Facebook vs Google - interview preparation

Apr 20 38 Comments

I had an onsite interview with Google a month ago. Since I am a new grad I was not asked system design questions. Just 5 coding questions. 3 mediums and 2 hards. on the 2 hard ones, I had to get a hit from the interviewer to solve them optimally and I missed a few edge-cases in one of the mediums. The other two went very well. So, I definitely have room for improvements in coding.

I will have an onsite Facebook interview in a month and it would have 1-2 system design interviews. If you have an interview experience with G and FB, I appreciate if you could answer these questions.

Is it true that the coding interviews are easier at FB?
How do you think I should divide my preparation time between coding and system design? (considering my performance at Google interview)
What are the differences between these two companies in terms of interview?

comments

Want to comment? LOG IN or SIGN UP
TOP 38 Comments
  • Google / Eng
    new_grad

    Google Eng

    PRE
    Google
    new_gradmore
    I just left Google and had a fb interview which I passed. Google interview had more difficult problems for SURE. I am not sure if it was just because of normal variance, but I had a fb coding interview which felt like a medium google interview and then a fb coding interview that felt like an amazon coding interview. Then the behavioral interview and then system design. One hypothesis is that fb are really looking to see if you can completely master the problem you’re given and explain with perfect logic why your soln works.. not sure. I spent the day before reading the system design section of cracking the coding interview, but what was really helpful was looking at the system design GitHub resource they emailed me. Let me know if they didn’t email you the same resource and I can get it for you maybe
    Apr 20 10
    • Google / Eng
      new_grad

      Google Eng

      PRE
      Google
      new_gradmore
      I didn’t nail the system design interview but having experience in industry (working on google search you have to know the major pieces and how they interact) and what “box and arrow” whiteboard problems “should look like” helped a lot.
      Apr 20
    • Google / Eng
      new_grad

      Google Eng

      PRE
      Google
      new_gradmore
      If you start writing a box which says “client” then an arrow to a box which says “web server” and you say some buzz words like “read layer” and “write layer”, “object store”, “caching”, “sql” etc you’re halfway there
      Apr 20
    • Google / Eng
      new_grad

      Google Eng

      PRE
      Google
      new_gradmore
      Also to go deeper into my interview experience : first interview first problem I killed (evaluate a prefix math expression) pretty much perfect after asking verification questions. Second problem (medium tree problem) I couldn’t figure out how to solve the “right “ way, so I ended up using a method that was not the way it should have been done but I believe was still optimal. Second interview was the easy one, killed both questions with lots of verification questions since they were presented kinda vaguely. Lots of talking while solving for both interviews. Third interview behavioral, just be yourself, there was a coding problem after that was easy but I kinda fucked up and he had to correct a lot which was embarrassing. Fourth interview was system design (design a simplified Instagram)
      Apr 20
    • OP
      I think I can throw buzz words, I have read a book on system design so I know the basics but I don't have industry experience
      Apr 20
    • Google / Eng
      new_grad

      Google Eng

      PRE
      Google
      new_gradmore
      Check out the GitHub resource, see if it is easy for you. I just read the first few example problems several times to understand them more deeply and that was enough to pass
      Apr 20
  • Google Rilakkuma
    FB coding interviews expect you to basically regurgitate out perfect solutions, while Google does not, speaking from experience.
    Apr 20 4
    • OP
      What do you mean by perfect? You mean optimal or bug free? Also, are the questions easier than Google?
      Apr 20
    • Amazon 321sde
      That’s more or less true for FB from my experience. Gave optimal solutions for 2 coding questions at phone, but had minor bug that was fixed later. Was rejected. While for similar experience at other places, passed all.
      Apr 20
    • Facebook flyingbull
      That’s incorrect.
      Apr 20
    • Facebook flyingbull
      I did not solve my phone screen problem...
      Apr 20
  • 1-2 yoe here and I had G interview with 5 algorithms rounds. I also just recently did FB and I can tell you that I had 2 algorithms rounds and both of them were an easy and then a hard. I thought I did rather poor on the FB interview but still got an offer, so I would say maybe they have lower standards...
    Apr 22 6
    • Thanks I appreciate it but I do really mean I didnt kill it. I didnt finish on one of the interviews and yes it was a leetcode hard but a pretty iconic one.
      Apr 22
    • Qualcomm dynasty001
      Fb tagged ?
      Apr 22
    • Yes
      Apr 22
    • For reference it was a top 50 fb Q but not lru cache
      Apr 22
    • Qualcomm dynasty001
      Thanks man appreciate it. I am currently done with top 50 amazon questions since i have an Amazon OA due soon. Next target is fb 50 , linkedin 50 and Google 50
      Apr 22
  • Gap / Eng randUser
    Just five coding questions for a Google onsite? That definitely changes after 2 YOE... I had five interviews and 2-3 questions a piece.

    Facebook likes perfect bug free code. So memorize everything and get the perfect solution
    Apr 20 4
    • OP
      I meant 5 interviews.

      Would it be easier than Google? If the interviewer point out the bugs before you're finished, is that a negative point?
      Apr 20
    • Gap / Eng randUser
      I definitely got the problem and solution solved optimally for my Facebook phone screen but the interviewer pointed out an edge case i missed in both problems, they were obscure :(
      Apr 20
    • OP
      So they rejected you for that? That doesn't sound right
      Apr 20
    • Facebook flyingbull
      > memorize

      No. Just practice coding. You shouldn’t have any problems writing mostly correct solutions for trivial problems that we ask. You might have a bug or two, which you find by yourself during verification.

      If you struggle to write medium leetcode without bugs how do you manage to do your job?!
      Apr 20
  • Yes, coding interviews are relatively easier and usually less surprises. Do fb tagged questions, all Medium and may be top 10 hard. System design, just be strong on the basics, not sure if you'll have 2 as a new grad
    Apr 20 2
    • OP
      I am doing fb tagged ones but there is no time to do all of them. Should I spend more time on system design or on coding?
      Apr 20
    • I don't know why should it be a OR. Focus more on coding and have strong system design. I had 2 design rounds, but I doubt as a new grad you'll have two
      Apr 20
  • Google / Eng jf8s3b
    recently left google for fb. fb code interview rounds were one warm up and one medium. there was also one lc hard but that was a shadowed interview
    Apr 20 3
    • Google / Eng
      new_grad

      Google Eng

      PRE
      Google
      new_gradmore
      How do you like it? I have a standing offer from fb in nyc and considering going for it
      Apr 20
    • OP
      Do you think shadowed interview is less important? I had a shadowed interview at google and it was a hard question. That was the one that she gave me hints to solve the question
      Apr 20
    • Google / Eng jf8s3b
      i haven’t joined yet. taking some time off to travel.

      Don’t know the importance of the shadow.
      Apr 21
  • Robinhood hood
    YMMV
    Apr 20 0
  • This comment was deleted by original commenter.

    • OP
      Maybe because I'm phd grad? My Amazon interview was 70% system design!!
      Apr 20
    • OP
      No
      Apr 21