Netflix is famous for its unique company culture, which does not tolerate either failing employees or “brilliant jerks.”
The company recently held a LinkedIn Q&A where users could ask questions about its culture and philosophy, and its answers largely echoed a famous slide deck CEO Reed Hastings released in 2009 to summarize Netflix’s management philosophy.
Though the company has morphed significantly since then, diving into original content and expanding across the globe, Netflix has maintained a commitment to its culture.
That means that working at Netflix isn’t quite like working anywhere else, and neither is getting hired there.
Drawing from a 2016 Reddit AMA hosted by a purported Netflix employee and from last week’s LinkedIn Q&A, we’ve compiled the following essential quotes on Netflix’s hiring process and company culture:
The interview (via Reddit):
“About 40-50% of the interview is about making sure your personality is compatible with our company culture. The rest is about making sure you’re technically capable … They flew me out and interviewed me for eight hours. It seemed really easy at the time, but I now realize that a lot of the questions were checking that my personality was a fit for the company. No crazy technical questions that I hate.”
Culture fit was a big part of the hiring (via Reddit):
“You’ll talk to about eight or so people, some from HR, some higher-ups, some of the team you’re applying to. Typically if even a single person doesn’t like you, it’s unlikely you’ll be hired. Ultimately the decision is with the team that’s hiring but it’s very rare for them to overrule a single ‘no.'”
There’s a list of qualities they expect in an employee (via LinkedIn):
“You need to have relevant experience for the role you are applying for and on top of that, when you interview in person, demonstrate qualities that showcase Netflix values. Are you courageous? Are you humble? Are you curious and passionate and ask thoughtful questions about the business? Are you able to and open to providing and receiving feedback to be better? Are you scrappy, have grit and willing to roll up your sleeves regardless of your title? Are you a team player? Are you inclusive and self aware? These are all things we look for.”
No one cares where you went to school (via Reddit):
“I’m a college dropout. I haven’t heard a single person discuss education or degrees. When you’re working with people who have 5, 10, or even more years of experience education doesn’t matter anymore. It’s all about what problems you have the knowledge to solve.”
There’s independence with responsibility (via Reddit):
“At every other place I’ve worked, there’s a very strict hierarchy and everyone is working on whatever the orders from up high are. In a sense that’s also true at Netflix, but the orders are less orders and more context about what the big picture is and what is going on with the numbers. And everyone is expected to pitch in in their own way. You can give someone a problem and they can solve it without going back and asking you for the exact procedure.”
On whether you can binge-watch Netflix at work (via LinkedIn):
“Freedom and responsibility — you choose how you want to spend your day doing what,” a company representative responded on LinkedIn. “No one is saying you can or cannot do something, but you have to be responsible in moving the business and making an impact. For some teams it is necessary to watch our titles because they work on them.”
“To be candid, there are a lot of fast-paced and exciting projects happening, so there probably isn’t time or as much of a priority to catch up with personal Netflix viewing.”
You have to perform (via Reddit):
“Netflix is definitely more cutthroat about firing ‘dead weight’ than every other company I worked for. If you’re not working out for whatever reason, there’s no reason to keep you.”
This person also said there weren’t any real “entry-level positions.” So if you were looking to get hired straight out of college, you’re probably out of luck. Though there are definitely people who have begun their Netflix careers in their mid-20s.
The “best” and “worst” part of the job are the same (via LinkedIn):
“The best thing is the freedom to do whatever you think is necessary to move the business forward. The worst thing is that nobody will tell you how to spend your time or what exactly you should be working on (outside of setting larger goals for your role). Determining which projects will truly be impactful is up to you, and sometimes that is really hard.”
If you want to take a look at Reed Hastings’ famous 2009 slide deck, scroll down:
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