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Facebook's most-asked interview question is tough to answer but a brilliant way to find the perfect fit

Mark zuckerbergFacebookFacebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg holds a public Q&A from Facebook HQ in 2014.

Facebook is not only the best place to work in America, it’s one of the most desirable employers in the world.

It currently has 13,000 employees across 64 offices around the globe, and it continues to scale its size and ambition.

Business Insider recently spoke with Miranda Kalinowski, Facebook’s global head of recruiting, about how the tech powerhouse recruits top talent in such a competitive field. She said that she and Lori Goler, the vice president of People Operations, have a favourite interview question for job candidates, which helps them find employees who are a perfect fit:

“On your very best day at work — the day you come home and think you have the best job in the world — what did you do that day?”

Not every job candidate gets this question, but Kalinowski said it’s very popular among interviewers at Facebook for its effectiveness.

When they ask the question, they’re looking to see what the candidate is truly passionate about, and if that innate interest fits into what Facebook is looking for.

Since becoming Facebook’s head of human resources in 2008, Goler has shaped the company into what “First, Break All the Rules” author and management consultant Marcus Buckingham calls a “strengths-based organisation.” That is, it’s one where managers don’t hire and promote with the intention of shaping employees but instead give them more opportunities to develop what they have proven they’re already good at.

When a Facebook interviewer asks what a candidate did during an ideal day of work, they’re looking for a genuine expression of pride and purpose. They’re hoping to see if that candidate’s drive and values align with Facebook’s mission “to give people the power to share and make the world more open and connected.”

If a candidate makes it past a couple rounds of phone interviews and is invited for another interview as well as a tour of the campus, the interviewer will do their best to give the candidate an accurate depiction of what that person’s job would look like should they get an offer, Kalinowski said.

And even though not all job candidates will get that exact interview question, Kalinowski recommended that all applicants prepare for their interviews at Facebook by reflecting on what they do when they lose track of time at work, which is another way to gauge what they inherently enjoy and likely are good at.

“People want to have an impact,” Goler explained. “They want to know that what they’re working on matters. And they’re going to stay at a place where they feel like they have an impact, [where] they’re learning and growing and doing work they love.”

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