Google Product Manager Interview Questions

Updated Feb 25, 2015
Updated Feb 25, 2015
154 Interview Reviews

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72 people found this helpful  

Product Manager Interview

Anonymous Employee
Anonymous Employee
Application Details

I applied through a recruiter. The process took 3+ monthsinterviewed at Google.

Interview Details

I had a recruiter contact so applied directly. The entire process took 3 months.

Round1: HR
Questions: Why Google, what do you bring to the table etc. Most people clear this. Honestly if you did not or cannot then consider another career

Round2: Phone screen with a Senior Product Manager
Very professional, punctual and courteous
Questions: Resume review, projects, product I like and what I will change about it

Round3: Onsite
Interviewer 1 (I-1): Seasoned PM
Questions: Took one project on my resume and discussed it for 45 minutes. Standard PM framework approach to answering questions

I-2: Seasoned GPM from YouTube
Questions: Market sizing, opportunity assessment, why Google, how will you improve product X

I-3 Junior PM in Search and was previously at Microsoft
Questions: Annoying as hell and the only value add was he/she corrected me that it's Orange is the new black. I said Orange is the new Red. Mid 20's, annoying and arrogant as hell. We discussed about Netflix model and what can be improved. He/She just kept on saying.. What else.. what else.. what else... I think he/she said that at least 30 times.

I-4: Seasoned GPM
Questions: None as it was lunch interview. General talk about soccer world cup, etc. Guy was jaded and I think waiting for his stocks to vest. Overall nothing much to report here

I-5: HR
I thought I was done but she asked me to stay back. Hopes up... LOL

I-6: Seasoned PM from Identity Management team
Questions: SSO, OAuth, improving checkout etc. Nothing crazy

I-7: Engineer from YouTube
Questions: Professional and very very nice. Asked me to design a load balancer using data structures. I told him I can write in VB or SQL. He said does not care about language. Wants to see how I use data structures

I-8: Junior PM from Google+
Questions: Mostly around improve X, improve Y. What non tech product I like? I told I love my Canon Mark III. Discussed it to death and since I know it in an out it was easy to talk about what I would love to change in it

Overall, if you know frameworks you are good to go. They don't asking anything earth shattering.

HR called in a week and said team loved you.. no questions there but felt that you would be a better fit elsewhere. I was offered a position in Google Tech Services as a Senior Manager. I am a Senior PM in a top company in the Bay area. It did not make sense for me to move into a Tech role. I declined and moved on.

In hindsight I thank Google for saying no to me. I'm nearing 40. It does not make sense for me to hang out with 20 year olds PM's. There is only so much I have in common with them. I'm more of a PBS kind of guy. Orange could be the new Blue for all I care.

Interview Questions
  • I have been a PM for over 5 years and in marketing and management consulting all my career. Nothing was unexpected. Irksome? yes. But then again I said to myself, a decade ago I was as arrogant as that 20+ kid.   Answer Question
Reasons for Declining

Not a PM position but a position in Google Tech Services

Declined Offer
Positive Experience
Average Interview

Other Interview Reviews for Google

  1. 8 people found this helpful  

    Product Manager Interview

    Anonymous Employee
    Anonymous Employee
    Application Details

    I applied through other source. The process took 4+ weeksinterviewed at Google.

    Interview Details

    A friend of mine submitted my resume through some contacts of his; I'm not sure about the exact details here. I got an email from a recruiter who asked if I would like to apply for the Product Manager position. I said yes, I would love to.

    Another recruiter then contacted me to set up a phone interview with a Product Manager for around two weeks later. This interview had a few basic questions, then centered around a theoretical problem: imagine that you are the manager of [one of Google's largest products], and that you're thinking about doing [major change to the business model of the product]. How would you think about that? What would you do? (I'm omitting the details of the question in order to respect the confidentiality of their interview process. The very same day the original recruiter told me I passed and asked for my availability over the next three weeks to come in for a full day of on-site interviews.

    The next day I received an email from yet another recruiter confirming that I would have my interviews on one of the days I had sent, with detailed instructions on time, location, etc. This had NDAs and a formal job application to fill out. As it turned out the interview process required only 4.5 hours on site, including lunch, but I kept the whole day blocked off as I had heard rumors (here?) that some people were asked to stay later than their scheduled end time in order to have additional interviews, if the feedback was ambiguous.

    On the day of the interviews, my train in was delayed and I was ~10 minutes late for my first one. I'm not sure if that was counted against me, but it did throw me off a bit. I believe that over the course of the day I interviewed with four product managers and one software engineer, in addition to a "non-evaluatory" lunch with another product manager in one of the cafes. I thought I had good rapport with two of the product managers, although it was hard to tell, as they were trying hard to push me with their questions.

    The big questions I got were:

    First interview: Product Manager
    What are all the products you used since you got up this morning?
    Pick one you like and describe why.
    Pick one you don't like, describe why, and how would you improve it.

    Second Interview: Product Manager
    Tell me about yourself.
    How big is the [xyz] market?
    What are some technology trends you are following?

    Third Interview: Product Manager
    How would you improve [Google product]?
    Is [Google product] important (to Google)? Why? How from a product perspective, would you get more people to use it? What features would you add?

    Fourth Interview: Product Manager
    Tell me about yourself.
    What is a product manager?
    How would you handle a situation in which someone senior to you disagrees with your product decision? (came out of something I said about how sometimes you mold user research into a product, and sometimes you're not able to)
    Tell me about a product that you created that you're proud of.
    Imagine that you are a PM at a big software company, and you are assigned to build [a business process] software for [a small business vertical]. How would you measure success?
    How would you build the product? What would you say to the engineering team? How would you iterate?

    Fifth Interview: Software Engineer
    Some technical questions about web-based collaboration software.
    A simple code sample that I had to read and then say what it did.
    What's wrong with the code sample?
    Assume that you put the [code sample app] up on the web, and it became really popular. What are some optimizations you could do to speed up response times under load?

    Interview Questions
    • Imagine that you are a PM at [big software company], and you are assigned to build [business process] software for [small business vertical]. How would you measure success?   View Answers (2)
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview
  2. 4 people found this helpful  

    Product Manager Interview

    Anonymous Employee
    Anonymous Employee
    Application Details

    I applied through an employee referral. The process took 5 weeksinterviewed at Google.

    Interview Details

    Got referred by a "Googler". Initially rebuffed by recruiter due to lack of a CS degree. Said Googler ensured that I had software development experience. Recruiter was very polite and timely with proceedings.
    Interviewed with a Product Manager in Pittsburgh. They seemed cold, uninterested, and generally busy. Asked generally about my current work at a startup, then asked how I would implement a very broad feature in Gmail. It was a very large question, and they offered no guidance or clarification on what they were looking for. Went down a bunch of roadways with a bit of disinterest. Finally asked me why I wanted to work at Google and not a startup, then the interviewer had to leave for a meeting.

    Overall: short, disinterested, and cold.

    Interview Questions
    • Let's say we wanted to implement an Amazon Mayday like feature in Gmail. How would that work?   View Answer
    No Offer
    Negative Experience
    Difficult Interview
  3.  

    Product Manager Interview

    Anonymous Employee in Mountain View, CA
    Anonymous Employee in Mountain View, CA
    Application Details

    I applied online. The process took a weekinterviewed at Google in February 2015.

    Interview Details

    I break down to 4 parts . 1. Car , 2 . Household , 3. Transportation , 4 others.
    Interviewer replied me to focus on Car only.
    I use USA population to answer this questions.
    Divided into Commercial car and non-Commercial car, then calculate the number.
    Finally, Interview ask me how do I think my estimation , is that too high or too low.
    I replied too low , because car sometime also needs to do maintenance and etc.
    He said ok .

    Interview Questions
    Declined Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview
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  5. 3 people found this helpful  

    Product Manager Interview

    Anonymous Employee
    Anonymous Employee
    Application Details

    I applied through a recruiter. The process took 4+ weeksinterviewed at Google in January 2015.

    Interview Details

    Recruiter contacted me to apply via LinkedIn. Even though I didn't have any PM experience I entertained the possibility. Step 1 was a call with the recruiter. He was 30 minutes late calling me and we had to reschedule. Strike 1.

    Step 2 was an interview with a PM. He had never received a copy of my resume so we had to spend the first 5 minutes sorting that out. Strike 2. The phone he was on had a ton of static and I could barely hear him. I spent the next 30 minutes constantly having to ask him to repeat himself. Strike 3. He asked a couple of general PM related questions.

    Google team ops needs to get their act together because this was one of the worst interview experiences that I've had.

    Interview Questions
    • Design an app for a community of Celiac's disease patients. Talk about a product you hate.   Answer Question
    No Offer
    Negative Experience
    Average Interview
  6. 1 person found this helpful  

    Product Manager Interview

    Anonymous Employee
    Anonymous Employee
    Application Details

    I applied through college or university. The process took 4+ weeksinterviewed at Google.

    Interview Details

    Phone interview with a PM was pleasant and consisted of standard product manager type questions

    In-person interview at HQ was less smooth. First interviewer showed up 15 minutes late and the whole day was late / rushed from there. Three 45-minute interviews before lunch, followed by a rushed lunch with a guy who made it clear he did not want to be there. After a 10 minute lunch, was whisked across campus to a room with broken teleconferencing equipment that did not zoom or allow use of the whiteboard. Final 2 interviews were via Google Hangout in the room with the broken equipment (the interviewers were on campus but apparently did not have time to walk over to the building I was in). Questions were standard difficulty but the lack of a whiteboard was annoying. Had 6 PMs and 1 engineer as interviewers.

    Overall, very surprised that Google was so rushed and disorganized, and people were fairly harried and rude throughout. Didn't seem like such a pleasant place to work.

    Also: Didn't seem very diverse. Out of 6 total interviewers plus my lunch companion, I never met a single female product manager or female engineer, all men.

    Interview Questions
    • When are Bayesian methods more appropriate than "Artificial Intelligence" techniques for predictive analytics?   Answer Question
    No Offer
    Average Interview
  7. 15 people found this helpful  

    Product Manager Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Mountain View, CA
    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Mountain View, CA
    Application Details

    I applied through a recruiter. The process took 3+ monthsinterviewed at Google in November 2014.

    Interview Details

    A recruiter reached out through LinkedIn. Was easy to work with and helped set me up with a phone screen. Phone screen was a short product design question about how I would design an app for my favorite sports team (I had the choice between this and another question not related to sports).

    After passing the phone screen got passed to a new recruiter who helps with the rest of the process. Was brought on site for a day of being interviewed by 4 different PMs and 1 SWE. Mostly standard PM questions around product design and metrics. SWE had two parts: implementing a fibonacci algorithm, first naively and them optimizing (iterative vs. recursive, memoizing, etc...) and the a systems design question around implementing Google Instant.

    I thought the interviews went well, but the still couldn't decide so they brought me in again for a second round of onsites. This time I only met with senior two people, a high-level SWE (had been at Google for 9 years) and a Director of PM. These went well and my final package was approved by the hiring committee about two weeks after the second round.

    Throughout the interviews there were no brainteasers or estimation questions. The closest thing was the ladder question I included below, which is really more of a CS/algorithms question.

    Overall the process took much longer than expected, about 3 months from initial contact to offer.

    Google feels big and it is big. I also interviewed at Twitter and Facebook and the size differences jump up an order of magnitude for each step (Twitter -> FB -> Google). It also noticeably feels like an older company, i.e. interviewing with people who have been at Google since before FB or Twitter were founded. This isn't a bad thing, just an observation.

    Interview Questions
    • You have a ladder of N steps (rungs). You can go up the ladder by taking either 1 step or two steps at a time, in any combination. How many different routes are there (combinations of 1 steps or 2 steps) to make it up the ladder?   View Answers (5)
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview
  8.  

    Product Manager Interview

    Anonymous Employee
    Anonymous Employee
    Application Details

    I applied through a recruiter. The process took 1+ weekinterviewed at Google.

    Interview Details

    Internal recruiter had reached out to me directly via LinkedIn. I found all of the background material forwarded to me by the recruiter (interview tips, working at Google, etc.) extremely helpful. The conducting of the interview met the expectations set in the prep material so definitely recommend that candidates go through it thoroughly.

    Phone interview was performed with an existing Product Manager.

    Interview Questions
    • Take a grocery app - what would be the features you would suggest?   Answer Question
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview
  9. 33 people found this helpful  

    Product Manager Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Application Details

    I applied through a recruiter – interviewed at Google.

    Interview Details

    Phone Screen for Google Product Manager -

    The questions were:
    * Why Google?
    * Tell me about the most exciting project you've worked on in the past, and why it was the most exciting for you.
    * Design scenario: The alarm clock industry is really waning as of late. What could you do to curb this trend?

    Interview Questions
    • Design scenario: Let's say you have a tv remote with 3 buttons, mute, vol up, vol down. What would you expect to happen if a user hits vol up button when its muted? Talk through the scenarios and what the user is trying to do. What would you expect to happen if you hit vol down button when it's muted?   View Answers (3)
    Accepted Offer
  10. 4 people found this helpful  

    Product Manager Interview

    Anonymous Employee
    Anonymous Employee
    Application Details

    I applied through a recruiter – interviewed at Google.

    Interview Details

    I was contacted by a recruiter a couple of days after I created a LinkedIn profile. After speaking to the recruiter, I did a phone interview. I've been told that some people have to do more than one phone interview but after the one phone interview, I was invited to the onsite interview which is pretty much as discussed by others on this site. I feel that most of my interviews went well but I could see where I went wrong in a few of them. I did not get an offer and the feedback was that while everyone liked me, they felt some of my answers were not creative enough. I assume that they must have liked me in some capacity because I have since been contacted regarding other more technical positions where creativity was not as much of a consideration.

    Interview Questions
    • The questions were much as everyone noted. I think I failed in not taking "What new features would you add to..." questions far enough. I think the main thing to remember when answering the questions is to not answer for yourself but for the customer. So while you may say, "This bothers me, I would change...", a better answer would be to say "From reading the comments on the app, I see that X bothers a lot of people and I would do Y to fix it."   Answer Question
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview

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