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Facebook Software Engineer Interview Questions

Updated 22 Apr 2015
493 Interview Reviews

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Helpful (8)  

Software Engineer Interview

Anonymous Employee in London, England
No Offer
Neutral Experience
No Offer
Neutral Experience

Application

I applied through a recruiter – interviewed at Facebook (London, England).

Interview

Here's my opinion from my experience interviewing at Facebook.

They tell you the process in advance. One phone interview, 5 in house interviews (3 coding, 1 design and 1 behavioural). All interviews are 45 minutes each and one-on-one, and you have to write code in all of the coding interviews, and possibly in the design one too. In the first round, one person decides whether you get through or not. In the 5 rounds, each interviewer provides their feedback after you have finished the interviews which means that if you do badly in one then the other interviewers won't actually know.

Be fully aware, and make no mistake about this - there is an incredibly high possibility that you will get rejected. That sounds harsh but consider it from their position - huge numbers of people apply, huge numbers get interviewed, and they have to pick people out somehow. They also say that they prefer to avoid hiring the wrong person so ultimately they end up inadvertantly rejecting good candidates incase they turn out to be a bad hire, so the risk of getting rejecting is even higher. Basically, this means you are most likely going to be wasting a ridiculous amount of your time and effort. Perhaps because of this, they are incredibly nice and friendly. This really was the nicest and most pleasant interview I have had.

Also, once you understand the scenario, it really helps to kill your nerves if you suffer from that. After all, why stress about something you have practically no chance of succeeding in? Negative, true, but the odds are really stacked against you and you would do well to understand that and just be yourself.

The questions are not that hard, I found. In fact, I solved the first one so quickly I even surprised myself. You do have to write on the whiteboard, but that of course means that there can not be much code to write since a whiteboard is not that big. Indeed the questions are not that hard really. I felt that they do expect you to talk about what you are doing but also to get it right very quickly and without any mistakes. They want to see how you approach the problem etc., but get real - they don't want to see you fumbling around, they want to see that you know the answer and can bang it out.

Ultimately, even if you know the answer to the technical questions and you get them right you will still likely fail over something you can't really control or even know about. In my case, they said I didn't have management experience, but you know what, I didn't apply for a manager role and they never even asked about management or leadership at all. I was pretty annoyed to be honest, it felt like a complete waste of my time and I felt like an idiot for worrying so much about the interviews.

They do provide you with some preparation links which are useful. There is also a book called Cracking The Coding Interview. It doesn't have their questions in it of course, but it gives you plenty of examples on how to solve these kinds of questions so if you read up on it you should be able to bang them out quite easily.

Overall, it is worth going just to see if you can handle it because you probably can! Just make sure that you feel good about what you achieved even if they say no.

Interview Questions

  • Make sure you can tell them what YOU actually did in your previous projects, not what the project was.

    Know how to traverse data structures.

    Know what the time/space complexity is.

    Seriously, it really isn't that hard but you do need to know it so well that you can literally write it flawlessly. They want to see that you arrive at the decision to use a tree/hashtable/graph whatever, but then they expect you to bang out that solution.
     
    Answer Question

Other Interview Reviews for Facebook

  1.  

    Software Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Employee in London, England
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied through an employee referral. The process took 4+ weeksinterviewed at Facebook (London, England) in February 2015.

    Interview

    Got contacted by recruiter, two round of telephone interview, then onsite. Several days later, references requested and all feedback will be gathered to hiring manager. Then decision.
    The questions usually are not hard. The interviewer will give hints when you stuck.

    Interview Questions

  2.  

    Software Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Employee
    No Offer
    No Offer

    Interview

    Made it part the first phone interview, rejected on the technical interview after not knowing the questions. Entire process took about 3-4 weeks, and ran very smoothly. Phone interview lasted 15 minute and the technical interview an hour.

    Interview Questions

    • Shortest route between airports.   1 Answer
  3.  

    Software Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in London, England
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied through an employee referral. The process took 2+ monthsinterviewed at Facebook (London, England) in November 2014.

    Interview

    Facebook employee referred me : 1 telephonic round + 4 onsite (1 Cultural fit + 1 Design + 2 Coding). The interview process was very smooth and all the interviewers were very friendly. Most of the questions in the coding round were on algorithm fundamentals. Also they expect clean coding with proper testing. The design round is more like the discussion you would have with your teammate suggesting pros and cons of each method.

    Interview Questions

    • Clean code, test cases, scalable design, high level design...   Answer Question

    Negotiation

    Since I had an offer I could negotiate a bit on RSU offered

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  5. Helpful (4)  

    Software Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Employee
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied through an employee referral – interviewed at Facebook.

    Interview

    I was referred by a friend and after some back-and-forth they set up a phone screen via Skype and collabedit.com. The feedback was very quick after the initial phone screening.

    Interview Questions

    • What is a memory-efficient way to store a vector of integers? Follow-up question: using your proposed data structure, find an algorithm with constant memory usage to calculate the dot product of two vectors.   3 Answers
  6. Helpful (1)  

    Software Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview

    Interview

    The process went very smoothly. The experience with the recruiter was fantastic and the recruiter was always excited to talk about the company and kept me informed of what was happening throughout the entire process.

    I did an initial screening interview and then a full day of on-site interviews. The on-site interviews consisted of two coding exercises (one on a whiteboard and one on a laptop), one on architecture, and one more that I don't remember.

    Interview Questions

    • A dynamic programming question about differences in words.   Answer Question
  7. Helpful (1)  

    Software Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Employee in London, England
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied through a recruiter. The process took 2 weeksinterviewed at Facebook (London, England) in April 2014.

    Interview

    I was contacted by a recruiter on LinkedIn. After a general chat with recruiter (current role, relocation, tech skills) we went ahead with the phone screen.

    I was asked 2 coding questions, which I coded, but I needed some hints in the second one.

    A few days later I got the email that the team would not like to move forward. And I can setup a call for review the feedback, which I didn't. I knew I wasn't super fast on coding, and problem solving.

    Interview Questions

    • Nothing difficult.

      Reverse String
      Pair words that are Anagrams of each other.
       
      2 Answers
  8. Helpful (5)  

    Software Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Employee in London, England
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 2+ monthsinterviewed at Facebook (London, England).

    Interview

    Initial phone conversation with facebook recruiter of about 20 mins, going over my background and experience as well as what I was looking for.
    Set up a phone interview with a shared screen coding question, was suggested 2 weeks to prepare.
    Had I passed this stage, would go into London for an all day interview.

    Interview Questions

    • Find lowest common ancestor (LCA).   4 Answers
    • Given two unsorted arrays, one with event start times and one with end times, find out if any two events overlap.   5 Answers
  9.  

    Software Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Employee in London, England
    Declined Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview
    Declined Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied through an employee referral. The process took 7+ weeksinterviewed at Facebook (London, England).

    Interview

    They were as friendly as you can imagine and gave me a T-Shirt. I met a kind of famous security guru.

    Interview Questions

    • How do you print all elements of a linked list.   5 Answers

    Reasons for Declining

    I'm still in the loop.

  10. Helpful (1)  

    Software Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Employee in London, England
    No Offer
    Neutral Experience
    Average Interview
    No Offer
    Neutral Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied through a recruiter. The process took 4+ weeksinterviewed at Facebook (London, England) in January 2013.

    Interview

    First interview: 20 minute phone conversation about past experience with a technical recruiter that works for them.

    Second interview: 45 minute phone interview, with a PC in front. He gave me some details about the company and gave me one coding challenge.

    Interview Questions

    • During the second interview, I was asked to implement LCA in a binary tree (not BST) on collabedit.com. I was close, but not close enough...   3 Answers

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