Facebook is a highly coveted place to work — so landing a job there is no easy feat.
To find out what it takes, and learn more about why it’s so competitive, Business Insider spoke with Ciara Brocklebank, a technical recruiter at Facebook in New York.
“There are so many things that make Facebook a great company to work for, but the two that stand out for me are the people and our mission,” says Brocklebank. “We work with the best and brightest in their given field who are excited to make the world more open and connected.
“A lot of the people I work with have become my closest friends, and what could be more fun than working on something really challenging with your friends?”
She says these are just some of the many reasons there is such fierce competition among candidates vying for roles at Facebook — which typically pay upwards of $US100,000 a year.
So, what does it take to land one of those highly sought-after, high-paying gigs?
“We are always looking for the best talent that supports our environment of focusing on impact,” Brocklebank explains.
“We have a challenging evaluation process where we expect strong technical knowledge and a thirst to make an impact on the world.”
Another requirement: a passion to work on some of the hardest technical challenges and a desire to make an impact on more than a billion people.
When reviewing resumés, Brocklebank says she always looks for “something that stands out.”
“It could be a solid academic background, relevant work experience, interesting side projects, and contributions to open source projects, just to name a few,” she says.
Then, of course, you’ll need to make an excellent impression if you get an interview.
“For an engineering role, for example, you will be asked to solve coding problems, behavioural questions, and design and architecture questions to ascertain your depth of knowledge in each area,” she says.
“We ask comprehensive questions to get an overall sense of a candidates’ breadth of skills, knowledge, and potential.” (To learn more about the interview process, read about one engineer’s experience here.)
If you think you’ve got what it takes, Brocklebank suggests that you “thoroughly research the company, its mission, goals, and what the location you’re interested in focuses on,” before applying for a job.
She also recommends that you attend one of Facebook’s Crush Your Coding Interview sessions, which the company offers engineering candidates to help them prepare for their technical interviews. These sessions offer tips and tricks, as well as mock interviews. Job seekers can also ask questions at the end.
“Generally, I would say what makes someone stand out to us is demonstrating what they are passionate about — talking about what they have been excited to work on in the past or what they would be excited to work on at Facebook is always really interesting to hear, as people have ideas that we may not have thought of yet,” Brocklebank says.
Nicolas Spiegelberg, for example, was a recent college grad in 2009 with a serious interest in the “greatly unrealized potential of online social networking.” He was “hooked on the idea of working for Facebook” and landed an interview with the company after solving one of Facebook’s “fun programming puzzles” online.
Facebook recruiters saw his results and expressed interest. He went on to participate in a 45-minute phone screener, four in-person interviews, and two follow-up phone calls — and eventually landed a job as a software engineer in Facebook’s California headquarters in late 2009.
In January 2012, Spiegelberg relocated to Facebook’s New York office and was promoted two years later to Engineering Manager.
What he learned: To land a job at Facebook, you need to be passionate, give 100%, and must convince the hiring managers that they are making a huge mistake if they let you go.
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