Facebook may be commonly known as a popular social networking website, but as an employer, it is known for having excellent perks, taking care of its employees, and its work culture. It is no surprise then, 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 refined skills and well-directed preparation.
The average total salary of a technical program manager in the United States is $174,029 per year, with $148,728 being the average annual base pay and $25,301 being the average annual additional pay. But at Facebook, technical program managers in the United States earn significantly more, with an average total compensation of $269,671 per year, $168,176 average annual base pay, and average additional pay of $101,496 per year.
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In this article, we’ll focus on the Technical Program Manager role at Facebook — mainly to help you understand what the interview process is like. We’ll cover:
- Facebook's Technical Program Manager Hiring Criteria
- Must-have Skills For a Facebook Technical Program Manager
- Facebook Technical Program Manager Interview Process and Timeline
- What Interviewers Look For In A Facebook Technical Program Manager Interview
- Facebook Technical Program Manager Behavioral and Leadership Interview Questions
- Facebook Technical Program Manager System Design Interview Questions
- Facebook Technical Program Manager Technical Concept Interview Questions
- Facebook Technical Program Manager Coding 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 For a Facebook Technical Program Manager
The technical program manager interviews are designed to test the candidates on five fundamental areas, and you need to show skill in all five to get selected.
- 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: Th 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 of about 30-45 minutes from the recruiter to check if you have a shot at getting the job and if you’re someone they can work with at Facebook. 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.
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 1-2 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 on-site 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 negotiating, signing the offer letter, and finishing formalities will also take a few weeks.
What Interviewers Look For In A Facebook Technical Program Manager Interview
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?
Facebook Technical Program Manager Behavioral and Leadership Interview Questions
Clearing behavioral and leadership interviews are crucial to your selection as a TPM at Facebook, and these questions take up a significant chunk of the questions asked. Take a look at these sample Facebook interview questions on such topics.
TPM Behavioral Interview Questions:
- Why do you want to work as a technical project manager?
- Why Facebook?
- Tell me about a time you dealt with technical problems and people challenges at the same time.
- Tell me about a time when you faced pushback from the members you were leading. How did you handle it?
- What made you want to go for the technical project manager role?
- Talk about a time when project requirements were significantly changed in the middle of a project. What did you do?
- Name some weaknesses you have in project management.
- Tell me about how you handled technical risks for a project you managed.
- What kind of leadership qualities do you think you possess?
- Tell me about the most difficult situation you've been in as a TPM
- Talk about the most challenging experience you had working in a cross-functional team.
- What do you like most about technical project management?
- Tell me about a time when you were late on an early milestone
- Name some strengths you have in project management.
- Tell me about a time when you changed a process to make it better.
- Talk about a time when you were on an extremely tight deadline and how you handled it.
- Talk about a time you acted as a bridge between engineering and less technical cross-functional teams
- Tell me about how you handled resource planning for a project you managed.
- Talk about a project you managed end-to-end
- Talk about the architecture design and technical details for a project you managed.
- Tell me about how you managed technical dependencies and tradeoffs for that project.
- Talk about a time a person from a different team did not want to work on your project.
- Talk about the difference between program management and technical program management and state why you’re choosing the technical program manager role.
TPM Hypothetical Interview Questions:
- 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 five features for an upcoming project, but you have resources for only three. What would you do?
- If you find a critical bug in the software you’re responsible for, a day before its release date, how would you handle the situation?
- How would you deliver programs on a tight timeline and with limited resources?
- Imagine you're working on a program where some parts of the features were completed with errors. The team responsible for this has moved on to another project and does not have any time to fix the errors. What would you do?
- How would you prioritize and allocate resources when your team is too small?
- You're joining a project that has no timeline and it didn't have a kickoff either. What would you?
- How would you handle additional requirements in the middle of a project?
TPM Project Management and Leadership Interview Questions:
- Talk about your step-by-step approach to managing programs.
- How do you define roadmap milestones for your projects?
- How do you execute your projects?
- How do you prioritize your tasks?
- How would you define KPIs for your projects?
- Describe your process of kicking off programs.
- How do you decide what trade-offs to make between time, scope, resources, and risks?
- How would you manage risks for your projects?
- How would you manage cross-team dependencies and deliverables?
- How would you build a forecasting tool?
- How would you handle performance decline in a program?
- How would you sunset a program?
- What makes a successful technical program manager in your opinion?
- How would you ensure you deliver quality outcomes in your projects?
- Describe using a whiteboard a continuous deployment system and a continuous build system.
- How would you deal with difficult stakeholders?
- How would you choose between building in-house vs. using a third-party solution?
- Describe your process to work with vendors on your programs.
- How would you forecast a project with no history?
Facebook Technical Program Manager System Design Interview Questions
System design questions are also an important part of technical program manager interview questions. Your sense of role-relevant design and technical skill in that area is crucial to your success as a technical program manager. Here are some system design interview questions for technical program managers, check your preparation by seeing if you can answer them now.
How would you design the following:
- Google Drive
- Facebook Messenger
- Facebook Live
- Amazon Web Services
- A system to handle several millions of card transactions every hour
- A travel booking system within Facebook
- Facebook Live
- A distributed Botnet
- A typehead feature like Google search autocomplete
- A transfer system for heavy files like WeTransfer
- An online collaborative editor like Google Docs
- Twitter's trending topics
Facebook Technical Program Manager Technical Concept Interview Questions
Here are some technical program manager interview questions that are related to technical concepts. See if you can answer these:
- What is multithreading?
- Elaborately describe the memory structure of an operating system and talk about heap, data, and stack in relation to that.
- How do passwords get passed securely from the server to the client?
- What really happens when a file is deleted on a machine? Explain.
- Explain the concept of threads.
- Explain what the issue is when a webpage is timing out when downloading.
- Explain how the cloud works.
- What is the difference between a switch and a router?
- Explain the concept of a linked list.
- What is a doubly linked list?
- How does the website of Amazon work?
- What are the TCP and UDP protocols? What is the difference between them?
- Describe and explain the importance of a critical path in project management.
- Explain while comparing the agile and waterfall methodologies.
- How would you create a test case for copying a file with the help of a wireless connection from one place to another.
Facebook Technical Program Manager Coding Interview Questions
Depending on your role as a technical program manager, you may be asked coding questions, although it is not common. Here are some examples of coding interview questions you may be asked in a technical program manager interview.
Write a program to
- Reverse a string without using any built-in functions
- Check if an integer is a palindrome
- Detect common items between two linked lists
- Traverse a linked list
- Identify identical elements between two arrays
- Find two numbers in an array with their sum being lower than a given target number
- Implement a queue using an array
- parse all the lines of a given string in a CSV file
Want to be a technical program manager at FAANG and other tier-1 companies? These interview questions-related articles may be helpful:
FAQs on Facebook Technical Program Manager Interview
Q1. 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.
Q2. 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 key stages: a recruiter interview, one or two phone interviews, and an onsite interview with multiple rounds.
Q3. What does a technical program manager at Facebook do?
Technical program managers at Facebook work to manage and coordinate the design of technical infrastructure for a diverse range of projects. Through the creation and implementation of project plans, they actively participate in making significant and broad-reaching business choices.
Q4. How much does a technical program manager at Facebook earn?
On average, a technical program manager at Facebook earns a total compensation of $269,671 per year, with $168,176 as the average annual base pay and average additional pay of $101,496 per year.
Q5. How much does an average technical program manager earn in the United States?
On average, a technical program manager in the United States earns a total compensation of $174,029 per year, with $148,728 as the average annual base pay and average additional pay of $25,301 per year.
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