Do you think you have what it takes to work with Mark Zuckerberg? Check out these tips because opportunity is knocking!
In mid-2016, Facebook announced that it was opening an office in the Philippines. First positions up for grabs were APAC Outsourcing Partner Manager for Community Operations and Regional Product Marketing Manager. Earlier this year, Co-founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg himself announced that the company’s top priorities include investing heavily in luring talent for 2017, particularly to build its technical, engineering and recruiting teams.
This is good news for qualified professionals in the country, for this means getting hired by one of the world’s best places to work is just within reach.
We’ve put together some tips we’ve gathered from recruiting experts and actual Facebook employees themselves that might help you get that boost if you’re interested to work in this top company.
1. Prepare for a series of interviews and aim to nail them
In an interview with Business Insider, Facebook employee Nicolas Spiegelberg shares that when he got a call from Facebook recruiting, he first went through a 45-minute phone screening before getting an actual invite for a personal interview. He said that most of the interview “was spent on a coding problem, but there was a decent chunk of time at the end where I could ask the engineer questions about their job and what motivates them to work at Facebook.”
After the phone screening, a meeting with hiring managers follows—possibly in the Philippines or one of Facebook’s offices in California. If you’re flying long distance, Spiegelberg shares that the company normally gives an extra day to rest before they conduct the interviews. Use this time to relax, freshen up and have a confident mindset.
As for Spiegelberg, he went through four interviews with a break in the middle. While a series of interviews may seem draining, Facebook’s conducted interviews were described to be “refreshing” by applicants, and aimed at getting a good assessment of the potential employees’ skills. Two of the in-person interviews focused on coding and algorithms, while another interview focused on work philosophy. Still sharing with Business Insider, Spiegelberg notes, “…the basic gist was to see if I could take a complicated problem and break it into parts. Nowadays, we focus more on designing some of the basic products that comprise Facebook.”
2. Think out loud and be natural
According to Vijaye Raji, engineering director and site lead for Facebook’s Seattle office, a valuable part of Facebook’s interview process from the recruiter’s perspective is when a candidate is able to “think through their responses out loud. In an article that appeared on Fastcompany.com in March 2017, Raji shares, “We understand you’re not going to come up with the most awesome solution in one shot.” He suggests that applicants write an answer first, then expound on it. “This is something we love. Test it, and say how you can improve what you just wrote,” he adds.
Melissa Nixon, Facebook’s recruiting director in Seattle, also encourages interested applicants to not be afraid of making mistakes. “It’s part of everyday reality,” she says. A good tip is to just talk about how you think through things, and make sure to let your recruiter know that you’re able to focus on getting to a solution—this way they see how you would operate on the job.
Prepare yourself mentally to build confidence. This is especially true for most positions offered at Facebook, as they are quite technical in nature.
All engineers at Facebook are required to code on a whiteboard during their interviews. While this sounds terrifying, engineering director Vijaye Raji says that it has become familiar territory to anyone doing a technical interview. He says though that the team doesn’t expect candidates to be perfectly familiar with all programming languages, but they need to have mastery of basic computer science. Thus, it’s important to understand the fundamentals of how an algorithm works.
Raji recommends that aspiring Facebook engineers choose one language and get themselves comfortable with that through practice. Other ways to practice these skills is to work through sample problems in real time by participating in online contests or hackathons.
4. Get into details of your best assets if you don’t have a lot of experience
It may be a dilemma for some candidates who are fresh college graduates or just starting out early in their careers to have something to talk about when Facebook recruiters ask about past work experiences. Thankfully at Facebook, not having a long list of accomplishments doesn’t necessarily mean the company will instantly close its doors on you.
You need to however be able to show what you are good at by giving detailed examples from work or school. For example, if you love working with different kinds of people, you can talk about a particular time you worked well with a diverse team.
It’s a comfort to know that Facebook’s interviewers are trained to ask leading questions such as, “Tell me about a time when you did (activity or task). How did you handle that situation?” Melissa Nixon notes that Facebook’s hiring team mainly want to know people’s thought processes, so that they filter individuals that fit their mould of builders and makers.
5. Be bold—show you’ve got personality!
Rishon Blumberg, founder of freelance technology talent agency 10x Management, notes that Facebook looks for specific personality traits, more than technical talent. “Communication skills, business acumen. [Facebook” is looking for real problem solvers, who not just follow directions but really influence decisions.”
Big tech companies each have their own culture, but Facebook is known to have its unique, cult-like following. Facebook’s careers website describes its company’s values through phrases like “be bold,” “focus on impact,” “move fast” and “be open.”
Finally, be sure to let Facebook recruiters in on your raw talent, since the company is much more interested in personality and drive more than mastery of technical skills—although the latter, of course is always a plus. One must know that Facebook’s tests include on-the-spot hacking challenges to screen raw talent because, after all, management can take them in, train them and show them the ropes. Raw talent that shows boldness, and being able to think beyond the tasks one is given, is what counts more than skill.
So, if you’re one of the many Filipinos aspiring to make it big at the mega company that is Facebook, take what you can from these tips and land that job!