Airbnb Software Engineer Interview Questions | Glassdoor

Airbnb Software Engineer Interview Questions

Updated Jun 10, 2017
114 Interview Reviews

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Helpful (17)  

Software Engineer Interview

Anonymous Employee
Accepted Offer
Negative Experience
Average Interview

Application

I applied online. I interviewed at Airbnb.

Interview

I verbally accepted the offer and I am waiting to hear back from the recruiter. It’s been almost 5 months.

Sadly, bias runs deep in the hiring process which is extremely disappointing coming from a company that promotes acceptance and hospitality. The company seems to take you much more seriously if you have a competing offer from Google or Facebook, otherwise, you’re less interesting to them. Even though you nailed their +8 interviews. At the end of the day, the story of how one of their employees (look it up) negotiated his offer with them is a sad reflection of reality.

It’s all in the hands of the recruiters – the managers and engineers you meet don’t matter. In my case, my recruiter handled the situation extremely poorly. He showed 0 interest in trying to close. I turned down other compelling offers in the process of accepting theirs (which I wasn’t 100% convinced with but I really liked the mission of the company) but for reasons only the recruiter knows, that was the last time I heard back from them.

Almost every company I had interviewed with in the past followed up with a survey in order to make their process better. Not Airbnb though! They didn’t provide me with a way to express how uncomfortable and unwelcome the process made me feel and so I decided to write this post for future candidates.

To future candidates:
    • If you have other offers, make sure to discuss them with the recruiter as soon as you can.
    • Manage the process – if the recruiter doesn’t give you a deadline, specify one. It’ll be used against you otherwise.

To Airbnb recruiting team:
    • Be a host – empathize with the candidates, understand where they’re coming from. The culture of inclusion and hospitably starts with you.
    • Simplify – don’t trick the candidates. Set clear deadlines if you really care about the timelines, otherwise, don’t timelines against the candidates.
    • Listen from the candidates – situations like this happen all the time. Sometimes, it’s the candidates fault and sometimes it’s the recruiters fault. Listen to both sides.

Interview Questions

Other Interview Reviews for Airbnb

  1. Helpful (2)  

    Software Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    No Offer
    Negative Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied online. I interviewed at Airbnb.

    Interview

    Talked to one of their recruiters on the phone. Seemed fine.

    After that had a technical phone screen interview setup.

    The interview used coderpad. The interviewer immediately asked his question. Barely talked. Was very hard to understand when he did. Provided no help or direction at all. Made it pretty clear he did not care to interview me. He presented his second question incorrectly. I explained my understanding of his second question and he agreed. I implemented it. Then he brings up an edge case, which is not at all valid for the question that was asked. He then asks what the run time of my solution is. I tell him. He disagrees. I explain to him again. He seems to concede then says he has to go, but he'll let me take the rest of the allotted time to finish and answer the question correctly. The same question he had asked incorrectly. At this point it was clear this was a waste of time so I also exited the interview.

    Interview Questions

    • Determine whether word is a palindrome and find palindrome pairs within a set of words   Answer Question

  2. Helpful (1)  

    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.

    Interview Questions

  3. Helpful (1)  

    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

  4.  

    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

  5.  

    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

  6.  

    Software Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Seattle, WA
    No Offer
    Negative Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied through an employee referral. I interviewed at Airbnb (Seattle, WA) in May 2017.

    Interview

    2 round phone screen, 1st display search result with pagination, 2nd implement 2d iterator. Basically there is not much communication with interviewer, I just coding and explains the solution, and interviewer seems agree with everything.

    Interview Questions

    • interviewer asked me to implement 2d iterator   1 Answer

  7. 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
  8.  

    Software Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    No Offer
    Negative Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied through a recruiter. The process took a week. I interviewed at Airbnb in April 2017.

    Interview

    A recruiter reached out to me via email. We scheduled a phone interview for the following week. The interview used CoderPad. My interviewer went straight to the question as soon as he called. He also wasn't very helpful in nudging me along when I got stuck. Overall, the interview felt a bit cold compared to some of the other unicorns I've interviewed with. Later in the day, my recruiter called to let me know they wouldn't be moving forward with my candidacy.

    Interview Questions


  9.  

    Software Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    No Offer
    Neutral Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I interviewed at Airbnb in April 2017.

    Interview

    Your thought process or partial solution counts zero. If you can't solve the problem, you will not receive an offer. Programming questions are tough so make sure to be prepared answering non-standard interview questions.

    Interview Questions

    • Given a string ip and number n, print all cidr addresses that cover that range - This is one of the problems that is out of left field.   Answer Question
    • Design a internationalization service   Answer Question
    • Questions from Leetcode and Glassdoor   Answer Question

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