PayPal Interview Questions

PayPal is the company that changed how people send and receive payments online. Founded back in 1998, PayPal was one of the earliest proponents of adopting digital payments. Subsequently, after its merger with X.Com and acquisition by eBay, PayPal has been at the forefront of digital payment systems. 

In 2019, PayPal was ranked number 5 on Forbes' list of the world's 250 best-regarded companies. It’s no surprise that PayPal is a dream company that many professionals aspire to work for. The first step to getting closer to that dream is by acing the interview and being properly prepared to answer the Paypal interview questions.

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We have created this interview question guide to make sure that you breeze through PayPal technical interview questions. This guide will tell you everything you need to have at your fingertips to impress the hiring managers over at PayPal. In this article, we’ll cover the following:

  • The Interview Process at PayPal
  • Type of Questions To Expect During PayPal Interviews
  • Sample Questions for Various Domain-Specific Roles at PayPal
  • Tips for Cracking PayPal Technical Interview Questions
  • How to Prepare for PayPal Technical Interview Questions
  • FAQs on PayPal Technical Interview 

The Hiring Process at PayPal

PayPal conducts both on-campus interviews and opens roles online. For those applying online, the first step is to submit your resume and cover letter for a suitable job opening. Resumes are screened to shortlist candidates who can articulate what they’re doing, describe their goals, and express their motivation to join PayPal. 

Even during on-campus rounds, PayPal follows a candidate-friendly approach but focuses beyond your technical skills and expertise. What makes PayPal interviews different from other tech companies is two separate technical rounds before having a face-to-face interview with the hiring manager. 

The interview process hinges on three key factors:

  • What matters to you? You should be able to talk about the kind of problems you want to solve for the world
  • How do you work? PayPal is looking for collaborators who don’t shy away from taking risks
  • What do you need to grow and succeed? The hiring managers want to know about your past experiences and future aspirations 

As a company, PayPal is looking to recruit software engineers and software developers who will help them build a world where money is invisible and limitless, and transactions can be carried out in the blink of an eye. 

Therefore, when you attempt PayPal technical interview questions, you should be able to show the interviewers what sets you apart and helps you to achieve these goals. 

The Interview Process at PayPal

The interview process is pretty straightforward, and usually, there are the following four rounds:

  1. Online Test: This is usually done on Hackerrank, and you can expect two questions with 14 test cases each. 
  2. Technical Interview - First Round: This round lasts for an hour, and you can expect coding questions. 
  3. Technical Interview - Second Round: This is also an hour-long round where questions are mostly based on your resume. Based on the experience of our alumni, you can expect questions on algorithms or be given a set of non-negative integers and a value sum and asked to determine if there is a subset of the given set with a sum equal to a given sum.
  4. Managerial Round: The last round lasts for about 45 minutes, and you can expect a mix of both technical and behavioral questions. You might be given real-life examples and be asked which OOPs (Object-Oriented Programming System) concept you will use to solve those problems. You can also expect questions about your previous internships and other questions based on your resume.

After the interview rounds are over, the interviewers will debrief to review your performance. Each interviewer has to give a yes or no response, which decides whether you will be made an offer. If you are recommended by most of the interviewers, then the recruiter will contact you within 2-3 business days, and you can expect your offer letter within a week.

Type of Interview Questions You Can Expect at PayPal Interviews

While it is impossible for us to predict the exact questions that you will be asked during your PayPal interview, we can still give you a PayPal company interview question bank to help you prepare. The idea is to refer to the list of questions when you are preparing for PayPal interview questions and answers. The more you practice, the easier it will be to crack the PayPal interview questions on D-Day.

Here are some key topics to focus on during your preparation:

  • Data Structures 
  • Algorithms
  • Systems Design 

Algorithms and data structure form part of the majority of the PayPal technical interview questions. Most of these PayPal problem-solving interview questions will also require applying multiple concepts to arrive at a solution.  Some of the commonly asked questions are about the following topics:

  • Binary Tree Example Code
  • Strings and Arrays
  • Linked List
  • Recursion
  • Bit Manipulation
  • Small Programs (string, memory functions, etc.)
  • Math and Probability

Common Paypal Technical Interview Questions:

In this section, we cover some of the questions that have come up often during Paypal interviews.

Sample PayPal Interview Questions on Data Structures and Algorithms:

  1. How do you reverse a singly linked list without recursion? 
  2. How are duplicate nodes removed in an unsorted linked list? 
  3. How do you find the length of a singly linked list? 
  4. How to find the third node from the end in a singly linked list? 
  5. If you’re given an array “X” comprising “n” positive integers, write a function to compute the inversion count of the array.
  6. You’re given the data for tennis players. Design an algorithm to rank the tennis players.
  7. You’re given two Linked Lists, “A” and “B,” that are sorted. Write a code to merge the two Linked Lists. 
  8. How to implement a postorder traversal algorithm? 
  9. How to traverse a binary tree in postorder traversal without recursion? 
  10. How to find the missing number in a given integer array of 1 to 100? 
  11. How do you find the duplicate number on a given integer array? 
  12. You’re given a binary tree and a number. Your task is to return “true” if the tree has a root-to-leaf path where all values along the path add up to the given number. Return “false” if the path is not found.
  13. You’re given a set of non-negative integers and a value sum. Your task is to determine if there is a subset of the given set where the values add up to sum.

Sample PayPal Interview Questions on Systems Design:

  1. Design a product based on maps, e.g., hotel/ATM finder given a location.
  2. Design malloc, free and garbage collection system. What data structures to use? 
  3. Design a logging system for web applications. 
  4. Design a chatbot
  5. Design a search engine that’s able to capture unique results
  6. Design a full-fledged API rate limiter
  7. Design a web crawler that identifies uniqueness in pages and ranks them accordingly. 
  8. Design a platform like Uber that relies and operates on location data 

Sample Java PayPal Technical Interview Questions:

  1. Explain the concept of polymorphism in Java. How is it used in modern-day problem-solving? 
  2. Explain Dynamic Polymorphism and Runtime Polymorphism with relevant examples. Write program functions to execute each of these properties. 
  3. Explain Method Overriding and Method Overloading in Java by providing examples. 
  4. Explain the techniques of Encapsulation, Aggregation, and Association in Java. 
  5. What is an object-oriented paradigm?
  6.  What is the static method?
  7. Why does Java not support pointers?
  8. What are the various access specifiers in Java?

Sample Python PayPal Interview Questions:

  1. What are lists and tuples? What is the key difference between the two?
  2. What are the common built-in data types in Python?
  3. What are modules and packages in Python?
  4. Explain Slicing in Python
  5. Explain the differences between SciPy and NumPy in Python. 
  6. Write a program to arrange the numbers from 1 to 100 in a perfect triangle using Python. 
  7. What are Python namespaces, and why are they used?
  8. Describe the role of Lambda in Python.

Sample PayPal Behavioral Interview Questions:

  1. Tell me about a time when you used your negotiation skills?
  2. Describe a project where you had to take the initiative?
  3. What was the biggest mistake you made in your last role?
  4. Describe a time you went above and beyond for a customer.
  5. What do you think you will like about this role with PayPal?
  6. At PayPal, we are proud of our ability to stay one step ahead of our competitors. How will you contribute to this trend?
  7. Tell us about the most interesting project you have worked on this year and the biggest thing you learned from it.
  8. Tell us how you convinced a client to chart a different course for a project. 
  9. Describe a time you were asked to work on a client project that you were unsure about how to proceed.
  10. Tell me what others would say about you

Sample Questions for Various Domain-Specific Roles at PayPal

Here are some domain-specific questions commonly asked during PayPal interviews:

Data Engineer:

  1. Create a database to represent a Tinder-style dating app. What does the schema look like?
  2. Write a query on the given tables to get the car model with the fastest average times for the current day.
  3. Given a grid and a start and end, find the maximum water height you can traverse before there is no path.  
  4. How would you design a data pipeline?
  5. Describe the architecture of Spark?
  6. Tell us about a challenge you've faced handling big data for a company?
  7. Walk us through a situation where you had to deal with a technology that you weren't familiar with?

Software Developer:

  1. What is a lexical closure
  2. What are the processes and microtask queues in Javascript?
  3. Write a code to find the breadth of a given tree.
  4. Write a program to validate IPv4 addresses.
  5. What is the difference between var, let, const in Javascript?
  6. What is an event loop?
  7. Describe the singleton pattern.
  8. Print a given matrix in spiral form.
  9. What is the difference between comparator vs. comparable?

Front-End Developer:

  1. What is and why to use the Block Element Modifier (BEM) convention?
  2. Explain how you can use JavaScript functions such as forEach, Map, or Reduce. 
  3. Explain the difference between Async/Await and Promises.
  4. What is a callback function?
  5. Explain the difference between visibility:hidden; and display:none?
  6. Explain how variables differ in CoffeeScript from JavaScript?
  7. Explain the importance of HTML DOCTYPE?
  8. Explain the syntax and how to use a Function as A Class?
  9. What is the difference between == and ===?
  10. What is functional programming in JavaScript?

Back-End Developer:

  1. What is your favorite programming language? Why?
  2. Multiple trains are traveling between multiple stations. Write a query to find the number of trains between 2 given stations.
  3. How do you do testing? And what do you think about this? How would you improve QA?
  4. What do you know about CORS?
  5. How to take into account SEO, maintainability, UX, performance, and security when someone is building a web application?

Tips for Cracking PayPal Technical Interview Questions

In addition to going through the sample questions, there are other things you’ll need to know to be completely ready for your interview at PayPal. Here’s a list of helpful tips we’ve put together for you:

  • Try to demonstrate through your answers that you have an innovative mindset. The recruiters want to hire someone who can showcase disruptive thinking and have the ability to question and change the status quo.
  • Make sure to brush up on your fundamentals.
  • Talk the interviewer through your coding process.
  • Ask clarifying questions if you don’t understand something.
  • When you are preparing for PayPal interview questions and answers, don’t forget to prepare an elevator pitch that covers your employment history, career goals, past projects. This will help you to tackle the behavioral interview. 
  • Take part in coding challenges to stay on top of your game and tackle the problems during your coding interview. Also, schedule mock interviews with your peers and cram in as much practice as you can before D-Day.
  • Have a system in place that helps you deconstruct the PayPal interview questions during your tech interview. Once you see the question, spend a few minutes thinking about how you want to approach it. 

How to Prepare for PayPal Technical Interview Questions?

When it comes to nailing your PayPal interview, there’s no substitute for thorough preparation. But it is easy to get overwhelmed by the process and be confused about where you should begin -- don’t worry, Interview Kickstart has you covered!

If you need help with tech interview prep, join Interview Kickstart’s boot camp to get technical interview ready. 

Every year, Interview Kickstart helps thousands of software engineers and engineering managers to ace the tech interview of FAANG+ companies. Our comprehensive and detailed curriculum is designed to help you crack these interviews with ease. 

Our faculty consists of tech leads and hiring managers who have worked with FAANG and other leading tech companies across the world. You will get to brush up on the critical concepts for your upcoming coding interviews and even practice 1-on-1 interviews. 

IK is the gold standard in tech interview prep. Sign up for our FREE webinar to uplevel your career!

FAQs on PayPal Tech Interview

Q. As a software engineer, what are the different roles at PayPal I can apply for?

Software development, technical product management, software architecture, and software QA are some of the domains you can consider.

Q. What is the average salary of a software engineer employed by PayPal?

The salary of a software engineer at PayPal ranges from $134k per year to $395k per year. Read PayPal Software Engineer and Developer Salary to learn more.

Q. What is the minimum educational qualification required to apply for software development/engineering roles at PayPal?

A degree in computer science or equivalent is the minimum qualification as advertised in the job openings by PayPal.

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