Netflix Software Engineer Interview Process

Netflix is one of the biggest digital streaming and production companies, with over 210 million subscribers worldwide. It is predominantly a technology company, which is why it’s part of FAANG — an acronym that represents the biggest technology companies. 

Netflix hires for software engineering roles throughout the year, with even the pandemic not slowing down the hiring of software engineers and developers. Netflix is known to pay handsome compensation packages to its engineers, often higher than its other tech counterparts. A diverse and inclusive culture along with a rewarding work environment make it a favorite among software engineers.

If you are preparing for a tech interview at Netflix, check out our interview questions page and salary negotiation ebook to get interview-ready! Also, read Netflix Interview Questions and How to get Software Engineering Jobs at Netflix for specific insights and guidance on Netflix tech interviews.

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In this article, we’ll look at the Netflix interview process for software engineers. We’ll cover the various stages in the interview, what to expect in different interview rounds, and some formidable tips to crack Netflix’s software engineer interview. 

Here is what we’ll cover in this article:

  • Netflix Software Engineer Interview Process
  • Netflix Software Engineer Interview Questions
  • Tips to Crack The Netflix Software Engineering Interview
  • Kickstart Your Netflix Interview Prep

Netflix Software Engineer Interview Process

The interview process at Netflix is structured such that only the best of the best engineers see the light at the end of it. The process is built to test your ability to solve complex and challenging problems. Netflix essentially looks for the following skills in applicants:

Each of these three aspects is evaluated closely by hiring managers. Neglecting any one of these areas can jeopardize your chances of landing an offer with Netflix. Let’s look at the different stages of the interview process.

1.  The Initial HR Screen

In this round, you can expect basic questions on your experience and skill set. The idea of the Initial HR round is to determine if you’re the right fit for the role based on your skillset (and experience). 

Netflix usually prefers hiring experienced engineers for developer roles. This doesn’t, however, imply that extensive experience alone can see you through. How you perform in the interview will ultimately decide if you’re going to land that coveted offer. 

2. The Technical Phone Screen

In this round, you’ll be interviewed by a hiring manager of the team you could be joining. You’ll be asked a coding problem on data structures, which you'll first be asked to brute force. The coding problem won’t be all that difficult and will mostly pertain to arrays, linked lists, trees, or strings. After brute-forcing the solution, you’ll be directed to write clean code on a shared document. 

The Technical Phone Screen typically happens virtually. The interviewer can ask you additional questions on the concepts you employ while solving the problem and perhaps tweak the problem statement to understand your general approach to problem-solving. 

3. The Netflix On-site Interview

The on-site interview is the final stage of the hiring process. It fundamentally comprises three rounds:

  1. The coding round: In this round, usually with a hiring manager or a technical lead, you'll be asked to solve 1-2 coding problems on algorithms and data structures. Your ability to apply core programming concepts is closely evaluated. You could also be asked to code on a whiteboard, although this mostly depends on the interviewer. You’ll be asked additional questions on your approach, too, as hiring managers often like to test the depth of your problem-solving skills in the on-site coding round. 
  2. The design round: The design round mostly involves building a scalable system that’s capable of reaching millions of users with low latency. You’ll be asked to build an arbitrary system by applying design, database management, and network protocols concepts. 
  3. The behavioral round: Netflix has a diverse and inclusive structure and has a stringent policy while testing behavioral attributes of candidates to determine if they’re the right fit. Netflix is a company that deeply values its culture. It is important to understand what recruiters expect from you while you interview. Ensure you go through the Netflix Culture Memo on Netflix's job site to learn more and prepare yourself better for the interview. 

Additional note: The design round is given more emphasis for senior developer positions, while the coding round is given more emphasis for junior developer positions. Regardless, all positions appear for the three on-site rounds (perhaps additional rounds if the position you’re applying to is very senior).

Related read: Netflix Interview Process Guide

Netflix Software Engineer Interview Questions

The questions asked at the Netflix interview typically fall under the below categories:

  • Coding questions
  • Design questions
  • Behavioral questions

To understand the type of questions asked in each category, check out our Netflix Interview Questions page. 

Tips to Crack The Netflix Software Engineering Interview

Cracking the Netflix interview requires an exhaustive prep strategy. By incorporating the following tips, you can stand a good chance of giving your best and landing an offer. 

Update your resume and LinkedIn profile

While updating, make it a point to include the right keywords in your resume and Linkedin profile and resume to get noticed by recruiters. Check out our comprehensive piece on Leveraging LinkedIn to Land FAANG interviews to learn more. 

Solve 1-2 problems every day and decode solution patterns

The best way to improve your problem-solving skills is to classify problems based on similar solution patterns and use these patterns while solving new problems. By solving at least 1-2 problems every day for at least 8 weeks before your interview, you can bring your problem-solving skills up to speed and get interview-ready. 

Interview Kickstart’s Technical Interview Masterclass primarily focuses on this immensely important aspect. With expert instructors guiding your prep journey, you can definitely see yourself becoming a master problem-solver by the end of the 2-month program.

Join our free webinar to learn more.

Practice mock interviews

A very important yet understated element in prep strategies is mock interviews. Practice mocks with hiring managers from Netflix, Google, and Amazon to gain the right insights on interviewing. 

Moreover, by practicing with the right professionals, you understand subtleties in the interview process and how to make the right impression while interviewing. You also develop the ability to supersede interview anxiety and give it our very best. 

Don’t ignore behavioral interviews

Behavioral interviews, especially while interviewing at Netflix, are extremely important while making a hiring decision. Practice answers to popular behavioral questions - this will help you tackle challenging questions posed by hiring managers. Employ the STAR method while answering behavioral questions to give recruiters the right context and clarity. You can read more about the STAR method here

Make a portfolio of the projects you’ve worked on in the past

Create a solid portfolio of challenging projects you’ve worked on in the past. Make sure you mention important steps in the project journey — this will make it easier for recruiters to understand your role in the projects. List project details in the STAR format for best results. 

Kickstart Your Netflix Interview Prep

If you’re planning on interviewing at Netflix, and don’t know where to start your prep, let Interview Kickstart help you. IK is the gold standard in tech interview prep. Our programs include a comprehensive curriculum, unmatched teaching methods, FAANG+ instructors, and career coaching to help you nail your next tech interview.

Register for our FREE technical interview webinar to find out how Interview Kickstart can influence your interview success.

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