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Google Product Manager Interview Questions

Updated Dec 18, 2014
Updated Dec 18, 2014
148 Interview Reviews

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28 people found this helpful  

Product Manager Interview

Anonymous Interview Candidate
Anonymous Interview Candidate
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.  

    Product Manager Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    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
  2. 25 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 (2)
    Accepted Offer
  3. 3 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

    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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  5. 2 people found this helpful  

    Product Manager Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Interview Details

    Google gets as many as 75,000 resumes a week. Obviously, it is highly unlikely that Google HR has enough time and staff to actually look at every resume; after all they are a search company. In me experience, being recommended for a position by a Google employee (a "Googler") is critical to getting a person in HR to look at your resume. After submitting several resumes online, I was recommended by a Googler. I was contacted by Google HR within 24 hours.

    Interview Questions
    No Offer
  6. 2 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 Answer
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview
  7.  

    Product Manager Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Interview Details

    Was called by HR for a phone screen and discussed basic functions and roles of the position. Was referred by a Googler in the department and expected a call back. After the initial call I didn't hear back again.

    Interview Questions
    No Offer
  8. 1 person found this helpful  

    Product Manager Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Application Details

    I applied in-person. The process took 2+ monthsinterviewed at Google in October 2014.

    Interview Details

    My interview process started with a friend of mine referring me internally. I initially had a phone screen with the recruiter that went very well. I was almost immediately invited to come into the office for a all-day interview day.

    On my interview day I was interviewed by 4 PMs. There was also an interview with a PM Director that was relatively a short interview.

    I thought I did fairly well but wasn't sure if I did well enough.

    My recruiter emailed me 1.5 weeks later to let me know that all had gone well and they would be submitting me to the Hiring Committee. I was super excited and looking forward to the green light.

    Alas- the hiring committee over-rode the feedback and gave me thumbs down.

    Interview Questions
    • Nothing difficult or unexpected. The type of questions are very well covered here: Expect a Why Google, or why PM, what products you like, why/why not. You will be expected to do estimation questions as well as case study questions. This is an absolute given.   Answer Question
    No Offer
    Neutral Experience
    Difficult Interview
  9.  

    Product Manager Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Application Details

    I applied through an employee referral. The process took 4+ weeksinterviewed at Google in October 2014.

    Interview Details

    Friend submitted my resume. Recruiter got in touch to set up a phone interview after a day. Had the first interview a couple weeks later. Had to ask for an update before I knew they wanted me to go through another phone interview a week after the first one. Had a second phone interview. Waited about 10 days, then reached out for feedback. Recruiter called me right away to let me know we were not moving forward.
    Recruiter explained that in their experience, Product Mangers with a lot of business savvy, but without a technology background (which was very clearly not in my resume) don't last very long (more than two years) at Google. Her explanation for thinking I might be a good fit originally was with the hope that I had self-taught some technical/computer science skills. ...This all flies in the face of having asked this question of the first interviewer whose response was, "We don't need engineers for this role. Use what you're good at." The second interviewer was a computer science guy turned product person and arrogantly asked, "How do you expect to work with the top 1% of computer science engineers in the WORLD without any computer science background?" Left a very bad taste in my mouth. The recruiter thought I would be a good fit in other roles at Google and asked me to let her know what else I was interested in. I won't be applying again.
    Yet another talented woman filtered out of Google.

    Interview Questions
    No Offer
    Negative Experience
    Average Interview
  10.  

    Product Manager Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Seattle, WA
    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Seattle, WA
    Application Details

    I applied through a recruiter. The process took 2 weeksinterviewed at Google in October 2014.

    Interview Details

    Went through recruiter screening. Basic questions about my how technical ability as well as my resume. Then had PM screening. Asked about resume and a design question. Very conversational. Nothing tricky. They just want to see my fit for the role.

    Interview Questions
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Easy Interview

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