Monday, January 24, 2011

Facebook technical phone interview prep

After my initial Facebook interview the recruiter told me they wanted to have a technical phone interview with me. The recruiter then passed me on to somebody else who arranged the interview. Meanwhile, the recruiter sent me some tips on how to prepare.
Please research any recent news about Facebook for talking points and more information about the company. You may be asked questions as to what your favorite features of the site are, and how you might improve those features. It will be helpful to take some time to think about this beforehand.

Be prepared for technical questions involving coding or algorithms in your best language, design patterns, and more specific questions to your background. It may also help to review core CS concepts (data structures, binary trees, link lists, object oriented analysis/design) as well as subjects pertaining to the scale of our environment. Please be near a computer with internet access as you will be coding over a web application.

It will help to look at the puzzles on our careers page for some ideas on the types of problems they will potentially ask. For coding questions, you will be asked to produce clean, efficient code in a reasonable amount of time. You have 45 minutes on the call. If the interviewer gives you hints to improve your code, take them and run with them. It is good to adjust and work through the problems with the interviewer to show your thought process and problem solving ability.
Simple and straightforward enough. The recruiter also sent me a bunch of links to review. I had heard most of the news through TWiT and TWiG, but the list still provided a nice review.
In preparation I also set up Chrome to have bookmarks ready while I interviewed. That ended up not mattering much, but I will tell that story later.