How to Prepare for the Facebook Cyber Security Engineer Interview

Facebook goes to great lengths to secure its systems against cyber threats. Its front-end security systems ensure large volumes of sensitive user data are protected, while back-end security systems assess risk regularly and test systems to ensure they run smoothly. 

At Facebook, the Cyber Security Engineer’s job is to implement timely security measures. It is a role that bears immense responsibility. Facebook ensures it hires only the most suitable candidates for this role.

If you’re preparing for a Facebook Cyber Security tech interview, check out our technical interview checklist, interview questions page, and salary negotiation e-book to get interview-ready! Also, read How to Get Software Engineering Jobs at Facebook and Facebook Process Interview Guide for specific insights and guidance on Facebook tech interviews.  

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In this article, we outline key aspects of the Facebook Cyber Security interview and how to prepare for it:  

  • Role of a Cyber Security Engineer at Facebook 
  • Facebook Cyber Security Engineer Interview Process
  • Facebook Cyber Security Engineer Interview Prep Topics
  • Sample Facebook Cyber Security Engineer Interview Questions  
  • Tips to Crack the Cyber Security Engineer Interview at Facebook
  • How to Prepare for the Facebook Cyber Security Engineer Interview 
  • Facebook Cyber Security Engineer Career FAQs

Role of a Cyber Security Engineer at Facebook 

The responsibilities of a Cyber Security Engineer at Facebook include:

  • Designing and implementing systems that prevent and minimize security risks for Facebook’s infrastructure and data.
  • Coding, primarily using C++, Python, PHP/Hack, Golang, and Java.
  • Conducting design and code reviews.
  • Analyzing and improving scalability, efficiency, and stability for the assigned product area or systems.
  • Identifying and driving changes required for the assigned product area, codebase, or systems.
  • Interfacing with other teams; incorporating innovations.

Facebook Cyber Security Engineer Role Requirements

To qualify for the role of Cyber Security Engineer at Facebook, you meet these minimum qualification criteria:

  • B.S. in Computer Science or a related field; or equivalent work experience.
  • Experience designing and implementing back-end security-enhancing features.
  • Experience building large-scale distributed systems.
  • 4+ years of software development experience.
  • Technical depth in at least one of the following areas: 
  • Authentication
  • Authorization
  • Applied Cryptography
  • Key Management Systems
  • Public Key Infrastructure

Facebook Cyber Security Engineer Interview Process

The Facebook Cyber Security Engineer interview process, typically, comprises the following three rounds of interviews: 

  1. Initial Technical Screen/Phone Screen Interview 
  1. Onsite Interview 
  2. Behavioral Interview

The interview process can last for 6-8 weeks, on average, from the time your application is shortlisted.

Application Process

You can apply to Facebook directly or through a recruiter. Ensure your resume is up-to-date and your cover letter is tailored to Cyber Security positions at Facebook. 

If you can get an employee referral, it will significantly increase the chance of having your application shortlisted. 

If you don’t know anyone at Facebook, don’t worry! Our team at Interview Kickstart comprises experts and seasoned hiring managers from FAANG+ companies, including Facebook. Connect with us to learn how, through our tech interview prep program, you can enhance your networking skills which could lead to referrals. 

Phone Screen

If your application is shortlisted, you’ll receive a call from a recruiter, which will be your initial phone screen interview. You will be assessed to determine which team best suits your profile.

Once you get past this HR screening, the recruiter will then schedule your next interview, which will involve a coding assessment. 

Technical Screen and Coding Interview

During the coding interview, you’ll be required to solve programming problems using a remote collaborative editor. 

You’ll be asked questions on data structures and algorithms. These questions will be quite similar to the questions asked in the Facebook Software Engineer interview. However, the Cyber Security Engineer coding interview will be comparatively easier.

Use this coding assessment cheat sheet to save time while preparing for coding interviews.

Onsite Interviews

The Facebook onsite interviews comprise up to five rounds of face-to-face interviews. Each of these interviews lasts for about 45 minutes

  • Coding Interview: This interview will feature algorithm and data structure questions similar to those asked at Facebook’s Software Engineer interview. The Cyber Security Coding interview is comparatively easier than the SDE Coding interview.
  • System Design Interview: In this interview, you’ll have to design a high-level, modern technology system, for example, a social media platform or a Facebook feature. As part of the interview process, you may be required to go through more than one System Design interview focusing on security features.
  • Cyber Security Design interview: Here, you’ll be required to develop a suitable approach to solve a specific Cyber Security problem.
  • Behavioral Interview: Your work experience and motivation for joining Facebook will be analyzed in this round. Interviewers test your self-awareness and your ability to collaborate across teams. Try to substantiate your answers with personal examples and anecdotes. 

Pro Tip: For a more successful behavioral interview, familiarize yourself with Facebook’s 5 Core Values to align your answers to meet Facebook’s cultural requirements.

Check out the complete Facebook Interview Guide for more information on Facebook’s interview process.

Facebook Cyber Security Engineer Interview Prep Topics 

Below are key topics to focus on as part of your interview prep for the role of Cyber Security Engineer at Facebook:

Coding:

System Design:

  • Designing Complex Architecture Systems and Platforms
  • Product Features

Behavioral Topics:

Cyber Security Topics:

  • Application Security/Source Code Analysis
  • Basic Security Concepts 
  • Malware/Exploits
  • OS Internals
  • SQL Injections
  • Web Vulnerabilities
  • XSS Types

Skills Required for the Facebook Cyber Security Engineer Role

Here are some essential skills you’ll need to brush up on while preparing for your Facebook Cyber Security Engineer interview:

  • Foundational Coding: C++, Python, PHP/Hack, Golang, and Java
  • Data Science
  • Data Structures
  • System Design & Software Architecture
  • Web application and Browser Security
  • Network protocols
  • Security Assessment
  • Security Protocols
  • Penetration Testing
  • Authentication and Access Control
  • Applied Cryptography
  • Incident Response and Forensics
  • Binary Analysis
  • Project Management
  • Team Management
  • Leadership

Facebook Cyber Security Engineer Mock Interviews

We recommend you practice at least 30 mock interviews before appearing for your Cyber Security interview at Facebook. 

You can practice mock interviews with peers. Alternatively, to make mock interviews more effective, practice with hiring managers and experts from Facebook. You can do this at Interview Kickstart.

Whether you wish to become a FAANG+ Cyber Security Engineer, a Software Developer, or an Engineering Manager, our mentors and coaches at IK are here to guide you through your interview prep.

Having guided over 6,000 Software Engineers in their tech interview prep to land their dream jobs, Interview Kickstart is where you’ll find everything you need to know about cracking Facebook’s tech interview process.

Sample Facebook Cyber Security Engineer Interview Questions 

Following are some sample interview questions to get your cyber security interview prep started:

  • Given a positive integer n, return ALL strings of length 2*n with well-formed round brackets. (Solution)
  • Find all palindromic decompositions of a given string ‘s.’ (Solution)
  • How would you respond to a security incident with X and Y characteristics?
  • Assess the security risk of a given app, service, or network with X and Y characteristics and make recommendations.
  • Find the vulnerability in this (given) code snippet.
  • Reverse engineer this (given) code.
  • Given an attacker technique ‘X,’ how would you detect it?
  • How will you test for SQL injections?
  • How would you test for XSS?
  • How would you respond to an email highlighting a bug in an application?
  • How would you design security for Whatsapp video-calling service from scratch?
  • Where are passwords stored on the disk in Linux?
  • How would you assess a given application with X and Y characteristics? 

Also, check out our complete list of system design questions and solved technical questions to help with your Facebook Cyber Security interview preparation. 

Tips to Crack the Cyber Security Engineer Interview at Facebook

Here are some proven tips to help you take your interview prep to the next level:

  • Gain exposure to information security skills and teamwork by participating in Capture the Flag (CTF) competitions.
  • Practice rethinking and redesigning Facebook features that already exist, focusing on security.  
  • Practice interview-style coding questions on a whiteboard without using a compiler. 
  • Practice mock interviews by yourself or with peers, or with professionals at Interview Kickstart.
  • Practice thinking out loud and explaining your thought process to the interviewer. 
  • Time yourself when you practice system design questions. Your time management skills and how efficiently you come up with solutions under pressure will be closely assessed.
  • Practice answering questions about your short and long-term career goals; for example, “Where do you see yourself in five years?” These questions will feature prominently during different stages of the interview process.
  • Familiarize yourself with Facebook’s 5 Core Values: 1) Move Fast 2) Be Bold 3) Focus on Impact  4) Be Open 5) Build Social Value. 
  • Participate in Capture the Flag competitions — read on to learn more about CTFs

What Are CTFs?

Capture the Flag (CTF) is a very popular computer security competition. Participating in CTFs increases your likeability quotient and significantly improves your chances of getting hired as a Cyber Security Engineer.

In CTFs, individual coders or coding teams compete to test information security skills such as binary analysis, forensics, cryptography, Stego, reverse engineering, and mobile security. 

There are three kinds of CTF competitions you can participate in:

  • Jeopardy: In this type of CTF, “Defcon CTF Quals” for example, you need to perform tasks in different categories such as Web, Binary, Cryptography, or Forensics. 
  • Attack-defense: In this category, every participant gets a network of vulnerable services. In the first part of the competition, you can patch your services and develop exploits. In the second half, competitors are connected. You gain defense points by protecting your services and attacking points by hacking into your opponents’ services. 
  • Mixed: Formats may vary in this kind of CTF with Attack-Defence competitions and specific time allotted for task-based elements.

How to Prepare for the Facebook Cyber Security Engineer interview

Preparing for the Facebook Cyber Security Engineer interview is not easy. The good news is — you don’t have to do it alone! 

Our panel of FAANG+ experts can guide you right through to the end of your interview journey. With our professionally structured tech interview prep program, you save precious time and improve your interviewing skills. 

Interview Kickstart offers Facebook Cyber Security interview preparation courses taught by a cracking team of instructors from FAANG and other Tier-1 tech companies, experienced hiring managers, and tech leads at coveted companies. 

Sign up for our free webinar today to gain the competitive edge you need to crack even the toughest interview. 

Facebook Cyber Security Engineer FAQs

  • What do Cyber Security Engineers do at Facebook?

Cyber Security Engineers are at the helm of security initiatives and processes at Facebook. They are responsible for making sure all of Facebook’s front-end and back-end products and services are safe to use and that they’re protected against potential security breaches.

  • What timeline does the Facebook Cyber Security Engineer Interview process follow?

The Facebook Cyber Security Engineer Interview process typically lasts for 6-8 weeks once your application is shortlisted.

  • How much do Security Engineers make at Facebook?

The typical Security Engineer salary at Facebook is $129,041 per year.

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