Facebook Interview Questions: What to Expect and How to Prepare

Facebook Interview Process

Facebook, a leading entity in the social media industry, has transformed into a tech giant with a vast array of services under Meta Platforms, Inc. Notable for its dynamic software engineering roles, candidates should be ready for its rigorous coding interviews, deeply focusing on algorithms, data structures, and system design. Impressively, Facebook engineers also widely use Phabricator for code reviews and Mercurial for version control.

The interview process at Facebook starts with a resume screen to assess qualifications and relevant experiences. Successful candidates are then invited to complete one or two Online Assessments (OAs), focusing on programming skills and problem-solving abilities. These steps gauge the contender's technical acumen before moving to the next phase.

Following the OAs, applicants go through one or two phone screens where they discuss past projects and solve technical problems in real-time. Candidates who excel in these rounds are invited to the onsite interviews, which consist of multiple rounds including coding, system design, and behavioral interviews. The difficulty level is generally considered high, challenging applicants with complex algorithm and design questions.

Initial Screen

Facebook's initial resume screening focuses on relevant technical skills and experience. This stage often leads to an Online Assessment (OA), testing coding and problem-solving abilities under time constraints.

Following the OA, candidates might receive a preliminary screening call. During this call, recruiters assess cultural fit and communication skills, usually within a week of the OA.

Phone Screen

At Facebook, the hiring process usually begins with a phone screen, typically one or two. These initial screenings mainly focus on assessing your coding skills and problem-solving abilities through technical questions that often involve writing code in real-time.

During these phone interviews, candidates are also asked about their previous projects and experiences to gauge their fit for the role and compatibility with Facebook's culture. This stage is crucial as it sets the tone for subsequent interviews.

Onsite Rounds

At Facebook, the onsite rounds typically consist of four interviews, focusing on coding, system design, and behavioral aspects. Each session targets specific skills and lasts about 45 minutes, creating a comprehensive evaluation of the candidate's technical and interpersonal abilities.

The day is structured to include two coding interviews, one system design interview, and one behavioral interview. This setup provides a holistic view of the applicant’s capabilities, emphasizing problem-solving, scalability considerations, and cultural fit within the company’s ethos.

Final Rounds, Negotiation, Offer

After completing all interview rounds at Facebook, candidates may undergo team matching to find the best fit. Offers are then negotiated and, in some cases, finalized after meetings with executives.

Facebook Technical Interview Questions and Patterns

Facebook interview questions breakdown

When gearing up for a Facebook software engineering interview, understanding the pattern distribution of coding problems can be quite illuminating. Analysis of LeetCode data reveals a strong emphasis on Depth-First Search, Breadth-First Search, and Two Pointers, highlighting a preference for problems that deal with complex tree and graph traversals and efficient array manipulation. Surprisingly, compared to other companies, Facebook features fewer Dynamic Programming problems, which are generally common in tech interviews. This deviation suggests a more particular focus on ensuring candidates are well-versed in navigating through data structures effectively in real-time scenarios.

Facebook Interview Coding Question Difficulty

Facebook interview questions difficulty breakdown

At Facebook, the coding interview problems are challenging yet align with the standard set by other FAANG companies like Google. Candidates frequently face questions involving Depth-First Search, Two Pointers, and Breadth-First Search. Compared to a company like Cisco, Facebook's interview questions are notably harder, demanding a robust understanding of advanced problem-solving techniques and optimal solutions. Although rigorous, they are on par with the difficulty level typical at other top tech giants within the FAANG group.

Sample Classical Behavioral Questions and Answers

Can you describe a time when you had to adapt to a significant change in a project?

  • Highlight the ability to handle shifts in project priorities or technologies adeptly. Reflect on a scenario where adapting was crucial to success, emphasizing flexibility, problem-solving skills, and how you helped guide the project to a successful outcome.

Tell me about a project you led that involved multiple stakeholders.

  • Focus on your leadership and communication skills. Explain how you managed diverse opinions and expectations, ensuring project alignment and delivery while maintaining positive relationships among stakeholders.

Describe an instance where you failed in a project and how you handled it.

  • Discuss resilience and accountability. Talk about a specific situation, what you learned from it, how you addressed the failure, and the steps you took to prevent similar issues in the future.

Sample Teamwork Behavioral Questions and Answers

Can you describe a time when you had to collaborate with a team to implement a complex feature under a tight deadline?

  • Focus on specific technical and interpersonal challenges faced. Highlight how effective communication, division of tasks, and prioritizing were crucial. Mention how the solutions enhanced product functionality and team synergy.

Tell me about a project where you and your team had differing opinions. How did you handle the situation?

  • Emphasize the importance of empathy and listening skills. Explain how discussing various viewpoints led to a creative and effective resolution that satisfied all team members.

Considering Facebook's mission to give people the power to build community and bring the world closer together, can you describe an experience where you had to engineer a solution that addressed diverse user needs?

  • Discuss the approach taken to understand diverse user perspectives and needs. Illustrate with examples of specific features or adjustments made in the software to cater to a wider audience, thereby aligning with Facebook’s mission.

Sample Role Specifc Behavioral Questions and Answers

Can you describe a time when you had to implement a feature under a tight deadline? How did you ensure the quality of the software despite the time pressure?

  • Discuss the prioritization and time management strategies used, emphasizing the balance between speed and quality. Highlight any specific tools or methodologies that helped streamline the development process, such as Agile methods or automated testing tools.

Tell me about a project where you had to collaborate with multiple teams. How did you handle differing opinions or conflicts?

  • Explain the communication and interpersonal skills employed to navigate team dynamics. Mention specific instances of using empathy, active listening, and problem-solving to reach a consensus or a productive compromise.

Facebook values innovation. Can you talk about a time you pushed the boundaries of technology to solve a problem?

  • Focus on a past project where innovative thinking was crucial. Explain the challenge, the creative or unconventional approach taken, and the outcome. Highlight how this experience aligns with Facebook's mission to build community and bring the world closer together.