Facebook Interview Questions & Reviews
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Software Engineer Interview (Negative Experience; Average Interview)
I applied online - interviewed at Facebook in April 2013.
Interview Details – A recruiter contacted me. After a few days of back and forth we set up a phone interview. In the phone interview we discussed a possible problem that involved trees. I struggled to implement the necessary algorithm.
Eventually, I got to ask a couple of questions about facebook.
Received a decline a couple weeks later.
Product Manager Interview (Negative Experience; Average Interview)
I applied online and the process took 2+ weeks - interviewed at Facebook in May 2014.
Interview Details – I had a phone interview with a recruiter who didn't seem to be very interested in me. They were rushing me off the phone, and it felt very much like I had been talking to a telemarketer.
I had two of phone interviews with two PMs. They were very friendly people, but it did seem like they kept trying to summarize my answers for me (mansplaining anyone?). One of them tried to "grade" an answer on the spot, saying I got all the answers right except one item....and it turns out I did say that. Perhaps he didn't hear me, and I didn't want to correct him (I was already being mansplained to death).
Not sure I am convinced FB is doing much to increase or help diversity on their end, judging from this interview process.
You should study the questions here on Glassdoor. Many of the questions here are what was asked of me on my phone interviews.
Interview Question – Nothing seemed particularly difficult to answer. Answer Question
Technical Recruiter Interview (Positive Experience; Difficult Interview)
I applied through a recruiter and the process took 3 weeks - interviewed at Facebook in May 2013.
Interview Details – Took 3 weeks total. The interview process was pretty good once I was connected through an internal recruiter. The phone interview was challenging which helped as an indicator for the onsite interview (also fairly challenging). The onsite consisted of 4 back-to-back 1 on 1s.
Interview Question – Write a boolean string on a white board and explain the logic. Answer Question
Software Engineer Interview (Positive Experience; Average Interview)
I applied through an employee referral and the process took 2+ weeks - interviewed at Facebook in May 2014.
Interview Details – FB is very efficient in hiring. The HR first sent some regular questions for me to answer, including the time to start working and so on, and then arranged the phone interview directly. On the same day of my phone interview, she arranged for onsite interviews. I was impressed with how efficient they are.
Interview Question – The interview questions were not extremely difficult, but I can tell they want people who understand the most basic concepts really well and can code clean and bug-free at once or after a little bit hints. The design questions were challenging though. Be prepared for that.
The interview questions include two sum, reverse integer, edit distance, clone graph, etc. Answer Question
Marketing Interview (Neutral Experience; Average Interview)
I applied online and the process took a day - interviewed at Facebook in May 2014.
Interview Details – Phone interview: Was called one day after submitting my resume. Very nice, recruiter but new very little about the actual position which made it difficult for me to show my value. She appeared to be very excited about my interest through multiple emails but did not hear back.
Interview Question – There really wasn't any. Job is still posted Answer Question
Senior Software Engineer Interview (Positive Experience; Average Interview)
I applied through a recruiter and the process took 2+ weeks - interviewed at Facebook in May 2014.
Interview Details – Recruiter contacted me.
First telephonic interview was 45 mins and a single coding question.
All interviewers were good except one of the interviewer who asked about system design question (he was rude and wanted to show off).
1) Behavior - prepare for difficult bug etc. questions. What u want to do at Facebook.
3) System design - give more importance to these type of questions. Asked me about design a system to run a command on all the servers (say 1 million) within the same network from one of the server on the network.
4) Coding - Given a NxN matrix with values X and O where X represent land and O represent water find the number of islands. Two consecutive X X (horizontal or vertical) will be part of single island while diagonal X X are not. (Solve using graph - DFS or BFS)
5) Coding - from list of strings, generate list of list of strings which are anagrams of each other.
I did really well, but I guess not good compared to other candidates.
Overall interview was easy if you have prepared for Algos and Data Structures. Please give more attention to
1) Writing perfect code on white board.
2) System design questions
Interview Question – Nothing unexpected. System design was tricky. Answer Question
User Experience Researcher Interview (Neutral Experience; Difficult Interview)
I applied through a recruiter and interviewed at Facebook.
Interview Details – It was a long interview process, but an enjoyable experience nonetheless. The first involved a phone call with a recruiter, she was incredibly friendly and referred me to the next call to talk about my work. The second call I was a bit nervous, but as soon as I spoke to the designer on the phone I immediately calmed down and he made the process feel very easy, like I was talking to a friend. Be sure to know all possible answers to questions about your designs. The next call was about critiquing a popular app so be prepared to analyze and answer questions about that! All in all it was a good process, I didn't get hired but I will be open to trying again in the future!
Interview Question – Critique a popular app Answer Question
Product Manager Interview (Positive Experience; Difficult Interview)
I applied through an employee referral and the process took 2 months - interviewed at Facebook in May 2014.
Interview Details – The process was pleasant and everyone was very nice and smart. I had a phone interview, a week went by and I had a second. Three weeks then passed so I emailed the recruiter and an onsite was scheduled.
1st Phone Interview: Product Sense, questions about how I would solve a hypothetical problem. For example, if FB wanted to build a new recruiting tool, how would I go about testing my hypothesis and verifying my problem identification and solution.
2nd Phone Interview: This one was termed "Execution", which I interpreted as assigning values to features and the process I would go through to vet a feature's or product's value. Turned out it was all about analytics and metrics: "How would you decide whether to show a friend suggestion in the FB news feed every ten feed items versus an advertisement?" "What are the trade-offs etc?" A lot of the interview focused on relative trade-offs and comparisons. I felt I did really badly but then got the onsite and final round invite.
Onsite/Final Round: First interview focused again on Product Sense - "how would I change the news feed?", "what new feature would I build?". The second interview focused on leadership, "tell me about a time_____", and was designed to assess my ability to influence people and inspire. The third interview was back to Execution. I was asked to point out UI changes in the current app and use the whiteboard to graph examples of how metrics I would roll out of bed and want to look at would look.
Overall, the experience was positive though the process was extremely lengthy considering there was no offer. After my final interview I was told I'd know within three days. Two weeks went by so I called and left the recruiter a voice-mail. Another week and a half went by so I emailed and finally got the "thanks but no thanks" (though worded very nicely and appropriately).
Interview Question – They're really looking for a "package deal" so no one question stood out as being really difficult. It's very important to ask clarifying questions if you don't understand something. I made the mistake of making assumptions that weren't justified and should have been more assertive in asking for more information or for clarification. View Answer
Software Engineer Interview (Positive Experience; Difficult Interview)
I applied through a recruiter and the process took 3 months - interviewed at Facebook in November 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 View Answers (5)
Risk Analyst Interview (Positive Experience; Average Interview)
I applied online and the process took 3 weeks - interviewed at Facebook in May 2014.
Interview Details – I applied online for the position at Facebook and heard back from a recruiter within 48 hours. We scheduled a phone interview for the end of the week which was pretty informal. The role was discussed as well as my background and other similar general questions. The recruiter then scheduled a phone interview with a member of the team. The interview with the team member consisted on general background questions and some behavioral questions. After my second round interview I was then told I would be flown to Mountain View for a third and final round. I met with 4 interviewers back to back and this interview involved case study questions as well as a lot of ambiguous questions about the future of Facebook which I was not really expecting (esp the case question). I waited about 2 weeks to hear back from the recruiter and was told I did not get the position.
Interview Question – How many Vacuums are there in the USA?
How can you spot click fraud?
How many mail boxes are there in San Francisco? Answer Question
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