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Capital One Software Engineer Interview Guide

Interview Guide Nov 28

Detailed, specific guidance on the Capital One Software Engineer interview process - with a breakdown of different stages and interview questions asked at each stage

The role of a Capital One Software Engineer

Capital One is a leading financial institution that has made significant strides in the technology industry. The company offers numerous opportunities for software engineers to work on innovative projects and cutting-edge technologies. 

As a software engineer at Capital One, you will have the opportunity to work with a top-notch team and lead a major transformation within the organization.

The average base compensation of a Capital One Software Engineer ranges from $126k–219k per year, depending on the job location and seniority level:

  • Associate Software Engineer (Entry Level) - $126K
  • Software Engineer Senior Associate - $144K
  • Senior Software Engineer Principal Associate - $177K
  • Lead Software Engineer - $210K

Capital One Software Engineer Interview Guide

When it comes to software engineering interviews at Capital One, candidates can expect to be tested on a range of topics including algorithms, python, and take-home assignments. Depending on the relevance to the team and role, additional topics such as SQL, analytics, and product metrics may also be covered.

The three primary rounds are:

  • Recruiter Screen
  • Hiring Manager Pre-Screen
  • On-site Interview

It is important to note that the Capital One interview process also includes a unique round of case interviews, which is a distinct feature of the hiring process.

Relevant Guides

Capital One SWE - Recruiter Screen

Overview

A Capital One recruiter will conduct an initial phone screen to discuss the position, review your resume, and evaluate your fit for the enterprise. The recruiter may also provide additional details about the interview process and answer any questions the candidate may have.

Depending on the position, candidates may be required to complete an hour-long virtual exam that assesses their knowledge of relevant technical skills. The exam is designed to evaluate the candidate's ability to solve problems and work through technical challenges.

Capital One SWE - Hiring Manager Pre-Screen

Overview

During the technical screen, candidates are evaluated on their technical skills and knowledge to determine if they are suitable for the position and Capital One.

The technical screen typically involves a 30-minute phone interview with a hiring manager who will inquire about the candidate's background and assess their technical aptitude. The interviewer may ask questions related to coding, data structures, algorithms, and software design.

Interview Questions

Here are some sample questions that the interviewer may ask during the technical screen:

  • What is a hash table, and how does it work?
  • Explain the difference between a linked list and an array. When would you use one over the other?
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Capital One SWE - On-site Interviews

Overview

If you pass the technical screen, you will be invited for the on-site interview. 

The on-site consists of four separate interviews:

  • 2 Power Day Interviews 
  • Behavioral Interview
  • Case Interview

Power Day Interviews

The on-site power day round for Capital One software engineering candidates is divided into two sections: Data Structures & Algorithms and System Design.

During the Data Structures & Algorithms round, candidates can expect to encounter Leetcode-style questions of medium difficulty. This round is designed to evaluate the candidate's proficiency in solving complex algorithmic problems.

The System Design round assesses the candidate's ability to design large-scale distributed systems. Candidates will be asked to discuss and design solutions to hypothetical problems related to system design.

Here are a few examples of potential questions a candidate may encounter during the on-site power day round for Capital One software engineering:

  • Implement a LRU Cache.
  • Design a scalable and fault-tolerant system for a ride-sharing application.
  • Implement a Binary Tree in Java and write a function to print all nodes at level K.
  • Design a system to handle millions of transactions per day for a large e-commerce website.
  • Write a program to check if a given Binary Tree is a BST.

Behavioral Interviews

The behavioral interview provides valuable insights into how candidates have approached past challenges, demonstrated collaboration skills, and successfully navigated conflicts in a team environment. 

The interviewer will ask "Tell me about a time when..." questions to evaluate relevant skills and competencies that they value in candidates such as problem-solving, goal-oriented mindset, strong interpersonal skills, and so on.

The questions asked recently are pretty standard for behavioral style interviews:.

  • Why Capital One?
  • Tell me about a time when you had to resolve a complex technical issue. How did you approach the problem and what was the outcome?
  • How do you prioritize competing demands in a project, and how do you communicate your priorities to your team
  • Why should we hire you?
  • Why do you want to be a software engineer at Capital One?
  • How do you stay up to date with emerging technologies and trends in the software engineering industry?
  • Tell me about a project you led where you had to manage a team with diverse backgrounds and skill sets.

You should be ready to discuss actual situations they have encountered in your past professional experiences. This could include challenges you faced, successes you achieved, or even failures you learned from.

In addition to describing the experience itself, you should also be able to explain how you approached the situation, what actions you took, and what the outcome was.

Case Interview

The last round of the Capital One interview process is the case interview. It is a unique component of the company's interview process, and can be challenging. It helps the interviewers assess your logical reasoning, communication, quantitative skills, and business judgment. 

It is divided into three sections:

  • Business situation and framework: This section assesses a candidate's ability to analyze a complex business problem, identify the key issues, and develop a framework to approach the problem. An example case would be: "a retailer is experiencing declining sales and wants to know why. What areas should they focus on to improve sales?"
  • Quantitative question: This section tests a candidate's quantitative and analytical skills. Here, you need to show you can understand and manipulate data, perform calculations, and draw meaningful conclusions.
  • Recommendation: This last section evaluates your ability to synthesize information, think creatively, and make informed recommendations based on the available data. You may give recommendations based on the calculations you did in the quantitative section.

Mock interviews are an excellent preparation resource to practice case interviews. They allow you to work through sample problems or scenarios that are similar to what you might encounter during the real interview, and receive feedback on your performance. Prepfully can put you in touch with recruitment experts or software engineers at Capital One to practice your interview skills.

Polish your interview skills through practicing with a C1 SWE interview coach.

View Coach

Check out video guide that delves into the interview process and provides valuable tips tailored to each round of the interview.

Roles and Responsibilities of a Software Engineer at Capital One

Roles and responsibilities that Capital One looks for in a software engineering are:

  • You will be expected to collaborate with different Agile teams to design, develop, test, implement, and maintain technical solutions using full-stack development tools and technologies.
  • You are responsible for offering your ideas on how to keep up with the latest trends and experimenting with and researching new technologies. Participating in both internal and external technology communities and mentoring other team members within the engineering community.
  • You would be collaborating with digital product managers to create cloud-based solutions that will enhance the financial empowerment experience of millions of Americans.
  • You would be utilizing programming languages such as Java, JavaScript, TypeScript, HTML/CSS, SQL, Python, Go, Open Source RDBMS, and NoSQL databases to build robust software solutions.
  • You will be expected to implement container orchestration services such as Docker and Kubernetes and work with various AWS tools and services to achieve scalability, security, and high availability.

Skills and Qualifications typically needed to succeed as a Software Engineer at Capital One

Here are the skills and qualifications that a software engineer at Capital One must have:

  • Candidates who apply typically have a Bachelor's degree in Computer Science or a related field.
  • You should have at least two years of experience in software engineering.
  • You need a minimum of three years of experience in at least one of the following programming languages: JavaScript, Java, TypeScript, SQL, Python, or Go.
  • The candidate should also have at least one year of experience using a cloud service such as AWS, GCP, Microsoft Azure, or another similar platform.
  • You should have at least two years of experience using open-source frameworks.
  • You also need a minimum of two years of experience working with Agile practices.

Frequently Asked Questions