Social media giant, Facebook, is one of the most coveted companies to work with in the tech industry. The tech behemoth has often been ranked as one of the best places to work for almost a decade. Lucrative salaries and attractive employee benefits, coupled with promising career opportunities, make Facebook one of the most preferred employers.
In this article, we’ll talk about everything you need to know about the tech interview process and share some commonly asked interview questions. Here’s what we’ll cover:
- Why Do Software Engineers Seek Leadership Roles at Facebook?
- Skills Required for Facebook Leadership Roles
- Facebook Leadership Interview Process
- Questions Commonly Asked at Facebook Leadership Interviews
- How to Prepare for Facebook Leadership Interviews
Why Do Software Engineers Seek Leadership Roles at Facebook?
Facebook has a unique approach to leadership. At Facebook, leaders’ prerogatives go beyond decision-making. It encompasses a range of activities, including:
- Eliminating roadblocks and enabling teams to develop smart solutions
- Ensuring teams get all necessary resources to complete tasks efficiently
- Building communities and establishing purposeful connections between people
Skills Required for Facebook Leadership Roles
Interviews are designed to test your skills for a particular role.
Outlined below are some key skills and areas of experience Facebook interviewers look for when interviewing for leadership roles.
- Experience leading projects with industry-wide impact
- Experience driving large cross-functional engineering efforts
- Significant experience mentoring or influencing senior engineers
- Strong experience communicating across functions to drive solutions
- Experience planning multi-year roadmaps laddering short-term projects to long-term vision
- Technical background; significant experience in:
Programming languages: Python, C++, Java, or R
Machine Learning, NLP, Artificial Intelligence
Recommendation Systems, Pattern Recognition, Data Mining
Facebook Leadership Interview Process
The Facebook leadership interview process is long and challenging, comprising multiple rounds of interviews at each stage.
Recruiters at Facebook usually share resources before the interview to help candidates understand the process and prepare adequately for the interview.
Broadly, the interview is divided into three main stages:
- Phone screen
- Onsite interview
- Meeting with the recruiter and hiring manager
You will be assessed differently at each stage, as outlined below.
- Phone Screen
The first stage of the interview process typically comprises several rounds of telephonic interviews with a recruiter.
During these rounds, you’ll be asked profile-based questions, i.e., about your past projects, experience, skills, etc.
- Onsite Interview
If you clear the first stage, i.e., the phone screen, you’ll be called in for an in-person or onsite interview.
The onsite interview is a panel interview. The panel will comprise six or seven interviewers from different teams and departments. This interview usually lasts for about 30-60 minutes.
- Meeting With the Recruiter and Hiring Manager
After you complete the panel interview, you’ll meet the recruiter and hiring manager.
The hiring manager may request a follow-up interview during which you’ll have the opportunity to ask questions about the role and company.
Related reading: How to Get Your Dream Job at a FAANG company
Questions Commonly Asked at Facebook Leadership Interviews
As is the norm at leadership interviews, Facebook focuses on behavioral, leadership, and interpersonal skills. You can expect questions from the following categories:
- Behavioral questions to understand how you function in different situations
- Leadership questions requiring you to demonstrate leadership qualities
- Execution questions to test your knowledge of data analysis and prioritization
- Product questions to test your knowledge of product design and strategy
Listed below are common questions asked at leadership interviews at Facebook.
- Why Facebook?
- Tell us about yourself.
- What is the greatest accomplishment of your career?
- Tell us about a time you were given constructive feedback.
- Describe a project you worked on and key challenges you faced.
- Tell us about your most difficult software project.
- Tell us about a time you struggled to work with one of your colleagues. How did you handle the situation?
- Have you ever had a difficult manager? How did you handle it?
- Tell us about a time you had to resolve conflict in a team.
- Tell us about a time you had to step up and take responsibility for others.
- Tell us about a time you led a team to success despite significant challenges.
- Tell us about a dispute you had with a colleague. How did you navigate it? What was the resolution?
- Pick an industry; what changes do you expect in 5 years? How can Facebook play a role?
- You have two weeks, in which your team can either fix a bug or launch a new feature. Which task will you give priority to?
- How would you measure the success of a brand new feature on Facebook pages?
- Facebook Messenger’s daily active users has dropped by 4.3% WoW. How will you determine the cause?
Product and System Design Questions:
- How would you design Facebook?
- How would you design Facebook Messenger?
- How would you design Facebook's live update of comments on posts?
- How would you design security for Facebook's corporate network from scratch?
- If you had to redesign the Facebook news feed, how would you do it?
- How would you improve Facebook pages?
- How would you design Instagram/Instagram Stories?
- How would you design Twitter's trending topics?
- What's the best feature on a competing social network? Why?
- How would you design an online collaborative editor (e.g., Google Docs)?
- How would you design a typehead feature (e.g., Google search autocomplete)?
- How would you design a distributed Botnet?
- How would you design a system to handle millions of card transactions per hour?
For more Facebook Interview Questions, read:
Facebook Phone Screen Interview Questions
Facebook Behavioral Interview Questions
Facebook System Design Interview Questions
Facebook Engineering Manager Interview Questions
How to Prepare for Facebook Leadership Interviews
Focused preparation is key to succeeding at the Facebook leadership interview.
Two ways to ensure you’re well-prepared for the interview are self-practice and mock interviews.
- Self-practice is a great way to prepare for leadership interviews. You can practice answering common leadership interview questions yourself or with friends and peers to eliminate errors and improve interviewing skills.
- Mock Interviews are highly effective. Practicing with peers who have already appeared for the interview or are familiar with the process can help you deliver a strong interview performance and negotiate a higher salary.
How to Ace Your Leadership Interview at Facebook
Facebook employs different interviewing strategies, so always expect the unexpected.
To succeed at Facebook’s leadership interview, you'll have to possess a deep understanding of the company's culture and values. You'll also have to apply your understanding of concepts to new and unseen situations or problems.
Given below are some ways you can accomplish this.
Know the Product and Organization Well
Interviewers at Facebook tend to ask a lot of questions about their products and the company.
Research the company and its products thoroughly before the interview.
You can do this by:
- Analyzing the company’s products.
- Reading the company’s annual reports and strategy presentations.
- Reading through the organization’s culture analysis report.
- Understanding the latest tech trends and Facebook’s approach towards them.
Strengthen Your Knowledge of Fundamental Concepts
If you are a junior-level candidate transitioning to a senior leadership role, brush up on the fundamental requirements for the job.
Learn different techniques to apply these concepts to various situations and answer questions effectively.
Determine a method to answer questions in a structured and effective manner. Your responses should not contradict each other. This will help reduce stress levels, enhance your confidence, and deliver a strong interview performance.
Some common categories that you can expect questions on are listed below:
- Behavioral questions
- Estimation questions
- Metric questions
- Prioritization questions
- Product design questions
- Product improvement questions
- Strategy questions
Developing and practicing answers to these questions will help you communicate clearly even under pressure.
Winning Techniques to Answer Facebook Leadership Interview Questions
Utilize proven methods to answer questions in a structured manner. Behavioral and technical questions differ in nature.
Try these ways to answer both types of questions at a leadership interview.
How to Answer Behavioral Questions Using the STAR Method
Focus on your most relevant achievements when answering behavioral questions. Adopt a step-by-step approach, such as the STAR method, to convey your message successfully.
The STAR (Situation, Task, Action, Result) method is a popular and effective approach to answer behavioral questions. It’s also easy to learn and can be used for a variety of situation-based questions.
- Situation: Begin by outlining the situation you were in, i.e., provide context (include relevant information on your role, team, organization, market, etc.).
- Task: Describe the problem, your responsibility in solving it, and the actions you had to undertake to resolve the issue.
- Action: Explain how you executed tasks and implemented your solution. Focus on your contributions at this stage.
- Result: Provide an analysis of your actions, highlighting the positive impact they had on your team, department, and organization. Emphasize your learnings and achievements.
How to Answer Technical Questions
- Ensure you understand the question. Ask clarifying questions if the problem is vague or more details are required to develop a solution.
- Use examples. Examples help bring in clarity when solving problems.
- Develop basic solutions. Keep it simple for greater clarity.
- Optimize your solution. Try to refine your solution, if possible.
Mistakes to Avoid at a Facebook Leadership Interview
Outlined below are common mistakes candidates make at Facebook’s leadership interviews and how to avoid them.
- Appearing apathetic — Instead, show enthusiasm for the role and the company. Display an interest in the role and the company's operations.
- Being unprepared — Instead, prepare thoroughly for the interview. Gain adequate knowledge of Facebook products, their features, the scope of improvement, etc.
- Focusing on irrelevant things — Instead, explain how you can help your prospective team or company grow.
- Selling instead of listening — Instead, understand what interviewers really want. Display skills they are interested in.
Cracking the Facebook Leadership Interview the IK Way
Practice and preparation are essential to cracking leadership interviews at any company.
Practicing with experienced interviewers is a great way to get accurate feedback and tips on how to improve your interviewing skills. This will greatly improve your chances of success at the interview.
However, it’s hard to gain access to the right professionals from tech companies to help you prepare the right way.
Also, preparation for leadership interviews at top tech companies like Facebook often requires professional guidance.
At Interview Kickstart, we do just that!
Interview Kickstart offers structured interview preparation courses to nail the toughest tech and leadership interviews.
With a team of instructors and career coaches from FAANG and tier-1 tech companies, Interview Kickstart’s proven strategies have helped thousands of candidates land top tech offers across all levels, including leadership positions, at FAANG and leading tech companies.
Sign up for our free webinar to learn more about how Interview Kickstart can help you crack your next leadership interview.