Meta Product Management Interview Guide
In February 2004, the social networking platform Facebook started to disperse through universities across North America. Facebook was created by Mark Zuckerberg, and at the time it only contained photos and basic personal information to connect university students. In just over one year, the platform gained over 6 million users. Following this tremendous growth, in 2006, Facebook was accessible to anyone who was 13 with a valid email address. Today, the platform has roughly 3 billion users and falls under the umbrella company Meta.
Meta, in their own words, is “building the next revolution of digital connection”. They are pursuing this by constantly updating Facebook, as well as their multi-billion user platforms Instagram and WhatsApp. On top of this, Meta is defining and building an immersive online experience, called the metaverse, where anyone can connect in 3D through virtual reality headsets crafted by Oculus VR, a company Meta has acquired. Meta’s goal, which has been their goal since Facebook’s launch, is to give people the power to build community and bring people closer together.
Product Management at Meta
Like many other PMs at tech companies, PMs at Meta are responsible for creating great strategy and great execution for the product. Senior PMs at Meta focus more on overall vision, strategy, prioritization and company partnerships and less on managing the process of going from an idea to implementing the solution. The role of supporting day-to-day execution tasks of these solutions are performed mostly by Junior PMs.
Moreover, given the large amount of data available from all of Meta’s products, all PMs at Meta are expected to comfortably look at data and make decisions. An analytical focus is desired at Meta. PMs will analyze user data to identify key problems they are facing. From there, they will come up with features or improvements that address the problem.
When the new feature or product is in the development phase, Meta PMs will collaborate constantly with engineers and designers to maximize the product’s impact on the world. Hence, Meta highly respects leadership in their PMs. Co-head of Product at Instagram, Ashley Yuki, says, “Leadership at Meta is about truly serving your team. This means understanding what motivates people and helping them get what they need.” As such, PMs at Meta need to be able to motivate and maintain team health across the engineering and product design teams.
The PM career ladder at Meta is structured with numerous levels to work your way up. The career ladder starts at the Rotational Product Manager (RPM) program, also known as Individual Contributor 3 (IC3). The RPM program lasts for 18 months and includes 1 month of training, 16 months of rotations on various teams and 2 weeks consisting of a global research trip.
Following the RPM program, you may be recruited into a product team within the company. From there, you can work your way up as a PM which has four levels, IC4, IC5, IC6 and IC7. After many years of experience you will then work your way up to Director of Product Management and Senior Director of Product Management which are levels IC8 and IC9.
Why be a Product Manager at Meta?
As you may know, Meta, the umbrella company, used to be named after the product Facebook. The decision to change the name to Meta came from the virtual reality world the metaverse. This opened a new chapter in the company's life. The change showed that the company is constantly innovating and adapting to the fast paced world we live in. Meta is now pushing hard to move beyond 2D screens and into immersive experiences like virtual and augmented reality, creating the next evolution of social technology. As a PM at Meta, you will be at the forefront of this innovation.
Not only do PMs at Meta build world class products that connect billions of people across the world, but they are respected in the process. Meta acknowledges how important PMs are, hence they have the RPM program to develop the best PMs for their company. The program requires no past PM experience and its goals centre around gathering people from diverse backgrounds to think differently, make better decisions, serve their clients better and ultimately create better products. The program empowers, mentors, and enables by working across a variety of Meta products with Meta PMs.
Another benefit about working at Meta is that they are known to have a very bottom-up culture, meaning that project initiation comes from ideas people at various levels in the company bring and less from executives in the company. Product teams at Meta set the mission, vision and strategy for their product, pitch new ideas, and prioritize amongst them. This means PMs at Meta are given a lot of autonomy into decision making. They are the true leader of the product they are working on.
As Meta offices are located across North America, Latin America, Europe, Middle East, Africa and Asia Pacific, salary as a PM varies based on the location you are working in. It is also dependent on what level in the PM career ladder you are in. For instance, IC7’s make more than IC4’s.
To give an estimate, in the US, a Meta RPM’s base salary is a respectable $119k, where Meta Senior PMs can make upwards of $260k. Do note that Meta is known for giving substantial amounts of equity. This increases your total compensation as a PM at Meta.
The Interview Process
The interview process for any PM role at Meta and the Meta RPM program are very similar. There is an initial recruiter phone screen followed by 5 interviews. Within the 5 interviews, there are 2 initial video or phone screen interviews with a PM at Meta and 3 on-site interviews which are called full loop interviews. The end-to-end timeline for the interview process is roughly 4-8 weeks.
The initial recruiter phone screen will confirm that your application moved forward in the interview process. The recruiter will ask typical behavioural interview questions about your background and will want to know why you’re applying to Meta. Each subsequent interview following the phone screen will be roughly 45 minutes to an hour in length and will follow any of these three themes: Product Sense, Analytical Thinking or Leadership and Drive. The interviews are conducted typically by one person who is extensively trained on how to interview for the specific role. Meta invests a lot of time ensuring that interviewers are good at interviewing and making consistent, fair decisions. If there are two interviewers in your PM interview then it means that one of the interviewers is in training and shadowing the primary interviewer.
Regarding the different types of interviews, the Product Sense and Analytical Thinking interviews revolve around case studies that include hypothetical questions that may cover products owned by Meta, other products unrelated to Meta, or may prompt you to create a new product. The Leadership and Drive interview on the other hand is a behavioural based interview. Let’s go more in depth into all three interviews.
1: Product Sense
There will typically be one Product Sense interview in the video or phone interviews and one more in the on-site interviews. This interview focuses on product knowledge, creativity, problem solving skills, and awareness. The interviewer will give you a problem and you will be tasked to identify the best way to solve the problem. They are looking for you to understand an ambiguous idea and identify the best way to turn it into a great product.
The interviewer will be evaluating your skills in the following 5 areas:
- Understanding the product landscape and motivation
- Determining the target audience
- Identifying and prioritizing the problem
- Developing creative and impactful solutions
- Making intentional design choices
There are 3 types of questions that will be asked in the Product Sense interview. These are product design questions, product improvement questions, or product strategy questions.
Product Design Questions
These questions will ask you to design a new product from scratch based on a set description or problem. The questions will require your design and UX skills, and an understanding of general business objectives of Meta.
Potential product design questions may be:
- Design a healthcare services product for Meta.
- Design a travel app for Meta.
- Design an employment services tab within Facebook.
Product Improvement Questions
These questions will test the same things as the product design questions, but instead of creating a new product from scratch, you will be asked how to improve an existing product.
Potential product improvement questions may be:
- Pick a Meta app or product - how would you improve it?
- How would you improve [insert Meta product] (Facebook’s Event, Facebook Groups, Instagram Small Businesses, etc.)?
Product Strategy Questions
These questions focus on your ability to understand competitive markets and create a product roadmap that accommodates the business strategy of the company. They are answered from a high-level perspective.
Potential product strategy questions may be:
- Should Meta enter the employment services market?
- What should be the next step in the roadmap for Instagram?
- How would you improve user engagement on WhatsApp?
2: Analytical Thinking
Similar to the Product Sense interviews, there will be one Analytical Thinking interview in the video or phone interviews and one more in the on-site interviews. These interviews will task you with analyzing a set of constraints and problems and coming up with the appropriate set of metrics, KPIs, or results to measure success. The interviews will also encompass how you identify and prioritize opportunities, and execute against them to build products.
The interviewer will be evaluating your skills in the following 4 areas:
- Articulating a product’s rationale
- Setting reasonable, measurable, and prioritized goals
- Measuring impact and identifying metrics
- Evaluating trade-offs
There are 3 types of questions that will be asked in the Analytical Thinking interview. These are goal and metric questions, debugging questions, and trade-off questions.
Goal and Metric Questions
These questions are geared towards how you set goals for a product and how you track if a product is successful.
Potential goal and metric questions may be:
- How would you set goals and measure the success of [insert Meta product] (Facebook notifications, WhatsApp chat logs, Instagram stories, etc.)?
- How would you measure the success of a travel app?
- You are the Product Manager on a team working to create a new Candy Crush style mobile app game. What goals would you set? How would you evaluate the success of the app?
These questions test your ability to adapt to a concern in metrics being tracked. The interviewer will present a problem statement and your goal is to ask questions to determine what’s causing this change in metric.
The potential format of these questions are:
- [Meta product] (Facebook ads, Instagram reels, Facebook marketplace, etc.) [metric being tracked] (usage, revenue, engagement) dropped by [some percentage] (5%, 25%, 80%). What are the following steps you take to discover why?
These questions analyze your prioritization skills. They will task you with strategically determining which features in a product to focus on over others.
Potential goal and metric questions may be:
- You are the Product Manager for [insert Meta product] (Instagram’s user profile, Facebook Feeds, WhatsApp notifications, etc.). What features would you prioritize?
- How would you decide whether to show someone an ad vs. “Suggested reels to watch” while a user is scrolling through Instagram?
- How would you evaluate the trade-off between boosting ad revenue and decreasing user retention?
3: Leadership and Drive
The Leadership and Drive interview will fall near the end of the process taking up only one of the on-site interviews. This interview focuses on motivating a team, driving alignment, building relationships, and working with others. Expect behavioural-based questions where you’re asked to recall and speak on past experiences. Here the interviewer is assessing if you're able to work with a range of collaborators such as engineers, designers, and data analysts at Meta.
The interviewer will be evaluating your skills in the following 4 areas:
- Driving resourcefulness and results
- Seeking opportunities to grow and learn
- Taking ownership and accountability
- Resolving conflict
The questions in the Leadership and Drive interview span a large range of topics. Potential questions asked in this interview may be:
- Why Meta?
- Why Product Management?
- What’s your biggest accomplishment?
- What’s good and bad Product Management to you?
- Tell me about a time when your team wasn’t working well together. What did you do?
- Tell me about a time when you rallied people behind an idea you were passionate about.
- Tell me about a time where you didn’t have the resources to get something done but got it done anyway.
- Tell me about a time you failed at work.
Preparing for the Interview
The Product Sense and Analytical Thinking interviews are the ones to look out for when interviewing at Meta. Looking at the sample interview questions mentioned in the The Interview Process section, it is clear that successful interviews must include diving deep and discussing various products offered by Meta. As such, performing research on their products is an important step that cannot be skipped. This can be accomplished by visiting Meta’s website and analyzing the products they offer and all the features within the products.
It is also highly recommended to be comfortable using Meta’s products before going into the interviews. Unlike many other companies, Meta’s main products (Facebook, Messenger, Instagram, and WhatsApp) are all free to download and use. This allows you to easily play around with the products and familiarize yourself with the various features and problems they are trying to solve. By doing this, you will know what the interviewer is referring to when they ask you a Meta product specific question.
Another great way to prepare for the Meta interview is by joining Meta’s Product Management Interview Q+A sessions. This will help you brush up on your product interview skills while still focusing on the Meta interview process. In these sessions you will be able to ask current Meta PMs questions regarding the Product Sense and Analytical Thinking interviews.
The sessions involve:
- Tips on what to expect during the interview process
- A 15 minute mock interview
- A live Q&A
These sessions are 45 minutes long and occur every 3 weeks. They alternate between discussing the Product Sense interview and the Analytical Thinking interview. Joining these sessions is another great way to get detailed information about the interviews.
Lastly, like all PM interviews, you must be comfortable with product fundamentals and answering PM style interview questions. You will be asked behavioural, design, strategy, estimation, and metric questions, and should draw upon your product knowledge to answer them well.
It is also recommended to learn a consistent method for answering PM interview questions. There are many frameworks out there to answer questions, however the one mentioned in the Meta Product Management Interview Prep Guide given by the recruiter is the PURSUIT Framework (read the article they link to learn more about this framework).
After brushing up on product concepts and having a concrete way of answering questions, when it comes time for your interview, you will be well prepared and this will help you make a great impression with your interviewer.
Meta is one of the most highly recognized and respected product companies in the world. As such, PMs at Meta are highly respected. If you are interested in helping them build the next revolution of digital connection, one way to get started is via their RPM program. From this route, or joining as a PM directly, there are various avenues to level up as a PM at Meta.
By researching the products that Meta offers, practicing product fundamentals and answering PM interview questions, you will be able to perform well in their Product Sense, Analytical Thinking, and Leadership & Drive interviews. There are also multiple resources provided by Meta recruiters to guide applicants through the interview process. Meta wants candidates to shine and show their skills in the interviews so they can gather the best PMs for their company and products.
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