If you’re interviewing for a business or product strategy role at Facebook, there is a good chance that you’ll receive at least one case study interview, which is also known as a case interview. Facebook roles that include case study interviews as part of the interview process include:
- Business Development
- Product Manager
- Product Marketing
- Product Strategy
- Strategy and Operations
To land a job offer for these roles at Facebook, you’ll need to ace every single one of your case interviews. While Facebook case study interviews may seem ambiguous and challenging at first, know that they can be mastered with proper preparation.
If you are preparing for an upcoming Facebook case study interview, we have you covered. In this comprehensive Facebook case interview guide, we’ll cover:
- What is a Facebook case study interview
- Why Facebook uses case study interviews
- The 6 steps to ace any Facebook case study interview
- Facebook case study interview examples and answers
- Facebook case study interview tips
- Resources to prepare for your Facebook case study interview
What is a Facebook Case Study Interview?
Facebook case study interviews, also known as Facebook case interviews, are 20- to 30-minute exercises in which you are placed in a hypothetical business situation and are asked to find a solution or make a recommendation.
First, you’ll create a framework that shows the approach you would take to solve the case. Then, you’ll collaborate with the interviewer, answering a mix of quantitative and qualitative questions that will give you the information and data needed to develop an answer. Finally, you’ll deliver your recommendation at the end of the case.
Case study interviews have traditionally been used by consulting firms to assess a candidate’s potential to become a successful consultant. However, now a days, many companies with ex-consultants use case studies to assess a candidate’s capabilities. Since Facebook has so many former consultants in its business roles, you’ll likely encounter at least one case study interview.
The business problems that you’ll be given in a Facebook case study interview will likely be real challenges that Facebook faces today:
- Usage of Facebook has dropped by nearly 15% over the past year. What is causing this and what can Facebook do to address this?
- How can Facebook increase ad revenues from its B2B customers?
- How should Facebook deal with “fake news” in users’ newsfeeds?
- How can Facebook increase user engagement despite the rise in new social media platforms such as Tik Tok?
Depending on what team at Facebook you are interviewing for, you may be given a business problem that is relevant to that specific team.
Although there is a wide range of business problems you could possibly be given in your Facebook case interview, the fundamental case interview strategies to solve each problem is the same. If you learn the right strategies and get enough practice, you’ll be able to solve any Facebook case study interview.
Why does Facebook Use Case Study Interviews?
Facebook uses case study interviews because your performance in a case study interview is a measure of how well you would do on the job. Facebook case interviews assess a variety of different capabilities and qualities needed to successfully complete job duties and responsibilities.
Facebook’s case study interviews primarily assess five things:
- Logical, structured thinking: Can you structure complex problems in a clear, simple way?
- Analytical problem solving: Can you read, interpret, and analyze data well?
- Business acumen: Do you have sound business judgment and intuition?
- Communication skills: Can you communicate clearly, concisely, and articulately?
- Personality and cultural fit: Are you coachable and easy to work with?
Since all of these qualities can be assessed in just a 20- to 30-minute case, Facebook case study interviews are an effective way to assess a candidate’s capabilities.
The 6 Steps to Solve Any Facebook Case Study Interview
In general, there are six steps to solve any Facebook case study interview.
1. Understand the case
Your Facebook case interview will begin with the interviewer giving you the case background information. While the interviewer is speaking, make sure that you are taking meticulous notes on the most important pieces of information. Focus on understanding the context of the situation and the objective of the case.
Don’t be afraid to ask clarifying questions if you do not understand something. You may want to summarize the case background information back to the interviewer to confirm your understanding of the case.
The most important part of this step is to verify the objective of the case. Not answering the right business question is the quickest way to fail a case interview.
2. Structure the problem
The next step is to develop a framework to help you solve the case. A framework is a tool that helps you structure and break down complex problems into smaller, more manageable components. Another way to think about frameworks is brainstorming different ideas and organizing them into different categories.
Before you start developing your framework, it is completely acceptable to ask the interviewer for a few minutes so that you can collect your thoughts and think about the problem.
Once you have identified the major issues or areas that you need to explore, walk the interviewer through your framework. They may ask a few questions or provide some feedback.
3. Kick off the case
Once you have finished presenting your framework, you’ll start diving into different areas of your framework to begin solving the case. How this process will start depends on whether the case interview is candidate-led or interviewer-led.
If the case interview is a candidate-led case, you’ll be expected to propose what area of your framework to start investigating. So, propose an area and provide a reason for why you want to start with that area. There is generally no right or wrong area of your framework to pick first.
If the case interview is interviewer-led, the interviewer will tell you what area of the framework to start in or directly give you a question to answer.
4. Solve quantitative problems
Facebook case study interviews may have some quantitative aspect to them. For example, you may be asked to calculate a certain profitability or financial metric. You could also be asked to estimate the size of a particular market or to estimate a particular figure.
The key to solving quantitative problems is to lay out a structure or approach upfront with the interviewer before doing any math calculations. If you lay out and present your structure to solve the quantitative problem and the interviewer approves of it, the rest of the problem is just simple execution of math.
5. Answer qualitative questions
Facebook case study interviews may also have qualitative aspects to them. You may be asked to brainstorm a list of potential ideas. You could also be asked to provide your opinion on a business issue or situation.
The key to answering qualitative questions is to structure your answer. When brainstorming a list of ideas, develop a structure to help you neatly categorize all of your ideas. When giving your opinion on a business issue or situation, provide a summary of your stance or position and then enumerate the reasons that support it.
6. Deliver a recommendation
In the last step of the Facebook case interview, you’ll present your recommendation and provide the major reasons that support it. You do not need to recap everything that you have done in the case, so focus on only summarizing the facts that are most important.
It is also good practice to include potential next steps that you would take if you had more time or data. These can be areas of your framework that you did not have time to explore or lingering questions that you do not have great answers for.
Facebook Case Study Interview Examples and Answers
Example #1: What are some areas that Facebook should invest in?
Sample solution: To answer this question, it may be helpful to clarify what Facebook’s primary objective is. Are they looking to increase profits, revenues, number of users, or user engagement? The ideas that you brainstorm may vary depending on their actual goals.
Next, develop a framework to organize your ideas. You may want to think about areas of investments as short-term investments and long-term investments. You could brainstorm short-term investments and long-term investments for each of Facebook’s growth objectives.
Example #2: Should Facebook enter the job search platform market?
Sample solution: This is a market entry case. Potential areas you should consider looking into in your framework include: the attractiveness of the job search platform market, the competitive landscape, Facebook’s capabilities, and the expected profitability from entering the market.
Example #3: Facebook Groups has seen a 15% drop in usage over the past year. How would you determine what is causing this drop?
Sample solution: You can break down usage by the number of users and the average level of engagement per user. This can be the first major area of your framework, determining the exact quantitative driver behind the drop in usage. Once you understand whether the issue is due to a decline in the number of users or a decline in engagement, you can try to understand qualitatively why this happening.
You could look into potential areas such as whether customer needs or preferences have changed, whether competitors have made any strategic moves, whether Facebook has made any recent changes to its platform, or whether there are new market trends affecting Facebook Groups.
Example #4: How would you estimate how many birthday posts occur on Facebook in a given day?
Sample solution: This is an estimation question. Before you do any math calculations, make sure to lay out a structure or approach on how you would calculate this figure.
You may want to start by estimating the number of people that use Facebook and divide that by 365 to determine the number of people that have a birthday on any given day. Then, estimate the average number of friends a person has on Facebook and the percentage of friends that would make a birthday post. Multiplying these figures together will give you an estimate of the number of birthday posts on Facebook in a given day.
Example #5: How would you sell Facebook advertising to a potential client?
Sample solution: To develop an effective marketing strategy, you may want to look into the client’s needs, competitor offerings, and Facebook advertising’s features or benefits. Exploring these three areas will help you identify the features or benefits of Facebook advertising that are superior to competitor products that the client also values.
Example #6: How can Facebook better compete in the ads market?
Sample solution: When thinking of ways for Facebook to better compete in the ads market, we can consider all of the stakeholders involved in Facebook’s business to come up with a comprehensive list of ideas. The major stakeholders are Facebook’s users and advertisers.
Therefore, Facebook can make its platform a better user experience for its users and advertisers. For users, they want ads that are relevant, safe, and trustworthy. For advertisers, they want to run ads with high targeting specificity, low cost, and easy setup and maintenance.
Example #7: How would you identify potential partners for Facebook to work with?
Sample solution: The first step in solving this case is to identify what Facebook’s objective or goal is with a potential partnership. Are they trying to acquire new users? Or are they trying to increase user engagement?
Next, you can come up with a framework to assess the attractiveness of a partnership with a particular company. You may want to look into areas such as the partner’s capabilities, expected synergies, and expected profitability.
Example #8: What are Facebook’s challenges in their international markets?
Sample solution: When answering this question, consider what are the major types of differences between the United States and other countries. Create a framework that shows the most important characteristics or qualities of international markets. One potential framework may look into customer needs and preferences, the competitive landscape, market trends, and Facebook’s capabilities to execute in international markets.
Example #9: How would you balance content from the different number of platforms on Facebook?
Sample solution: To balance content, it is helpful to first create a framework that assesses the ideal qualities or characteristics that good content has. You may want to assess the content’s level of engagement, the content’s trust and safety, and the likelihood that the content will not drive users away from Facebook and onto other platforms.
You can use this framework to assess each piece of content across all of the platforms on Facebook to determine which content is best to show. It may be beneficial to also diversify the platforms that content is pulled from so that users do not grow too attached to a particular platform outside of Facebook.
Example #10: Let’s say that Facebook is considering getting into the ride share business. What should they consider when making the decision on whether or not to enter?
Sample solution: This is a market entry case and the approach is similar to Example #2. Potential areas you should consider looking into in your framework include: the attractiveness of the ride share market, the competitive landscape, the company’s capabilities, and the expected profitability.
Facebook Case Study Interview Tips
Below are eight of our best tips to help you perform your best during your Facebook case study interview.
1. Familiarize yourself with Facebook’s business model
If you don’t understand Facebook’s business model, it will be challenging for you to do well in their case interviews. Therefore, you should know that Facebook makes the majority of its revenue by selling advertising. You should also be familiar with the products and services that Facebook offers for the specific team you are interviewing for.
2. Read recent news articles on Facebook
A lot of the times, the cases you’ll see in a Facebook case study interview are real business issues that the company faces. Reading up on the latest Facebook news will give you a sense of what Facebook’s biggest challenges are and what major business decisions they face today. There is a good chance that your case study interview will be similar to something that you have read in the news.
3. Verify the objective of the case
Answering the wrong business problem will waste a lot of time during your Facebook case study interview. Therefore, the most critical step of the case interview is to verify the objective of the case with the interviewer. Make sure that you understand what the primary business issue is and what overall question you are expected to answer at the end of the case.
4. Ask clarifying questions
Do not be afraid to ask questions. You will not be penalized for asking questions that are important and relevant to the case.
Great questions to ask include asking for the definition of an unfamiliar term, asking questions that clarify the objective of the issue, and asking questions to strengthen your understanding of the business situation.
5. Do not use memorized frameworks
Interviewers can tell when you are using memorized frameworks from popular case interview prep books. Facebook values creativity and intellect. Therefore, make every effort to create a custom, tailored framework for each case that you get.
Read our comprehensive case interview framework guide to learn how to create outstanding frameworks.
6. Always connect your answers to the case objective
Throughout the case, make sure you are connecting each of your answers back to the overall business problem or question. What implications does your answer have on the overall business problem?
Many candidates make the mistake of answering case questions correctly, but they don’t take the initiative to tie their answer back to the case objective.
7. Communicate clearly and concisely
In a Facebook case study interview, it can be tempting to answer the interviewer’s question and then continue talking about related topics or ideas. However, you have a limited amount of time to solve a Facebook case, so it is best to keep your answers concise and to the point.
Answer the interviewer’s question, summarize how it impacts the case objective, and then move onto the next important issue or question.
8. Be enthusiastic
Facebook wants to hire candidates that love their job and will work hard. Displaying enthusiasm shows that you are passionate about working at Facebook. Having a high level of enthusiasm and energy also makes the interview more enjoyable for the interviewer. They will be more likely to have a positive impression of you.
Resources to Prepare for Your Facebook Case Study Interview
If you’re looking for the best way to learn and practice case study interviews to land a job at Facebook, give our one week case interview course a try. The material in the course has helped 6,000+ students land offers at top-tier consulting firms such as McKinsey, BCG, and Bain, so it’ll be more than enough for your Facebook case study interview.
If you are considering alternative resources to use, below are the two books we recommend. They are available in digital or paperback format on Amazon.
- Hacking the Case Interview: Learn exactly what to do and what to say in every step of the case interview. This is the perfect book for beginners that are looking to learn the basics of case interviews quickly.
- The Ultimate Case Interview Workbook: Hone your case interview skills through 65+ problems tailored towards each type of question asked in case interviews and 15 full-length cases based on real McKinsey, BCG, and Bain interviews. This book is great for intermediates.