The Meta Interview Process and Top Interview Questions

Meta Aug 15, 2022

The Meta or Facebook interview process is technical, precise, and will push you to your professional limits. You can’t expect to make it through without having some insider information on what’s coming next, what Meta is looking for, and what answers to give.

This guide to the Facebook Interview Process will get you on the way.

Recruiter Phone Screens

The Facebook interview process starts off with a phone call from a recruiter. This is a brief pre-screening interview that typically lasts around 30 minutes.

Facebook’s initial phone call goes over your resume and includes some behavioral questions. The recruiter will ask about your background, professional experience, projects, accomplishments, and other qualifying qualities.

You should be prepared to have a brief but in-depth conversation about your work, experiences, and qualifications. And you need to do so in a way that appeals to Meta’s hiring traits.

Meta’s recruiter should tell you about the rest of the interview process during this phone call.

Technical Phone Screens

The next step is a technical phone interview to analyze your coding skills. Meta typically has a software engineer interview their candidates. Some product management roles don't require a technical interview but technical skills are encouraged.

You can expect to spend around 5 to 15 minutes discussing your resume with the interviewer. After that, you will be asked to complete 1 or 2 coding questions within around 30 minutes. Questions are frequently on data structures, algorithms, and time complexity.

The coding questions are done through an online collaborative coding editor. You should let the interviewer know what you’re thinking, how you’re working through the problem, and what your thought process is.

You can expect to be questioned or challenged during this. The interviewer may even alter a data structures problem to make it more difficult.

The entire technical phone interview usually takes around 45 to 50 minutes. The interviewer may give you a few minutes for questions at the end.

Virtual On-Site Interviews

Meta’s on-site interviewing includes four to five interviews split into separate rounds. There are three interview categories: Ninja (coding), Pirate (systems or product design), and Jedi (culture fit and behavioral).

Meta’s onsite interview process has been virtualized. You can complete it remotely.

Ninja - Coding Interviews

Applicants usually go through two coding interviews, sometimes more. The rounds are around 45 minutes each and done through an online collaborator app.

Meta’s coding questions are incredibly diverse and you need to understand a broad range of topics. The questions revolve around data structures and algorithms.

These get progressively harder. If you don’t do that well, they will ask you to do more. You can choose your preferred coding language.

Pirate - System and Product Design

There are at least two system and product design interview rounds. These are also around 45 minutes each. These ask you high-level design questions, usually with no coding involved.

This interview format is vague and conversational. There’s often a back and forth. Try to be comfortable and confident enough to have a proper dialogue with the interviewer. You can get used to this with mock interview exercises.

If you’re more experienced, the interviewer will give your more Pirate rounds.

Jedi - Culture and Behavioral

There’s usually only one behavior and culture fit interview round. Like the others, this interview lasts for around 45 minutes.

This round might feel low-pressure, but you still have to do well. Meta only hires candidates it believes will perform well in cross-functional teams.

This is the time to demonstrate appropriate behavior and similar values.

Recruiter Debriefing

After you finish all the interview segments, the recruiter takes it from here and decides whether or not to pass your information up for consideration.

The recruiter first “debriefs” your interviewers to learn how you did. If you did well enough, they will compile a candidate packet with your resume, interview scores, referrals, and any feedback.

This packet then gets sent on to a candidate review meeting.

Candidate Review Meetings

The candidate review meeting is the first stage of Facebook’s hiring decision. These meetings are held by the team leaders and managers for the position you’re applying to.

These senior leaders get together to review and evaluate the final applicants. Their core job is to decide which qualified candidate is the best fit.

Everyone who makes it this far is highly qualified. So sometimes, this decision comes down to who they think will work best with others.

This is more of a decision recommendation. The candidate review team picks the applicant they want to hire, then submits that person’s information to a final hiring committee.

Hiring Committee Review

A hiring committee made up of senior executives makes the final decision in the hiring process. This committee looks over the review team’s recommended candidate and examines the candidate information packet.

This committee decides whether or not to extend a hiring offer. If it’s a go, the committee will send the candidate’s information packet to a Facebook VP who makes the final sign-off.

The committee and VP usually go along with recommendations made by the candidate review meetings.

Once all these steps have been checked off, the recruiter will then present you with an offer.

Offer

The recruiter will always call to let you know the final decision. A hiring offer means you can jump into salary and benefit negotiations.

If you didn’t receive an offer, the recruiter will include some brief feedback. Listen to what they say and use it to guide your interviewing studies.

How Long Does the Facebook Interview Process Take?

It takes 4 to 8 weeks to get through the Facebook Interview Process.

Types of Facebook and Meta Interview Questions

Remember the Facebook interview categories we covered? Those are Ninja for coding, Pirate for systems or product design, and Jedi for culture fit and behavior.

Coding Interview Questions

You get to choose what coding language to interview with. Facebook’s coding interview questions are more general in nature.

The questions usually fall into the following categories: arrays/strings, graphs/trees, dynamic programming, search/sort, linked lists, stacks/queues.

Here’s how those break down in terms of most frequently asked:

  • Arrays and Strings - 38%
  • Graphs and Trees - 29%
  • Dynamic Programming - 18%
  • Search and Sort - 9%
  • Linked lists - 4%
  • Stacks and Queues - 2%

Have you absolutely mastered arrays and strings? If not, sharpen up those skills, along with graphs/trees, dynamic programming, and search/sort.

Those topics are likely to make up the bulk of your technical interview.

Here are a few Facebook technical interview example questions:

  • Target sum: View video answer
  • Given an array of integers, print all subarrays with 0 sum: View answer
  • Merge intervals: View video answer
  • Move all zeros present in an array to the end
  • Merge two sorted arrays
  • Partition an array into two sub-arrays with the same sum
  • Sort a Doubly Linked List using Merge Sort
  • Determine if the given Binary Tree is a BST or not
  • Find the smallest missing element from a sorted array

Find more of the top Facebook (Meta) technical interview questions.

System Design or Product Design

The Facebook interview process typically includes a system design or product design interview. Facebook lets applicants decide between the two.

Meta is a massive company with billions of users across several platforms. And it wants to know that all new hires are capable of thinking and working at that level.

The system design interview questions are centered around programming a system at scale. This gets into high-level architecture questions, along with handling issues like partition tolerance and reliability.

The product design questions ask about handling the user-facing product. When answering, keep in mind that Facebook wants to build the best products and has to do so without interrupting service.

Here are a few Facebook system design and product interview example questions:

  • Design a better doctor search and visit experience
  • Design Facebook Messenger: View video answer
  • Design Facebook Newsfeed: View video answer
  • Design a web crawler: View video answer
  • You are the PM of Messenger, you noticed that its DAU has gone down significantly. How would you go about looking for the root cause?

You can find more top Facebook system and product interview questions right here.

This section is very open-ended. The interviewer is looking for how you think, how creative you are, and how well you problem-solve. It’s a good idea to get some feedback on how to master this section.

Behavioral Questions and Culture Fit

Meta is all about cross-functional team collaboration. Its people work in teams with product managers, engineers, designers, and other roles as needed. Everyone on the team is a valued professional team member with a critical role to play.

Meta is looking for candidates who can thrive in these units. You need to communicate and work well with professionals from other disciplines.

That’s what the behavioral questions of Meta’s interview process looks for. You’ll be asked questions on working experiences, working processes, conflict resolution, and more.

Here are a few Facebook behavioral interview example questions:

  • Tell me about a time you made a mistake: View video answer.
  • What product that you led are you most proud of and why? View video answer.
  • You're the PM for Facebook Newsfeed. How would you decide whether or not to auto-play videos or make the videos click-to-play?
  • Friend requests are down 10%, what would you do?
  • Tell me about a time you dealt with a conflict with engineers.
  • Describe a time when your project failed. View video answer.
  • How do you earn the trust of your team members?

You can find more top Facebook behavior and culture fit interview questions right here.

How to Prepare for the Facebook Interview

Areas to focus on if you want to make a good impression in Meta interviews.

Embody the Six Core Meta Values

Meta is looking for six core values that make candidates a good fit. Those are:

  • Move Fast
  • Focus on Long-Term Impact
  • Build Awesome Things
  • Live in the Future
  • Be Direct and Respect Your Colleagues
  • Meta, Metamates, Me

These values are an update on the five core Facebook values. (Move Fast, Be Bold, Focus on Impact, Be Open, and Build Social Value.)

It’s really important that you understand these. It will give you a sense of where the company is going and help you fit yourself into Meta’s bigger picture and grand new vision of itself. Mentioning these core values in Meta interviews is important.

Move Fast. This is about your professional competency and collaborative skills. How quickly can you pull things together and build on the fly? Do you have personal initiative and an innate sense of urgency? Can you move into action on your own without being directed to? Can you step into a fast-moving team and help them get things done without an issue?

Meta’s goal is to build and learn faster than any other company out there.

Focus on Long-Term Impact. This reflects Meta’s awareness that short-term wins can end up harming its long-term goals, growth, and stability. The company has been through several challenges recently and faced PR, legal, and market-related issues.

The transition from Facebook to Meta comes with greater awareness of how its long-term future is impacted by present actions.

Your task is to demonstrate this higher level of thinking and long-term consideration for Meta in what you do.

Build Awesome Things. Meta is highly competitive. It’s seeking to build awe-inspiring products that set it apart. Right now, Meta products – like WhatsApp, Facebook, Workplace, and Instagram – are used by billions of people every day.

Meta wants to move into an era that sees it absolutely wowing the world. Can you fit into that?

Live in the Future. This refers to being a tech-forward company. It might sound obvious, but not all FAANGs are. Meta wants to lead the way in building the future of distributed work, that doesn’t limit people by geography.

It also wants its members to be its products’ first early adopters. And that means you. It should go without saying, that you should be a diehard Meta fan if you want to work here.

Are you into things like Oculus and the Metaverse? Does hearing about public product setbacks turn you off or inspire you to dig into those challenges?

Meta wants to hire people who are all-in. Show them that you’re interested and committed.

Be Direct and Respect Your Colleagues. Meta wants to be a great place to work, where people share their thoughts, ideas, and feedback. But employees need to feel safe to contribute.

That means creating a workplace that’s open and direct, but respectful of others.

You need to be able to take constructive criticism and negative feedback without creating issues. And you need to know how to have straightforward conversations in a way that’s very respectful.

Keep in mind that Meta attracts some of the world’s best tech talent. If you work here, there’s a good chance that you will receive correction from them at some point. Are you able to take that feedback?

And are you brave enough to share a different point of view with someone who’s lightyears ahead of you in their career?

The Meta interview process is a great place to demonstrate that you’re open to receiving critical feedback.

Meta, Metamates, Me. Metamates is a newly coined term for Meta employees. Hopefully, that will soon be you. This little slogan describes Meta’s renewed focus on stewardship. That’s stewardship for the company, its mission, and fellow employees.

Meta sees stewardship as a collective duty held by all Metamates. Becoming part of the Meta team means having an inner sense of responsibility for Meta’s success and your fellow Metamates. You should always be taking care of the company’s interests and watching out for your fellow employees.

So, how do you show Meta that you fit its values?

You need to do two things. The first is to embody these values throughout your interviewing. Talk and behave with the Meta values in mind. You want to reflect to the interviewer that you already belong.

You might want to have a FAANG interviewing consultant guide you on how to act like you belong at Meta.

The second is to include examples of this in your answers, stories, and experience-sharing. Think of times when you acted in accordance with them. Can you weave in stories about stepping in to get something done? Or maybe you redesigned a project to have a better long-term impact.

The value might only be a side note in a bigger story but tell it anyways. Try to frame each work experience or prior project you’ve done in light of these values.

Learn the STAR Framework to Answer Questions

You never want to meander your way through an answer in Meta interviews. Your responses and descriptions need to be cohesively structured. You can learn how to do that by using the STAR framework.

  • Situation: describe the situation and its context when you showcased a talent, performed a job function, or went through a challenge
  • Task: describe your task-related role and responsibility in the situation
  • Action: describe how your actions to complete the task or solve the challenge
  • Result: describe the outcomes and results accomplished, using quantifiable data

Practice with Mock Interviews

Facebook’s interview process is a long and stressful marathon. You need to perform well from the first screening call, hitting every mark they’re looking for.

You then have to outdo competitors during a series of stressful interview rounds. Your posture, tone of voice, pitch, and body language all matter. You have to stay focused, remain positive, and keep your energy up throughout the day.

You need to know how to push through any mistakes and flubs. You can’t get distracted if you think an interviewer doesn’t like you.

You have to train.

Interviewing is a skill that has to be learned. You can have all the tech and behavior skills necessary to land the job, but still fail to perform during the interview.

Don’t put in the work of getting noticed by Meta, only to flub the interviewing process. Practice with mock interviews to get ready. You should do both mock technical and behavioral interviews.

How to Get Hired by Facebook (Key Skills)

Meta’s top ten developer skills are reported to be:

  • Java
  • C/C++
  • Python
  • Html
  • JavaScript
  • Linux
  • PHP
  • MatLab
  • Ruby/Ruby on Rails
  • Perl

Those aren’t the only skills Meta hires for. An economic analysis firm recently scraped Meta’s listings to find the most in-demand skills by job posting. Here are the top 30 in order from most to least frequent:

  • AR and VR
  • Facebook operating knowledge
  • Python
  • SQL
  • Computer Engineering
  • Program Management
  • Project Management
  • Data Science
  • Software Engineering
  • C++
  • Machine Learning
  • Product Development
  • Product Management
  • Oculus
  • Data Analysis
  • Software Development
  • Stakeholder Management
  • Java
  • Instagram
  • Debugging
  • Quantitative Analysis
  • Hypertext Preprocessor (PHP)
  • Data Engineering
  • Computer Vision
  • Hardware Experience
  • Change Management
  • Systems Engineering
  • Prototyping
  • Project Planning and Development Skills
  • Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)

Facebook reportedly values skills over experience and is looking for a range of talent. It’s worth putting in your best application, even if you aren’t sure if it will make it.

You can up your chances by polishing up your interviewing skills.

FAQs about Facebook Interviews

  • Is it difficult to get hired at Meta? Yes, Facebook or Meta is one of the most competitive companies to interview with.
  • What’s Facebook’s cool-off period? Facebook doesn’t have restrictions on applying for a different job. If you want to apply for the same job, there is a cool-off period of one year from the first interview.
  • Is Meta in a hiring freeze? Yes and no. Zuckerberg recently froze hiring for a few roles, but Meta is still hiring engineers. You might want to steer away from hiring for things like Metaverse and towards money-making ventures like Instagram.

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