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YouTube Interview Questions & Reviews

Updated Mar 26, 2014
All Interviews Received Offers

Getting the Interview 

37%
25%
18%

Interview Experience 

60%
32%
8%

Interview Difficulty 

30 candidate interviews
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1 person found this helpful

No Offer

Positive Experience

Very Difficult Interview

Front End Engineer Interview

Anonymous Interview Candidate
San Bruno, CA

I applied online and the process took 2 weeks - interviewed at YouTube in April 2013.

Interview Details – After submitting my resume via Google's career site I heard back from an internal technical recruiter within two weeks. They asked if I could have a phone interview with one of their project managers. I talked with him briefly about the team they were hiring for, and what the responsibilities were. After discussing that it was something I was interested in he asked me to open a shared Google Doc and do some very generic code tests (build a class, add a property, add a method that modifies that property, etc). While it was difficult to write code in a word processor, it wasn't the worst thing I'd been asked to do in an interview.

After that call I received an email from the original recruiter stating that the PM was impressed, and that they would like to have me come in to their office in San Bruno for a more thorough interview process.

I showed up to the office (which is awesome, BTW), was greeted by the recruiter and sat in one of their many meeting rooms. I was told it was a long and vigorous process beforehand. The first three interviewers were fellow software engineers, people that I'm assuming would be peers if I were to be hired. They asked simple questions like the difference between prototypal and classical inheritance, how to query DOM elements without using libraries like jQuery, and the like. Then they started asking me how I would go about solving problems, mostly to do with performance. The first question I remember was, "We have a lot of videos. Say somebody does a search query, and it returns something like 100,000 videos. How would you go about building an infinite scroll UI of a grid where the grid items were a set size, but the browser is inevitably an undefined dimension?" And then, "Write some test code on the whiteboard." I would write some code, they'd take a picture, erase, repeat. It was very difficult to attempt to build something this way, I would have preferred a Google Doc. Another question was, "Because we serve XX billions of images and videos, we're always looking for ways to cut back on the amount of requests we are processing and keeping bandwidth at the very minimum without affecting experience. How would you do that in the case of the search grid?" I responded with lazy loading the images. "Write some test code on the whiteboard."

There was a lunch break in which another guy gave me a tour of the office and then took me to their cafeteria, which was top notch.

The fourth interviewer was a UI designer. His questions were more geared toward the designer/developer relationship, and ideas behind how they should work together. He then gave me a sheet of paper with what seemed to be a graph and some copy around it. He asked me how I would build it. Then he asked how I would build it to be responsive. His final question was, "You have a building with 1000 floors. How do you implement an efficient elevator system?" I started by designing a panel for the inside of the elevator, then by structuring the rooms in which the elevators were accessed, then by segmenting them into groups that only went up/down.

The last interviewer was a backend engineer (Python, I believe). This guy had some real CS chops. I don't remember the first question he asked me, but the second made me feel like I knew nothing. It was, roughly, "Theoretically, you have a computer that has infinite memory. You have a starting point that is a 0 (zero), and a series of zeros after that. Eventually there will be a 1 (one). You need to write a program to find the index of the first one in relation to the first zero. Go." So I started by saying, "Well, I'm assuming the wrong answer is to linearly go through each character and checking to see if it's a one." He confirmed. I don't remember how I answered, but he asked me to write code for my answer, and we were there for a good 45 minutes on that single question.

Finally, the project manager and recruiter came in, talked about the team some more, asked if I had any questions, and that was that.

Interview Question – Theoretically, you have a computer that has infinite memory. You have a starting point that is a 0 (zero), and a series of zeros after that. Eventually there will be a 1 (one). You need to write a program to find the index of the first one in relation to the first zero. Go.   Answer Question

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1 person found this helpful

Accepted Offer

Neutral Experience

Average Interview

Partner Operations Specialist Interview

Partner Operations Specialist

I applied through a recruiter and interviewed at YouTube.

Interview Details – I was contacted for this position through a recruiter who thought I'd be a good fit. I was set up with a general phone interview that took about 15 minutes. Afterwards, I was invited to do a series of individual onsite interviews with team members/managers. I spoke with 5 people over a period of two hours. I received an offer soon thereafter. The entire process took less than a week.

Interview Question – "How do you deal with difficult clients?"   Answer Question

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No Offer

Positive Experience

Difficult Interview

Software Engineer Interview

Anonymous Interview Candidate
San Bruno, CA

I applied through an employee referral and the process took a day - interviewed at YouTube in December 2013.

Interview Details – The onsite interview includes 4 rounds: including general coding, architect, complexity analysis and a discussion on your current project. A lunch will be included during the interview, but the host won't contribute to your feedback.
My interview were performed during a busy season, thus I need to drive from Pier 39 to San Bruno, and it was hard to park near the Youtube office

Interview Question – Finding the local minimal with sublinear time.   View Answer

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No Offer

Neutral Experience

Intern Interview

Anonymous Interview Candidate

I applied online and the process took 2 days - interviewed at YouTube.

Interview Details – I had a phone interview with them. They asked me a bunch of different questions about C++, C#, Java, and SQL. The Interview lady was talking in a monotone voice and seemed uninterested. And as I answered the questions wrong, I was only getting more and more nervous. That was the end.

Interview Question – Name the most difficult project you've worked on.   Answer Question

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Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Very Easy Interview

Operations Associate Interview

Operations Associate
San Bruno, CA

I applied through an employee referral and the process took 1 week - interviewed at YouTube in December 2011.

Interview Details – The interview consists of three steps. Initial phone interview, a take home Quiz (easy), and an onsite.

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No Offer

Positive Experience

Difficult Interview

Software Engineer Interview

Anonymous Interview Candidate
San Jose, CA

I applied online and the process took 1+ week - interviewed at YouTube in September 2013.

Interview Details – Telephonic Interview

Interview Question – Easy but Connected   Answer Question

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1 person found this helpful

No Offer

Neutral Experience

Software Programmer Interview

Anonymous Interview Candidate

Interviewed at YouTube

Interview Details – I got two interviews, all through phone. Write code on Google docs.

Interview Question – The first interview asks about the change combination problem. First it was able to be solved by greedy alg but then the condition changed and turn into a DP problem. The second interview asks to substitute *s in a string by binary numbers. For example, input aa*bbb*c, the output should be four strings: aa0bbb0c, aa0bbb1c, aa1bbb0c, aa1bbb1c   Answer Question

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1 person found this helpful

No Offer

Neutral Experience

Difficult Interview

Software Engineer Interview

Anonymous Interview Candidate

I applied online and the process took a day - interviewed at YouTube.

Interview Details – Applied on LinkedIn, received a email asking for some questions about GPA, preferred location...Then scheduled a phone interview. The interviewer is a lady, we spent 5 mins on talking about most challenging project then coding questions. It's about a list of parent/child pairs, then print out the family tree.

Interview Question – It's about a list of parent/child pairs, then print out the family tree.
input: [<a,b>,<b,c>,<a,e>]
output:
a
    b
        c
    e
  View Answer

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No Offer

Positive Experience

Difficult Interview

Marketing Manager Interview

Anonymous Interview Candidate
San Bruno, CA

I applied through a recruiter and the process took 5 weeks - interviewed at YouTube in May 2013.

Interview Details – Contacted via email by the recruiter who found my resume from a previous application and upon request of the hiring manager who was interested in my experiences and skills. First interview in the form of a Google + hangout with the hiring manager. Very positive experience, conversational interview, a lot of questions about the company/brand to see how I would do on the job. They then invited for a round of interviews in San Bruno (paid for flights and accommodations), where I met with three people and the hiring manager again. Out of the three people, one was a peer from the same team, one from the creative team and one from cross-functional. Typical interviews following Google's style with a lot of emphasis on how/what I would do on the job, very friendly conversations. After this I was called back for a final round as a Google + hangout and heard back about three days later. Unfortunately I didn't receive an offer but the process was enjoyable and professionally handled by the recruiter.

Interview Questions

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No Offer

Negative Experience

Difficult Interview

Frontend Engineer Interview

Anonymous Interview Candidate

I applied online and the process took 5 days - interviewed at YouTube in February 2013.

Interview Details – Probably the worst interview process I have ever had. It started out with a quick response from a recruiter to setup the tech screen. Now I'm not a huge fan of being asked or asking technical questions that have real life implications, but that was the only question I was asked. The question was "Given a telephone write a program that generates all possible permutations of letter strings." Sounds easy... it's not. It also has nothing to do with the job that I would be preforming. I worked on the problem for 35 minutes then talked about some technical topics for another 10 minutes or so. It was extremely difficult understand the person performing the interview (thick accent and he had me on speaker phone).

I never received a call after that. A month latter I got a survey to take about the experience. I let them know how I felt about the process. It was not a positive one.

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