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Google Product Manager Interview Questions & Reviews

Updated Apr 2, 2014
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2 people found this helpful

No Offer

Positive Experience

Average Interview

Product Manager Interview

Anonymous Interview Candidate
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

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No Offer

Positive Experience

Average Interview

Product Manager Interview

Anonymous Interview Candidate
Mountain View, CA

I applied online and the process took 1 week - interviewed at Google in March 2014.

Interview Details – First I had a quick HR interview and then a phone interview was setup with a product manager. The interviewer asked me to explain how I will go about building a video editing software for blind people. I thought my technical and creative thinking aspects were right on.

However, I messed up on some market sizing calculations, very basic percentages. I am startled at myself for that silly mistake that just got me off track. I had done these kinds of problems so very well in GMATs and GREs but messed up here, can't believe myself.

Anyway, apart from that, I thought the interview went well. I also did pretty good on coming up with ideas for business models for this video editing software. I was happy about my overall performance but kicked myself for the math calculation error. I didn't expect that this mistake and some confusion around it would cause me the job! In hindsight, I am not even sure if the interviewer was expecting me to challenge the product idea and ask questions about why would someone want to build such product with limited addressable market etc.

Interview Question – Nothing difficult or unexpected.   Answer Question

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53 people found this helpful

No Offer

Positive Experience

Difficult Interview

Product Manager Interview

Anonymous Interview Candidate
Mountain View, CA

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

Interview Details – Contacted via linkedin. Phone interview scheduled, then onsite the next week.

Questions:
Phone interview
1. You want to provide internet access to 90% of the population of Africa - How would you do it?
2. You want to design a phone for deaf people - how do you do it?

Onsite:
5 interviews + lunch.
5 Interviews - 3 PMs, 1 Director, 1 Engineer

PMs + Director - Design/thinking areas probed.
1. Design an alarm clock.
2. 100 floors in a building - 3 main occupants - top 10 floors (company 1), next 90 floors evenly split, top 45 company2, bottom 45, company 3. Design the elevator system.
3. 8% drop in hits to Google.com. Larry Page walks into your office asks you to think about what the reasons might be. Enumerate.
4. Tell me about the most difficult interaction you had at work.
5. Name a non-Google product you've recently used - what do you think of it, how could it be improved. What if a feature you designed and managed is deemed to have poor ROI - defend it and the analysis of the data that is presented to you.
6. How many reviews are written in a month on yelp.com. You have no data and no access to any data. Estimate.
7. Design a car for blind people. Enumerate the use cases. Prioritize them. Justify everything with sound logic.

Engineer:
Design a simple load balancer for google.com. What data structures would you use? Why? Define access/delete/add complexity (Order of) for each data structure and explain your choices. Design an algorithm to add/delete nodes to/from the data structure. How would you pick which server to send a request to? Why? Why not?

Design the Google search service - essential pieces, logic, discuss why/why not/tradeoffs.

Lunch: Very friendly PM, had joined Google 2 months earlier. Had 10+ years experience.

Overall a pleasant and challenging experience. Was told by recruiter that they'd be in touch within a few days. Waiting to hear back.

Interview Question – 4. Tell me about the most difficult interaction you had at work.   Answer Question

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No Offer

Neutral Experience

Product Manager Interview

Anonymous Interview Candidate

Interviewed at Google

Interview Details – Referred by friend. Got a phone interview fairly quickly, less than a week.

Interview Question – Why Google?   Answer Question

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13 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....

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Declined Offer

Positive Experience

Difficult Interview

Product Manager Interview

Anonymous Interview Candidate
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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No Offer

Positive Experience

Difficult Interview

Product Manager Interview

Anonymous Interview Candidate

I applied through an employee referral and the process took 4+ weeks - interviewed at Google.

Interview Details – The interview process felt very thorough and complete. I was referred by a current employee and was contacted by an internal Google recruiter within days. They walked me through what the process would look like and helped me throughout the way. I was handed off to other 'recruiters' who managed each stage of the process. Eventually I was scheduled for a full-day interview in their offices.

Interview Question – Was asked how I would perform statistical frequency analysis on a random raw data source to get a set of results that are most relevant to humans.   Answer Question

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1 person found this helpful

Declined Offer

Neutral Experience

Product Manager Interview

Anonymous Interview Candidate

Interviewed at Google

Interview Details – Methodical and general

Interview Question – Dubious ethics as numerous interviewers asked for ideas on how to improve current (real) products   Answer Question

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3 people found this helpful

Accepted Offer

Neutral Experience

Product Manager Interview

Product Manager

I applied through other source and the process took 2 months - interviewed at Google.

Interview Details – Round I Interviews include 2 interviews with current PM's.
Questions included:
Interview I:
1. Tell me about a product you like
   a. Why do you like it?
   b. how would you improve it?
   c. how would you monetize it?
2. Now let's imagine you are PM of that product. And you launch a new feature (of the feature sets suggested above). Day after launch usage drop dramatically. How do you go about inquiring what happened?
3. What do you think about the Android vs. iOs ?

Interview II:
1. So, tell me what you would improve about Toothpaste
2. Tell me about a competitive move by a company in the past 6 months and what you think about it.

Google PM position is highly technical and interviewers look to see if interviewee has the technical background and understand coupled with the product ingenuity and innovative thought and creative approach needed to innovative new and existing product at Google.

Interview Question – Android vs. iOs.   Answer Question

Negotiation Details – I got round II

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No Offer

Negative Experience

Average Interview

Product Manager Interview

Product Manager
Mountain View, CA

I applied through an employee referral and the process took 1+ week - interviewed at Google in January 2014.

Interview Details – This was a referral and I quickly got contacted by HR via email. Very professional process with lots of explanations and tips to best prepare for the interviews.

There was then an initial screening by HR. Ensuring that I had the background to move forward and also give me some good insight into the prosition and process.

Next was a phone interview with a PM who showed up 20 minutes late and started to ask questions anout the market and challenges in wearable devices. At this point this was a complete disconnect as I'm an enterprise software professional and honestly was not even interested having that discussion.

As a follow up I was explained that Google wants their PMs to be able to tackle any topic. Obviously they are a successful company and their screening process works. Good for them, I reserve the right to think different, C-level IT executives have different expectations and constraints than me using Gmail at home.

Interview Question – Design a system to serve streaming video to google glass users.   Answer Question

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