Behavioral Question Challenges

Akamai Technologies MsLK74
Aug 15 13 Comments

Hey guys, As I am preparing for a facebook behavioral interview, I have prepared a response for the question - How do you tackle challenges? Name a difficult challenge you faced while working on a project, how you overcame it, and what you learned.

Situation, Task: When the product X was in a development phase, I was assigned to build a end-to-end Y feature. I had previous experience working with implementing the client side of Y. However, I had never worked on a server side Y feature before and did not get a chance to tackle associated problems.
Action:
The first action that I took was to identify the challenges associated with a real-life Y feature. Next, I tried to ramp up with the network architecture and broke it down to different logical blocks. With this information, I presented a High level Design to the team.
Result:
There were multiple back and forth exchange of ideas with the team and finalized the design. Having followed a structured step by step process, I was able to implement and deploy the feature in the following week addressing all the potential issues. I found this a very good learning and challenging experience.

As a response to this, I am expecting interviewer to drill through the project and the various aspects of it.
Do I need to give more technical details or focus on personal traits like communication and problem-solving?
Are interviewers expecting a more complex challenge from a senior engineer? Is this example not good enough?

YOE: 9
TC : 230K

comments

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TOP 13 Comments
  • Uber bumbm
    I think what you presented seems very generic in a way I can’t really separate you from any other candidate, it almost feels like you are saying what I want to hear. Also as engineers we are often in situations where we have to learn something new - it’s not a challenge but part of the job, so i would be thinking how are you stretching beyond your responsibilities here.
    Aug 15 4
    • Akamai Technologies MsLK74
      OP
      Very constructive feedback. Thanks.
      Aug 15
    • Uber bumbm
      No sweat. Interviewers value authenticity and can detect rehearsed responses. I know it’s hard to be very natural in such as unnatural setting but try talking to a friend and pretend it’s not an interview and ask them how it sounds.
      Aug 15
    • Akamai Technologies MsLK74
      OP
      I am trying to recollect stories for different scenarios. It’s hard for me to come up with these during on site without previously have thought about it. Do you think the content length is appropriate?
      Aug 15
    • Akamai Technologies MsLK74
      OP
      Thanks. I got an offer.
      Sep 30
  • BlackRock Ikqf10
    @bumbun good feedback. I assume you are interviewer. So could you let us know what you would like to hear may be with an example ? Thanks
    Aug 15 7
    • Akamai Technologies MsLK74
      OP
      Thanks
      Aug 15
    • Akamai Technologies MsLK74
      OP
      @bumbum would the example of PM apply for a question “working with a difficult manager”. Does it fall in the category of “facing challenges?”
      Aug 16
    • Uber bumbm
      Depends on how you position it. What was the difficulty, what did you do? How did you gain trust and advocate. Also it’s tricky ground when talking about your manager as calling them ‘difficult’ may go against you
      Aug 16
    • Akamai Technologies MsLK74
      OP
      Challenges
      In one of my previous roles, I was looking into our error rates using x. I noticed more than 20% of our errors were caused from the x module. When I investigated further, I realized that the way our x module had originally been set up, any object in the app could write to the shared instance of x module. At the same time, I was also reading the x objects from another thread to send data to server. This caused inconsistencies in the code and caused crashes.
      I came up with a fix which required two main steps. Refactoring the code so that the objects dependencies with the x modules were properly managed using factory methods. Secondly, I synchronized the consumers of the x module using different thread synchronization techniques.
      Once this was implemented, I saw a significant reduction in the original errors, making our overall error rate dip sharply. This also provided a better architecture design for these modules.
      Aug 21
    • Akamai Technologies MsLK74
      OP
      @bumbm how is this response ☝️
      Aug 21