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2024 Top Helpful Meta Data Engineer Interview Questions
Apr 25, 2024

2024 Top Helpful Meta Data Engineer Interview Questions

Prepare for your meta data engineer interview with these top helpful questions. Get ready to showcase your skills!

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Are you interested in a career as a data engineer at Meta - the company that powers Facebook, Messenger, and other groundbreaking platforms? In this blog post, we'll explore the multifaceted world of data engineering at Meta and provide valuable insights into the role, expectations, and interview process.

Preparing for interviews at top tech companies like Meta requires not just technical expertise but also inside knowledge and strategic application forwarding. Weekday.works can help streamline this process, connecting you with insiders who can recommend you for roles that fit your skills and aspirations.

โ€œWhat is the Role of Data Engineering at Meta?โ€

The role of a data engineer at Meta goes beyond traditional data management. Data engineers are responsible for managing data warehouse plans for various business verticals, designing, building, and optimizing new or existing data models, and collaborating with internal stakeholders to understand business requirements and develop scalable data solutions. With Meta's focus on the metaverse, data engineers play a pivotal role in harnessing vast data resources to generate actionable insights and drive business decisions.

  • Technical Expertise and Expectations Needs: Data engineers at Meta are expected to possess a diverse skill set, including expertise in data warehousing, SQL or similar DBMS languages, data modeling, and software development. Proficiency in relevant programming languages, data pipeline design, ETL processes, and data visualization tools is also crucial for success in this role. The interview process for a data engineering role at Meta evaluates various skills, including technical proficiency, problem-solving ability, and cultural fit, making it an enriching and challenging experience.

What Interview Process Involves?

The interview process for a data engineering role at Meta typically involves multiple rounds, including technical assessments, coding challenges, and behavioral interviews. Candidates are expected to demonstrate strong technical skills in areas such as data modeling, ETL processes, and programming languages like Python or SQL. Additionally, they should showcase their problem-solving abilities, communication skills, and understanding of data engineering best practices.

  • Stages of the Interview Process

The interview process for a data engineering role at Meta typically consists of several stages:

  • Resume Screen: The initial stage where recruiters review the candidate's resume to assess their qualifications and relevance to the role.
  • Recruiter Phone Screen: A preliminary conversation with a recruiter to discuss the candidate's background, experience, and interest in the role.
  • Technical Screening: Candidates undergo a technical assessment, which may include coding challenges, data modeling exercises, or system design questions to evaluate their technical skills and problem-solving abilities.
  • Onsite Interviews: Finalists are invited for a series of onsite interviews, which usually involve a mix of technical and behavioral questions. These interviews are conducted by a panel of engineers and managers to assess the candidate's technical expertise, cultural fit, and overall suitability for the role.
  • Specific Focus on Individual Contributors vs. Management Tracks

During the interview process, candidates may be evaluated for different career tracks based on their experience and career goals:

  • Individual Contributor (IC) Track: Candidates aspiring to be individual contributors are assessed primarily on their technical skills, problem-solving abilities, and ability to work independently or as part of a team.
  • Management Track: Candidates interested in management roles are evaluated not only on their technical skills but also on their leadership qualities, communication skills, and ability to manage teams and projects effectively.
  • Insights into the Post-Interview Evaluation Process

After the interviews, the hiring team collaborates to review the candidate's performance across all stages. This evaluation process involves:

  • Discussing the candidate's technical competencies, problem-solving approach, and ability to articulate their thought process.
  • Assessing the candidate's cultural fit, collaboration skills, and alignment with Meta's values.
  • Considering feedback from all interviewers to make a well-rounded decision.
  • The final decision is made based on a consensus among the interviewers, and the selected candidate is extended an offer.

Navigating Meta's interview stages requires a clear understanding of what each step entails. Weekday.works offers insights and strategies from engineers who've been through similar processes, providing an edge in your preparation.

What Role and Skills Required?

Core Responsibilities of a Data Engineer at Meta

A data engineer at Meta is responsible for developing and maintaining the infrastructure and systems that enable the efficient processing and analysis of large datasets. Key responsibilities include:

  • Designing and implementing scalable data pipelines.
  • Ensuring data quality and integrity.
  • Collaborating with data scientists and analysts to support data-driven decision-making.
  • Optimizing data storage and retrieval processes.
  • Developing tools and frameworks to enhance data accessibility and usability.

Skill Requirements

To excel as a data engineer at Meta, certain technical skills are essential:

  • Coding: Proficiency in programming languages such as Python, Java, or Scala is crucial for developing data processing and automation scripts.
  • SQL: Strong SQL skills are necessary for querying and manipulating data stored in relational databases.
  • Data Modeling: Understanding data modeling concepts is key to designing efficient data structures and schemas.
  • Product Sense: A good sense of product development helps in aligning data engineering efforts with business objectives and user needs.

Behavioral Skills

In addition to technical skills, Meta values behavioral skills and cultural fit:

  • Communication: Clear communication is vital for collaborating with cross-functional teams and explaining technical concepts to non-technical stakeholders.
  • Problem-solving: The ability to tackle complex problems and come up with innovative solutions is highly valued.
  • Adaptability: Being flexible and open to learning new technologies and methodologies is important in Meta's fast-paced environment.
  • Culture Fit: Alignment with Meta's values and mission is crucial for long-term success in the role.

Technical Interview Focus Areas

meta data engineer interview questions
Technical Interview Focus Areasโ€

Coding Questions

In the coding segment of Meta's Data Engineer interview, candidates are tested on their proficiency with Python and their problem-solving skills. Here's a closer look at what to expect:

Focus Areas:

  • Proficiency in a programming language of the candidate's choice.
  • Ability to solve complex problems efficiently with code.
  • Understanding of core computer science concepts like data structures (lists, dictionaries, sets, etc.), loops, conditionals, and algorithm complexity.
  • Skills in manipulating data structures and performing operations like searching, sorting, and optimization.
  • Ability to write clean, efficient, bug-free, and well-documented code.

Sample Coding Questionย 

  1. Write a function that reverses a string.
  2. Implement an algorithm to detect a cycle in a linked list.
  3. Given a list of numbers, return all possible permutations.
  4. Write a function to check if a given binary tree is a binary search tree.
  5. Implement a stack with push, pop, and min functions, where min returns the minimum element in the stack.
  6. Given two strings, write a method to decide if one is a permutation of the other.
  7. Write a function that converts a spreadsheet column id to the corresponding integer, with "A" corresponding to 1.
  8. Given an array of integers, find two numbers such that they add up to a specific target number.
  9. Implement an algorithm to print all valid (e.g., properly opened and closed) combinations of n pairs of parentheses.
  10. Write a method to replace all spaces in a string with '%20'.
  11. Implement a function to perform basic string compression using the counts of repeated characters.
  12. Given a matrix of m x n elements (m rows, n columns), write a function to print the matrix in a spiral order.
  13. Write a function that takes a string as input and reverses only the vowels of a string.
  14. Implement a function to check if a linked list is a palindrome.
  15. Write a program to find the node at which the intersection of two singly linked lists begins.

Preparation Tips:

  • Practice coding problems on platforms like LeetCode, HackerRank, and CodeSignal.
  • Review basic and advanced data structures and algorithms.
  • Work on problems involving string manipulation, recursion, dynamic programming, and graph theory.
  • Get comfortable coding by hand or on a whiteboard, articulating your thought process as you solve problems.

SQL Questions

In the SQL segment of the Meta Data Engineer interview, candidates encounter a diverse range of questions designed to assess their proficiency in data manipulation and database management. Here's a breakdown of the types of SQL questions you can expect:

Focus Areas:

  • Knowledge of SQL syntax and functions.
  • Ability to perform complex queries using joins, aggregate functions, subqueries, and set operators.
  • Understanding of database concepts like normalization, indexes, and views.
  • Skills in optimizing queries for performance.
  • Experience with data import/export, schema design, and ETL processes.

Sample SQL Question

  1. Write an SQL query to find the second-highest salary from the Employees table.
  2. How would you write an SQL query to find all duplicates in a table?
  3. Write an SQL query to fetch the count of employees working in each department.
  4. How would you join two tables without common columns?
  5. Write a query to find the top 3 highest earning employees in each department.
  6. How do you handle NULL values in SQL while performing arithmetic calculations?
  7. Write an SQL query to find the employee who has the highest salary in the company.
  8. How would you use SQL to find the total number of days between two dates?
  9. Write an SQL query to display a list of employees that do not have managers.
  10. How would you normalize a database with redundant data?
  11. Write an SQL query to find all employees who started after 2015 but have left the company.
  12. Explain the difference between a HAVING clause and a WHERE clause in SQL.
  13. Write an SQL query that updates all Names in a table to be lowercase.
  14. How would you optimize a slow-running query on a large table?
  15. Write an SQL query to find the third maximum salary in a table without using the TOP or LIMIT keyword.

Preparation Tips:

  • Brush up on SQL fundamentals and advanced concepts.
  • Solve SQL problems on platforms like SQLZoo, HackerRank, and LeetCode.
  • Practice writing queries for different scenarios, focusing on efficiency and scalability.
  • Understand the nuances of the specific SQL dialects used by popular database systems like PostgreSQL, MySQL, and SQLite.

Data Modeling Questions

Meta operates on the foundation of gathering vast quantities of data. Consequently, optimally structuring this data is crucial. You should anticipate discussions on identifying the data requirements for one of Meta's offerings. Following that, you'll be tasked with conceptualizing a data mart tailored for analytical purposes and crafting select SQL queries to yield precise outcomes.

Focus Areas:

  • Understanding of relational and non-relational database design.
  • Ability to create normalized and denormalized data models.
  • Skills in designing data warehouses and data marts for analytical purposes.
  • Knowledge of data modeling best practices and design patterns.
  • Experience with data modeling tools and notation (e.g., ER diagrams).

Sample Data Modeling Question

  1. Design a schema for a social media site like Twitter, focusing on features like tweets, followers, and hashtags.
  2. How would you model a database for an online bookstore?
  3. Design a data model for a ride-sharing application focusing on drivers, riders, and ride history.
  4. Explain how you would design a schema for tracking software versions and dependencies.
  5. How would you model user activity data for a large e-commerce platform?
  6. Design a data model for a global weather tracking system.
  7. Explain the considerations for designing a scalable database for a video streaming service.
  8. How would you structure data for a multi-tenant application where each tenant has different data access levels?

Preparation Tips:

  • Use Meta's products and think critically about the features and user experience.
  • Read up on case studies and articles about data-driven decision-making at Meta.
  • Practice designing experiments and metrics for hypothetical product features.
  • Stay updated on the latest trends in social media, VR/AR, and technology.

Product Sense Questions

Data engineers are integral to Meta's product development strategy, necessitating a keen understanding of products and the capacity to engage in strategic discussions.

During all three technical interviews, candidates will encounter case studies reflecting typical product challenges addressed by Meta leveraging data. Demonstrating critical thinking regarding product requirements and offering robust technical solutions is paramount.

Focus Areas:

  • Knowledge of Meta's product ecosystem and how data drives decision-making.
  • Ability to identify key performance indicators (KPIs) for product features.
  • Skills in designing data-driven experiments and A/B tests.
  • Understanding of user behavior analysis and data visualization.
  • Insight into future trends and potential improvements for Meta's products.

Sample Product Sense Questions

  1. How would you improve the search functionality on Facebook?
  2. If tasked with increasing user engagement on Instagram stories, what metrics would you look at, and why?
  3. Design a feature to help increase marketplace transactions on Facebook.
  4. How would you use data to decide on introducing a new feature in WhatsApp?
  5. Propose a method to measure the success of a new video recommendation algorithm on Instagram.

Preparation Tips:

  • Use Meta's products and think critically about the features and user experience.
  • Read up on case studies and articles about data-driven decision-making at Meta.
  • Practice designing experiments and metrics for hypothetical product features.
  • Stay updated on the latest trends in social media, VR/AR, and technology.

Behavioral Questions

In the Meta Data Engineer interview, the focus shifts towards evaluating a candidate's capability to autonomously navigate responsibilities and make impactful decisions within the organization. Here's an insight into what candidates should anticipate:

Focus Areas:

  • Demonstrated leadership and initiative in past projects.
  • Ability to make data-driven decisions and solve problems.
  • Communication skills, particularly in explaining technical concepts to non-technical stakeholders.
  • Experience working in teams and managing conflicts.
  • Adaptability and openness to feedback.

Sample Behavioral Questions

  1. Describe a time when you had to make a quick decision without all the information you needed.
  2. Talk about a project where you had to collaborate with cross-functional teams.
  3. Have you ever disagreed with a team member? How did you resolve it?
  4. Tell us about a time when you had to take the lead on a project.
  5. Describe a challenging problem you solved at work. How did you solve it?

Preparation Tips:

  • Reflect on past work experiences and prepare stories that showcase your skills and achievements.
  • Practice the STAR (Situation, Task, Action, Result) method to structure your responses.
  • Be ready to discuss challenges you've faced, decisions you've made, and what you've learned from your experiences.
  • Research Meta's culture and values to align your answers with what the company is looking for.

Sample Interview Questions with Answers

meta data engineer interview questions

Design Challenges

Question: Design a database schema for a ride-sharing application.

Answer: A possible schema could include tables for Users, Drivers, Rides, and Payments. The Users table might have columns for user_id, name, and contact_info. The Drivers table could include driver_id, name, and vehicle_info. The Rides table would have ride_id, user_id, driver_id, start_time, end_time, and fare. The Payments table might include payment_id, user_id, amount, and payment_method.

Question: Create a system design for a smart parking lot.

Answer: The system could include sensors for detecting vehicle presence, a database for tracking parking space availability, a payment system for processing fees, and a user interface for drivers to find and reserve spaces. The design should consider real-time data processing, scalability for handling peak hours, and security measures for payment transactions.

Algorithm and Data Structure Problems

Question: Write a function that merges two sorted lists of integers.


Question: Write a function that returns the first recurring character in a string.


SQL and Database Scenarios

Question: Write an SQL query to find the most viewed pages on a website.


Question: Discuss strategies for managing large SQL tables.

Answer: Strategies include partitioning the table by date or other relevant criteria, creating indexes on frequently queried columns, and optimizing queries by selecting only necessary columns and using joins efficiently. Additionally, regular maintenance tasks like vacuuming and analyzing tables can help improve performance.

Building and Optimizing Data Pipelines

Question: Describe how you would build a data pipeline to ingest data from multiple sources.

Answer: Would use a combination of tools like Apache Kafka for real-time data streaming, Apache NiFi or Apache Airflow for data orchestration, and a distributed storage system like HDFS or Amazon S3. The pipeline would include stages for data collection, transformation, and loading into a data warehouse or database for analysis.

Question: Discuss how you would optimize a data pipeline for performance.

Answer:ย  Implement parallel processing to handle large volumes of data, use partitioning to distribute the workload, and employ caching for frequently accessed data. Additionally, I would continuously monitor the pipeline's performance and adjust the resources allocated to different stages as needed.

Behavioral Scenarios

Question: Describe a situation where you had to make an ethical decision in your work.

Answer: In a previous project, I discovered that some data used in our analysis was obtained without proper consent. I raised the issue with my team and management, and we decided to exclude that data from our analysis, even though it impacted our results. It was important to uphold our ethical standards and maintain trust with our users.

Question: Discuss a time when you had to navigate a challenging team dynamic.

Answer: In one project, there was a conflict between team members over the approach to take. I facilitated a meeting where everyone could voice their concerns and ideas. We collaboratively developed a hybrid solution that incorporated elements from different proposals. This approach not only resolved the conflict but also led to a more robust solution.

Question: Describe a project you managed from start to finish.

Answer: I managed a project to develop a real-time analytics dashboard for monitoring e-commerce sales. I started by gathering requirements from stakeholders and defining the project scope. Then, I assembled a cross-functional team of developers, data engineers, and designers. Throughout the project, I used Agile methodologies to manage tasks, track progress, and adapt to changes. I facilitated regular stand-up meetings, sprint planning, and retrospectives to ensure alignment and address any issues. The project involved integrating various data sources, developing the backend infrastructure, and designing an intuitive user interface. We conducted user testing to gather feedback and make improvements. Finally, we successfully launched the dashboard, which provided valuable insights into sales trends and helped the business make data-driven decisions. The project was delivered on time and within budget, and it received positive feedback from stakeholders for its impact on the business.

Demonstrating the right behavioral skills is key. Weekday.works not only helps you present your best technical self but also emphasizes soft skills development through workshops and community discussions, making you a well-rounded candidate.


By familiarizing yourself with these top Meta Data Engineer interview questions, you'll be well-prepared to showcase your understanding of data pipelines, modeling techniques, and the critical role you play in the data ecosystem. Remember, your ability to translate complex concepts and demonstrate problem-solving skills will be key to impressing interviewers.

For employers, these questions serve as a valuable tool to identify candidates who possess the technical expertise and problem-solving abilities required to excel in this crucial role. By asking the right questions and effectively evaluating responses, you'll be well on your way to finding the perfect Meta Data Engineer to join your team.

Now go forth, confidently navigate your interview, and unlock the power of data with the perfect Meta Data Engineer by your side!

Frequently Asked Questions

Still, have questions about navigating the data engineering interview landscape at Meta and other leading tech companies? Weekday.works offers direct insights and tips from engineers who've successfully landed jobs in these coveted roles.

Q: What are the common topics covered in a data engineering interview at Meta?

A: Interviews typically focus on coding (especially in Python or SQL), data modeling, system design, and ETL processes. You may also be asked about your experience with big data technologies, data pipeline optimization, and data warehousing solutions.

Q: How does Meta approach data engineering and decision-making?

A: Meta emphasizes scalable, efficient, and reliable data engineering practices to support its vast data ecosystem. Decision-making is data-driven, with a focus on innovation, user privacy, and ethical considerations. Data engineers at Meta are expected to be proactive in identifying opportunities for improvement and contributing to strategic decisions.

Q: How can I stand out as a candidate for a data engineering role at Meta?

A: Demonstrate a strong foundation in coding and data systems, along with a keen understanding of Meta's products and business goals. Showcase your problem-solving skills, creativity in handling data challenges, and your ability to work effectively in a team. Highlight any unique experiences or projects that align with Meta's values and technological ambitions.

Q: What resources can I use for further preparation and practice?

A: Utilize online platforms like LeetCode, HackerRank, and Coursera for coding practice and technical skill development. Follow industry blogs, join data engineering communities, and stay updated with the latest trends and technologies in the field. Consider participating in hackathons or contributing to open-source projects to gain practical experience and showcase your skills.


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