Sample Software Engineer Interview Questions at Zynga

Before you read too far into this post, I think it is important to call out what this post is and what this post isn’t.  This post is not intended to be a cheat sheet for nailing a Zynga interview.  Rather I wanted to share a couple sample questions I have heard people use and discuss why those types of questions are so critical for a good interview at Zynga.  In fact these questions are very standard software engineer interview questions in the industry and are used by many different companies.

Here are some sample questions:

– How do you reverse a linked list?

– How would you create a class that generates a random number?

– How would you write a function to reverse a string?

– How would you remove common elements from two different arrays?

Now let’s take a look at these questions.  What is in common?  What is their intent and purpose?  At the very core of these questions are CS fundamentals.  They are generally not designed to test your in depth knowledge of a particular language.  Rather they are designed to provide an opportunity for you as a software engineer candidate to show off your CS chops.  These are skills that are of vital importance to every candidate looking for a career at Zynga.

Zynga deals with such fantastic large data and scale challenges, that without a solid backing of CS an engineer would truly struggle.  Mentorship and education is of course available – but without a solid CS background that can be built upon, it will be difficult to hit the ground running.  These questions are not intended to provide a challenging interview process or scare the candidate – but rather ensure that you are up to the exciting challenges that would await you as an engineer at Zynga.

Before heading to your software engineer interview at Zynga take a few mins and review your CS basics.  Review old concepts if they are dusty in your mind. Practice new algorithms if you have not yet had a chance to use them in your career.

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One Comment

  1. I just finished my interview at Zynga. It’s true – they focused more on my problem solving and cs skills then they did about a specific language. Thank you for this post – it helped prep me before I arrived.

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