The acceptance rate for software engineering roles at Facebook is less than 3% making it a really challenging company to land a job in. However, with a neatly directed preparation strategy, planning, and execution, you can crack Facebook’s grueling technical rounds of interviews.
In this post, we’ll talk in length about how to prepare for a software engineering job interview at Facebook, what it takes to nail the exacting interview process, and so much more.
Here's what this article will cover:
- How to begin your job search at Facebook
- What does it take to get a software engineer job at Facebook?
- How can you get a job at Facebook?
- Important tips to crack the Facebook coding interviews
- The Facebook Technical Interview Process
- Pro Tips to crack the Facebook onsite interview
- The Facebook Behavioral Interview
- Levels and Roles in Facebook
We don’t really have to spell out the reasons to work at Facebook. Especially if you are reading this post.
But, broadly speaking, here are some of the reasons why software engineers and developers prefer to work at Facebook and why it’s one of the most sough-after tech employers in the world.
- Competitive compensation
The average compensation for software developers at Facebook is over $100,000. This is 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 its developers and engineers to a range of challenging projects, ensuring a rewarding working experience complete with learning and growth. You’ll be handed opportunities to work first-hand on technologies 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. Facebook’s work spaces are loaded with 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, growth is guaranteed at every level when you work at Facebook.
Levels and Roles in Facebook
If you’re applying for software engineer roles at Facebook, you must know the different roles and hierarchical 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 but without the responsibility of leading and managing teams.
If you’re interviewing for an Engineering Manager or Director of Engineering role at Facebook, you’ll have to undergo two behavioral interview rounds and probably one less technical round. For IC roles, you’ll be subject to only one behavioral round, with core technical rounds carrying higher weightage.
Junior Software Engineer vs. Senior Software Engineer
If you’re applying for a junior software engineering role within Facebook, there’s greater focus on coding interviews — solving problems around data structures and algorithms. Interviews for senior software developer roles, on the other hand, focus on both coding and design interviews.
How to Begin Your Job Search at Facebook
Before you start preparing for different kinds of interview rounds at Facebook, here are the first few steps you need to perform in your job search process.
Find and Shortlist Positions That Interest You
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 its hiring.
The first step to land a job you like in Facebook is to find positions that match your profile.
Go through the different open positions on the company website and understand their requirements. Then, shortlist the positions that align with your profile, skills, work experience, and professional goals.
This should be done by carefully reading the job descriptions of multiple positions open in your domain of operation.
Build a Strong LinkedIn Profile
Your LinkedIn profile has the potential to serve as a ticket to land interviews. Facebook recruiters vet profiles based on specific keywords pertaining to the roles, which is why it’s important to have a LinkedIn profile that includes the right keywords. This will increase the chances of your profile being discovered by LinkedIn’s bullion search algorithm.
Plan for Sufficient Preparation Time
If you think you can prepare yourself to crack Facebook interviews in a short time frame, you are wrong. You should allocate at least 2 months of preparation time before you can be sure to take on interview rounds at Facebook.
You’ll be asked to solve tricky coding problems around data structures, algorithms and distributed systems design. Cutting your prep short won’t give you enough muscle to tackle challenging programming questions often asked in these interviews. So, set aside sufficient time for a comprehensive preparation strategy if you are serious about cracking technical interviews at Facebook.
How to Land a Job at Facebook
To land an offer from Facebook, you must fundamentally be a great problem solver.
Like other FAANG and tier 1 tech companies, Facebook too has a standardized hiring process to filter in well-rounded engineers and developers.
And if you see yourself as part of Facebook, regardless of how much experience you have, you must substantially improve your coding skills. 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.
5 Crucial Elements to Crack the Facebook Interview
Let’s walk you through a few crucial tips that have helped our candidates crack coding interviews at Facebook and other FAANG and top tech companies. We believe these tips will be of immense help to you as well.
Give Yourself Enough Time to Prepare
Giving yourself sufficient time to prepare for the interview is a crucial component of your interview strategy. If you rush it, you’re most likely to falter in your attempt. This is because the interview at Facebook is extremely difficult and the competition is mighty stiff.
It is important to spend at least 2-3 months in preparation. The topics that feature in the interviews such as data structures, algorithms, and systems design are significantly vast, requiring you to devote at least 10 weeks to understand them thoroughly.
Practice Coding Problems Everyday
If time is a crucial aspect of your prep strategy, the next most important strategy is to practice coding problems everyday during the 2 or 3 months you spend in preparation.
This is the only way to improve your problem-solving skills and learn to identify patterns in problems. Facebook’s technical rounds are usually time bound, which means you have to solve coding problems within a stipulated time.
The idea is to recognize and classify problems based on inherent patterns. That way, you can approach new problems in a holistic way, through solution patterns.
Don’t Ignore Behavioral Rounds
The behavioral interview is an extremely important part of the selection process at Facebook. Recruiters generally ask questions that are relatable to a workplace environment and wish to know how you’d react. You may also be asked questions around your strengths, weaknesses, and more.
Behavioral interviews are given more importance for senior level positions at Facebook. 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, demonstrating your learning experience in the process.
Practice Mock Interviews with the Right People
We all agree that mock interviews can be very helpful to improve interview skills. These interviews can help you identify your flaws and earnestly work on them.
However, the benefits of mock interviews increase significantly when done with the right people. By right people, we mean actual hiring managers, recruiters or technical leads that have practice conducting interviews for technical positions at FAANG and other large tech companies.
These professionals are more likely to give you the right and relevant feedback thereby guiding your progress in the right direction enabling you to make key improvements. If you don’t have access to such professionals, you can also practice with a friend or a colleague.
Enroll with the right mock interview program to allow yourself to develop the right skills and approach to crack Facebook’s coding and behavioral interviews. In case you’re looking for the right interview prep and mock interview programs, you can check out Interview Kickstart’s 2-month interview prep program which allows you to take up to 15 mock interviews with actual hiring managers at FAANG companies.
To know more about this program, register for our free webinar now, where our one of our founders will walk you through the important features of the course and how you stand to benefit from it.
Join a Coding Bootcamp
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. A great indicator of this is the reviews from alumni.
Great bootcamps will not just help you to nail technical interviews at the biggest teach firms, but also guide you on how to boost your personal brand, become a better problem solver, and train you to nail tech interviews at the biggest firms.
Related read: We wrote a detailed piece on the best coding bootcamps for technical interview preparation, do check it out.
Technical Interview Process at Facebook
What the Facebook software engineer interview process entail? Let’s understand the different stages/rounds of the technical interview process at Facebook.
A typical technical interview at Facebook comprises 3 main rounds:
- The Technical Phone Screen
- Coding Assignment
- Onsite Interview
We’ll discuss each one in a bit more detail.
The Technical Phone Screen
In the technical phone screen round, recruiters ask questions around your profile and career interests in general. You can also expect a few behavioral questions and a few revolving around Facebook’s culture.
The idea of this round is to evaluate if your profile meets the requirements of the role and if you’d be a good culture fit for the company.
The coding assignment round requires you to solve one or two coding problems within 45 minutes. The time-bound nature of coding assignment round is unique to Facebook as most companies conduct this round as a take-home assignment.
Here, you 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 to crack this round. In this round, you can also expect a few questions about your work 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 gets evaluated more than your solutions.
- Recruiters may add additional roadblocks or constraints to your approach, and test your ability to envision solutions from different angles.
- 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 next round, and so on.
The Facebook Onsite
You’re invited to the Facebook onsite interview after you crack the coding assignment round. 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 2 main rounds.
The Coding Round
The coding round involves solving 2 or 3 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
- Trees and its Variants
- Linked Lists, Stacks and Queues
- Graphs and its Variants (including Greedy Algorithms)
- Dynamic Programming
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 involve drawing designs on a whiteboard. The idea of these rounds is to test your engineering design skills.
You’ll be tested in design skills corresponding to the role. Here’s what you’ll need to cover to adequately prepare for the design round:
- Object Modeling/API Design
- Scalable Systems
Facebook expects developers to have strong fundamental knowledge in system design. Having said that, design interviews at Facebook are usually conducted by a hiring manager with a background similar to the candidate’s.
So, whether you’ve built API platforms or network libraries and user interfaces, you’ll be interviewed by someone with similar areas of expertise.
Pro Tips to crack the Facebook onsite
Keep these tips in mind when preparing for Facebook onsite interview round.
- Choose a programming language that you’re good at
- Don’t mug up solutions to commonly asked problems
- Classify problems based on patterns, then devise solutions based on those patterns and use them when solving new problems
- Articulate or think out loud your reasoning and problem solving approach
- Discuss alternate approaches to solving coding problems
- Prepare few meaningful questions for the recruiter
- Practice writing code on a whiteboard
- 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
Behavioral Interview Process at Facebook
The behavioral interview(s) at Facebook is mandatory for all roles and takes place during the onsite. The behavioral round is structured depending on the position you’re applying to. For higher positions, there’s greater emphasis on your performance in behavioral rounds while for the junior level roles, the performance in the technical interviews take precedence.
To give you an idea of what to expect in Facebook’s behavioral rounds, here are some of the generally asked behavioral interview questions.
- Can you talk about a time when your work-life balance was thrown out of gear because of a demanding project?
- How do you handle work stress? How do you take care of your mental health?
- How would you react if a colleague or coworker is being uncooperative?
- What is your idea of an ideal company culture?
- How often do you take vacation breaks? Do you think vacations work to enhance productivity?
- Tell us about a difficult project that required you to develop or upgrade specific technical skills.
- How would you ensure that your team delivers effectively if you were a manager?
Related read: To know more about the interviews at Facebook for software engineering roles, refer to this Facebook Interview Guide that will walk you through every aspect of interviews at Facebook.
How Interview Kickstart Can Help You Nail 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.
FAQs about Facebook Interviews
1. Can I apply for jobs at Facebook if I don’t have a Computer Science degree?
While it’s true that most software engineering roles at Facebook require you to have a CS degree, if you have the relevant skills and experience that match the requirements of the role, you can absolutely apply even without a CS degree.
In fact, we’ve helped so many of our students land jobs at Facebook and other FAANG companies that didn’t have a degree in Computer Science. You can read more about that here.
2. Can I apply for multiple positions at Facebook?
Facebook allows you to apply for a total of 3 positions. We highly recommend that you thoroughly understand the requirements of the role and apply only if it strongly aligns with your profile, experience, interests, and career goals.
3. I didn’t clear my last interview at Facebook, can I apply for another role?
Facebook requires you to wait for a year before you apply for another position after an interview attempt. During this time, you can prepare yourself to not just crack interviews at Facebook but also other FAANG companies to widen the scope of opportunities you have.
Having offers from other companies will also give you an upper hand when negotiating salaries at Facebook. In case you want to read more about salary negotiations, we wrote about it extensively in this post. Do give it a read.
Interested in Working at Facebook?
If you’ve come this far in this post, chances are you are quite keen on getting hired by Facebook. Perhaps, you’ve applied before and not cleared the interview. Or maybe, it’s your first attempt.
If you are serious about landing a software engineer job at Facebook and would like to seek professional help in your endeavor, Interview Kickstart might be your best bet.
We have trained and coached over a 5000 students in interview preparation with a success percentage of more than 95%. We take pride in our gold standard comprehensive interview prep program that’s built by faculty who are actual hiring managers and technical leaders in FAANG and other tier 1 technology companies.
If this interests you and you’d like to know more about IK, our program and how we can help you crack the most toughest technical interviews, enroll for our webinar today!