Bytedance Software Engineer Interview Questions and Process - Compiled from 221 interviews!

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Bytedance’s hiring process is nowhere near being simple: significant competition, several rounds of interviews, and tricky questions - both specific to Bytedance and on a broad range of general topics.

If you’re hoping to land an offer from Bytedance, prepare to prepare! The interview process for Software Engineers can be a long tedious process, but it’s conquerable - and well worth it. The company reputedly offers more generous benefits and compensation as compared to some of the FAANGs (or MANGA).

At NodeFlair we know that preparation is critical for any job application. In this guide, we will talk about all the ins and outs of Bytedance's application and interview process and provide some useful tips for landing a job at Bytedance

The information and questions are gathered from various sources from users who have gone through the interview process for roles. These sources include, but are not limited to, Glassdoor, Leetcode, forums and users we have interviewed.

TL;DR: Your ultimate Bytedance Software Engineering Interview Guide

  • Landing a Software Engineering Interview with Bytedance
  • What you can expect from the Interview Process: 3 Technical + 1 HR
  • Bytedance Interview Questions: Online Assessment, HackerRank and Live Coding
  • BONUS: How well does Bytedance pay? 💰

Disclaimer:

While we do our best to ensure that the content is accurate and up to date by cross-checking it with a sizable number of individuals, we acknowledge that the questions might be changed over time, or it might vary across departments and interviewers. 

How to land a Bytedance Software Engineering Interview?

According to an article in March 2021, ByteDance has embarked on a hiring spree in Singapore. Within six months, as many as 338 jobs were posted, with a significant portion on engineering talents for TikTok and their other enterprise software businesses.

Here are some ways you can score an interview with them!

  • Get an internal referral from someone working there. Based on some online sources, the referrer gets $2,000 - $4,000 as a bonus - it’s a win-win!
  • A recruiter from Bytedance reaches out to you on LinkedIn
  • Lastly, you can apply directly - you can find the list of jobs here

Here are 7 short actionable steps you can take to increase your chances of getting scouted on LinkedIn or have your resume be accepted during the initial screening!

Source: giphy

Bytedance Interview Process

Technical Rounds (Online Assessment / Live Coding)

You can expect 3 technical rounds, consisting of a mixture of online assessment, live coding and whiteboard exercises. The exact questions can be found in the next segment.

Round 1 and 2 (with Senior Engineers)

  • HackerRank is being used for the Online Assessment. However, to simplify the understanding of the type of questions you can expect, we benchmarked the questions' difficulties to Leetcode.
  • The difficulties of the questions mainly range between Medium and Hard on Leetcode. Easy questions have been tested too, but they are much rarer.  
  • The questions seem to be one of the hardest in the industry (even harder than FAANG as some mentioned). It’s not surprising that some Fresh Grad applicants even received Hard questions!

Round 3 (with Hiring Manager)

The last round will be with the Hiring Manager / Team Lead of the team you are interviewing for. It will be deep-diving into your experiences, as well as questions about System Design.

Tips to Ace Bytedance Technical Interviews

Bytedance themselves do share tips on how to prepare and perform well for the interviews. While the blog post is targeted at campus hires, they are nevertheless highly relevant for more experienced hires too. We’ve summed up the key pointers:

  • Before jumping right into answering the questions, take some time to think through them and ask your interviewers any questions you might have. This will help you understand the problem better too.
  • Think out loud! Your thought process is just as important (if not more important) than simply getting the correct answers.
  • Be ready to have a discussion with your interviewers about your solutions - it’s a 2-way conversation.
  • Be well aware of the complexity and efficiency of your solutions.

According to Darryl Leong, you will be tested deeply on your fundamentals If you are applying for a Fresh Grad / Junior position. This includes the technologies and tools you are using/used before. For him, he was asked questions on:

  • Java (Difference between StringBuffer and StringBuilder, overloading v.s. Overriding etc.)
  • Kubernetes (K8 architecture and components, Responsibility of the kubelet/ kube proxy, Services etc.)
  • Kafka (Details and inner workings, How do partitions get assigned etc.)

Chat with HR

If you managed to clear all three technical rounds, congratulations - you are most or less there! The chat with HR is mainly to understand you better to craft out an offer for you. You can expect some of the following topics.

  • Your performance for the interviews
  • Your motivation and aspirations
  • Your current* and expected compensation package
  • Your competing offers, if any. This might affect the compensation package that you will be offered.
  • Questions that you might have about Bytedance.

* Do note that according to the Ministry of Manpower (MOM), while employers can ask for your last-drawn salary, they cannot insist that you share it with them.

You can make the most out of the chat by asking any questions you might have regarding the team and culture. One common question we have seen is “Is Bytedance 996”. Luckily, after speaking with some current employees and reviewing sources online, the answer seems to be a no.

Source: giphy

Bytedance Online Assessment, HackerRank and Interview Questions 

Companies like Bytedance are always aiming to stay ahead of the curve and try new things. Questions asked at Bytedance interviews are always changing. 

As such, instead of grinding and memorizing specific questions from Leetcode, you should focus on studying the fundamentals and understand how to approach the questions instead. 

Nevertheless, the following recently asked questions can still give you a good sense of the type of questions you can expect.

For the following questions, we will indicate their estimated difficulties on Leetcode with the respective emojis

  • 🟢 being Easy
  • 🟡 being Medium
  • 🔴 being Hard


Popular Interview Questions

These questions have been a common and consistent occurrence as shared by multiple users. They are almost a must-know and if you do not have sufficient time to prepare for the interview, you should focus on these questions and topics.

Experience

  • Talk and share more about the projects in your current and past work
  • There will be follow-up questions based on what you shared
  • You should know how things work and the rationale behind the technical decisions
  • Besides evaluating your technical understanding, your communication skill is also being evaluated. This means how well you can explain and share the details.

Online Assessment, Coding and HackerRank/Leetcode Questions

Networking and Web Security

Source: tenor

Less common Interview Questions

These questions are not as common as the ones above but have been asked before at some point(s) in previous candidate interviews at Bytedance. Practising them will prepare you better for the interviews as you will have a better understanding of what are the types of questions to expect.

System and Database Design

It appears that the questions on System Design rarely repeat as they can vary vastly based on the interviewers.

Online Assessment, Coding and HackerRank/Leetcode Questions

Array

Binary Tree

Linked List

Sort

String

Graph

Backtracking

Dynamic Programming

Game Theory

Matrix

Others

Networking and Web Security

Operating Systems

Database

Others

Questions for Backend roles

Questions for Frontend roles

BONUS: How well does Bytedance pay?

Based on NodeFlair Salaries, the average salary (compared to market's median) is:

  • Intern*: $3,263 - $5,000 ($1,000 - $1,200)
  • Junior: $7,000 ($4,750)
  • Mid: $8,460 ($6,500)
  • Senior: $10,000 ($7,500)
  • Lead*: $11,882 - $22,000 ($9,250)

* This data is from past job listings by Bytedance as we do not have verifiable salary data.

Regardless of your experience, Bytedance pays 30%-50% higher than the industry average!

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Help keep this article updated

This article is only made possible thanks to fellow developers. Tech interview processes and questions might change over time, so If you have had an interview with Bytedance (or other companies), you are encouraged to contribute back!

Got a job offer from Bytedance? Contribute it anonymously!

NodeFlair is improving salary transparency to empower tech talents with the correct salary information so they are not lowballed by companies. Salary is a taboo subject in Singapore, so we have built it with anonymous compensation sharing in mind. Sharing your job offer anonymously will help the tech community inch one step towards salary transparency.

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