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Facebook Software Engineer Interview Questions

Updated Feb 28, 2015
Updated Feb 28, 2015
457 Interview Reviews

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9 people found this helpful  

Software Engineer Interview

Anonymous Employee
Anonymous Employee
Application Details

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

Interview Details

I was contacted by a recruiter, I came onsite for an initial screen.

I thought the interviewer was very nice, and the question was reasonable. However, the frustrating part for me was that for the given question, there were a few different ways to solve it.

From my perspective, it seemed that the approach I used to solve the question was not what the interviewer had in mind. I understand that you should listen to an interviewer when they interrupt you or give you hints, but to me it seemed like the "hints" were basically from the perspective of "you're not solving this the way I would solve it, even though both of our solutions are O(n)".

The result was that I was basically having to write out a problem on a white board and constantly have my train of thought interrupted. The interruptions were unnecessary, and I had to clarify to the interviewer that my intent would indeed work. Example interruption:

Interviewer: "That array index is giving you the same result as the other value"
Me: "No, that's a different variable name"
Interviewer: "Oh, oops. Continue"

or

Interviewer: "Wait, why are you replacing the for loop with a while loop?"
Me: "Because I want to be able to manipulate the cursor directly"
Interviewer: "Oh, ok. Continue"

In the above statement, it's clear that the usual method of solving the problem did not involve a while loop (but it could be done to solve the problem). After my solution, the interviewer explained the most straightforward solution to the problem which basically leveraged the constraints of the problem itself, and after seeing that then of course the problem was trivial to implement.

So to me, it seemed like the question was more of a riddle than a coding exercise, which I believe to be a bad interview question, and at my current company it's accepted as the WORST type of interview question.

It was rather embarrassing for me to be turned down, especially on just the initial screen, but another qualm I had was that screens are generally meant to filter out candidates that can't code at all, not candidates who are questionable in their skills (from my perspective my skills aren't questionable, but clearly I did not give my best performance in this screen).

To me it felt as though the interviewer in this case did not have much experience. While I was answering the questions that were given to me, I was having to explain a few quirks to the python language that the interviewer clearly did not know i.e. "Oh, I didn't know you could compare dictionaries like that". For that to be said, I can only infer that the ONLY thing this interviewer was looking for is if I answer the question that was given to me in the exact way they wanted it solved.

Interview Questions
No Offer
Negative Experience
Average Interview

Other Interview Reviews for Facebook

  1. 4 people found this helpful  

    Software Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Employee
    Anonymous Employee
    Application Details

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

    Interview Details

    Got contacted by a recruiter through Linkedin. Told him I'm not currently looking for a job, but since Facebook seems like a great opportunity, I'll interview. The interview had a rather easy question, but I had a problem quickly writing code on the whiteboard - something that I've hard ever done in my programming career. Nor do I have a lot of interview experience in the US. Which I did warn them about. Still got a reply later saying I failed because of "coding performance". Whatever that means. As if they are looking for professional interviewees rather that computer programmers. Whole process felt like a waste of time.

    Interview Questions
    • Some trivial question on breadth-first graph traversal.   Answer Question
    No Offer
    Negative Experience
    Easy Interview
  2. 1 person found this helpful  

    Software Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Employee
    Anonymous Employee
    Interview Details

    HR was pretty fast to arrange phone screenings and on-site interviews. Pretty nice atmosphere in FB and people seemed to enjoy FB life. 4 sessions of interviews during on-site. Most about algorithm and system design

    Interview Questions
    No Offer
  3. 4 people found this helpful  

    Software Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Employee
    Anonymous Employee
    Application Details

    I applied through a recruiter. The process took 2 weeksinterviewed at Facebook.

    Interview Details

    Reached out to by recruiter, had phone chat with her. She set up two technical phone screens, followed by 4 technical onsite interviews. Had a chance to talk to some really experienced engineers and everyone was really friendly during the interview process.

    Interview Questions
    • Questions
      - Print all paths in a binary tree
      - Function to find the square root of a number
      - Pretty print JSON object
      - How would you design home feed?
      - Simple regex matcher
       
      View Answers (2)
    Declined Offer
  4. Is this helpful? The community relies on everyone sharing – Add Anonymous Interview Review


  5.  

    Software Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Employee
    Anonymous Employee
    Application Details

    I applied through an employee referral. The process took 4 daysinterviewed at Facebook.

    Interview Details

    Applied through an employee referral.

    Failed on a phone screening. The interviewer spoke extremely fast. In addition, there was a strong reverberation (looks like she spoke in a big room) on a line. As a result, I mostly guessed her questions. Even when I asked to repeat a question a few times she didn't change anything in her speech. I've had phone interviews before and they were good enough. But this one was a hell.

    Besides a few usual questions about previous experience and a reason for changing a job, there were only 2 technical questions, both about complexity of algorithms (O-notations), i.e. quite useless, in other words. I think I answered them correctly (Anyway it makes no sense to remember them).

    It took about 20 minutes. Overall, it was terrible experience. The worst thing, I failed it not due to lack of some technical skills but just because of communication issues. I have a lot of Java experience (they had open positions for that) and some other modern tools and technologies, as well as I'm opened for learning new technologies. But, unfortunately, I haven't had any chance to demonstrate it on any technical phone interviews.
    Never again.

    Interview Questions
    • Had no chance for such question. Only useless questions about complexity of algorithms (every developer understands when data structure A is faster than B for insert / or delete / or search).   Answer Question
    No Offer
    Negative Experience
    Difficult Interview
  6. 1 person found this helpful  

    Software Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Employee
    Anonymous Employee
    Application Details

    I applied through college or university. The process took 2+ monthsinterviewed at Facebook.

    Interview Details

    Got back to hear within a day of onsite interview. They flew me to Menlo Park. The interviewer was late to the interview and was unprepared. He asked me a linked list question (reverse a linked list) and then he asked me to print out level order tree.

    Interview Questions
    No Offer
    Neutral Experience
    Average Interview
  7.  

    Software Engineering Interview

    Anonymous Employee
    Anonymous Employee
    Application Details

    I applied through college or university. The process took 2+ monthsinterviewed at Facebook in November 2014.

    Interview Details

    I had an on-campus interview with Facebook on my university campus, which was one-on-one and took about 45 minutes. I was given three binary search tree questions to answer in this first interview. A few weeks later, I had another interview on Facebook's campus in Menlo Park, and got to tour the whole place after with a group of other intern potentials. That second interview was also about 45 minutes, with a single question about sorting arrays efficiently. Some of the other intern interviewees had two questions, but I focused on solving the one problem well, and came up with a few solutions, I wrote out code in C++ for the most efficient one. Very cool campus and people!

    Interview Questions
    • Sort an array of characters into three groups, in O(n) time and using little extra memory.   View Answer
    Declined Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview
  8.  

    Software Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Employee
    Anonymous Employee
    Application Details

    I applied through a recruiter. The process took 3 weeksinterviewed at Facebook in December 2014.

    Interview Details

    HR approached me via email, asked to tell a little bit about my self, and what is my strongest programming language, sent me a mail with pointer where to learn from.
    An phone Interview was set up for 3 weeks later.
    it was on collabedit.com with skype. the interviewer was very nice, asked to talk a little bit about what I do.
    asked one question.
    if you need to implement bool Find(string str) which finds if a string exists in a dictionary
    describe the data structure you will use.
    a.write how one node of it will look like,
    b. implement the function and add support for "?" wildcard which can return more than once.

    Interview Questions
    • I said suffix tree is the best way to go, so he asked me how will a node of that tree will look like?   View Answers (5)
    No Offer
    Neutral Experience
    Difficult Interview
  9.  

    Software Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Employee
    Anonymous Employee
    Application Details

    The process took 3 weeksinterviewed at Facebook.

    Interview Details

    Pretty bad. The recruiter was unusually daft: sent me a form to fill out, then asked me the same questions (all of them) on the phone; asked what I was interested in working on, then sent me into the the pipeline I explicitly said I didn't want.

    The young man who interviewed me didn't listen very well and had a very narrow view of what makes a good engineer: namely, a good engineer was someone a lot like him.

    Interview Questions
    • It wasn't at all difficult, if you're good at coding in interviews. ("Determine whether a string has unbalanced parentheses.")   Answer Question
    No Offer
    Negative Experience
    Easy Interview
  10. 2 people found this helpful  

    Software Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Application Details

    I applied through an employee referral – interviewed at Facebook in December 2014.

    Interview Details

    Met Facebook engineers who referred me to the recruiter. The recruiter contacted me three weeks after I met the engineers. Set up round 1 phone screen within the next 2 weeks of our first email exchange. Facebook does move pretty fast with the recruiting process. The recruiter contacted me again about 2 days after round 1 interview to set up round 2. Round 2 was about 3 weeks after round 1.

    Interview Questions
    • Matching two strings, one is text, the other one is chars and dots and asterisks, each of which represents something. Similar to ones on CareerCup.   Answer Question
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview

See What Facebook Employees Are Saying

 Former Software Engineer in Menlo Park, CA

Pros: “They gave a lots of flexibility to the intern. We discussed project with the manager and build some new feature that is impact.” Full Review

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