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Facebook RPM Interview Guide

Learn how to prepare for the Facebook Rotational Product Manager interview and get a job at Facebook with this in-depth guide.

Unlike Google, Facebook has a fairly relaxed set of requirements for backgrounds for product managers. While certainly a plus, there is no technical background requirement.

Apply at this link, or you can search for the separate new grad Rotational Product Manager role on their careers page.

Interview Process

Each Facebook interview takes 45 minutes, with some time at the beginning for introductions, and some time at the end for questions. Facebook suggests focusing on how you think, rather than arriving at a correct answer. The Facebook interviews generally consist of the following steps:

  1. (Optional) Screening Call. At first, you may receive an initial phone screen call with a Facebook recruiter. The purpose of this call is to ensure that you’re a good fit for the role. There’s not much prep work to be done here, as it’s a fairly straightforward call about your background and fit for the role.

  2. Phone Interview. The Facebook PM phone interview will generally consist of the typical types of questions they ask in interviews. The phone interview questions are generally lighter than the in-person interview.

  3. In-person Interview. Next, you will be invited for an on-site interview where you’ll meet face-to-face with Facebook PMs.

  4. (Optional) Final Interview. Sometimes, as a final stage of the interview, there will be one last virtual interview session with a Facebook PM. These last interviews are often scheduled in the case the hiring team is conflicted about the choice of the candidate.

Sample Interview Questions

You will encounter 3 types of questions at Facebook: Product Sense, Execution, and Leadership & Drive.

Expect interviews for these higher-level jobs (L5 and above) to ask more domain-specific questions.

Product Sense

This interview focuses on your product knowledge, creativity, instincts, and awareness.

Questions could focus on a product that you feel is a great product, why it’s a great product, and what you’d do if you were a PM or the CEO of that company. Other questions that could come up in this interview are looking at an existing Facebook Product like Groups, Events or Birthdays and figuring out how you’d evolve it. Your interviewer will be able to give you guidance along the way, although they will expect you to lead the conversation. In this interview it’s very important to have a structure in your thought process and to be able to revert back to your original idea / goal.

Commonly, the questions asked in Product Sense will guide you to design a product in an open-ended space without requiring you to talk about Facebook in any way. In this case, you may choose to explain areas where your product ideas could integrate into Facebook or stay more focused on the user experience which could even exist in a separate app. Inside of Facebook new product experiences really are tested in a variety of ways! Most importantly, emphasize what you would focus on and why.

Here is a list of product sense questions recently asked at Facebook.

In these interviews, Facebook is looking for:

  • How you take an ambiguous idea and create a great product
  • Your ability to empathize with the user
  • Intentional design choices
  • Prioritization to get things done

While we have a full guide to product design questions in our course, one tip for these questions is to always mention tradeoffs.

As you identify ideas and solutions, your Facebook interviewer may ask you to sketch out what your interface could look like and how people would use it. Don’t be afraid to use a whiteboard or piece of paper to think out loud. If your interview will be virtual take some time to find the best solution that works for you to share drawings. A whiteboard behind you works, but many people find they prefer to join the call from a second device with a camera pointed at a piece of paper, or a tablet in a sketch app on screen-sharing mode.

Execution

This is a very analytical, metric- and KPI-focused interview. Facebook is a deeply data-driven company with more than 2 billion users. Given the large amount of data Facebook has available, they expect product managers to be able to look at data to make decisions.

In your execution interview, Facebook will ask questions about how you identify and prioritize opportunities, and execute against them to build products. This interview will focus on how you analyze a set of constraints and problems to come up with the right set of metrics to measure success. Facebook will also ask how you adapt your plans and troubleshoot problems with new information and changing circumstances.

Here is a list of execution interview questions recently asked at Facebook.

Here, Facebook is looking for:

  • Goals: Being mindful of how the goals (especially quantitative goals) can be gamed or how they can sometimes be counter indicative of progress.
  • Metrics: What would you use to measure if the product is healthy? Which one would you prioritize? What happens if one is decreasing and the other is increasing?
  • Navigating a complex tradeoff: “A” or “B” option—how do you know what to show to which communities of users?
  • Debugging: Say you notice a specific metric dropping week after week. The interviewer will present a problem statement and you should ask questions to describe how you’d approach this challenge and determine what’s causing this metric to drop.

The key to success in these interviews is starting at a high-level with the goals of the product, and then drilling deeper into actions and metrics. We recommend employing the GAME framework for key metrics questions, as demonstrated in this PM lesson.

For role-play execution-style questions, we recommend getting a mock interview partner in our Slack Channel and testing yourself. Generally, the biggest tips here are to structure your thinking aloud, and state all assumptions you make as you go through the problem. Check out a sample role play execution mock interview video to get a sense of how they work.

Leadership and Drive

In your leadership & drive interview, Facebook will focus on understanding how you motivate a team, drive alignment, build relationships, and work with others. While the product sense and execution interviews use hypothetical cases, the leadership & drive interview focuses on behavioral questions about how you’ve worked with others in the past.

Your interviewer will ask four to five behavioral questions to assess your ability to build and support a team, and lead efforts. Focus areas include:

  • Taking ownership: How could you have prevented failure in your past instead of blaming external factors? How do you resolve conflicts instead of avoiding or ignoring them? How have you taken on and solved a challenging situation, whether or not you were told it was your problem to solve?
  • Being introspective: Are you aware of your weaknesses? Are you willing to learn and grow?
  • Supporting people: Do you appreciate that people have different needs and motivations? Are you able to adjust leadership style to specific situations, collaborating, reconciling differences?
  • Grit and scrappiness: Can you stick with something? Can you get something done with insufficient resources because you care?

Being relaxed, calm, and confident is the key to success in these interviews. However, there are definitely parts of this interview you can prepare for. For instance, create a story bank of experiences that you can use in the interviews, and practice some of these questions with a practice partner in our Slack Channel to get more confident and comfortable.

As you answer your interviewer’s questions, ask yourself if your responses include examples that show how you:

  • Demonstrate initiative.
  • Exhibit introspection and self-awareness.
  • Can be open about your failures and talk through examples of what you’ve learned from them.
  • Lead and support a team, including conflict management.
  • Are passionate about what you’ve done.

Learn everything you need to ace your Rotational Product Manager interviews.

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