How to Win the
Facebook Product Manager Interview

Updated: October 31, 2020
9 min read

Like the other FAANG companies, Facebook has an extensive interview process to ensure that it’s hiring the best of best. The interview might seem intimidating, but there is nothing to be scared about with the right preparation.

 

Both Facebook and Google are generalists when it comes to hiring, meaning that they hire Product Managers for no particular team and decide where to place the candidate after receiving the offer.

 

Therefore, the Facebook Product Manager interview is more or less the same for the Rotational Product Manager Program and the regular Product Manager positions.


Here’s a list of what we will be talking about in this article:

 

What Does a Typical Facebook Job Posting Look Like?

Before we start talking about what to expect from the Facebook Product Manager interview, let’s take a look at a typical Facebook Product Manager job posting to see what exactly the company is looking for:

Like many other job postings, this section gives a general overview of a Facebook Product Manager’s responsibilities. In addition to driving the product from ideation to release, a Facebook Product Manager is expected to utilize data to lead the creation of leading products that align with Facebook’s business.

 

Let’s also take a look at the qualifications to see if there are any hints about the interview content:

 

Interestingly, for a highly competitive role, the qualification list is very short. While there is a “5+ years of experience” requirement, we know that this is just a number and encourage everyone who feels comfortable about their professional background to apply, regardless of how long they have been working.

What Is the Interview Process and Timeline?

The first phase is the typical HR phone screen. You will talk about yourself, why you want to work at Facebook, and why you believe your professional background fits well.

If you pass the HR phone screen, you will have two phone interviews with Facebook PMs. According to our members who interviewed, the recruiter will be very transparent and specific about the interview process. So, do expect to get more resources from them.

 As we will discuss in the next part, Facebook Product Manager interview is divided into three themes:

  • Product Sense
  • Execution
  • Leadership & Drive

One phone interview will ask you a product sense question, and you will have 45 minutes to answer it. The other one will be very similar, but you will get an execution question instead.

 

If you pass the two phone interviews, you will be invited for an onsite interview. Here, you’ll have three interviews, each about the three themes discussed above.

How Are You Evaluated?

From the feedback we have received from our members who interviewed at Facebook, the evaluation system is very objective and involves numerous steps before a final decision is made.

According to IGotAnOffer, here’s what happens behind the scenes:

  • After the two PM phone interviews, the interviewers are given 24 hours to submit an internal rating and notes about how well you did on the interview. Depending on their feedback, the recruiter decides whether you are qualified for the onsite or not.
  • After the on-site interview, the three interviewers will make a recommendation on whether to hire you or not. Along with the interviewers’ decisions, the recruiter will prepare a packet, including your interview feedback, resume, cover letter, and referrals.
  • The hiring committee, consisting of senior leaders, will review this packet and make a final decision. Note that this committee also decides your level and compensation.

How Do You Get an Interview at Facebook?

Like any other job posting, you are expected to submit your resume and cover letter through their website. Unlike any other company, however, Facebook receives thousands of applications from extremely talented individuals.

 

There are two things that you can do to set yourself apart from the competition.

 

The first action item is to write a Rockstar Product Manager resume. This is no easy task, and it requires you to think, research, and write out your professional experiences from the perspective of a Product Manager.

 

Unfortunately, many qualified candidates fail at this preliminary stage. Thankfully, we are here to help! Make sure you watch our resume video and read the blog post, linked in the video’s description to write the best Product Manager resume:

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Now that you are done with your resume, you might think that your part is over. It’s not! It just began.

 

Given the intense competition, you have to go above and beyond to be considered for Facebook. The best way to get noticed is to start networking with as many Facebook recruiters as possible.

 

Networking takes a long time and requires consistent effort. Sending your resume to every Facebook recruiter you find on Linkedin will get you nowhere. Watch our FAANG recruiter network guide to learn the proper networking approach that landed many Product Gym members PM jobs:

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Question Types

As we mentioned above, there are three themes that the questions are centered around:

  • Product Sense: As a Facebook Product Manager, you are expected to roll up your sleeves and work cross-functionally to create a product. You’ll be given a hypothetical scenario and asked about your approach to solving it.
  • Execution: This part of the interview assesses your ability to identify and prioritize opportunities for your product. You’ll be asked about your prioritization strategy, relevant metrics to measure your success. They will expect you to state the trade-offs in your responses clearly.
  • Leadership & Drive: This is the part where your people skills are put into the test. How you communicate with your stakeholders and teammates will be assessed.

Product Sense Sample Questions and Preparation Tips

In this part of the interview, you should display your customer-centric skills. The questions are all about product design and strategy, meaning that you will have to clearly explain how you would gather client requirements, design your product, and prioritize which features to build depending on the market needs.

 

Here’s what Facebook is looking for and a list of sample questions to get you started:

It is essential to focus on (1) establishing a meaningful value proposition, (2) customers and business areas, (3) what kind of impact this product has, and (4) how can you maximize that impact. You should also be able to answer how you will segment the customers and audience. Based on your segmentation decision, tie this back to impact.

You will most likely be given a product to answer your questions.

Whatever product they give you, here are some things to keep in mind:

  1. Segment your customers and audience (as the customer). For example, if there’s a question on a “Sports App,” who would be your target customer? Why would you target them?
  2. Prioritize your product areas around your segments.

Also, note that you will not need to address goals and metrics since your Execution interview will assess you on those.

Execution Sample Questions and Preparation Tips

This section of the interview is all about choosing the right success metrics and prioritizing features accordingly. You will be assessed for your analytical thinking skills. This is also where you will be facing questions about troubleshooting problems or adapting to changes in customer requirements.

Here’s what Facebook is looking for and a list of sample questions to get you started:

You will talk about metrics and goals. For metrics questions, your answer should address the following:

  • What metrics you picked out, and why?
  • How do they relate to the problem statement?
  • How would you measure the success of those metrics?

The interviewers will poke holes in metrics. You should be able to defend them to the best of your abilities. You should also be able to identify trade-offs and metrics to measure your trade-offs.

In summary, you should be as structured as possible. This includes being able to take a problem statement, end goal, and create metrics that tie back to the goal. Identify the dynamics of the product and any trade-offs you make along the way and layout decision criteria for everything.

Leadership & Drive Sample Questions and Preparation Tips

You will be given a range of behavioral questions asking you to talk more in-depth about your professional experiences. It’s essential to show that you know how to trust and support your teammates and have a mechanism for handling challenging situations.

 

Here’s what Facebook is looking for and a list of sample questions to get you started:

We know that these questions seem easy at first, but they may quickly destroy your chances of qualifying for the next round of your interview.

 

Make sure you watch our video on how to answer the “Tell me about yourself” question in a Product Manager interview:

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Given that Facebook is a software company, you need to be approved by their engineering team since you will be working with them the most. Understanding what the engineering function does at a company and finding the right ways to communicate with them can be challenging for the novice Product Manager that doesn’t have enough experience.

Another common question that throws off even the most-seasoned Product Managers is “What is your product management process?” You can learn how to answer this question the right way here:

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How Did Hiring Change At Facebook After COVID-19?

Despite the enormous economic damage caused by COVID-19, Facebook is keeping up with its usual hiring. We have noticed a consistent number of Facebook Product Manager roles available to candidates on LinkedIn and other popular sites.

 

Two Product Gym members got Facebook offers in early April at the pandemic’s height.

 

The only thing that changed about Facebook’s hiring is the way interviews are done. Given the company’s current work from home policy, candidates are expected to complete their in-person interviews virtually.

 

According to Facebook, candidates can use any tool they find suitable to complete the onsite interview, as long as they have a reliable internet connection.

 

They also state that the candidate portal has been updated to further help the candidates with their interviewing, given the current conditions. The new portal is enhanced with more interview prep resources and even a feature where the candidate can send thank you notes to the interviewers!

 

You’ll also find valuable information on how to overcome technical difficulties such as sketching out wireframes (a widespread Facebook Product Manager interview process!) using the tech they advise!

 

We know that virtual interviews are tough, and we are here to help. We have published the official Product Gym guide to dominating the virtual Product Manager interview back in April to help everyone adapt to the new normal.

The world’s first professional career coaching service committed to helping aspiring and veteran product managers transition into the product manager job of their dreams. Product Gym’s online curriculum helps you get the job and then crush it while on the job.

Participants attend class every Saturday for six weeks in a program designed to help them master a number of technical and soft skills, including product launch, data science, UX, interviewing, whiteboarding, and pitching.

Members have access to Product Gym’s career support services and resources, including a member network, workshops, offer and salary negotiation training, and interview feedback.

We've landed 500+ people their dream PM job at top companies like: