Netflix Senior Software Engineer Interview Questions | Glassdoor

Netflix Senior Software Engineer Interview Questions

Updated Mar 9, 2017
68 Interview Reviews

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Helpful (9)  

Senior Software Engineer Interview

Anonymous Interview Candidate
No Offer
Negative Experience
Easy Interview

Application

I applied through an employee referral. The process took 2 weeks. I interviewed at Netflix in March 2017.

Interview

My software engineer interview at netflix
Spoke to recruiter after applying on their website, he gave me a cringeworthy corporate spiel about “netflix values” and asked me to read 125 page slide deck about it .
Dev manager sent me an coding exercise and asked me to share it via github. Which I did.
He called me next week and said he is rejecting me because of following reasons

I used java 7 instead of java 8 which shows them that I don’t keep up with new tech. When I responded that I actually use java 8 at work and all my open source code is written in java 8 for him to look and his exercise didn’t explicitly mention which version of java to use, he accused me of not taking feedback gracefully which is against netflix values.

2. private method takes concrete hashmap instead of map

3. exception class extends throwable instead of Exception.

Interview Questions

Other Interview Reviews for Netflix

  1. Helpful (2)  

    Senior Software Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview

    Interview

    One of the best interviews in bay area. It is very diverse company even you start seeing the company becoming like Indian shop. The culture and values are great. You interview with smart people not just engineers but product managers not other cross-functional.

    Interview Questions


  2. Helpful (1)  

    Senior Software Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    No Offer
    Negative Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied through a recruiter. I interviewed at Netflix.

    Interview

    Got contacted by Recruiter through referral, then got setup with a phone chat with a manager of a team. Conversation with manager was good. Got the go-ahead for a phone screen.

    Phone screen interviewer was awkward as he was all over the place. Asks me some questions about multithreading which I answered right. Asks me about preventing deadlocks and ends up saying I could prevent it in a certain way and he forgot that I had already mentioned that solution to him at the beginning. Small coding question on multithreading - probably 7 lines of code - which I ended up getting right with a little bit of help. There were 15mins left and he jumps to check if I had any questions for him making me wonder whether he was done asking me stuff. I start asking him questions about the team/project/challenges. Then suddenly jumps back to ask me some more technical questions regarding how I'd handle operations. Answered everything fine I thought. Ended up getting same email from them about not having the perfect background. Anyways, probably the most haphazard phone screen I've had in my career as the interviewer lacked structure. Didn't feel like the interviewer was prepared himself. Could've been an outlier in the company as I've heard great things about them.

    Don't waste your time interviewing here unless you're sure you have exactly the 'perfect background' for the role.

    Interview Questions

  3. Helpful (5)  

    Senior Software Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    No Offer
    Negative Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    The process took 3 weeks. I interviewed at Netflix in September 2016.

    Interview

    I had three phone rounds and all went well. The first conversation was on the bible (read as Netflix slides deck) with an HR exec and she seemed very little interested in listening to what I was saying. Just going over few things, in a way dragging on the conversation that lasted over 50 minutes. After that I spoke with the hiring manager/director. That was great. Very good interview and conversation. He asked some good tough questions that I answered and over all it went really well. I asked some great (in his words) questions as well. I like the team, manager, works as he described. All good so far. After that I was told there would be another phone interview with a team member. An ex Microsoft employee, then called me for another round of interview on CollabEdit. (2nd collabedit round). I actually did great. My solution was pretty good. We had a good conversation as well. Overall till this point all good and ok.

    I got an email two days later saying my background is not what they are looking for at this point and I should be in touch for any other position that can comes up.

    Interview Questions


  4. Helpful (2)  

    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 1 day. I interviewed at Netflix (Los Gatos, CA) in September 2016.

    Interview

    Overall it's very good, interviewers are very nice and knowledgeable. All three senior developers have different focus: one general about your background and depth of interested areas; one review the take home test; another mainly for a coding test. And hiring manager mainly asked some concepts/knowledge and some design issues. HR person focused on personality, culture, etc.

    Have to say that the lunch was a little late at 2pm, and it's simple cold lunch which can be improved thinking about intensive interview day :)

    Interview Questions

    • Questions are not difficult, just be calm and think clearly.   Answer Question

  5. Helpful (96)  

    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

  6. Helpful (13)  

    Senior Software Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Employee in Los Gatos, CA
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied through other source. The process took 4+ weeks. I interviewed at Netflix (Los Gatos, CA) in July 2016.

    Interview

    Firstly, the interview process at Netflix will vary greatly by team because at Netflix, you are interviewing for a specific position (not to "just get into the company"), and each team manages their interviewing process. Fair or not, this means you could have two technical interviews or four. It also means that the total number of interviews may differ. That said, as pointed out in at least one other interview review your interview process will most likely be split up into two parts. Get a thumbs up from the first part, and you go to the second. If you get a thumbs down, please understand that your interviews are over and your process will not continue. If you live locally, they typically break this up into two separate days. If they fly you in from out of town, they will all be in one day.

    If you are from out of town, I would stress making sure you pace yourself. Your last rounds of interviews will most likely be your hardest and will be with members of the management chain above your hiring manager.

    There should be no surprises when you decide to interview for Netflix. Their slide deck is public and you are essentially encouraged at every turn to study it. If you don't agree with the slide deck and the Netflix philosophy, then don't apply or don't continue the process. No one is forcing you. Netflix IS the slide deck.

    Should you chose to interview, you are acknowledging that you understand and support the Netflix culture and all that it entails. You would be wise to study the side deck and culture and know it and how it relates to you because the cultural questions you will be asked will relate directly to that.

    As every team is different, the cultural questions will be different and will depend entirely on the candidate. I was told you couldn't really prepare for them as either you would either be viewed as a good fit and would do well in the Netflix culture or you would not. The only advice I can offer in this area is know yourself and know it well. Know your strengths and weaknesses. Know how they tie into the culture and be ready to discuss them. You will be given scenarios to which you will need to respond and knowing yourself, your strengths, and your weaknesses inside and out will allow you to respond fluidly. Above all, be yourself.

    Interview Questions

    • There wasn't just one difficult question. Just know that you will be asked scenario type questions and knowing your strengths and weaknesses and how they tie into the Netflix culture slides.   Answer Question

  7. Helpful (5)  

    Senior Software Engineer Interview

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

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 1+ week. I interviewed at Netflix (Los Gatos, CA) in July 2016.

    Interview

    2 phone calls prior to anything technical, 1 with recruiter another with hiring management, these calls are meant to learn about each other outside of technical skills; good to see they are doing it instead of just jumping right into some brain teasers like some other companies do.

    Then 1 technical phone screen, it covered a fair amount knowledge that's relevant to the job, as well as a coding exercise via collabedit. The interviewer was kind enough to send me feedback directly afterward upon request, candid feedback is real here.

    Then first onsite round, 2 technical interviewers and 2 management interviewers. I ended up stopped here due to my technical skills not meeting the need. The technical questions asked were fair given they are very frank about looking for experienced candidate, it's natural that some questions you just can't answer because you haven't deal with those problems before or haven't used a certain aspect of a language. It was pretty heavy on multi threading and cover a wide spectrum of Java programming skills.

    In the end, the recruiter call me up and deliver the bummer new era in person rather than just an email, that was also nice.

    Overall it was a very positive experience for me, I have less doubt about the company culture after the interview, they do care a big deal about it, which is reflected by their interview process. And their culture is obviously not for everyone.

    Interview Questions

    • Multi threading / concurrency / distributed computing   Answer Question
    • Many many culture / personality related chats, don't find the answer, just show yourself.   Answer Question
  8. Helpful (5)  

    Senior Software Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Employee in Beverly Hills, CA
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied in-person. The process took 2 weeks. I interviewed at Netflix (Beverly Hills, CA) in June 2016.

    Interview

    Initial call followed by a phone screen. Then a full day of on-site interviews. For on-site interviews, they flew me out and had me stay in a very comfortable hotel; allowed me time to rest for a day before the actual interview.

    Interview Questions

    • There are two types of conversations: first about culture and fit: here they are trying to assess how you would perform in a high pressure environment; and second about technical competency. Here they look for your ability to solve technical problems, architecture, ideas, etc.   Answer Question

    Negotiation

    Netflix was very kind in offering me an amazing package. They have an amazing relocation team and they offered to relocate me from the northeast to the west coast. I didn't really need to 'negotiate' because everything they offered was so generous and awesome.


  9. Helpful (19)  

    Senior Software Engineer Interview

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

    Application

    The process took 3 weeks. I interviewed at Netflix (Los Gatos, CA) in April 2016.

    Interview

    I had a recruiter phone-screen, a manager phone- screen, followed by an onsite.
    The onsite had a recruiter in-person, 3 tech rounds and a round with the manager.

    My interviews went well and I still cannot fathom why I was not offered a job.
    I did well on all the technical interviews especially with their senior-most engineer.
    I honestly feel that the manager did not have a clear hiring bar.
     I suspect there was some negativity from him.
     He should have had sufficient data about how proficient I was, given that we interacted on-phone and on-site.

    Interview Questions

    • My first onsite was with the recruiter. The recruiter was very pleasant and we talked about why I was interested in Netflix and other companies that I was exploring for a job. He wanted to know why I was leaving my current company. I was quite upfront with the recruiter. He seemed to appreciate the directness.   1 Answer
    • Second round was with the manager.
      It wasn't a coding session, but more of a design/data structures problem specifically for the Netflix CDN scale. This seemed a bit excessive since I had already interacted with the manager twice and had done his take-home test.
      Not much discussion about what my role in the team could be.
      Lot of vague technical questions were asked.   1 Answer
    • Third round was with the senior-most engineer on the team. It was the best interview experience I had that day. Areas covered: Locks, concurrency, system design..
      We had a great conversation about implementing low-level locks and designing a Netflix service that prevents users from sharing accounts. The interviewer was articulate and well prepared with his questions. I had no trouble understanding what I was expected to solve. The coding & design questions were challenging and appropriate for a candidate with my background.   1 Answer
    • Fourth round was about algorithmic problems.
      I was able to solve them during the course of the interview with little to zero assistance. The interviewer seemed pleasant ( he seemed to be a french speaker like me ). These questions are more suited for candidates with 1-3 years of experience but I was happy to solve them.   1 Answer
    • Last round was about operations.
      Interviewer was an operations engineer and we discussed a lot of high level design and how to run live production systems with no downtime. We talked about some distributed systems problems, rolling out code to production, monitoring etc.   1 Answer

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