Facebook Interview Questions & Reviews in San Francisco, CA
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Software Engineer Interview (Positive Experience; Difficult Interview)
I applied through a recruiter and the process took 4 weeks - interviewed at Facebook in November 2013.
Interview Details – Interviewed in November 2013. Initially contacted by a recruiter through LinkedIn. Entire process took around 3 or 4 weeks. Two initial interviews followed by an onsite interview. The initial interviews went well, but I failed onsite I believe. The company is very chill overall; they had a keg in one of the rooms when I visited.
Interview Question – Asked to do a presentation on a specific topic for the entire team. Answer Question
Engineering Manager Interview (Neutral Experience; Average Interview)
The process took 4+ weeks - interviewed at Facebook in April 2014.
Interview Details – I exchanged a few emails and phone calls with a recruiter and got invited to the campus a couple weeks later.
I was told that even managers are asked technical questions (makes sense and I agreed).
Did two 1 hour slots (one in person and the other online, separated by a week). A week later I was told that I was not a fit.
Interview Question – Questions were toy CS problems that fresh grads would solve (dismissing 90% of my career). Think data structure (variations of sorting arrays/modifying binary trees). View Answer
Site Reliability Engineer Interview (Neutral Experience; Difficult Interview)
I applied through a recruiter and the process took 3 weeks - interviewed at Facebook in April 2014.
Interview Details – I was initially contacted by Facebook via a LinkedIn message. They found my resume online and thought I would be a good fit for their Site Reliability Engineer position. They asked if the position interested me, and I said that it did. They scheduled a phone interview for a week later.
The phone interview consisted of some technical questions, and I had mixed results on those. I did not feel that I did my best, especially since I don't particularly enjoy coding in front of someone without any reference material. However, I was informed a few days later that they would like a second phone interview with me.
I was surprised, and I accepted the next step in the process. Later the same day, they contacted me again to say they would rather bring me in for an onsite interview immediately instead of going through the second phone interview. I was surprised, but I accepted the offer and set up the travel dates shortly thereafter.
On the morning of the interview, I underestimated the amount of time required to drive from Palo Alto to Menlo Park at 9:30am, and I arrived 5 minutes late to the interview. That was a terrible way to start the day, and I wondered if that would knock me out of the running immediately. Coming from rural NH, I was not used to heavy commuting traffic, but it was still inexcusable, and I felt defensive and angry at myself the rest of the day - not a great way to enter an interview with any company, let alone Facebook!
Most of the interviews went reasonably well - programming aptitude, manager interview, etc. Two of the interviews went less well - networking knowledge and most pointedly, system architecture. The system architecture interviewer was somewhat unfriendly, but perhaps not on purpose if it was his true personality, and the interview included a "shadow" interviewer who didn't ask questions and only participated minimally.
I had my most difficulty with this interview and did not do well with the "what if?" questions in general. I was disappointed with myself because I have thought of myself as someone who can design systems, but perhaps not at the scale that Facebook is looking for. At any rate, I was struggling with one question during the interview and said something like "Well, you could do....". I know that was a bad answer and wishy-washy, but the interviewer turned to his "shadow" with a wry smile and said in a sidebar "Well, of course you could do ....". I thought that was unprofessional and disrespectful, but tried to soldier on as best as I could. At the end of that interview, I could tell that I was not prepared well enough for it and felt that I had performed poorly on that one.
I sent thank you emails to as many of the folks as I could, but when I could not find email addresses for some of them, I asked the recruiter for the rest of the addresses. Surprisingly, she replied that she "couldn't reveal personal email addresses at the company." I found that to be very strange, since some Facebook employee email addresses are found easily by Googling their names. She requested that I forward my thank you emails to her for each person and she would resend them internally. Again, I found that to be a strange request, but I complied. I did not receive any confirmation of receipt from her nor from the folks that I attempted to thank, but at that point, I was convinced that it didn't matter anyway.
I was told that I would hear back from them by the following Friday, but that day came and went with no contact. Finally, I received a call from the recruiter the next week, and I was told that they were no longer interested due to my difficulties with the networking and system architecture interviews.
I take responsibility for arriving late to the interview and do not plan on letting that happen for any future interviews. I'll never know if that had something to do with the negative response from them, but it certainly didn't help my chances! I was disappointed with some of the employee interactions, but I guess I'll just chalk that up to having a thin skin that day and being on the defensive because I had already messed up by arriving late.
Interview Question – "What is your favorite networking protocol?" Follow-on: "What do you like about it and what don't you like about it?" View Answers (2)
Software Engineer Interview (Positive Experience; Difficult Interview)
I applied through a recruiter and the process took 3 weeks - interviewed at Facebook in March 2014.
Interview Details – I was contacted by a recruiter in early 2014. I was set up with an engineer for a phone interview. The first few questions were about my resume, simple stuff about projects I've worked on and prior experience. Then I was asked two technical questions, one about recursion and one about trees. I fully solved and optimized the tree problem but struggled a bit with the recursive problem. Overall it wasn't too difficult but make sure you prepare well before going in!
Interview Question – A recursive problem involving how many combinations you can make out of a set of numbers. Know your data structures, the problem used both hash tables and lists. View Answer
Very Difficult Interview
Front-end Software Engineer Interview (Positive Experience; Very Difficult Interview)
I applied online and the process took 4 days - interviewed at Facebook in March 2014.
Ios Software Engineer Interview (Positive Experience; Difficult Interview)
I applied through a recruiter and the process took 5 weeks - interviewed at Facebook in December 2013.
Interview Details – While I was planning to look actively for a job in the next weeks, I have been first contacted by a Facebook recruiter (an employee, not a 3rd party company) on LinkedIn – I never really thought about Facebook at first, maybe because I imagined it was an unreachable goal. We scheduled a first phone screen: it was short, about 10 minutes, I said a bit of my background, he explained what Facebook is looking for an a bit of the recruiting process. After asking me 3 very easy Objective-C and iOS programming questions, he said he would like to schedule a phone interview with an Facebook engineer for me. 2 weeks later (he apologized for the long delay, I guess it's usually quicker) I had a phone interview. An engineer interviewed me, spending the first 10 minutes chatting of my background, interests and goals, then a 30 minutes peer-coding questions. As usual it was an algorithmic question, to solve in Objective-C / CoreFoundation (NSString, NSArray, NS* APIs...). She said I'll be contacted again by a recruiter in the next few days. I got a call, the recruited said I'm welcome to come on-site for a day of interviews. I gladly accepted. I then started to think I have some decent chances to get a job at this awesome company. The big day coming, I was very excited and relaxed too. I took a BART from the city and then a cab to the Menlo Park HQ. The recruited warmly welcomed me, we took some coffee, and chatted waiting for the first engineer / interviewer. The 4 interviews are as described on Facebook Careers website. First interviewer chatted a bit of my previous projects and then we had a technical question, involving iOS general knowledge, Objective-C skills, etc. Second interviewer spent most of time chatting of my previous projects, my goals, what I would like to change at Facebook if I was working here; and then we moved to a quick technical question. Then it was lunch time. I was really excited about going to visit the campus, get some good lunch and see how Facebookers are during lunch time. Many bring their MacBooks at lunch, have some fun with colleagues, and enjoy their meals. The lunch time was spent with the recruiter. After he brought me back to the interview room, the 2 next interviews were mostly algorithmic questions. Overall, I found the questions of an average level. Some iOS knowledge is required, some good sense of algorithmic, and remembering Objective-C syntax. Many says, and it's true, that unlike other companies, Facebook likes people who can code on a whiteboard with the correct syntax. It happened that I forgot a ; or wrote @implement instead of @interface. The interviewer asked me if I was sure about my syntax, I read again my code, and found my mistake. They are never (at least very rarely) misleading you. If they say "read again" it probably means "there is a syntax error, find it it's a bonus". A few days later, I got an email and then call from the recruiter who said he got very positive feedback from the interviews so he would like me to gather and send him some reference letters. So I did. A few days later, I got a call and was told I got an offer. It was a very good one.
Overall, the whole process was of course stressful, but very exciting and all interviews were in a very very relaxed atmosphere. It was like chatting with new colleagues, and trying to solve together a problem.
- I don't want to disclose the exact question (not only because of the NDA I signed, but because it won't be fun if you have this exact same question, and it won't help you anyways I think). Answer Question
- One question 3 of the interviewers asked me was "What was the most difficult thing you had to deal with.". View Answers (5)
Negotiation Details – The offer was much higher than expected. I accepted without negotiation.
Equity Programs Analyst Interview (Neutral Experience; Average Interview)
I applied online and the process took 5 weeks - interviewed at Facebook in November 2013.
Interview Details – Applied through the website, was contacted by recruiter. Set-up initial 15-min call to discuss position (she called 15 minutes late but was at least nice about it). Then talked with another HR person prior to scheduling on-site interview. 3-hour interview with 6 different people (three team members, hiring manager, one HR, one payroll). Since job was more corporate the questions were of no surprise; was basically a typical interview asking about challenges, overcoming problems, strengths, why I wanted the job, and giving me an idea of the Facebook culture. 3 hours was a bit long and since it was 10 AM - 1 PM, it breezed right through lunch. I would have liked to try out the cafeteria however I was just offered a few snacks prior to leaving. Some of the interviewers probably could have tag-teamed instead of doing all 1-on-1 because it was a tiny bit repetitious by the end, but overall fine.
Interview Question – Your typical corporate interview assessing strengths, weaknesses, company fit. Answer Question
Product Support Analyst Interview (Neutral Experience; Average Interview)
I applied online and the process took 3 weeks - interviewed at Facebook in March 2014.
Interview Details – The interview was pretty standard. The interviewer started off by asking for my understanding of the role and how my experience could relate. He went on to tell me more about the position in depth and the structure of the team. Also asked about my experience with excel/SQL and told me about the next steps in the interview process.
Interview Question – How would you decide which ticket to work on first, 1) huge vendor whose campaign has already launched and is wondering why they didn't receive the results the anticipated or 2) small business who is unable to launch their campaign for a product that is two days away. Answer Question
Data Engineer Interview (Neutral Experience; Difficult Interview)
I interviewed at Facebook in March 2014.
Interview Details – So i had 4 back to back interviews with all managers. The interviews were all extremely technical and the interviewers were pretty straight forward, weren't excessively nice or mean.
The interview went through lunch hour and they din't offer me lunch and I was so hungry through half af all my interviews which kinda sucked.
Interview Question – A lot of SQL questions. General knowledge about how you would handle large amounts of data. Answer Question
Negotiation Details – Extremely straightforward. The recruiter was extremely nice and I tried to negotiate but I couldn't because the offer was already pretty up there.
Data Scientist Interview (Positive Experience; Difficult Interview)
I applied through a recruiter and the process took 2 months - interviewed at Facebook in February 2014.
Interview Details – Facebook reached out to me via... a facebook message. I wasn't actively looking, but decided to go through the interview process because why not? Maybe they could offer me something my current employer couldn't. The interview process started with two phone interviews. The first was just information and some fact checking. The second was a bit more technical and I had to show the ability to code and answer statistical questions online as one (or more) people watched me type. Then they flew me out for a day/night and I went through 5 interviews in a row (30 minutes each). Facebook has a beautiful Menlo Park campus. Throughout the interviews, only one simple bayesian stats question was asked. Everything else was business questions and computer science questions. I think my training is much more stats/machine learning oriented, so I struggled with a few questions. I signed a NDA, so I can't disclose the exact questions. They asked me on optimal algorithms, standard SQL coding, and business problems. It was very interesting and they did a good job letting me work through things on my own. I think they were looking for someone with more computer science/programming experience than I had.
Interview Question – Again, I can't talk about the specific question, but after I wrote up a simple algorithm, the interviewer asked me for a more efficient solution. I really struggled with that. Answer Question
Interviews for Top Jobs at Facebook
See What Facebook Employees Are Saying
Pros: “Even after 4.5 years, the work is inspiring and the new challenges are exciting. Still the smartest employees in the business with a broad view of the world, which allows the company to…” “Even after 4.5 years, the work is inspiring and the new challenges are exciting. Still the smartest employees in the business with a broad view of the world, which allows the company to serve many different cultures.” – Full Review