- Employee referrals are one of the tools in Netflix’s arsenal
for finding rockstar recruits.
- Referrals can help prospective candidates land a phone
interview with the streaming-video company, though a recommendation
alone won’t guarantee job at Netflix.
- Netflix doesn’t offer employees bonuses or other perks for
referrals, so prospective candidates will have to prove they’re
worth it by doing their homework before asking for a
- Business Insider spoke to former employees to get their tips
for getting referrals and using them to land an interview with
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The streaming-video giant, like other companies, also relies on
employee referrals to find rockstar recruits. About
15% of people on Glassdoor who said they interviewed at Netflix
got the opportunity through employee referrals.
A recommendation from an employee can help get a prospective
candidate a call from a recruiter, but applicants will still have
to showcase their skills and how they fit into Netflix’s culture to
Netflix confirmed to Business Insider that it values employee
recommendations, but is most interested in finding the best person
for each role, be it through referrals or other means.
“Referrals are important because you can get great employees
that want to be part of a company,” said Ryan Sutton, a district
president at the staffing firm, Robert Half Technology. “But no
great tech company would ever look past the technical skills.”
Business Insider spoke to former Netflix employees for tips on
getting and using referrals to get hired at Netflix — and advice
on what not to do.
What to expect when an employee recommends you for a job at Netflix
A recommendation from a current Netflix employee should, for the
most part, get you a 30-minute call from a Netflix recruiter,
former employees familiar with the process told Business
Candidates who come recommended by employees within the company
usually get to the top of the pile, so to speak, when there’s an
opening they might fit into. Recruiters will call or otherwise
reach out to people who have been referred.
Where candidates go from there largely depends on how they
present themselves in the phone interview. The interview will
typically be with a recruiter who will want to know why the
candidate is interested in Netflix, and the broad strokes of where
they are in their career. There may also be a rigorous technical
test, depending on the role, followed by more interviews.
culture deck compares the company to a sports team, where
“every player on the field is amazing in their position.” The
interview process is just as important, if not more, than the
Do your homework before you ask an employee for a
Netflix doesn’t have a formal referral program that offers
bonuses or other perks for referring employees who get hired.
offer any bonuses.) That’s rare among tech companies, Sutton at
Robert Half Technology said.
So, job hunters seeking referrals from Netflix employees will
really have to show they’re worth the energy.
Insiders also said they received referral requests from friends,
family, and strangers on LinkedIn and elsewhere. They could not
Before reaching out for a referral — even to a friend —
get familiar with the Netflix culture deck and be ready to
demonstrate that you are a fit. Referrers will want to gauge
whether you can live up to the company’s values of
judgment, communications, curiosity, courage, passion,
selflessness, inclusion, integrity, and impact before they refer
“I’ve never been a place where a larger group of people is
trying really hard to live up to something,” said one former
employee, referring to the culture deck.
Craft your social profiles, resumé, or portfolio to showcase
your skills, more than just your job titles. Netflix is known for
making “unconventional hires” who may not have held the exact role
they’re hiring for before but have transferable skills for roles,
Netflix employees will also be more likely to respond to
invitations to view your portfolio of work rather than a cold email
or LinkedIn message asking for a referral, especially if you’re
applying for a creative role.
“Lots of people would ask for referrals,” one former employee
said. “If there was an opening on the team, I might consider it.
It’s little easier if you see someone’s work.”
Sutton also recommended adding a banner image to your LinkedIn
profile to show your personality, or specialty, such as the Los
Angeles skyline if you’re applying for a position at Netflix’s
Hollywood offices, or something more creative, if you’re seeking a
If possible, offer to meet in person. As with any form of
communication, you’re more likely to get a recommendation if you
can form a personal connection with the referrer, and show that
you’d be a culture fit. But, be mindful that Netflix employees are
busy and may not immediately have time.
Insiders also recommended applying for openings through
Netflix’s website before requesting a referral. Netflix really does
mine those online applications, the insiders say. The employee
recommendations could go further if recruiters see the person who
was referred has been actively applying, and interested in
“If you’re asking somebody for a referral into their company,
that’s a very, very big favor,” Sutton said. “If you haven’t done
your homework, you’re not ready for a referral.”
Don’t use referrals as a crutch in the interview process
While recommendations can help candidates get a foot in the door
at Netflix, name dropping won’t help much in the interview and
A referral will get the conversation started with Netflix. It
won’t land candidates the job.
One former employee said they brought up their referrer in the
first recruiting call, and were quickly told that the call was
about why they were interested in Netflix.
“If they do get a referral, I wouldn’t use it as a crutch in the
interview process,” that person said. “Referrals do not generally
work as well at Netflix as they do other places.”
Instead of name dropping, candidates should play up their skill
sets and how they fit into Netflix’s culture. Or, they can use the
referrer to explain why they’re interested in Netflix: “I was
impressed with the freedom and responsibility X had to own this
project. I think I would thrive in that environment for these
That said, referrals from people on the team you’re interested
in can go a long way.
“Usually, you hire somebody and they’re a gold mine of
referrals,” said another former employee. “Referrals by people on
your team carry a lot of weight.”
Netflix looks for employees who not only fit in with its
corporate culture, but mesh with the existing dynamics on the
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How to get a job interview at Netflix with the help of employee referrals — and what to avoid doing, according to company insiders (NFLX)