Careers

How to land a job at Facebook

Facebook is consistently ranked as one of the best companies to work for. Though the company has faced some public criticism over the past year, workers around the world continue to clamor for the opportunity to be a part of the Facebook team.

Facebook CEO and co-founder Mark Zuckerberg says his goal in 2018 is to fix Facebook's issues, including foreign interference and harassment on its platforms. Part of the solution is hiring new impact-driven employees says Liz Wamai, Facebook's director of recruiting.

"Mark's personal challenge for 2018 is to fix Facebook, so when you talk about separating recruiting and retention, I actually think its quite part and parcel of recruiting people who want to work on the most important problems about connecting the world," she said during Glassdoor's Best Places to Work Tour.

"The type of people we attract are really focused on solving big problems," says Janelle Gale, Facebook's vice president of human resources.

This new mission is reflected in the number of applicants they receive and the number of interviews they conduct each day. Gale has interviewed thousands of people applying for a role at Facebook. Here, she gives CNBC Make It her best advice for landing a job at the social networking site.

Here are the four things that she says applicants should keep in mind:

Fabrizio Bensch | Reuters

1. Skills beat experience

Just like every other company, getting a job at Facebook starts with sending in an application. Gale's first piece of advice for Facebook hopefuls is simple — apply, even if your resume does not exactly match the job description.

"We actually value skills over experience in the grand scheme of things," she says. "Apply if you have the relevant skills even if you don't have the right experience, because we're looking underneath the surface for what's really going to matter here and that's what skills you can bring to the table."

Women, she explains, are unlikely to apply for a role unless they meet or surpass every part of a job description, while men are more likely to apply for roles they are not entirely qualified for. This means that at a place like Facebook where experience is less important than skills, women could be doing themselves a disservice.

"Skills really matter the most," she says.

2. Know yourself

The next step of the Facebook application process is several rounds of interviews with the hiring manager and with peers. In order to prepare, Gale says that applicants should spend time reflecting on who they are, what their strengths are and what they are passionate about.

"The most important thing is getting really clear on who you are and what you bring to the table, because we're going to ask a lot about you as a person," she says. "We want to place you in a job where you are really enjoying the work, versus just getting you into a job here that you may be good at but don't enjoy."

Gale says that applicants are always asked to describe what they were doing on their very best day at work in order to get a sense of what kinds of things they actually like to do — so be sure to prepare for this question.

Janelle Gale, Vice President of Human Resources at Facebook
Courtesy of Facebook
Janelle Gale, Vice President of Human Resources at Facebook

3. Build

Once you are in the interview, Gale says that applicants should find a way to demonstrate their ability to problem solve. Internally, Facebook calls strong problem solvers "builders." Proving you are a builder is key to landing a job at Facebook.

"The thing that we look for the most is hiring people who are oriented to moving beyond the status quo and figuring out how to make things better," explains Gale.

One way to demonstrate that you are a builder is to show the company that you're capable of analyzing your previous work and talking about areas for improvement.

"The common mistake I see is when people come in as the 'expert' or the know-it-all and appear like they have nothing to learn," says Gale. "We really want people who are oriented towards learning and knowing they have something to learn."

A woman waits for an elevator in front of a logo at Facebook's headquarters in London.
Toby Melville | Reuters
A woman waits for an elevator in front of a logo at Facebook's headquarters in London.

4. Be yourself

Gale says her final piece of advice is something she learned the first time she met her future manager at Facebook.

"I showed up exactly who I am. I was myself and that actually really matters here," she says. "We have a product which is based on real identity. We want you connecting with your friends and family and really the proposition in our product is that you can be who you are in terms of all aspects of your life with the people you care about the most."

She says that the biggest advantage you can give yourself in a Facebook interview is to be your honest and authentic self.

"We don't want a facade. We don't want you to be in high-performance mode. In reality, we can honestly see through that," she says. "We want people to show up in terms of who they are."

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