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Google Senior Product Manager Interview Questions

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22 people found this helpful  

Senior 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 weeksinterviewed 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 Questions
  • "On a scale of one to ten, how difficult was this question? "   Answer Question
Reasons 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.

Declined Offer
Negative Experience
Average Interview

Other Interview Reviews for Google

  1.  

    Senior Product Manager Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Sydney (Australia)
    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Sydney (Australia)
    Application Details

    I applied through an employee referral. The process took 1+ weekinterviewed at Google.

    Interview Details

    One of the best hiring processes I've been through, it'll help a lot if you have an internal recommendation. In Australia the response time is pretty slow for most roles but the person I dealt with was quick, kept me informed and really tried to help

    Interview Questions
    • Technical skill is a must for this role. You're leading a team of dev's and you have to be able to not just keep up on a technical level but you need to be out ahead of them in terms of vision and to do that you need to have the technical base. Even though I have a Software Dev. degree, the fact that I hadn't worked in the field in a technical capacity meant that I ended up pulling out of the process once I understood the detail because I don't have the technical chops. Credit to Google for looking at me in the first place and for making it a pleasant process even though I didn't get there...   Answer Question
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview
  2. 1 person found this helpful  

    Senior Product Manager Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Interview Details

    The hiring process was as one would expect - simply a case interview with some fairly challenging questions. The interviewer was rather cold and stern, but that could be due to the fact that I didn't do a good job of articulating the answers to my questions. All in all, a difficult but not out of the ordinary interview process.

    Interview Questions
    • How much bandwidth does YouTube require to achieve 100% uptime. Rationalize your answer.   Answer Question
    No Offer
  3.  

    Senior 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 2+ monthsinterviewed at Google in September 2013.

    Interview Details

    Starts with a phone interview, followed by an on-site half day. Interviewed by a two Product Managers, an Engineer (more technical) and a director of PM. Followed by a Hiring Comittee, another Director and a final Comittee.
    The entire process took more than two months.

    Interview Questions
    • Nothing unexpected or out of the ordinary you can read in this site and others. Tell me about a Google product, what you would have changed etc. Invent a product and build a business case for that etc.
      You see a decline in traffic to a service. What do you do?etc
      Why do you want to work for google? etc.
       
      Answer Question
    No Offer
    Neutral Experience
    Average Interview
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  5.  

    Senior 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 4+ monthsinterviewed at Google in January 2010.

    Interview Details

    They discourage those gotchya questions now. The process takes forever.

    Interview Questions
    • 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
    Accepted Offer
    Negative Experience
    Difficult Interview
  6.  

    Senior Product Manager Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Application Details

    I applied online – interviewed at Google in March 2012.

    Interview Details

    The person interviewing had a "I am better than you " attitude .

    Interview Questions
    Declined Offer
    Average Interview
  7.  

    Senior Product Manager Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in London, England (UK)
    Anonymous Interview Candidate in London, England (UK)
    Application Details

    I applied through an employee referral – interviewed at Google in April 2009.

    Interview Details

    HR first - 1 hour by phone
    Prosuct Manager - on site Google Victoria London - 1 hour
    Director Product - 1 hour by phone
    Onsite at Google Victoria - 3 face to face (HR! Product, BD) and 3 video call interview with Mountain View (2x Product, 1 VP)

    Interview Questions
    • many questions both technical and business related
      a few statistics puzzle to solve on the spot - gave very practical response - asked to solve the "standard" way
       
      Answer Question
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview
  8.  

    Senior Product Manager Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Application Details

    I applied online – interviewed at Google.

    Interview Details

    very challenging

    Interview Questions
    • They asked many puzzle questions. Be prepared for brain teasers!   Answer Question
    No Offer
  9. 3 people found this helpful  

    Senior Product Manager Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Bangalore (India)
    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Bangalore (India)
    Application Details

    I applied through an employee referral. The process took 6 daysinterviewed at Google in August 2012.

    Interview Details

    My resume was referred to the Indian recruiter by a senior US employee. The recruiter scheduled a phone interview for 5 days later with someone in the US (late night call). Before the call they gave me instructions on what to expect. As Google PM was my dream role, I actually prepared a 12 page cheat sheet for the call [ what a waste!].

    The interviewer was a PM who had relocated from India to the US and showed major attitude. My strong sense here is that the phone interview was just a formality, they had already decided not to proceed further. [This has happened to me before, at EMC]

    For the first 15 minutes he mocked my startup venture, that had not taken off. Then he gave me a problem about locating, classifying and displaying search results for commercial products. He mocked me for the next 15 minutes about that while I explained my solution.

    He ended it after that and I asked a few questions from my end to complete the call.

    The interview went totally contrary to everything I had read about Google PM interviews, design, strategy, appreciation of Google products etc. I later realized that those reviews were mostly for US positions. It was also different from what the local HR recommended as preparation in her interview scheduling mail.

    One recommendation I do have, start practising linear thinking, and staying within bounds, while preparing for interview. At least this PM did not seem to appreciate lateral thinking while problem solving.

    I got the canned rejection letter within 10 days.

    Interview Questions
    • The very last question was, "if you could be the product manager for any product in Google which would it be?"   View Answer
    No Offer
    Negative Experience
    Difficult Interview
  10.  

    Senior Product Manager Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Application Details

    I applied through an employee referral. The process took 2+ monthsinterviewed at Google in September 2012.

    Interview Details

    Several online submissions, Finally received an email and call from the recruiter. This was followed by 2-3 phone interviews and a flight to the HQ for another 3-4 interviews. The whole process was very non traditional.

    Interview Questions
    • Generally speaking the questions were abstract and meant to test you reasoning and logic skills. Honestly they never really asked what I've done or how I solved a real problem. It was all hypothetical.   Answer Question
    No Offer
    Difficult Interview

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