Airbnb Data Scientist Interview Questions | Glassdoor

Airbnb Data Scientist Interview Questions

Interviews at Airbnb

42 Interview Reviews

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Data Scientist Interview

Anonymous Interview Candidate in San Francisco, CA
No Offer
Negative Experience
Difficult Interview

Application

I applied through a recruiter. The process took 1+ week. I interviewed at Airbnb (San Francisco, CA).

Interview

An Airbnb recruiter reached out. After an initial introductory phone call, they sent me the take-home assignment.

I spent 20 hours in this assignment to later be rejected with a generic email, and no further answers to my questions for feedback.

Interview Questions

  • You need to complete the take-home assignment within 72 hours. You can only send a PDF, if you want to send them your code, you have to embed it within the PDF. All other companies I've interviewed with want you to send them your code.

    Compared to those other companies' assignments, Airbnb's was much more on the statistical side, hypothesis testing mostly.

    I took time off from work to complete this assignment and ended up spending about 20 hours over the course of 3 days. When I've put that much work and energy into an assignment, I've always passed.

    Airbnb took over a week to respond to my submission, where I had to follow up with unresponsive recruiters.

    When the answer finally came, it was a canned rejection email. I requested feedback that would help me do better next time. They never replied.

    After this experience, I don't want to interview with them for another position, nor recommend this company to anyone on my network.

    Rejection happens all the time and I don't expect to succeed in every interview; but I think candidates that have clearly put in the work, deserve at least some feedback, or a phone call.   1 Answer

Other Interview Reviews for Airbnb

  1. Helpful (3)  

    Data Scientist Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in San Francisco, CA
    No Offer
    Negative Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 3+ months. I interviewed at Airbnb (San Francisco, CA) in November 2019.

    Interview

    I found this interview process to be unnecessarily lengthy and, relatedly, disrespectful to the candidate. To substantiate that claim, I’ve outlined the interview process I went through for the Analytics track and added commentary on each phase.

    TLDR: This interview process was unprofessional enough to make me leave this long of a Glassdoor review. A function of:
    • Too many interviews (n=10) and redundant questions (e.g. was asked ‘Why Airbnb’ 5 separate times throughout the process, was asked a selection of ‘how would you measure x’ questions in 4 separate interviews). People have actual jobs – be considerate of their time.
    • Arrogant attitude (e.g., not a single interviewer introduced him/herself; out of 10 interviews, there were 5 minutes I had to ask questions). If you want the world to believe your ‘Be a host’ pitch, help your candidates get to know you too – at the very least be friendly.

    Details: The process amounted to 10 total interviews/meetings which spanned about 3 months from application to decision. A function of:
    • 1 30-minute phone screening with a sourcer who seemed to be reading from a script and was not knowledgeable enough about the role/team to answer beyond-surface-level questions
    • 1 45-minute SQL CoderPad interview + 'metrics interview' over the phone (e.g., 'How would you go about measuring Airbnb's customer service team's success?', etc.). The interviewer was unfriendly and seemed annoyed that he had to take the call. He said nothing other than the scripted questions.
    • 7 on-site interviews/meetings
    o 1 on-site presentation interview (15 minutes + 15 minutes for Q&A). This was with a panel of 4 listeners. 1 of them was the hiring manager, but I couldn’t tell you who the other people were because no one introduced themselves. Also worth noting, no one smiled.
    o 1 exploratory data analysis interview (60 minutes), where you’re given a dataset and asked to dig into it
    o 1 metrics interview (30 minutes), where you’re asked how you’d measure various Airbnb business dynamics + drilled into on what would move those metrics (e.g., what would an increase in x do to the average? The median?)
    o 1 ‘experience’ interview (45 minutes), where there were 1-2 questions about past project experience and then, mid-way through, a surprise case. This was disappointing because it was the only interview throughout the entire process that was supposed to be a chance to talk to someone on the actual team that the role was on and connect on a personal level at all vs. showing that you can be a human calculator. I had a handful of stories prepared on my work experience, most of which I wasn’t given an opportunity to share. I was also interested in getting to know the manager as a person in this interview – learning about her background or an example project she envisioned the person taking on, but unfortunately she didn’t introduce those things, and there wasn’t much time to ask questions due to the surprise case on the back end of the interview.
    o 2 ‘cross-functional’ interviews (each 30 minutes), which are conversational and meant to assess fit with Airbnb’s culture/values. These are a really nice concept, but they’re with random people in the organization – it would make more sense to use these an opportunity for the candidate to meet the team.
    o 1 non-evaluative lunch with a Data Scientist not on the team you’re applying to, meant for asking questions/getting to know Airbnb’s culture better
    • 1 final ‘case’ phone interview, which again consisted of ‘tell me how you’d measure x’ questions. This really felt overkill – the questions were identical in nature to many of the questions that had been asked in interviews prior.

    On a positive note, the recruiter responded with a decision within a week and was respectful enough to share the news over the phone. But then, of course, there was no interview feedback offered.

    Interview Questions

    • If Airbnb wanted to open a new office, how would you determine how many meeting rooms to build into it?   2 Answers

  2. Helpful (2)  

    Data Scientist Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    No Offer
    Negative Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied through a recruiter. The process took 6 weeks. I interviewed at Airbnb in November 2019.

    Interview

    Reached out to by an Airbnb recruiter while I was still with my previous company. Had a few productive phone calls before the conversation trailed off, though IIRC that was due to the recruiter not following up on a few of my questions, but not a huge deal.

    A few months later, I got back in touch with much more serious intentions. We set up the next step, a technical phone screen, which covered SQL and a biz case study, all of which I felt went well, then.....silence, for 2-3 weeks.

    Finally, a vague response from the original recruiter: "The results from the phone screen were positive, however, the team does not feel that there is a match at this point in time for our current roles."

    I quickly followed up, seeking more specific feedback. Then followed up again with a separate question 10 days later, and as of this writing (another 10 days later), have not heard back at all.

    Airbnb, if you're reading this: This was not a good experience for me. I came in with a very positive perception of DS @ airbnb, and am leaving with one that DS and recruiting are poor communicators and/or very disorganized. Since I was interviewing for a 'general data science role', and not any one in particular, it's not acceptable to say 'you did well on the test that we administered, but we're gonna pass and not tell you why'.
    Since i'd been recruiter-screened multiple times and covered my resume, either you're misleading me and i did poorly on the test, or there's something you screwed up in evaluating my background qualifications that you realized much later.

    I do not feel I was given a fair shake in this interview process, and at this point would be wary in recommending anyone to apply. I've interviewed with many dozens of companies for data science and analyst roles, and this experience was definitely on the more negative end of things.

    Interview Questions

    • (something along the lines of) How would you go about designing a metric for customer service calls?   Answer Question
    • 3 SQL questions with standard level of difficulty, nothing overly complex required   Answer Question
  3.  

    Data Science Interview

    Anonymous Employee in Seattle, WA
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 6 weeks. I interviewed at Airbnb (Seattle, WA) in November 2019.

    Interview

    The interview process consists of a Take Home Challenge and several interviews.
    Recruiters keep you informed throughout the process and everything moves fast (interviews are scheduled as soon as you share availability, you're given feedback a couple of days after each interview, etc).

    Interview Questions

    • I signed an NDA so cannot really disclose anything. But they evaluate primarily critical thinking and business knowledge, asides from technical skills.   Answer Question

  4.  

    Data Scientist Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in San Francisco, CA
    No Offer
    Negative Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 3+ months. I interviewed at Airbnb (San Francisco, CA) in October 2019.

    Interview

    Over a grueling three months:

    1. Application
    2. Recruiter phone screen
    3. Straightforward, but time-consuming, data challenge to be completed within 72 hours. Strongly advisable to do this over a weekend and plan nothing else that weekend. Pass/fail results available 3 business days after your submission.
    4. Onsite interview with half a dozen 1:1s and a 45-minute presentation covering your data challenge as well as a past project of your choosing.
    5. Interminable waiting period
    6. Two followup interviews by video call
    7. Interminable waiting period
    8. Rejection email

    Interview Questions

    • What would happen if you were to include another X in your regression model?   Answer Question

  5. Helpful (2)  

    Data Scientist Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    No Offer
    Negative Experience

    Application

    I applied online. I interviewed at Airbnb.

    Interview

    Applied through LinkedIn, got contacted the next day by a recruiter. She was helpful and explained the role and that there would be a technical challenge that would take 72 hours to complete. It was a lengthy assignment that was not hard, but was very tedious and would require longer than the allotted time to do thoughtfully under any other circumstances. Got an automated email less than a day after completing the assignment rejecting me. Given they are asking you to take considerable time to do their take home assignment, it was the least they could do to have a real person email me.

    Interview Questions

    • Data manipulation, understanding two-sided marketplaces, logistic regression   Answer Question

  6. Helpful (4)  

    Data Scientist Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    No Offer
    Negative Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied online. I interviewed at Airbnb.

    Interview

    Don't do it!!! It's been mentioned previously but this process will suck the life out of you. The organization is so disorganized and every step of the process from getting feedback from the HR screen to the actual take home exam, takes days/weeks to hear back. The onsite is a mess. The managers for mine failed to show up yet still wanted to see my powerpoint. Don't waste your time unless you don't have other alternatives.

    Interview Questions

    • Tell me about a time when you faced a challenge, how did you overcome it.   2 Answers

  7.  

    Data Scientist Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    No Offer
    Negative Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied online. I interviewed at Airbnb.

    Interview

    Applied, received phone call 2 weeks later, got a take-home exercise, burned a few days just to dedicate to the exercise, then got an automatic rejection
    Recruiter was inexperienced and unprofessional where she couldn't properly explain the expectations
    For the amount of effort, you might as well talk to a friend to get a referral link to Google/Facebook/Microsoft and use the time to study for those guys' interview
    The unclear expectations probably came from the middle management and this directly reflects on the middle management's capabilities - blurry goals and vision
    Recruiting is supposed to be a 2-way street, and the current recruiting process is a reflection of sentiment that's furthest away from "belong anywhere"
    You're better off with a more prestigious company than to be wasting time here

    Interview Questions

  8. Helpful (4)  

    Data Scientist Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    No Offer
    Negative Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Interview

    One of the toughest, most intensive process. Go through the interview only if you are not busy or overwhelmed by any other parts of life (school/work) because you can expect to dedicate all your free time to this process for at least a month. The interview basically becomes a full time job on its own. If you go through the entire process including onsites, chances are that you will be burned out.

    You first start with a phone screen, which is pretty basic. Then they give you a take home challenge. Like other reviews, it is time consuming. They tell you to spend no more than a few hours, but also ask you to perform full stack analytics: data cleaning, exploration, derive insights, and put together a PowerPoint deck. I’m sure this project would take a team of full time data scientist one week to complete with the high standards they’ll be evaluating you against. Be prepared to dedicate your weekend to this.

    When you finally make it onsite, they want you to prepare another deck for a past project and present it, as well as presenting your take home. More time spent preparing decks in addition to preparing for behaviorals, metrics, AirBNB business model, etc. You’ll be there for pretty much the entire day, and meet ~6 people, which is extremely exhausting. Every other company only brings you onsite for half a day and meet half the number of people. The people I met are very bright and smart, but I had the impression that the case questions they throw at you are problems that they currently face and don’t even have a solution to. So it seemed a little unfair that they expect someone who doesn’t think about airbnb’s Problems on a daily basis to figure out the answer that I don’t even think they know.

    Interview Questions

    • Study AirBNB business model very closely and the problems they face from a data POV   1 Answer

  9. Helpful (1)  

    Data Scientist Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 3 weeks. I interviewed at Airbnb.

    Interview

    There was a phone screen followed by a take-home tech screen. After turning in the tech screen, you either proceed to in-person interviews or not. The DS org is somewhat chaotic (hiring new managers), but the recruiter made the process run smoothly.

    Interview Questions

    • Tech screen is a data analysis problem   1 Answer

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