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Facebook RPM Interview — My Experience

On the 6th of August, I received an email from the Facebook Rotational Product Manager recruiter if I’m still interested in the role and open for an interview which I said yes.

This kickstarted my journey to the heart of the Facebook interview which is three steps;

  1. 30-min phone screening
  2. Two 45min Product Sense and Product Execution Interview and
  3. Leadership interview and product execution interview (usually on-site).
    I had my first interview on 13th of August, and I was asked some few questions which some of them is below — I reflected on the experience and the questions asked, find below;

Interview one — 30min call

It doesn’t go as I predicted it. But the preparation really help a lot. Most importantly because I already have an answer for “tell me about yourself”;

I was asked the following questions;

  • Why do you want to work at Facebook
  • How I navigate ambiguity in the past — most importantly, how I make a decision when the road is not clear.
  • How I handle criticism at some point in my life.
  • What makes me the best candidate for this role — the question of “tell us about yourself” really helped me to navigate this session.
  • What is your best Facebook product and what metrics would you use for measurement?

COMMENT: The AEIOU framework is one of the best frameworks out there, it provides me with a mental model for solving the problem of User and Activities and also provided a framework for seeing what to measure and what’s important.

After the first interview, I moved to the next interview stage, it’s probably one of the most intense interviews I ever did, I found myself preparing for two weeks.

While doing my research, I found the following questions on Glassdoor and some other sources on the internet;

Product Sense

  • Design a product for travel on Facebook
  • What is your favorite product? How would you improve it?
  • Create a product for books on Facebook.
  • How would you design a product to borrow/lend for Facebook
  • How could we expand Search on Facebook in new ways?
  • Design a shopping app for grocery store
  • Design a book reading app
  • You are the PM for news feed. How would you improve it?
  • When you upload an album on FB, how many photos from that album should be displayed on Newsfeed? What’s the right number?
  • How would you design FB Sports?
  • How would you improve your favorite Facebook product?
  • How should we change about Profiles?
  • How would you design an app to help people choose which cheese to buy at a grocery store
  • Given a Hypothetical product, asked to define target market, identifying needs, mission of product.
  • Design a product for travel on Facebook
  • How should we change about Profiles?
  • If you have a year, how would you make Facebook events awesome?
  • How would you launch Uber for physically challenged
  • How would you decide between showing a pre-roll ad vs mid-roll ad for Facebook videos?
  • How would you go about deciding whether to accept payments via Facebook Messenger?

Leadership

  • Tell me an instance where things didn’t go well?
  • Tell me a time when you failed?
  • What are your strengths? And weaknesses?
  • Tell me about a time when you managed a difficult teammate?
  • What is something that you have devoted to outside of work?
  • What is something that you had to fundamentally change about yourself to be successful?

Product Execution

  • What metrics should we look at to evaluate the success of Facebook groups? What is the goal of Facebook groups?
  • What are metrics that we should look at when evaluating Facebook search?
  • You are the PM of the “share” feature(which people use to share on feed, as a private message, etc.). How would you measure the success of this feature? What metrics would you use and why? Out of the ones you have mentioned, which is the most important, and why?
  • Your team has implemented a change in the “share” and released it for A/B testing, where you realized that there is an increase of 20% usage of the feature. Would you decide to release it?
  • How would you measure the Facebook marketplace
  • How would you measure Facebook lite
  • Imagine you are the PM of a food-delivery app. How would you define and measure success?
  • How would you define and measure the success of Facebook Marketplace?
  • If you were the PM for Facebook Marketplace, how would you define success?
  • How should you decide whether to autoplay videos on the newsfeed? What success metrics?
  • You are PM for Instagram stories. How will you define success?
  • How will you define success for FB dating?
  • You are the Head of Product for Facebook Lite, What goals would you set up and how would you measure success
  • How would you measure the success of Facebook Stories?
  • Let’s say you’re the PM on Facebook Events. How would measure success?
  • What are metrics that we should look at when evaluating Facebook search?
  • What metrics should we look at to evaluate the success of Facebook groups? What is the goal of Facebook groups?
  • How would you measure the success of Facebook Stories?
  • Let’s say you’re the PM on Facebook Events. How would measure success?
  • You have recently released the new feature, and you were informed by all local sites (Facebook sites in each country) that the usage has indeed increased by 20%, but the overall global data shows only a 5% increase. How is this possible?

In preparing for the product execution and product sense interviews which I did on the same day — 2hrs apart, I found the below to be useful.

Facebook is in 4 core markets;

  • Photos
  • Messaging
  • Payments and
  • Video

Facebook’s current business is aggregating users and selling access to advertisers.


The last F8 event where the CEO talks about ‘privacy being the future’ the CEO further mentioned that, people everywhere got a powerful new tool for;

  • Staying connected
  • For sharing opinions
  • For doing business

The most Important part of the interview, which you must always keep on your mind.

  • Tie everything back to the Facebook mission
  • Always start with goal and user persona
  • Followed by defining needs/pain points and then feature design
  • Practice all Glassdoor questions (the same questions I have up there).

Facebook Mission:
To give people the power to build community and bring the world closer together.

  • A tool to build community or connections
  • Bring the world closer together

Users aren’t the same as customers

  • Customers: someone paying for the product
  • Users: someone using the product

Thinking about users

  • Think about where the product will be used
  • Think about who else might interact with it

Points to note:

  1. Think about the users
  2. Think of the use cases/problems of users
  3. Discuss what to design for with the interviewer
  4. Go through each use case and assess how well the current product or solution address those
  5. Make sure ideas are customer focus
  6. Give your interviewer a recap of your solution to let him or her know where you stand.

Features is what
Benefits is why

Interview two, Product sense interview — 50min call

The product sense interview is subdivided into three;

  1. Product improvement
  2. Favorite product
  3. Product design

Product Improvement question

For product improvement
Likely problems; expand userbase, Increase revenue, Increase user engagement, Increase conversion.

  • First, make sure you understand the product correctly and define what specific business metrics you’re trying to improve
  • Second, focus on defining the users for which we want to improve the product for and brainstorm what additional user problems we could solve
  • Third, generate solutions to these problems, prioritize, and make recommendations.

Favorite product question

  • similar to improvement
  • Rather than discussing what’s broken about the product, you discuss why you love the product.
  • Talk about the problem the product solves
  • How the product accomplishes its goals
  • How does it compare to other products/alternatives
  • How would you improve the product

Product design question

  • First, try and understand the business objectives
  • Second, focus on the target users and brainstorm what problem we could solve for them
  • Third, generate solutions for these problems, prioritize them and make recommendations
    For my product sense interview, I was asked to design Facebook sport and further asked to sketch a wireframe on product implementations.

The whole idea here is to be clear with objectives, user goals and implementation.

Interview three, Product execution interview — 45min call

For my product execution interview, I was asked;

  • If you’re the PM for groups what will be your goal — Facebook provided a video that answers a similar question, else, you can find a good way to answer this question by using the resources I will be dropping at the end of this article.
  • Facebook story traffic decrease by 5% within 24 hours, what will you do as a PM?

And lastly, most of the interviews have a common ending about what questions I want to ask, and I make it a habit to ask the below questions;

Questions to ask

  • With the recent clamor for anti-trust and data privacy, how do you think this will affect the company?
  • What do you find to be the most challenging part of being a product manager at Facebook?

Some crucial questions you need to answer before any interviews.

  • Tell me about yourself (this is a vital question, your work is to tailor your experience to the job you’re interviewing for)
  • Why do you want to work here? (Overall, tell a story or personal anecdotes — in the end, people remember stories not facts).
  • Why should we hire you? (Same as above)
  • What do you like to do in your spare time?

Overall, it was a great experience and I’m widely amazed at how nice Facebook recruiters are, looking from outside, I wouldn’t have thought they would be that nice considering the media portraits of the organization.

I found the resources below useful, I hope you’ll too and good luck in your interview.

https://medium.com/@jewellim/facebook-rpm-program-from-prep-to-offer-2d1be3772db8
https://www.rocketblocks.me/blog/facebook-pm-interview.php

https://igotanoffer.com/blogs/product-manager/facebook-product-manager-interview

https://igotanoffer.com/blogs/product-manager/product-metric-interview-questions

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