Facebook Technical Program Manager Interview Process
Facebook is, of course, a popular social networking website, but as an employer, it is known for having excellent perks, taking care of its employees, and great culture. It is no surprise that many skilled engineers want to be a part of Facebook. Whether it is for the role of a software developer or a technical program manager, the competition is intense. Getting in takes skill and well-directed preparation.
If you are preparing for a tech interview, check out our interview questions page and salary negotiation ebook to get interview-ready! Also, read Facebook System Design Interview Questions, Facebook Software Engineer Interview Questions, Facebook Coding Interview Questions, and Facebook Data Engineer Interview Questions for specific insights and guidance on Facebook tech interviews.
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In this article, we’ll focus on the Technical Program Manager role at Facebook — mainly help you understand what the interview process is like. We’ll cover:
- Facebook's Technical Program Manager Hiring Criteria
- Must-have Skills to for a Facebook Technical Program Manager
- Facebook Technical Program Manager Interview Process and Timeline
- Facebook Technical Program Manager Interview Questions
- FAQs on Facebook Technical Program Manager Interview
Facebook's Technical Program Manager Hiring Criteria
- A bachelor’s degree along with at least half a decade of experience in software engineering, hardware engineering, systems engineering, or technical product/program management is a minimum qualification for most technical program manager openings at Facebook.
- Minimum qualifications also include organizational, coordination, and multitasking experience, along with communication and planning skills and attention to detail.
- Technical program managers are hired for specific teams like security, connectivity, accessibility, ads, product design engineering, etc. Some minimum qualifications include the experience relevant to the specific teams and TPM roles.
Must-have Skills to for a Facebook Technical Program Manager
These interviews are designed to test the candidates on five fundamental areas:
- Technical Project Retrospective: In an interview with a Facebook TPM, you may be asked to solve a problem outside your experience that tests how you approach a problem, how well you communicate, how you deal with technical constraints and ambiguity. The key is having strong tech fundamentals, knowing what the interviewer is looking for, communicating your thought process well, drawing diagrams, and stating estimates of cost, time, etc., where appropriate.
- Architecture and System Design: An engineering manager or a tech lead will test your system design knowledge. They will gauge how you think when deciding tradeoffs and see whether you ask clarifying questions. It is important to be great at System Design. Strong fundamentals are essential, but there’s also a need to go beyond that here.
- Program Sense: This involves testing your overall capabilities for the role of a technical program manager. How do you manage risks? What is your approach towards deadlines? How do you respond to unforeseen changes? How do you work to meet requirements? The answers to these questions will often lie in your past experiences relevant to the role. Make sure to use the STAR format to tell your story as relevant. STAR format refers to stating the Situation, Task, Action, and Result, in that order. This gives the interviewer a clear idea of the constraints, the context, your attitude, the actions you took to change the situation, and the impact/result of your actions on the situation.
- Partnership: They also want to know about your history of cross-functional collaboration and your general approach towards it. This will involve behavioral questions that check how you handle tough situations, how you build relationships, and mostly seek to know more about your past experiences where you have handled the kind of situation presented (or part of it). STAR format comes in handy in answering these behavioral questions as well. Have all your work experience stories relevant to the role ready to share in this format.
- Leadership and Team Collaboration: These questions will focus on how you work within a team: Do you show ownership? How do you resolve conflicts with your team members? What’s your leadership style? Having stories from your work experience where you demonstrated leadership and team collaboration traits would help you put your best foot forward.
If your solutions and stories clear the bar in these 5 areas, you can fancy your chances of getting selected.
Facebook also has five core values:
- Move fast
- Be bold
- Focus on impact
- Be open
- Build social value
Stories from your experiences that show how your values align with Facebook’s values will also tell interviewers how you’re a good fit for the company.
Facebook Technical Program Manager Interview Process and Timeline
The interview process for a technical program manager at Facebook typically involves three stages: a recruiter interview, one or two phone interviews, and an onsite interview with multiple rounds.
TPMs at Facebook should balance risk and resources, support their colleagues, deal with ambiguity, handle tough situations, create a roadmap, and define crucial milestones. As a candidate applying for a TPM role, you will be expected to demonstrate these capabilities through your approach to given interview problems and stories of past experiences you share with interviewers.
1. Recruiter Interview
This interview will be a basic call to check if you have a shot at getting the job and if you’re someone they can work with. Expect questions like Why Facebook? Why specifically the TPM role at Facebook? You’ll be tested on how you communicate and many other behavioral aspects.
Knowing your resume, having a relevant TPM background, and interest in technical aspects will help you, so try to leverage that whenever possible and appropriate. You may also ask appropriate questions about the hiring process if you have any at the end of this interview.
Related Reading:How to Answer the Interview Question — "Why Are You Interested in This Role?"
2. Phone Screen
Next, you’ll have one or two phone interviews, which will likely be with a TPM at Facebook. You can expect the duration to be 60 minutes, with around 50 minutes for you to solve the question and around 10 minutes for follow-up/other questions and answers. The question will likely be a product sense or execution-related question.
You should also know your resume well, as you can be asked questions from it anytime. You can expect to hear from them regarding the results of the phone interviews in weeks.
3. Onsite Interview
Finally, you’ll have your onsite interview. It will likely have five rounds for each of the five fundamental evaluation criteria we discussed above. While each interview will likely be focused on assessing particular criteria, expect that questions assessing multiple criteria may be asked in each interview.
In the interviews, you will be evaluated on your technical acumen, leadership qualities, and program management abilities. You can expect the duration of each round to again be roughly 60 minutes, with around 50 minutes for the actual interview questions and around 10 minutes for any questions you’d like to ask them.
Once all the onsite interview rounds are over, it can take up to 2 weeks for you to get the final results. You may even be asked for one more follow-up interview. This is likely a good sign that you’re still in the game. Once you have your results of the onsite interview, expect that the process of negotiating, signing the offer letter, and finishing formalities will take a few weeks as well.
Facebook Technical Program Manager Interview Questions
The interviewers will evaluate you on project management, domain knowledge, analytical skills, technical depth, leadership ability, and collaboration skills. This means that the questions they’re really looking to get answers for are:
- How well can you organize, plan and execute a project?
- How well can you create, manage and improve business processes?
- Do you have sufficient role-related knowledge for the specific position you’ve applied for?
- Will you be able to have technical discussions with the team you’re joining and contribute meaningfully to them?
- Do you have a methodological thought process in the face of ambiguity? What does it look like?
- How well can you lead, persuade and influence the team without formal authority?
- How well can you work in teams and handle conflicts both within your team and among different teams?
Following are some sample Facebook TPM interview questions:
- Tell me about a time when you faced pushback from the members you were leading. How did you handle it?
- Tell me about a time when project requirements were changed significantly in the middle of a project. What did you do?
- Your team is about to launch a high-profile project tomorrow, and you discover a critical bug. What would you do?
- You want to implement 5 features for an upcoming project, but you have resources for only 3. What would you do?
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Get Ready for Your Facebook Technical Program Manager Interview
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FAQs on Facebook Technical Program Manager Interview Questions
Q. From where do I start my preparation for the Facebook Technical Program Manager Interview?
You can start by checking out the role-/team-specific requirements for various TPM openings at Facebook on their careers page. Also, go through their official guide for TPM roles and learn about their values. We also recommend checking out our articles on Facebook Phone Screen Interview Questions, Facebook Behavioral Interview Questions, and Facebook Interview Questions to boost your Facebook interview prep.
Q. How many rounds are there in the Facebook Technical Program Manager Interview?
The interview process for a technical program manager at Facebook typically involves three stages: a recruiter interview, one or two phone interviews, and an onsite interview with multiple rounds.
Facebook Program Manager
The role of a Facebook Program Manager
Program managers typically handle a set of projects (and in some situations, a team of project managers) that are related by a common aspect, such as a single company aim. They are also responsible for strategy, making certain that everything is moving in the right direction and on time.
An effective program manager will aid in the formation of a more cohesive and successful team. Therefore, when organizations seek candidates to manage various projects and teams, they go through a thorough screening process to ensure that the candidate has a good impact on individuals as well as the company.
This guide will walk you through the Facebook Program Manager interview process, including useful tips and tricks to help you ace the interview.
The interview process at Facebook normally takes 4 to 6 weeks, although it can easily take longer if there are a large number of people applying for the post. You will go through the following steps:
- Phone screen with a recruiter
- Phone screen with a hiring manager
- On-site interviews
To begin the interviewing process, you must first apply online at Facebook's careers page or through a recruiter on LinkedIn. To be considered for an interview, you'll need to have a strong resume and cover letter, as Facebook is never short of brilliant applicants.
When you have all of your documents in order, you are ready to apply. Also, if at all feasible, get an employee or contact at Facebook to refer you to the internal recruiting department.
In most scenarios, you'll begin your interview with Facebook by speaking with an HR recruiter over the phone. They want to know if you have a possibility of landing the job, so be prepared to discuss your past experiences and why you'd be a good fit at Facebook.
If you pass the first HR screening, the recruiter will assist you in scheduling an interview with the hiring manager. One wonderful thing about Facebook is that they are quite clear and straightforward about their recruiting process, and once you pass this initial screening, they will usually offer you further information on the remaining phases in the hiring process by sharing a PDF that covers the interview procedure for the role.
What the interviewer will assess
- Your experience with program management.
- Your flexibility to fit in the profile.
- Your role-related knowledge and experience.
- Cultural fit.
- This round is entirely based on your previous experiences. Make a point of revising all of your achievements and projects in the industry and being prepared to talk about them in a concise and clear manner.
- You'll typically work in cross-functional teams, and different team members are expected to stand up and lead at various stages throughout a project's lifetime when their abilities are required. So make sure to demonstrate to the interviewer that you have a strong leadership style.
- Tell me about yourself and why do you think that you are a good match for this position?
- Do you have a reason for leaving your current job?
- How often do you come up with new ideas that actually seem to be feasible?
- What is an ideal work environment for you?
- If you were an interviewer, what skills would you look for in a Program Manager?
Following the recruiter’s call, you'll normally have an interview session with the hiring manager for the position. The questions you'll be asked during this interview will be similar to those you'll be asked at the onsite interviews.
The main goal of this interview is to assess your essential abilities and expertise in the field and determine whether it is worthwhile to proceed with the onsite interviews. Stretching for about 45 minutes, this interview will focus more on technical and situational questions.
What the interviewer will assess
- Your technical and core knowledge.
- Your knowledge and research about Facebook.
- Your potential to come up with ideas in a short period of time.
- Your efficiency in putting forward innovative ideas and questions.
- When you're thinking about what you want to emphasize in your interview, don't forget to include facts. This allows your interviewer to comprehend not only your total achievements like meeting but also the scope of your influence.
- Bring any questions you have to the interview. This reflects not only your interest in Facebook and the position you're going for but also your attentiveness in researching the company. This is also your opportunity to interview them.
- We recommend researching how Facebook handles program sense interviews. Consider reading numerous blog entries and experiences offered by others on the internet as a beginning point.
- How do you strategize a new project?
- You are given 12 months to come up with a new product. Explain how you would do it and what steps you would take to launch the product in the market.
- How would you evaluate the success of Facebook events?
- Tell me about a moment when someone persuaded you to change your view on something. What were your thoughts on it?
- Would you consider increasing the expiration period for Instagram stories if you are a PM? What metrics would you use to make your decision?
- How would you set and track a goal for Facebook reactions?
- In a heavily matrixed environment with no top-down authority, how would you manage timelines?
- Tell me about a time when you failed and what you learned as a result of it.
- Tell me about your experience in program management.
- Tell me about a program that you oversaw from start to finish.
The onsite interviews are the final significant part of the interview process. You'll normally spend a full day interviewing with Facebook for this. Each interview will run approximately 45 minutes and will most likely cover one of the following subjects:
- Program sense: You'll be tested on your program management and execution skills in this section.
- Partnership: Here, you must demonstrate your capacity to collaborate effectively with cross-functional teams.
- Leadership: You'll need to showcase that you've actively and efficiently led teams in the past.
- Technical: You will be asked questions about the functional area for which you have applied, as well as technical questions.
Expect your interviews to be heavily focused on program management abilities like meeting deadlines and juggling competing aims; and cooperation abilities like working cross-functionally and communication.
In addition to these interviews, you will have lunch with another program manager while on site. The lunch interview is intended to be an opportunity for you to ask questions about what it's like to work at Facebook. During this time, the interviewers will not be micro-analyzing you, but it’s helpful if you appear as if they were.
What the interviewer will assess
- Your core PM competencies (product ideation, brainstorming, prioritization, MVP thinking, execution, metrics, and iteration skills), as well as your experience in the field.
- If you can express your ideas and opinions well.
- How innovative your ideas are.
- When the interviewers are discussing your job and the role in question, express your opinions, ask questions, and don't be hesitant to work through the situation with them.
- Try utilizing the STAR technique to answer the questions. The STAR approach is an organized way of responding to a behavioral-based interview question by detailing the exact situation, task, action, and result that you are describing.
- Pause for a minute if necessary before offering your solution. Don’t ramble. Make sure your concept is clear and well-thought-out before presenting it to the interviewers.
- What dashboard would you create if you were Lyft's product manager to monitor the app's health?
- Give an example of how you've collaborated with cross-functional teams and what role you played.
- What do you do to keep yourself motivated?
- Suggest 2 ways to improve the engagement of older people with Facebook.
- How would you calculate the total number of gas stations in the USA?
- If you were the Facebook Live Product Manager, what features would you prioritize?
- Tell me about an issue you encountered while transitioning from strategy to implementation.
- What next update would you want to bring in WhatsApp?
- Do you follow an ethical code that allows you to be a better manager?
- What distinguishes your obligations from those of your project managers?
- What is your background in program charters?
- What technology and tools do you believe are required for you to succeed in your role?
- What would you do if an interviewer failed to appear?
- Do you think it’s time for Facebook to step into the employment and dating market?
- How do you handle tension and ambiguity in an ongoing project?
- What do you think others will describe you as?
- What project are you most proud of?
- What is the best compliment you've ever gotten in your current position?
Decision and Hiring Process
Following the onsite, the five interviewers will make a recommendation on whether or not to hire you, and the recruiter will assemble your "package" (interview feedback, resume, referrals, etc.). If they believe you have a good chance of getting the job, they will submit your case at the next candidate evaluation meeting.
Candidate review sessions are held to evaluate all candidates who have recently completed their interview loops and are on the verge of receiving an offer. Your material will be reviewed, and any issues that arise will be addressed.
After the candidate review meeting, a hire/no hire recommendation is provided for the hiring committee's consideration. If it’s a yes, you get the offer letter within 2 working days!
Relevant interview guides
Want to land your dream job as a Facebook technical program manager (TPM)? Don't interview for Facebook until you finish reading our guide to Facebook TPM interviewing. Facebook's interview process is known to be highly competitive, given its prominent position in the tech ecosystem.
In this guide, we'll examine frequently asked questions about the Facebook interview process, including hiring criteria and tips to succeed in the interview.
Technical program management at Facebook is incredibly rewarding, with its huge scale and mission to connect billions of users across the world.
Typically, there are 3 rounds of interviews for Facebook TPM roles: recruiter, phone, and onsite.
On average, candidates will hear back from phone interviews within a week or two. Similarly, after the on-site interview, Facebook may take up to two weeks to return the results to you. Once you pass the on-site interview, expect the process to actually sign and negotiate the offer to be even longer as you get the paperwork all completed.
A recruiter will first call you to understand your motivations and qualifications for the role. Why do you want to work at Facebook as a TPM? Be prepared to talk about your past experiences. This call will be used to ensure you're good at communicating. The recruiter will also be looking for signs that you're a decent person to work with.
Your recruiter may also review your resume with you to ensure you have a technical program management background and an interest in technology. While technical skills are not a requirement for Facebook interviews, it's important to display technical interest to your recruiter.
Next, you will have a phone interview with a current technical program manager at Facebook. You will get roughly minutes to complete either a product sense or execution question, followed by a minute Q&A opportunity. In some cases, you may receive two phone interviews.
Following the phone interview is the final on-site. A typical on-site interview consists of five rounds focused on the five fundamental interview areas for Facebook TPMs: technical project retrospective, architecture & system design, program sense, partnership, and leadership (more on this in the next section). Note that the leadership/behavioral round only appears in a full loop onsite interview, not the phone interview. From these five fundamental areas, Facebook is looking to evaluate your candidacy on three axes: program management, leadership ability, and technical depth.
Exponent members have mentioned they’re often tested in multiple dimensions through the interview. Facebook PM interviews can vary widely, but you can be assured that Facebook does generally stick to the five interview types.
Each interview will take roughly minutes with minutes at the end to answer any questions you may have.
In some cases, particularly where Facebook is unsure about your candidacy, Facebook may ask for a follow-up interview on a specific interview type. Don't fear - this means that you're close to a successful offer! Since this one interview can be very high leverage, we almost always recommend booking a mock interview (or three!) with Exponent to prepare - you don't want to miss out on being this close to an offer!
Sample Interview Questions
Facebook's technical program management (TPM) interviews consist of five fundamental areas, listed below. You'll be interviewed by TPMs, but also product managers and software engineers.
The Facebook TPM program sense interivew tests your general TPM capabilities, such as your ability to manage risks, deadlines, changes, and requirements. These questions are the bread and butter of being a techincal program manager, and you'll rely heavily on your previous experience with technical program management.
Here is a list of program sense questions recently asked at Facebook.
Facebook is looking for your ability to define roadmap milestones, balance between risk and resources, support those around you, and handling difficult situations.
To prepare for these questions, review some of the questions in our TPM interview prep course's program sense section.
Leadership & Team Collaboration
While the previous section on partnership focuses on cross-functional collaboration, these Facebook TPM interview questions focus more on how you operate within a team, such as resolving difficult team dynamics and working through challenges.
Facebook is looking to understand your leadership style and experiences with teams.
Here is a list of behavioral questions recently asked at Facebook.
Facebook recommends preparing by reflecting on your experiences beforehand. We recommend creating your personal story bank so that you can come in the interview with clear examples you can speak from. Specifically, focus on brainstorming stories with traits you think your interviewer might ask you about.
Before your interview be sure to review Facebook's five core values. Specifically, as you think of examples of your experiences, try to map them to these values as much as you can.
- Move Fast: How have you found the shortest path to launch? How did this accelerate your learning?
- Be Bold: Be transparent about your successes and failures - Facebook likes candidates who are willing to take risks and be wrong.
- Focus on Impact: How do you prioritize your work to be as impactful as possible?
- Be Open: Facebook focuses on an inclusive, open world - which boils down to teams too. How are you inclusive in your team in a way that brings about the best outcome?
- Build Social Value: Facebook cares about products that create a more human world.
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