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 "No Leadership Experience".
Candidates often get asked in the behavior interviews to tell about a time when they showed leadership in their workplace.
By this question, the interviewers are looking to evaluate you on various attributes like:
- Taking responsibility
- Having confidence
- Strong communication skills
- Relationship-building skills
They want to understand what leadership means to you and see if you have ever taken the initiative to lead something at your current or past workplaces. For example:
- Heading up an entire project
- Mentoring a junior engineer
- Proposing an alternate design to an existing problem
- Onboarding a new engineer
- Stepping up to fix an unexpected issue.
They want to know that you can lead with good judgment at times when leadership is required within the team or company.
Our advice is to use an actual and honest story to articulate a situation where you have demonstrated leadership and achieved tangible or quantifiable results that benefited your team or company.
Briefly outline the situation to provide enough details to the interviewer.
Explain your tasks and responsibilities by describing the end goal or deliverables.
Spend most of the time explaining how you executed and led the initiative. Few examples are as follows:
- Led a group of coworkers by creating a detailed timeline of the project and assigning them specific responsibilities. Took feedback from all the stakeholders and incorporated it into the plan to achieve a better outcome.
- Initiated cross-team collaboration to lead on cross-functional projects or to avoid reinventing a technology.
- Created a step-by-step guide for new hires in your team or for knowledge transfers to your coworkers.
Express how these actions led to an outcome that was beneficial not just to the company but also was an excellent experience for all the stakeholders.
You can also briefly discuss the learnings you took from this situation to improve your leadership style further.
Use a compelling story that is honest and believable. Pick an example where you have demonstrated your leadership skills.
Use the word "lead" to help describe the actions you took.
Do not sugarcoat your answer with irrelevant details. Spend more time talking about the aspects of the story where you showed your leadership skills.
Be careful not to fall into the trap of underselling your role.
The biggest way to mess up answering this question is simply saying that you have no leadership experience. Remember that you do not need a leadership title to exercise leadership.
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 chance to show leadership in your workplace. 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 have no leadership experience. Remember that you do not need a leadership title to exercise leadership. Instead, try to use a real experience from your college, like a course project that you may have led.
This will help the interviewer evaluate you on various attributes that we mentioned earlier, like:
- What leadership means to you,
- Taking responsibility,
- Having confidence,
- Communication skills, and
- Relationship-building skills.
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)
This article is part of the series on Behavioral Interviews at Facebook. So, follow us to get notified when our next article in this series is published. Thanks for reading!
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