Facebook Data Scientist Interview-Complete Guide

Are you an aspirant wanting to work under Facebook as a data scientist? Do you know what their recruitment process is? Do you know what all areas one should work on to get selected on Facebook? Here is a complete guide over how the interview process for a data scientist on Facebook takes place!

Facebook Data Scientist Interview

Why Facebook?

Before applying for any company, one should be aware of what kind of company they are joining. Even while being interviewed, you can definitely expect a question regarding Facebook. They can ask what makes you want to join Facebook. 

Hence, it is important to have enough knowledge about the company so that you can confidently answer it. 

Apart from knowing about the company you should also be aware of what benefits you will receive by working there! This will also work as a motivation for you to work harder towards your goal. 

Here are a few of the benefits that you may receive by working with Facebook. These benefits majorly lie towards the knowledge sector which can be a big plus point for your career as well!

Jeff Bezos Career Advice
Jeff Bezos Career Advice

A chance to work with high profiles

It is definitely not an easy task to get into Facebook. Therefore, your seniors and higher-ups are definitely someone who possesses much more experience and knowledge in the field.

Working with them will not only make you learn more but also will give you an amazing experience that will help you move forward in life.

Working as an employee

Being a Facebook employee has its own perks! The company provides various facilities in their building which you can use. 

Flexibility

Amidst the covid, the company has taken up an approach towards remote work which will be very beneficial to the employees. Their work will be flexible and they can easily do their work from any location.

Making products and trends for a big company

Facebook is a big company with billions of users using it on a regular basis! Imagine helping them in building a product! How fun would that be!! 

Monetary benefits

Facebook in comparison to other companies does provide a higher TC to their data scientists. Hence, there would be no issue regarding not earning enough!

How to get into Facebook?

As mentioned before, getting a post as a data scientist is not that easy! But it is not impossible either. The whole procedure may roughly take about 8 weeks, however, there are cases where people have gotten selected within 4 weeks too! 

It ultimately depends on how good you are! Mentioned below are the steps that one has to go through to get hired as a data scientist in Facebook.

Step 1 – Application procedure

Step 2 – Recruiter screening

Step 3 – phone call interview

Step 4 – onsite interview

Step 5 – final selection

Let’s look into each of the steps and their procedure-

Step 1 – Application procedure

The selection procedure basically begins with you applying for the position. You can apply through Facebook or LinkedIn. 

Your application can have a cover letter or a referral. Usually, the applications with referrals are more easily noticed so do get one and attach it if you can!

The application finds its place in the Application tracking system (ATS) where they are sorted out. Since it goes through a computerized system, make sure your resume application is formal enough to pass through it.

After passing from the system, the application is finally viewed by recruiters who review the application and choose the candidates for the next round or process.

It often takes nearly 2 weeks to get a response. However, here’s where an interesting thing comes in. Since all the applications go through the ATS, their data gets stored in it.

Because of this, if the company in the future ever posts a position to hire people. Your application happens to catch their attention and you may have a high chance of getting an offer from them without actually applying for the role.

Key points to focus on- 

  • Keep your application and resume formal and decent
  • Add referral if possible

Step 2 – Recruiter screening

This is a part of the selection process where you are holding a basic conversation with the recruiter. This happens once your application is accepted. Your recruiter will set a meeting with you which might take nearly 30 minutes. 

The recruiter often begins the talk with what kind of role you would be performing if hired. 

Since it’s a basic conversation, they may ask about your background. Here, you have to speak about your story, your achievements, and your academic background. 

Even though the conversation topics are very basic, there is a chance that they may ask you some common SQL questions. 

They can ask you about JOINS or other such concepts. They can also ask about your location. They do this to ensure if you can logistically work for them or not. 

Ending the conversation, they might go with when you can expect a response and next procedure details.

key points to focus on-

  • Be sure of what you want to highlight about your background and career. Prepare its explanation beforehand.
  • Be humble and polite.
  • Practice on questions regarding basics of SQL
  • Try to ask more about follow-ups so that you can have more information about the further interviews.

Step 3 – Phone Call Interview

The next step of the selection procedure is a phone call interview with the interviewer. The interviewer on-call is often a senior, staff, or manager with a good amount of experience in the field. 

The interview may take around 45 minutes which includes forty minutes of problem-solving and 5 minutes of question-answer session with the interviewer.  

The questions may include a few problems related to SQL. These problems are to be done in a coderpad and they are not executable. There might even be a few questions about product sense. 

Their questions in this round typically involve metrics, analytical, and AB testing skills. 

Key points to focus on-

  • Keep practicing SQL problems
  • Try taking mock interviews.
  • Try to understand Facebook products by actually getting into the app and analyzing it. It is helpful in understanding and improving one’s product sense.

Step 4 – Onsite Interview

This is probably the longest and the most exhausting procedure of the whole selection process. There are nearly four to five rounds, each with a duration of about 45 minutes in this part of the selection. 

The process is the same as the phone call interview with forty minutes of problems and five minutes of question-answer sessions with the interviewer. 

Just like the phone call interview, the interviewer here too would be a data scientist senior, staff, or a manager. The types of rounds that you can face in the interview are-

SQL round

You can expect a few SQL questions. These may be of medium or hard levels. The evaluation of your performance is more likely to be based on how you approach an answer rather than getting the correct one without errors. The main criteria of selection are your efficiency in solutions and communication skills.

Applied data round

Here the questions will have a more statistical view to them. You can expect a situational question like-  what age group is more likely to post their birthdays on Facebook? They typically tend to ask those questions which you may have to face in the future while working for the company. They want to test your understanding, logicality, and smartness.

Probability and statistics round

You can expect questions relating to probability and statistical skills here. They majorly check your communication and accuracy skills along with statistical knowledge.

Product sense round

This round sees how well aware you are of the products of the company. Hence, if you are aware of facebook’s core products, then probably you might find this round an easy go. The problems that are given majorly focus on product awareness along with a few statistical and communication skills. You may face questions regarding product analysis, metrics, and AB testing.

Key points to focus on-

  • Since they majorly check your communication skills too, do try to explain each step of your solution while typing it out.
  • Keep practicing advanced level SQL problems 
  • Try giving mock interviews.
  • Have practice over basic statistics and probability concepts like Bayes theorem and conditional probability.

Step 5- The Final Selection

After you pass all the rounds, the hiring committee looks through your performance and ultimately hires you. The hiring committee can judge you in every aspect, hence, you must be well prepared and polite in your interview rounds. 

Tips to prepare

It is always better to be prepared for an interview before attending one. Here are some preparation tips one needs to know before attending an interview.

Use Facebook to get an idea about its products and usage

The interview holds a good amount of questions regarding the product sense. Hence, one must be familiar with the core products of the company.

One can become an active user of Facebook to understand how it works. By doing so, you can analyze its products and get an idea about them.

research about the company

Before applying for the company, you have to make sure you do enough research about it. Keep up with the latest news and knowledge about their plans. Follow up with their tech conferences and events too.

Go through Facebook’s engineering blog

By doing this, one may gather enough information about how they work and what data they use. It will help you in getting an idea of topics that might come as potential questions.

Practice questions

Make sure you are practicing questions and solving problems daily. Have a brush-up on the basics of SQL. Also, focus on hard and medium-level SQL questions along with basics of probability like Bayes theorem.

Try mock interviews

This is an effective way to have a gist of how the interview is going to be like. It helps in boosting your confidence and gives you an idea of where you are lacking. You can do mock interviews by asking your friend to do it for you or else you can take up such an interview from websites on the internet.

Summary on Steps of the selection process:

Step 1- Applying to Facebook and LinkedIn
Step 2- Recruiter screening
Step 3- Phone interview
Step 4- Onsite interviews
Step 5- Final selection

Step 1 – Application Procedure- 

1) Apply through LinkedIn or Facebook

2) Resume passes through the Application tracking system (ATS)

3) You can add a cover letter to your resume, referral is highly recommended if possible.

Step 2 – Recruiter Screening- 

1) Basic conversation with the recruiter

2) Lasts nearly 30 minutes

3) Have a brush up on basic SQL questions like JOINS

4) Prepare beforehand on how you are going to explain your life, academic story, and achievements. Don’t go too personal. Just highlight more on the career side.

Step 3 – Phone Call Interview- 

1) Interview with IC4+ ( can be a senior, staff, or manager)

2) Takes nearly 45 minutes

3) Interview involves a set of problems and a discussion of the solution with the interviewer

4) Make sure you explain your solution while solving.

Step 4 – Onsite Interviews- 

1) Nearly 4 to 5 rounds, each round lasts about 45 minutes

2) You can expect rounds with medium or hard SQL questions, statistical and probability questions. You can also expect product use related ones

3) Become an active user of Facebook and be aware of the company’s core products. 

4) Keep practicing basic statistics and probability concepts like Bayes theorem and Bernoulli. 

Step 5 – Final Selection- 

1) Performance is reviewed by the hiring committee.

Areas to focus on – 

  • Keep practicing SQL, statistical, and probability questions
  • Use Facebook and its products to attain good knowledge about how it works.
  • Do a bit of research about the company and follow up with their tech conferences and plans
  • Be humble and polite in the interviews. Give out a friendly persona
  • Try to gather information about the next rounds in the recruiter screening
  • Try mock interviews with friends or websites that provide these interviews
  • Try to get in contact with people who have gone through the hiring process and ask about their experience.

Conclusion

Becoming a Facebook data scientist is not that easy! However, it isn’t impossible either!

Work and practice hard on your skills and problem solving as that is something majorly during the further rounds of their selection processes. 

If you are able to ace your rounds, you can definitely hope for a call confirming your recruitment!

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. How to make a resume more noticeable?

Answer: Once you apply for the post through Facebook or Linkedin, your application passes through ATS ( application tracking system). Since it is getting passed through a computerized system, make sure it is formal and simple. 

Don’t add too much design and colors. 

Despite keeping a simple resume, you can make it noticeable by adding referrals. You can even attach a cover letter. A referral makes your application stand out from the rest.

In short, keep your resume formal and simple. Add a referral, if possible, to make it stand out.

  1. What is the time duration of going through the hiring process?
  2. Answer: After applying, you can accept a response within 2 weeks. After that, you have to go through a set of interviews including recruiter screening, phone call interviews, and onsite interviews. All these rounds along with hiring decisions take around 8 weeks. 

You can, however, receive an early response too. It depends on how well you perform in your interviews and how strong your profile is. You may even get hired within 4 weeks if you are a good candidate. 

In short, the selection process from applying to hiring takes about 8- 10 weeks but if you are a strong candidate, you may get selected within 4 weeks too.

  1. What is the most exhausting round of the interview process?

Answer: Onsite rounds can be a bit tiring and exhausting. It is because these rounds are taken back to back with several interviews and question sets. Each round takes around 45 minutes. 

The questions asked here cover the topics from SQL, statistics, probability, and product use. 

The interviewer is a skilled data scientist who could be working as a senior, manager, or staff of the company.

  1. What qualities does the recruiter generally look for in a data scientist candidate?

Answer: The recruiter looks for your communication and logical skills. They don’t care about the final answer, rather they are looking at your approach to answer. Hence, it is necessary to explain and show them how you reach your solution.

  1. How does becoming an active user of Facebook help you in interviews?

Answer: Becoming an active user of Facebook helps you in understanding and analyzing the products. 

You can understand how the app works. You can look into what kind of UI/UX design it uses. You also get a gist of how news feed, stories, and other facilities work. This can help you in answering questions regarding product sense.

  1. How do mock interviews help you with the interview preparation?

Answer: Mock interviews are like artificial interviews. They help you with analyzing your performance, making you aware of where you lack and need to work on. It is also helpful in building enough confidence so that you don’t feel nervous during interviews.

  1. What points should one highlight about themselves while talking about their career in the recruiter screening?

Answer: While talking about yourself, do mention your academic background and achievements. Try to explain them in simple words and keep on a friendly impression. 

Don’t go too deep or talk about personal stuff which is unnecessary. Have a practice of points that you are going to talk about.  

Facebook Data Scientist Interview-Complete Guide

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