Facebook Interview Questions | Glassdoor

Facebook Interview Questions

Updated Jun 22, 2017
2,982 Interview Reviews

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  1. Helpful (1261)  

    Software Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Employee
    Accepted Offer

    Interview

    phone interview starting with introducing yourself followed by two code questions.
    The first coding question is very standard coding question and the second one is
    a little more related to facebook's certain functionality


  2. Helpful (252)  

    Data Scientist Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    No Offer
    Neutral Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Interview

    One HR interview, one takehome data challenge, one shared screen with SQL and one onsite with several 1:1 interviews. They check your coding skills and product sense via the takehome, your sql skills via the shared screen interview and machine learning theory as well as product sense during the onsite.
    They let you choose the language for the takehome and onsite there is no coding on the board. So you just need to know one language (whichever you want, although I think they prefer R or Python) + SQL. No C++/Java/etc stuff and no CS algo questions.

    Interview Questions

    • Data challenge was very similar to the ads analysis challenge on the book the collection of data science takehome challenge, so that was easy (if you have done your homework).

      SQL was: you have a table where you have date, user_id, song_id and count. It shows at the end of each day how many times in her history a user has listened to a given song. So count is cumulative sum.
      You have to update this on a daily basis based on a second table that records in real time when a user listens to a given song. Basically, at the end of each day, you go to this second table and pull a count of each user/song combination and then add this count to the first table that has the lifetime count.
      If it is the first time a user has listened to a given song, you won't have this pair in the lifetime table, so you have to create the pair there and then add the count of the last day.

      Onsite: lots of ads related and machine learning questions. How to build an ad model, how to test it, describe a model. I didn't do well in some of these.  
      20 Answers

  3. Helpful (81)  

    Data Scientist Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Menlo Park, CA
    Declined Offer
    Negative Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 6 weeks. I interviewed at Facebook (Menlo Park, CA) in February 2017.

    Interview

    I applied online in late December and then spoke to a recruiter for about 15 minutes in early January. I was scheduled for an in-person interview in mid January where I interviewed with one data scientist in a 1:1 interview for an hour for the first round. Another recruiter then called me for a 30 minute prep for the 2nd round. The final, 2nd round interview was about 5 weeks later in late February, with 6 data scientists over 4 hours in the afternoon. I got an offer but it was for a lot less than I was expecting, and we couldn't bridge the gap enough for it to be worth it.

    Everyone seemed relatively nice, although I could tell that a lot of the questions are really designed to trip you up, like they want you to miss some detail or edge case. My advice would be to pay attention to every little bit of minutiae regarding the question, make sure you're staying on task, write on the whiteboard, and explain your thoughts. Industry word is that data science at Facebook is not what it once was and is more of a product data analyst role now, so make sure you're really into Facebook products because that's what you'll be analyzing.

    Also, I didn't get a single question about dice, cards, or any other brain teaser type questions. All these mentions of NDAs are missing the point of Glassdoor, people can be a little more verbose than "various questions". You can't trademark an interview question or claim it's a trade secret.

    Interview Questions

    • How would you measure the health of Mentions, Facebook's app for celebrities? How can FB determine if it's worth it to keep using it?

      If a celebrity starts to use Mentions and begins interacting with their fans more, what part of the increase can be attributed to a celebrity using Mentions, and what part is just a celebrity wanting to get more involved in fan engagement?  
      5 Answers
    • There is a table that tracks every time a user turns a feature on or off, with columns user_id, action ("on" or "off), date, and time.

      How many users turned the feature on today?
      How many users have ever turned the feature on?
      In a table that tracks the status of every user every day, how would you add today's data to it?  
      7 Answers
    • If 70% of Facebook users on iOS use Instagram, but only 35% of Facebook users on Android use Instagram, how would you investigate the discrepancy?   5 Answers
    • How do you measure newsfeed health?   2 Answers
    • If a PM says that they want to double the number of ads in Newsfeed, how would you figure out if this is a good idea or not?   3 Answers
    • We have two options for serving ads within Newsfeed:
      1 - out of every 25 stories, one will be an ad
      2 - every story has a 4% chance of being an ad

      For each option, what is the expected number of ads shown in 100 news stories?
      If we go with option 2, what is the chance a user will be shown only a single ad in 100 stories? What about no ads at all?  
      9 Answers
    • How do you map nicknames (Pete, Andy, Nick, Rob, etc) to real names?   3 Answers
    • Facebook sees that likes are up 10% year over year, why could this be?   4 Answers
    • How many high schools that people have listed on their profiles are real? How do we find out, and deploy at scale, a way of finding invalid schools?   4 Answers

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  5. Helpful (27)  

    Software Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in San Francisco, CA
    No Offer
    Neutral Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied online. I interviewed at Facebook (San Francisco, CA).

    Interview

    Standard computer science/algorithms phone screen interview.

    I've been a few years in my current job, and I have decided to try the job market again. My resume is impressive, I haven't padded it in any way, I've led software projects to release on time, and I'm finding it easy to get as far as phone screens, but no further.

    This isn't a criticism of Facebook itself, rather of the whole Bay Area software engineering scene - since the last time I went for interviews, there seems to be a much bigger focus on getting the initial computer science/algorithms questions correct on the first go. Miss an edge case that the interviewer brings up, you're toast. Misplace a < instead of <= in an iteration, you're toast even if you find it yourself. Take longer than 20 minutes per question, you're toast. Try to recreate from first principles an algorithm you haven't thought about since you graduated, or never, ever used in your work, you're toast.

    I've interviewed many people in my current job, and never regretted recommending employment to any of them. Every single one of the people I've recommended have made mistakes in their coding tests, and every one of them managed to find the errors when I pointed out that they had made a mistake. Perhaps I have lower standards, but when I interview, I look for how the interviewee recovers from a mistake, not that they are able to regurgitate something they learned from reading over Glassdoor interview questions.

    Or maybe I just come across badly on the phone. Hard to say.

    To recreate the process, go to leetcode and try some of the medium/hard exercises. If you can't complete it in under 20 minutes, and you have to redo some work to cover all the edge cases on submitting the solution, you can be sure that in an interview employers will thank you for applying, praise you for your impressive resume, and tell you no thanks.

    Interview Questions

    • Variation of standard algorithm question. Corrected code on being given edge case. Took 25 minutes to get satisfactory answer - probably too long for the interviewer.   1 Answer
    • Second question was a dynamic program question - I knew how to find the solution but hadn't even thought of the algorithm for several years. Was unable to complete the solution in the remaining 20 minutes.   1 Answer

  6. Helpful (46)  

    Product Manager Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied online. I interviewed at Facebook in February 2017.

    Interview

    I applied online and was contacted for a Product Manager position in either Seattle or Menlo Park by HR. After the phone screen, HR explained I could be hired on for an allocated role or go through the generalist process (where you would get to take a couple weeks after you get hired to learn about Facebook in bootcamp & choose a team). I chose the generalist process, and HR set up 2 45-minute video interviews (product sense & execution). After the video interviews, HR sent me an email to set up a phone call, which she then told me that they would not be moving forward and gave me feedback on what could have been improved.

    Video interviews were fun and I enjoyed talking to the interviewers. Next time, would definitely focus on having a process of answering the design question.

    Interview Questions

    • HR Phone Screen:
      1. Tell me about yourself.
      2. Why Facebook?
      3. What is a project you've worked on recently?
      4. What's your favorite facebook feature?

      Product Sense Video Interview
      1. Design a way for people to find apartments.

      Product Execution Interview:
      2. How do you deal with trade-offs between opposing metrics, such as higher AoV but lower conversion rate?
      3. For Facebook Groups, how would you increase usage?
      4. For Facebook Marketplace, how would you go about setting the price of the products? What tradeoffs would you make in the options you described in terms of metrics?  
      Answer Question

  7. Helpful (6)  

    Data Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Employee in West Menlo Park, CA
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied online. I interviewed at Facebook (West Menlo Park, CA) in June 2017.

    Interview

    I applied online and at a career fair - not sure which led me to get a call (after nearly 2 months). Scheduled a two-part phone interview (SQL and Python). In comparison, the SQL interview was a tad bit more difficult but both were very straight forward. The questions were along the same lines as the other interviews. Was invited onsite 2 hours after my phone interview was done.
    The onsite interviews were super interesting and a lot of fun. Knowing the product was the most important skill there followed by SQL and then algorithms (pretty basic ones too). The recriter offered me the job 2 days later.
    Overall the best part of this entire process (apart from the super fun interviews) was the people I interacted with. The recruiter and the interviewers were amazing, kind and respectful. I was given a lot of prep material before the interview and was offered a lot of help during. This was simply the best interview process I went through. Cannot wait to be a part of the team

    Interview Questions

    • Phone Interviews - covered by other interviews on glassdoor   Answer Question
    • Onsite - 3 full stack interviews: given a KPI, choose the right metric, perform ETL (SQL/Code) . 1 lunch interview - casual discussion where you learn more about working in facebook and the interviewer tries to understand if you are a good fit.   1 Answer

  8. Helpful (4)  

    Data Scientist Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    No Offer
    Neutral Experience
    Average Interview

    Interview

    Recruiter contacted me and introduce the position, asked my background and my current status. Phone interview: one case analysis and sql. Recruiter is very friendly and helpful. Always reply emails very fast

    Interview Questions

    • The company developed a new feature and perform A/B test. Here is the result

      Comments +5%
      Likes -10%
      Timespent +1%
      All else neutral

      How would you decide to whether putting into product based on the A/B test result? Any ideas?  
      1 Answer

  9. Helpful (31)  

    Data Scientist Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    No Offer
    Negative Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied through a recruiter. The process took a week. I interviewed at Facebook.

    Interview

    This is about the interview for 'data scientist - analytics.' There are other data scientist positions in facebook such as research scientists or data scientists in core science, and the interview process is different for data scientist-analytics. Please keep that in mind.
    Anyways, my interview is a bit different from others in that I didn't have a phone chat with the recruiter or anything like that. I just got an e-mail from one of the recruiters (University recruiters... I was a full data scientist at other company back, and I still am now) that I was selected for a video interview for 'data scientist, analytics, INTERN,' a position that I never applied for, and it asked me to fill out questionnaires and to confirm my availability on Feb 20st (not sure about the exact date, but close). So I told the recruiter that while I'm excited about the interview opportunity at the facebook

    1) I am already a full-time data scientist at another company
    2) I graduated 3 years ago
    3) I am only interested in the full-time job

    and then I got an e-mail saying that I would be considered for the full time data scientist job. I was like 'sure' and we set up the video interview on that day. No phone chat with the recruiter whatsoever, just an e-mail description of what the interview would be like along with the link.

    The interview was two parts: SQL and product question. Before I dive into questions, I just wanted to say that I had interviews with a bunch of other firms (Microsoft, Amazon, Google, Apple, etc) in the past, and this was one of very few times when no stat/math questions were asked at all during the technical phone interview. The job description seems to mention that the statistical modeling skill is required, but from the way interview is structured, I can get the feeling that the importance of SQL coding skill and product sense far outweighs the level of the interviewee's stat/math knowledge. This seemed more like a business intelligence analyst type of role, not the data scientist role that I envisioned at a company like facebook (Again, I'm only talking about the data scientist - analytics position. Research scientist of data scientist in core science role could be really research-oriented and fun).

    Now, the SQL question was just that given a table of users where each user can take a specific action (Accept, reject, etc) on the other user on a certain date, how would I track the acceptance rate over time. Again, this is just a simple SQL coding, and you can easily do it as long as you know how to do INNER JOIN on different tables.

    For product question, it asked for a feature that I do not remember and how would I test whether adding that feature would be beneficial for the company. Just a simple a/b testing question, but you really have to hone your product sense and be able to look at it from various angles. Would the user be satisfied with the feature? Would the feature take up too much space that could be used otherwise (ads or other pages)? and so on.

    Overall, I think I did well, but again, that's just my feeling. However, at least, I am sure that I got the SQL part done correctly and fast enough. After the interview, I asked the interviewer how long it would take to hear back, and he said probably a couple of days, but hopefully not more than a week. However, here's a twist. I got a rejection e-mail, AN HOUR later (never really got the reply back this fast in my life after phone screening), and it said I would not be considered for "Data Scientist, Analytics, University Grad" position. UNIVERSITY GRAD! from the same recruiter (university recruiter) who initially e=mailed me about the internship opportunity.

    That position only applies to those graduating in 2017, and I made sure to the recruiter that I am no longer a university student. I replied back asking that why the position says university grad, and guess what? I never got the reply back.

    Either way, in terms of the interview questions, the role seemed to put too much focus on SQL (which you can seriously learn in a day) and product sense (a quality that's highly valued for business intelligence analyst role). Also, in terms of how the interview progressed, it was totally and utterly unprofessional (shooting me an e-mail that I would be interviewed for an intern, a position that I never applied for, and giving me just one day and asking me to confirm my availability on that day, not even giving me flexibility on which date to choose from, and rejecting me one hour after the interview for the position that is still not what we agreed on).

    I have nothing against Facebook. I still think it's a great company with amazing culture and perks, but I really don't think I'll recommend any of my friends to apply for data scientist analytics roles for facebook.


  10. Helpful (1)  

    Network Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied through an employee referral. I interviewed at Facebook.

    Interview

    Takes not a long period to response and interview. Just two weeks. Interviewer is really nice and the questions are not so difficult. Because I was refereed by employee so the application process only takes one week, which is much faster than other ways.

    Interview Questions

    • Basic network protocols knowledge and scripting.   1 Answer

  11. Helpful (29)  

    Product Manager Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied through a recruiter. The process took 3 weeks. I interviewed at Facebook in March 2017.

    Interview

    As most others have noted, the interview process is a 30-minute phone screener with a recruiter, then two back-to-back 45-minute video interviews with lead product managers, one on Product Sense and another on Execution, and then onsite interviews. I did not make it past the video interviews.

    For the phone screener, the recruiter is just looking to make sure you've done relevant product management-type work:
    - Tell me about yourself
    - Have you ever worked on a product/feature you worked on from idea to launch?
    - How did you measure success of that product/feature? (provide examples of metrics you looked at)

    My Product Sense interview was with a product lead on Facebook Messenger. He quickly told me that he had already read through my resume and asked if there was anything else unique about me that wasn't on my resume. He then asked me about two of my favorite consumer products to try and suss out any commonalities across the two to determine what characteristics I value in a good product. We then moved onto the meat of the interview, the product sense hypothetical. He presented the following hypothetical: "Design a way for people with similar interests/hobbies to connect".

    I had prepped a structure of walking through the problem, the user, potential solutions, etc, but I struggled with this particular use case. His feedback was that I jumped too quickly into the solution, and that I needed to back up and talk about "pain points" in a bit more depth. Then, he provided feedback that I was getting stuck on pain points and needed to move onto the solution, as we were running out of time. I had 5 minutes at the end to ask him questions.

    My Execution interview was with a product lead on Instagram, working on safety/community. He briefly introduced himself and his role, and asked me to quickly do the same. He the presented the following hypothetical: "Tell me what metrics you would look at as a product manager for Instagram ads".

    We went through multiple follow-ups, asking me to prioritize which of those metrics would be most important, what to consider about how that metric might not tell the whole story, what I would do if I saw a sharp decrease in that metric from one day to the next, how I would rally the team around addressing that problem vs moving on, etc. I had a lot of fun here and thought I did fairly well with this interview, as it more closely reflected what I do in my current role day to day.

    My advice for the Product Sense and Execution video interviews:
    - Figure out how well you're balanced between these two skill sets.
    - If you're unbalanced, like I was, focus on the area where you are weaker
    - Identify a structure to use for either interview. For Product Sense, I would recommend: 1) Clarify the problem, 2) Understand/make assumptions about the user, 3) Identify pain points, 4) Brainstorm solutions, 5) Explain rationale/tradeoffs. For Execution, I would recommend: 1) Identify the proxy metric that most closely reflects the real-world change, 2) Identify related metrics, 3) Refine to reduce chance of "gaming" the metric, 4) Identify what questions you would ask if those metric(s) fell (external factors, internal to Facebook factors, internal to product/feature factors), 5) Explain how you would make tradeoffs to prioritize addressing the issue. There are various books and websites that can lead you through other ways of structuring your answers to these two types of questions. I'd highly recommend writing out a flow chart of your structure that you can refer to during the interview.
    - Practice hypotheticals out loud with a friend. It was extremely helpful to also refine any problems you might have with communicating your ideas. Take the flow chart you created above and refine it by practicing out loud with a friend. I found it helpful to create a sort of mix-and-match flashcards by printing out 6 starts to a question and combining them with ends of a question. I put all of the starts in one bowl and all the ends in another bowl, and had my friend pick from the two bowls at random. Examples:

    Starts:
    1. Tell me your favorite thing about...
    2. Design/re-design...
    3. How would you measure success of...
    4. How would you fix a problem with...

    Ends:
    1. ...a way for people to find apartments/meet people with similar interests/find something to do this weekend
    2. ...X feature of Facebook/Instagram (i.e. Birthdays, Messenger, Saved, Ads, News Feed, Trending, etc)
    3. ...your favorite product

    Ultimately, this interview process does a really good job at sussing out the skills that you've already developed. Prep can take you the last 10%, but if you don't have a firm foundation, it will be fairly difficult to succeed (at least in my experience). Trust your strengths and shore up your weaknesses.

    Interview Questions

    • Design a way for people with similar interests/hobbies to connect.   Answer Question
    • Tell me about your favorite product.   Answer Question
    • Tell me what metrics you would look at as a product manager for Instagram ads.   1 Answer
    • What questions do you have for me?   Answer Question

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