Igneous in  
Product Manager a year ago

FAANG PMs, let’s be honest

I’ve observed a very specific interview style by current and ex- FAANG PMs:

  • They’re expecting you to answer questions in a specific way. If not, your experience and answers aren’t considered.
  • They don’t take any time to get to know you as a person and they’re not genuine or personable.
  • They don’t not listen and often seem distracted or impatient.
  • They over-index on product design and product sense questions.

From my experience, it looks like these PMs have taken this interview process to startups too. I’m well aware that interview coaching has become an industry unto itself in tech. But as an experienced PM who has excelled in every role I’ve held and has interviewed others extensively, this narrow-minded, gatekeeper behavior is incredibly frustrating.

So, all current and ex-FAANG PMs I want to hear your honest reflections:

  • Does it make sense that the interview process has become so ridiculous and ruthless that even highly competent PMs have to spend weeks prepping?
  • Is it really so challenging to be a FAANG PM that it necessitates such a vetting process?
  • Given such a stringent process, do you believe that your PM colleagues are exceptional, “top 10% PMs”?
00RaiseTechnical Program Manager a year ago
Not everyone I've been interviewed by or interviewed with in FAANG was so impersonal, but I definitely agree that it trends towards being gatekeepy and looking for a specific way of answering moreso than the actual answer itself. I think it also gets conditioned in you a little bit because of how the debriefs work. All these companies want 'data' to support a hiring decision, which is fine, but the actual execution of it is still completely subjective, it's like fitting a square peg into a round hole. So when you go into the debrief and you have to justify your hiring decision, you're forced to spend the entire interview looking for ways to justify a yes/no instead of actually listening to the answer and having an actual conversation about the candidate and their fit with the role and company.
bringeeRecruiter a year ago
I agree completely here. Amazon's 'Bar Raiser' interviewer process was also really convoluted and fed into this a bit too and I imagine it's leaked into other FAANG companies as well. I've been in debriefs where the bar raiser will chew out an interviewer for not having the right data or not taking down the right notes and it's like giving them a pass for being an elitist. It's killed a lot of motivation for otherwise good interviewers because they can't be bothered to try and fit the bar raiser's interpretation of the correct data or what not. That's not to say there aren't extremely good bar raisers and that the process hasn't been beneficial, but overall it definitely opens the door for more of what OP's experience has been. And there isn't too much work being done to counteract it.