I applied through a recruiter and the process took 3 months - interviewed at Facebook in December 2013.
Interview Details –
This was for a position in their Infrastructure team in Cambridge MA.
Recruiter contacted me in September and was very interested in my background and experience with highly scalable systems - both in Finance and Mobile phone payments.
I attended some small intimate presentations they did as they were initially opening a new Boston office and wanted to grow it out. The meetings were great and I learned a lot about how they solve some of their biggest problems.
I then did a screening interview on-site (because I don't do technical screens well on the phone). The question was "Given a binary tree, write code to print the tree out line by line". I did OK and got the Breadth First Search down fine, but couldn't figure out the - line-by-line part. (Turns out this is Facebook's #1 question to ask in interviews).
Although my performance wasn't great they gave me a break on that and asked me back for another screening interview. This time I prepared well for another coding interview but it turned out to be a Design interview. The problem was
"Imagine you have 10,000 servers and need to monitor the performance of each one, how would you do it" - naturally you need to be able to NOT take too much of the bandwidth and so you'll have to do sampling, have some history to watch for trends etc.
I passed that and was very excited to be flown out to Menlo Park for the final round.
I studied like CRAZY based on questions on this site and CareerCup. I took 4 weeks and studied about 15 hours per week.
Turns out I focused on the wrong questions - I studied Tree, String, Array and List algorithms based on the distribution of Q&A but I was asked Binary math and heap algorithms. Here are the questions I was asked.
1) How would you implement division without +, - or multiplication (a "classic" question, but not one of the ones I would focus on). I bombed on this as I was not expecting and could not recall my binary math. I figured out the high level outline but that was all. That I was asked this in the "culture fit" interview made this doubly unexpected.
2) Given 10,000 servers containing a Billion integers each how would you find how to find the median? I knew the answer to this question (use two heaps) - not because I had focused on it, but I had found it an interesting question while studying. However he then asked "How much memory do you need?" and I didn't know how big the heaps would need to be. The real answer I was trying to get is - what is the minimum heap you need. I had a guess but I think I got this wrong.
3) Given a List structure where each node contains a Next node and optionally a pointer to another list, flatten that list
L1 --> L2 --> L3 --> L7 --> L8
L4 --> L5-->L6
WIll be flattened to
L1 --> L2 --> L3 -->L4 -->L5-->L6-->L7-->L8
I did OK on this - getting the answer - but it appeared I took too long. The interviewer also interrupted me a lot while I was writing an initial solution and that threw me off - I like to be more iterative in my problem solving but I think he expected 100% immediate correctness.
He had an observer there too and that guy looked bored out of his mind and that bugged me a little too as it wasn't clear who would be doing the judging.
4) I was also handed some hard to read Python code (I don't know Python) and asked to figure out what it does. I did OK on this - but again surprised to be handed hard-to-read code in a language I didn't know.
5) One final question "How would you implement the "ls" Unix function in your language of choice. It should take the input:
and the output should be similar the the output given by unix."
I used a tree structure to represent the file directory structure and wrote a solution from there. I did OK on this.
Overall: Everyone seemed very nice - I had a nice lunch and the campus is interesting but it was clear that what I studied was not what I needed to (so lesson learned: don't just trust the distribution of questions on Glassdoor or CareerCup). I even got to walk past Zuckerberg's office (more of a conference room) and saw Sheryl Sandberg in there.
One interesting thing I learned is a lot of Google people are leaving for Facebook. Also I'd say if you are over 30 (I am 41) you are a rare bird at Facebook :-)
I knew based on the reactions of the interviewers that it was very probably a bust, but overall a good experience and something I will learn from. Very disappointing as I really wanted to be one of the first few Facebook engineers in the Boston area - and to work on their super high scalability issues but such is Life.
Interview Question – How would you implement division without +, - or multiplication Answer Question
I applied through college or university and the process took 4+ weeks - interviewed at Facebook.
Interview Details – Solved their online puzzle, got contacted by campus recruiter, scheduled phone interview, went on-site for 2nd round interview.
Interview Question –
Nothing unexpected, I solved all the problems but I think I was too slow on the first one, which goes like:
Given an array of numbers, they are arranged so that the a is in the 1st bucket, aa are in the 2nd bucket, aaa is in the 3rd bucket and so on. The question is then: given a number, you need to return if it is in any bucket or not. View Answers (3)
I interviewed at Facebook in December 2013.
Interview Details –
Facebook really needs to change their interviewing process. It's horrid.
No matter how much experience you have, you won't be asked a single thing about your resume. In fact, nobody will even bring a copy to the interview. I found this disappointing because I have over 10 years of experience at previous companies. I could have been a bumbling idiot at other companies and they would never know.
The Product Manager to Developer ratio is insane. For the group that I talked to there were 5-6 product managers for 200 developers. This 1:40 ratio basically means that product managers are rare unicorns and you won't get a job offer. In fact, look through the product manager interview feedback here and you won't see a single "offer declined" posting.
You will be asked a bunch of quant questions instead. In one interview that I had, the interviewer didn't introduce himself at all and we did 4 case questions in a row over 45 minutes including "How would you determine how to rank posts in the news feed", "How would you determine the negative value of an abusive posting", "How would you calculate the number of daily registrations that Facebook has". They're good questions but wow it's a ton of work.
By far the worst interview questions that I've ever gotten came up with 2 different interviewers here. I'm actually sorry that I didn't do more research online before the interview because these questions are the most easily prepared for. I could have memorized the answers ahead of time. Question was "Pick an industry that will be different in 10 years and how can Facebook be a part of that". It's pretty difficult to be that creative on the spot. I wish I gave the question an hour of thought before coming to the interview.
I was disappointed with the quality of people that I interviewed with considering that Facebook is one of the more recognized names in the business. Product Managers frequently had just 2-3 years of experience.
Interview Question – Pick an industry that will be different in 10 years and how can Facebook be a part of that. Answer Question
I applied through an employee referral and the process took 4+ weeks - interviewed at Facebook in November 2013.
Interview Details – Referred by a friend who works there. I had two HR screening calls, followed by a face to face meeting with hiring manager. Then followed by three additional interviews and a presentation
Interview Question – nothing really challenging Answer Question
Very Difficult Interview
I applied through a recruiter and the process took 1+ week - interviewed at Facebook in November 2013.
Interview Details –
Everyone was edgy when I started seeing people at Facebook, including the receptionists. Granted, job interviews tend to be critical, and we are the people who seemed to be begging for the highly-lucrative job positions.
Then I saw this lady, who gave no self-introduction, no facial interaction, had only super-sharp look or pretended to be, who led me through these cold stairs, picked up a drink, and up to this tiny room, then started asking me questions.
God bless her, turned out she was a software engineer, and may be the domain expert in my field.
OK, so let's move on to programming, by which time I became edgy, too, knowing this lady sitting right behind me, feeling her freezing eyes examining up and down my neck, maybe my hair, too (I am a man). Did she notice my white hair as well?
Anyway, the interview was quick (less than an hour), and I was let go. I knew there won't be any followup. Even if it does, am I willing to experience it again?
What a fast way to ruin a day-off.
Interview Question – Why do you want to come to Facebook? View Answer
I applied in-person and the process took 2+ weeks - interviewed at Facebook in November 2013.
Interview Details –
The recruiters were really nice. They planned well through out the process and communicated so well during the process.
But, the callous attitude of interviewers always bothers me. I was asked to show up around 10am and I reached the place 9.45am. But, the interviewer did not show up until 10.40am. No apologies and he did not even feel bad about it.
He threw a training book and told me to solve a design/data modeling problem. He himself did not have clue about the answer and he was looking at the answer in the back of the book. He asked random question and manager asked one question thinking as he solved every problem in the earth. That totally put me off.
Interview Question – Nothing difficult. They are all standard questions. Answer Question
I applied online and the process took 2 weeks - interviewed at Facebook in October 2013.
Interview Details –
I was contacted by a recruiter for the security team through email about a few openings on the security team. I said, I would like to know more. After a number of email exchanges to set up a time, another recruiter emailed me and told me someone would call me at the scheduled time. The first recruiter mentioned that I will be using the tool on collabedit.com. So far, I was not told what position I was actually interviewing for or whether I was setting up a time for a general interview or whether they were giving me more details! I did apply to a few different roles on their site so I wasn't sure what was up.
Turns out first phone call was with hiring manager and I was getting interviewed for a software engineer position. Hiring manager asked if I was told what positions were available and I said no and he was glad to explain for me. I told the manager I was hoping for a security engineering job, not software engineering. He told me I might be a better fit for a different team and he will tell the other manager I was interested and I will hear from him. I asked if there was a opening on that team and he said they are always hiring new talent. I took that as a good sign. I didn't actually get asked to code during the phone interview. I followed up with the recruiters asking where to proceed and whether I could interview with the manager on the other team and they said they will get back to me.
I waited and got no emails setting up another interview. I asked what's going on and have not heard back. It's been 10 days. I guess I have been dropped?
I am disappointed at the lack of communication and lack of detail from the recruiters. I guess this is common with big companies.
I applied through college or university and the process took 6 weeks - interviewed at Facebook in October 2013.
Interview Details – A series of phone interviews, final round is on main campus.
Interview Question – Given an array of integers, find the sub array with the largest sum. (must be done in linear time) View Answer
I applied through college or university and the process took 2+ weeks - interviewed at Facebook in October 2013.
Interview Details – I was contacted by a FB representative, and had to do two interview. One on my college campus, and in HQ. Questions were relatively straightforward algorithm questions, combined with programming. They do not require tons of technical knowledge, just thinkingabout the program, problem solving, and coding. It was a very good experience overall.
Interview Question – Implement a very basic regular expression checker which given a string and a regex, returns true or false. Should consider 'a'-'z','.', and '*'. View Answer
I applied through a recruiter and the process took 1 week - interviewed at Facebook in October 2013.
Interview Details – contacted the recruiter and took about ten days for him to respond. Interview was ok.
Interview Question – Palindromes possible from a string without extra space Answer Question
-life changing experience
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-make hundreds of connections with other people in the industry, as they filter out to other companies over several years you will have connections… – Full Review
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