execution interview questions

Facebook Product Manager Execution Interview: YouTube Goals & Decline

What is the Facebook (Meta) execution interview?

First, let’s take a look at the execution (analytical thinking) interview’s place in the product management hiring process, and then we’ll dive into what it aims to assess you on.

The execution interview is one of three types of interviews you’ll face if you’re applying for a product manager role at Facebook, the others being a “product sense” interview and a “leadership & drive” (behavioral) interview.

You will face execution questions both at the initial first-round stage (phone or video interview) and at the onsite interview. You’ll be expected to lead the conversation, and you’ll need to sketch out your answer on a whiteboard or the online equivalent.

For a closer look at the PM interview process at Facebook and more information on the two other types of interviews rounds within it, take a look at our ultimate Facebook product manager interview guide.

1 What does it test for?

As an ex-director of product outlines in this insider article on the Facebook PM interview, Facebook often describes its product process as “Understand, Identify, Execute.”

While the product sense round tests you on the first two parts of the process, the execution interview (as you might expect) assesses you on the latter: how you execute solutions. However, Facebook comes at this not from a project management perspective (they already assume you can get tasks done) but from a data perspective. Your interviewer wants to see that you can use data to make the right decisions.

The execution interview is therefore highly analytical, data-driven, and KPI-focused. As this helpful Facebook interview prep guide outlines, your interviewer will be looking for four key things to see if your “execution” is up to Facebook standards:

What does the Facebook execution interview test for?

  • Goals: Being mindful of how the goals (especially quantitative goals) can be gamed or how they can sometimes be counter indicative of progress.
  • Metrics: What would you use to measure if the product is healthy? Which one would you prioritize? What happens if one is decreasing and the other is increasing?
  • Debugging: Say you notice a specific metric dropping week after week. The interviewer will present a problem statement, and you should ask questions to describe how you’d approach this challenge and determine what’s causing this metric to drop.
  • Navigating a complex trade-off: “A” or “B” option—how do you know what to show to which communities of users?
  • Right, now that you know more context about what the execution interview is trying to test you on, let’s take a look at some questions.

    Product Execution Interview is highly relevant in the day to day execution job of a Product Manager. The problems given are analytical, strategy and goal focused. One such product execution question is to debug an issue in a product, feature or KPI generally asked in FAANG/Big Tech Companies (Google, Facebook PM interviews). The interviewer explains some symptoms (like change in the metrics, feature or customer behaviour) and expects situational and the root cause analysis of the problem. These are referred as “debugging”, “investigation”, “root cause”, “metric change” or “diagnosis” questions. Even in a typical work environment, PM and his team has limited time and resources to asses and react to such problems. Similar to a Doctor, PMs here try to –

    Rather than being a basic health diagnosis by a doctor, it is to be understood as case analysis by different medical experts in an OT (operation theater). PM leads the discussion between engineering, business, operations, data science PM in this case.

    If you have read this till here, I believe you would agree this is one of the most comprehensive guide available on product execution. Request you to contribute by sharing with your network (see left) and dropping a comment below especially if you think – something is a miss

    Now that you have gathered all the information, synthesize the information and build some hypothesis to test. Prioritize the hypothesis to be validated and share your reasons. You can use a phrase like – “Let me build some hypothesis to test and identify the cause”. State the assumption based on the identified information e.g. “Let’s assume that the algorithm which decides public events are shown/recommended to a user in their Event page changed”

    In this article, we will share an exhaustive approach with sample questions to ask the interviewer. Broadly, solving these questions involve 4 Steps

    Facebook (Meta) execution interview questions

    After analyzing the questions reported by PM candidates on Glassdoor, we can confirm that you’ll face questions that test you in the four areas listed above: goals, metrics, debugging and trade-offs. However, goal-setting questions and metric definition questions tend to be combined, so in reality there are three types of questions you can expect to face in the interview:

  • Goal-setting and metric definition questions
  • Debugging questions
  • Trade-off questions
  • You should keep in mind that the interview will be very fluid, and one type of question will often merge into another, as would be the case in a real life product management situation. For instance, most questions will eventually lead you to consider a trade-off of some description.

    Right, let’s take a look at some questions. These are all real examples of execution questions posed by Facebook to PM candidates. We’ve simply changed the wording and grammar in some places to make them easier to understand.

    Facebook execution interview question examples

    Goal-setting and metric definition

  • How would you set goals and measure success for Facebook live?
  • How would you set goals and measure success for Facebook notifications?
  • How would you set goals and measure success for Instagram stories?
  • How would you determine the success of the blue check marks that denote verified users on Instagram?
  • How would you measure the success of Instagram stories?
  • How would you measure the success of a Roku (HD streaming) stick?
  • How would you you measure the success of an app for creating meetings?
  • Debugging (metric change)

  • Facebook groups usage dropped by 10% — what do you do?
  • Facebook ads revenue dropped by 20% — what do you do?
  • Facebook newsfeed engagement dropped by 2% — what do you do?
  • Trade-off

  • You are the PM for Facebook live — what features would you prioritize?
  • You are the PM for Facebook pages — what features would you prioritize?
  • How would you evaluate a trade-off between boosting ad revenue and decreasing retention?
  • FAQ

    What is an execution interview?

    This interview tests your ability to prioritize, identify the correct tradeoffs and set your team up for success. As a PM you need to create logical frameworks to make decisions against. There are 3 types of questions that are asked in execution interviews: Trade off between A and B.

    What are execution questions?

    What is an Execution Question? An execution question is specifically formulated to ascertain how you identify and prioritize opportunities for the product you’re responsible for. You’ll likely be asked about: Your prioritization strategies — to gain insight into how you use your resources.

    How do you solve product execution questions?

    Product Execution Problem : How to diagnose a Product Issue | The Great PM Interview – RCA
    1. Understand the symptoms by asking questions.
    2. Check the associated indicators.
    3. Probe various causes and their probabilities by hit and trial method.
    4. Eliminate the possibilities one by one to reach right root cause and at last.

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