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How to Get Software Engineering Jobs at Facebook

Posted on 
February 25, 2021
Abhishek Som


To get past Facebook’s gruelling interview rounds and land that coveted offer, your prep should be extremely thorough and comprehensive.

Facebook accepts less than 3% of engineers who apply, making it significantly challenging for developers to make the cut. However, with a neatly directed approach that’s right on the money, you can very well expect to come through.

Here's what this article will cover:

  1. Here’s what your initial steps should be
  2. Why should you get a software engineer job at Facebook?
  3. How to get a job at Facebook?
  4. Here are some important tips to crack the Facebook coding interview
  5. The Facebook Technical Interview Process
  6. Pro Tips to crack the Facebook onsite
  7. Levels and Roles in Facebook
  8. The Facebook Behavioral Interview

Here’s what your initial steps should be:

Find positions that you’re interested in

Facebook hires for multiple positions throughout the year. In fact, even while the effects of the pandemic were playing out in full swing, Facebook didn’t particularly scale-down it’s hiring.

To begin with, find positions that match your profile. Applying to the right position is important to guide your prep accordingly. To do this, make sure you read the requirements of different positions carefully.  

Build a strong LinkedIn profile

Your LinkedIn profile serves as a ticket to landing an interview. Recruiters from Facebook vet profiles based on specific keywords (pertaining to skills and experience) that feature on profiles.  Make sure to build a well-structured LinkedIn profile that includes the right keywords that can be discovered by LinkedIn’s bullion search algorithm.

Prepare judiciously for the technical interviews

Devote sufficient time to prepare for Facebook’s technical interviews. You’ll be asked to solve tricky coding problems around data structures, algorithms and distributed systems design. As a rule of thumb, ensure that you have at least 2 months to prepare yourself. Cutting your prep short won’t give you enough muscle to tackle challenging programming questions asked at the Facebook interview. So pace your prep and make sure you’re as exhaustive in your approach as possible.

Why should you get a software engineer job at Facebook?

We don’t really need to spell out the reasons to work at Facebook. But here are some plausible ones.

Competitive compensation: The average compensation for software developers at Facebook is over $100,000 - 50% above the national average. Compensations exponentially increase for senior developer and management positions. So, if you really want to rake it in, Facebook is an incredible place to work.

Challenging projects: Facebook exposes engineers to a range of challenging projects, ensuring a rewarding learning experience. You’ll get the opportunity to work first-hand on technology projects that have a deep impact on how the world interacts and does business.  

Great company culture: Facebook has an amazing culture that encourages a healthy work-life balance. The work campus is loaded with a host of recreational facilities and engaging activities to nourish your body and mind.

Impressive career growth prospects: The growth prospects at facebook are phenomenal. From your compensation to the type of projects you’ll work with, nothing that you get to do or service from working at facebook isn’t exciting.

How to get a job at Facebook?

To get an offer from Facebook, you must fundamentally be a great problem solver. Just like most tier-1 companies, Facebook has standardized its hiring process to filter-in well-rounded engineers. So if you wish to see yourself make it, regardless of whether or not you’re vastly experienced, you must improve your coding skills quite significantly. This is essentially because Facebook’s interview process doesn’t quite test your domain knowledge as much as it tests your knowledge on algorithms and distributed systems.

Here are some important tips to crack the Facebook coding interview:

Give yourself enough time to prepare for the technical interview

Giving yourself sufficient time to prepare for the interview is crucial. If you rush it, you’re most likely to falter in your attempt for two main reasons - i) the interview is significantly difficult, and ii) the competition is mighty stiff.

It is important to spend at least two-three months to prepare. The topics that feature in the interview - data structures, algorithms, and systems design - are significantly vast, requiring you to devote at least 10 weeks toward preparing yourself.

Practice coding problems everyday

Over the course of your prep, practice problems everyday. This is the only way to improve your problem-solving skills and identify as many problem patterns as possible. Facebook’s technical rounds are relatively time bound; meaning that you’ll have to solve coding problems within a stipulated time.

The idea is to recognize patterns in problems and classify coding problems based on inherent patterns. That way, you can approach new problems in a holistic way, through solution patterns.

Don’t ignore the behavioral interview

The behavioral interview is an extremely important part of the selection process. Recruiters generally ask questions that are relatable to a workplace environment and wish to know how you’d react. You’ll also be asked questions around your strengths, weaknesses, interests, etcetera.

Behavioral interviews are given relatively more importance for senior level positions at Facebook. In order to ace the behavioral round, prepare answers to probable questions and practice mock behavioral interviews with qualified instructors. Additionally, be prepared to answer questions pertaining to past projects and how you executed them. Make sure to highlight the ones that tested your limits, ensuring a unique learning experience in the process.  

Practice mock interviews with the right professionals

Mock interviews are a crucial part of a successful prep strategy. Practicing mock interviews can help you identify your flaws and earnestly work on them. It is, however, important to practice mock interviews with the right professionals.

If you don’t receive the right feedback, you’d won’t make the right progress.

Practicing with a friend or a colleague makes sense, no doubt. But the feedback they’d give you might not be effective enough to help you improve in the right areas.

Enrolling for the right mock interview program will give you just the direction you need to crack Facebook’s coding interview.

Join a coding bootcamp/attend technical interview webinars

Signing up for a bootcamp or a programming course is advisable if you want to up the ante in your prep. While doing this, make sure you join the right bootcamp - one that has a proven record of helping engineers crack tough technical interviews at tier-1tech firms.

It is advisable to enrol for a bootcamp that has great reviews from students who studied there. Signing up for the right bootcamp will help you boost your personal brand, help you become a better problem solver, and train you to nail tech interviews at the biggest firms.

The Facebook Technical Interview Process

The Facebook interview comprises three main rounds -

i) The Technical Phone Screen

ii) Coding Assignment

iii) Onsite Interview

i) The Technical Phone Screen

In this round, recruiters ask you questions around your profile, and your career interests in general. You can also expect a few behavioral questions and generic questions around the Faebook’s culture.

The idea of this round is to evaluate if your profile meets the requirements of the role.

ii) Coding Assignment  

The coding assignment round requires you to solve one or two coding problems within 45 minutes. This manner in which this round takes place is unique to Facebook as it’s a time-bound assignment. You’ll have to solve programming problems around data structures and algorithms either through a shared doc or a coding-interview platform.

Being adept with at least one Object Oriented Programming Language is an essential prerequisite. Recruiters also like to throw in a few brief questions about your employment experience, past projects, and professional goals.

Here are some features of the technical coding assignment:

  • Recruiters ask problems that aren’t too complex to solve. They’re mostly interested in how you go about solving them - your problem-solving approach is what’s evaluated.
  • Recruiters can add additional roadblocks or constraints to your approach, and test your ability to envision solutions from different approaches.
  • The assignment is usually time-bound. It can last about 30-45 minutes.  
  • The round has a few minutes reserved for questions. Use this time to ask the recruiters questions around your coding assignment, the onsite round, etc.  

iii) The Facebook Onsite

You’re invited to the onsite after you crack the coding assignment. The onsite typically consists of 3-5 rounds, where the extent of your knowledge in data structures, algorithms, and distributed systems is tested.

The onsite rounds are broadly classified into -

i) The Coding Round

The coding round will involve solving two or three coding questions around data structures and algorithms. To prepare effectively for this round, make sure to cover the following topics in extensive detail:

  • Sorting Algorithms
  • Recursion & Backtracking
  • Strings
  • Trees & its Variants
  • Linked Lists, Stacks and Queues
  • Graphs and its Variants (including Greedy Algorithms)
  • Dynamic Programming

ii) The Design Round

The design round is categorized into two rounds:

  • The system design round
  • The product design round

The design rounds typically last for 45 minutes, and mostly involves drawing up designs on a whiteboard. The idea of these rounds is to test your engineering design skills.

Based on the job-role in question, the corresponding design skill is tested in candidates.  Here’s what you’ll need to cover to adequately prepare for the design round:

  • Object Modeling/API Design
  • Concurrency
  • Scalable Systems

Facebook expects developers to be good with the basics of design. That said, based on the candidate’s background, a hiring manager with similar expertise conducts the design interview. So, whether you’ve built API platforms or network libraries and user interfaces, you’ll be interviewed by somebody with similar expertise.

Pro Tips to crack the Facebook onsite

  • Choose a programming language that you’re good at
  • Don’t mug-up solutions to commonly asked problems
  • Classify problems based on patterns and use patterns to go about solving new problems
  • Think out your approach and reasoning aloud
  • Discuss alternate approaches to problem questions
  • Prepare some questions for the recruiter
  • Practice writing code on a white-board
  • Practice a good number of coding problems
  • Don’t rush into solving a problem, and avoid brute-forcing the first solution pattern that comes to your mind.
  • Use a breadth first approach rather than a depth first approach

Levels and Roles in Facebook

If you’re applying at Facebook, it is important to know the different roles and levels that exist within the company. As such, the interview process can vary depending on the role and level you’re applying for. 

Engineering Managers vs Individual Contributors

These are the two most common roles for senior positions at Facebook. As an Engineering Manager, your duties will entail leading project teams and aligning resources to ensure projects are executed seamlessly. As an individual Contributor, you’ll be involved in special projects as a senior contributor, but without the responsibility of leading and managing teams.  

If you’re interviewing for an Engineering Manager or Director of Engineering role, you’ll have two behavioral rounds and probably one less technical round. For IC roles, you’ll be subject to only one behavioral round, with core technical rounds being given higher weightage. 

Junior Software Engineer vs Senior Software Engineer

If you’re applying for a junior software engineering role, there’s greater focus on coding interviews - solving problems around data structures and algorithms. Interviews for senior software developer roles focus on both coding and design interviews.  

The Facebook Behavioral Interview

The behavioral interview at Facebook is mandatory for all roles and takes place during the onsite. Depending on what position you’re applying to, the behavioral round accordingly takes shape. For higher positions, there’s greater emphasis on your performance in behavioral rounds. It’s the opposite for junior level roles. 

Here are a few behavioral questions you can expect at the Facebook interview:

  1. Describe a time when your work-life balance was thrown out of gear because of a demanding project?
  2. How do you handle work-stress? How do you protect your mental health?
  3. How would you react if a colleague or coworker is being uncooperative?
  4. What is your idea of an ideal company culture?
  5. How often do you take vacation breaks? Do you think vacations work to enhance productivity?
  6. Tell us about a difficult project that required you to upgrade specific technical skills?
  7. How would you ensure that your team delivers effectively if you were a manager?

How Interview Kickstart’s program will help you nail the Facebook coding interview?

If you’re serious about landing an offer at Facebook, here’s why you should invest in yourself by enrolling for Interview Kickstart’s Technical Interview MasterClass:

  • An exhaustive curriculum that covers data structures, systems design, product design, algorithms, and behavioral interviews.
  • 15 Live Mock Interviews with FAANG hiring managers and technical leads.
  • Dedicated training for behavioral interviews. 
  • Support and training for offer negotiations. 
  • Classes conducted by instructors who’re currently employed as technical leads and hiring managers with FAANG companies.
  • A strong network of successful alums.
  • An average annual compensation increase of $60k.
  • Multiple offers from tier-1 companies.

Appeared for the Facebook interview but didn’t get through?

If you’ve fallen short for whatever reason, Interview Kickstart’s program is exactly what you need. A healthy percentage of successful alums have ended up landing multiple offers with tier-1 companies after being found wanting in their earlier attempts. 

So, if you’re serious about nailing the Facebook interview and wish to whip up the perfect recipe for success, enrol for our webinar today!

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