Facebook is a tech powerhouse. Many software developers and coding engineers dream of working with Facebook to join its bold and unique culture. But getting hired by Facebook or any other FAANG company needs hard work and smart interview prep. While practice does make one perfect, knowing “what” to practice is the key to landing a job offer at FAANG and other tier-1 tech companies. This is where we step in and guide you through the recruitment process.
In this article, we will be focusing on what to expect during the Facebook phone screen. But before we get into that, let’s look at the typical structure of a Facebook tech interview.
We will cover:
- Facebook Technical Interview Process
- What is a Facebook Phone Interview?
- Facebook Phone Interview Questions and Answers
- How to Stand Out in a Facebook Phone Interview
- Facebook Phone Interview FAQs
Facebook Technical Interview Process
A typical hiring process at Facebook consists of three phases:
- Facebook Phone Screen Interview: The first step in the Facebook technical interview process is the phone screen. As the name suggests, it takes place over a phone call. This phone interview is divided into two parts, each with its own set of Dos and Don'ts. There are many Facebook phone interview questions for software engineers that you can practice for this round — we’ll cover those later in the article.
- Facebook Onsite Interview: If you crack the first set of rounds, you will be called for an onsite interview. It is an elaborate process, testing various skills, including knowledge of data structures, algorithms, and distributed systems.
- Facebook Behavioral Interview: This round is designed to see if you are a good cultural fit for Facebook. Behavioral questions of varying motives, from assessment of crisis-handling skills to self-awareness, behavioral questions of varying motives are asked in this round.
Note: Sometimes, you may get a take-home coding challenge from your interviewer. It will be a coding assignment of moderate complexity that you can finish over, say, a weekend. The goal here is to test the quality of your coding skills when you function in your comfort zone. But because of this, a decent quality output will be expected from you.
For more details about Facebook’s interview process, click here.
What Is a Facebook Phone Interview?
The phone interview or phone screen round of Facebook’s hiring process is the first hurdle you will have to cross. It has its advantages and disadvantages. An interview from the comfort of wherever you are, and you don’t even have to worry about how you look. Sounds like a good deal, right? It is, for the most part.
A phone interview falls short on non-verbal communication, so performance pressure is purely on what you say. Let’s look at what to expect in detail so when you finally get the call, you’ll know exactly what to say.
A typical Facebook phone interview takes place in two rounds:
- Recruiter Screening
- Technical Screening/Phone Technical Interview/Coding Interview
Recruiter Screening — Phone Interview by a Recruiter
This is a 10- to 15-minute call. The recruiter will introduce themselves and discuss the role you are applying for. The Facebook phone screen interview questions are constructed to see if you will be a good cultural fit. The recruiter intends to understand you, your motivation behind applying for the job, and your future goals. This screening intends to assess your levels of self-awareness.
Technical Screening/Phone Technical Interview/Coding Interview
In the technical round, you are connected to a product manager. The product manager will give you a coding assignment. There is an extensive list of Facebook phone interview coding questions that you can be asked. For software engineers, it is most likely that the assignment will be based on solving a problem related to data structures and related algorithms.
An online remote coding platform is used for this. Facebook insists that these questions aim to assess how you approach a problem, product sense, and execution-style rather than put you in a tricky spot. Here is a cheat sheet you can use to crack coding problems.
How Important Is the Facebook Phone Interview Round?
The Facebook phone interview round is an opportunity to demonstrate your strengths and potential. Facebook poses the same technical coding problem to several candidates. So, it is not enough to just solve the problem to get the right answer. The way you approach the problem will increase your likeability and raise your rank among the pool of candidates.
Remember, no one else can bring to the table what you can. And that is exactly what Facebook is interested in!
Facebook Phone Interview Questions and Answers
Now that you know what Facebook's phone screen process looks like, here are some Facebook Phone Screen Interview Questions along with some qualities your ideal answer should possess:
Question: Do you work better independently or as a part of a team?
The answer to behavioral questions is unique for everyone, but your ideal answer should show that:
- You value teamwork.
- You can communicate, function well within, and contribute to a team effort.
- You’re capable of contributing independently.
- You take ownership of your work and are a team player.
- You can maintain a positive outlook in the face of setbacks.
- You’re action-oriented and use “we” over “I” when discussing the team’s efforts and achievements.
Question: Facebook has restrictions for users under the age of 13. How would you identify users younger than 13?
Facebook restricts users under the age of 13 to comply with the U.S. Child Online Privacy Protection Act. This act requires companies to get parental consent if they are to collect data about children legally. Facebook takes many steps that are publicly shared to identify users under the age of 13. Your ideal answer may include some of your unique ideas, but you shouldn’t miss out on any important things Facebook is doing already. Some methods already considered by Facebook that you should mention in your answer include:
- Option to report underage accounts.
- Reviewers look at the content on every reported user’s profile, posts, and pictures and put any accounts with a strong indication of being underage accounts on hold until the user proves their age.
- If there’s a strong indication of an underage account, the reviewer can put the account on hold even if the account was reported for any other reason. The reviewer can remove the hold once the user shares the proof of age.
- A separate messaging space (Messenger Kids) for underage users.
You can also consider new ideas. For example, should the age of proof be mandatory to sign up? Then weigh the pros and cons.
Now, here are a few more sample Facebook phone screen interview questions that you can use to practice for your Facebook phone screen interview:
Top Facebook Phone Interview Questions by Recruiter
We have compiled a list of the top Facebook phone screen interview questions asked by recruiters here:
- How good are you at accepting failure?
- What do you do on your best day at work?
- When was the last time you lost track of time in the best possible way?
- How do you plan on contributing to Facebook’s mission and values?
- Why do you want to work at Facebook?
- How would your past colleagues describe you?
- What is the main reason you are looking for new job opportunities?
- Tell me about a time you resolved a disagreement with your team.
- How can hashtags on Facebook be abused?
- How would you combat hate speech on Facebook?
- What is the most challenging work situation you ever came across?
- What would you say is your proudest achievement?
- What would you say has been your biggest defeat?
- Which of your traits do you personally like the best? Why?
- Tell me about a large-scale project you have worked on.
- If you could tweak anything you wanted, how would you improve the Facebook newsfeed?
- Describe a time you had to ask for help at work.
- Tell me about a time you got to coach/mentor someone.
- What is your go-to strategy for handling a difference of opinion?
- What is your favorite Facebook feature? Why?
- Describe a time you had to delegate work to someone else.
- Describe an incident when you had to step up and take the lead.
- Describe a time you had to take a calculated risk.
- Tell me about a time you had to make a decision you did not fully agree with.
- Describe a time you made a mistake.
- Describe your research project? What are the areas where you can improve?
- Describe a manager trait that should be a thing of the past.
- What is your least favorite thing about an office?
- How do you manage productivity when working from home?
Check out Facebook Behavioral Interview Questions for more!
Make sure you practice a variety of Facebook telephone interview questions and develop a pattern to answer these questions. Use a method like STAR or CAR to answer these questions effectively. We have covered these methods in detail in the Amazon Behavioral Interview Questions article.
Top 50 Facebook Phone Technical Interview (Coding Interview) Questions
- Find the intersection of two sorted arrays. (Solution)
- Given an integer A, convert it to a roman numeral and return a string corresponding to its roman numeral version. (Solution)
- Merge overlapping intervals in an array. (Solution)
- Reverse the order of words in a sentence. (Solution)
- In one array A of sorted integers and one of a non-negative integer k, find if there exist 2 indices m and n such that A[m] - A[n] = k, m! = n.
- A string S consists of lowercase characters. Determine the minimum characters that need to be appended at the end to make the string into a palindrome.
- Given a string A. Return the string A after reversing each word in the string.
- Given two binary strings, return their sum (also a binary string).
- Given a string A representing a JSON object, return an array of the string denoting JSON object with proper indentation.
- Given a string A representing a roman numeral. Convert A into an integer.
- Given a binary tree, find its minimum depth.
- In an unordered binary tree with two values, find the lowest common ancestor.
- Given a binary tree, determine if it is a valid binary search tree (BST).
- Given a binary tree, find its maximum depth.
- Implement an iterator over a binary search tree. Your iterator will be initialized with the root node of a BST.
- Find out all triplets with zero-sum.
- Convert a binary tree into a doubly-linked list.
- Design a distributed key-value caching system, like Memcached or Redis.
- Design a distributed key-value store that is highly consistent and is network partition tolerant.
- In an array of integers and an integer k, return the total number of continuous subarrays whose sum equals k.
- Given an array, S of length n. Find the contiguous subarray with the largest sum.
- An n x n 2D matrix represents an image. Rotate this image clockwise by 90 degrees.
- Rearrange a given array so that Arr[i] becomes Arr[Arr[i]] with O(1) extra space.
- A sorted array A is rotated at a pivot unknown to you. Find the minimum element. The array should not contain duplicates.
- Replace None value with the previous value present in a list.
- Given a dictionary, print the key for nth highest value present in the dictionary.
- Given two sentences, you have to print the words not present in either of the given sentences.
- Print all combinations from the dictionary, which will result in number N.
- Given an integer A, compute and return the square root of A.
- Given an integer A, find the Ath Fibonacci number modulo 109 + 7.
- Design a search typeahead (Search autocomplete) system at Google’s scale.
- Design a messaging service, like Facebook Messenger.
- Design a URL shortening service, like bit.ly
- Reverse a linked list from position m to n. Do it in-place and in one-pass.
- Given an array with n objects colored red, white, or blue, sort them so that objects of the same color are adjacent, with the colors in the order red, white, and blue.
- There is an array A of n integers. Find three integers in A so that their sum is closest to a given number, target. Also, return the sum of the three integers.
- Given an integer n, return the nth digit of the infinite integer sequence [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, ...].
- Design an algorithm to serialize and deserialize a binary tree.
- A linked list of length n in which each node contains an additional random pointer is given, pointing to a node in the list or null. Make a deep copy of this list.
- Convert ternary expression to binary tree.
- Find the minimum depth of a tree.
- Implement strstr.
- Find the median in a given stream.
- Count all the possible decodings of a given digit sequence.
- Find the largest rectangular area in a histogram.
- Given an integer array and an integer k, find the number of subarrays in which all elements are less than k.
- Determine whether String S is periodic or not.
- Given an integer k, create an array such that each value is repeated twice.
- Add two numbers represented as LinkedList.
- Given an integer array and a positive integer k, how will you count all distinct pairs with a difference equal to k?
How to Stand Out in a Facebook Phone Interview?
Facebook is very particular about hiring people who will be a good cultural fit for the organization. Our advice? Spend some time understanding the ethos and core values that Facebook runs by, then sit with yourself and introspect how they can align with your goals in your career and life.
Here are a few tips you can follow to crack Facebook’s phone screen:
- Bring up past projects often while talking about your skills.
- Do some loud thinking — your interviewer cannot see you on the phone, so communicate what you’re thinking.
- Ask a lot of clarifying questions since your assignment will be designed to be vague by default.
- Do not start coding right away without an action plan.
- Make it work, make it pretty, make it fast — follow this order to tackle your assignment.
- Play to your strengths. Pick the programming language you’re most confident about.
- Show the interviewer that you can find and fix bugs in your work.
- Share the reasoning behind every decision you make.
- Ask questions about the role and the company.
Recommended reading: How an IK Alum Secured a $933K Offer From Facebook
Facebook Phone Interview FAQs
Question 1: How long does the Facebook phone interview process take?
The recruiter screening lasts about 10-15 minutes, and the technical assignment takes 30-40 minutes to complete. So, the whole process will take about an hour.
Question 2: How to prepare for a Facebook phone interview?
You can prepare for the interview by understanding the goal of each round and learning exactly what kind of skills and knowledge is expected from the job role. Practice solving multiple behavioral and technical questions and develop a pattern for answering questions.
Question 3: Do I need to pass every Facebook interview round to qualify for the next?
No, the scores of all rounds are accumulated at the end of the entire Facebook technical interview process.
Question 4: How long does Facebook take to give the results of the interview?
Facebook can take anywhere between two weeks to months to finalize a candidate for a post. Be patient, and follow up with the recruiters regularly, but not excessively.
Question 5: What happens if I am not selected for a role at Facebook?
Do not get dejected if you are not selected. You can re-apply after one year.
(All information is based on our research at the time of publishing. We suggest you speak to your recruiter or check Facebook’s career page for current information.)
Are You Ready to Nail Your Next Facebook Interview?
Whether you’re a Coding Engineer gunning for Software Developer or Software Engineer roles, a Tech Lead, or you’re targeting management positions at top companies, IK offers courses specifically designed for your needs to help you with your technical interview preparation!
If you’re looking for guidance and help with getting your prep started, sign up for our free webinar. As pioneers in the field of technical interview prep, we have trained thousands of software engineers to crack the toughest coding interviews and land jobs at their dream companies, such as Google, Facebook, Apple, Netflix, Amazon, and more!