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Google Technical Program Manager Interview Questions & Reviews

Updated Jul 7, 2014
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Interview Experience  

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Interview Difficulty  

Average Difficulty
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3 people found this helpful

Accepted Offer

Neutral Experience

Technical Program Manager Interview

Technical Program Manager

Interviewed at Google

Interview Details – Typical interview process. Started with a recruiter and then had a phone screen with someone in a product team. That was followed a couple of weeks later with an on-site interview. The interview process was long and tiring. It is a full day of meetings where they want to know two things. 1) do you know your stuff technically. 2) do you think and communicate logically.

Interview Question – Design a the server infrastructure for gmail.   View Answer

Negotiation Details – I negotiated for signing bonus.


No Offer

Negative Experience

Average Interview

Technical Program Manager Interview

Technical Program Manager
Mountain View, CA

I applied online and the process took 8 months - interviewed at Google.

Interview Details – The interviewing process is disorganized and painfully slow. I was contacted by a recruiter about 6 months after I submitted my resume. Then I was scheduled to do a phone screen with a peer who was also a technical program manager. It took one month to schedule that phone interview because the interviewer called in sick or took the day off, after it was scheduled two weeks in advance. Then it took about another two weeks to reschedule to speak with him.

The interview lasted 45 minutes and we talked a lot of general responsibilities and scenario based questions. Then it took about 5 to 6 weeks to hear back from the recruiter to see if another interview would be scheduled if there was an interest. During that time I followed up about every two weeks until finally they sent me an email to let me know they were pursuing other candidates

The craziness was in scheduling the interviews with people who did not have it as their priority and took their own sweet time. Imagine if it took me so long, i.e., one month to have a phone interview that they were taking forever to schedule other phone interviews with other candidates and dragging the process out.

Interview Question – I was asked if Google bought another company and those employees didn't want to move to the Mountain View campus how would I merge these two locations together via networks and systems. Also, questions about programming vulnerabilities such as cross site scripting and information security risk management.

Did I think I knew everything? No. Did the interviewer know everything? No. This goes to show you that interviewers are biased and think in their own little world, they ask a broad range of questions that they've already researched in advance and knew the answers to, but if I asked the interviewer my own set of questions he wouldn't be able to answer all of them either. We're even.
  Answer Question


2 people found this helpful

No Offer

Negative Experience

Very Difficult Interview

Technical Program Manager Interview

Technical Program Manager

I applied through an employee referral and the process took 6+ weeks - interviewed at Google in January 2014.

Interview Details – Communication and followup were really poor.
Interviewing was quite broad based technical but not commensurate with day-to-day function

Interview Question – How would you figure out how many gas stations there are in the US   View Answer


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6 people found this helpful

No Offer

Negative Experience

Average Interview

Technical Program Manager Interview

Technical Program Manager

I applied online and the process took 2+ weeks - interviewed at Google.

Interview Details – Applied online and within a week I received an email from the recruiter. The recruiter asked for a couple of date/times for a phone interview with a team member from Google. Had the phone interview, but it was very hard to hear the person as they were on speaker phone. This really created a bad reverberation effect on the call. The person said they really enjoyed the call and said I should move onto the next step in the process. After waiting a couple of days, I reached out to the recruiter and they said they should know something in a few more days. After 10 days went by the recruiter sent email saying they decided to go with other applicants.

Interview Question – Nothing really difficult, just situational types of questions. What did you do on x project, etc. No brain teasers.   Answer Question


7 people found this helpful

Accepted Offer

Negative Experience

Difficult Interview

Technical Program Manager Interview

Technical Program Manager
Irvine, CA

I applied online and the process took 1 week - interviewed at Google in March 2011.

Interview Details – Google has simply shown, in my opinion, an extreme lack of respect for the interviewee. Massively delayed or non-existent communications, sloppy bookkeeping, canned responses, pandering for applicants, etc. My interviews only consisted of a barrage of highly technical questions. Not once was my resume brought up. Not once was I asked about me in an interview.

Aside from being terrible at communication, Google implicitly rejected, without appeal, someone with offers for a PhD and someone who owns two checks from Knuth. But of course, credentials are not sufficient. My repositories, that contain code ranging from complicated group theoretic computations to implementations of set covering algorithms, meant nothing to them, even though I believe they subsume all of the gymnastics they put their interviewees through. It is a shame to see that current Google employees may also not have a job there, were they given the same set of interviewers as I had under the same circumstances. (And don’t get me wrong, they are extremely bright people and should be working at a top-tier company.)

Overall, I am quite appalled with Google’s interactions with me over the past year, and if there is this much contempt for interviewees like me, I wonder if they should be held in the same position.

Interview Question – If you have n machines with a 10 GB string of characters on each, how do you find the most common character?   View Answer


4 people found this helpful

No Offer

Positive Experience

Difficult Interview

Technical Program Manager Interview

Technical Program Manager
Mountain View, CA

I applied through an employee referral and the process took 8 weeks - interviewed at Google in September 2013.

Interview Details – The process began with a phone screen with a recruiter for Site Reliability Engineer Role in Mountain View, CA. The questions were fairly straightforward, but I just did OK. I thought I should have answered all the questions correctly, but for whatever reason, I blanked on one or two of the questions. I was pleasantly surprised when my recruiter called me back an hour later. Given my career arc at my current employee, I had expressed an interest in leadership type roles. I felt given the amount of coding I had done and the significant challenges I have successfully overcome in the last few years at my current company, I could serve better the company at a leadership position. My recruiter was really great. She considered my experience, resume, and desire for a leadership type role and scheduled me for a technical phone screening for a managerial role.

Two weeks later I had a technical phone screening. The questions were straightforward and the interviewer did a good job interacting. I did well enough to get to a managerial phone screening. That phone screening was also straightforward. I thought I had done OK. Unfortunately, my recruiter called me and told me I was "not a good fit" for the managerial role. She asked me to take another technical phone screening for a Site Reliability Engineer role. This screening did not go as well as the other two. I kind of got stuck on the problem and time ran out. What most annoyed me most was that within 15 minutes of ending the interview I had the entire solution to the coding problem completed coded. I sent the code the recruiter, but I do not think it mattered. Soon thereafter, I received an email from another recruiter saying my previous recruiter had passed me along to her. I honestly cannot say if my first recruiter passed me along due to positive feedback or negative. I was just very grateful to be still in the game, so to speak.

The new recruiter scheduled me for a phone screening with the hiring manager for the TPM role. I felt I did well in this screening. I felt like I made a solid connection with the interviewer. Soon after my recruiter confirmed my feelings and said I had made it to the onsite interview.

Google's mountain view campus is amazing and I was very excited to be there. I had 5 interviews. 3 with TPMs and 2 with SWEs. I had lunch with a SWE. The SWEs had system design questions and one coding question. The TPMs had more project management /behavioral type questions. I did not think any of the questions were terribly difficult and I honestly felt I did OK. I answered all questions and looking back, I know I answered behavioral questions honestly. In other words, I was not trying to answer the questions to satisfy/impress them, but rather I answered as if I would react if confronted with the situation posed in the question.

Unfortunately, I was told I was "not a good fit". The rejection stings, but I knew google's reputation for hiring. I felt all the interviewers, but one, would probably have been good people to work along side. One interviewer had an air of arrogance and when I was done with interview, made me honestly not want to work for Google. All the interviewers were trying to push me, and this is to be expected. Whereas I could tell this one fellow did not think highly of me from the onset.

That being said, my annoyance quickly went away as I drove around the campus and then Mountain View later. if given a reasonable offer, I am pretty sure I would had taken it, despite the one fellow.

To close, I have no idea why I was not a good fit. They don't tell you. I don't know if the one interviewer railroaded my chances or maybe all the interviewers had issue with my answers.

The only thing I am sure of (and why I rate this a positive experience) is that I made a positive impression on the recruiters and the hiring manager and I am very grateful that they gave me every opportunity to succeed.

Interview Question – Non-disclosure prevents me from listing questions.   Answer Question


No Offer

Neutral Experience

Average Interview

Technical Program Manager Interview

Technical Program Manager

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

Interview Details – contacted by recruiter, passed the initial phone screening, set up a phone interview with someone from the group (future peer?) -- the call happened about 15 minutes late, the interviewer did apologize due to meeting running over time. Was asked a series of questions off a standardized list - some of the questions are a little too "academic" (i.e., what are the 7 layers of the OSI model?) -- if I were the one conducting the interview, I would have asked what's the purpose/reason behind the OSI model..

Interview Question – Can't really think of one - questions are what I expected   Answer Question


2 people found this helpful

No Offer

Positive Experience

Average Interview

Technical Program Manager Interview

Technical Program Manager
Mountain View, CA

The process took 4 weeks - interviewed at Google in June 2011.

Interview Details – Complex hiring process consisting of two phone screenings by lead members of the group resulting in an onsite interview. Onsite interview consisted of presentation and additional 1:1 interviews by skillset experts *not* in the group that I was interviewing for. Skillset experts asked a mixture of behavioral and general technical questions. HR was prompt in communicating with me as to process and results, however, was not rushed to complete the process making sure that multiple candidates where interviewed.

Company does look like it would be very good to work for. Dogs were in the office, cafeteria is everything that it's rumored to be, and employess seem to very bright and well spirited - and busy.

Interview Question – Be prepared to dig deep into your skillset for the program manager position this included 3 skillset interviews.   View Answer


2 people found this helpful

No Offer

Positive Experience

Average Interview

Technical Program Manager Interview

Technical Program Manager
Mountain View, CA

The process took 2 weeks - interviewed at Google in June 2011.

Interview Details – I felt the interview process was pretty standard for larger corporations. A corporate recruiter was the first to reach out to me after reviewing my resume. I submitted for three positions, but only one recruiter decided I might be a match. That was followed up by two 45 minute phone interviews. Do a lot of "interview 101" practice for these two phone interviews. In the interview, they jump right into a scripted scenario. However, it appeared that each person developed their own scenario, so this made it difficult sometimes to understand the context of their questions.

Interview Questions

  • What do you consider your technical area of expertise?   View Answer
  • How do you make sure you are delivering quality in your product or service?   View Answers (2)


1 person found this helpful

No Offer

Positive Experience

Difficult Interview

Technical Program Manager Interview

Technical Program Manager
Mountain View, CA

The process took a day - interviewed at Google in May 2011.

Interview Details – Initially contacted by recruiter via e-mail with job description and whether I was interested in interviewing by phone with the hiring manager. Recruiter seemed a little disorganized, sending e-mails without the proper attachments and providing the wrong time for the phone interview. The actual interview with the hiring manager was not too bad. He first asked questions about my previous work experience. Then, he asked questions about my masters thesis. Next, he started asking questions to test your technical ability. However, since we came from different engineering disciplines he was quite sure about what to ask. Finally, he asked questions to test your reasoning ability.

Interview Questions

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