Knowing how to prepare for Facebook interviews requires an understanding of the interview process, based on which you can devise a focused game-plan to tackle each round of interview successfully. As with all FAANG companies, technical interviews at Facebook (Meta) are very company-oriented and highly competitive.
Since talent is a key growth driver at Facebook, interviews are designed to filter only the best technically skilled candidates. Additionally, at Facebook, software engineers are expected to be a sound cultural fit with the ability to contribute to the company’s growth, helping it maintain its competitive advantage in the tech industry.
Having trained over 9,000 software engineers, we know what it takes to crack the most challenging tech interviews. Since 2014, Interview Kickstart alums have landed lucrative offers from FAANG and Tier-1 tech companies, with an average salary hike of 49%. The highest-ever offer received by an IK alum is a whopping $1.267 Million!
In this article, we’ll help you understand how to prepare for an interview at Facebook. We’ll cover:
- Overview of Facebook’s Interview Process — What to Expect
- How to Prepare for Facebook’s Initial Phone Screen
- How to Prepare for Facebook’s Coding Interview
- How to Prepare for Facebook’s System and Product Design Interview
- How to Prepare for Facebook’s Behavioral Interview
- Additional Tips on How to Prepare for Facebook Interviews
- FAQs on How to Prepare for Facebook Interviews
Overview of Facebook’s Tech Interview Process — What to Expect
To effectively prepare for Facebook interviews, you must understand Facebook’s interview process. This will give you insights on what to expect and enable you to develop a more tailored and successful preparation approach.
Facebook’s technical interview process is broadly divided into two main parts:
- Telephonic Screening: A general discussion and coding test
- On-site Interviews:
A. Coding interviews: To test coding knowledge and skills through questions and problem-solving
B. Design interviews: To test designing knowledge and skills on systems or products (depending on your area of experience)
C. Behavioral assessments: To assess your soft skills, personality, and cultural fit through behavioral questions
- Informal Lunch, hosted by either a non-interviewing recruiter or engineer
To get through Facebook’s interview process or cycle successfully, you’ll have to prepare well for all rounds in a focused manner; we’ll show you how to prepare for each of these rounds.
How to Prepare for Facebook’s Initial Phone Screen
Facebook’s initial phone screen will assess if you meet minimum requirements for the potential role and if your profile and interests align with company goals. It will comprise:
- 5-minute Discussion on your experience, work profile, expertise, background, motivations, aspirations, etc.
- 35-minute Coding Test comprising two problems on Data Structures, Algorithms, and other core computer science concepts. This will be done on a whiteboard (in-person) or editing platform (online).
- 5-minute Questions-for-the-Interviewer Session to allow you to find out more about the role and company as a software engineer.
Here’s how you can prepare for Facebook’s Initial Phone Screen:
- Prepare a brief introduction about yourself; you’ll have to pitch yourself to interviewers in about a minute or two, covering relevant aspects of your profile (skills, experience, career goals, technical and behavioral strengths, areas of expertise, and why you’re a good fit for the job)
- Prepare solving easy-medium coding problems on algorithms and data structures. You should be able to build on your answers if the interviewer adds constraints or other requirements to coding problems. Prepare on Big O complexities.
- Practice coding by hand, on a whiteboard, and a text editor that doesn’t provide auto-complete or syntax highlighting features.
- Practice explaining your approach to the interviewers.
- Practice for the interview in both online and in-person modes.
How to Prepare for Facebook’s Coding Interview
Facebook’s on-site coding interview follows a similar pattern as that of the initial technical phone screening:
- 5-minute Introduction, where you’ll once again introduce and pitch yourself to interviewers
- 30-minute Coding Assessment in which you’ll solve coding problems usually on a whiteboard
- 5-minute Questions-for-the-Interviewer Session in which you can ask the interviewers more specific questions about your role and the company
However, this will be a more intense round of coding assessments in which interviewers will test your skills deeply and at a level of expertise suited to the potential role.
The interviewers will be actual hiring managers and those directly involved with the hiring process, so you can expect more nuanced and technical questions. You can be asked medium- to high-difficulty questions, depending on the role requirements.
Here’s how you can prepare for Facebook’s Coding Interview:
- Choose the language you’re most comfortable with to enable you to develop a solution quickly.
- Prepare thoroughly on core computer science concepts and fundamentals, especially:
- Data Structures
- Big-O Notation (time and space complexities)
- Hash Tables and Maps
- Iterative Approaches
- Linked Lists
- Traversals (BDS, BFS)
- Go through the different types of sample software engineering coding interview questions you can be asked at Facebook’s interviews to get insights on what you can expect.
- Strengthen your ability to apply concepts to unseen problems. If interviewers feel you’re familiar with the question or the solution, they’re bound to modify or change the question.
- Instead of solving a high volume of problems hoping to get questions on similar topics, focus on developing strong problem-solving skills. Practice pattern recognition to help you solve unseen problems at various difficulty levels.
- Practice solving difficult problems quickly. Don’t start your prep by focusing on difficult problems. Instead, begin by solving easy problems with generous time constraints. Once you’re comfortable, slowly increase time constraints. When you’re able to solve easy problems quickly, move to the next level of difficulty. Repeat this exercise, until you’ve built the capability to solve tough problems with tight time constraints.
- Besides the actual time taken to develop a solution, consider the time required to understand the problem, seek additional information or hints, explain the problem, optimize your solution, and answer interviewers’ questions about your solution.
- Practice talking out loud, explaining your way through your solution as you would have to do at the interview. Interviewers will assess you on your approach more than on whether you arrive at the right answer or not. You should be able to provide suitable reasoning for your answer and the methods used.
- Practice coming up with a working solution first then building on it with iterations instead of using a brute-force solution right away.
- Practice identifying and fixing errors and bugs yourself.
- Practice on a whiteboard or using pen and paper, especially if you’re not used to coding outside an IDE.
How to Prepare for Facebook’s System and Product Design Interview
Designing interviews at Facebook will be based on systems or products depending on your area of expertise and experience. Since different software engineers work on different areas of design, Facebook’s design interview focuses primarily on basic and common principles of design.
You’ll be asked to work on a broad problem and evaluated on your skills in developing a suitable solution. The design interview comprises:
- 40-minute problem-solving session
- 5-minute questions-for-the-interviewer session
Here’s how you can prepare for Facebook’s System and Product Design Interview:
- Prepare thoroughly on basic and common design concepts and principles.
- Prepare for unseen problems; although interviewers will evaluate you based on your background, you’ll be evaluated on your ability to apply concepts to unfamiliar problems as well.
- Practice designing from scratch and how to build on existing designs.
- To develop the ability to enhance existing designs, practice improving on projects you’ve already worked on. Identify areas of improvement, errors, additional features that can optimize the solution, etc. Practice coming up with a different approach to the existing design.
- Go through your past projects well, especially those listed on your resume, as you can be asked to cite examples of, and explain or build on past projects.
- When designing from scratch, consider Facebook’s offerings and practice developing solutions along those lines. Research the company’s products and offerings and try to understand the kind of problems they work on.
- Additionally, practice developing a solution to an already existing system or product and see how your solution matches up.
- Research the latest technologies and trends in designing. In developing your solution, practice explaining why you used certain components or technologies and alternate technologies that could be used. This will help you display expertise in the field of design and development.
- As with the coding interview, practice talking out loud, explaining your approach. Unlike coding interviews, there are no right solutions in design. Interviewers will be keen to understand how you solve the problem more than whether you arrive at a perfect solution.
- Practice ascertaining requirements before you start solving. Begin with basic requirements and ask along the way to optimize your solution.
- Practice outlining your design; begin with a high-level design, identify your focus areas, how to break it down, then work your way to low-level details.
- Learn to identify and explain trade-offs.
- Practice asking clarifying questions and driving conversations to showcase that you understand the challenges involved; prepare examples drawing on your experience to showcase your ability to design systems at scale.
How to Prepare for Facebook’s Behavioral Interview
There are two aspects to Facebook’s behavioral interviews:
- Behavioral assessment: The behavioral interview will primarily focus on your soft skills, interpersonal traits, and whether you’re a cultural fit for the company.
- Coding assessment: The coding assessment in the behavioral interview will be short, involving a coding question asked as a supplementary assessment of your main coding interview.
Here’s how you can prepare for Facebook’s Behavioral Interview:
- Revise coding prep and go over your performance during the coding interview. Identify areas you may be asked to further showcase your coding skills or knowledge.
- Do a self-analysis of your personal and work profile.
- Identify your key strengths and weaknesses, achievements and failures, interests, motivations, career plans, and key personality traits.
- Go through sample behavioral questions to get insights on the type of questions you can expect.
- Behavioral questions will usually be situational or contextual in nature; prepare examples based on your professional and personal experience that you can draw on to showcase the skill the interviewer is looking for.
- Be prepared to answer behavioral questions in the following (and similar) formats:
- Tell me about a time when you …
- Describe a situation in which …
- Give me an example of …
- If … what would you do?
- How would you …
- Questions about yourself, peers, superiors, etc.
- Research the company well to understand its vision, mission, and culture; information about Facebook can be gathered from the company website, through online resources, forum discussions, and also by connecting with and talking to employees at the company.
- Understanding Facebook’s 5 core values viz. Build social value, be open, be bold, move fast, and focus on impact; practice aligning your answers to these concepts
Additional Tips on How to Prepare for Facebook Interviews
Utilize these tips to get the most out of your interview prep and enhance your interview performance:
- Structure your interview prep: Have a clear plan of action and timelines for your prep; identify interview prep goals
- Start early: Irrespective of whether you’re an entry-level software engineer or a senior software engineer, it’s important to provide adequate time to prepare for Facebook interviews to ensure you’re preparation is effective
- Study your resume: Go through all the details listed on your resume; prepare to elaborate on the information provided
- Research the company and the role well: Study the job description and find out all the relevant information you can about the company and role you’re applying for.
- Practice your communication: Practice speaking clearly, confidently, and in a professional and structured manner. Also, practice utilizing the right body language to make a positive impression.
- Prepare for online interviews: If your interview is being conducted virtually, ensure you have the right setup for a successful interview; eliminate all distractions and ensure you have uninterrupted connectivity. Practice interviewing online.
- Practice mock interviews: Mock interviews are one of the most effective ways to prepare for a tech interview. Simulate the interview environment as much as possible to match the actual interview process. If possible, practice mock interviews with peers from the role you’re interviewing for or with professional interviewers and hiring managers who can give you crucial feedback to help you nail the interview.
While Facebook’s tech interview for software engineers can be challenging, the right prep strategy goes a long way in positioning yourself as a must-hire. We hope these tips have given you a clear understanding of how to prepare for an interview at Facebook.
Here are some Facebook Interview Questions for coding, design, and behavioral questions to help you prepare for Facebook interviews.
FAQs on How to Prepare for Facebook Interviews
Q1. How hard are Facebook’s tech interviews for software engineers?
Facebook’s interview process is competitive. With thousands of software engineers applying for roles, Facebook hires only the top engineering talent and deliberately maintains a high level of expectations. Interview questions may not be tough but will definitely require you to apply concepts to solve complex problems. The more prepared you are for Facebook’s interview, the easier it will be.
Q2. How long is the software engineering tech interview process at Facebook?
The hiring process at Facebook depends on the role and level you’re applying for, and the number of applicants the company has to interview. It could take a week or many weeks before the process is complete and an offer is extended to a successful candidate.
Q3. How long does it take to prepare for a Facebook interview?
Preparation time depends on your skill levels and interview readiness. While some candidates begin preparations a year in advance, some attempt Facebook’s tech interview with only a month or two of preparation. It’s advisable to begin preparations early enough to practice enough problem-solving and develop critical interviewing skills.
Q4. What is the best way to prepare for Facebook’s coding interviews?
The best way to prepare for Facebook’s coding interviews is to follow a structured interview prep plan and focus on developing strong problem-solving skills through pattern recognition.
Q5. How many rounds of interviews does Facebook have to hire software engineers?
Facebook’s tech interview process features multiple rounds — the initial phone screen and the on-site interviews, comprising coding, systems design, and behavioral interviews. The numbers of each round of interviews will vary depending on the role and level. For example, mid-level software engineers may have two design interviews, while senior software engineers may have two behavioral interviews.
Nail Your Next Technical Interview to Uplevel Your Career
Getting through technical interviews at Facebook or any other FAANG or Tier-1 tech company is challenging without the right skills and preparation strategy.
At Interview Kickstart, we have helped thousands of engineers upskill to go on and crack even the toughest FAANG interviews. Our team of instructors, comprising actual FAANG hiring managers and tech leads, knows what it takes to get through FAANG tech interviews.
Our structured technical interview prep courses and professionally designed teaching methodology and curriculum is focused on enhancing software engineering hard skills in areas such as data structures and algorithms. It is also designed to enhance interviewing and career skills through mock interviews and salary negotiations. This has helped our alumni land top-notch offers from leading tech companies.
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