Netflix Senior Software Engineer Interview Questions | Glassdoor

Netflix Senior Software Engineer Interview Questions

Interviews at Netflix

81 Interview Reviews

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Helpful (3)  

Senior Software Engineer Interview

Anonymous Interview Candidate in Los Angeles, CA
No Offer
Neutral Experience
Easy Interview

Application

I applied online. The process took 6 weeks. I interviewed at Netflix (Los Angeles, CA) in November 2019.

Interview

The process was lengthy - too many phases. Questions were easy. Slow recruiters were the biggest issue.

The process consisted of:
- Phone call with the recruiter
- Phone call with the hiring manager
- 2 phone calls / technical screens with the engineers
- On-site day of interviews (5 sessions) - in my case it was Los Angeles
- Second on-site day of interviews - in my case it would be Los Gatos

I applied out of curiosity to a Full Stack SDE position in their Marketing department, while being a Principal SDE at a public company. It took about 5 days of their recruiter to contact me for a first chat.

Then we had a phone call with their engineering manager. She described the team, checked my soft skills, asked for thoughts about their 5-pages culture article. It took the recruiter 8 days to update me about the results :(

Then we had a technical screening phone call consisting of 2 sessions 30-45 minutes long each. In each of those sessions 2 engineers asked me to do coding tasks in Coderpad. The tasks were primitive - refactor some code, write a couple of tests, give example of an XSS, etc.

After that I was invited to Netflix office in Hollywood for a day of interviews. The area looked quite bad for living/working/commuting.

Got both positive and negative impression from the on-site interviews. I liked meeting the hiring manager and two engineers, while didn't like meetings with the project manager and the second recruiter (they seemed to be "robots"). Also - lol - my host just abandoned me.

First session - technical interview. Their SDE gave me a task to whiteboard (see below). He answered a couple of questions. Then he ran away fast after the interview, but overall he was live and invested into the process.

Second session - talk with the engineering manager again. Questions about my ideas how to deal with people, situations, etc. Gave me a technical task to whiteboard (see below). Asked her my questions - the answers aligned with my views. The only questionable thing is that the manager seemed to be an unneeded layer - as all my questions on how she helped developers resulted in "developers are very independent and should solve everything themself". So her role was just about hiring new people and signing salary checks. But the discussion was overall useful, and she was an interesting person.

Third session - technical interview. An SDE gave me a coding task to whiteboard (see below). Then we had a long forced chat on different topics regarding the life at Netflix. Basically, my host lady met me in the morning and said she would come after the third session to show the office and get some snacks. The SDE was hopelessly trying to locate her via Slack, and when it failed we had to talk with him until the next interview. I got insights about the life there. Some stories were questionable - e.g. how the first SDE I met that day spent a week on changing a properly working build process to use a different tool, because he personally liked it more (the story was provided to glorify the productivity of Netflix folks, but looked like a waste of time / money).

The forth interview seemed like a chat with "robot" - a mechanical walk-through the list of soft-skills questions.

The meeting with a second recruiter finished the day. Again a "robot-like" style of questions about soft skills and experience. Well, the person was alive - but seemed to have a professional deformation because of working as a recruiter for like ten years already. He was asking the list of questions he had to ask, smiling to play his role, laughing when he needed to laugh. Was not interested much in the process. Happened to be the most flawed link in the chain of interviewers. Promised to give me the results in like 3 days - never happened.

7 days later that recruiter emailed me to find some time to talk. All those attempts failed. First, he didn't read email with my response until next afternoon (one should believe, that Netflix recruiters do not read emails in the morning). Then he failed to call me on the day when he scheduled the call. And didn't even follow-up the next day. I had to contact the hiring manager and the other recruiter. Only after that - 10 days after the on-site interviews - got an email that I didn't pass due to over-complicating solutions to the tech tasks, also due to some concerns regarding my culture answers.

My conclusion regarding the tech results: kids, do not show your knowledge to Netflix, rather solve the tasks in the easiest manner :) Regarding the culture questions - it's up to Netflix to decide what answers they like.

To summarize:
- Liked - strong language of their culture doc, tasks and scale, meeting the team members (not just some unrelated engineers)
- Didn't like - working with the second recruiter (uhhh...), chat with the project manager, the LA area of the office (traffic, congestion, appearance).

Interview Questions

  • You're working on a video editor and need to show events (identified by start and end timestamps) in swimlane tracks. A single track cannot contain events that overlap. Implement an algorithm that receives an array of events and outputs list of tracks (arrays) containing the list of events that should be shown on that track.   1 Answer
  • Design a system that is able to process N types of jobs - i.e. job of types A, B, C, etc. The pipelines of jobs per type should be independent, i.e. a long-running job A should block only the queue of jobs A, but not block the queue of jobs B. And the results from each type of job queues should be delivered in the order of input.   1 Answer
  • Walk through a directory-like structure, outputting the names of folders and files. Each folder/file should be indented to the left according to its level from the root, and also should have the number of files it contains overall beneath it.

    E.g.:
    ------
    docs(3)
    -marketing(3)
    --october(2)
    ---file.doc
    ---invoice.doc
    --november(1)
    ---new_invoice.doc
    -publications(0)
    screens(1)
    -screen1.png
    ------   1 Answer

Other Interview Reviews for Netflix

  1.  

    Senior Software Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Los Gatos, CA
    No Offer
    Negative Experience
    Easy Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 5 weeks. I interviewed at Netflix (Los Gatos, CA) in November 2019.

    Interview

    Very long process:
    Interview with hiring manager (2 calls, 30 minutes each)
    Interview with HR partner (2 calls, 30 minutes each)
    Take home assignment (took me 12 hours distributed in 2-3 weeks)
    First Round of Interviews (5 interviews, 4.5 hours)
    Second Round of Interviews (4 interviews, 3 hours)

    Interview Questions


  2.  

    Senior Software Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Los Gatos, CA
    No Offer
    Neutral Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied through an employee referral. The process took 3 weeks. I interviewed at Netflix (Los Gatos, CA) in June 2019.

    Interview

    A meeting with the hiring director, two technical interviews with two interviewers each, then an interview with a recruiter for culture fit. After lunch, there were three more interviewers scheduled but it was cut short.

    Interview Questions

  3.  

    Senior Software Engineer Interview

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

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 3 weeks. I interviewed at Netflix (San Francisco, CA) in June 2019.

    Interview

    First round recruiter called me and asked me standard questions. Spoke about the so called "Culture Memo". Was pretty impressed with their honesty.
    Second round was with the director who asked me few questions about my current experience and described about the current role etc. Then gave me a take home assignment.

    I completed the assignment but I was not totally happy with some parts of the code , but since I committed to a date I submitted the assignment.

    What was funny was the feedback I got. I was told that the code did not compile and had missing dependencies. Which is funny because it definitely compiled and no way could the code compile without the dependencies. Also, it stated that the tests should have captured these bugs ? seriously tests should have captured compilation errors ? ( which did not exist in first place ) . I doubt the calibre of the directors who are testing or evaluating the candidates.Gosh , if they wanted to reject why give such frivolous reason. I was scheduled to have a code review and the director sent me an email couple of hours before the meeting saying that they have decided not to move on.

    Interview Questions

    • Design a tool to evaluate github stars, forks etc.   1 Answer

  4. Helpful (8)  

    Senior Software Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    No Offer
    Negative Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied online. I interviewed at Netflix.

    Interview

    Standard FANG multi-session interview, but for lunch I was given a boxed salad and told to eat it alone in a conference room because everyone else was going to a party.

    Saddest interview experience of my life.

    Interview Questions

    • How would you design a hierarchical database for server configuration? Should support both simple lookups for `/foo/bar/baz/key` and overriding values at arbitrary, non-prefix levels like `/*/bar/*/key = 42`   Answer Question
    • In an elevator control system, write a method that picks the elevator that should respond to a button press.   Answer Question
    • Teams are independent and known to disregard security in the interest of moving fast. Given that you have no authority over them, how would you persuade them to secure their services?   Answer Question
    • If you're writing an internal framework or library and release a great, new feature, how do you get teams to upgrade and adopt it? (There is no mono-repo)   Answer Question
    • I hate to put "general questions about design and technology", but that's really what it was: quasi-casual conversations about resume, culture and technology without any specific questions as such. 30 seconds on "how do you think aspect oriented frameworks are implemented?", another 30 seconds on "what do you think of Spring Boot?", two minutes talking about a point on the resume, etc.   Answer Question

  5. Helpful (9)  

    Senior Software Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Los Gatos, CA
    No Offer
    Neutral Experience
    Easy Interview

    Application

    I applied through a recruiter. The process took 4+ weeks. I interviewed at Netflix (Los Gatos, CA) in March 2019.

    Interview

    Got contacted by a recruiter. After couple of phone screens, was invited onsite. I was given the option of going through 4 rounds of technical interview and 3 rounds of leadership interview the same day or 2 different days. I chose to do them on 2 separate days.

    4 rounds of technical onsite interviews went well, 2 with managers and 2 with engineers that the candidate is expected to work on a daily basis. 3 of the Interviews were heavily focused on distributed services design, architecture & data modeling and one was on data structure & algorithm. All the interviews were free flowing conversations, the managers and engineers were all nice, respectful & patient during the whole process. Questions were all very practical and things all software engineers end up tackling on a daily basis.

    After the technical onsite, I was told the feedback was positive and was invited back for interview with leadership team. We discussed the Netflix culture, I expressed that as opposed to Netflix's culture that says "We mix work and personal time", I prefer to keep them separate and not mix them as I explained work/life balance is extremely important to me and that I don't want to keep checking emails and spending time on work during nights and weekends as an expectation. From talking to all of them, I got a sense that "email peeking" culture exists as everyone has it setup on their personal phone. It was said there is nothing like work/life balance but more work/life overlap and also that it is not acceptable if you look at the email and chose not to reply, instead it is expected that you reply that "I will respond on Monday or tomorrow". I felt the expectation to acknowledge emails consistently as unreasonable. And how does one tell if one looked at the email or not? This sounded like a very slippery slope situation to me.

    Few other statements from the culture memo that I expressed my disagreement with.

    "We model ourselves on being a team, not a family. A family is about unconditional love, despite, say, your siblings’ bad behavior. A dream team is about pushing yourself to be the best teammate you can be, caring intensely about your teammates, and knowing that you may not be on the team forever. "

    I am okay with this but this has to go both ways. I can spend weekends and nights helping my sibling but not my employer.

    "Keeper's test" that manager's use to keep or fire an employee. But there are no safeguards in place so that managers don't abuse it or use it for their own benefit. You are expected to take a leap of faith that the all managers will be fair.

    For a company that claims "extraordinary candor", including where one can see who said what about you during their "360", salaries and raises are not shared.

    From what I could gather, unlimited vacation translates to 4-6 weeks of vacation.

    After the leadership interview rounds I felt there was mutual understanding that we are not compatible on each other's work culture expectations and I was expecting a no offer email which I got after 2 days.


  6. Helpful (1)  

    Senior Software Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Los Gatos, CA
    No Offer
    Neutral Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 1 day. I interviewed at Netflix (Los Gatos, CA) in March 2019.

    Interview

    I was contacted by the recruiter and set up with the hiring manager.
    I was asked to go through the Netflix Memo(google it) and prepare around the culture questions.
    I interviewed for a new position which they plan to mass produce and flood the site with content.
    Anyway the interview started off right as I already had prepped for behavioral questions but late in the interview it went off rails as he grilled me on multithreading experience. Somehow that is very important to the people at Netflix. Anyway turns out I did not have the relevent multithreading experience, and I got the regretful email a couple of days later.
    Still worth the try for the experience and coming to know their mindset. Will try later.

    Interview Questions

    • Describe your multithreading experience.   1 Answer

  7. Helpful (2)  

    Senior Software Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    No Offer
    Negative Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 3 weeks. I interviewed at Netflix in December 2018.

    Interview

    Recruiter approached on Linkedin followed by elephonic interview. Unlike other big tech companies there was no coding round, hiring manager called and only asked thoerotical questions, like explain how ConcurrentHashMaps are implemented.

    Interview Questions

  8. Helpful (2)  

    Senior Software Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Norristown, PA
    No Offer
    Negative Experience
    Easy Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 2 weeks. I interviewed at Netflix (Norristown, PA) in June 2018.

    Interview

    I was interviewed by recruiter and then technical interview with the hiring manager. Hiring manager gave me 3 coding challenges and I answered them decently with lot of discussion and share my thought process. He responded in very positive way and the call ended. Later recruiter emailed me that team feels I am not the right fit without telling anymore details. It would be nice if the hiring manager or recruiter should have given some constructive feedback.

    Interview Questions

    • Typical JavaScript asynchronous question   1 Answer

  9. Helpful (9)  

    Senior Software Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Los Gatos, CA
    No Offer
    Negative Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 2 weeks. I interviewed at Netflix (Los Gatos, CA) in March 2018.

    Interview

    I was interviewed for Netflix for a Senior Software Engineer position in Los Gatos, California. The First round was with the recruiter, basic behavioral questions. Recruiter has really good technical knowledge and was able to answer most of my project related questions. Setup a call with the hiring manager in a week. Hiring Manager round was technical too. Lasted for 40 minutes (the manager joined 10 minutes late). Basic questions about background, interest in the role, project description. I received a take-home project to be written in any JVM based programming language you like.

    I was able to complete the task in 4 hours and sent it. I did not attach the driver program to execute the code, however, I attached some test cases and a ReadMe file.

    The manager has set up a code review session after a couple of days and rejected me in the next four minutes for not having a proper package structure for Src and Test files and for not having a driver file. Not a single line of code was reviewed.

    It is sad that I was rejected because of not having a proper package structure. In any other company, people only care about the logic and not the ceremonies of the code. I was disappointed with this interview process.

    Always the driver script/program and follow the package structure. Time does not matter.

    Interview Questions

    • Why Netflix? What interests you in this position?   2 Answers

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