I applied in October 2018. I am a Software Engineer and had more than 4 years of practical experience. I knew someone who was working there as A Software Developer as well so he was able to refer me.
The interview process was follows:
- Online technical task on HackerRank
- After you pass the initial screen, the recruiter sends a link to online challenge on HackerRank. 4 problems to be solved in 75 minutes. Difficulties were 2 easy, 1 medium and 1 hard.
- HR Phone Interview
- After you pass the techincal challenge, the recruiter schedules a phone call. The recruiter mainly goes through your resume and ask different questions regarding your experiences. Questions also like why do need to work at Booking.com, Are you willing to relocate and so on. Should be easy.
- Technical Phone Interview
- After the HR phone interview, the recruiter informs you if you have passed and schedules a phone call for technical interview with 2 engineers. Make sure you are using headphones since you would be coding at the same time.
- The interview consists of 2 problems focusing on data structures and algorithms. You need to fully understand each problem and what is required exactly. Ask for clarification when needed.
- You discuss your approach, how are you going to solve the problem and then you start coding. Make you sure you revise the Big O Notation as you will definitely get asked about it.
- In the end you get to ask questions if you have any so it’s good to prepare a couple of them.
- Onsite Interview
- The recruiter schedules a call to communicate the feedback from the previous interview and asks you for feedback as well regarding your experience so far. You are then informed about the result and if you have passed, then you have onsite interview at Booking.com HQ in Amsterdam.
- The company books and pays for the flight and accomdation of your trip(5 days, 4 nights). You need to take care if you need to issue a visa before travelling.
- The onsite interview is conducted on one day so you get to enjoy yourself for the rest of the trip.
- The interview day consists of 4 back to back interviews followed by lunch with an employee. The day is as follows:
- A quick HR interview that mainly goes again through your resume and prepares you for the upcoming interviews.
- A data structures and algorithms interview where 2 engineers present you with a problem and you try to solve within 1 hour.
- A system design interview with other 2 engineers as well and lasts also 1 hour. You presented with a problem and you are required to design a system to solve it. Do not focus on details or technologies. Keep asking questions to know the boundries of the system and what needs to design. Do not make any assumptions and if you need to do so, make sure you communicate them first.
- A culture fit and business interview which I think lasted for 45 minutes - 1 hour with a project manager. You are asked to come up with an idea to improve Booking.com and enhancement to existing feature. Then you are asked to discuss how you are going to measure the success of your idea, the used KPIs and so on.
- Lunch with an employee and (s)he is not one of the interviewers. People would stress that it’s not an interview. It’s mainly a friendly discussion and you get to ask about anything you want so It’s a good opportunity.
Whend I returned home, the recruiter scheduled a phone call. I was asked about my experience and if I had any feedback. I was then informed that unfortunately I did not pass. However, the recruiter provided me with detailed feedback regarding each interview, what I need to work on in order to improve and when I can apply again(After 6 months to 1 year.).
Overall it was a great experience and Amsterdam itself is a great city. Definitely did not regret it.