Spotify Senior Software Engineer Interview Questions

Updated Apr 25, 2021

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Interviews at Spotify

Experience
Positive30%
Negative55%
Neutral15%
Getting an Interview
Applied online50%
Recruiter35%
Staffing Agency10%
Difficulty
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Spotify

Anonymous Interview Candidate in Cambridge, MA

No Offer
Neutral Experience
Average Interview
Application

I applied online. I interviewed at Spotify (Cambridge, MA) in Apr 2021

Interview

Pretty standard process: - Conversation with HR about the role and your expectations - 1h tech screen with coding exercise and knowledge based questions - 4h onsite interview: coding, troubleshooting ("case study" in their terms), system design, and behavioral ("values" in their terms) The 4h "onsite" was virtual over Google Meet and split over two days. The interviewers were all very professional and willing to help, and hr responsive

Interview Questions
  • Easy to medium difficulty leetcode string and tree problems
    Answer Question
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Spotify

Anonymous Employee in New York, NY

Accepted Offer
Positive Experience
Average Interview
Application

I applied through a recruiter. I interviewed at Spotify (New York, NY) in Mar 2021

Interview

I was reached out via LinkedIn by recruiter, we scheduled a chat and decided to move forward. Other recruiter scheduled my second interview for that same week as they knew I had another 3rd round interview that week. That one had a medium LC question and general knowledge questions. I heard back from them a couple of days later about moving to final round & scheduled it for the week after. Final round was actually not as hard as other companies, they are genuinely interested in seeing your fit with the company culture & values. I got an email to check in the day after & then kept communicating until I heard final feedback a week later, when I got the offer and I accepted.

Interview Questions
  • I can't say, just practice some medium LCs, know your system designs and how to troubleshoot production issues.
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Spotify

Anonymous Interview Candidate in Stockholm, Stockholm, Stockholm

No Offer
Negative Experience
Average Interview
Application

I applied online. The process took 3 weeks. I interviewed at Spotify (Stockholm, Stockholm, Stockholm) in Feb 2021

Interview

The screening round had a discussion about a previous project, some generic questions about software and debugging and a code challenge. This was fairly easy. This was followed by a values round, case study(debugging skills) round, coding challenge and a system design round. The values round was fairly standard but the interviewer seemed to be asking questions from a script instead of actually listening and trying to figure out if a reaction to a situation demonstrates a company value. The case study(debugging skills) round consists of a debugging an outage. The aim of this round is not to resolve the outage but to demonstrate debugging skills. The scenario presented was a failure of a business critical feature in a particular region. This is not a technically challenging round for someone who has prior experience for debugging. But from the feedback received and the interviewers conduct it seemed like there are hidden expectations for this round. My experience was that the interviewers also try to put me in a spot despite me suggesting a different approach. The coding round is fairly easy. I was asked a question where performance optimization didn't seem to be the aim but talking about edge cases and design decisions were more important. I did well and walked the interviewer through all edge cases and my thought process and trade-offs around design. The interviewer would nitpick about certain choices including details like behaviour of standard library APIs which felt was unnecessary since nowadays programmers don't write code before looking up documentation online. The feedback for this round suggested that the interviewer made certain assumptions about the level of my skill based on this nitpicking. The system design round consisted of a problem statement that was an extension of an existing feature in Spotify. This round was different from the FAANG system design problems in that the functional requirements and non functional requirements were clearly defined upfront. I did a high level overview followed by a another walk-through about bottlenecks. The interviewers seemed interested in talking about the tradeoffs about the design of APIs and data models and other functional aspects of the system more than scaling.

Interview Questions
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Spotify

Anonymous Interview Candidate in New York, NY

No Offer
Positive Experience
Average Interview
Application

I applied through a recruiter. I interviewed at Spotify (New York, NY) in Dec 2020

Interview

I had a 1 hr 15 mins long phone interview which consisted of 1 hr for coding , 10 mins for general theoretical programing questions and 5 mins for any questions I might have. After passing phone interview, I was invited for onsite which consisted of 4 rounds, each 1 hr long 1. System Design 2. Case study 3. Behavioral 4. Coding

Interview Questions
  • Signed NDA. But it was leetcode medium and very general System Design
1 person found this interview helpful

Spotify

Anonymous Interview Candidate in Stockholm, Stockholm, Stockholm

No Offer
Negative Experience
Difficult Interview
Application

I applied online. I interviewed at Spotify (Stockholm, Stockholm, Stockholm) in Sep 2020

Interview

Spotify has a lot of jobs online. Due to the pandemic I decided to apply even they were not my first choice. I’m experienced in my field. I got contacted by the HR in 1-2 weeks and we planned an interview over Google Meet. Everything was fine and I proceeded to the next online interview. Here I had to solve a relatively easy algorithmic problem. I had to use an online IDE with basic editing capabilities. The people I met were pretty reasonable but not very nice. I managed to provide multiple solutions and working implementations to the problem so they moved me to the final stage. In the final stage things started to get very messy. I had to go in a 5 hours meeting where I met 10+ people. The interviews were predatory and at least half of the people had very little experience in taking an interview. Some of them were sarcastic or arrogant. This stage had 5 interviews: an informal chat, 2 live coding (algorithms and IDE), a system design and a values interview. At least 2 interviews were very weird. The values was not a conversation. For the entire interview I had to prove that I’m not some sort of jerk. Also some questions were inappropriate, such as: “Did I have a revelation under the shower and provided a completely new solution to a problem?”. I’m not sure if they wanted to find out if I’m a genius. The system design was also weird. In this one I had to use an online whiteboard with no system design capabilities (no ER, UML or even basic flowcharts). The design request was very vague and I had to conduct the interview myself. I had to guess the requirements (and fight the tool) since the people didn’t talk almost at all. One just introduced himself and was almost silent for the whole interview. After this experience I had very mixed feelings about the interview and the people I met. After one week I had another call with HR where they informed me that I did really well in all the interviews with just a small exception, where someone considered that I didn’t communicate enough. However, due to the pandemic, they don’t have enough growth to make me an offer right now. After this experience I was able to draw a few conclusions: - The company seems very large considering the niche and the limited availability of products. This results in entire teams focused on very small areas (like a screen, a web page or some tooling) - They have some experienced developers but the majority of them have very little relevant experience outside Spotify. They were hired as junior/mids so all they know is Spotify. For this reason you should not rely too much on the positive company reviews you find online. - A recurring negative theme, when asking people about what are their challenges, was the organisation structure. It makes finding the responsible person/team for a feature too hard. Also the teams work in different ways: some Scrum, some with no structure. This makes alignment very hard. - If you are a junior-mid developer, working at Spotify can be a relatively good chance to get some exposure with a larger system and organisation. However don’t count on job variety or career opportunities. Take it just as a temporary tech experience. - If you are a senior, you should look somewhere else. It can take years to develop and grow an idea. The company still operates with great loss and its future is uncertain if they don’t find better ways to monetise their products. Apple and Amazon grow very fast in the business with better profits and more variety.

Interview Questions
  • Did I have a revelation under the shower and provided a completely new solution to a problem?
14 people found this interview helpful

Spotify

Anonymous Interview Candidate in New York, NY

No Offer
Neutral Experience
Easy Interview
Application

I applied through a staffing agency. The process took 3 weeks. I interviewed at Spotify (New York, NY) in Jun 2020

Interview

Got the call from external recruiter and submitted my profile. In a week Initial screening scheduled with Technical Lead. They are interested to proceed further technical rounds. After a week 3 hours interview got scheduled. Interviewed with 4 people including HR(last 15 mins). All interviewers were pretty cool, discussion was more likely previous projects. Its been 2 weeks till didn't provided feedback and tried to reach the recruiter but not even responded back.

Interview Questions
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Spotify

Anonymous Interview Candidate

No Offer
Negative Experience
Easy Interview
Application

I applied online. The process took 6 weeks. I interviewed at Spotify

Interview

Spotify probably has the most unprofessional recruiters that I've worked with in my job search. They were extremely non-responsive. My experience was that it took about a week to get a response back from them in average. I already had a few offers when they finally asked me to be onsite. I declined without going through the final round of interview.

Interview Questions
1 person found this interview helpful

Spotify

Anonymous Interview Candidate in New York, NY

No Offer
Negative Experience
Average Interview
Application

I applied online. The process took 4 weeks. I interviewed at Spotify (New York, NY) in Dec 2019

Interview

I spoke with a recruiter about the position initially then moved on to a phone screen. The phone screen was your standard fare: Talk about projects a bit, answer some tech/coding questions, do a programming test. The programming test wasn't super straight forward and I went with a DP-based approach that the interviewer mar or may not have understood. That is on me if I was not clear in my explanation, but what was crazy was the feedback I got after. I was told I needed too many hints when I didn't _ask_ for hints, they were _given_ to me as I talked through my solution. To have my only negative feedback (that I was given) be about something I had no control over is absurd.

Interview Questions
  • Write a function to generate all valid nested parenetis for a given value N. So for example: If N = 1: "()" if N = 2: "()()", "(())" if N = 3: "()()()","()(())","(())()","(()())","((()))"
2 people found this interview helpful

Spotify

Anonymous Interview Candidate in London, England, England

No Offer
Negative Experience
Average Interview
Application

I applied online. The process took 2 months. I interviewed at Spotify (London, England, England) in May 2019

Interview

After initial phone call with a recruiter I was invited to first technical stage. That went relatively quickly. I was informed by the recruiter that the feedback should arrive soon (after the weekend). In reality I was pinging the recruiter once per couple of days for following 3 weeks, either receiving false promises or no response at all... After this time received a no for the role I applied - fair enough, I failed one quite basic question. However the recruiter said they still want to invite me to the final interview onsite, just for different team. I agreed on that and was supposed to receive further details. Silence for next 2 weeks, despite my remainders. After that time I wrote to the office complaining about the process. Next day received an email from recruiter and agreed on a call to discuss next steps. Was supposed to receive further details afterwards. It was 2 weeks ago, no communication from then... I’ll only say that this processes greatly undermined my beliefs in Spotify culture.

Interview Questions
2 people found this interview helpful

Spotify

Anonymous Interview Candidate in London, England, England

Declined Offer
Negative Experience
Average Interview
Application

I applied online. I interviewed at Spotify (London, England, England) in Feb 2019

Interview

I really hope they give me no offer, because after doing all the on site interview I was feeling like not entering that door and seeing that people again. If they will give me an offer instead then I will have to consider it because of the importance of the company, but not with a joyous hearth. I think this is the problem with interviews with important companies, they have so much hiring power that they pay so little attention to the candidate experience at interviews. The interview was an excruciating 5 hours onsite. No breaks, no stop. Even lunch was with some engineers, that were forced to lunch with me because it's spotify's game and you play it. Some interviewers were nice, but they seemed all to put a large effort not to smile or be welcoming. One started giving bad looks to me as soon as he entered the room and then every question I was asking was answering in an annoyed way. Others were indeed nicer. On the last interview I asked for a break, as I was exhausted, was not given, instead we run out of time and they literally rushed me out of the door. It's an interesting company for sure and maybe if you pass the interview it's even very nice to work at, who knows, but honestly I would not interview there again. I interviewed for Facebook and was a much nicer experience. At this point I'm starting questioning myself if I really want to apply to big companies like this again. I think all in all the interview wasn't particularly difficult, but I was so stressed and pressured that I feel I have underperformed largely. Maybe they want to see if people do perform under pressure and having the luxury of having many good candidates allows for this.

Interview Questions
  • coding exercise on whiteboard on linked lists (or array list your choice)
  • strange system design they want you to know the speed of hard drives lol
5 people found this interview helpful
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