Netflix didn't hire me...

LinkedIn FeVX72
Nov 20, 2017 43 Comments

Feedback: "it took you too long to convince yourself that your solution was indeed optimal."

I came up with a O(n) and the interviewer asked me "can you do any better?". After a while (apparently too long) brainstorming alternative approaches I said: "I don't think that I can do any better because of this, this, and that other reason". I actually proved that no other approaches could have achieved better performances.

I'm still laughing when I think about it! 😂

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TOP 43 Comments
  • Yelp weather9
    It probably was supposed to be a nobrainer that faster than o(n) is impossible, as is the case for many problems.
    Nov 20, 2017 3
    • Microsoft lgbJ78
      Yeah like many problems that requires you to inspect every element.
      Nov 20, 2017
    • LinkedIn FeVX72
      OP
      I love it how some people are automatically biased in favor of the company just because it has good shows! Lol
      Nov 20, 2017
    • Microsoft lgbJ78
      Oh I'm not biased. Netflix seem to have a douchy culture and I'm not considered senior enough for them to even get a phone screen (and recruiter didn't even get back to me after phone call)
      Nov 21, 2017
  • Qualcomm / Eng kqxqx
    If you answer very fast but with confidence, will they say: this guy just burst out answers without too much thinking?
    Nov 20, 2017 1
    • Facebook Zap@
      Yes. You have to answer in the right amount of time. Not too fast or not too slow. Good luck!
      Nov 21, 2017
  • Amazon Pungomungo
    Netflix is a pro sports team not a family
    Nov 20, 2017 3
    • LinkedIn FeVX72
      OP
      Yeah, I should have apologized for my incompetence instead of laughing
      Nov 20, 2017
    • Microsoft lgbJ78
      High pressure, only the best can hang on the big stage!
      Nov 21, 2017
    • LinkedIn FeVX72
      OP
      I believe that high pressure and productivity don't go well together. Plus, you should define what 'the best' actually mean....
      Nov 21, 2017
  • Netflix idwO72
    I find the gap between perception of Netflix culture and actually working here to be kind of hilarious. Work life balance is great in my org.
    Nov 21, 2017 6
    • Qualcomm / Eng kqxqx
      Do you guys only hire super senior engineers? How many years experience?
      Nov 21, 2017
    • Netflix idwO72
      In my org people have experience between 3-7 years before joining. 3 is definitely the outlier and usually it’s 5+ years. I know one engineer outside of my org who was hired with no prior experience. Though said person has a PhD.
      Nov 21, 2017
    • WalmartLabs d00b
      Enjoy while it lasts, you never know.
      Nov 21, 2017
    • Netflix idwO72
      Thanks d00b? I guess if it doesn’t last I’ll apply to Walmart labs??? 😂😘
      Nov 21, 2017
    • Netflix / Eng ricewater
      It's easier these days. 5 would be enough for consideration, in the past my manager wouldn't try anyone below 8.
      Nov 21, 2017
    • Amazon Vacuum
      Why do you guys go for such senior engineers? Most big tech companies go for fresh grads.
      Nov 25, 2017
  • Microsoft Gdyv60
    Some problems can be done in O(1)
    Nov 20, 2017 3
    • New / Eng Rox
      Like your momma
      Nov 20, 2017
    • SAP Tghy
      Here’s a hash table. Return value of key “x”
      Nov 20, 2017
    • SAP / Eng HKIx16
      Some problems are already solved you don't need to do it again. So it is actually O(0)
      Nov 21, 2017
  • VMware XIqP48
    Don’t think this is a netflix problem. This is a problem with the interviewer. And with some bad luck you may find similar interviewers in other companies as well.
    Nov 20, 2017 0
  • Microsoft / Eng MindReader
    What was the question?
    Nov 20, 2017 1
    • LinkedIn FeVX72
      OP
      I'll have to look the details up...
      Nov 20, 2017
  • LinkedIn FeVX72
    OP
    Nov 20, 2017 1
    • Oracle arfcom
      What was the question?
      Nov 20, 2017
  • Starbucks lKzQ65
    Interviews are crapshoots. I have had so many where people ask dumb questions, poor questions, questions that aren't related to the job or anything on my resume, or interviewers not even knowing the real thought process behind a question/answer (just copied some algorithm question off the internet and didn't understand anything outside of the "answer".)

    Having been on the other side of the table as an interviewer it's more difficult than most people expect. A lot of people doing the interviewing aren't really into it and perpetuate bad interviews.
    Nov 22, 2017 0
  • Apple
    I think your attitude might have played a role in all this
    Nov 21, 2017 1
    • LinkedIn FeVX72
      OP
      Nah, I'm a likeable person
      Nov 21, 2017
  • Facebook vso
    Can't believe the recruiter actually told you that. They must have thought it was as stupid as it sounded.
    Nov 20, 2017 0
  • LinkedIn FeVX72
    OP
    Did you interview me and happen to give that feedback by any chances?
    Nov 20, 2017 0
  • WalmartLabs d00b
    Unless its a binary search problem, how can you ever do better than O(n)? What's there to think?
    Nov 20, 2017 1
    • LinkedIn KenEm
      Some people might blurt something out like log(n).
      Nov 20, 2017
  • Expedia NaaN
    Interviewing people is an art and a science in its own right. It’s never just about asking tech questions and checking for correct answers.
    It took me many years of constantly interviewing candidates , learning from good interviewers and improving my own soft skills to become any good at it. It’s actually more emotionally exhausting and mentally tasking to interview people than to be on the other side.
    And that is why interviews are crapshoots.
    Nov 21, 2017 0
  • PayPal / Eng BitPal
    Lucky you. They'd anyhow fire you in an year for not working till midnight 😉
    Nov 21, 2017 0
  • Yahoo $38:
    It could very likely be a b-search problem in disguise...
    Nov 20, 2017 0
  • Tableau / Eng beepBoopp
    Flipside: if you keep talking over the interviewer and puppet them back the terms you say with much confidence, you will cause the interviewer to 2nd guess themselves.
    Works for algo and system design
    Nov 22, 2017 2
    • LinkedIn FeVX72
      OP
      It doesn't work with me! Lol
      Nov 24, 2017
    • Tableau / Eng beepBoopp
      How do you even know you'd be right? How can you be sure on the spot that you're understanding what the interviewee is saying or that their solution is not legitimate? Unless you record the code or take pictures and then take the time to evaluate. In my experience engineers will just write up the bare minimum and be completely covering their own assets while doing a debrief or write-up
      Nov 24, 2017
  • LinkedIn FeVX72
    OP
    1) I prepare. 2) I practice the question myself. 3) I've (most likely) asked the question before. 4) I get the interviewer to run an example through the solution. 5) I know corner cases that break most of sloppy solutions. 6) I type the code as they write it (or take a picture if the whiteboard is a mess). 7) I always have a shadow so the interviewee would have to fool 2 people at once. That should be enough.
    Nov 25, 2017 1
    • Tableau / Eng beepBoopp
      Yeah I can give you that. Super kudos for caring so much. Most interviews I've been are not anything like that.
      Nov 25, 2017
  • New UTzr53
    In my experience people with a mathemical mindset will answer slowly and more carefully. This is just a product of having to prove things.
    Nov 21, 2017 0
  • Amazon
    唔撚係掛

    Amazon

    PRE
    Amazon
    唔撚係掛more
    Interviewers are human too and they are not always right.

    I just saw a noob claiming that his worst interviewers or candidates said he didn't need the server address to make a connection and try to prove how wrong it is when others point it out.

    Your interviewers is just a leetcode master with no real world troubleshooting experience.
    Nov 20, 2017 0

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