Top 40 Airbnb Interview Questions

“Airbnb exists to create a world where anyone can belong anywhere, providing healthy travel that is local, authentic, diverse, inclusive, and sustainable.” — Airbnb

Airbnb caters to the on-demand travel industry and is currently thriving in over 190 countries across the globe. Landing a job or an interview at Airbnb is not so easy.  It takes a lot of effort and preparation to join the company and its amazing network of talented professionals. 

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Here’s what we’ll discuss in this article:

  1. What does Airbnb do?
  2. The interview process at Airbnb
  3. Topics to cover for tech interviews at Airbnb
  4. interview questions asked at Airbnb
  5. Unique questions asked in Airbnb interviews
  6. Tips to prepare for an Airbnb interview
  7. Airbnb interview questions FAQs

What Does Airbnb Do?

Airbnb, which is short for “Air Bed and Breakfast,” is a service that provides a platform for property owners to rent out their spaces to travelers looking for a place to stay. Travelers can rent private or shared spaces. 

Technology is a core component of Airbnb. Every reservation made on Airbnb interacts with machine learning or AI. They’re constantly trying to innovate and add new features to their tech stack.

The Interview Process at Airbnb

On average, Airbnb’s interview process takes between two to five weeks to complete. Let’s look at each step of the interview process in detail.

Coding Challenge

Once your application is shortlisted, you’ll be asked to complete a HackerRank coding challenge. The challenge duration will be for 1 hour, and there will be several test cases that you need to crack to successfully complete the challenge. 

Technical Round

Once you clear the coding challenge, you’ll be having one or two technical phone screens with a manager at Airbnb. They’ll ask you programming questions on data structures and algorithms, which you need to solve using a text editor. 

On-site Round

Once you clear the technical round, you’ll be required to visit the Airbnb office and attend four to six on-site interviews. You will typically have 3 types of on-site interviews:

  • Coding Interview: You can expect to have 2 coding interviews where you’ll be asked some coding questions.
  • Behavioral Interview: You’ll also have two to three behavioral interviews, where you’ll be asked questions about your experience and questions to validate whether you’re a good fit for the company.
  • System Design Interview: You can also expect to have a system design interview if you’re applying for senior roles. If you’re applying for starting positions, you might not likely have this round. 

Topics to Cover for the Tech Interviews at Airbnb

The technical questions at Airbnb mostly consist of problems related to data structures and algorithms.

Data Structures

In data structures, you can expect questions from the below topics:

Algorithms

In algorithms, you can expect questions related to the below topics:

Interview Questions Asked at Airbnb

Here are some common interview questions asked at Airbnb to help you practice for the tech interview:

Programming Interview Questions

  1. Given: A string str
    Task: Find a way to convert it into a palindrome by inserting characters in front of it and the shortest palindrome that can be returned
  2. Find the sum of all right leaves in a given binary tree.
  3. Given: A string of alphanumeric characters with a length between 0 and 1000
    Task: Return the first character in the string that does not repeat 
  4. Design an algorithm that takes a string, for example, abc, and prints out all possible permutations of the string.
  5. Design a file system that lets you create new paths and associate them with different values.
  6. Design an iterator to flatten a 2D vector. It should support next and hasNext operations.
  7. Given: A list of unique words
    Task: Return all the pairs of distinct indices (i, j) so that the concatenation of the two words, words[i] + words[j], is a palindrome
  8. Given: An array of distinct integers, candidates, and a target integer target
    Task: Return a list of all unique combinations of candidates, where the sum of numbers is target 
  9. Given: A puzzle board
    Take: Return the least number of moves required so that the state of the board is solved; if it is impossible, return -1
  10. Given: A positive integer n
    Task: Write a method to return the fewest number of perfect-square numbers that sum to n

Behavioral Interview Questions

  1. Describe one of the creative things you’ve done recently.
  2. What is the scariest thing you've ever done?
  3. What is your view on Airbnb China?
  4. How would you improve Airbnb’s website?
  5. What is Airbnb’s mission?
  6. What is your view on Airbnb’s future in 5 years?
  7. Describe Airbnb to a person back in 2003.
  8. Describe a company that you think is doing really well.
  9. What do you like about Airbnb?
  10. What is one thing you’d like to remove from Airbnb?

System Design Interview Questions

  1. How would you design Google’s database for web indexing?
  2. How would you design Twitter’s trending topics?
  3. How would you design Dropbox?
  4. How would you design a ticketing platform?
  5. How would you design Instagram Stories?
  6. How would you design Facebook?
  7. How would you design a real-time ranking system for Fortnite?
  8. How would you design Amazon.com?
  9. How would you design a system that counts the number of clicks on YouTube videos?
  10. How would you design YouTube Shorts?

Unique Questions Asked in Airbnb Interviews

The following are some tricky and unique questions asked at Airbnb interviews and the candidate positions below:

  1. What position am I interviewing you for?
  2. Given a dictionary, and a matrix of letters, find all the words in the matrix that are in the dictionary. 
  3. What happens when you enter a URL in the web browser? 
  4. What can you teach me in a few minutes? 

Tips to Prepare for an Airbnb Interview

Tech interviews can be daunting. But if you have a clear prep plan and stick to it, it will be a lot less stressful. Here are some tips to get you started:

  1. Learn About Airbnb’s Culture: It’s important to know more about the company you’re applying for. Also, it’s essential to take some time to understand if it's a good fit for you. 
  2. Keep Your Basics Clear: Keep your fundamentals handy and learn the basics of programming, DBMS, operating systems, etc. 
  3. Practice, Practice, and Practice: As discussed above, Airbnb asks three types of questions. It’s important to practice as many questions as possible for each kind. 
  4. Practice Mock Interviews: It is highly recommended to take mock interviews online or ask a friend to take your mock interview before appearing for your actual interview. This will boost your confidence and help you take useful feedback.

Airbnb Interview Questions FAQs

Q. How to prepare for system design interviews?

A. First, ask as many questions as you can to understand the requirement. Second, design at a high level and then drill down to each component. Start with the element you’re most comfortable with. Read System Design Interview Preparation Tips for more insights. 

Q. How difficult are the interview questions at Airbnb?

A.  The level of difficulty of questions asked at Airbnb interviews varies from medium to hard. 

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