In Conversation With Rob Campbell From Facebook | BYP Blog
Why is “diversity” important at Facebook?
Rob Campbell: Diversity is important at Facebook because we have a responsibility to people who use our products and platforms to ensure our teams are a reflection of them. The technology industry as a whole has a problem with the representation of underrepresented groups, and at Facebook we are not where we'd like to be. It is up every individual who works here to change this and in the recruitment team we are taking a number of short, medium and long-term steps to improve:
We are focused on building a diverse slate of candidates in the interview process. This approach encourages recruiters to look longer, harder and smarter for more diversity in the talent pool and ensures that hiring managers are exposed to a range of different candidates during the interview process.
What is the application process from beginning to end? How many stages and how many interviews?
Rob Campbell: The application process will differ depending on the area to which you are applying. In Software Engineering the interview process is very simple and can be outlined in 3 stages:
- if your application is successful, a recruiter will have a conversation with you. They will delve deeper into your fit for the role, they will tell you more about the opening/teams and they will prepare you for our interviews.
- The first stage is a 45 minutes long initial interview with a software engineer. We typically do not ask trick or estimation questions (we don't care how many ping pong balls can be fit in Sea World):
- Approx. 30 - 35 minutes - One or more coding questions for you to complete in a blank coderpad
- 10 minutes for your questions
- The second stage is a round of 45-minute onsite interviews (remote given the global Covid-19 situation). We look to get a broad picture of your skillset and fit:
- Coding interviews are 45 minutes are where you will solve general coding problems
- The design interviews are 45 minutes and will see you being asked to show off your design skills. The design question will be focused on either systems or product, depending on your background
- The behavioural interview is 45 minutes where you’ll talk through your previous work experience, motivations, and a number of other behavioural questions.
What ideal skills are you looking for in your applicants and Facebook in general? (Rob?)
Rob Campbell: Fit for teams and projects will vary depending on the individual need of those projects and teams but generally when assessing fit for Facebook I am looking for software engineers who have:
- Experience building large-scale server applications
What were your thoughts and feelings when applying for your first role at Facebook?
Rob Campbell: I can remember feeling two distinct emotions.
The first was imposter syndrome. I was putting myself in a position where I had to prove my ability and measure up to the high standards of those already here. Regardless of what I’d done in the past subconsciously, I was thinking “Rob, you have no chance”. Once I had met people from the team, I was interviewing for my nerves settled as everyone was down to earth and made me feel super comfortable. What I found were sources who were pushing the discipline forward, people who I could trade ideas with but also, more importantly, learn from.
The second feeling was excitement. My biggest issue with the technology industry, and actually what has kept me in it, is that there are not enough people from diverse backgrounds and the conversations around changing this reality while well-intentioned are often empty. My interviews showed me, future colleagues, that not only accepted that we could do more but that as recruiters we all have the responsibility to innovate, to push the needle and to challenge ourselves to make a difference. Diversity, to them, was not just a buzzword.
What advice would you give to black professionals who are looking to apply for a role at Facebook?
Rob Campbell: Do not let feelings of not being good enough stop you from applying. Do not let the misconception that there are no Black people here stop you from applying either. We do exist and we are numerous.
Sheryl Sandberg in “Lean in” said “Conditions for all women will improve when there are more women in leadership roles giving a strong and powerful voice to their needs and concerns.” I completely agree; I believe this also to be applicable to all underrepresented groups, including those from African and Caribbean descent. I believe the narrative around working-class Black men and women will only change when there are more of us “at the table” so to speak. Let’s be the role models to those young kids who do not see becoming a professional in the tech world as something worth pursuing or something that is even possible.
Facebook has the influence to change the world for the better.
If you need advice regarding your CV, I’m a software engineering recruiter and happy to help you to the best of my ability; feel free to find me on LinkedIn.