Facebook Behavioral Questions: General
First up are the general behavioral questions that may come up for any role. Here your interviewer is looking for an overall view of your past experiences and how you will perform as an employee at Facebook. Youll see that regardless of the role, Facebook is curious about your resume, your motivations, how you handle difficult situations, and why you want to work for them specifically.
These are good questions for you to demonstrate your alignment with Facebooks core values. Show your willingness to take risks, lessons learned from past mistakes, a bias for action, and other qualities that Facebook is looking for in a candidate.
Practice demonstrating those values using the questions below.
Example behavioral questions asked at Facebook: General
- Tell me about yourself / your past experience
- Tell me about a past challenge or conflict you handled
- Tell me about your skills and interests
- Tell me about the greatest accomplishment of your career
- Tell me about a time you failed and what you learned from it
- Tell me what others would say about you
- Tell me about your biggest accomplishment
- Tell me about the area where you have the most to learn
- Tell me about what do you want to do in the future
- What are your strengths and weaknesses?
- Walk me through your resume
- Why are you transitioning from your current position?
- What makes a good / bad ?
What Is A Behavioral Interview At Facebook
Facebook uses behavioral interviews to assess job candidates based on their past experiences. These questions typically start with Tell me about a time you and focus on soft skills such as: leadership, communication, teamwork, problem solving, etc.
To round out your preparation, we’ve also included some resume, HR, and hypothetical questions such as “what are your strengths and weaknesses?” or “how would you…?” in this article. As these are real questions that have been reported by past candidates, we want to make sure you’re ready for anything.
These questions will appear at every step of the interview process, from the initial recruiter phone screen, through the hiring manager, and all the way through to the onsite interviews. They may even appear as icebreaker or transition questions during system design or coding interviews. The frequency and type of behavioral questions will vary, but be prepared for many, especially if you’re applying for a leadership role.
For more information on the process for a specific role, consult one of our comprehensive interview guides below:
Now, what will your interviewers be looking out for?
Tips To Impress Your Interviewer
Finally, before we move on to some interview preparation resources, we’d like to give you five helpful tips to keep in mind.
Tip #1: Get used to setting up the situation in 30 seconds or less
Use a timer while you practice to ensure you provide only necessary information. Spending too much time on the Situation step is one of the most common mistakes candidates make.
Tip #2: Stay focused on essential details
Interviewers hear a lot of behavioral stories a day. If you go into unnecessary details you are likely to lose their attention. Share your stories with a few different people before your interview and ask them what details they would suggest cutting.
Tip #3: Be proud and talk about YOU
This is not the time to be shy about your accomplishments. Concentrate on your impact, not what the team did. Not talking about YOU enough is another common mistake we see with a lot of candidates.
Tip #4: Adapt to follow up questions
Dont be alarmed if your interviewer asks follow up questions this is perfectly normal. Listen carefully to the way your interviewer is asking these questions, as there will often be a subtle clue about the specific skills theyre looking to assess from the next part of your answer.
Tip #5: Explain how failure made you better
When talking about failure, dont try to hide your mistakes or frame a weakness as a strength. Instead, show what you learned and how you grew from the failure.
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Facebook Behavioral Questions: Leadership
In addition to employees with a collaborative nature, Facebook is looking for employees who are able to motivate their team, resolve conflicts, drive alignment, and build relationships. This is because most roles will involve not only working in teams, but also leading them when appropriate.
This would be a good time to show that youve got drive and empathy, particularly if you’re interviewing for a manager role. Some of the leadership skills that Facebook is looking for in these questions include how you earn trust and take ownership, process and grow from past experiences, support the people around you, and overcome difficult situations.
Example behavioral questions asked at Facebook: Leadership
- Tell me about a time you lead a team
- Tell me about a time you had to step up and take responsibility for others
- Tell me about your worst boss and why they were bad
- How would you advocate for a commitment to a priority, when that priority is not high on someone else’s list?
- How would you manage timelines in a highly matrixed environment, where there is no top down authority?
Facebook Behavioral Questions: Teamwork
Many employees at Facebook have to work in cross-functional teams with other software engineers, program managers, product managers, etc. So youll need to be able to communicate clearly, work with others efficiently, and build trust and relationships.
Your interviewer will be looking for you to share stories from your past experience that demonstrate openness, collaboration, and partnership. Give it a try using the following questions.
Example behavioral questions asked at Facebook: Teamwork
- Tell me about a time you struggled to work with one of your colleagues
- Tell me about a time you were given feedback that was constructive
- Tell me about a time you had to resolve a conflict in a team
- Tell me about a time you managed a conflict / disagreement in a team
- Tell me about a time you worked with cross-functional teams and the role you played
- Have you ever collaborated with multiple teams? What challenges did you face?
- How large was the team you were working on?
- Who else did you work with when you were doing X?
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The Different Types Of Interview I Encountered
If you prepare and perform well enough in the preliminary phone screens, youll be given the opportunity to come on site and conduct full days worth of interviews. These interviews will typically last four to six hours depending on the company for which youre interviewing with.
During my trip to Silicon Valley, I managed to line up seven on-site interviews in total. This gave me a unique perspective of the current landscape for interviewing.
Typically, an on-site will cover three main subjects: algorithm, architecture design, and behavioral, which is what I had studied and prepared for. However, there are some companies which seem to be bucking this trend and expanding their interviews to cover more practical skills.
Ill briefly go over each of the topics I encountered.
The most common type of interview you will encounter. The interviewer will ask you to solve a problem on a whiteboard which will assess your knowledge of data structures, sorting algorithms, recursion, time/space complexity analysis as well as pattern and edge-case recognition. In this interview, you will most typically come up with a brute-force solution, and then try to improve upon that solution and discuss the tradeoffs, if there are any, with the different solutions you propose.
Architecture Design Interviews
Finding and Patching Bugs
Testing Domain Knowledge
Understanding Operating Systems
Learn About Facebooks Company Culture
Most candidates fail to do this. But before investing tens of hours preparing for an interview at Facebook, you should take some time to make sure it’s actually the right company for you.
Facebook is prestigious and it’s therefore tempting to ignore that step completely. But in our experience, the prestige in itself won’t make you happy day-to-day. It’s the type of work and the people you work with that will.
If you know employees who work at Facebook or used to work there, it’s a good idea to talk to them to understand what the culture is like. Otherwise, here are some resources to help you get started:
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Interviewing Is A Skill
During my preparation, I always knew that interviewing would be challenging. But I honestly had no idea how hard it would be until I was knee-deep into my first interview.
In the lead-up to the interviews, I had used both paid and free services, which simulated coding and whiteboarding interviews over the phone with people who had industry experience interviewing candidates. Those practice interviews were essential for priming me for the pressure involved. But as I later realized, they only amounted to a fraction of what a real interview consists of.
Id advise against interviewing at your dream job without having a few mock or real interviews under your belt. The nervousness can be incredibly overwhelming, and it can only be dulled through practice.
As with many other things in life, practice will improve your confidence.
How You Should Prepare
As I wrote earlier, interviewing is a skill of its own. Even if youre already a great programmer in your day job or getting great grades in your studies, those skills wont exactly transfer 1:1 when youre in a tiny interview room. Persistence, repetition, and consistency with interview preparation and practice will be the key determining factors of your outcome.
If anyone were to ask me what I felt would be areas to focus on, Id suggest the following:
- Learn to write code by hand on paper and a whiteboard first and then throw it into an IDE for syntax highlighting, this should become second nature to you.
- Develop deep knowledge of data structures, their strengths, and weaknesses in comparison to each other. I discovered that implementing data structures and their behaviours from scratch taught me so much more than what I knew from their abstract concepts.
- Completely understand Big O notation for both time and space complexities, this will pair perfectly with your algorithm and sorting questions.
- Grasp all major sorting algorithms because the difference in time/space complexities have the potential to derail your optimum solution for an algorithm youre trying to solve.
When to start
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Facebook Behavioral Interview Questions
Now that youve gotten an idea of what to expect during the Facebook interview process, lets jump into some example questions.
To help you prepare strategically for your job interview, we have used Glassdoor data to identify the real questions asked in different Facebook interviews. The questions weve chosen come from our research on five Facebook tech roles: product manager, software engineer, program manager, product designer, and data scientist.
Youll notice that weve divided the questions into the following categories:
We’ve added these categories to make the list of questions easier to understand, starting with the general questions that apply to any job. Each category tests a different quality that Facebook is looking for in its candidates, and the frequency of each question type will vary depending on the role. For instance, interviews for managerial roles will include a higher number of leadership questions.
Facebook Behavioral Questions: Role
Our last category focuses on the questions that are specific to certain roles, such as what made you get into design? for product designers. While you should expect a combination of each of the previous four categories in any interview, the following questions apply most to data scientists, product managers, product designers, and software engineers.
Right, now lets get into some questions.
Example behavioral questions asked at Facebook: Role-specific
- Tell me about a recent / favorite project and some of the difficulties you had
- Tell me about a product you lead from idea to launch
- Tell me about a time you struggled on one of your software projects
- Tell me about a data and analytics project you’ve worked on
- Tell me about what made you get into design
- How do you influence product?
- Which part of the design process interests you most?
- Why do you want to be a product designer rather than a UX researcher?
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