Facebook, arguably the most popular and widely used social networking site, was founded in 2004 by roommates Mark Zuckerberg, Dustin Moskovitz, Andrew McCollum, Eduardo Saverin, and Chris Hughes at Harvard College. Headquartered in Menlo Park, California, Facebook Inc. now owns multi-billion-dollar companies like WhatsApp, Instagram, Oculus VR, CTRL Labs, LiveRail, RedKix, Atlas Solutions, and many more. Headed by Mark Zuckerberg, who is the current CEO and the largest shareholder of the company, Facebook has grown into one of the giants of social media and social networking services. The Facebook interview process is extensive, elaborate, and seeks to choose only ones who can handle pressure and actively participate in the entire process.
Facebook Interview process
The interview process at Facebook, as mentioned before, is extensive, to say the least. The nitty-gritty of this process may differ from one position to another, but overall, there are four parts in the entire interview process-
- Checking the Resume
- Brief Phone Question Round
- Face to Face Interviews in the office
- Potential Employee Review Meetings and Issuing of Offer Letter
These are put in successive order; at every step, a good number of applicants are rejected and a handful are chosen to proceed in the rest of the selection procedure.
Checking The Resume
This is the initial step of the recruitment and selection procedure. In this step, the applications received and checked and those submitted without any sort of errors and the required documents are screened. The applications which are incomplete or have some kind of error, are tossed aside at this aside. Getting every little detail of your application letter, cover letter and resume is important if you want those documents to get you to the next step of the selection procedure. Double-check if they have asked for the original or a photocopied one, do not miss out on attaching any file and tweak your CV and personalize it according to the job position you are applying for at Facebook.
Brief Phone Question Round
This is the part where you receive one or two short phone calls from an HR Manager and a Technical Engineer. The first call will be from an HR Manager asking you questions regarding the personal profile you submitted, check your background data with the information you have already submitted before in the application letter and ask you about your previous work history. You will receive the second phone call from the Technical Engineer only after you have answered satisfactorily in the first phone call interview and have mentioned work experience and/or qualities that the job position you have applied for, requires. The first over-the-phone interview lasts about 10-20 minutes. The second phone call is from a Technical Engineer at Facebook who takes about 40-50mins and asks trickier, more complicated questions which usually pertain directly to the job position in focus, some coding questions, and a few coding questions which you will have to answer in real-time. The first half of this second call might be regarding your resume and some questions may be asked about what you have mentioned in your resume. This is one of the most difficult stages of the whole selection and recruitment process, and if you manage to crack this, you will be notified about a physical interview in one of the Facebook offices.
Face To Face Interviews In The Office
This is the most challenging part of the entire selection process. These interviews (yes, plural), are usually done in the format of a group discussion, which entails you and about four other candidates and a few from the interview board. These interviews can be divided into two groups for the sake of convenience; one to check your qualities as an individual and how you would be a fit for the position you have applied for, the other one to check how you would fit into the company as a whole. Both your individualistic leadership skills in your preferred area of work and your teamwork and ability to cooperate with other people will be put to test in this round.
Typically, in total there are around 5 or 6 interviews at this stage. What should also be kept in mind is that this is the last stage where you will actively be able to play a part to get the desired job position. Further from hereon, the interview board and other executives will play their parts and it will be up to their decision and discretion if you ultimately get selected or not. Thus, as your last chance to seal the deal and make all the cards in your favor, you need to ace the multiple interview rounds.
For the job position-specific interviews, you will be asked questions directly related to the role you have applied for, how you would behave in certain hypothetical situations pertaining solely to your line of work, so on and so forth. Certain questions you can expect to come your way at this stage, are-
- Why do you think you are fit for this role?
- What made you interested in this field of study in the first place?
- Describe an instance from your work experience where you had to assume leadership and succeeded?
These are a few of the general questions you may be asked, irrespective of the position you applied for. Narrowing it down to particular job positions like that of a software engineer, data analyst, internal communications manager, junior/senior product manager, cyber security engineer, product analyst, and external communications manager, the questions asked will be more specific; specific to what that job will require of you.
For the more technical roles, there are two sets of interviews- coding-related and design-related. The design interviews are usually more in number for the more experienced candidates, whereas the comparatively lesser experienced candidate gets to sit for more coding interviews. All of these interviews, spanning for about 50 minutes, require you to solve and answer questions in real-time, using the software provided by the board, then and there. For example, Facebook is infamous for its tricky and puzzling coding questions, practicing some might help you get in the practice of solving them in real-time at the interviews. Listed below are some coding questions:
Some coding question you might be asked
- You have been provided with two linked lists showing two non-negative numbers. These numbers are stored in reverse order, and each one of their nodes contains one single digit. Return it as a linked list, by adding the two numbers.
- You have been provided with a linked list. Reverse the linked list from the position m to the position n. You have to do it in-place and in one go.
- Implement the given wildcard pattern, by matching with support for ‘?’ and ‘*’ for string A and string B.
‘?’ : this symbol is used for matching any single character.
‘*’ : this symbol is used for matching any sequence of characters (including the empty sequence).
The matching should not be partial; it should be incorporated into the entire input.
- Description: Hypothetically speaking, you have an array, A, for which the I the element is the price of a given stock on day I.
If you could only complete a maximum of one transaction (that is, the buying and selling of one share of the stock), design an algorithm to find the maximum profit. You have to come up with the maximum possible profit on the buying and selling of just one share of the whole stock.
0 <= len(A) <= 7e5
1 <= A[i] <= 1e7
- You have been given a grid of size (a * b), let us assume you are starting at (1,1) and your goal is to reach (a, b). At any instance, if you are at (x, y), you have two options, to either go to (x, y + 1) or to (x + 1, y). Now if you consider some obstacles are added to the grids, how many unique paths can you figure out? Obstacles and empty spaces are marked with 1 and 0, respectively, in the given grid.
- You are required to find the longest increasing subsequence of a given array of integers, A. In clearer terms, you have to find out a subsequence of an array in which the subsequence’s elements are in compulsorily in increasing order. Make sure the sequel is as long as possible. This subsequence does not necessarily have to be connecting, or unique, for that matter. In this case, only the length of the longest increasing subsequence will be taken into consideration.
You can find many such questions on other websites which you can solve alongside a timer and in the process of which, get a feel of solving coding questions in real-time. Coding questions are asked more to those candidates who have a relatively lesser experience.
Another set of interviews are called System Design interviews which are mostly reserved for the more experienced candidates. It involves creating efficient design structures and answering questions regarding the same. Other than those revolving around the use of Java and Python, some possible questions are listed below:
- Design a service that can shorten lengthy URLs. Database schemes and statistics are to be provided along with the design model.
- Which data structure will you use to design a service that will recognize buy order and sell order pairs based on price, in stock exchanges?
- How will you create your very own picture and text-sharing social platform? What special features will you include to make it different from the ones that already exist in the market?
- Suggest a design model for sharing large audio-visual files with a proper security guideline.
- Design a worldwide video viewing platform like Amazon Prime and Hulu. Suggest some extra features you would like to include to make this stand apart from the existing OTT platforms.
- What do you think, is the algorithm for Facebook’s Newsfeed?
- Suggest a design model for an application that can be used to order food online, like UberEats.
- Ecommerce websites are thriving now, especially because more people are at home and still want to purchase goods of all kinds. Can you come up with a new concept and a working model that will cater to people all over the world, and be cost-effective at the same time?
- How can you keep word suggestions on mobile keyboards and search engine recommendations up-to-date with the constant inflow of new information and trends?
Other than these, no matter what the position you have applied for, you will face questions that will be aimed at your coordination and cooperation abilities, your ability to work in a team and work alongside others to arrive at a solution, how you present yourself and actively participate in a group discussion, put forth your inputs, as well as take other’s inputs and opinions into consideration.
The previous categories of interview questions were all aimed at checking your efficiency in your subject of interest, how well you know your field of work, and what you can contribute from a new, fresher perspective, to the company. The second broad group of interview questions are not necessarily job-specific; they want to test your communication and collaboration skills, how well you work in a group and ensure there is almost no miscommunication amongst the members and that you are actively taking part in the discussion and communicating with the other team members, give other candidates chances to have a difference of opinions, and respect that and work together to come to any concrete conclusion which is agreed upon by everybody in the group.
This kind of interview question is made prevalent in interview rounds because of the importance of the result it yields- even though every individual employee working in a firm or a company works in their specialized area of work, and put effort to excel in one’s preferred area of work, at the end of the day, every individual employee’s work contributes to the growth and benefit of the company as a whole. Thus, it is important to check if a potential employee can work on his own, as well as work in a team and cooperate with other employees to solve conflicts and come up with new concepts and ideas.
Employee Review Meeting
You reach this stage only after you have been able to clear the interviews. In these meetings, the recruiters, interviewers, team leaders, and junior managers get to decide if you would be a valuable addition to the workspace and that if you would be able to provide a different but fruitful perspective to the current team. At first, your employment at Facebook is at the discretion of team leaders, who are given the first option to decide if you can be a part of the organization or not. If they decide that you fit the job description and that you will be an asset to the company, they let the recruiters know about the particular candidate. Next, a hiring committee sits and checks hirings recommendations; once all the people on this committee agree, an offer letter is sent that to the candidate in question.
The selection procedure at Facebook may be extensive but it is not very difficult to crack; just keep in mind what Facebook as a company values the most- communicative skills, ability to assume leadership where and when required, ability to work as a team, and problem-solving skills. If you can, through the multiple interviews, let the interviewers know that you possess all of the mentioned skills and abilities, and you have an inspiring success story, it is not very hard to see yourself working at Facebook Inc.