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Facebook Interview Questions

Updated 20 Oct 2017
3,327 Interview Reviews

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  1. Helpful (1437)  

    Software Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Employee
    Accepted Offer

    Interview

    phone interview starting with introducing yourself followed by two code questions.
    The first coding question is very standard coding question and the second one is
    a little more related to facebook's certain functionality


  2. Helpful (291)  

    Data Scientist Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    No Offer
    Neutral Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Interview

    One HR interview, one takehome data challenge, one shared screen with SQL and one onsite with several 1:1 interviews. They check your coding skills and product sense via the takehome, your sql skills via the shared screen interview and machine learning theory as well as product sense during the onsite.
    They let you choose the language for the takehome and onsite there is no coding on the board. So you just need to know one language (whichever you want, although I think they prefer R or Python) + SQL. No C++/Java/etc stuff and no CS algo questions.

    Interview Questions

    • Data challenge was very similar to the ads analysis challenge on the book the collection of data science takehome challenge, so that was easy (if you have done your homework).

      SQL was: you have a table where you have date, user_id, song_id and count. It shows at the end of each day how many times in her history a user has listened to a given song. So count is cumulative sum.
      You have to update this on a daily basis based on a second table that records in real time when a user listens to a given song. Basically, at the end of each day, you go to this second table and pull a count of each user/song combination and then add this count to the first table that has the lifetime count.
      If it is the first time a user has listened to a given song, you won't have this pair in the lifetime table, so you have to create the pair there and then add the count of the last day.

      Onsite: lots of ads related and machine learning questions. How to build an ad model, how to test it, describe a model. I didn't do well in some of these.   20 Answers

  3. Helpful (131)  

    Data Scientist Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Menlo Park, CA (US)
    Declined Offer
    Negative Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 6 weeks. I interviewed at Facebook (Menlo Park, CA (US)) in February 2017.

    Interview

    I applied online in late December and then spoke to a recruiter for about 15 minutes in early January. I was scheduled for an in-person interview in mid January where I interviewed with one data scientist in a 1:1 interview for an hour for the first round. Another recruiter then called me for a 30 minute prep for the 2nd round. The final, 2nd round interview was about 5 weeks later in late February, with 6 data scientists over 4 hours in the afternoon. I got an offer but it was for a lot less than I was expecting, and we couldn't bridge the gap enough for it to be worth it.

    Everyone seemed relatively nice, although I could tell that a lot of the questions are really designed to trip you up, like they want you to miss some detail or edge case. My advice would be to pay attention to every little bit of minutiae regarding the question, make sure you're staying on task, write on the whiteboard, and explain your thoughts. Industry word is that data science at Facebook is not what it once was and is more of a product data analyst role now, so make sure you're really into Facebook products because that's what you'll be analyzing.

    Also, I didn't get a single question about dice, cards, or any other brain teaser type questions. All these mentions of NDAs are missing the point of Glassdoor, people can be a little more verbose than "various questions". You can't trademark an interview question or claim it's a trade secret.

    Interview Questions

    • How would you measure the health of Mentions, Facebook's app for celebrities? How can FB determine if it's worth it to keep using it?

      If a celebrity starts to use Mentions and begins interacting with their fans more, what part of the increase can be attributed to a celebrity using Mentions, and what part is just a celebrity wanting to get more involved in fan engagement?   6 Answers
    • There is a table that tracks every time a user turns a feature on or off, with columns user_id, action ("on" or "off), date, and time.

      How many users turned the feature on today?
      How many users have ever turned the feature on?
      In a table that tracks the status of every user every day, how would you add today's data to it?   8 Answers
    • If 70% of Facebook users on iOS use Instagram, but only 35% of Facebook users on Android use Instagram, how would you investigate the discrepancy?   5 Answers
    • How do you measure newsfeed health?   2 Answers
    • If a PM says that they want to double the number of ads in Newsfeed, how would you figure out if this is a good idea or not?   3 Answers
    • We have two options for serving ads within Newsfeed:
      1 - out of every 25 stories, one will be an ad
      2 - every story has a 4% chance of being an ad

      For each option, what is the expected number of ads shown in 100 news stories?
      If we go with option 2, what is the chance a user will be shown only a single ad in 100 stories? What about no ads at all?   12 Answers
    • How do you map nicknames (Pete, Andy, Nick, Rob, etc) to real names?   3 Answers
    • Facebook sees that likes are up 10% year over year, why could this be?   4 Answers
    • How many high schools that people have listed on their profiles are real? How do we find out, and deploy at scale, a way of finding invalid schools?   4 Answers

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  5. Helpful (92)  

    Product Manager Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied online. I interviewed at Facebook in February 2017.

    Interview

    I applied online and was contacted for a Product Manager position in either Seattle or Menlo Park by HR. After the phone screen, HR explained I could be hired on for an allocated role or go through the generalist process (where you would get to take a couple weeks after you get hired to learn about Facebook in bootcamp & choose a team). I chose the generalist process, and HR set up 2 45-minute video interviews (product sense & execution). After the video interviews, HR sent me an email to set up a phone call, which she then told me that they would not be moving forward and gave me feedback on what could have been improved.

    Video interviews were fun and I enjoyed talking to the interviewers. Next time, would definitely focus on having a process of answering the design question.

    Interview Questions

    • HR Phone Screen:
      1. Tell me about yourself.
      2. Why Facebook?
      3. What is a project you've worked on recently?
      4. What's your favorite facebook feature?

      Product Sense Video Interview
      1. Design a way for people to find apartments.

      Product Execution Interview:
      2. How do you deal with trade-offs between opposing metrics, such as higher AoV but lower conversion rate?
      3. For Facebook Groups, how would you increase usage?
      4. For Facebook Marketplace, how would you go about setting the price of the products? What tradeoffs would you make in the options you described in terms of metrics?   Answer Question

  6. Helpful (63)  

    Software Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in San Francisco, CA (US)
    No Offer
    Neutral Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied online. I interviewed at Facebook (San Francisco, CA (US)).

    Interview

    Standard computer science/algorithms phone screen interview.

    I've been a few years in my current job, and I have decided to try the job market again. My resume is impressive, I haven't padded it in any way, I've led software projects to release on time, and I'm finding it easy to get as far as phone screens, but no further.

    This isn't a criticism of Facebook itself, rather of the whole Bay Area software engineering scene - since the last time I went for interviews, there seems to be a much bigger focus on getting the initial computer science/algorithms questions correct on the first go. Miss an edge case that the interviewer brings up, you're toast. Misplace a < instead of <= in an iteration, you're toast even if you find it yourself. Take longer than 20 minutes per question, you're toast. Try to recreate from first principles an algorithm you haven't thought about since you graduated, or never, ever used in your work, you're toast.

    I've interviewed many people in my current job, and never regretted recommending employment to any of them. Every single one of the people I've recommended have made mistakes in their coding tests, and every one of them managed to find the errors when I pointed out that they had made a mistake. Perhaps I have lower standards, but when I interview, I look for how the interviewee recovers from a mistake, not that they are able to regurgitate something they learned from reading over Glassdoor interview questions.

    Or maybe I just come across badly on the phone. Hard to say.

    To recreate the process, go to leetcode and try some of the medium/hard exercises. If you can't complete it in under 20 minutes, and you have to redo some work to cover all the edge cases on submitting the solution, you can be sure that in an interview employers will thank you for applying, praise you for your impressive resume, and tell you no thanks.

    Interview Questions

    • Variation of standard algorithm question. Corrected code on being given edge case. Took 25 minutes to get satisfactory answer - probably too long for the interviewer.   3 Answers
    • Second question was a dynamic program question - I knew how to find the solution but hadn't even thought of the algorithm for several years. Was unable to complete the solution in the remaining 20 minutes.   2 Answers

  7. Helpful (73)  

    Product Manager Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied through a recruiter. The process took 3 weeks. I interviewed at Facebook in March 2017.

    Interview

    As most others have noted, the interview process is a 30-minute phone screener with a recruiter, then two back-to-back 45-minute video interviews with lead product managers, one on Product Sense and another on Execution, and then onsite interviews. I did not make it past the video interviews.

    For the phone screener, the recruiter is just looking to make sure you've done relevant product management-type work:
    - Tell me about yourself
    - Have you ever worked on a product/feature you worked on from idea to launch?
    - How did you measure success of that product/feature? (provide examples of metrics you looked at)

    My Product Sense interview was with a product lead on Facebook Messenger. He quickly told me that he had already read through my resume and asked if there was anything else unique about me that wasn't on my resume. He then asked me about two of my favorite consumer products to try and suss out any commonalities across the two to determine what characteristics I value in a good product. We then moved onto the meat of the interview, the product sense hypothetical. He presented the following hypothetical: "Design a way for people with similar interests/hobbies to connect".

    I had prepped a structure of walking through the problem, the user, potential solutions, etc, but I struggled with this particular use case. His feedback was that I jumped too quickly into the solution, and that I needed to back up and talk about "pain points" in a bit more depth. Then, he provided feedback that I was getting stuck on pain points and needed to move onto the solution, as we were running out of time. I had 5 minutes at the end to ask him questions.

    My Execution interview was with a product lead on Instagram, working on safety/community. He briefly introduced himself and his role, and asked me to quickly do the same. He the presented the following hypothetical: "Tell me what metrics you would look at as a product manager for Instagram ads".

    We went through multiple follow-ups, asking me to prioritize which of those metrics would be most important, what to consider about how that metric might not tell the whole story, what I would do if I saw a sharp decrease in that metric from one day to the next, how I would rally the team around addressing that problem vs moving on, etc. I had a lot of fun here and thought I did fairly well with this interview, as it more closely reflected what I do in my current role day to day.

    My advice for the Product Sense and Execution video interviews:
    - Figure out how well you're balanced between these two skill sets.
    - If you're unbalanced, like I was, focus on the area where you are weaker
    - Identify a structure to use for either interview. For Product Sense, I would recommend: 1) Clarify the problem, 2) Understand/make assumptions about the user, 3) Identify pain points, 4) Brainstorm solutions, 5) Explain rationale/tradeoffs. For Execution, I would recommend: 1) Identify the proxy metric that most closely reflects the real-world change, 2) Identify related metrics, 3) Refine to reduce chance of "gaming" the metric, 4) Identify what questions you would ask if those metric(s) fell (external factors, internal to Facebook factors, internal to product/feature factors), 5) Explain how you would make tradeoffs to prioritize addressing the issue. There are various books and websites that can lead you through other ways of structuring your answers to these two types of questions. I'd highly recommend writing out a flow chart of your structure that you can refer to during the interview.
    - Practice hypotheticals out loud with a friend. It was extremely helpful to also refine any problems you might have with communicating your ideas. Take the flow chart you created above and refine it by practicing out loud with a friend. I found it helpful to create a sort of mix-and-match flashcards by printing out 6 starts to a question and combining them with ends of a question. I put all of the starts in one bowl and all the ends in another bowl, and had my friend pick from the two bowls at random. Examples:

    Starts:
    1. Tell me your favorite thing about...
    2. Design/re-design...
    3. How would you measure success of...
    4. How would you fix a problem with...

    Ends:
    1. ...a way for people to find apartments/meet people with similar interests/find something to do this weekend
    2. ...X feature of Facebook/Instagram (i.e. Birthdays, Messenger, Saved, Ads, News Feed, Trending, etc)
    3. ...your favorite product

    Ultimately, this interview process does a really good job at sussing out the skills that you've already developed. Prep can take you the last 10%, but if you don't have a firm foundation, it will be fairly difficult to succeed (at least in my experience). Trust your strengths and shore up your weaknesses.

    Interview Questions

    • Design a way for people with similar interests/hobbies to connect.   Answer Question
    • Tell me about your favorite product.   Answer Question
    • Tell me what metrics you would look at as a product manager for Instagram ads.   1 Answer
    • What questions do you have for me?   Answer Question

  8. Helpful (11)  

    Software Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    No Offer
    Negative Experience

    Interview

    Did a phone screen, then a full-day interview loop, then was asked to do *another* phone screen. I had a great on-site (probably one of the best of my career; I got the correct answer to *every question* with time to spare), but it didn't matter: second phone screen was a disaster. The call was delayed due to a technical problem, the guy barely spoke english, and he was annoyed from the start. I got the DYHQFM early-end-of-interview signal despite writing a correct solution, and was rejected shortly thereafter.

    Overall, Facebook's interview process is marginally more humane than the other big players, but just as idiotic and random. Solving the problems and correctly writing them on a whiteboard whilst singing and dancing is insufficient -- if you make *any* mistakes, you will fail. If an interviewer is having a bad day, you will fail. If an interviewer doesn't feel like doing interviews today, you will fail. If someone feels like failing you because you're too old or not wearing a hoodie or they don't like your voice, you will fail.

    The recruiters will tell you all sorts of nonsense about how people are looking for "how you think" and that they understand that candidates are nervous and blah, blah blah...these are lies. It's random, and it's biased strongly toward failure. You're probably going to fail, regardless of performance. Basically, if you're demonstrably a really good engineer, flip a coin seven times. If you get all heads, you get a job. Otherwise, you fail.

    I'm tired of hearing Facebook complain about not being able to find qualified people. They probably reject more great engineers for random reasons in a single day than most companies see in a year.

    Interview Questions


  9. Helpful (6)  

    Software Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Mountain View, CA (US)
    No Offer
    Negative Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied through an employee referral. The process took 2 weeks. I interviewed at Facebook (Mountain View, CA (US)).

    Interview

    Horrible experience. Out of all the interviews I had in my life, this is by far the worst experience ever because the interviewer is SO DISREPECTFUL. 1) First, the interviewer speaks terrible English and he gets frustrated when I ask for clarifications. He did not clarify the question even when I explicitly asked him for constraints, which turned his original problem into one that is a lot harder. 2) I solved the first question easily, and then he asked me a hard level LC question without clarifying it. He stays silent almost throughout the entire interview and gets extremely impatient when I ask questions. I always try to learn something from my interview, and what I learned from this experience is that crazy people also interview candidates.

    Interview Questions


  10. Helpful (5)  

    Associate Product Marketing Manager Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Declined Offer
    Negative Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    The process took 2+ weeks. I interviewed at Facebook.

    Interview

    Truly sad about the way Facebook conducts their diversity recruiting. They say they are committed to diversity but the majority of their talent for this program comes from Northwestern, Stanford, and other top tier schools. Their commitment to diversity is to select the higher class and not the lower class.

    Interview Questions


  11. Helpful (1)  

    SMB Analyst Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in New York, NY (US)
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied through a recruiter. The process took 1+ week. I interviewed at Facebook (New York, NY (US)).

    Interview

    Got contacted on LinkedIn by a Facebook recruiter. Told the. I was pretty happy with my current situation, but they insisted they wanted to talk to me. Round one was pretty basic - company structure, compensation, etc. The first round had a couple of technical questions that were fairly basic, but were pretty easy. Made it to round two.

    Round two was on a program called Coderpad, which was okay but would be nice if I could have actually seen the tables I was supposed to be pulling from. There were two coding challenges. First one was a simple SQL pull to identify most popular Spotify songs on a given day. Second one was more difficult - required a couple of subqueries.

    They were very friendly and professional. Not the right fit for this particular position.

    Interview Questions

    • Write a query that identifies all the users that listened to three of the same songs on Spotify, on the same day, as someone in their friend list.   Answer Question

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