Before we discuss this question, let us recap what the Behavioral Interview Round at Facebook is.
Behavioral Interview Round is also known as the Jedi Interview round at Facebook.
It is about you and your history, your résumé, and your motivation.
The purpose of this interview is to assess whether the candidate will thrive in Facebook's peer-to-peer, minimal process, and unstructured engineering organization.
For Software Engineers, the behavioral interview is actually part behavioral and part coding. The coding part is a shorter version of the usual coding interviews and is included to supplement the other two coding interviews to get an additional coding signal.
Know yourself! Take the time to review your résumé, as the interviewer will almost certainly ask about key events in your work history.
Have concrete examples or anecdotes to support each of the questions.
Familiarize yourself with Facebook's mission statement and its five core values:
- Be Bold
- Focus on Impact
- Move Fast
- Be Open
- Build Social Value
Be yourself! Be open and honest about your successes and failures.
Be humble and focus on teamwork, leadership, and mentorship qualities.
Now, let us review how to effectively answer this question.
Video Explanation with Evaluation Criteria, Response Framework, Tips & Tricks, and a Special Case of "Never Had a Conflict".
Tell me about a time you disagreed with someone is one of the most frequent questions asked in behavioral interviews.
Interviewers also tend to ask this famous question in the following ways:
Tell me about a time you had a conflict with your manager.
Share a situation where you faced a conflict at work.
Have you ever worked with a difficult person?
Describe a situation where two teams disagreed on a path forward.
Tell me about a time you had a communication problem with a coworker.
Having conflicts is a part of everyone's career journey. By this question, the interviewer is trying to evaluate you on the following:
Assess how you work in difficult situations or unstructured environments.
Judge your maturity level, communication skills, and willingness to speak up irrespective of your coworker's seniority.
Evaluate whether you are empathetic and respectful towards your colleagues while trying to understand your coworker's motivations and viewpoints behind the conflict.
A crucial element to this question is that the interviewer is looking for a positive resolution of the conflict that benefits the company and not just an individual.
Interviewers are trying to see if you are flexible to compromise.
And open to learning from challenging experiences.
Our advice is to pick a compelling and honest story that can articulate an actual conflict you had with another colleague in your current or former company.
Describe the situation, the events that occurred, and explain what led to the conflict between you and your colleague. For example, it can be due to lack of communication and difference of opinions over a code review, a project design, or some other disagreement.
Present both sides of the arguments in a positive way. This will help you to come across as level-headed and professional. In addition, it will demonstrate that you understand other people's perspectives and are not narrow-minded when working with others.
Explain the exact steps you took to address the conflict. It can be a one-on-one discussion with your colleague, doing more research, or pair programming with your coworker to come to a resolution. This will demonstrate your ownership and problem-solving skills. In addition, it will give the interviewer an inside look at how well you approach a conflict.
Also, show that you proactively communicated the issue and its resolution to all the stakeholders to keep them well informed.
Express how the outcome was beneficial to the company and not just to you and your coworker.
Finally, explain the learnings you took from the conflict and how they helped you to avoid the same disagreements from happening again in the future and to become a better engineer.
Always remain calm and professional. Refrain from being negative and avoid blaming your employer, coworkers, or manager. Companies generally do not like to hire people who are always pointing fingers at others.
Use a compelling story that is honest and believable. Pick an example involving a business issue and avoid personal disputes.
Calmly explain both side's points of view, and show how a compromise or a complete understanding led to a better outcome for the company and not just an individual.
Do not sugarcoat your answer with irrelevant details. Spend more time talking about the resolution than the conflict, and mention the learnings that will help you avoid the same disagreements from happening again.
Show that you proactively communicated the issue and its resolution to all the stakeholders to keep them well informed.
Prepare the response for this question beforehand, as it will be tough to structure your answer on the spot during the interview.
Do not memorize the answer as it should come naturally, and you should sound confident to the interviewer.
It may be the case that you actually never had a conflict so far in your career. New Grads and Entry-Level software engineers usually fall under this category.
If you are in such a situation, do not end your answer by simply saying that you never had a conflict in your career. Instead, provide your interviewer with a hypothetical situation, and walk through how you would respond to the conflict just as you would for a real past experience.
This will help the interviewer evaluate you on various attributes that we mentioned earlier, like:
- How well you can handle a conflict,
- Work in ambiguous situations, and
- That you are open-minded and flexible.
Learn more about the Evaluation Criteria, Response Framework, and Tips & Tricks to effectively prepare and answer the top questions asked in the Behavioral Interviews at Facebook. Certain special cases are also discussed which are usually faced by the candidates during these interviews.
If you have not read our first article on Top Facebook Behavioral Interview Questions, we recommend reading it by clicking the below link:
In case if you have not read our series on Cracking the Facebook System Design Interview, we recommend reading it by clicking the below link:
👩💻 Best System Design Interview Course
🚀 Complete SWE Interview Course [💰 Limited Time 10% offer]
🙋♀️ Behavioral Interview Guide [💰 Special Discount]
📚 Recommended Interview Preparation Book (on Amazon)
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