Netflix Senior Software Engineer Interview Questions

Updated Jan 9, 2016
55 Interview Reviews

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Helpful (14)  

Senior Software Engineer Interview

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

Application

I applied through a recruiter. The process took 3 weeks. I interviewed at Netflix (Los Gatos, CA) in January 2016.

Interview

Summary: Netflix seems to be an awesome place to work at. Everyone I talked to seemed like a top performer and also seem to make every effort to keep their culture in line with what they have published publically. I am one of those guys who calls BS when he reads culture decks because in my experience once a company grows beyond certain point, every team defines its own culture but Netflix seemed like an exception and I wish every company could embress or at least imbibe what they have culturally. Even though I don't anticipate an offer my recommendation is to focus more on questions that you generally expect from HR and managers. Those are the tough ones and as engineer I think many of us do poorly in this area. Things that we should definitely know but are hard to express. For example the questions like Why Netflix? What do you want from your ideal job? What is the best environment for you to be successful? I am sure in your head you know what it is but make an effort to verbalize it. They are trying to judge if you will fit with a unique culture that they have worked so hard to develop and preserve and your technical ability is important but still not as important(or at least as important) as their culture. * A call with recruiter to align my interests with position * A call with director to I guess vet the basic culture fit * A call with manager , again for both basic culture fit and technical assessment * A technical phone screen. * Onsite: Recruiter: Culture fit and making sure I understand how they are different from most companies. Dev manager: Explained what the team does in more details , described what is expected of the person who would join the team, the challenges and the road map that he has for the team. Overall he did everything in his power to give me as much information possible as he can to make the right decision if they extended an offer. Sr. Engineer: Describe one of the challenging problems you have solved and discussed the design decisions I made. Pretty awesome guy and he was smart so it was very stimulating discussion, for a second I forgot I am interviewing. He asked a coding question which was something that lot of us have to use in real life not one of those trick questions. Dev manager/engineer from a sister team: Again awesome guy. Asked a system design question. Again we had a discussion that you expect to have when designing a solution with your teammates. He brought up some good points and I change my design accordingly. The biggest mistake I made was mathematical (confused gb with mb iirc) but he did not really point that out and let me focus on the crux of the problem. At this point I was given a lunch break and I was told in the beginning that I will have 3 more rounds depending on how the first 4 round goes. I am not sure what it means if you get to next round, it can either mean there was not enough evidence to reject you or it can mean there is enough evidence to keep going but we can all just guess. Anyhow, if you don't go beyond this point , please understand that you have been rejected. I was given the opportunity to move forward. Director: This was the second hardest interview for me. She talked about projects where i had slipped the delivery dates and what i have done to rectify those situation. I think I failed to verbalize things correctly but overall she tried to extract as much info as she could to figure out my personality and working style. Sr. Director: Talked about a challenging design problem and how netflix was a pretty awesome place to work at. Also enquired about the reason for leaving , how netflix will be different or not for those reasons. Again I believe this was culture fit assessment. VP: This was my worst interview of the day. May be because I was tired, may be because the VP just somehow felt intimidating, I am not sure. He asked me to tell him what feedbacks my colleagues might give about me. It was more of a wake up call for me that I really did not have much to say in this regard until ofcourse the interview was over. He also discussed one of the projects on my resume and how I would have changed things. Overall I was very happy with the interview process. I hate interviews where you don't endup learning anything and unless you get an offer it becomes one wasted day. This was different. Given my poor responses in the final 3 rounds I don't anticipate an offer but I hope others learn from my mistakes. The key is to think hard about these culture questions that you probably think you know the answers to but don't know how to communicate to others. Good luck.

Interview Questions

  • What feedback would your peers give you if you ask them for some criticism? How do you handle brilliant jerks?   Answer Question

Other Interview Reviews for Netflix

  1. Helpful (3)  

    Senior Software Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

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

    Interview

    A recruited pinged me on LinkedIn and after I showed interest she arranged for a 45 minute call and sent me the culture slide deck. In the phone call she asked general recruiter/HR questions and told me that I will have to do a second phone screen with the hiring manager. The phone call with the hiring manager also took 45 minutes and he asked questions regarding my role in my last job, the tech stack, the process, etc. In the end he let me know that I am not a good fit for his team because I have no experience in a key technology they require. I found it odd but overall I did not have a negative experience.

    Interview Questions

  2. Helpful (9)  

    Senior Software Engineer Interview

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

    Application

    I applied through a recruiter. The process took 3 weeks. I interviewed at Netflix (Los Gatos, CA) in October 2015.

    Interview

    Never ever interview at Netflix. It is total waste of time. The interview experiences written here are 100% correct. I interviewed with them few of weeks ago. When I was going through interview experience here on glassdoor I thought it might not be true. But after actually going through interview process, it confirms that all negative things expressed here are actually true. I was approached my a manager for a position in his team. After telephonic conversation with him I was called for 4 technical and 1 hr interview. I did really well in all the rounds as I was able to solve all the problems they gave( design, algorithms). After few days I get feedback that I am not right fit for them. In first round the interviewer said it is an open ended design question( which means there is not right solution) - but it seemed he expected me to tell the answer he expected. This was not a open ended question !! And I decided to use other language and not Java, the interviewer was not comfortable in that language( he never used that language). In one of the rounds, I did everything perfectly, seeing this interviewer seemed to get frustrated that I was able to solve all his questions. It showed me that people at Netflix want to prove you wrong always. They want you to accept that they are god and you know nothing. And that guy left without any words and no handshake- this was so rude and unprofessional ! Last round I did perfect, interviewer accepted that I did very well in that round. The feedback I got from recruiter was they were looking for someone with ~ 8yrs of experience. Netflix is a company which needs language experts who can cram syntax, keywords, api, packages. It doesn't need people who can solve hard problems, they just need Java code monkeys.

  3. Helpful (1)  

    Senior Software Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied through a recruiter. The process took 5 days. I interviewed at Netflix in October 2015.

    Interview

    First a phone screen, nothing to technical about it, just went through what was on my resume and discussed several technologies, I passed with no problem. Then a phone coding screen, I had to do a live coding session with the interviewer, the person was very nice and helpful. It's important to think out loud and let the interviewer knows your thought process so that they could help us. I was able to answer all 3 problems correctly with alittle bit of help. After that, got a Email saying I wasn't a exact match for what they are looking. Wish I had studied more.

    Interview Questions

    • DataStructure, String manipulation types of coding question.   Answer Question
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  5. Helpful (9)  

    Senior Software Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    No Offer
    Negative Experience
    Easy Interview

    Interview

    One of the worst interviews I have ever been too. Netflix managers seems like they are like low level thugs. I would never work for such managers who comes from 3rd tier bay area companies and act like thugs. I think there are better ways to do interview. I predict a pretty gloomy future for Netflix software engineering if all the managers are same I have experienced. Not worth interviewing and wasting your time period.

    Interview Questions

    • Nothing special. Just review easy to medium leet-code and review some basic design questions like load balancing etc.   1 Answer
  6. Helpful (2)  

    Senior Software Engineer Interview

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

    Application

    I applied through a recruiter. The process took 3 weeks. I interviewed at Netflix (Los Gatos, CA).

    Interview

    For the first step, I got pinged by a recruiter. When I told them I wasn't quite sure about their culture, the engineering manager wanted to directly talk to me, so I figured they had some interest. I setup the phone screen, and passed. I went to the next onsite interview which had 3 technical rounds which seemed to go ok. (One made mistakes in his responses to my comments, but I didn't say anything.) Second onsite involved the HR, which was focused about how well I understood their culture deck, etc. Right after that, I met with the VP, who more or less took a complete 180 of their culture deck. He didn't believe in paying people what their worth (the whole baseball analogy that their culture deck pointed out). Mentioning that I was still interviewing elsewhere in case this didn't work out seemed to be a mistake, something HR and the VP brought up multiple times, although this contradicted their culture deck. He also mentioned tons of bureaucratic rules and regulations that were again, something the culture deck was trying to say made them different from companies like IBM, Apple, etc., but he more or less up front said they're the same. I figured since I love working on projects on the side that do not compete with the business, and constantly look for outside the box solutions that working on side projects bring, it would be a good fit culturally, but I guess I was wrong.

    Interview Questions

    • What would one of your colleagues say is your biggest weakness?   Answer Question
  7. Helpful (4)  

    Senior Software Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Los Gatos, CA
    Declined Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 2 weeks. I interviewed at Netflix (Los Gatos, CA) in July 2015.

    Interview

    The interview process at Netflix was fun and incredibly efficient. I got an offer form them, but for personal reasons I had to reject it. I definitely recommend everyone to try and get into this amazing company. I applied to several positions through their website and they got in touch with me. In less than one week I had the opportunity to talk to the recruiter and the hiring manager. I had great conversation with both of them and the position in the Build&Tolols team seemed a good match for me. They sent me a coding exercise which gave me the opportunity not only to show my coding skills but also to show how I would handle a real life project, with build and test code. At this point, I got an offer from Amazon and asked them if they could expedite the process. They were extremely efficient and flew me to Los Gatos in a couple days. The onsite interview was amazing. I had three technical interviews where I could discuss the problems they were working on, my past experience and my open source projects. The people interviewing me were the people I would work with, including my hiring manager. I also had the opportunity to ask all I wanted about Netflix amazing and peculiar culture. It is a little bit frightening that they let people with adequate performance go, but after talking to them I realised that was the reason they got such an amazing team. After having lunch with the team, which was composed by a bunch of nice and smart guys, I went back for one more round of interviews, this time with the Netflix directors. This was a very good sign since you only take this second round of interviews if you went well at the first round. We had very interesting conversations in which they seemed to be assessing me in terms of culture. It all went great and I got to learn more about the company. After all interviews were over, my hiring manager showed me the area where my team worked. I even got a few stickers and a mini figure of Chaos Monkey! He told me that the team really loved me and he would get back to me soon. Because I had a pending offer from Amazon, they called me back the same day to tell me I had passed and to try to and get me to say no to Amazon :) They made an offer with flying colours! Given the fact I loved the team, the work I would do and the company culture, I said a very happy yes. After a couple weeks, when I was already preparing for relocation, I got a call from Google. I had an interview with them some time ago and they also had an offer for me. Even though the opportunity at Google didn't sound as appealing as the one at Netflix, I wouldn't need to relocate to Los Gatos and that was very important to me and my family. I had to cancel with my team at Netflix, which made me feel really bad since I had such an amazing experience with the people there. Even though this was not the right time for me to join Netflix, I would be more than happy to get in touch with them in the future to explore more opportunities.

    Interview Questions

    • They asked many behavioural questions in order to make sure I would be a good fit for they peculiar culture of freedom and responsibility.   1 Answer
  8. Helpful (6)  

    Senior Software Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    No Offer
    Negative Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied through a recruiter. The process took a week. I interviewed at Netflix in May 2015.

    Interview

    Got contacted by the recruiter. Setup a time to talk, went through the ~ 100 something slideshow. The recruiter said she was impressed with my skills, set up time to talk with the Hiring Manager. I spoke to the Hiring Manager who was nice to talk to, went over my background and skills in depth. He was particularly interested in knowing about my AWS experience and how I designed a scalable Metrics collection service . Overall was a positive conversation purely on background and experience. Next up, the Hiring Manager suggested a technical programming phone screen. And I setup some time for it. The phone-screen was awkward from the start. I google'd the interviewer's name before the interview and found out that he's the kind who runs blogs on interviewing questions and puzzles. While I particularly detest narrowing down Software Engineering to a bunch of puzzle type questions, I am well aware of what such kinds of interviewers are after. I prepped hard and going through Cracking the Coding Interview and other resources. When I saw the interview problem, I just had the gut feel that I could crack this, I went through the edge-cases and design ideas meticulously and wrote the code given below. 3 days later, I get an email from the recruiter saying that "my background and skills do not match". I tried to follow up but did not get concrete feedback. This was very weird and I felt frustrated, since I had already spoken to the Hiring Manager - and he'd okay-ed a phone screen - either the recruiter was lying or I was being used as interview target practice for someone on the team. For the record, I never head back from them on what skills they thought I was 'mismatched'. Overall I think it was a finicky process and a company.

    Interview Questions

    • Letter Combinations of a Phone Number   1 Answer
  9.  

    Senior Software Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    No Offer
    Negative Experience
    Easy Interview

    Application

    I applied through a recruiter. I interviewed at Netflix.

    Interview

    The manager sent email and then had quick chat. Then recruiter followed up requesting reading their 100+ page culture document. Then technical phone screen seems to be easy and feedback is good. I thought I will go onsite. The following day, recruiter sent email stating skill miss match. It is kind of wasting time to ask for phone screen if they knew the mismatch in the first place.

    Interview Questions

  10. Helpful (37)  

    Senior Software Engineer Interview

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

    Application

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

    Interview

    I think they are not serious about hiring and just browsing the job market to see how much other people are getting. Had the usual phone screen which was pretty easy , mostly questions related to HashMap and how its implemented in Java , why equals and hascode function are required etc. Then there was simple coding question. After that there were onsite interviews. First interviewer asked question about how to figure rectangles objects are equal and then HashMaps and how to implement hashcode function . He was pretty adamant about hearing catch phrase "strategy design pattern" even after providing the solution which was what strategy design pattern would have done. Second interview as 2 coding questions related to median of array and print level order , it was pretty easy. Third interview was a design interview. Forth was more behavioral with director. Fifth with HR, she tried to much to sell Netflix and asked questions about how much I am making, I told her I dont feel comfortable telling the exact figures but told her what my expectation is. She didnt let it go and said because they have to be on top of the market my exact figures are quite important, which i didnt get. Got rejection email after a day which was a surprise as my interviews went well. I asked for feed back but they never returned to me, I guess they got what the needed. Anyways wouldn,t have left my current job for Netflix because I kind of got the feeling about their culture which I am afraid close whats there on the Glassdoor.

    Interview Questions

    • Median of stream of integers, solved using two heaps min and max. Print tree level wise   1 Answer
    • There are 10000 servers and need to send a file of size 1 MB to each server, starting from laptop and there is only 1 MB bandwidth between each server. Shortest time in this is possible . Solved using tree and can be done in logarithmic time.   Answer Question
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