How to ace your interview at Facebook

Sarah JacobsCheck out this cheat sheet for navigating Facebook’s hiring process.

• Facebook is now the most desirable place to work, according to Glassdoor.

Business Insider spoke with top execs and employees to get a sense of how to land a job at the company.

• They said it’s important to have a good grasp on Facebook’s culture.

Facebook just snagged the top spot in Glassdoor’s annual rankings of the most desirable places to work.

So it’s understandable if you’re dying to work for the tech giant. But if you’ve set your sights on a big-name company with a selective hiring process like Facebook, the whole thing can seem rather overwhelming, maybe even impossible.

Don’t get discouraged, though. You just need to know exactly what you’re getting yourself into.

Business Insider spoke to Facebook global head of recruiting Miranda Kalinowski and VP of people Lori Goler, as well as other Facebook employees, to get a better sense of what it’s like to interview at the Menlo Park, California-based company.

Here’s what they had to say:

Keep in mind, Facebook has a ton of different recruiting strategies

Kalinowski said that the process can vary based on what team you’re being hired onto. But across the board, she stressed that Facebook recruits individuals through a number of different channels, including the company’s careers site, job fairs at universities, conferences, and even TED Talks.

First, most people go through a phone screener

Generally, recruiters will first screen you over the phone to cover some basics and make sure you’re a real candidate. If you sound like you might be a good prospect, they will follow up with a phone interview that focuses on your technical experience and skills.

Next, you’ll meet your prospective team

Sean Gallup / Getty Images

After that, Kalinowski says that recruiters hand over the hiring process to employees who might be working with you directly.

“They’re the closest to the work being done, so they’re able to impart a lot of first-hand experience about what it’s like to work on that team in that role, as well as answer any questions that the candidate might have,” she told Business Insider.

If you show promise, then you’ll be invited to visit Facebook to check out the campus and go through four to six more interviews with some of your potential team members.

Area 404 prototyping engineer Spencer Burns joined Facebook in January of 2016. He went through a day’s worth of interviews with about five or six interviewers, which he said is fairly standard for the industry.

He said the interview gave him a great opportunity to connect with the company’s culture.

“I actually felt really good after it because I realised that they take it very seriously,” Burns said. “They really want the brightest and the best and they want to make sure they get the right people. I met some really cool people in my interview as well, so I was really excited about it.”

Expect the unexpected at Facebook

Getty/Justin Sullivan

Like many companies, Facebook’s hiring process can vary a bit, depending on your level of experience.

Oculus product design engineering director Caitlin Kalinowski was working at Apple in 2012 when some upper-level Facebook execs began recruiting her. Then she got a surprising call one day.

“Mark Zuckerberg ended up calling me, which was really unexpected,” she told Business Insider. “I think that’s one of the things that’s really impressive about him in particular. I feel like he reaches down deep into his organisations – in recruiting, but also in getting to know people.”

Facebook execs advise people to ‘just apply’ —  and have a good grasp on the company’s values

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Goler said that, ultimately, Facebook is looking to place people in positions that play to their strengths, and she has some simple advice for anyone who wants to work at the company:

“They should just apply,” Goler said. “We hire people every day who just apply to the website. We love meeting people that way. Jump right in.”

How do you ensure you get the offer? Kalinowski said in your interviews, it’s a mistake to talk exclusively about your own accomplishments. If you want to succeed, you need to be able to tie your experience back to Facebook’s core values.

“My advice is, know or explore your passion around connecting the world, because it is at the heart of every single thing we do here,” Kalinowski said. “Once you know it, be able to demonstrate it. Think about your own Facebook story. What impact has Facebook had on your life in helping you connect to the people or things that you love? Be ready to talk about that.”

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