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Google Product Manager Interview Questions & Reviews

Updated Jul 27, 2014
All Interviews Received Offers

Getting an Interview  

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Interview Experience  

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Interview Difficulty  

Average Difficulty
129 candidate interviews Back to all interview questions
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Accepted Offer

Neutral Experience

Product Manager Interview

Product Manager

Interviewed at Google

Interview Details – I had a 30 min screening interview over the phone, followed by half a day of on site interviews at the Googleplex in Mountain View. Some of these were in person, while others were over video conference

Interview Question – Optimise search algorithm to create an ordered list   View Answer


3 people found this helpful

No Offer

Neutral Experience

Difficult Interview

Product Manager Interview

Product Manager
Mountain View, CA

I applied online and the process took 2 weeks - interviewed at Google in May 2014.

Interview Details – One guy was literally yawning all the time at around 11AM, which is very unprofessional. I was like, dude, doesn't Google serve coffee or sth?

I won't share specific interviews questions (I don't think they actually help much), but I will share some of my observations (which may not be 100% true):
1) Google seems to maintain a pool of interview questions. I was asked 2 of the same questions listed on glassdoor. But sometimes the interviewer just make up questions on the fly.
2) On-site consists of 5 rounds, 3 peer PMs + 1 PM director + 1 engineer, you'll have lunch w/ a lunch buddy after the first 3 peer PMs (food is actually so so). Meanwhile, your recruiter will gather quick feedback and make a snap judgement about whether to proceed w/ the PM director and engineer. If you don't make it to the after-lunch session, it is a ding for sure.
3) You need at least one 'strong hire' recommendation from the 5 rounds. It is not unusual for someone to get 5 'hire' recommendation but get dinged. So try very hard to really impress one interviewer.

Interview Question – Design app stuff. I was killed by 2 of those questions.   Answer Question


34 people found this helpful

No Offer

Positive Experience

Difficult Interview

Product Manager Interview

Product Manager
Mountain View, CA

I applied through a recruiter and the process took 2 months - interviewed at Google in September 2013.

Interview Details – Standard Process. A phone screen by recruiter followed by phone screen with a couple of product managers. After that got an invite to come onsite. Had 5 gruelling interviews ( 3 PMs, 1 behavioral with a Director of PM, 1 engineer ). They get you to lunch with one of the PMs and the lunch is fairly casual which gives you a glimpse of the famous 'free google food' Those candidates will succeed who practice and stick to an enterpreneurial mindset day in and day out. Its not something that you practice, prepare and acquire overnight or even in a few months. This was my second shot, I felt optimistic but unfortunately i did not make it.

Questions :

1) concept to design - how would you build X for Y kind of people?

2) Strategic - what would you do if u were the CEO of X?What is the next big thing that you would design for XYZ company?

3) Sizing/estimation/consulting case type questions - if you build xyz product what is the market size like and how much? key here is to make assumptions, think details and incorporate them..

4) Puzzles - i got a couple of them....imagine u are on an island and....or u hav a billion numbers and...

5) behavioral - i did not encounter them when i interviewed at google a few years back...seems like Google is changing its approach towards a more rounded up interview process

6) engineering/CS - this does require a solid CS Foundation...didn't help that it came towards the end of a long and tiring day...last time around i also got Big( O ) estimation problems thrown at me..

Tips:

1. Use the whiteboard to articulate and frame your thoughts and go through the problem solving process...what you should be thinking of is to come up with a framework for the answer instead of jumping rightaway to a nice well rounded andswer..google wants to see your framework not your final answer....
also my big takeaway from the interview (even though i didnt get the job) was this framework building process could be used beyond this interview even in my day to day work with great results

2. Have a 'recursive approach' - which means when given a problem with which you are absolutely stumped, try to think of the simplest 'base' case...scale it slightly...observe the pattern and come up with an insight...if you have 7 bullets in a gun kinda problem try to think of it in terms of 1-2 bullets in a gun scale...figure out the pattern for the smaller problem and that is the key to the larger problem as well...

3. be creative, think about the status qou and whats wrong and what you would like to change..whether its google's products or a competitors...

4. Keep your calm...this is the most most important of all...remember to simply slow down since your heart rate will be 2x the normal...

At all times, Google's followup was very professional...u will learn of how you fared in 1 or 2 weeks and the recruiter was exceptionally considerate in reaching out to me at intervals and letting me know where the process was...a far cry from some of the other behemoths in the valley who do not even bother to acknowledge your onsite visit to them....


No Offer

Positive Experience

Difficult Interview

Product Manager Interview

Product Manager
San Francisco, CA

I applied through college or university - interviewed at Google in May 2013.

Interview Details – I initially applied online for an interview for a product manager position. my profile later got selected and I was asked to provide time for 2 phone interviews with senior. the process later included an onsite interview with a group panel.

Interview Question – Come up with a new product idea that is suitable and doable by google.   Answer Question


No Offer

Neutral Experience

Product Manager Interview

Product Manager

Interviewed at Google

Interview Details – Recruiting was professional, and most of the interviewers were asking questions that were good at delving into one's competencies. Unfortunately, All it takes is to have one bad interviewer to screw up your job prospect.

Interview Question – How would you design a dictionary lookup for Scrabble?   Answer Question


No Offer

Neutral Experience

Average Interview

Product Manager Interview

Product Manager
New York, NY

I applied through an employee referral and the process took 2+ weeks - interviewed at Google in April 2014.

Interview Details – Was introduced to a few positions through a friend that works at Google. Was contacted by HR to schedule a phone interview. Interviewer called a few minutes late and we started the interview right away. He was a PM from China, working at Google for 4 years already. He asked me what Google three google products do i like. When i said one of them was gmail, he asked me to say what i like about it. Then, when i said the free aspect and the large storage amount, he asked me how can i estimate the amount of gmail users in the world. Further questions were on which features would i add to gmail.

Interview Question – Nothing much, they just want to see how your way of thinking is   Answer Question


No Offer

Positive Experience

Difficult Interview

Product Manager Interview

Product Manager

I applied through a recruiter and the process took 4+ weeks - interviewed at Google.

Interview Details – Contacted by recruiter through LinkedIn. Phone screen scheduled with recruiter about a week later where we covered my work history, and discussed particular areas of Google that might be of interest. Scheduled a phone interview that occurred about 2 weeks later. During phone interview we covered my background and work history, then was asked two questions. First was estimating, second was brainstorming for NPD.

Interview Question – Estimate the required bandwidth for a college campus.   Answer Question


6 people found this helpful

No Offer

Positive Experience

Average Interview

Product Manager Interview

Product Manager
Chicago, IL

I applied through a recruiter and the process took 2 months - interviewed at Google in March 2014.

Interview Details – This review is in regards to my second phone interview for the product manager position. I uploaded my review for the first phone interview on March 19, 2014 if you would like to see that one as well.

I was contacted by the recruiter saying my first interviewer thought I would be good for the role, but was unable to determine my level of product creativity. So we set up a second interview with another PM. It was not your typical Google interview. He only asked me two questions.

1. Tell me about a product/project you managed that you feel most represents your skill set as a PM.

2. If you were to come on as a PM at Google what would your process be for determining what lies ahead and needs to be accomplished (My answer focused on acquiring insights from my engineering team, having discussion with subject matter experts, and using Google's extensive amount of data to create actionable metrics).

I've been invited to Mountain View for the in person interviews in the upcoming weeks. I'll keep you posted on how those interviews are.

Interview Question – He led off the interview by asking me what questions I had for him. I was caught slightly off guard as I was expecting to be put through ringer. In my previous interview there had only been time for two of my questions, so I didn't have that many prepared. In this particular interview about 30-40 minutes of the hour long interview was devoted to questions I had for him, so I had to come up with a lot of them on the fly. I believe he was also assessing my Product Management knowledge based upon the kinds of questions I was asking.   View Answer


1 person found this helpful

No Offer

Positive Experience

Difficult Interview

Product Manager Interview

Product Manager

I applied through a recruiter and the process took 6 weeks - interviewed at Google in March 2014.

Interview Details – A Google recruiter contacted me and said I had the type of background they look for in a product manager. I wasn't looking for a job at the time, but decided to go through the interview process and find out more about Google. Overall, the whole process was really enjoyable. The recruiter was very good and helpful (notably better than recruiters at other companies). I had a phone interview with a product manager, which was challenging and I enjoyed. The questions were about estimation and I was challenged to think about it in some different ways. In the end, I didn't get invited to an on-site interview, but that was fine. It was a good experience.

The process certainly was not fast. Some candidates may not like it because Google doesn't move very quickly. For me it was fine because I wasn't looking for another position at the moment.

Interview Question – Questions about estimation and how to approach estimations in different ways (for example: technical, economic, financial, etc.)   Answer Question


7 people found this helpful

Declined Offer

Positive Experience

Difficult Interview

Product Manager Interview

Product Manager
New York, NY

I applied through an employee referral and the process took 2 weeks - interviewed at Google in January 2014.

Interview Details – I was referred for the position from someone inside Google and received an email from a Google recruiter. After 15 minutes of chit chat about my resume and interests, he told me he would email me if I was to have an interview with a product manager. It was obvious to me that I was going to have one by the way he spoke and 2 minutes later I received an email from him asking me for interview times.
A week later I had the phone interview.
The interviewer was very sweet and friendly and she obviously had a lot of experience as she had been at Google for I think 4 years. She asked me about myself, so I gave her my resume pitch. She then asked me if I wanted to talk hardware or software. I said software. She asked me about an internet / software service that I used and liked OTHER THAN GOOGLE OR A GOOGLE PRODUCT. I said Netflix. Questions asked -
What are the things Netflix should measure/analyze on a daily basis?
What is their business model?
How can Netflix change its product without causing an uproar?
How can Netflix change its pricing without causing an uproar?

She then asked me about a piece of hardware that I liked to use and to explain why I liked it.

I talked about my bicycle.

Interview Question – What are the things Netflix should measure/analyze on a daily basis?   Answer Question

Reason for Declining – They wanted me to fly to Mountain View for the onsite interview, however I received a raise at my company and decided to stay

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