Product Manager (Facebook)

Intro

Product sense

Execution

Leadership & drive

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The recruiting process

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Facebook interview process

The recruiting process for product managers at Facebook:

  • Recruiter screen: 20-30 mins call with the recruiter to confirm your resume and nominal fit for the role
  • Hiring manager call (optional, only if you have a team allocated): open-ended call with the manager of the team
  • Phone screen: the first "formal" part of the interview: two 45 mins call with PMs, covering product sense and execution
  • Onsite: 4-5 45 min interviews onsite in Menlo Park, covering product sense, execution, leadership & drive, and if allocated to a team, cross-functional interviews.

Most product managers are hired in the generalist pipeline — once you pass the interview process, they'll be a seperate team matching phase to find you a team. Your offer is contingent on getting interest from a team.

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Recruiter, sourcer, RC: what's the difference?

Recruiting at big tech companies is primarly driven by dedicated recruiting teams rather than the hiring manager. A recruiting team consists of:

  • Recruiter: the main person driving the process, generally compensated or at least evaluated by number of positions filled.
  • Sourcer: the person that initially found your profile, will generally pass you on to a recruiter almost immediately. Sourcers will generally have an area of specialization (proactive outreach, direct applications, internal referrals, etc.)
  • Recruiting Coordinator (RC): the main person responsible for scheduling and logistics on the team. Often a contractor.
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The interview

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What happens in the interview room

Interviews are generally 45 mins:

  • Video interviews: you'll be given a BlueJeans link (make sure to test the setup ahead of time), have paper handy for sketching/note taking.
  • Onsite interviews: you'll generally be in a 4-6 person conference room with a whiteboard.
  • Timing: expect ~5 minutes of small talk at the beinning (but not much more than that), 30-35 minutes of content, and 5 minutes at the end for your questions.
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Questions to ask the interviewer

At the end of each interview, you'll be given 5 minutes to ask questions of the interviewer. Ask about things you're genuinely cruious and interested. If you're not sure, these are topics you can cover:

  • The company: what's the company culture like, what are the biggest challenges, biggest opportunities, etc.
  • The person: why did you choose this job, what do you like here, how is it different than your previous jobs, etc.
  • The team: (if you have a team assignment) how many people on the team, what are the biggest priorities for the team, biggest challenges, etc.
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Behind the scenes

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What happens behind the scenes

Recruiters drive the process forward, always with an eye towards your chance at passing the hiring committee:

  • After the phone screen: both interviewers have 24 hrs to submit a rating and their feedback notes. Your recruiter reviews the feedback, and if it looks like you have a shot (fairly low bar), passes you along to onsite.
  • After the onsite: the recruiter compiles your "packet" (interview feedback, resume, referrals, etc.) and if they think you have a shot at the job, schedules it for review at the next hiring committee meeting.
  • The hiring committee: comprises of senior leaders accross the company and reviews the entirety of your hiring packet. The hire recommendations from your interviewers has some weight, but they read the feedback thorougly and make a holistic decision based on all the feedback. The committee also sets your level.

Note that the hiring manager has little influence here: they can advocate for a candidate early in the process, but the final decision rests with the hiring committee.

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Why you might be asked to reinterview

You might sometimes be asked to return to redo either the product sense or execution interview. This can be scary and you might be trying to decode what you did wrong.

The main thing you need to know: Facebook only reinterviews if the interviewer screwed up some way, not if the candidate didn't do well. In cases were candidate performance is marginal or unclear, it's a pass — you don't have to worry that you did something wrong.

For example, the interviewer might have gone on vacation, botched their notes or any other reason. Don't stress out if this happens to you and simply perform the reinterview like you did the original interview.

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What to do if you're rejected

Every successful PM has a trophy case full of rejections — it's genuinely a normal part of the process.

  • Focus on building relationships: interviewing is an unique opportunity to connect with interesting people across the ecosystem. Forgo the stock thank you notes and genuinely engage with the people you had a real connection with. Use Clearbit to find email addresses.
  • Reapply after 12 months: there are plenty of people at Facebook that failed the interview at some point in the past — so long as you did reasonable in the original interview, you'll have no trouble getting a reinterview after 12 months.
  • The Hiring Manager loophole: at Facebook, if you get an individual hiring manager to vouch for you, you can bypass the 12 month waiting window. Consider waiting a month or two and reaching out to hiring managers in your network or LinkedIn connections in areas you have expertise in.
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