Question: How can I prepare for Product Management (PM) interviews? Specifically, how do I get ready for Facebook’s Rotational Product Management (RPM) interviews?
Answer: If you make it into Facebook’s interview process, you’ll find that they actually will give you most of the tools you need to succeed! They saw something in your resume & they would like to learn more about how you’re wired. That’ll be 50% of it. The other 50% will be Googling resources for prep, practicing until it feels like 2nd nature and getting a good night’s sleep.
Here are the resources that are most useful in the process:
- Know & value what a PM actually does
- Make sure your resume kind of look’s like a product manager’s or at least includes some of the lingo. Here are some great tips of your PM resume
- Get a quick understanding on how PM interviews are structured
- Access this repository of literally unlimited product questions
- Scour the company’s website & understand what types of products they have
- Make friends & practice cases online with other people
Specific to the Facebook RPM program:
- Read everything from the website – http://fbrpms.com
- Read everything in this blog post about the actual interview
- Skim this handy cheat sheet
- And read this article as well; repetition does wonders
- Get a copy of Decode & Conquer; you should see some similar frameworks as from the previous article
- Scour Facebook’s product site – https://newsroom.fb.com
- And practice, practice, practice!
Get a referral if you can & best of luck!
Some Q&A that I commonly get in relation to the ‘people skills’ involved in the art that is PM interviewing. Here are a couple of my takes on them:
Q: I’m getting opposite feedback about the structure of my approach, why?!
A: Oh the sacred structure; sometimes feedback is that you’re TOO structured & sound robotic and other times that you’re not structured enough in your approach. Why the circular logic?! If you’re asking this, I’d say it’s because you haven’t yet played the role of the interviewer. Get on Stellar Peers (link above) or find someone to exchange interviews with. And then you’ll see why people say you sound like a robot or that you sound sloppy. It’s a delicate balance & it just takes practice.
Q: I’m getting feedback that I don’t sound/look confident while presenting my ideas. How can I be confident when I have no idea what the question will be or what product I’ll have to design?
A: Fake it til you convince yourself! You don’t need to be a subject matter expert to have ideas & opinions. And you certainly won’t always be a subject matter expert on the job. Be confident in your ability to think, to reason, to build an argument & logically defend it or to criticize your own ideas in a thoughtful way and pivot to a new approach. Only practice will help you do this on the fly, regardless of what the question is or who is interviewing. And once you feel comfortable, you will be able to do these interviews literally in your sleep. And then, my friend, you will be confident 🙂 Or at least, be able to look like it (which honestly, is sometimes all you need).
Any other questions? Comment below!