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Zillow Interview
Questions

30 Questions and Answers by Rachelle Enns
Rachelle is a job search expert, career coach, and headhunter
who helps everyone from students to fortune executives find success in their career.
Job Interviews     Companies     Property     Online Property Listing Services    

Question 1 of 30

What is your first reaction when you do something wrong at work or make a mistake on a project?

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1.

What is your first reaction when you do something wrong at work or make a mistake on a project?

This question is an honesty based query that will show the interviewer a lot about your character. How you react to an error made will tell the interviewer a great deal about you and your honesty level. If you made a mistake that could land you in a lot of trouble, would you try to hide the incident, or would you tell someone on your team right away, and have the situation rectified?

Rachelle's Answer #1

"I am my own biggest critic, so when I do something wrong or make a mistake, I am the first to voice it and look for a fix. I am independent and smart, so I am confident in my ability to repair any errors I create. If necessary, I would bring a colleague or manager into the situation to help me repair the situation. Most importantly, I am honest and also open about my work; owning up to any mistakes that I make."

Rachelle's Answer #2

"I fully believe in honesty and immediately repairing what I have done wrong. I am not too proud to admit when I have made a mistake, but it's for the good of the team that everyone is open and honest when an error happens. Taking these situations as opportunities to become better is very important."

2.

Tell me about a time when you were particularly skilled in prioritizing tasks and completing a project on schedule.

Zillow has many projects on the go at one time, and they want to hear that you have a plan in place to keep yourself organized and well-prioritized. The interviewer wants to evaluate your time management skills and diligence when faced with prioritization. Start by mentioning that you are typically an organized person. From here, dive into a recent project where you were particularly skilled in staying organized and on deadline.

Rachelle's Answer #1

"I am a naturally organized individual. Without proper organization, a project can get out of hand quite quickly. I was recently involved with a project that required 30 hours of my time in two weeks while I was also in the middle of several other projects. I was able to stay on track with visual reminders, mid-day check-ins, and a strong support team. I ended up working some overtime, but that is par for the course as a software engineer."

Rachelle's Answer #2

"When working as a freelancer, every project success was entirely my responsibility. Every new client project that I took on meant a great deal of organization on my part. To minimize time lost, I like to map out my plan of attack and then start the action sequence. I use a few tools like Monday and Evernote, to help me remain organized."

3.

What type of work environment do you need to be the most productive?

Zillow wants to know how they can maintain a healthy level of productivity from you, should you be hired. Maybe you can be productive in any environment or, there are particular types of situations that you find distracting and would prefer to avoid. Either way, discuss your preferences with the interviewer. Be sure to research the kind of environment that offered in this position before the interview.

Rachelle's Answer #1

"I understand that your work environment is very collaborative and flexible. I currently work in a similar environment and find that I can be very productive when there is the 'buzz' of a team around me. I can also be productive in quieter environments, although that isn't my preference."

Rachelle's Answer #2

"I am productive in work environments where there is little nepotism or hierarchy. As I grow in my career, I aim to be the type of manager who has an open-door policy where my teammates can feel comfortable coming to me with questions and needs. This type of environment is one that I appreciate in return. I understand that Zillow hires from within whenever possible, and encourages employee growth and promotion."

4.

How is Zillow transforming the future of real estate?

The way you answer this question will show the interviewer how much research you have done on Zillow before your interview. Take a look at any awards and accolades Zillow has received recently. Perhaps there are articles and press releases that you can rely on as well. Mention how you believe they are disrupting the real estate industry, and be sure to show your excitement for joining their team!

Rachelle's Answer #1

"I believe that Zillow is transforming the future of real estate by creating a one-stop shop for all things real estate. Typically, buying or selling a home is a stressful event; one has to hire a broker, a mortgage lender, a lawyer, and more. With a company like yours, you help home buyers through each stage in a well-timed, incredibly well-supported platform. What you are doing is entirely shaking up the industry, and I cannot wait to become a part of it."

Rachelle's Answer #2

"Not only is Zillow transforming real estate by giving buyers and sellers more options than just a typical real estate exchange with a realtor, but you are empowering a significant movement in a very traditional industry. Real estate has been the same for decades, and now, thanks to Zillow the cumbersome process of buying and selling a home is changed forever."

5.

Describe an ongoing problem at your current job, that you were able to overcome.

Every place of employment will have its challenges, so the interviewer isn't asking for you to talk about the things you didn't like about your job. Remaining positive, speak to the interviewer about a specific issue that you were able to overcome in your previous role, based on your unique skill set. The way that you answer this question will also show the interviewer the type of responsibilities you currently hold.

Rachelle's Answer #1

"In my current position, one ongoing problem is the disconnect and separation in the workplace between the developers, designers, and the sales team. I have begun to overcome this by implementing weekly lunch and learns where everyone is welcome. The topics are focused on a variety of situations that we all face in the company. I feel that the better we all understand each other's jobs and functions, the better we can all get along. So far, this approach has been working very well."

Rachelle's Answer #2

"An ongoing issue in our department was a lack of funds allocated to the projects that our leadership had already approved. It seemed as though they wanted us to perform miracles with very little financial bandwidth. To overcome this, we banded as a team to decide where we could cut from our individual budgets to ensure the delivery of a solid product."

6.

What do you know about the workplace culture at Zillow?

The interviewer needs to see that you have researched their offering, ensuring that Zillow is an excellent fit for your next career adventure! Mention some points that you know are offered in this role, discussing which areas are most exciting for you.

Rachelle's Answer #1

"I know that Zillow was one of the first to market with so many online property and real estate services. Being so innovative, it's no surprise that your workplace culture is collaborative, fun, and focused on bringing out the creativity of your teams. I hear that you host game nights, hackathons, happy hours, and a robust health and wellness program. There are many more dimensions to our workplace culture that I am eager to learn more about."

Rachelle's Answer #2

"You had me at your speaker series offerings! The fact that Zillow offers lunch and learn sessions with industry leaders and savvy professionals on business, leadership, and trends in the online industry, tells me everything I need to know. Your organization focuses on building up your staff and helping everyone grow into bigger and better roles."

7.

Pick an app on your phone and sell it to me.

This question is a catch-all for any interviewer in the online platform industry because it covers a candidate's knowledge whether they are in sales, design, engineering, or other development based role. Think of your favorite app on your phone, and discuss with the interviewer why it's your choice - convincing them that they should download the app as well! Feel free to have some fun with this question.

Rachelle's Answer #1

"My absolute favorite app is the Rosetta Stone app. It has nearly al 5-star ratings and is widely known as one of the most effective ways to learn a new language. The interface is easy to navigate, and you can also learn from the desktop experience. I learned to speak Spanish in just three months. Imagine what you could do with a new language?"

Rachelle's Answer #2

"Snapchat is by far the app that everyone should download. Snapchat users are introduced to lenses and augmented reality, which is an exciting concept that is not new, but new to everyday users. Snapchat is amazing for real-time effects and videos, and you are introduced to fun tools like face detection. Did you know that it would take someone ten years to view all of the photos ever exchanged on Snapchat? One hundred eighty-seven million daily users can't be wrong!"

8.

In your opinion, what has been the most exciting advancement in the real estate industry this year?

The hiring authority would like to see that you are up to date on what is happening in the real estate industry and that you come from a position of understanding as far as how Zillow is disrupting an industry dripping in tradition. Discuss the resources you use to stay on top of industry trends and be prepared to discuss one exciting advancement that you find memorable.

Rachelle's Answer #1

"I recently read an article on blockchain technology and how it's impacting the real estate industry. In a nutshell, because of something called tokenization, landlords may be able to use blockchain to sell portions of ownership in their properties. The article also touched on how property titles could be more securely and more conveniently stored, thanks to blockchain ledgers. This topic is one that I am sure impacts the approach at Zillow for future offerings on your platform."

Rachelle's Answer #2

"I have been learning more about virtual reality, and it's fascinating how VR is impacting the real estate industry. Viewing a property is one of the most critical steps to renting or selling a property so, the implementation of VR for walkthroughs is a game changer. VR allows prospective tenants and homebuyers to walk through properties in off-hours and without an appointment. I look forward to seeing how Zillow will leverage VR on your platform this year."

9.

We primarily lean on React, Redux, Node.js, Java, Python, and SQL. With which language are you most familiar?

The interviewer is giving you some insight into the languages that you will be using at Zillow should you be the successful candidate. Considering the list of languages, think about which ones you have the most experience with, and where you are most comfortable. If you'd like, you can rank your skills from beginner to intermediate, advanced, and expert. Doing so will give the interviewer a good idea of where you stand with each language.

Rachelle's Answer #1

"I am familiar with all of these languages; however, my skill level varies between these. I am most experienced and comfortable with Python and SQL, having been immersed in these for the past ten years. With React and Redux, I am a beginner level user and very open to working on strengthening these skills."

Rachelle's Answer #2

"In my current role, I work nearly all day in Java and Node. I would consider myself an advanced user in each of these. When it comes to Python, SQL, React, and Redux, I am an intermediate user. I can certainly commit to learning these further, before my first day at Zillow."

10.

Who are Zillow top competitors? Name for me one factor that we do better than the rest.

The work that Zillow is bringing to the world is relatively new in the online real estate industry. For that reason, it's essential that you come to your interview with a great idea of what they do, and who is trying to compete with these efforts. Take some notes on their competitors and take the time to compare services. What do you believe is the stand-out factor for Zillow?

Rachelle's Answer #1

"I understand that you were one of the first to market with a full-service online property platform and today your top competitors are (A), and (B). One factor that stands out to me, above all the rest, is the fact that your platform offers many add-on services such as a sales proceeds calculator, home estimation tools, and local news feeds for your users to stay in-the-know on what is happening in their marketplace."

Rachelle's Answer #2

"Research shows me that your top competitors are (A), (B), and (C), although Zillow was the first to market with many services that went beyond offering static listings. I understand that you source insights from the people who live in particular neighborhoods so that you can offer new buyers a deeper understanding of the community they are interested in moving. Passing along advice from local real estate agents, brokers and other real estate professionals is another reason why Zillow stands out above the rest."

11.

Zillow is seeking a degree in Computer Science or another technical discipline. Walk me through your education.

The interviewer will likely have an idea of your education background from your resume. What they are asking is for you to take a few minutes to bring the experience to life for them! This question offers you the opportunity to discuss your major, any special academic recognition, or even what your favorite coursework included. Discuss the strengths gained during your post-secondary training and how those skills will be used in your new position with Zillow.

Rachelle's Answer #1

"I have a BS in Computer Science, I also have a great deal of on the job training and certifications, all listed on my resume. One of the biggest take-away's from my post-secondary experience was learning how to manage my time while working on multiple projects successfully. I perfected my multi-tasking skills and am eager to bringing those to work for Zillow, in addition to my extensive technical knowledge."

Rachelle's Answer #2

"I completed my Bachelor of Engineering Technology from Penn State University in 2004. During that time, I specialized in Data Management and Analysis. I graduated with a 3.99 GPA, as one of the top students in my class."

12.

If you had to choose just one, what would you consider to be your technical specialty?

The interviewer wants to know about your particular areas of interest or ability, and what makes you a unique candidate. Talk to the interviewer about your strengths and be sure to highlight any specific skills that you excel in. It's a great idea to highlight particular skills listed inside the Zillow job description.

Rachelle's Answer #1

"Technically speaking, my one greatest strength is in my front-end expertise. I love making pragmatic architecture recommendations and providing sound decisions that guide the development process."

Rachelle's Answer #2

"I have been focusing my career on becoming a senior data engineer and would say that data pipeline architecture is my primary technical specialty."

13.

What types of industries have your previous projects focused on?

The hiring authority would like a fuller idea of the types of projects and industries you have experience within, giving them a better idea of what you will bring to Zillow; should they hire you. Take a few minutes to walk the interviewer through your work experience; being sure to express how your experience over other industries will help you to succeed in this role.

Rachelle's Answer #1

"The bulk of my career has been within the banking and finance industry. This experience will help me with online property listing and real estate services because I understand a lot of the industry jargon surrounding mortgages and lending. Also, I am well versed in the confidentiality, and security needs that come with building a platform that deals with sensitive transactions and large purchases."

Rachelle's Answer #2

"My previous projects have focused on the healthcare and medical industry. I believe there are a lot of transferable skills between healthcare and real estate. These include the sensitivity of the information stored, the high-stakes present in both industries, and the complexity behind the data. I am eager to learn everything that I can about Zillow and your platform."

14.

Zillow hosts regular hackathons to encourage innovation and autonomy. When have you created a new product, service, or process with the help of your tea?

It's vital that you learn about the various ways Zillow helps and encourages growth in its teams. A common approach to sparking workplace innovation in the online platform world is 'hackathons.' Typically a hackathon is a multi-day event in which computer programmers, graphic designers, interface designers, project managers, and others involved in software development get together and collaborate on new and exciting software projects.

Discuss a time when you have acted with innovation and created a new product or even improved an existing service. Assure the interviewer that you are creative-minded and ready to help Zillow achieve new industry breakthroughs.

Rachelle's Answer #1

"I worked on a significant release with my current company last year for which I am very proud. Using real-time data, we launched a program that used public records to estimate a vehicle's value. People shopping for a new car could tap into this database to see what a fair price would be, to pay. Our program used neural networks and computer vision to distinguish between high and low-end finishes, and then we used the real-time data to help empower our users. I can see how an approach like this one would be beneficial within the real estate industry as well."

Rachelle's Answer #2

"In my previous role, I was fortunate enough to be part of a group that introduced my company to the idea of tiered monthly subscriptions where, in addition to our general customer service, we added premium service options. Our customer base responded very positively, and we kept the program running for a few years."

15.

This role with Zillow is highly technical. What is your understanding of this position and the responsibilities that come with it?

It's time for you to assure the interviewer that you bring a full understanding of the technical requirements to succeed in this job. It is essential that you research the role and thoroughly consume the information provided in the Zillow job description. Keep your answer to the point being sure to use the same language used in the job description.

Rachelle's Answer #1

"From our past conversation, understanding the job description, and researching the role online I feel that the job is best described as a project leader working with data and product teams to develop new tools and systems to support the growth of the business. The technical requirements that you would like to see are Python, Java, and AWS services. I am well versed in the tasks and programs you are asking for and am confident that I meet the strict requirements to perform in this role successfully."

Rachelle's Answer #2

"My understanding is that you seek a candidate with expert level skills in React, Redux, Node.js, Java, Python, and SQL who can train junior employees. I am an expert user in all six of these areas. Do you have any questions about my technical expertise?"

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30 Zillow Interview Questions
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Interview Questions

  1. What is your first reaction when you do something wrong at work or make a mistake on a project?
  2. Tell me about a time when you were particularly skilled in prioritizing tasks and completing a project on schedule.
  3. What type of work environment do you need to be the most productive?
  4. How is Zillow transforming the future of real estate?
  5. Describe an ongoing problem at your current job, that you were able to overcome.
  6. What do you know about the workplace culture at Zillow?
  7. Pick an app on your phone and sell it to me.
  8. In your opinion, what has been the most exciting advancement in the real estate industry this year?
  9. We primarily lean on React, Redux, Node.js, Java, Python, and SQL. With which language are you most familiar?
  10. Who are Zillow top competitors? Name for me one factor that we do better than the rest.
  11. Zillow is seeking a degree in Computer Science or another technical discipline. Walk me through your education.
  12. If you had to choose just one, what would you consider to be your technical specialty?
  13. What types of industries have your previous projects focused on?
  14. Zillow hosts regular hackathons to encourage innovation and autonomy. When have you created a new product, service, or process with the help of your tea?
  15. This role with Zillow is highly technical. What is your understanding of this position and the responsibilities that come with it?
  16. The online property listing services industry is highly competitive. How will you help Zillow stay ahead of its competitors?
  17. Market research is at the heart of what we do at Zillow. How do you approach a project before beginning?
  18. Zillow encourages cross-departmental collaboration. Do you have experience collaborating between developers, designers, and other stakeholders?
  19. Zillow operates in an ever-shifting industry. What is the most significant shift you have had to deal with in your career?
  20. Zillow has high expectations when it comes to our platform and customer experience. How do you react when you are dissatisfied with the quality, or the outcome of your work?
  21. Where do you see your career with Zillow 12 months from now?
  22. If offered this role at Zillow, how will you build relationships with your new coworkers and supervisors?
  23. In your current position, what tasks have you been asked to do that were out of your wheelhouse? How did you succeed?
  24. Zillow is innovating the real estate industry. What does the word 'innovation' mean to you?
  25. What challenges are you looking for in your next position?
  26. Zillow promotes from within, whenever possible. What do you see as the most challenging task in being a manager?
  27. After you implement a solution to a problem, how do you test the effectiveness of that solution?
  28. Why should Zillow hire you?
  29. If you had half of a million dollars to build your own business, what would you do?
  30. If you had to give a TED Talk tomorrow, what topic would you choose?
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