Facebook Software Engineer Interview Questions

Updated Jun 23, 2015
533 Interview Reviews

Interview Experience

Interview Experience

60%
22%
16%

Getting an Interview

Getting an Interview

19%
15%
14%

Interview Difficulty

3.2
Average

Interview Difficulty

Hard

Average

Easy

533 Candidate Interview Reviews Back to all Interviews

Sort: Popular Date Difficulty

Helpful (11)  

Software Engineer Interview

Anonymous Employee
No Offer
Negative Experience
Average Interview

Application

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

Interview

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

Other Interview Reviews for Facebook

  1. Helpful (2)  

    Software Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Employee in Los Angeles, CA
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Easy Interview

    Application

    I applied through an employee referral. The process took 2 weeksinterviewed at Facebook (Los Angeles, CA) in February 2015.

    Interview

    First the interviewer introduced himself and ask me questions like why facebook and what do i think are the shortages of facebook. Then we start coding, the same questions in leetcode. After that he said he forgot to ask me about my project experience and I talk about one of my project with him. Last part is the question part.

    Interview Questions

  2. Helpful (2)  

    Software Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Employee in Houston, TX
    No Offer
    Neutral Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied through college or university. The process took 2 daysinterviewed at Facebook (Houston, TX) in February 2015.

    Interview

    Face to face 45min interview. After briefly asking some questions about your background on your resume, the interviewer gives 1 algorithm problem and 1 follow up regarding to how you solve this problem.
    Question:
    Give a dictionary with a huge set of words and a string with wildcard. You are required to find whether there is a match in the dictionary for this given string.

    Interview Questions

    • Give a dictionary with a huge set of words and a string with wildcard. You are required to find whether there is a match in the dictionary for this given string.   4 Answers
  3. Helpful (2)  

    Software Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Employee in New York, NY
    No Offer
    Negative Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 1 dayinterviewed at Facebook (New York, NY) in February 2015.

    Interview

    Facebook's interview process is to start you off with a one hour high pressure interview to solve two problems. If you pass that test then you come back for a full day. Facebook is well known for their interview arrogance and it proved to be quite true. The first part was a "white board architecture" problem where "want to see what you are thinking" - which is definitely not true. What they want to see is the exact answer/response that they are looking for. The second part is a coding question where you have to write code on a whiteboard using the language of your choice. The interviewer will have asked this question over and over and over again but then act like they are such an expert on the topic. You as the interviewer are going to have to think about it - since you do not have the same luxury as the interviewer. It is a typical facebook, google type interview where they claim to "set the bar high" to make themselves appear like a dream place to work.

    Interview Questions

    • How would you architect various things around a Twitter like company. A coding problem about finding the shortest path on an augmented chess board.   1 Answer
  4. Is this helpful? The community relies on everyone sharing – Add Anonymous Interview Review


  5. Helpful (1)  

    Software Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Menlo Park, CA
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Easy Interview

    Application

    I applied through college or university. The process took 3 weeksinterviewed at Facebook (Menlo Park, CA) in February 2015.

    Interview

    I applied through career fair at my university. They hosted a pre-interview dinner so you can meet with your recruiter/on-campus interviewer. The next day I had my 45-min interview and it was a pleasant one. The question wasn't that hard and I didn't need any extra hint to solve it.

    After that they sent me an onsite request (wait for 1 week), then I came to their HQ in MPK a week later. Had the interview by noon, then a good tour around campus. The onsite question was much easier, as I think if you're invited to onsite then be confident that you have a really good chance to get in.

    After 2 business day I got the offer from FB. The compensation is really huge and very hard to decline.

    As for tip, I would say get as much rest and be well prepared for the interview. They ask basic question but you need to have a clear mind to solve them comfortably, and please try as hard as you can to explain the thought process.

    Interview Questions

    • 1) Given an array with 0s and other integers. Find the fastest (that use least organizing) way to transfer all the 0s to the right end of that array.

      2) Given an array of integer, find 2 numbers that their sum is closest to a specific number.
       
      2 Answers
  6. Helpful (1)  

    Software Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Employee in Pittsburgh, PA
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    The process took 3+ monthsinterviewed at Facebook (Pittsburgh, PA) in February 2015.

    Interview

    I had two coding phone interviews but did not move forward to the team matching interview.
    For each round, a engineer first introduced himself ask a little bit about your experience. Then they go to coding questions directly. I perform good at first round but not that good at second round.

    Interview Questions

    • The coding questions are not that hard for both two rounds.
      In the first round, the two questions are (1) return the sum of the k-largest digits ([0-9]) in the array (2) implement a LRU cache (least recently used)
      In the second round, the two questions are (1) return the index of the largest element, if more than one element reaches max, pick one unifromly at random; (2) clone a graph. the graph is directed, unweighted and not necessarily fully connected.
       
      Answer Question
  7. Helpful (1)  

    Software Engineering Interview

    Anonymous Employee in Menlo Park, CA
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied through an employee referral. The process took 2+ monthsinterviewed at Facebook (Menlo Park, CA) in February 2015.

    Interview

    I'm talking about the on-site interview. The process began with a checkin and confirmation. Then there was a 40 minutes technical interview. It was not that hard but I didn't make it. After that, we enjoyed the lunch with the recruiter at the dining hall and it ends with an amazing tour in the FB campus.

    Interview Questions

    • Given a list of numbers, find the consecutive sequence of numbers whose sums equal to a target number.   5 Answers
  8.  

    Software Engineering Interview

    Anonymous Employee
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied through college or university. The process took 1 dayinterviewed at Facebook in February 2015.

    Interview

    I had on campus interview. It was fairly straightforward (data structures and Algorithms ) question. But they give you 30 mins to solve the question and are looking for a really efficient solution. I recommend trying to crack down the most effective solution you can.

    Interview Questions

    • find largest element in non transitive sequence of elements.   Answer Question
  9.  

    Software Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Employee in Phoenix, AZ
    No Offer
    Negative Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied through an employee referral. The process took 3 weeksinterviewed at Facebook (Phoenix, AZ) in February 2015.

    Interview

    I applied through a referral, 1 Skype interview (2 were scheduled but I didn't make it past the first one). The interviewer briefly introduced himself and asked me a coding question straight away. I chose to use Java. No behavioral questions, just 1 coding question. Contrary to what most people have said, I got an interviewer who wasn't very friendly. He was there to do his job. Plain and simple.

    Interview Questions

    • Before I get to the question I just want to say that the interviewer had a very thick accent (I'm an international candidate, BTW), and that made it really difficult for me to understand what he wanted me to do. This isn't me being bitter. I'm saying this so that I present a very honest opinion about my interview.
      That being said, the question wasn't something that can be found online or in most books, I was given 2 functions String recv() and String ReadLine() [ both these DO NOT take arguments]. recv() generates some string (Example:"123\n45\n6789"). ReadLine() should read the string being returned by recv() and print all characters until the first \n. After that it should read the recv() string again and print the next characters until the 2nd \n.
      Example: recv(): "123\n45\n6789"
                     ReadLine(): "123" //first call of ReadLine
                     ReadLine(): "45" // second call of ReadLine
      However, the next sequence now doesn't have a \n. So, once the end of the string is hit, the ReadLine() function must call recv() again, and append all characters until it reads a \n.

      Continuing the above example: ReadLine():6789abcde //Third call of ReadLine
                                                        recv():"abc"// still no \n...so you must call recv() again
                                                        recv():"de\n"

      The commented sections are my explanations (the interviewer didn't give any such things). I've explained the problem as clearly as I can. Unfortunately, the interviewer kept overwriting his examples, and (I have to emphasize this) his accent made it really hard to understand just what he wanted out of this program.
       
      1 Answer
  10.  

    Software Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Employee in Palo Alto, CA
    No Offer
    Neutral Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 2 daysinterviewed at Facebook (Palo Alto, CA) in February 2015.

    Interview

    I was interviewed by a technical person who is working on my interest area. And after some basic information emails, I was appointmented at a Thursday. They are using some web coding pages, then I joined that chat, the interviewer showed me a problem of coding. That problem was about tree, I didn't have much experience on trees so I asked him to change for some other questions. Finally I got an array question, but I didn't answer it wisely. Thus I got the rejection just the next day, their response time is really short.

    Interview Questions

    • Given a sorted array, find the emergence of given number.   1 Answer

See What Facebook Employees Are Saying

1 person found this helpful

 Former Environmental Design Manager in San Francisco, CA

Pros: “It was a great culture and great people. The mission of the company was huge, and they encouraged big thinking. Lots of fun things happened on a daily basis.” Full Review

Work at Facebook? Share Your Experiences

Facebook

 
Click to Rate
or

The difficulty rating is the average interview difficulty rating across all interview candidates.

The interview experience is the percentage of all interview candidates that said their interview experience was positive, neutral, or negative.

Your response will be removed from the review – this cannot be undone.