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✅ Tell Me About A Time You Had To Handle Pressure | Facebook Behavioral Interview (Jedi) Series 🔥

Before we discuss this question, let us recap what the Behavioral Interview Round at Facebook is.

  1. Behavioral Interview Round is also known as the Jedi Interview round at Facebook.

  2. It is about you and your history, your résumé, and your motivation.

  3. 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.

Tips & Tricks to effectively prepare for Behavioral Interviews

Tips & Tricks to effectively prepare for Behavioral Interviews

  1. Know yourself! Take the time to review your résumé, as the interviewer will almost certainly ask about key events in your work history.

  2. Have concrete examples or anecdotes to support each of the questions.

  3. Familiarize yourself with Facebook's mission statement and its five core values:

    • Be Bold
    • Focus on Impact
    • Move Fast
    • Be Open
    • Build Social Value
  4. Be yourself! Be open and honest about your successes and failures.

  5. Be humble and focus on teamwork, leadership, and mentorship qualities.

Now, let us review how to effectively answer this question.

Question: Tell Me About A Time You Had To Handle Pressure

Tell Me About A Time You Had To Handle Pressure

Video Explanation with Evaluation Criteria, Response Framework, Tips & Tricks, Sample Answer (Example), and a Special Case of "Never Worked Under Pressure".

Handling work pressure and stressful situations is a crucial part of everyone's career journey. Interviewers often ask candidates to tell about a time they had to handle pressure at their workplace.

Evaluation Criteria

Evaluation Criteria for Tell Me About A Time You Had To Handle Pressure Evaluation Criteria for Tell Me About A Time You Had To Handle Pressure

Everyone faces stressful situations and comes under pressure once in a while at their jobs. Through this question, the interviewer's goal is to assess whether you can perform in challenging situations or unstructured environments and distinguish between the urgent and the important.

They are trying to understand if you can stay calm, exercise judgment, and act responsibly in such unexpected high-pressure scenarios. They are also evaluating your:

  • Communication,
  • Time management,
  • Problem-solving, and
  • Decision-making skills.

Employers want to know if you can:

  • Handle competing priorities,
  • Shift gears when needed, and
  • Understand the implications of missing deadlines.

They are looking to see if your coworkers can rely on you to get the work done.

Response Framework

Response Framework for Tell Me About A Time You Had To Handle Pressure

Our advice is to pick a compelling and honest story that can articulate a real-life experience where you had to manage a high-pressure situation at your workplace.

Describe the situation, the events that occurred, and explain how it became challenging while working on a particular project. For example, it can be any of the following scenarios:

  • A few of your colleagues working with you on the project unexpectedly left the team or the company, and you were left short-staffed to complete it within the deadline.
  • Your manager or coworker might hand you a last-minute request that is of higher priority.
  • Something genuinely urgent comes up, like a production issue, for which you had to drop everything else.

Explain to the interviewer how you evaluated and decided your plan of action. For example:

  • You worked with your manager or technical lead to redefine your current OKRs and deprioritize a few optional tasks so that you can deliver the necessary features on time.
  • Describe how you were creative and resourceful to get additional help from your own or another team to deliver the project within the deadline.

Also, elaborate on how you communicated about this shift with your manager, coworkers, and other stakeholders.

Finally, express how the outcome and the impact were beneficial to the company or team. Also, explain the learnings you took from this challenging situation and how they helped you become a better engineer.

Tips & Tricks

Tips and Tricks for Tell Me About A Time You Had To Handle Pressure

Here are some tips and tricks that will help you effectively prepare this question for the behavioral interview.

  1. Use a compelling story that is honest and believable.

    • It is most desirable to describe a real-life example to the interviewer to show that you have actually faced such a situation in your career and not just talk about a generic strategy.
  2. Always remain calm, composed, and confident while answering this question.

  3. Do not sugarcoat your answer with irrelevant details.

    • Spend more time talking about the actions you took to handle the challenging situation.
  4. Show that you proactively communicated about the shifting priorities to all the stakeholders to keep them well informed.

  5. Focus on the business impact that you had on your company or team.

  6. The biggest way to mess up answering this question is by simply saying that you have never worked under pressure at your workplace.

    • Instead, explain your strategies for dealing with stress in your day-to-day life.
  7. Prepare the response for this question beforehand, as it will be tough to structure your answer on the spot during the interview.

  8. Do not memorize the answer as it should come naturally, and you should sound confident to the interviewer.

Sample Answer (Example)

Here is Chandler. He is currently working as a tech lead at an internet startup. He is interviewing for the role of Staff Software Engineer at Facebook.

🎧 Listen to his response to this question in this YouTube Video

Special Case: Never Worked Under Pressure

Special Case: Never Worked Under Pressure

It may be the case that you never had to work in a challenging and stressful situation at your workplace. New Grads and entry-level software engineers may fall under this category.

If you are in such a situation, do not end your answer by simply saying that you have never worked under pressure. Instead, try to use a real experience from your college or day-to-day life. For example:

  • Handling multiple courses and projects, dividing the time between your part-time job and coursework, etc.

This will help the interviewer evaluate you on the following attributes mentioned earlier:

  • How you manage your time,
  • Stay calm in stressful situations,
  • Exercise judgment,
  • Communicate, and
  • Shift gears when needed.

Preparation Material

Learn more about the Evaluation Criteria, Response Framework, Tips & Tricks, and Sample Answers (Examples) to effectively prepare and answer these 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.

⬇️ Detailed Notes on Top Facebook Behavioral Interview Questions - Part 2

Cracking the Facebook Behavioral Interview

If you have not read our first article on Top Facebook Behavioral Interview Questions, we recommend reading it by clicking the below link:

Cracking the Facebook System Design Interview

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:

Useful Links

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✅ Membership [💰 Limited Time 10% offer]

👩‍💻 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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Discussion (1)

tsunade01 profile image
Jessica Ramos

I was recently asked this question in the interview. Thanks for sharing the tips for answering this question. These will help me to improve my answer in future interviews.