Airbnb Interview Questions in San Francisco, CA | Glassdoor

Airbnb Interview Questions in San Francisco, CA

Updated Jul 21, 2017
170 Interview Reviews

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  1.  

    Site Reliability Engineer Interview

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

    Application

    I applied through an employee referral. I interviewed at Airbnb (San Francisco, CA) in July 2017.

    Interview

    Here's the good news:
    - If you've done some research about SRE hiring at AirBNB, you've probably seen a writeup about a horrible experience one candidate had a few years ago. It's not like that anymore. With almost all the people I met, I thought they were acting like a host.
    - The interview is passable. They are not knowingly trying to trip you up with trick questions. Even for sessions that I did relatively bad on, the interview hosts were friendly and able to teach me a couple of things that would help me in future interviews or at my work.
    - The interview preparation material I was sent was very hard. While the interview for SREs is still a hard interview, I prepared for way much more than I was asked during the interviews. I prepared for but was not asked any Dynamic Programming questions.

    Here's the bad news:
    - There is one interview that I thought was essentially a "shibboleth" for having worked at Google/Facebook/LinkedIn/Twitter. I'm not going to give the question. I don't think they realize what they are doing, and as long as they continue asking that question, I bet their most successful candidates will tend to come from these companies. I offered up several different creative options in my interview, but they were looking for a specific answer that will be obvious if you've worked at those companies. You can still get an offer without succeeding in this interview, but you may need to do even better than average on the other interviews.

    More good news:
    - The programming questions were difficult but not impossible. You won't find the ones I was asked on leetcode-style websites. There was one programming question that I spent the first 5 minutes thinking, "I have no idea how to do this and I'm going to end up turning in an empty file". Somehow I was able to arrive at the solution (with the help of the programming language documentation). It was a thrill and if you've made it to this point, you can do it too.

    I did not get an offer. I like to think that I was close.

    Interview Questions


  2. Helpful (3)  

    Senior Software Engineer Interview

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

    Application

    I applied online. I interviewed at Airbnb (San Francisco, CA).

    Interview

    The Phone Screens were ok. It was hard to understand the Asian guy on phone. Went onsite, the coding exercise was medium hard. They expect your code to compile and run. I was able to solve it and compile but ran out of time to optimize it. My pair programmer was busy chasing down some production issue whole time. The manager was an Asian guy and barely understandable. I had to ask him multiple times to repeat. Maybe this annoyed him. The architect (another asian) asked me a simple question about distributed systems. I designed it for high availability but he was looking only one specific solution. He gave his answer in end which is more geared towards monolithic systems and shows how poor their current tech stack is. Lunch interview another asian who was ridiculously quiet and very hard to understand. Culture interviews were ok. Not sure what they are looking for here. I work for one of the FANGs and very disappointed with lack of diversity here. Not sure how they hire engineers who can barely speak and are very narrow minded. My advice is to stay away.

    Interview Questions

    • Distributed system design.However the answers should be catered towards monolithic system design. Array handling and string parsing, graphs.   1 Answer
  3. Helpful (2)  

    Software Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in San Francisco, CA
    Declined Offer
    Neutral Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied through an employee referral. I interviewed at Airbnb (San Francisco, CA) in May 2017.

    Interview

    The interviewer jumped straight into the problem. It was basically a variation of coin change. Interviewer was not very helpful but definitely gave me time to think about the problem and wasn't too pushy. I got stuck in a recursive infinte loop because of the issue with including an item multiple times and not having duplicates. Shouldn't be too hard. Working solution provided.

    Interview Questions

    • Q) Given a list of menu items and prices. Print all combinations that match a target price.
      Eg: target = $3, Menu( A:$1 , B:$2)

      Print
      A,A,A
      A,B

      But no B,A   1 Answer

  4. Helpful (2)  

    Software Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Employee in San Francisco, CA
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied through an employee referral. I interviewed at Airbnb (San Francisco, CA) in May 2017.

    Interview

    Total Process from start to finish was around 3.5 weeks.

    I had a referral and outstanding offers from two "big 4" companies so they did a great job of hurrying along the process.

    Had two phone screens. The first was an interesting problem that's not currently on leetcode in any variant. I'd rate it somewhere between leetcode medium and hard. Barely finished it in time since I was debugging the last 15 min.

    Second phone screen was a leetcode easy/medium problem. Trick is not overcomplicating it.

    Onsites consist of several interviews: some are coding interviews, some are architecture interviews, some are fit interviews. Unlike other companies, Airbnb prefers a working solution in the allotted time even if it's suboptimal. Your code is expected to run. So I'd recommend taking no more than 10-15 min coming up with the algorithm... start coding up the naive solution if you're stuck and if you have time at the end you can explain a better algorithm to use.

    The fit interviews are pretty straightforward. This isn't something you should "study" for, but read up on Airbnb's core values and think about how you align with them. They care a lot about fit which is probably why everyone seems so awesome to work with.

    Architecture interview was much more intense than any of the tech giants. I found it to be highly disorganized but we basically did a deep dive into a system. If you're an experienced engineer you'll find it fast-paced but not terrible.

    Experience interview is very pleasant. You talk about cool projects that you've worked on and how they work.

    Interview Questions

    • NDA (and I'm working there) so no specifics. But I strongly suggest studying graphs, networking, less common data structures like tries/radix trees and min/max heaps, bit manipulation, and searching (BFS, DFS, binary search).   1 Answer

  5. Helpful (2)  

    Software Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Employee in San Francisco, CA
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Easy Interview

    Application

    I applied through an employee referral. I interviewed at Airbnb (San Francisco, CA) in May 2017.

    Interview

    Week 1:
    First contact was with a recruiter a few days after sending my application through a referral at the company. It was a typical recruiter screen and we proceeded to scheduling a technical phone interview.

    -----

    Week 2:
    The technical phone interview was done over the phone and in CodePen (using collab mode). It was a straightforward UI task I was able to finish quickly, so we found ways to enhance it further. I was emailed the next day and told they wanted to bring me onsite.

    -----

    Week 3:
    The onsite interviews (6 of them) took up the entire day: 2 technical, 1 algorithm, 2 cross-functional, 1 project deep-dive.

    You must sign an NDA when you arrive (so I can't share any of the questions they asked). I was given a brief tour of the building, then shown to my meeting room for the day (they wrote a nice welcome message on the whiteboard).

    The 2 frontend technical interviews were much like the phone interview - straightforward UI tasks. Both were done in CodePen and were enjoyable. The algorithm interview was more practical than I expected. We discussed the approach I would take, and then implemented it (also in CodePen). The 2 cross-functional interviews were a series of questions and topics for discussion. I got the idea they were using those to get a gauge on my personality. The final interview was a deep-dive into a past project I worked on. I suggest picking something you enjoyed as it makes talking about it for 45 minutes much easier.

    Also included was lunch - the food selection in their cafeteria is impressive. You are paired with an employee who takes you to their cafeteria to eat with you. This was not an interview. It seem silly at first to have a chaperone, but it was a good chance to ask questions both about the company and the interview process.

    Despite a long day, everyone involved was polite, upbeat, and courteous to my needs (asking if I needed bathroom and water breaks). All interviews started right in on the problems/questions and then left time at the end for me to ask them questions about the company.

    I met with the recruiter on the way out who told me he'd be in touch in 2 days. I left pleased with how I represented myself.

    2 days later, I was told they were proceeding to drawing up an offer and that they will have it to me the following week.

    -----

    Week 4:
    Offer received and signed.

    -----

    Overall, it was a very pleasant experience. Everyone I interacted with was pleasant and friendly. Based on some of the feedback I read on Glassdoor, I was expecting uninterested and tired interviewers, but that wasn't the case at all.


  6. Helpful (2)  

    Software Engineer Interview

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

    Application

    I applied online. I interviewed at Airbnb (San Francisco, CA) in May 2017.

    Interview

    Overall, this was a negative interview experience. The company highlights it respects every individual, men and women of all races, however, they actually do not respect the candidate. I'll explain my experience in detail.

    First, a little background about the interview process: After a phone interview, I was invited to their HQ in San Francisco for an onsite interview. The onsite interview includes two coding interviews, a project deep dive, two cross function interviews and two system design interviews.

    1. The recruiter was never on time for phone calls before bringing me onsite. Among all the 5+ companies I interviewed in the same period, I never had this kind of experience. Airbnb recruiter was the most unprofessional one. If I need to take a 30-minute phone call during work, I have to make a good schedule and find a good spot. Airbnb, please respect your candidate and be on time; when you are late, at least reschedule a time instead of directly calling me when I am in the middle of work.

    2. The onsite interview has a "project deep dive" session, and it essentially asks you every detail of a project you worked on. This is absurd and totally ignores the risk of leaking confidential information of the candidate's employer. I have to be very careful in this session and avoid some detailed information when answer questions of the interviewer, and obviously he was not satisfied. Airbnb, please respect confidentiality when designing your interviews!

    Among the 5+ companies I recently interview, I had the worst experience with Airbnb and I will not consider applying again.

    Interview Questions

    • coding in a computer instead of whiteboard; behavior questions; system design questions.   Answer Question

  7.  

    University Team Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in San Francisco, CA
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied online. I interviewed at Airbnb (San Francisco, CA) in May 2017.

    Interview

    Initial phone screen w/ Recruiter, invited on-site for following week. Met with 5 members of the team & 1 cross-functional interviewer from engineering. Had a great tour of their (beautiful) office. Each interview lasted ~30 mins and all focused on somewhat different topics of the position.

    Interview Questions

    • Normal behavioral questions & some curveballs thrown in there (to answer honestly) for culture fit, I assume   Answer Question
  8. Helpful (3)  

    Senior Marketing Manager Interview

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

    Application

    I applied through an employee referral. I interviewed at Airbnb (San Francisco, CA) in April 2017.

    Interview

    Kicked off interview process with a call with their recruiter, then moved on to a phone interview with the hiring manager followed by two days of in-person interviews with hiring manager and their team. Throughout the process, I was kept informed by the recruiter on who I'd be interviewing and the overall hiring process.

    Interview Questions

    • Hiring Manager: Asked for examples of how I've worked with senior management on large projects as well as multiple internal teams.   Answer Question
    • Hiring Manager: Asked how I typically managed my day.   Answer Question
    • Hiring Manager: Asked me what my strengths and weakness were.   Answer Question
    • Direct Report: Asked me what Airbnb meant to me personally.   Answer Question
    • Recruiter: Ultimately asked me for my salary range.   Answer Question

  9. Helpful (1)  

    Software Engineer Interview

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

    Application

    I applied through a recruiter. The process took 2 weeks. I interviewed at Airbnb (San Francisco, CA) in April 2017.

    Interview

    Recruiter reached out to me with a very nice email. 1st technical phone screen was not hard, 45 min I finished in 33min or so. They use CoderPad, need the code to be compilable and fully working. They skipped 2nd phone screen for me, invited me to onsite directly. Free lunch. Onsite still 45 min each for coding sessions, and 30 min each for non-coding sessions mostly. I ran out of time for the coding sessions, didn't make them fully working. Got rejected after two days. Suggest should prepare/practice more for making the coding fully working within the 45 time window before coming for Onsite. The recruiting team were very professional, friendly, helpful, responsive, and welcoming throughout the entire process, especially the initial recruiter. My suggestion to the recruiting team is better to arrange one or two 10 min breaks between the onsite sessions. No offer, but good experience.

    Interview Questions

    • Tree related, and others. Need write fully working compilable code. Can't say much, coz of NDA.   Answer Question

  10.  

    Software Engineer Interview

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

    Application

    I applied online. I interviewed at Airbnb (San Francisco, CA) in April 2017.

    Interview

    I'm pretty disappointed with the interview process.

    I had a call with the recruiter, then a technical screening which went well and allowed me to come onsite directly. The onsite consisted of 5 rounds and a lunch. 2 rounds were technical coding exercises. 2 were behavioral. 1 was system design where you can gloat about a previous project. I am disappointed about how unrealistic the time crunch is when conducting the technical coding exercises. Both of my questions required 2 pages of explanations. Since I was given only 45 minutes time to complete, and 15 minutes was literally the interviewer explaining the question to me (they insisted that this was the best approach), I was given 30 minutes to complete the problem.

    The amount of edge cases from these problems were unrealistic to cover in just 30 minutes. So if you can code crazy fast, I would recommend that you do so and politely tell the interviewer to not talk. The interviewer just wants working code, so don't try to chit-chat with him/her.

    The behavioral rounds are easy. Just drink that cool aid and you'll be fine.

    Interview Questions


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