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Facebook Production Engineer Interview Questions

Updated Nov 12, 2014
Updated Nov 12, 2014
8 Interview Reviews

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14 people found this helpful  

Production Engineer Interview

Anonymous Interview Candidate
Anonymous Interview Candidate
Application Details

I applied through a recruiter. The process took 3 weeksinterviewed at Facebook.

Interview Details

A recruiter contacted me. After confirming that I would like to interview for the position, I was asked basic questions around networking, Linux system administration, and programming. A graduating Computer Science student should expect to pass this with little difficulty.

Next was a phone interview for programming. I was asked to take input text and identify the unique words in the text and how many times each word occurred. Edge cases were important as was the performance. Interviewer asked for an analysis of the run-time and memory usage. Any second-year CS student should have no problem completing this in far less than the allocated time.

Next was a phone interview for systems administration. I was given the bare minimum information possible about a system and told to describe how I discover running services and potential issues. As I progressed, the interviewer gave me information reasonable based on my descriptions and identified when I had correctly discovered a problem or possible problem. In investigating problems, it was important to be specific about why the problem was occurring and how to address the issue. When addressing problems, the performance, scalability, and maintainability of the solution was very important. Be prepared to identify how a file system is mounted or if it's local, and be prepared to encounter a single central share mounted by many servers with active read/write activity from them all. This will be difficult for anyone without good real-world Linux systems administration experience.

Next I was flown out to HQ for a series of on-site interviews. A manager spoke to me to gauge my understanding of Facebook and the Production Engineering position (rely on the job description and don't be afraid to ask your recruiter lots of questions!) and to get to know me.

There's another interview about coding and another one for systems administration. Both are along the same lines as the phone interview, but more in-depth and more difficult.

There's a systems design interview, where you'll be given a target and asked to design a scalable and performant system to accomplish the goal. You may be asked to analyze the storage requirements (core and/or persistent) and network requirements of your system.

The last interview type is a networking interview, which is very in-depth and requires extensive knowledge of TCP/IP, UDP/IP, DNS, etc. Essentially, start at a command prompt and think of what happens when you type "telnet www.facebook.com 80" - be prepared to talk about almost every single network-related thing that happens at all seven OSI layers. Know your packet layouts!

Throughout the entire process, my recruiter was always on top of keeping me informed and always answered questions very quickly (I rarely waited even most of a day for a reply). I rarely needed to ask anything about what to expect because she kept me so well informed. Don't worry too much about thinking at Facebook's scale, they understand that very few people have worked on anything even approaching their size and scale. Everyone you deal with will work hard to make things go as smoothly as it can.

Interview Questions
  • The entire networking interview was very difficult, I was not expecting the amount of in-depth knowledge expected for that interview.   Answer Question
Accepted Offer
Positive Experience
Difficult Interview

Other Interview Reviews for Facebook

  1. 7 people found this helpful  

    Production Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Application Details

    I applied through a recruiter. The process took 4+ weeksinterviewed at Facebook in July 2014.

    Interview Details

    Was contacted by a recruiter. The recruiter initially asked me a handful of one-word-answer system administration questions. Subsequently had three phone screening interviews spaced over a couple of weeks before being invited to fly out to SF for an on-site interview.

    The screening interviews were straightforward 45-minute phone calls using an shared text editor site to code.

    The on-site interview was a full day consisting of 4 seperate interviews on different topics. The engineers I interacted with were all very friendly, and the questions asked were at times difficult but very fair: everything I was asked seemed very relevant to the potential job and assessing my general programming skill (no "stupid hard for the sake of being stupid hard" sort of questions).

    The campus is fantastic, and I got to spend a lot of time with the recruiter, who was incredibly knowledgeable and helpful, asking questions and wondering around checking the place out. The trip would have been worth the time even if I didn't get an offer.

    About a week after my on-site interview, I got a call from the recruiter saying they wanted to offer me the position. The next day we discussed the compensation details, and a few days later I accepted.

    Negotiation Details
    You will be asked what compensation you are expecting annually
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview
  2.  

    Production Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Application Details

    I applied through a recruiter. The process took 6+ weeksinterviewed at Facebook in July 2014.

    Interview Details

    Contacted on linkedin based on Google experience. Fairly long interview process, with a phone screen, then two technical phone interviews, then a full day interview in Menlo Park. Took several weeks for them to get back, too, but they came up with a very competitive offer, and came back fairly quickly when I countered.

    Interview Questions
    • Some real curveballs about how specific protocols worked. HTTP, SMTP, etc.   Answer Question
    Negotiation Details
    I negotiated, got a good 5-10% based on my previous experience and bluffing about how much I was searching.
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview
  3. 2 people found this helpful  

    Production Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Menlo Park, CA
    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Menlo Park, CA
    Application Details

    I applied through a recruiter. The process took 4+ weeksinterviewed at Facebook in March 2014.

    Interview Details

    Was initially contacted via LinkedIn by an internal Facebook recruiter that dealt specifically with this role. I was impressed with the recruiter's technical knowledge, always a good sign, and agreed to go through the screening and start the interview process.

    The process is 5 steps:

    * Call with recruiter about position
    * Phone screening with a few trivia questions regarding systems administration.
    * Co-operative coding phone interview
    * Systems phone interview
    * On-Site interview

    The call with the recruiter was mostly about the position description and duties, and assessing whether both sides think it's a good fit. The phone screening, also done with the recruiter, is just a few questions that anyone who has administered Linux for an organization would be able to answer off the top of their head.

    The coding interview was done using a collaborative editing tool, so both parties could see what was being typed. The coding questions were not your typical abstract data manipulation questions, but rather questions that required systems knowledge, and in my case were most easily answered with shell scripts.

    I didn't actually do the systems phone interview, as they considered my programming interview strong enough to simply skip this step. I'm informed this is not uncommon.

    The on-site interview loop included five 45-minute segments: Programming, Systems, Networking, Solution Architecture, and meeting with the Manager (not in that order). Additionally, lunch with the initial recruiter and a brief chat afterwards with a different recruiter that dealt with the financial and logistics portions of the interview and negotiations.

    One thing that struck me during the entire process is that *everyone* I spoke to, and I mean *everyone* because I asked them all, absolutely loved working there. Every time I asked someone how they liked working at Facebook, their face lit up and they started listing off reasons they loved working there, and everyone had the same reason: They liked everyone around them, felt trusted and respected, and trusted and respected the people around them. This was unanimously the first reason, usually followed by "and the work is really interesting".

    Interview Questions
    • What options do you have, nefarious or otherwise, to stop people on a wireless network you are also on (but have no admin rights to) from hogging bandwidth by streaming videos?   View Answers (2)
    Negotiation Details
    My negotiations were all pre-offer. There is a compensation department that comes up with an offer based on your years of experience, strength during the interview process, and current pay. They will almost certainly exceed your current pay if you disclose it, though I should probably point out they didn't verify mine. In my case they offered base pay approximately 10% higher than my prior base pay, and I presume this is fairly standard.
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview
  4. Is this helpful? The community relies on everyone sharing – Add Anonymous Interview Review


  5. 1 person found this helpful  

    Production Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Menlo Park, CA
    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Menlo Park, CA
    Application Details

    I applied through a recruiter. The process took 3+ monthsinterviewed at Facebook in October 2013.

    Interview Details

    I was contacted by a recruiter on Linkedin.

    I first had a really quick phone call + technical screening with the recruiter (port numbers, shell commands...).
    After that was a 2 questions coding interview over the phone which I believed didn't go so well even though the questions were easy (Think first CS college course level), but I passed anyway.
    Next I had a another technical phone call on systems (kernel, shell commands, basic
    troubleshooting...)

    I was then invited to fly over to California for an on-site interview which I was really excited about. I stayed in a pretty nice hotel and everything was paid for by FB.

    On-site, I had 5+ interviews with engineer, managers and recruiters which were similar to the phone interviews, just a little deeper/harder.
    I also had the opportunity to tour the FB campus which looked great... nice office space, lots of free perks, great people...

    I had an offer about a week later and accepted. You don't ofter get to work for one of the biggest/greatest/most traffic website/platform...

    Interview Questions
    • Explain everything that happens over the network when a client tries to access a website.   View Answers (2)
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview
  6. 5 people found this helpful  

    Production Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Menlo Park, CA
    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Menlo Park, CA
    Application Details

    I applied through a recruiter. The process took 4+ weeksinterviewed at Facebook in August 2013.

    Interview Details

    HR contacted me from Linkedin.

    There was 3 phone interviews for screening, code test and system administration test.

    First interview, recruiter went through some questions, such as port number, routing, Linux commands, and some basic language wise questions.

    Second interview was a coding test. Engineer had me to write two script for csv data processing, and system monitoring.

    Third one was for system administration. The questions were pretty open. The interviewer had me to dig into the internals of operating system, such as performance tuning, memory model, paging, swap, process forking, system call, interrupt, and etc.

    I passed 3 interviews, and flew to Facebook campus for a whole day onsite interview (with NDA signed).

    During the interview process, I felt people there are super nice, and gave me chances to answer questions correctly.

    My suggestions
     - Use your strongest language (scripting language will help a lot)
     - Familiar with operating system internals and system analysis tools
     - Familiar with networks and infrastructures (TCP/IP, DNS, HTTP, and etc)
     - Think about scalability

    Interview Questions
    • How can you find whether a process is I/O bound or CPU bound?   View Answer
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview
  7.  

    Production Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Menlo Park, CA
    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Menlo Park, CA
    Application Details

    I applied online. The process took 4+ weeksinterviewed at Facebook in October 2011.

    Interview Details

    The process was tough but fair. The phone screens were a bit harrowing because I didn't know what to expect. However, during the on site, the employees did everything they could to make me as comfortable as possible and gave me every opportunity to answer the questions correctly.

    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview
  8.  

    Production Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Application Details

    I applied through a recruiter. The process took 4+ weeksinterviewed at Facebook in April 2013.

    Interview Details

    A chat with a junior and a senior recruiter to establish basic credentials and desire to work for Facebook. One out of a possible two telephone coding interviews followed by a day of face to face interviews on-site. The on-site interviews spanned cultural fit, architecture, systems, coding and networking knowledge - each given a single interview. Lunch was included and delicious!

    Interview Questions
    • The most unexpected question was one of my own favourite interviewing questions: you log in to your favourite Operating System from cold boot, you open a browser window and type http://google.com and hit Enter. Tell me what happens next in as much detail as you can muster.   Answer Question
    Negotiation Details
    There definitely is leeway in all job offers, and this job was no exception. I was clear about my situation and what I thought I needed to make sure my family was looked after properly after relocation and Facebook made it very clear what the limits were, but were very forthcoming inside of those limits.
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview

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