Hung Truong: The Blog!

Facebook Internship Interview Result: Rejection! And Why I Like It…

October 26, 2007 | 2 Minute Read


So I got a polite (aren’t they always?) email from a recruiter at Facebook about my interview. Rejection. I guess I’m not too surprised since Facebook is everyone’s favorite company right now. Apparently there are billions of people who want to get a job/internship there, and currently, there’s like ~300 employees. So I didn’t have a very good chance from the start.

Of course, my thought process immediately after reading the message went something like this:

Stage 1: Retaliatory. “I’m going to create the next Facebook-killer and they’ll all regret the day they rejected me!”

Stage 2: Somewhat more realistic, optimistic. “I’m going to create something they can’t help but acquire, which will be my ‘in!’”

Stage 3: Realistic: “Okay, I guess I’ll just improve and maybe try again next year.”

People might wonder why I’m so open to listing my rejections publicly. I think the reason is that I’m not ashamed by them; I actually tend to get motivated instead. For example, when I was rejected by Berkeley, Georgia Tech, UC Irvine and Iowa State, I decided that I’d work extra hard when I finally did begin grad school at Michigan. And I think I’ve been doing a job of getting involved academically.

When I was rejected by Google, I decided I’d become a better programmer (in addition to becoming more interested in real research with stuff like social networks, etc). Plus I made MapsKrieg shortly after the rejection (mostly because I needed to find an apartment, but if I had given up on Google, I might’ve used the Yahoo Maps API instead…).

Apparently I still need to work on this aspect a bit since the Facebook interview was basically a programming/algorithmic question. The “interview” was so short that I doubt anything meaningful about my abilities could have been evaluated. Sure, I didn’t prove P=NP, but I thought I did okay… I think it was a matter of the process being way too competitive (or at least, that’s how I’ll rationalize it to make myself feel better).

So what does this latest rejection mean for me? It means I’ll be working a lot harder in my networks class, for one. I’m working on a fairly interesting project, so hopefully that’ll buff my otherwise slim portfolio. Facebook is the only (should I say first?) company to reject me so far for Summer internships. So I still have a few other good companies to try.

In two years (more like one and a half, now), there might be a better company I’d like to work for. I still have a lot of time before I graduate, so hopefully I can become “acceptance worthy” material by then.