Be it a technical role or consulting one, working in FAANG companies is a dream come true. While working in these companies is a great joy, getting into one is surely a roller coaster. Especially, the ‘N’- Netflix of FAANG companies is known to conduct the toughest interviews in the corporate world. The focus primarily lies on technical roles and preparing for them can be unnerving. The set of questions range from anything to everything with special emphasis on mainstream programming languages like Java, python, and SQL-related questions along with an in-depth understanding of the Data Structures.
Cracking the Netflix interview is quite a deal and depends largely on two aspects- Technical Soundness and Behavioral Adaptability. The focus is well-distributed on both, but the technical questions can pose a tough challenge to ace.
Netflix conducts interviews across five rounds that may last up to a month but generally go till a week or two. Though there is no fixed process at Netflix to fill a position, the below-mentioned are the most reported steps in the overall onboarding of a candidate.
Note: A majority of interviewees have reported the Netflix interview process to be excellent but difficult at the same time.
Preparing for Netflix Interview
Preparing for technical profiles at Netflix is not difficult but requires a lot of effort and dedication. The questions are predominantly structured around but not limited to product infrastructure, coding, designing, tooling, engineering, data science, design, and security. Though Netflix prefers candidates with a prior minimum experience of 3 years but a fresh coding expert who knows their domain in and out is always a yes. One thing you need to do while preparing for a Netflix interview is to select your preferred language. It is always good to work across more than 1 language to increase your scope of candidature and also give you options while being interviewed.
Preparation Tip: Take your time to browse and work through these languages and pick the one that interests you the most. Dig deeper into concepts, exceptions, most famous or difficult use cases, etc.
Also, make sure you have walked through their website thoroughly as Netflix is known to include a lot of culturally inclined questions that find their origin from the Core values and culture section on their website.
Netflix Technical Interview Questions
The technical interview questions vary as per the role applied for. However, there are three main drivers of these questions:
- Data Structures
- System Designs
Here are some frequently asked and most expected questions at Netflix technical interviews based on the selected language. While the questions cover a majority of the concepts concerning the language, you can expect some changes and twists while sitting for the actual interview. The idea is to strengthen the concepts and solve the programming problems easily which may otherwise sound confusing.
Netflix Interview Questions Based on Data Structures and Algorithms
Data structures are basically the types under which data is arranged in computer memory to be used efficiently. Data structures are broadly classified into the following categories:
- Linked list
- Doubly linked list
- Binary tree
- Binary search tree
- Advanced data structure
Netflix interview questions based on data structures are miscellaneous from these categories. There is no particular division among these categories, however, the panelists are reported to jumble up the concepts and present combination questions from more than 1 category.
Here are the most commonly asked Data Structure and Algorithm questions at Netflix interview;
- How do you find if a linked list has a loop?
- Without recursion, traverse a binary tree in Preorder.
- Write a code to find the sum of two linked lists using stack.
- Find out the duplicate in an integer array of 1 to 100 numbers.
- Write a code to add two numbers represented by linked lists.
- How can you check if in a given linked list there exists a cycle? Also explain how to find the starting node of it.
- Without using any library method, reverse the words in a given sentence.
- Write a code to detect and remove loop in a linked list.
- What is the Boolean Parenthesization Problem?
- How to remove duplicate nodes?
- Check if the given string is a palindrome.
- For a given integer array, find out the largest and the smallest number.
- For a given integer array, conduct sorting using the quicksort algorithm.
- Write the code for printing all the leaves of a given binary tree.
- How will you remove any duplicates in a given array without the use of any library?
- For a given integer array, find all the pairs whose sum is equal to a given number.
- In a given integer array of numbers 1 to 100, a number is missing. How will you find the missing number?
- Implement a radix sort algorithm.
- Implement a bubble sort algorithm.
- Without using the third variable, swap two numbers.
- Write a code to design a vending machine.
- Write a code to implement the counting sort algorithm.
- Write a code to print the all nodes of a given binary tree without recursion. Use Inorder traversal.
- Write a code to implement the binary search tree.
- How can you find the exact number of vowels and consonants in a given string?
- Write a program to find the middle element in a given singly list in one go.
- Write a code to find the largest sub-array formed by consecutive integers.
- Write a rearrangement for a given array such that for every element A[i], A[A[i]] is set to i.
- Find out all the triplets Arithmetic progression
- Write a program to count the distinct absolute values in a given sorted array.
- What is the surpasser count? For a given array, write a code to find the surpasser count for each element.
- Write a code for a given array such that negative and positive numbers lie at alternate positions.
- For a given set of constraints in an array, determine the index of an element.
- Right rotate an array N number of times.
- Write a code to perform the inversion count of an array.
Netflix Interview Questions on Systems Design
Second in line is the systems design area which holds high importance if you are applying for a senior level position. The role is focused on creating detailed documentation of the system catering to current and future business needs. At Netflix, the system design role is very demanding and requires expertise in the core area.
Here are some systems design questions you can expect at your Netflix interview;
- How will you design a universal file sharing and storage app similar to Dropbox or Google Drive?
- What are the pre-requisites to design a web crawler?
- Justify the pros of designing an application like Airbnb.
- What is an API rate limiter? How can you design one?
- What do you mean by requirements determination?
- What are the different types of documentation in system design? What is the right stage to prepare documentation?
- How can you shorten a large URL?
- What are the main concerns in designing video streaming apps like Netflix?
- What are the major challenges in designing apps like Quora that are both a social media platform and a message board service?
- What is a proximity server? How can you design one?
- Layout the blueprint for designing a twitter-like application.
- What kind of algorithm will you use in designing the Facebook Newsfeed?
Netflix Behavioral Interview Questions
FAANG companies are known to give extra weightage to candidates who they believe are the right fit, culturally. Throughout the entire interview process, be it the initial HR screening or the on-site interview, you will be gauged for your attitude, learning ability, problem solving, time management, stress management, perception, and go-getter attitude. There are several instances when technically sound candidates have been dropped by Netflix on account of being culturally unfit. The cultural deck on Netflix’s website is your go-to thing while preparing for the behavioral interview part. They have comprehensively laid out the existing culture as one organization across a 100+ slide presentation. They expect the prospective candidates to understand the culture they would come office to and what Netflix as an organization expects from you as a candidate.
For senior positions the desired skills are- Leadership, mentoring, team leading, team building, problem solving, project management, etc.
For mid-to-beginner positions, the desired skills are- Team working, problem solving, time management, etc.
Here are some behavioral questions to expect at your upcoming Netflix interview;
Questions Based on Teamwork and Collaboration
Teamwork is the soul of every organization. Nothing and absolutely nothing in this world work in silos and when it comes to globally present and flourishing companies like Netflix, teams play an exceptional role.
Here are some teamwork and collaboration based questions asked at Netflix interviews;
- What exactly does teamwork mean to you?
- Would you rather prefer working independently? (Do not answer this question in a Yes unless you have an undeniably rocking explanation to it)
- Tell about a challenging team situation and how instrumental you were in getting it resolved.
- What steps in your past role have you taken to motivate your team?
- How can you contribute to our team culture?
- Share a difficult situation that you tackled as a team lead or team member and how did you dig deeper into the situation.
- If you prefer the individual setup, would you still be comfortable if the company later decides to move into a teamwork setup?
- Have you ever been a part of a group failure? How well did you take it?
- How will you deal with a team member who is eager to take the team’s credit upon successful completion of a task?
- Would you be comfortable if we talk to your previous project team members?
Questions based on Work Life Balance and Handling Work Related Stress
Work life balance is among the most talked features and perks of working for a culturally strong company. FAANG companies are known to have exceptional work life balance and expect the employees to value and deserve it.
Here are some work life balance questions Netflix panelists can ask you;
- How comfortable are you in working for an overly-demanding project that requires you to ask your team to stay late in the office?
- What is your typical workday?
- Do you have any interests and hobbies outside the office?
- Have you ever dealt with a tough boss?
- Imagine a situation where your senior criticizes you in front of your subordinates for a mistake you never committed. How will you react?
- How will you rate yourself in terms of success?
- How comfortable are you in discussing your salary in front of your team members?
- Imagine you were in the hiring team and you have narrowed it down to two candidates. One is an exceptional programmer but might prove to be an individual player. The other one is an above average programmer but has strong a foundation of beliefs and values and seems culturally fit for the organization. Which one would you choose and why?
- There is a lot of travel involved in this position. Would you be able to justify the role and take care of your family too?
- You have been here for quite some time. What flaws did you find in this process?
Questions Based on Client Management Skills
Whatever position you are at, you will be dealing with clients- internal or external. It is crucial to possess sound client management skills and also expect to be questioned for the same.
Have a look at some most expected questions regarding client management skills at Netflix;
- Have you ever gone the extra mile while working for any client?
- What exactly is good customer service in your eyes?
- Are you a ‘Yes’ Man/Woman? Or have you ever said ‘NO’ to a client? How did you explain yourself?
- How highly do you value collaboration for your organization?
- Do you follow the same approach and strategy working with all clients? How differently do you deal with difficult clients?
- This role requires you to deal with multiple clients on a daily basis. How do you prioritize your clients?
- Do you always make decisions that are client-pro? Have you ever taken a decision that has cost you a client?
- What do you think are the trigger points that indicate that your company needs a robust CRM?
- Are there any strategies you follow to gain the trust of your clients?
- How do you stay updated with the latest market trends?
Questions Based on Relationship with Manager and Supervisor
Bosses and supervisors are like pineapples who might seem harsh on the upside but soft on the inside. While being on your interview at Netflix, you can expect to be asked for questions relating to your relationship with your manager or supervisor.
Prepare yourself for these questions;
- Describe your boss in 5 words
- Describe an ideal boss
- Have you been on the receiving end of criticism? What was the biggest criticism you received?
- Imagine you have been working with a client for the last six months. Your boss is insisting on taking up some of their major operations you handle and is headed towards a wrong decision. What will you do?
- Have you ever purposefully participated in some cross-functional activities just to increase your interaction with some fellow members or seniors?
Questions Based on Adaptability
Adaptability is one of the key ingredients in getting you settled at a new place, be it a job, location, relationship, etc. If you are a rigid personality, you may find it difficult to focus on your new job. Moreover, the FAANG companies may restrain from hiring you even if you aced your technical rounds. While you prepare to sit for your interview at Netflix, train yourself to become universally adaptable.
Here are some adaptability-related questions you may find helpful;
- The culture of Netflix is quite different from your last organization. How are you planning to get settled?
- It is not necessary that you will have control over everything. How do you react to situations you have no control over?
- Imagine you have prepared the blueprint of a project you have been working on for the last two months. Late evening you receive a call from the client stating there has been a major change in the requirements. How will you react?
- You came across a new technique or process that can double the efficiency of your team. Your teammates, however, are not ready to adapt to the change and get trained over it. what will you do?
- Have you ever been stuck in a situation where you had to adjust to a team member’s inefficient practices to complete a project? How did you deal with it?
Questions Based on Netflix- Products and Company
- What is your take on Netflix’s advertising approach?
- Are you sure you want to work at Netflix? Why?
- Who do you see is the biggest competitor for Netflix?
Questions Based on Past Projects
Past projects are a mirror to your personal and professional growth. Recruiters at Netflix want to know about your learnings, challenges, and growth while working on previous projects.
- Have you ever been stuck in a project you did not want to take up? What did you do?
- What was the toughest project you have worked on? Why was it tough?
- Have you ever failed? How did you react or make up for it?
Java Interview Questions Asked at Netflix Interviews
Java is one of the most extensively used programming languages globally. All major tech giants prefer their engineers to be proficient in this language. Here are some Java-based questions you can expect at your Netflix interview;
- Can you do multiple inheritances in Java? Why?
- Why do you declare Wait and Notify in Object class and not in Thread?
- Why is a string immutable in Java?
- Which data structure do you prefer to store passwords in Java? Why?
- What is operator overloading? Is it supported in Java?
- What are the different types of Maps in Java?
- In how many ways can you handle exceptions in Java?
- Explain the purpose of the Yield method of Thread class.
Python Interview Questions Asked at Netflix Interviews
- What is meant by Pickling and Unpickling in python?
- How do you comment multiple lines in python?
- What are docStrings?
- What happens to memory whenever python exists?
- What are negative indexes in python and why do you use them?
- How do you differentiate between deep and shallow copy?
- What is monkey patching?
- Write a program that produces Fibonacci series in python.
- What is Flask and is Django better than Flask?
- Write a VIEW in Django.
- Explain the map function in python.
- What is NumPy? How to calculate percentiles using Numpy?
- Choose the invalid statement and give reasons for the same.
- xyz = 2,000,000
- x, y, z = 2000, 4000, 6000
- x y z = 2000 4000 6000
- a_b_c = 2,000,000
SQL Questions Asked at Netflix Interviews
- Construct a SQL query to find the third highest salary of employees.
- List down the subsets of SQL.
- Write a SQL query to find out the maximum and minimum age of a student in a class.
- What does ACID stand for?
- Write a SQL query to print the present date.
- Write a SQL query to find and delete the duplicate rows in a database.
- What is the role of COALESCE function?
Domain Specific Netflix Interview Questions
While the technical roles are more or less similar across all FAANG and other leading companies, there are still some roles that are specific to company requirements. Netflix often hires people specific to a role and conducts interviews based on it. If you are applying to a specific role, be prepared to answer focused questions.
Here are a few questions you can expect specific to the roles at Netflix;
Netflix Senior Software Engineer Interview Questions
- Write a code to find the deepest node of a binary tree.
- What is a bipartite graph?
- What is MapReduce?
- In a collection of intervals, write a code to merge all overlapping intervals.
- How can you reverse a linked list? Can you do so without using temporary variables?
Netflix Systems Engineer Interview Questions
- Have you ever developed a disaster management or recovery plan? Can you make one?
- List down all the documentations you have worked upon or created till now. Which one was the most demanding?
- How do you manage system configuration?
- How good are you at troubleshooting? Lay down the steps you would approach a down website with.
- How comfortable are you with using cloud applications? Are there any cons to them?
Netflix Technical Program Manager Interview Questions
- What are the metrics that you use to gauge the progress of your project?
- While you are working with multiple teams, how do you manage to bring them all on the same platform and adhere to the guidelines?
- Have you ever managed a remote team? If given, how will you do so?
- What approach do you follow in task delegation?
- What interests you the most in this profile?
Understanding the Netflix Interview Process
Here is a Broad Categorisation of the Interview Rounds
Round 1: Screening or Phone Call with the Netflix HR representative; this is more of a qualifying round that screens for the general capabilities expected in a potential employee. This round is generally close to 30 minutes revolving around the details in your resume. The HRs filter the candidates who are technically qualified and culturally fit as well.
Round 2: Telephonic interview with the hiring manager is the second screening round that assesses interviewee’s general know-how of the domain. The round is focused on understanding your previous roles and projects and how sound you are in your selected programming language. This round also focuses on the cultural adaptability of a prospective candidate and how aligned they are to Netflix’s Core Values. You will also be judged for your eagerness and enthusiasm to join the organization and what made you apply (refrain from giving the google-searched answers).
Round 3: On-site interview comprises assessment across technical skills gauging the level of expertise. There may be several rounds of interviews and the panelists can range from engineers, HRs, mid-level executives, developers, designers to high-level executives.
Round 4: Background Check where the HRs get in touch with your previous employer (if any) and verify the shared credentials.
Round 5: Group Interview and Problem-solving exercise is the concluding round that primarily comprises behavior-based interview and exercises.
As mentioned earlier, Netflix does not follow a rigid process in conducting interviews across different roles. However, the idea is to gauge the technical expertise of the interviewee across each stage. The first two rounds are generally telephonic and aim at filtering candidates on their technical know-how, coding skills, domain knowledge, behavioral traits.
The next three rounds are knowledge-intensive rounds that assess your expertise in programming and coding. The questions are generally structured around system design, algorithm and data structures and sometimes even touch SQL-based queries along with your preferred language.
If you are looking forward to sitting for a Netflix interview anytime soon, you must start preparing for technical questions around your core areas. The final offer is made based on the aggregate score of all rounds but the on-site interview (the ones focused on technical skills and programming aptitude) grab the highest weightage.