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Facebook Software Engineer Interview Questions in San Francisco, CA

Updated Dec 17, 2014
Updated Dec 17, 2014
78 Interview Reviews

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20 people found this helpful  

Software Engineer Interview

Anonymous Interview Candidate in Menlo Park, CA
Anonymous Interview Candidate in Menlo Park, CA
Application Details

I applied through college or university – interviewed at Facebook.

Interview Details

Process:
This is for undergrad full-time software candidates in USA. Submitted resume at college career fair. Got email about on-campus interviews. At this stage, there are 3 possible outcomes: onsite invitation, a phone interview for an additional chance, or reject. I was invited to onsite interview.

Onsite was a "University Day" that included three interviews (not four like they said in the email) before lunch and then a tour, new-hire panel, etc after lunch.

All interviews were 45-mins length.

Interviews themselves:
On-campus interview: 3 coding questions. I don't remember signing any NDA at this point so, the questions were k-Nearest Points to Origin, finding a substring, and 3-sum.

On-site interview: 3 interviews, 45 mins each. 1st interview: 2 coding questions. 2nd interview: behavioral questions (about team conflict, etc.) and a coding question. 3rd interview: 2 coding questions. Coding questions were easy and required *no knowledge* of special algorithms or data structures (such as graphs, DP, trees, etc). Recursion and strings were common.

I did not get an offer from Facebook; however, I received offers from other companies. The interview questions themselves were considerably easier at Facebook than those asked at Google, LinkedIn, MS, Amazon, etc.

Since the questions are not very hard, my guess is the decision is based upon fit and most importantly how *quickly* you were able to arrive at your solution and how *perfect* your code was. Make sure you focus and are confident.

Advice: practice the easier questions and practice coding them. Also, looking at some of the other experiences on Glassdoor, it looks like a majority of the questions are re-used.

Interview Questions
No Offer
Positive Experience
Easy Interview

Other Interview Reviews for Facebook

  1. 2 people found this helpful  

    Software Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Menlo Park, CA
    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Menlo Park, CA
    Application Details

    I applied online. The process took 3 weeksinterviewed at Facebook in November 2014.

    Interview Details

    The whole process was very fast.

    I have applied through the web site and got reply on a same day.

    1. Screening with recruiter (15-20 mins)
    2. Phone interview with an engineer (45 mins)
    3. Onsite interview with 4 people (2 coding, 1 system design, 1 culture fit + coding)

    Interview Questions
    • I found system design question more difficult than others as I had no experience in designing large scalable systems.   View Answers (2)
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview
  2.  

    Software Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Menlo Park, CA
    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Menlo Park, CA
    Application Details

    I applied through college or university. The process took 3 weeksinterviewed at Facebook in November 2014.

    Interview Details

    First round - Interview on campus. 45 minutes long. Half of the interview is your typical questions about your resume, what you know about the company, what you do. 2nd half is a coding question given by the interviewer.

    2nd round - Pick your choice of location and do an interview there. I chose Menlo Park. Day consists of 4 interviews in the morning and a tour & culture overview in the afternoon. Of the 4 interviews 2 were almost purely coding questions. 1 was half and half. 1 was purely behavioral. Each interview lasts 45-50 minutes each.

    Interview Questions
    • If you could change something about Faceboook what would it be?   Answer Question
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview
  3.  

    Software Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Menlo Park, CA
    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Menlo Park, CA
    Application Details

    interviewed at Facebook in November 2014.

    Interview Details

    Did three rounds of interviews.
    First round: design a system to detect homeworking copying, which means input two strings and a integer K, if there is a common substring of them have length larger than K, return true, else return false.
    Second round: nearly all behavior questions. In the last five minutes, asked me to code up a linked list reverse function
    Third round: build a dictionary trie and implement search function, mainly focusing on the OO designing pattern.

    Interview Questions
    No Offer
    Neutral Experience
    Average Interview
  4. Is this helpful? The community relies on everyone sharing – Add Anonymous Interview Review


  5.  

    Software Engineering Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Menlo Park, CA
    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Menlo Park, CA
    Application Details

    I applied through college or university. The process took 4 weeksinterviewed at Facebook in November 2014.

    Interview Details

    Facebook came to my campus career fair where I turned in my resume. I had an onsite interview in New York which went well. It was completely a technical interview with only programming. I was asked 2 questions - the first was a simple reverse a signed integer, the second was a harder pattern matching problem that could be solved using a prefix tree.

    I was invited to a second on-site interview in Menlo Park. It was a long flight across the country and in hindsight totally not worth the time wasted - I skipped classes and turned in homework late as a result. The on-site was awful. My interviewer showed up late and then proceeded to ask me a very simple question about printing the paths to nodes in a binary tree. Coded it up with some minor corrections (since I was white boarding and you miss some stuff when you're face is glued to a wall). He then extended the question but cut me off because we ran out of time (this was completely his fault since he showed up a good 15 minutes late).

    They proceeded to give me a tour of the campus and talk with current engineers. It would have been fun if it hadn't been for the bad interview. Overall, I got the feeling that they're a large company and are definitely not as agile as they were a couple of years ago. Engineers were very complacent and talked more about their great perks than personal growth.

    In the end, I think I got caught in the interview anti-loop and had some poor luck. Promptly rejected. I really wish I hadn't wasted 48 hours flying for that sad excuse of an interview.

    Interview Questions
    • The pattern matching question in my 1st interview was reasonably tricky, but the interview did a fantastic job of giving me the right clues to help me solve it on my own.   Answer Question
    No Offer
    Negative Experience
    Average Interview
  6.  

    Software Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Menlo Park, CA
    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Menlo Park, CA
    Application Details

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

    Interview Details

    Contacted Facebook University recruiter with my CV and sent in a form specifying where I wanted to work/ what I wanted to do at Facebook. I was scheduled an interview for late in the evening due to the time difference with California. Initially asked a number of questions on my CV and the projects I had worked on. Then moved onto technical coding question using online coding tool. This was a hard recursive question which I was unable to complete.

    Interview Questions
    • Was asked to write a function that would return all the possible words generated when using a phone numpad to type.   Answer Question
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview
  7.  

    Software Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Menlo Park, CA
    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Menlo Park, CA
    Application Details

    I applied through an employee referral. The process took 4+ weeksinterviewed at Facebook in October 2014.

    Interview Details

    A friend referred me and then I got contacted by a recruiter sometime during September. Arranged for a phone interview two weeks later, and two hours after my phone interview, I was told that I could go onsite.

    During onsite there are 4 rounds of interviews. 3 are completely coding, the other is half behavior and half coding. Most questions are not hard and can be found on Glassdoor or other sort of programming interview preparing materials. Definitely easier than Google interview questions.

    I thought I did pretty well during the onsite (better than phone). Answered all but one question they asked me, and I did not think there was a lot of bugs. No idea why I did not get in, but since I am really not even half of a world-class developer, at this stage I understand luck is more involved than skills.

    Interview Questions
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview
  8. 16 people found this helpful  

    Software Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Menlo Park, CA
    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Menlo Park, CA
    Application Details

    I applied through a recruiter. The process took 4+ weeksinterviewed at Facebook in July 2014.

    Interview Details

    I was hiring specifically for an iOS position. The recruiters start with Obj-C 5 multiple choice questions, which required some surprising depth. I won't get into specifics, but take time to understand memory management (even with arc), blocks, addresses and pointers.

    After was a phone interview which mostly involved a collaborative coding question. The questions asked here were very typical algorithmic questions, the answers usually involved a hash to cache meta values to increase performance.

    Protip: Be familiar with NSSet and NSOrderedSet. These data structures are more performant than NSArrays for some operations, and I found myself using them in almost every answer.

    Then you have an onsite visit, with 4 additional interviews: 2 coding, 1 design, and 1 "culture fit" which, for me, was really another coding interview.

    Your recruiter will contact during the next week or two afterwards to give you updates on your status. I believe there are three different meetings where your interviewing notes are reviewed and given consideration.

    Interview Questions
    • What is something other people misunderstand about you?   View Answer
    Negotiation Details
    I went back and forth once between a competing company and received higher offers each time. Ask your recruiter for honest assessments of your interviews - if you did well FB will be much more willing to "one up" the competition.
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview
  9. 99 people found this helpful  

    Software Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Menlo Park, CA
    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Menlo Park, CA
    Application Details

    I applied through a recruiter. The process took 3+ monthsinterviewed 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
    e.g.

    L1 --> L2 --> L3 --> L7 --> L8
                          |
                          v
                         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:
    >ls a/b/c/*/e/*/f/*/*/g
    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 Questions
    • How would you implement division without +, - or multiplication   View Answers (8)
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview
  10. 2 people found this helpful  

    Software Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Menlo Park, CA
    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Menlo Park, CA
    Application Details

    I applied through an employee referral. The process took 2 weeksinterviewed at Facebook in July 2014.

    Interview Details

    Introduced into the whole process via a referral, so I was able to move quickly to an onsite interview. This was easily the best interview experience I've had in a long time - recruiter was friendly and extremely responsive, and each of the interviews was engaged during the interview.

    Everything moved very quickly once I indicated that I felt prepared to interview.

    Interview Questions
    • Nothing terribly surprising - be prepared to talk through CS fundamentals, large scale design, and code code code.   Answer Question
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview

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