Netflix Senior Data Scientist Interview Questions

Updated May 10, 2021

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Netflix

Anonymous Interview Candidate

No Offer
Negative Experience
Average Interview
Application

I applied through a recruiter. I interviewed at Netflix in Apr 2021

Interview

Similar to the other posts on no communications. Hiring manager interview asking behavioral questions only. Ended with a super positive note but not any single communication ever since. It's funny because their culture says "extraordinarily candid" and stuff related to giving direct feedbacks but I guess that does not include candidates being interviewed.

Interview Questions
  • Normal behavioral questions you'd get elsewhere, what are you looking for, what's your work style, tell me a time you had to disagree with someone
    Answer Question
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Netflix

Anonymous Interview Candidate

No Offer
Neutral Experience
Average Interview
Application

I applied through a recruiter. I interviewed at Netflix in Feb 2021

Interview

Interviewed for the Member UI team (product analytics+experimentation). Recruiter chat, followed by Hiring Manager phone screen, then technical phone screen. Virtual onsite #1 had 4 segments: recruiter again, presentation of a take home to 2 data scientists, sql+stats with a data scientist and HM again. finally there's virtual onsite #2 which I did not get to. I had a positive experience with all the segments except the presentation, which was neutral-to-negative. interviewers were the type who try and figure out how much you don't know rather than how much you do know. towards the end, we were discussing their work experience and one of the interviewers says he had a difficult time during his first few months because a lot is expected. He goes on, "I'm not trying to scare you, but...." That was when I knew I had failed the interview. He obviously didn't think much of me. Wonder what it's like if you work with this guy and happen to not know something. That's probably when the scaring starts. It's true that he has a lot more experience than me but that really left a sour taste. I do not recommend the Member UI team for this reason.

Interview Questions
  • A fair bit of statistics in the context of A/B testing... variance, bootstrap, adjusting for covariates, heterogeneous treatment effects. SQL was not too difficult. Take home was product analytics and experimentation. You are expected to come up with novel metrics. Be prepared to answer questions about ambiguous results, interactions, etc.
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Netflix

Anonymous Interview Candidate in Los Gatos, CA

No Offer
Neutral Experience
Average Interview
Application

I applied through other source. I interviewed at Netflix (Los Gatos, CA) in Feb 2021

Interview

I was contacted by the hiring manager for the Member UI Data Science team. We spoke about my previous projects, the opportunities on his team, and I was asked some basic questions about p-values. The next interview was with HR and was very short. I spent more time asking questions than I did answering them. The technical phone interview involved answering questions about p-values, writing a SQL query, and a product analytics case study. They did not move forward with my candidacy following the technical interview. Despite mentioning the importance of feedback 11 times in their 4400-word culture memo, the only feedback I received was that although the feedback was positive my background isn't a perfect match for their needs. My background had not changed at any point during the interview process so they could have saved me the time and not contacted me in the first place. The only information that changed was that I disclosed I was autistic and have dyscalculia during the technical interview and that synchronous exercises are especially challenging for my demographic so it's impossible not to wonder if that is the only reason they didn't move forward.

Interview Questions
  • - Questions about p-values (what are they, what is 0.05, what happens when the magnitudes being compared or the sample sizes change) - SQL query calculating an average among several constraints and requiring a join between two tables - Case study probing product sense
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Netflix

Anonymous Interview Candidate

No Offer
Neutral Experience
Difficult Interview
Application

I applied online. The process took 4 weeks. I interviewed at Netflix in Jan 2020

Interview

I’ve applied to one of their experimentation data science roles and was contacted by recruiter. I had a 30min chat with the recruiter, learned more about the role and responsibilities and what they are looking for. After that I had a 30min introductory call with the hiring manager. It went really well, she was genuinely interested in my background and shared some example projects that they are working on. Then I was scheduled for a technical phone interview. Technical phone interview went great for me. I’ve answered all the questions right and to the point. I was asked very detailed and deep technical ML and NLP questions, which I wasn’t expecting but answered well because I have deep technical expertise in these areas, too. However, next day recruiter reached out to me saying that they don’t think my background is a good fit, I was literally shocked as I was expecting an onsite interview as the next step. I asked about feedback from the interviewer and recruiter said I didn’t do well on the questions regarding word2vec and L1/L2 regularization. I was shocked once again because L1/L2 regularization is the thing that I am most comfortable with since it was a part of my PhD dissertation. I’ve talked about the unit circles for both l1/l2, how one can be used for feature selection(lasso) whereas the other one can only provide shrinkage (ridge). Why l1is not differentiable at 0 while l2is differentiable and how that helps the algorithm to do feature selection. I went above and beyond for the regularization methods yet the feedback I get is saying that I didn’t do well on this. For word2vec, I’ve mentioned about the differences between cbow, skip-gram and their advantages and disadvantages, when to use which one etc. I was very disappointed with the outcome not because I wasn’t invited for the onsite but because when I answered all the questions correct and to the point yet they thought I am not the right fit. Not to mention that, even if I’ve applied and interviewed for the Experimentation role, I wasn’t asked even a single question on experimentation. I was asked NLP and very detailed ML algorithmic questions, which I am okay with, but I wish I’d known that that was going to be the interview. Anyways, overall it was a great experience and recruiters as well as hiring manager were really great. They made the process smooth and enjoyable. I wish things went on the other direction but I will keep applying for other roles in the future as I believe Netflix’s culture resonates with me quite well. I am sick of corporate BS cultures. Bring me something bold!

Interview Questions
  • Very deep and detailed ML questions on tree based models etc.
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Netflix

Anonymous Interview Candidate

No Offer
Negative Experience
Average Interview
Application

I applied in-person. I interviewed at Netflix in Mar 2019

Interview

The hiring manager sent me a message saying that she is really interested in my background and the current role at Netflix perfectly suits my profile. I agreed and she scheduled the phone screening round. In the phone screening round I was asked three questions, one on coding (merge two sorted arrays), two SQL questions, and describe the steps to build a classifier. When I illustrated the steps he/she asked further questions on describing Logistic Regression in details, describe gradient descent, L1 and L2 norms, if data is sparse what happens, difference between online and batch gradient descent, word embeddings and sentence embeddings. I thought I did fairly well considering all the questions were expected from a standard data science interview. However, I got a confirmation email from the recruiter that they rejected me saying that the feedback was positive however I am not an appropriate fit for the role. When I asked for further clarification they said they have better candidates than me. Here is my problem is that they connected me saying that I am proper fit. My interview went well and now they say I am not a fit. So, I was a bit surprise and it also tells me not trust such hiring managers who have conflicting opinions.

Interview Questions
  • Write equations for building a classifier using Logistic Regression
1 person found this interview helpful

Netflix

Anonymous Interview Candidate in Los Gatos, CA

No Offer
Negative Experience
Average Interview
Application

The process took 2 months. I interviewed at Netflix (Los Gatos, CA) in Jul 2018

Interview

The scheduling was quire delayed with tons of communication gaps. I didnt know that my onsite was scheduled until the HM offered a prep call. The only positive thing about the experience was the HM, who was proactive and responsive. During the onsite, the interviewers didn't even introduce themselves beyond providing a name. Some of their statements about modeling seemed questionable. There was a lot of in-depth domain knowledge required for most questions, while it wasn't listed as a requirement. I did poorly with SQL, which was my own fault and also hadn't prepped enough for white-board coding, which led to a no-go.

Interview Questions
  • What is the best way to communicate ML results to stakeholders - for some reason the interviewer seemed to think RMSE was the best!
  • When you split a population for A/B testing, what are some reasons you could see a significant difference in the control and variant groups?
1 person found this interview helpful

Netflix

Anonymous Interview Candidate in Los Gatos, CA

No Offer
Positive Experience
Difficult Interview
Application

I applied through a recruiter. I interviewed at Netflix (Los Gatos, CA)

Interview

Week 0: Reached out by a technical recruiter; Week 1 or 2: Spoke with the hiring manager one week after; Week 3: Spoke with a senior data scientist over phone; Week 4 or 5: Onsite Technical Interview

Interview Questions
  • VERY detailed machine learning questions and statistical modeling questions with an use case setting
1 person found this interview helpful

Netflix

Anonymous Interview Candidate

No Offer
Neutral Experience
Difficult Interview
Application

I applied through a recruiter. The process took 2 weeks. I interviewed at Netflix in Feb 2016

Interview

I spoke to the recruiter and then the hiring manager, each call lasting about half an hour. Then I interviewed with a another Sr. Data Scientist and the hiring manager.

Interview Questions
  • Lots of questions on machine learning techniques, use of regularization, differences between L1 and L2 regularization, why don't people use L0.5 regularization for instance. Use of deep learning, why Rectified Linear Unit is a good activation function etc.
4 people found this interview helpful

Netflix

Anonymous Interview Candidate in Palo Alto, CA

No Offer
Positive Experience
Difficult Interview
Application

I applied through a recruiter. The process took 3 weeks. I interviewed at Netflix (Palo Alto, CA) in Mar 2015

Interview

Phone screen and then four consecutive onsite interviews. The whole process took about 4 hours. All questions were reasonable for the position I was applying for. A few white board programming questions (I chose python but they didn't seem picky about the language), one basic SQL specific question, one question on statistics and A/B testing and one on how to build as special metric (see below). Overall it was a positive experience.

Interview Questions
  • How would you build and test a metric to compare two user's ranked lists of movie/tv show preferences?
1 person found this interview helpful

Netflix

Anonymous Interview Candidate in San Francisco, CA

No Offer
Positive Experience
Average Interview
Application

I applied through an employee referral The process took 3 days. I interviewed at Netflix (San Francisco, CA) in Feb 2015

Interview

I had a phone interview which didn't get very technical because it became clear quite quickly that they are looking for someone with more experience than I, a fresh PhD in computational astrophysics, could offer. They were looking to hire people to do streaming analytics and experimentation, and it seemed essential to have a strong background in this field, not just a commonplace problem solving mind.

Interview Questions
  • What do you know about A/B testing in the context of streaming?
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