If you want to work for a household name that is customer obsessed and currently a cornerstone of pop culture, a job at Netflix might be what you’re looking for. Since Netflix started creating their own shows and movies (racking up Oscars, Emmys, Grammys and Golden Globes along the way) they’ve been hot on the radar in the product world. So if you’ve got experience with machine learning, customer insights, and groundbreaking entertainment, get ready for a rollercoaster career!
What It’s Like to Work at Netflix
- 🇺🇸 $101,275
- 🇬🇧 £50,046
- 🇪🇺 €78,333
- Up to 12 month’s maternity and paternity leave
- Various insurance and healthcare packages
- Free lunches
- Unlimited PTO
- Employee stocks
Headquartered in California US, with locations across
Background required for a PM role:
Varies greatly depending on which department you’d be working in. For example, a Product Manager working with The Algorithms Product Management Team will need an MS or PhD in a field such as Machine Learning, Statistics, Machine Learning, Information theory etc. But on the Production team, years of experience in post-production and a willingness to travel are valued over formal education. You may have to shop around based on your history as PM roles across the company are very diverse!
What Does It Take to Be a Netflix PM?
Netflix is very good at describing exactly what it wants from prospective employees on their job listings, so you’ll need to read these very carefully. The differences between a PM working on the mobile app and a PM working with the Partnership team are vast.
It shouldn’t be sugar coated: Netflix is not for everyone. Within the workforce it is trying to create a system of 360 feedback, where you are given an enormous amount of trust with the expectation that you’ll make the right decisions on your own in a fast-paced environment. For the right people, the work is exhilarating. People who love their job at Netflix, really love their job.
If you fit the company culture, you’ll have the time of your life.
The core philosophy of Netflix is people over process. Like most modern Silicon Valley companies, Netflix put the focus on creating a positive working experience for their employees, striving to create a candid and open environment. They create the best possible environment for you to thrive
They also strive to create a company of free-thinkers, so while a Product Manager always needs to be an excellent team player, you should feel comfortable having complete autonomy and making decisions for yourself. And this goes beyond decisions about your work. For example, as part of your benefits package, you’d receive unlimited PTO with the understanding that you wouldn’t take advantage of this and disappear for three months right before a launch. If you find yourself taking off every Friday just for the sake of it…you might find yourself let go.
Like other tech companies Netflix are culture driven, and how well you align with their values could make or break your interview. So we highly recommend checking out the Culture Memo on their jobs portal in full.
The Interview Process
The interview process at Netflix is fairly straightforward. You’ll find job postings across various sites like LinkedIn, Glassdoor, Indeed, etc. We recommend setting up a LinkedIn alert so as soon as a new Product Manager job comes up you’ll be ready to respond. You can also apply directly on their website. Recruiters are known to reach out to people with promising profiles on LinkedIn.
This will be followed by a phone interview, usually with a recruiter, to talk about your background and the basic requirements of the role. Each department operates slightly differently, so this may be followed by another phone interview with someone on the team, or you’ll move directly to an onsite panel interview.
Each step is important, and serves as a gateway to your dream job, so prepare for each step accordingly.
How to Prepare
Once you’ve got your resume and portfolio sorted, and you’ve made sure you have all the formal requirements necessary qualify for a job at Netflix, you need to prepare yourself!
One thing that current Netflix PMs and Senior PMs keep emphasizing, is that Netflix loves informed product people with an eye on the future and an awareness of current trends. So first of all we’d recommend reading up on the current hot topics in Product.
Books are a great way to start, and you can find a list of the Top 15 loved by Product People here. (Dan Olsen’s The Lean Product Playbook will be particularly helpful, if you only have time for one.)
As Netflix is very future-focused, you should also have an awareness of which direction it is heading in, and what it believes the future of entertainment streaming looks like. Luckily, it has a great resource for its investors about the Long-Term View of the company. Knowing even a little bit about where Netflix and the wider industry are going will be incredibly valuable in an interview and might set you apart from other candidates.
Gibson Biddle, former VP of Product at Netflix and ProductCon speaker was listed as one of our Top Product People in 2018, winning Best Product Advisor. You can watch the talk he gave on Netflix’s customer obsession at ProductCon Seattle in July 2019:
For more free resources, you can find great podcasts, books and more right here.
Example Interview Questions
There are some questions which you can expect to be asked in almost every interview, there are questions which you can expect in almost every PM interview, and then there are questions which have been asked specifically in Netflix interviews. We’ve compiled the best of the latter to help you know what to expect when you walk into that interview room:
(Taken from Glassdoor 2019)
- What would you do if you were the CEO?
- Describe a situation in which a product you were managing wasn’t doing well and how did you overcome?
- Why do you want to work at Netflix?
- How would you put together a team?
- What do you like most about the culture memo?
- How will you handle the culture difference from where you come from and Netflix?
- Describe your ability to deal with a very opinionated co-worker.
- Tell me something that you did in the past, but don’t want to do ever again.
- Who do you think is Netflix’s competitor and why?
Feeling ready to take on a job at Netflix? We have 50,000 Product Managers in our Slack Community, and you can join us there for networking, career advice and weekly AMA sessions with top product people.