A technical program manager is one of the most coveted positions at Facebook that many software engineers dream about. TPMs are responsible for driving end-to-end Facebook performance and internal process improvements across multiple teams and functions. In contrast to traditional program managers, technical program managers spend a significant amount of time evaluating the platform’s infrastructure. They are tasked with developing new products as per the user’s needs.
Facebook is known for conducting one of the most rigorous tech interviews among FAANG companies. There are three rounds of interviews where your technical skills are tested, along with your leadership and communication abilities. In other words, cracking the interview is no child’s play.
If you are preparing for a tech interview at Facebook, check out our technical interview checklist, interview questions page, and salary negotiation ebook to get interview-ready! Also, read the posts on Facebook Behavioral Interview Questions and Facebook Coding Interview Questions for specific insights and guidance on Facebook tech interviews.
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To help you get a headstart for your technical program manager Facebook interview prep, we have covered everything you need to know about the role and interview process:
Technical Program Managers at Facebook collaborate with engineering managers, product managers, and user design engineers to improvise the platform’s features per users’ requests. Typically, every new project will have a Product Manager handling the Product Requirements Document (PRD) and a technical lead responsible for the Design Document (DD).
When a Technical Program Manager gets staffed on such a project, their job is to assess the project’s business value and accordingly provide inputs to the PRD and the DD. It is also the job of the Technical Program Manager to identify other teams, such as backend, frontend, mobile, etc., who need to be involved in the project.
A Technical Program Manager at Facebook is also responsible for managing all the processes needed to enable the final product launch.
Recommended Reading: Facebook Technical Program Manager Roles and Responsibilities
Apart from working as Technical Program Managers, many software developers dream of working as Product Managers at Facebook. While these two functionalities collaborate very closely on every project, the responsibilities and skill sets are entirely different.
The primary responsibility of a product manager is to:
In terms of skillset, product managers need to be highly creative and analytical as they collaborate with several other key teams such as business, tech, and design.
In contrast, Technical Program Managers are responsible for executing the vision of product managers and formulating a project execution strategy. Facebook has two verticals for Technical Program Managers:
Technical Program Managers from these verticals collaborate with various stakeholders to chalk out a project implementation plan and identify the milestones. Most Technical Program Managers use various project management tools such as Agile or Kanban to ensure that every project keeps moving forward as per the scheduled timelines.
Such managers must possess strong team-building and leadership skills to drive the team towards the right direction and launch projects on time. They should also have a tech-savvy mind as they need to team up with engineering managers and tech leads daily.
Facebook evaluated a Technical Program Manager on three key aspects:
Here’s a snapshot of the desired skills you’ll usually find on TPM job listings by Facebook:
This is only an indicative list, and the exact set of qualifications may be different in the actual job posting. For example, a job listing for TPM at Facebook for an AR/VR project listed the following as part of the required qualifications:
Once your resume and cover letter get reviewed and shortlisted, the interview process kicks off with a phone screening with HR, followed by a technical phone screen and an onsite. Here’s what you can expect during each round:
During this round, the hiring managers are keen to understand your motivation behind applying for the role. They also want to check if you have the relevant qualifications required for the role. So be prepared to talk about your journey as a Technical Program Manager and what prompted you to apply for the position. The hiring manager will also be keeping an eye on your communication skills and overall personality.
Depending on your performance during the phone screening with HR, you will be asked to participate in one or two phone screening interviews with a current TPM at Facebook. You’ll be asked about technical projects, program sense, architecture and system design, team collaboration, etc. The objective of this round is to ensure that you are worth inviting on-site.
The on-site interviews last for about five hours, during which you will meet with Technical Program Managers, Software Engineers, and Product Managers. You can expect several one-on-one sessions that last for about 45 minutes.
During these sessions, the interviewers will focus on three core areas: Program Management, Leadership Ability, and Technical Depth. They’ll also try to get a better understanding of your interests and motivations for working at Facebook. You can also expect behavioral questions during this round.
Once the on-site round is over, your interviewers will recommend whether you should be hired. If you make the cut, they will recommend you at the next candidate review meeting.
If the team attending the candidate review meeting cannot reach a consensus on whether you should be hired, you may be invited for a follow-up interview. Finally, a hire/no hire recommendation is made, and the hiring committee, consisting of senior leaders of Facebook, takes the final call. This is usually a mere formality but an essential step to iron out issues about compensation, seniority, etc.
For Facebook’s technical program manager interview prep, there are five key areas you’ll need to focus on:
Make sure to brush up on the following technical concepts for your technical program manager facebook interview prep:
Here’s a list of sample questions you can expect during your interview for the position of Technical Program Manager at Facebook:
There are a few things you should be aware of while preparing for and during the interview:
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1. What is the best way to get hired as a Technical Program Manager at Facebook?
It’s advisable to transition from a technical position once you have r relevant project/program management skills under your belt. This ensures that you have familiarity with the technical aspects of a project. To enhance your credibility as a technical program manager, you can also obtain additional certifications such as Project Management Professional (PMP) certification and Scrum Master Certification.
2. What’s the average salary of a Technical Program Manager at Facebook?
The average salary of an early career Technical Program Manager with 1-4 years of experience is about $122,415. For someone with 5-9 years of experience, the average salary is $136,555.
Please note that this information is based on data available in the public domain. The exact compensation may vary based on an individual’s competency and skills.
3. What are the top industries for a Technical Program Manager?
Most modern companies that are slowly shifting to the digital business model need Technical Program Managers to support the various technical needs within the organization and drive the company strategy.
Healthcare, financial services, construction and engineering, legal services, and IT companies are some of the popular industries where a Technical Program Manager can build a prosperous career.