PayPal Software Engineer Interview Guide

Interview Guide Aug 28

The role of a PayPal Software Engineer

Software Engineers hold the responsibility for designing, developing, testing, deploying, maintaining, and improving software. They are, therefore, required to have extensive knowledge of databases, frameworks, and other such technologies. They must have experience in managing projects and delivering them within deadlines. 

PayPal Software Engineers must have - 

  • Experience in software development using the Scrum technique. 
  • Excellent communication skills to work with teams to build and manage data storage systems 
  • Experience in developing maintainable software and carrying out unit testing, integration testing, and functional testing.
  • Experience working with cloud platforms Github, Jira, and Spring frameworks.

PayPal Software Engineer Interview Guide

The Paypal Software Engineer interview consists of 3-4 rounds.

The first round is a recruiter phone screen where you can expect a general discussion about your projects and experiences. The second round is a technical phone screen with two engineers, wherein your coding skills will be tested. Following this, you may get a take-home assignment which you will have to complete in 5-6 days. The final round is the onsite round, which consists of 5 interviews - pair programming, system design, behavioral, project experience, and a hiring manager interview.

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Recruiter Phone Screen


The first round of the PayPal Software Engineer Interview is the recruiter phone screen. This is a 30-minute call with the recruiter and will typically be a discussion of your projects and experiences. They may also ask some basic coding questions and technical questions related to your experiences.

Interview Questions

  1. Tell me about yourself.
  2. Tell me about a time when you felt you didn’t do as much as you had anticipated.
  3. Why are you leaving your current company?
  4. How do you handle poor team communication?
  5. Why do you want to work at PayPal?

Technical Interview(s)


The second round of the Paypal Software Engineer Interview is a couple of technical interviews, which areineers. These are 45-60 minute long coding interviews that test your basic coding skills through multiple questions. You may have 1-2 technical interviews depending on the recruiter and your performance. You will be tested on the following topics - 

  • Java and JavaScript basics 
  • OOPs
  • Data Structures
  • Graph Theory

Interview Questions

PayPal Coding Interview Questions - 

  1. Write a code to print the given linked list in reverse.
  2. Write a code to find the transitive closure of the given digraph.
  3. What is a lexical closure?
  4. What is the difference between var, let, const in Javascript?
  5. What is an event loop?
  6. What is the process and microtask queue in Javascript?
  7. Write a code to find the breadth of a given tree.
  8. Write a program to validate IPv4 addresses.
  9. Write a program to search for an element in a sorted and rotated array.
  10. Design a data structure such that insertion and deletion are done with O(1) time complexity.

Note - Questions related to Knapsack, Spring Framework, and AOP have also been asked.

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Onsite Round


The third and final round of the PayPal Software Engineering Interview is the onsite round. It consists of multiple rounds including pair programming, system design, behavioral interview, project experience interview, and a Hiring Manager interview. Before this round, you may also have a call with the recruiter to discuss the onsite interview format. 

1. Pair Programming interview

This is a technical interview in which you will collaborate with the interviewer to write a code for a given problem in 30-40 minutes. It helps the interviewer understand how you communicate and collaborate and your approach to writing the code. This interview is where you will show your comfort in implementing Agile strategies. 


  • Explain your thought process while writing the code. The interviewer should be in the loop at all times and must know why you’re writing a particular segment of code.
  • The code should be readable and maintainable, so write short comments so that it is more understandable. 
  • Be sure to show your collaboration skills as the interviewer wants to assess how you work in a team.

PayPal Coding Interview Questions for the Onsite Round - 

  1. Write a code to find the number of rectangles on a chessboard.
  2. Given the binary tree, find its level order traversal.
  3. Print the right view of a binary tree.
  4. Describe the singleton pattern.
  5. Print a given matrix in spiral form.
  6. What is the difference between comparator vs comparable?
  7. What is the adapter design pattern in Java? 

2. System Design interview

Through the system design round, the interviewer will assess your system design skills by asking you to prepare a high-level design of a product. Depending on your experience as well as the role you are applying for (Junior/Senior), the level and importance of this round will vary. 

For a junior position, you will not be expected to be adept at System Design, however, you must know about Product Designing. As for the senior position, you will be required to have extensive knowledge of both.

Sample System Design Interview questions - 

  1. Design a school library system.
  2. Create a TinyURL system.
  3. Design a chat application like Whatsapp.

3. ​​Project Experience interview

This interview will be a discussion of your resume and your project experiences. Some technical questions related to your role in the project may also be asked. 


  • Follow the STAR method to answer the behavioral questions - Situation, Task, Action, Result. Focus more on the result. This way, you’ll cover all the points that the recruiter wants to hear.

Sample Project Experience Questions - 

  1. Describe an important project you worked on.
  2. What challenges did you face in managing a project?
  3. How do you set project goals and monitor their progress?

4. Hiring Manager interview

This is a behavioral interview with the Hiring Manager, which will typically consist of scenario-based questions. 

5. Engineering Manager interview 

In this round, you can expect both technical and behavioral questions.

Paypal Hiring Manager/Behavioral Interview Questions - 

  1. If you're stuck on a problem how would you go about solving it?
  2. If you're a product support executive, how would you handle an escalated situation?
  3. What was the biggest mistake you made in your most recent job? How did you handle it?


The salary of a PayPal Software Engineer has a wide range. An entry-level SWE earns around 134,000 USD and a senior SWE gets a total compensation of 190,000 USD. A staff SWE earns around 257,000 USD. Senior Staff SWE gets a total compensation of 395,000 USD, which has 211,000 USD as base salary, 141,000 USD in stocks, and 42,000 USD as bonus.