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Visa Software Engineer Interview Guide

Interview Guide Jul 20

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

The role of a Visa Software Engineer

Visa is a one of the world's largest financial orgs -- it focuses on delivering payment technology and financial services. It's practically a household name given the large % of people who have a Visa credit card.

Software engineers at Visa are responsible for designing, developing, and implementing software solutions for the company's innovation projects related to credit improvement and digital payments. You will be working closely with other team members and cross-functional teams to deliver high-quality software products that have an instrumental impact on the payments industry as a whole.

As a large-scale, well-established global company, Visa regularly hires software engineers to develop and maintain their software systems, platforms, and applications. You can look up Visa's careers website or job boards such as LinkedIn or Indeed to find suitable software engineering positions at Visa that match your qualifications and interests.

Here's a break up of the compensation software engineers can expect at different levels:

  • Associate Software Engineer L3 (Entry Level): US$121.8K
  • Software Engineer L4 US$117.84K
  • Senior Software Engineer L5: US$148.12K
  • Staff Software Engineer L6: US$185.69K

Visa Software Engineer Interview Guide

Visa's software engineering interview process spans over a period of approximately six weeks and varies in terms of the number of rounds depending on the location and seniority level applied for. The initial round involves a thorough screening of the candidate's resume, followed by an online assessment on HackerRank or a take-home test. If you succeed in these rounds, you will be called in for an on-site interview.

Broadly, the Visa software engineering interview process can be classified into four rounds: 

  • Phone Screening
  • Technical Screen with Hiring Manager
  • Online Coding Assessment
  • Onsite Interview
Relevant Guides

Visa SWE Phone Screen

Overview

After recruiters review the candidate's resume and determine they meet minimum qualifications required for the position, the phone screening round is the first step in Visa's software engineering interview process

Here, the goal is to assess your relevant work experience, educational qualifications, and technical skills. So, be prepared to have a brief 30 to 45 minutes discussion with the recruiter about your motivations for applying for the job as well as highlight your accomplishments, skills, and experience in a clear and concise manner.

Visa SWE Online Coding Assessment

Overview

The Online Assessment (OA) round is designed to evaluate the candidate's coding abilities and problem-solving skills. It is conducted on a platform called CodeSignal and may also be administered as a take-home assignment. 

The OA typically consists of a set of HackerRank-style coding questions that assess the candidate's proficiency in programming languages such as Java, Python, or C++. The questions may vary in difficulty, and candidates will be given a specific amount of time to complete the tasks. 

A preview candidate was reportedly emailed a coding assessment which had four leetcode-type questions.

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Visa SWE Onsite Interviews

Overview

Candidates who qualify for the onsite round undergo up to three interview rounds, each of which comprises technical and managerial assessments, and the final round involves an HR interview. It is important to note that each round is an elimination round.

Let's dive deeper into the on-site interview:

Technical Interview

As part of the Software Engineer interview process at Visa, there are two 30-minute technical interviews with senior engineers. 

The first interview typically includes standard software engineering questions, such as Leetcode medium questions on topics like binary search, trees, stacks, queues, and arrays. You'll be asked about four questions, for which you'll have around sixty minutes to complete.

In the second technical round, you'll encounter development problems based on various topics.

Here are some examples of potential technical interview questions at Visa:

  • Implement Kadane's Algorithm in Java.
  • Given an array and a target sum, find the subarray that adds up to the target sum.
  • Solve the 0-1 Knapsack Problem using dynamic programming.
  • Write a function to search for a target value in a matrix of integers.
  • Solve the N-Queen Problem using backtracking.
  • Implement a function to flatten a linked list.
  • Write a function to delete a node from a singly linked list without access to the head node.
  • Given a matrix of 1s and 0s, find the number of islands in the matrix.

 Tips to Prepare for Technical Round

  • Practice LeetCode questions: LeetCode is a great resource for preparing for the types of questions you may encounter during the interview.
  • Brush up on data structures and algorithms: Focus on understanding how to implement and use common data structures such as arrays, linked lists, stacks, and queues, as well as algorithms such as sorting and searching.

System Design Round

In the second onsite round at Visa, you can expect to encounter system design and architecture questions. These types of questions are designed to evaluate your ability to design and implement complex systems and architectures.

During this round, you may be asked to design a system or architecture from scratch, or you may be given a problem scenario to work through. You will need to demonstrate your ability to understand the requirements of the problem, identify potential solutions, and evaluate trade-offs between different approaches.

If you are interviewing for a senior role, you may encounter multiple system design rounds. These rounds are typically more in-depth and complex than those given to candidates interviewing for junior or mid-level roles. You may be asked to design a system that can handle large-scale data processing or high-traffic web applications, for example.

Here are a few commonly asked questions you can encounter:

  • Design a system for a real-time chat application that can handle millions of concurrent users, with features such as private messaging, group chat, and message history.
  • Design a distributed system for a ride-hailing service that can handle millions of requests per day, with features such as real-time ride tracking, payment processing, and fraud detection.
  • Design a recommendation engine for an e-commerce platform that can provide personalized recommendations for users based on their browsing and purchasing history, as well as other factors such as time of day and location.
  • Design a system for a social media platform that can handle billions of user-generated content, with features such as feed ranking, content moderation, and real-time notifications.
  • Design a system for a financial services platform that can handle high-volume, low-latency transactions, with features such as fraud detection, account management, and compliance monitoring

Tips to Prepare for System Design Round

  • To prepare for system design and architecture questions, it's important to have a strong understanding of system design principles, as well as experience designing and implementing complex systems. 
  • You may also find it helpful to read up on industry best practices and case studies, and to practice designing systems on your own or as part of a team.
  • Mock interviews are an excellent preparation resource to practice system design 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. You can either practice mock interviews with colleagues or friends who have experience with system design interviews, or you can work with a professional interviewer that specializes in system design interviews. Prepfully can put you in touch with recruitment experts or software developers at Visa to practice your interview skills.

Schedule mock interviews with SWEs at Visa — Polish your interview skills with constructive feedback.

Behavioral Round

The behavioral round of the Visa software engineering interview is typically a 30-minute long interview that focuses on assessing your aptitude for the role, as well as your ability to handle managerial problems. During this round, the interviewer may ask you questions related to your past experiences, your work ethics, and your approach to problem-solving and conflict resolution.

The interviewer may also ask you a series of hypothetical, scenario based questions to see if you can think outside the box and come up with creative solutions. In addition, the interviewer may also ask you some managerial problems to assess your leadership potential and your ability to work with others.

Here a few examples of common questions you can encounter:

  • Why Visa?
  • Can you tell me about a time when you faced a challenging problem at work and how you went about solving it?
  • How do you manage your time when working on multiple projects at once?
  • Can you describe a situation where you had to work with a difficult team member, and how you resolved any conflicts that arose?
  • One of your team members is falling behind on their assigned tasks, causing delays for the entire team. How would you address this issue and help the team member get back on track?

Visa Software Engineer Roles and Responsibilities

Roles and responsibilities that Visa looks for in a Software Engineer are:

  • As a Software Engineer at Visa, you are responsible for designing, enhancing, and building highly functional, secure, scalable, and resilient transactional processing systems in an agile development environment.
  • You would be expected to leverage a wide range of cutting-edge technologies, including Java, REST, NoSQL, Docker, and others, to deliver high-quality software solutions.
  • You would need to be skilled in analyzing business requirements and architecting solutions that are both robust and scalable, and provide technical documentation to ensure that these solutions can be easily maintained over time.
  • Your primary goal is to help Visa's customers achieve their business objectives by understanding their requirements and developing solutions that meet their needs.
  • You are also responsible for leveraging new and emerging technologies to build the next generation of Risk Services for Visa.
  • You should be an excellent team player with strong communication and interpersonal skills, and be committed to following software engineering best practices and processes.

Visa Software Engineer Skills and Qualifications

Here are the skills and qualifications that a Visa Software Engineer must have:

  • To apply for a Software Engineer role at Visa, you will need a Bachelor's or Master's degree in Computer Science or a related field, as well as a minimum of three years of software development experience. 
  • You should have a proven track record of working on complex projects, which includes domain knowledge, distributed architecture, technical stack, and collaborating with multiple technology and business partners. 
  • You should be proficient in Java 8 or later, including core Java, memory management, concurrency, and functional programming. 
  • You should also have experience with REST APIs, JSON, and container-based technologies.
  • If you are a senior software engineer, you should be able to independently design enterprise applications by understanding the requirements.
  • In addition to this, you should also be familiar with Agile development incorporating Continuous Integration and Continuous Delivery, using technologies such as GIT, Maven, Jenkins, Triton, Chef, Sonar, Clover, JUnit, and Mockito.