular linked list, quick and merge sort algorithms. Also couple of questions on Hashing and then moved to Sets and Maps. Overall it was easy. Waiting for the interview results.

Interview Question – No questions were unexpected. Most of them on expected lines on algorithms.   Answer Question


1 person found this helpful

No Offer

Neutral Experience

Senior Software Engineer Interview

Senior Software Engineer

Interviewed at Yahoo

Interview Details – I was contacted by a recruiter.
everything was done professionally.
i was challenged by some very smart people.

Interview Question – how to add all the numbers from 1 to N   View Answers (3)


1 person found this helpful

Declined Offer

Positive Experience

Average Interview

Senior Software Engineer Interview

Senior Software Engineer
Sunnyvale, CA

I applied through an employee referral and the process took 2 weeks - interviewed at Yahoo in June 2010.

Interview Details – Interviewed for backend position.
Phone screening was mostly revolved around servers scalability issues and connection stacking.
Personal interview is mainly based on my previous projects and technologies.
Whole experience was smooth

Interview Question – How to deal with the scenario of connection stacking and number of open connections in a mail server?   Answer Question


1 person found this helpful

Accepted Offer

Neutral Experience

Average Interview

Senior Software Engineer Interview

Senior Software Engineer
Sunnyvale, CA

The process took 2 weeks - interviewed at Yahoo in May 2010.

Interview Details – Very important: I had 2 interviews for 2 separate positions. In one I was interviewed by random people, and the other I was interviewed by my future team members. Guess which one game offer? The one where team members did interview.
Phone interview consisted mostly of Java core questions and may be be some threading. Was interviewed by my future manager.
On site, got interviewed by many people:
1) Javascript - language knowledge, and I think solve a problem
2) Java - language knowledge, and I think solve a problem
3) Threading, general how would you design a system.

No Google/Microsoft type questions.

When I was already working at Yahoo my team members when did interviews asked to solve real life problems which we had in our product and then saw if that matched our solutions.

Good to know things: design patterns, threading, when you choose your language then tricky things in your language: example: PhP (magic methods), Javascript (closures, vardiac functions), Java (inner classes)

Interview Questions

  • Function in Javascript with variable number of arguments, what are closures?   Answer Question
  • How would you deal with multiple threads coming from UI into your middle tear layer of Model-View-Controller architecture   Answer Question


No Offer

Neutral Experience

Average Interview

Senior Software Engineer Interview

Senior Software Engineer
Sunnyvale, CA

The process took 2+ weeks - interviewed at Yahoo in August 2011.

Interview Details – I was contacted by a hiring manager to go over my background and some screening questions such as race conditions, deadlocks, some C++ questions etc. He told me he'd like to schedule an on site interview - which was setup by their HR folks.

The onsite interview was a underwhelming. The guys supposed to interview me were not on time. One interview related to software design (patterns etc.) went really well. Second interview was more focused on C++ internals and other coding which went well. Interview related to data structures and algorithms was my weakest. I also met a director of engineering and had lunch with him. That also went fine.

Overall I thought their screening process could have been better. They were looking for some one well versed in web technologies and with expertise in algorithms whereas my past experience is in firmware, middle-ware and UI for handsets. I thought it was wastage of time for both parties and I had to burn a day of vacation.

They were right to not make me an offer. It was a bad match for both parties. I wish I had probed more to ensure that it was going to be something I would like to do and would match my skills.

Interview Questions


Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Average Interview

Senior Software Engineer Interview

Senior Software Engineer
Santa Clara, CA

I applied through a staffing agency and the process took 2 days - interviewed at Yahoo in December 2010.

Interview Details – Phone interview was more about specifics of Java/J2EE technology.

1. What's the diff between interface and abstract class
2. Implement Fibonacci series. Can you implement the same using recursion? Which one is more efficient? why ?
3. What are the steps involved in creating a complete workflow of a module in Spring and Hibernate
4. What is dependency injection? Why is it good?
5. Explain many-to-many mapping concept using Hibernate
6. Write the query to find duplicates

1:1 interview had 3 rounds
1. You have a Employee class and Dept class. Give a complete design and implementation to get all Employees grouped by Departments
- Many-to Many mapping again with spring injections, they also checked why would you use certain data structures

2. Second round was based on the Producer Consumer problem and involved many threading concepts

3. Third round was based on design and performance oriented thinking. Let's say you had a 10Gigs of a text file and you were to collect a certain pattern of string and store it in DB. What was the most efficient way of doing it ?

The advice is:
Be good in Collections, Threads and Performance related questions

Work culture is good but very hectic. Agile, scrum methodologies are followed and there are pretty stringent deadlines. People are co-operative but one must have a lot of energy to find your way through gigantic code base and slightly complicated procedure to build and test the code. Good luck.

Interview Questions

  • Why constructors dont return any value. What problem did Java face in returning a value from Constructors ?   View Answer
  • Give an implementation of Moon in the solar system   Answer Question

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