Netflix Interview questions

The Most Common Netflix Interview Questions (with Answers)

The most effective way to prepare for an Netflix interview is to practice real Netflix interview questions. Wouldn’t it be nice to have a cheatsheet for your Netflix interview, so you know the answer to questions before they’re asked? Luckily, this cheat sheet exists–Netflix published it themselves. Netflix outlines common interview questions, the values they’re looking for, and the interview process on their own site. Netflix employees and candidates have shared real Netflix interview questions and the Netflix interview process all over the internet on sites like Glassdoor and LeetCode. But how do you know which questions will actually be asked? We’ve compiled the most common Netflix interview questions and answers so you can go into your interview with confidence.                          

How Not to Answer Netflix Interview Questions

One of the worst mistakes candidates make is just casually scanning Netflix interview questions online before their interview. They study questions carefully, but don’t prepare answers–they plan to “wing” their answers. But Netflix interviewers certainly don’t have such a casual attitude. They’ll carefully note your responses and meticulously review what you shared. 

While you shouldn’t memorize interview responses word-for-word, you should have a pitch prepared along with common interview responses. As a Software Engineer at Netflix and a mentor at Pathrise, Jeff Shen emphasizes coming to behavioral interviews prepared with examples from your previous experience. “Preparing answers with examples from past work experiences will help you answer confidently. It’s not cheating–Companies like Netflix expect you to have examples prepared.” Netflix employees like Jeff, landed jobs by acing Netflix interview questions, demonstrating their soft skills, technical skills, and cultural alignment with Netflix.

If you’re preparing for an Netflix interview, don’t just read the questions in this article. Actually write your own response (or modify our example answers), then practice the answers aloud with a friend or in the mirror. You will absolutely be asked some of the Netflix interview questions in this guide.

Common Netflix Interview Questions from Their Own Website

Unlike other top tech companies, Netflix is fairly tight-lipped about their interview process and common questions. They published just one 2022 blog page outlining the entire Netflix interview process for back-end developers. However, it’s important to remember that Netflix hiring is team specific. That means each team chooses which interview questions to ask and how to conduct interviews. But the hiring process and principles are very similar across teams.

Netflix hiring managers also have more say in hiring than at most tech companies. The hiring manager has the final say, not the group of interviewers and decision makers. This means it’s especially important that you ace your interview with a hiring manager.


Netflix wants candidates to arrive prepared and communicate their experiences as effectively as possible. After all, hiring managers want to hire the best candidate possible–not the candidate who just happens to excel at interviews. To level the playing field, Netflix shares tips to prepare.

  • Review your profile and make connections between your experience and the job description.
  • Think about your past work experiences and prepare some examples of when you achieved something amazing, or had some tough challenges.
  • We recommend against interview coding practice puzzle-type exercises, as we don’t ask those types of questions. If you want to practice, focus on medium-difficulty real-world problems you might encounter in a software engineering role.
  • Be sure to have questions prepared to ask the interviewers. This is a conversation, not an inquisition!

Though mostly used after interviews, Netflix relies on the “keeper test” to maintain the highest standards. According to Netflix’s own site, managers are encouraged to ask themselves: “if one of the members of the team was thinking of leaving for another firm, would the manager try hard to keep them from leaving? Those who do not pass the keeper test (i.e. their manager would not fight to keep them) are promptly and respectfully given a generous severance package so we can find someone for that position that makes us an even better dream team.” This “keeper test” is one of the reasons Netflix is notorious for their high turnover rate. According to a 2017 report from the Society for Human Resource Management, 8% of Netflix employees leave involuntarily (i.e. fired) compared with the U.S. average of 6%. However, 13% of employees leave the typical U.S. company voluntarily each year–just 4% leave voluntarily at Netflix. Layoff rates are likely even higher today. While Netflix wants to hire fast and fire fast, their high standards will also be applied to interviews. 

Keeper test Netflix

Netflix makes it clear that they ask questions based on past experiences–they even ask you to prepare some. This means STAR interview technique (situation, task, action, result) will be the most critical step to succeeding in any interview. Here are some examples of behavioral questions at Netflix.

  • Tell me about a time you failed.
  • Tell me about a time you disagreed with your manager.
  • Tell me about a time you faced a tight deadline with limited resources.

Star method

These types of questions will come up in almost any interview you will ever have or have had. But since these questions are so common, we won’t analyze them in-depth here. Check out our full guides on answering “tell me about yourself” questions and “what areas do you need to develop further” questions–these simple questions come up in almost every interview. Instead, we want to focus on technical and behavioral interview questions specific to Netflix.

Behavioral Netflix Interview Questions

Half or more of your Netflix interview questions will probably be behavioral. But the most critical behavioral questions will be specific to Netflix as a company. These questions are designed to assess how you think and relate to Netflix–their culture, mission, and values. While these questions don’t necessarily require you to know anything about Netflix, sharing Netflix-specific information will certainly help you prove your genuine interest and culture fit.

1. You have an idea for improving a product. But you’re worried about stepping on another team or team member’s toes. What do you do?

While understanding Netflix’s stated cultural values is still the key to answering this question, it becomes even easier when you’re familiar with Netflix’s reputation and history. Netflix’s “culture of excellence” is infamous for making Netflix among the most competitive tech companies. Many former Netflix employees call the culture “cutthroat” due to their high turnover rate and focus on performance above all else. According to Netflix’s cultural values, courage, innovation, and communication are key. A strong Netflix team member would not be afraid to advocate for an innovative idea and communicate it effectively–especially if this innovative idea could have an impact.

Directly stating Netflix’s cultural values to the interviewer may seem awkward or over the top to you–but not to the interviewer. They’re often taking notes, listening for Netflix’s values as keywords. Mentioning Netflix’s values can be an effective strategy for this question and others like it. While you can be subtle about mentioning Netflix’s values if you choose, there is no penalty for stating them outright. Here’s how to do it without coming across as insincere.

Our Answer

“Innovation and courage matter to Netflix, and they matter to me too. If I have a good idea, I share it with the team, even if it could rustle their feathers or require revisions to another team member’s product. But I’d present the idea tactfully. 

Before pursuing the idea, I’d communicate to my manager and teammates why I think this is a good idea and how I think it could improve performance. I’d lay out a case for why the idea could make an impact, with clear data. I’d get the team’s feedback, then work together to implement it.”

2. Why do you want to work for Netflix?

This is your chance to demonstrate cultural alignment with Netflix and show you’ve done your research. While you obviously shouldn’t lie, prepare a thoughtful answer that’s connected to Netflix’s stated cultural values. 

Based on our data, the most effective way to answer is to explain why you’re a good candidate and how you connect to the company mission, values, products, and goals. This is especially important in Netflix interviews, since cultural fit behavioral questions usually make up half or more of Netflix interview questions. Check out our full guide to answering “Why do you want to work here” questions because they’ll come up in almost every interview. However, your answer should depend on the company.

Our answer: 

“That’s a great question. I want to work at Netflix because I feel that our goals align. I have always been passionate about accessible products that have as big of an impact as possib;e, just like how Netflix’s mission is to entertain the world.

In my past role as a product manager at Etsy, I worked to build streamlined back-end functionality for millions of creators to easily upload their products, interact with customers, and sell their creations more easily. The intuitive updates and accessible products I managed increased creator NPS by 60% and led to a 45% increase in creator retention.

With my experience working with Etsy creators to deliver the best products all over the world, I know I can provide valuable input to the team so that Netflix can continue to entertain the world with innovative UX. In addition, I know that as a company Netflix holds itself and team members to high standards, which are extremely important to me in my future role. I am looking to join a technology company that holds itself to a standard of excellence and focuses on reaching as many people as possible. While I loved my prior roles, I want to have an even bigger impact–Netflix is the perfect place for my skills.”

3. Tell me about a time that you had a deadline you couldn’t meet?

This is an example of a typical behavioral question that relies on sharing a past work experience. The most effective way to answer these questions is with the STAR method (situation, task, action, result). 

When answering questions that have to do with failure or tasks you can’t complete, you should start by explaining the situation that led you to not be able to meet the deadline. Then make it clear that you understood the gravity of missing a deadline and communicated it to the person who it would impact negatively, such as a manager. Finally, explain how you found mutual understanding, how you made the situation right, and how you took steps to improve. Another effective strategy to answer failure questions is to pick a situation from earlier in your career. That way you can show that you’ve had time to grow.

Since Netflix values communication and accountability, you should try to work those values into your answer if possible.

Our answer:

 “When I was an intern at Amazon Prime Video, I was tasked with helping develop a UX mockup for the Store section in 1 month. Unfortunately, this proved more difficult than I thought. Since Amazon Prime Video was already a subscription service, the concept of a “Store” within an existing paid service was confusing. It was difficult to separate movies users had to pay for from movies that came free with Prime. I realized I wouldn’t be able to make the month deadline, which could delay the rollout of our full store feature and hurt revenue. The longer we waited, the harder it would be to differentiate later. 

I scheduled a 1-on-1 with my manager to explain that I couldn’t meet the deadline and that I was having trouble developing a clear outline for the UX. After I explained, my manager agreed that it was difficult to separate paid media from media included with Prime. While missing the deadline could be harmful, a confusing UX would be worse. My manager extended the deadline to 2 months and scheduled time for my UX team to work closely with marketing and product to help differentiate paid media from free media. Working cross-functionally, we finished an outline in just 45 days, helping with a successful launch of the store the next year. The experience taught me the importance of communicating challenges early and working cross-functionally. If I have concerns about meeting a deadline, I communicate them early now.”

You can use the same STAR method to answer these other common Netflix interview questions:

  • What do you think of our culture memo?
  • What has been your biggest challenge while you work?
  • Tell me about your work experience and how you would make Netflix even better than it is?
  • Tell me about a time when you did not agree with your manager 
  • Tell me about something you worked on that you’re proud of. 
  • How do you stay organized? How do you handle competing tasks or projects? 
  • Describe a time when you received extremely difficult feedback.

Technical Netflix Interview Questions from LeetCode

Like Amazon, Netflix interview questions are team-specific. Although the hiring manager has final say, small teams handle the hiring process. Since many team members are very busty, Netflix often asks questions straight from Leetcode. 

A GitHub user compiled a list of Leetcode Netflix interview questions directly from Leetcode. We still recommend paying for Leetcode to practice for technical interview questions at Netflix. But you can’t pay for Leetcode, you can use the Github list. We’ve also included some of the most common LeetCode style questions in Netflix interview questions below.

Technical Netflix Interview Questions for Software Engineers

Beside Leetcode questions, here are some of the most common Netflix interview questions asked in software engineering interviews. Since Netflix hires mostly experienced candidates for senior roles, questions are known to be challenging. But this is only because the difficulty level matches the role. Netflix has been known to ask plenty of easy questions for entry-level roles.

  • Determine if the sum of three integers is equal to a given value
  • Set columns and rows as zeros
  • Find the intersection point of two linked lists/
  • Find the minimum spanning tree of a connected, undirected graph with weighted edges
  • Reverse the words in a sentence.
  • Write a code to merge all overlapping intervals in a collection.
  • Reverse a Linked List using temporary variables. 
  • Convert binary tree into a doubly-linked list
  • Serialize or deserialize a binary tree
  • Segment a string into dictionary words
  • Write a code to find the deepest node in a Binary Tree.
  • What is MapReduce?
  • What is a bipartite graph?
  • (JAVA) If you have store passwords, which data structure will you choose?
  • Explain operator overloading.
  • Explain different types of Maps in JAVA.
  • Why is the Yield Method used in Thread class?
  • How would you optimize network traffic for screen resolution?
  • Brainstorm features to re-engage users
  • Thoroughly design a staged launch plan including pre-launch A/B testings.
  • 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
  • Given a binary search tree, find the kth smallest element.
  • 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.
  • Given a 2D array of integers, where the 1st index of each array is root node in a tree, 2nd index of each array is roots children, 3rd index of each array is 2nd levels children and so on, build an n-ary tree
  • What is the complexity of lookup/insert for a linked list? A hash table?
  • The Netflix mobile app doesn’t have feature XXX. we came across an open source app that has feature XXX, but it doesn’t compile or otherwise run. can you get it to work?
  • What is the difference between normalization and denormalization? What are the pros and cons of each strategy?
  • How would you efficiently send a 1GB of file over the network?

Netflix Interview Questions for Data Scientists

Data Scientist candidates can also expect Leetcode style Netflix interview questions. Although they often ask medium to hard questions, this is only because Netflix hires mostly senior level positions. Easy questions are common for more entry-level roles. Beside Leetcode questions, here are some other common Netflix interview questions for data scientists.

  • What do you know about A/B testing in the context of streaming?
  • What are the differences between L1 and L2 regularization, why don’t people use L0.5 regularization for instance?
  • What is the difference between online and batch gradient descent?
  • What is the best way to communicate ML results to stakeholders?
  • What do you mean by Pickling and Unpickling in python?
  • If you want to comment multiple lines in Python, how would you do that?
  • What do you mean by docStrings?
  • What happens to memory whenever python exists?
  • Why do we use negative indexes in Python?
  • What is the difference between deep and shallow copy?
  • What do you mean by the term Monkey patching?
  • Write a program to produce a Fibonacci series in Python.
  • Which is better: Django or Python?

Netflix Interview Questions for Design

Design interviews tend to be far less technical. Netflix interview questions for designers will usually be less technical than other roles. Interview questions put a heavy emphasis on your portfolio. However, since Netflix hires more senior design professionals, interview questions are also more rigorous than usual. Candidates will be held to a high standard and can face challenging technical questions when asked. These technical questions have come up in past Netflix interviews.

  • Find a solution for emphasizing Recommendations within the Browse DVDs section of the site.
  • Design Google Drive.
  • Design Web crawler.
  • Design Airbnb
  • Design an API rate limiter.
  • Design an URL shortener.
  • Design Quora.
  • Design Twitter.
  • What are the documents involved in system designing?
  • Design Facebook Newsfeed.

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Patrick Bohan

Hi, I'm Patrick, I write about the job search. After graduating from Cornell, I became a content lead at UBS where I helped professionals at Fortune 500 companies understand their stock options, salary, and benefits. When I'm not writing about the hiring process, I write novels for teens.

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