Google Senior Product Manager Interview Questions & Reviews
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Senior Product Manager Interview (Negative Experience; Average Interview)
I applied through a recruiter and the process took 3 weeks - interviewed at Google.
Interview Details – My interviews consisted of a phone screen and in person interview at the Googleplex
My phone screen consisted of a product design / brainstorming question which was a lot of fun. The interviewer was a new PM and very respectful.
I met with five PMs on campus. My reaction of the interview process is negative.
The good: Coordination was good. Recruiter was in touch throughout the process. The lunch interview was the highlight of my day.
The bad: The interview panel was not very diverse - in fact was largely white/male, former CS or Management Consulting background. Google's penchant for the tricksy interview questions is alive and well.
Most of my interviewers were arrogant (with two notable exceptions). However what gave me pause was the uniform response from all of the PMs on the panel that "PMs only focus on execution", "Engineers hold the power here at Google", "Engineers need PMs only when they need to launch products", "Engineers look down on PMs that only focus on the front-end". This was very unexpected from my (external) perception of Google.
Apart from the "pirates on a deserted island" set of questions, the rest of the questions were Product Design or Product Analytics focused. These were fun but I got the sense that they were going down a checklist without probing too deep. In fact, it almost seemed like they had made up their mind to reject anyone who doesn't fit a certain mold. I walked away very underwhelmed.
1. Engineers have come to you with a cool new feature. What ideas can you come up with that incorporate this feature?
2. Design an app around your interest. How will you take it to market? How will you evaluate success?
3. How will you launch Android Wear?
4. Brainstorm some unique ideas for a vending machine
5. Estimate the bandwidth needs for You Tube for one year
There were no technical or coding questions on my panel. Not sure if this means that Google has done away with the coding questions.
Interview Question – "On a scale of one to ten, how difficult was this question? " Answer Question
Reason for Declining – Google's process is geared at identifying very junior PMs.
PMs on my panel seemed arrogant. The tidbit about being engineering led and only focusing on execution was very unexpected. There was also a candid observation shared that successful PMs at Google optimize for the short term rather than the long term. One of the PMs very arrogantly contrasted his startup experience and mentioned that he had never ever worked at a company where everyone was of a really high caliber - which is usually true of large companies.
Finally, given the makeup of the interview panel, I am not sure I would be very comfortable in a PM culture that is not diverse nor values different perspectives. I also did not walk away with a sense that they were particularly engaged or happy at Google.
Senior Product Manager Interview (Negative Experience; Difficult Interview)
I applied through a recruiter and the process took 4 months - interviewed at Google in January 2010.
Interview Details – They discourage those gotchya questions now. The process takes forever.
Interview Question – It's all at the whim of whoever you're talking to. There aren't typical questions anymore. Someone may ask you the "how many telephone poles in texas" sort of thing, but maybe not. Answer Question
Negotiation Details – None
Senior Product Manager Interview (Neutral Experience; Average Interview)
I applied online - interviewed at Google in March 2012.
Interview Details – The person interviewing had a "I am better than you " attitude .
Interview Question – Typical google questions. no surprises Answer Question
Senior Product Manager Interview (Positive Experience; Difficult Interview)
The process took 2 days - interviewed at Google in July 2009.
Interview Details – 3 1:1 interviews, great discussions, very energetic team.
Reason for Declining – Lack of structure within team
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