Netflix Interview Guide   Entertainment at its best


About Netflix

Netflix is the world's leading streaming entertainment service with over 158 million paid memberships in over 190 countries enjoying TV series, documentaries and feature films across a wide variety of genres and languages. Members can watch as much as they want, anytime, anywhere, on any internet-connected screen.


Headquarters
Las Gatos, CA
Founded
1997 by Reed Hastings, Marc Randolph
Status
Public (NFLX)
Employees
~ 7,100
Leadership
Reed Hastings,FOUNDER AND CEO
Industry
Entertainment, Mass media
Revenue
~ $16B
Income
~ $2B
Overall Rating
(3.9)

Mission & Culture



Mission

The mission statement for Netflix states that; “Our core strategy is to grow our streaming subscription business domestically and globally. We are continuously improving the customer experience with a focus on expanding our streaming content, enhancing our user interface and extending our streaming service to even more internet-connected devices, while staying within the parameters of our consolidated net income and operating segment contribution profit targets.”


Vision

  1. Becoming the best global entertainment distribution service
  2. Licensing entertainment content around the world
  3. Creating markets that are accessible to filmmakers
  4. Helping content creators around the world to find a global audience

Special About Netflix

  • Encourage independent decision-making by employees
  • Share information openly, broadly, and deliberately
  • Are extraordinarily candid with each other
  • Keep only our highly effective people
  • Avoid rules


Real Values

  1. Judgment
  2. Communication
  3. Curiosity
  4. Courage
  5. Passion
  6. Selflessness
  7. Innovation
  8. Inclusion
  9. Integrity
  10. Impact


Key takeaways

  • People over process
  • Dream Team
  • Act in Netflix’s best interest
  • Share information internally broadly and systematically
  • Informed Captains
  • Disagree Openly
  • Highly Aligned, Loosely Coupled
  • Seeking Excellence

Company



  • Netflix hires only hires senior engineers.
  • The candidates are assessed for culture fit more than their skills.
  • Netflix has a strong transparent culture deck, it is extremely important to understand it thoroughly.
  • Netflix does not have a hiring committee and hire or no hire decisions are taken within a day.
  • Netflix heavily uses MicroServices and AWS, it is a great opportunity for engineers who like to solve problems at scale.
  • Recruiters are very responsive and integral part of the interview panel.

Software Engg.

No engineering ladder like Google, Facebook etc. Engineers typically "Senior Software Engineer", "Senior UI Engineer" etc. There is quite the disparity in pay between people with the same level all based on individual contribution and its market value.

Highlights

  • Netflix pays employees at the top of their personal market.
  • No Bonuses
  • Yearly Market based Salary Adjustment
  • No Performance Reviews
  • No Performance Improvement Plans


Management

4 Levels (Managers, Directors, VPs, and CxOs)

Products

  • Streaming media
  • Video on demand


Services

  • Film production
  • Film distribution
  • Television production

On Demand Video Streaming companies in the same space:

  • Amazon
  • Hulu
  • Disney
  • Unlimited vacation days, within reason.
  • Parental Leave Policy : 4-8 months.
  • Compensation can be taken in Cash or RSU or both.
  • Flexible working hours.
  • Health, vision, and dental insurance.
  • Employee stock purchase plan.
  • Free lunches.

Software Engineer



Process

  • An initial phone screen by the Recruiter. The recruiter primarily evaluates the candidate for culture fit.
  • A  phone interview with the hiring manager checking for technical knowledge and culture fit.
  • A phone interview with an engineer on technical concepts and some algorithms or work on take-home assignment related to actual Netflix use case.
  • A two-part onsite interview.
    • Five rounds of 45 minutes each comprising of 4 technical interviews and 1 HR interview.
    • If the feedback from the 1st part is positive, the 2nd round involves meeting two engineering directors for 45 minutes each.

Notes

  • The interview process takes 3-4 weeks on average.
  • All phone or onsite interview as 45 minutes each.
  • The interview rounds and format generally vary by team.
  • Netflix does not have a lunch interview.
  • The focus of the technical interview is mostly on practical problem-solving writing code on computers and doing system design on a whiteboard.
  • The interview results are communicated typically within a day or two with appropriate feedback.
  • How would you optimize network traffic for screen resolution?
  • How would you efficiently send a 1GB of file over the network?
  • A message containing letters from A-Z is being encoded to numbers from 1-26. Determine the total number of ways to decode a given message.
  • What is the Singleton Design pattern?
  • What is the complexity of lookup/insert for a linked list?
  • A hash table? Given a binary search tree find the kth smallest element.
  • Given a 2D array of integers, where the 1st index of each array is the root node in a tree, 2nd index of each array is the root's children, 3rd index of each array is 2nd levels children and so on, build an n-ary tree
  • Given a set of tasks with dependency between them. Schedule the tasks. The added catch is to schedule them such that two tasks are not dependent on each other.
  • What is the difference between notify and notify all?
  • What is the difference between normalization and de-normalization? What are the pros and cons of each strategy?
  • How to implement pascal's triangle?
  • What is the use of generics?
  • What is the complexity of lookup/insert for a linked list?
  • A hash table?
  • Design a Netflix recommendation system for movie titles to subscribers.
  • Design a garbage collection system.
  • Design a scalable metric collection service.
  • Design/data structures problem specifically for the Netflix CDN scale.
  • Design Locking Service that Netflix service that prevents users from sharing accounts.
  • Design and Model Netflix titles(20k) and its attributes (125+).
  • Design a high-performance microservice to return a list of movies by genre.
  • Design a hierarchical database to store server configuration.
  • Why Netflix?
  • What do you not like about the Netflix culture?
  • Tell me about your project you are most proud of?
  • How did you handle a task where you had a deadline that you couldn’t meet?
  • Tell me time when you failed?
  • Tell me time when you recommended something and it was not well received?
  • Tell me time when you gave feedback to your peer?
  • Tell me time when you have to make a pivot and choose a different approach or solution.
  • Tell me a time you had a conflict with your peer and how did you resolve it?
  • Tell me about the constructive feedback you have received?
  • Tell me a time you disagreed with your management?

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