Demonstrating interviews for backend engineers @ Netflix | By Netflix Technology Blog | February, 2022

Karen Casella, Director of Engineering, Access and Identity Management

Have you ever encountered one of the following situations when looking for your next role?

  • If you study and practice coding interview problems for hours / days / weeks / months, you will only be asked to combine two sorted lists.
  • You apply for multiple roles in the same company and proceed through the interview process separately with each recruiting team, although there is a significant overlap between roles.
  • You go through the interview process, you do really well, you get really excited about the company and the people you meet, and in the end, you “fit in” with a role that doesn’t get you excited, even working with one of your managers and team. Not seen during the interview process.

Interviewing can be a daunting task and how companies, and teams, the process varies greatly. We hope that by making the process mysterious, you will feel more aware and confident about your interview experience.

When you apply for a backend engineering role at Netflix, or if one of our hiring or hiring managers finds your LinkedIn profile interesting, an hiring or hiring manager reviews your technical background and experience to see if your experience is relevant to our needs. If so, we invite you to begin the interview process.

Most backend engineering teams follow a process similar to the one shown below. Although it is a relatively streamlined process, it is not as efficient if a candidate is interested or qualified for multiple roles in the organization.

The following is an overview of each of these stages.

Employer Phone Screen: A member of our talent team contacts you to explain the process and evaluate the high-level qualifications. Employers also review relevant open roles to see if you have a strong relationship with one or the other. If your interests and experiences are well aligned with one or more roles, they set up a phone screen with one of the hiring managers.

Manager phone screen: The purpose of this discussion is to get an idea of ​​your technical background, your problem solving method and how you work. This is a great opportunity to learn more about the roles available to you, the technological challenges that teams are facing, and how to work in a backend engineering team at Netflix.

Technical screen: The final screen before the on-site interview is used to evaluate your technical skills and to match the team. For many roles, you will be given a choice between taking a home coding practice or an hour-long discussion with an engineer on the team. The problems you are asked to solve are related to team work.

Round 1 interview: If you are invited to the site, the first round of interviews is for 45 minutes with four or five people. The interview panel consists of two or three engineers, one recruiting manager and one recruiter. Engineers evaluate your technical skills by asking you to solve various design and coding problems. These questions reflect the real challenges facing our teams.

Round 2 Interview: You meet two or three extra people, each for 45 minutes. The interview panel consists of an engineering director, a partner engineer or manager and another engineering leader. The focus of this round is to evaluate how well you partner with other teams and your non-technical skills.

Decisions and offers: After Round 2, we review the feedback and decide if we will offer you a role. If so, you will work with the employer to discuss compensation expectations, answer any questions that remain for you, and discuss a start date with your new team.

Some Netflix backend engineering teams are looking for stunning colleagues with similar backgrounds and talents, joining forces and adopting a centralized hiring model. Centralized hiring is a process of making multiple hiring decisions through an integrated hiring process across multiple teams, including the need to share skills, effectiveness and experience levels.

With one major exception, the interview method does not differ much from what is shown above: There are several possible “pivot points” where you and / or Netflix may decide to focus on a specific role based on your experience and preferences. At each stage of the process, we consider your preferences and skills and can focus the rest of your interview with a specific team if we both consider it a strong match. It is important to note that while your experience may not be the right match for one team, you may be more closely aligned with another team. In that case, we will take you to another team instead of disqualifying you from the process.

Interviews can be scary and stressful! Being prepared can help you reduce stress and anxiety. Here are some quick tips to help you prepare:

  • Review your profile and make connections between your experience and job description.
  • Think about your past work experience and prepare some examples of when you achieved something amazing or had some difficult challenges.
  • We recommend interview coding practice against puzzle-type practice, as we do not ask such questions. If you want to practice, focus on the medium-difficult real-world problems you may encounter in a software engineering role.
  • Be sure to prepare questions for the interviewers to ask. This is a conversation, not a search!

We’re here to meet any of your accessibility requirements to make sure you’re set up for success during your interview. Let us know in advance if you need any helpful technology or other accommodations, and we’ll be sure to work with you to set it up.

We want you to look your best – we’re not trying to trick you or take you away! Try to relax, remember to breathe and be honest and curious. Remember, it’s not just Netflix that makes you think it’s right for the role, it’s up to you to decide if Netflix and the role are right for you!

Several of our backend engineering teams are searching for our next stunning colleagues. Some of the areas for which we are actively looking for backend engineers include streaming and gaming technology, product innovation, infrastructure and studio technology. If any of the top-level descriptions below are of interest to you and seem to be a good match for your experience and career goals, we’d love to hear from you! Just click on the job description link and submit your application through our job site.


  • You are a Distribution system engineer Working on product backend systems that support streaming video and / or mobile and cloud games.
  • Passionate about you Resilience, scalability, availability and observability. A big plus is the passion to provide large data sets, APIs, access and identity management, or backend systems that enable mobile and cloud gaming.
  • Your work centers around Architectural, building and operating fault-tolerant distribution systems in large scale.


  • You are a Distribution system engineer Working on core backend services that support our user journey in signup, subscription, search, personalization and messaging.
  • You are passionate about work Intersection of business, products and technology In large size
  • Your work centers around Building error-tolerant backend systems and services Which has a direct impact on users and businesses.


  • You are a Distribution system engineer Working on infrastructure and platforms that enable or expand the work of other engineering teams or systems.
  • Passionate about you Measurable and highly available complex distribution system And they have a deep understanding of how they work and fail.
  • Your work centers around Increasing the level of abstraction to improve development on the scale And building engineering skills.


  • You are a Software engineers who create products and services used by creative partners across studios and external productions and create and manage all Netflix Global content. Our products enable a full workflow from script to on-screen content acquisition, production, promotion and financing. We create innovative solutions that allow members to find joy in their favorite shows and movies as well as help develop and manage entertainment around the world.
  • You Enthusiastic about innovation, scalability, functionality, high-value shipping features Fast and committed to providing exceptional backend systems for our customers. You are humble, curious and looking for results with other wonderful colleagues.
  • Your work centers around Creating products and services targeting creative partners who produce / manage content worldwide.

Netflix has a culture of freedom and responsibility where every Netflix employee has the freedom and responsibility to do their best. We value strong judgment, communication, influence, curiosity, innovation, courage, passion, honesty, selflessness, inclusion and diversity. For more information on culture, see

Karen Cassella Director of Engineering for Access and Identity Management Technology for Netflix Streaming and Gaming Products. Connect with LinkedIn or Karen Twitter.

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