Facebook Interview Questions in San Francisco, CA

Updated 15 Oct 2014
Updated 15 Oct 2014
242 Interview Reviews

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  1. 14 people found this helpful  

    Product Manager Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Menlo Park, CA (US)
    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Menlo Park, CA (US)
    Application Details

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

    Interview Details

    This was for the Rotational Product Manager Position:

    I applied through a company referral which really helps your application if you can get someone. Also Facebook employees who refer a new hire are compensated if you end up getting the job ($5000 for RPMs). So reach out to friends you have who work here.

    For RPMs Facebook is looking for how you think about problems. Most RPM hires are right out of college and don't have any product management experience so don't feel overwhelmed. You just need to very clearly communicate how you break down problems and why you are a good fit for Facebook's mission.

    Facebook recruiters are very clear beforehand about the questions to allow you to prepare. Use this time to prepare! They expect very specific personal experiences which is why they let you in early on what questions will be asked. You won't be surprised by questions in any of the interviews if you have already thought through what you want to communicate.

    Phone Interviews:
    1. Product Sense - Talked about an app that I like and design decisions I thought made the app special. Also was asked about one of my side projects and explained a design decision I made. I would stress in this interview that you are empathetic about user needs. That seems to be what they are looking for

    2. Execution - Was asked a bunch of hypothetical questions "How would you double group joins in 3mo if we gave you a team of 5 engineers." Stress here that you are data driven, use cohort analysis and break users up to prioritize different strategies.

    On Campus Interviews:
    (These interview orders vary by candidate so the exact order may be different)
    1. Execution - You will be asked how you get things done when you don't have ample resources. You'll be asked to solve a problem you don't understand. Hint: Ask clarifying questions! Show that you are a doer and understand how to prioritize multiple approaches.

    2. Leadership - What they really want to see here is how you interact with people. You should talk about a time when you inspired a group to do something. You should think through how you would handle all types of conflicts.

    3. Product Sense - This interview has the most variation across candidates. You will definitely be asked about a product you like similar to your phone interview. Beyond that the interviewer might ask you anything from a hypothetical feature question to a very specific design scenario they ended up in through their position. Try to stress here that you are empathetic toward users, and aren't afraid to admit when you don't know something.

    Interview Questions
    • How would you deal with someone who fundamentally disagreed with what you told them to do.   Answer Question
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview
  2.  

    Product Marketing Manager Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Menlo Park, CA (US)
    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Menlo Park, CA (US)
    Application Details

    I applied online. The process took 4+ weeksinterviewed at Facebook.

    Interview Details

    Was contacted by a recruiter after I applied online. Very prompt recruiter with excellent turnaround time. After one telephonic interview with the hiring manager, I was called onsite for a set of 4 interviews with hiring manager, the head of department, one colleague and one more person.

    Great set of interviews and very smart conversations. Questions were centered around the industry, how will I add value. Questions probing past experience and how that can be applied to the new role. I would suggest to do some good research about all Facebook products as that really helps.

    I was contacted after the onsite to have a final video call with some colleagues but I had two offers in hand, so I said no. My choice was dictated also by my personal situation else I would have definitely considered Facebook as my first choice.

    Interview Questions
    • How would you tackle a client situation with Facebook products   Answer Question
    Reasons for Declining

    Had two other offers in hand

    Declined Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview
  3.  

    Product Designer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in San Francisco, CA (US)
    Anonymous Interview Candidate in San Francisco, CA (US)
    Application Details

    interviewed at Facebook in October 2014.

    Interview Details

    I saw Facebook had portfolio review time after the conference at out school, so I submitted my site. Luckily got selected, and a product designer talked with me for 15 mins after the conference. Couple days later, I receive an email about their interest in second phone interview. All the email are replied very fast and smoothly. During the phone interview, we talked about apple calendar app, google calendar a little. I didn't get the offer, but the experience was pretty nice.

    Interview Questions
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview
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  5. 4 people found this helpful  

    Senior Software Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Menlo Park, CA (US)
    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Menlo Park, CA (US)
    Application Details

    I applied through an employee referral. The process took 1+ weekinterviewed at Facebook in September 2014.

    Interview Details

    Was submitted as an employee referral, so this may have been quicker than some other folks' experience; first talk with a recruiter to offer was about 10 days. The recruiting team was very on the ball, also.

    Had one talk with a recruiter about my background, a technical phone screen (as with many companies, writing actual code over a shared-document web page), and a half day on site of in-person interviews. Interviews on site were 3 technical sessions (two coding, one design), a deep discussion of my experience and work style with a manager, and a social lunch (which one should assume is also a "fit" interview although no company I've visited called it that.)

    Interviewers were down to earth rather than with the attitude I'd expect of some of the large "hot" companies; the two coding problems involved fairly standard (if potentially fiddly) string or graph manipulations -- one required recursion (or a fairly complicated stack structure) while the other was easier iteratively, and I was asked to re-implement it using recursion in remaining time. As with pretty well everywhere, expect to also give a big-O estimate of the run time, and find some failure cases (or at least explain where you're already handling it.)

    The design interview question was tailored to some specialized work I've done and the particular is probably not representative of most groups; as I understand it, everyone gets some level of design interview and it's usually roughly some form of "how would you build this part of an app like ours for our scale."

    Got my offer a few days after interviewing. Overall, a very positive experience.

    Interview Questions
    • The most unexpected question was the design problem; the most difficult was one of the technical questions which was to implement a subset of regular expression.   Answer Question
    Negotiation Details
    I presented another offer I had on the table, and they beat it sufficiently definitively and sufficiently quickly that accepted immediately... I should have countered at least once. Good offer, very competitive, but I still feel like I soft-balled them.
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview
  6. 1 person found this helpful  

    Finance Associate Manager, Global Sales & Marketing Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Menlo Park, CA (US)
    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Menlo Park, CA (US)
    Application Details

    I applied through a recruiter – interviewed at Facebook.

    Interview Details

    Facebook gave me a verbal offer and then took it back.

    1. I was initially contacted by an FB recruiter to have a phone interview where we discussed typical experience questions.
    2. I was then brought in-house to interview with the GSM finance team (the hiring manager and direct reports). I enjoyed meeting the team as everyone was friendly and seemed like people I wanted to work with. The questions covered FP&A, experience, and situations.
    3. I then made it to the next and final round which was with two finance directors. The questions were mainly high level (e.g. where do you want to be in five years, what project are you most proud of, etc.).
    4. Several days later, the recruiter called me and told me I got the job! During the call she asked me if I would take the job as we had just gone through weeks of interviews and FB needed someone to take the job. Obviously, I said yes, basically committing myself to FB (I had told the recruiter I had interviews scheduled with other companies, but said I was going to cancel them because I wanted FB). She then proceeded to talk to me about my compensation requirements and asked for two references. Over the next several days she spoke to my references, which the recruiter later told me went well.
    5. I wait several days thinking they are putting the offer together. After not hearing anything I contact the recruiter. She tells me that the hiring manager quit out of the blue and that they won't be able to make me a formal offer because the hiring manager's boss doesn't want me to start without a manager in place. This didn't make sense to me. Why not just have me start and learn from the team until a new manager is in place? Or why not tell me I can start once they hire a new manager? Also, when hiring someone you aren't hiring the person solely for the role but because he/she is good for the company and will add value in the long-term, so why take back a verbal offer and why not just let me start? This was an extremely frustrating experience because I had essentially committed to FB once they made me the verbal offer, but apparently FB didn't commit to me. After getting the verbal offer, I also canceled interviews with other companies, told numerous people (family, friends, coworkers) that I got a new job, and even had a celebratory dinner with my friends.
    6. FB then wasted my time again by letting me interview for another finance role several weeks later, which I knew wasn't a fit with my experience and knew I wasn't going to get. I ultimately never made it past the first round.

    This is feedback on Facebook's recruiting and hiring process. If you make a verbal offer, stick to it. FB may think that a verbal offer is not the same as a formal offer obviously, but in my years of experience as long as the candidate has a good reference check, which I did, the high high majority of the time, a verbal offer turns into a formal offer. And at least personally apologize for putting a candidate through this process instead of sending a generic rejection email.

    7. To top it off, I recently learned that the FB recruiter that I had been working with used my name to connect with my friend that works at another company to try to get a strong candidate (that had interviewed at FB but ultimately didn't get the role) who was interested in a finance role at my friend's company, a referral for the role. I guess the FB recruiter wanted to help this person out because FB felt bad that they couldn't give this person an offer at FB.

    To all reading I just want to let you know that this is what went down for me while recruiting with Facebook.

    Interview Questions
    No Offer
    Negative Experience
    Average Interview
  7. 13 people found this helpful  

    Software Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Menlo Park, CA (US)
    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Menlo Park, CA (US)
    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
  8. 5 people found this helpful  

    Data Scientist Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Menlo Park, CA (US)
    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Menlo Park, CA (US)
    Application Details

    I applied through a recruiter. The process took 2+ monthsinterviewed at Facebook in July 2014.

    Interview Details

    Facebook has two data science teams, the "core" team (which is the one featured in various news stories), and the product/growth team. I interviewed for the product side, so a core data science interview might be substantially different. From my experience, I get the sense that "data scientist" on the product side is a misnomer, and they are more of the business analysts; while the "core" team is similar to other data science teams in the bay area.

    The first interview is a phone screen (or on-site if you're local). They asked a few SQL and probability questions, and it was over in ~30 minutes. My interviewer was friendly and enthusiastic, and the questions weren't particularly difficult.

    The second interview was on-site, and involved talking with 5 different people (or groups of people). Each interviewer had a specific task they were asking about, including business analytics/product health questions, stats/probability theory, algorithms, and more SQL. The questions weren't particularly hard or out of left field but they're looking for you to answer confidently and efficiently.

    The people were overwhelmingly friendly and tended to be enthusiastic about working for Facebook (although, at least 2 of my interviewers subtly admitted they were casually looking for jobs - so, I suspect even employees at Facebook aren't 100% fulfilled by their positions).

    Interview Questions
    • I was surprised that there were no machine learning or data mining questions, or any personality/experience ("tell me about a time when you...") questions. The more technical questions were things that a graduating CS student would succeed at, but did not involve principles that you would actually use in practice in a data role at a company.

      Also, make sure you continue working on a problem until you've provided the most efficient solution you think you can. I stopped after I had a working solution, and indicated to the interviewer that I don't think it's the most efficient solution. The interviewer said it was fine and we moved on to another question. Nonetheless, the biggest piece of feedback I got from the recruiter afterwards is that I didn't provide a solution that was sufficiently efficient.
        Answer Question
    No Offer
    Neutral Experience
    Average Interview
  9. 89 people found this helpful  

    Software Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Menlo Park, CA (US)
    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Menlo Park, CA (US)
    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 (6)
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview
  10. 2 people found this helpful  

    Software Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Menlo Park, CA (US)
    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Menlo Park, CA (US)
    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
  11. 14 people found this helpful  

    Product Manager Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Menlo Park, CA (US)
    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Menlo Park, CA (US)
    Application Details

    I applied through an employee referral. The process took 3 weeksinterviewed at Facebook.

    Interview Details

    My first, and second-round interviews were at HQ. Facebook has three types of interviews: Product Sense, Product Execution, and Leadership.

    My first round interview I met with two people, one for Product Sense, and one for Product Execution.

    My second round interview I met with three people, one for each category. Yes, Product Sense, and Product Execution interviews are done twice.

    Product Sense: this interview revolves around questions like "What would you build?" "Suppose we wanted to improve the photos experience." The interviews are trying to get at your sense from product.

    Product Execution: here, questions like "Newsfeed engagement has decreased 2% week-over-week. why?" or "You're sitting with a data analyst, and you know there's a mobile problem in our new release. What would you ask him?"

    Leadership: here the FB team is trying to figure out if you're inspiring, if you work well with others--it's a behavioral interview. Be expected to answer questions such as "Tell me about a time when you experienced a challenge building a product. What did you do?" or "What's your biggest accomplishment?"

    Interview Questions
    • I don't think there are any very difficult questions. You should always ask clarifying questions if something is not clear. I had to ask many clarifying questions.   Answer Question
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview

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