Facebook Production Engineer Interview Questions

Updated Apr 10, 2015
14 Interview Reviews

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Production Engineer Interview

Anonymous Employee in Menlo Park, CA
No Offer
Positive Experience
Average Interview
No Offer
Positive Experience
Average Interview

Application

I applied through a recruiter. The process took 2+ weeksinterviewed at Facebook (Menlo Park, CA) in April 2015.

Interview

They recruited me at a conference. I had a recruiter phone screen followed by two engineering phone screens. One was focused on coding and the other on systems. This was followed by an all-day interview at the Facebook Campus. The all-day interview was 5 sessions with different engineers, 45 minutes each. Each interview focused on a different area like Architecture, Coding, Networking, and Systems.

Interview Questions

Other Interview Reviews for Facebook

  1.  

    Production Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Employee
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied through a recruiter. The process took a weekinterviewed at Facebook in March 2015.

    Interview

    First interview was with a HR, which i thought would be just about soft skills but i was asked 10-20 technical question mostly networking and system administration. Second round was a coding exercise and was asked to code using any language of my choice. Interviewer is looking for how you apply the logic. He did not ran my code but he made some modifications on the code and asked me what the output will be after the changes.

    Interview Questions

    • HR screening questions on networking and system administration.   Answer Question
  2.  

    Production Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Employee
    No Offer
    Negative Experience
    Easy Interview
    No Offer
    Negative Experience
    Easy Interview

    Application

    I applied through a recruiter. The process took 2+ weeksinterviewed at Facebook in February 2015.

    Interview

    The recruiter contacted me on Linkedin and during our initial exploratory conversation, I was asked several initial screening questions about my background. Afterward, I was scheduled for a 45-minute coding interview, about one week later.

    The interviewer contacted me at the proper time and we began the interview, using stypi.com. The first question came and went very quickly, though I did have some difficulty understanding the interviewer as English was not their first language. The second question also went by very quickly, though the interviewer kept hitting on what happens when a float is cast to/from a boolean in Python and ultimately, I suspect this is what put the interviewer against me.

    Overall, the questions asked were fair and weren’t unnecessarily complicated.

    The time from the phone screen to rejection was six days and the rejection message was the standard condescending boilerplate of, "We've found stronger candidates for this particular position," leaving me with no idea what I had done wrong and only my suspicions. Followup e-mails to figure out where I fell short were met with silence.

    The job posting had the following verbiage on it; "Our team is comprised of varying levels of experience and backgrounds, from new grads to industry veterans. Relevant industry experience is important, but ultimately less so than your demonstrated abilities and attitude. We sail into uncharted waters every day at Facebook in Production Engineering, and we are always learning."

    For a position that demands such a broad range of skills, I find it silly that what (I suspect, anyway) did me in was something that in a real-world situation, I could've just opened an interactive Python interpreter and entered a few of lines to prove / disprove the expected behavior. So much for "we are always learning."

    Pros:
    - Recruiter was friendly and was on top of things.
    - Decision was made quickly.
    - Interview questions were fair.

    Cons:
    - Interviewer dinged me for trivial things.
    - Coding interview did not reflect the broad knowledge required for the role.
    - Interview did not jive with the ethos of, "we are always learning."
    - I had some trouble understanding the interviewer and I suspect they also had trouble understanding me.
    - Standard condescending rejection boilerplate with followup e-mails routed to /dev/null.

  3.  

    Production Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Employee in Menlo Park, CA
    No Offer
    Neutral Experience
    Difficult Interview
    No Offer
    Neutral Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied through a recruiter. The process took 1+ weekinterviewed at Facebook (Menlo Park, CA) in February 2015.

    Interview

    A recruiter reached out to discuss a position that
    may be a good fit with my skillset. It started with a
    phone interview followed up with a code review interview.
    The process took about 10 days.

    The interview questions were not difficult, some with
    several answers. Unix Process, networking, tcp/ip stack,
    and system administrative commands.

    The process was casual, I did notice before the interviews
    even started. Their coordination was awkward, after receiving
    numerous misspelled emails and wrong phone numbers. I was a
    little leery of working for them. Nonetheless, I continued
    with the 45-min code review interview and answered the question.

    Overall, the interviews were comparable to other companies. Also,
    they were efficient with their responses and answering questions.

    Interview Questions

    • Given a sentence convert the sentence to the modified pig-latin language:

      Words beginning with a vowel, remove the vowel letter and append the letter to the end.
      All words append the letters 'ni' to the end.
      All words incrementally append the letter 'j'. i.e. 'j','jj','jjj', etc...
       
      Answer Question
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  5. Helpful (1)  

    Production Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Employee
    No Offer
    Neutral Experience
    Easy Interview
    No Offer
    Neutral Experience
    Easy Interview

    Application

    I applied through a recruiter. The process took 1+ weekinterviewed at Facebook.

    Interview

    Over the phone coding screen, I was asked two fairly easy questions and I answered both of the them well and I understood the edge cases and answered all the questions the interview had about my solutions. The interview lasted about 50 minutes.

    Sadly I was rejected based on feedback from the interviewer. The feedback stated the second question was fine, but the first question had an issue. The solution I provided wasn't what the interviewer wanted, and the solution that he wanted was different from what the question had asked.

  6.  

    Production Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Employee in Menlo Park, CA
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied through a recruiter. The process took 2+ weeksinterviewed at Facebook (Menlo Park, CA) in August 2013.

    Interview

    Recruiter contacted me through LinkedIn and we setup a phone interview. He went through some basic System Administration questions and at the end asked me for availability for a coding interview. Coding interview was about algorithm and solving three problems.

    Interview Questions

  7. Helpful (2)  

    Production Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Employee in Menlo Park, CA
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied through a recruiter. The process took 3 weeksinterviewed at Facebook (Menlo Park, CA) in July 2013.

    Interview

    Three 45-minute phone interviews. A positive review from each qualified me for the next.

    First interview was a basic-technical one with their recruiter: port numbers, subnet math, Linux commands.

    Second was a Collabedit programming interview. An engineer had me build a performance monitoring script, adding more features and improving efficiency as we went.

    Third was a systems interview. Heavy operating systems theory was involved. This engineer's confessed style was improvisational, probing areas of knowledge my previous answers had laid claim to. It helped to know enough systems stuff, and to be interested enough in it, to make the conversation span the whole interview time.

    I passed the third phone interview, so Facebook flew me to their campus for a day of on-site interviews. I had to sign an NDA covering my experiences on that day. What I can say is that I thought it went at least as well as my phone interviews, yet I got a rejection email a week later.

    Interview Questions

  8. Helpful (15)  

    Production Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Employee in Menlo Park, CA
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied through a recruiter. The process took 6 weeksinterviewed at Facebook (Menlo Park, CA) in June 2013.

    Interview

    Everyone I spoke with was reasonably personable and competent. The process went quite smoothly and was relatively painless.

    5 phone contacts:
    * basic screening (might you be a good fit for the position)
    * basic programming
    * (single) system administration
    * basic description of what will come next+handoff to another recruiter
    * in-depth description with new recruiter of what to expect during the on-site interviews

    5 onsite interviews+lunch:
    You first meet your recruiter, with a brief overview of the day.

    * Production Engineer Manager
      - Getting to know you, talk about what a Production Engineer does.

    * Coding
      - Algorithmically simple (write ____ system utility), but you need to be able to intelligently discuss complexity and tradeoffs of optimizations (CPU/RAM). What is the theoretical best performance?
      - You don't need to know exact details of APIs, but you need to know what calls are available, and have a deep understanding of how things work. You should know exactly what is happening, including the complexity of any system calls you make.
      - Accuracy and and efficiency in your code are crucial.

    * Systems
      - FB has problems on a scale you have not yet realized. They hit problems you haven't ever seen.
      - When you see ____ crazy problem, what do you do? How do you figure out what the fundamental problem is? Once you know the problem, how can you mitigate it?
      - Explain in detail what happens when you run ____ command.
      - Think about this sort of information: what problems are you going to run into while doing IPC (pipes, shared memory structures etc.)? How exactly does the OS transfer information across a pipe? What are the limits or bottlenecks?

    * LUNCH
      - Good food, relax and get to know your recruiter a little better. Get a better feel for the environment. Ask questions off the record, so to speak.

    * Design/Architecture
      - FB understands you probably don't have experience at their scale. Just do your best to extend what you know to their scale.
      - How do you do ____ across a large number of systems? How do you do it without interrupting production? How long will it take?
      - When doing estimation, be sure to explain your thought processes.

    * Networking
      - Probably the least important of the 4 technical interviews.
      - Be familiar with packet routing (How does the source computer know where to route packets? How do packets move across a network?).
      - Know how to configure and use at least one client/server network service (and talk about it intelligently). How does it work internally? What are the features of XXX protocol?

    Last, you talk to your recruiter about what you think about the recruiting process, the position, how well it fits you, considerations that you may need to think about before making a final decision.

    Interview Questions

    • The individual questions are not difficult.

      I'd expect any network engineer worth his salt to have no difficulty with the networking questions. Likewise, the coding shouldn't be a problem for a software developer, and systems isn't going to be hard for a systems administrator.

      The trouble is the /breadth/ of questions. What are the limits of your knowledge? Can you make a reasonable guess as to what is going on based on what you do know?
       
      Answer Question
  9. Helpful (3)  

    Production Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Employee in Menlo Park, CA
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied through other source. The process took 6+ weeksinterviewed at Facebook (Menlo Park, CA) in November 2012.

    Interview

    The process was pretty spread-out but extremely well coordinated and communicated. Expectations were perfectly managed. Since I was remote, they had me go through a set of 3 phone screenings, each very technical. Passing each phone screen lead to the next, with passing the final round leading to an in-person interview and trip to Menlo Park, CA.

    The pictures of the campus there don't do it justice. It's a really surprising environment.

    I really can't say enough how awesome their recruiting staff is. They always replied promptly and helpfully, and were awesome to work around my schedule every step along the way.

    In the final analysis I just wasn't a good fit for the position - and I even agree with them. After seeing and hearing so much of the cool stuff they do behind the scenes and are working on doing, I am not (yet) qualified for that job. In the end, the thing I felt most qualified in was my big stumble. What I learned was to be on their level, it wasn't enough to have just done what I've done for a long time - that they justifiably want an expert in multiple disciplines.

    Their benefits are just absurdly great. Everything they offer is top-notch including their facility in Menlo Park, where the old Sun research campus used to be.

    In the end, it was a great experience. I got to go and interview with one of the biggest Internet companies in the world and meet some brilliant people and see just how great their environment is. I realized that in the right environment, I can go head to head with some of the best - and got a quick trip out there to boot!

    Interview Questions

    • Why wouldn't you want a root DNS server to answer queries for you, instead of delegating you to an authoritative server?   3 Answers
    • For a given set of software checkins, write a program that will determine which part along the branch where the fault lies.   3 Answers
  10.  

    Production Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Employee in Menlo Park, CA
    No Offer
    Negative Experience
    Difficult Interview
    No Offer
    Negative Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied through a recruiter. The process took 4 weeksinterviewed at Facebook (Menlo Park, CA) in June 2012.

    Interview

    I was contacted by a recruiter over linkedin. After doing a technical screen with the recruiter, there were two phone interviews with engineers. The first was a fairly simple programming test, and later a more in depth systems test.

    Interview Questions

    • The systems interview was more open ended than I expected   1 Answer

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