This year, Facebook came in at #4 on Glassdoor’s Best Places to Work UK list. With mouth-watering employee perks, top-notch salaries and stellar career opportunities, applicants are practically beating down the door for an interview with Facebook.
So how does such a large company streamline its hiring process and select top talent from its expansive hiring pool? It all starts in the interview. Here are 11 questions that interviewees at Facebook have been asked – questions that aren’t just valuable for tech companies, but for any organisation hoping to effectively sift out the strongest candidates in the bunch.
1. Tell me about your best collaboration experience
Why it’s effective: It’s hard to think of a single profession where collaboration isn’t an important skill. In any company, the ability to work well with others is an absolute must. What is the candidate’s collaboration style? Do they really appreciate the benefits and value of collaboration? How will they collaborate with others in the future? This can be important in thinking about which team to place the candidate on, and also considering if they’ll be a good fit for the company culture in general.
2. What do you do to stay motivated?
Why it’s effective: In terms of must-ask behavioural questions, this one might take the cake. In any job, staying motivated is key to avoiding burnout, sticking with the job, and delivering best results. If the candidate’s cause for motivation is likely to be volatile – like the constant hope of a promotion, or the ability to shape big company decisions, it may be cause for pause. In addition, if their source of motivation is tied to your company’s culture and values – like care for the environment, or providing excellent service to customers – it can be a sign they’re a good fit.
3. How do you build relationships?
Why it’s effective: In the SHRM’s 2017 survey on job satisfaction, 48% of respondents ranked relationships with co-workers as very important, making it one of the key factors for employee success and engagement. Being able to effectively foster connections with co-workers and managers is a fundamental skill for long-term success in organisations of any size. It’s important to be able to assess the candidate’s ability to cultivate and keep long-term relationships.
4. What would you do if an interviewer didn’t show up?
Why it’s effective: The answer to this question can provide a fascinating insight about how your candidate reacts when things go wrong – as, often, they inevitably do. Would the candidate pick up the phone and try to ring the interviewer? Would they walk away? Would they contact other people in the company to try and figure out what happened? This can provide insight into how they handle problems on the job.
5. What is one project you're proud of?
Why it’s effective: This is one of the main chances during the interview for the candidate to shine. It gives them a chance to promote their work and the role they played in bringing that work to life. It’s also important to listen – how do they promote themselves? Do they give more credit to themselves or others? This question provides a window into both how the candidate works and how they promote their work.
6. Why do you want to work for Facebook?
Why it’s effective: This question allows the candidate to showcase a number of different attributes. First of all, their answer will inevitably show the depth of research they’ve done on the company. Second of all, their answer should not only be about the company, but about their vision for personal growth within the company. The candidate must show why it’s important for them to work at the company.
7. What is the biggest compliment you have received in your current role?
Why it’s effective: This is a much better version of “what is your greatest strength”? This question grounds the candidate’s self-assessment in the real-world context of not only how well they performed in their current role, but what made other people notice and compliment their work. It is likely that what the candidate was appreciated for in their current role will similarly be an asset in their new role.
8. What would be your biggest challenge coming into this role?
Why it’s effective: This is a far better alternative to the unoriginal “what is your greatest weakness”? Instead of asking about personal weaknesses that will likely provide an inauthentic answer, this question focuses on challenges in the context of the role. This allows the candidate to think more broadly, and thus speak more freely, once they are freed to identify problems outside of themselves, rather than within themselves.
9. Tell me about a time that you had a disagreement with your manager.
Why it’s effective: Just as there is a wide array of managerial styles, there is similarly a way of responding to different managerial styles. Some employees may jump to complete every task a manager mentions, while others may be more likely to challenge their manager and suggest areas for improvement. This question can shed light on how the candidate will interact with their manager and resolve difficulties with them. When seeking to match a candidate with a certain manager or team, this is an invaluable question to determine their fit.
10. What do you see as Facebook’s challenges in the coming years?
Why it’s effective: This question shows three important things: first, that the candidate has done enough research on your company and industry to make predictions. Second, that they can use this knowledge to tell a convincing story about the future. Third, that the candidate can think on the spot about trends they see both in your company and the world.
11. What would an old co-worker say about you?
Why it’s effective: This question is a definitive upgrade to the hackneyed “tell me about yourself”. It allows the candidate to speak about themselves more objectively, from the viewpoint of a hypothetical co-worker, rather than feeling the pressure of having to either be humble or boastful in a self-assessment.
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