Google Product Manager Interview Questions | Glassdoor

Google Product Manager Interview Questions

Updated Aug 8, 2017
399 Interview Reviews

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  1. Helpful (426)  

    Product Manager Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Declined Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied through a recruiter. The process took 3+ months. I interviewed at Google.

    Interview

    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.   2 Answers

    Reasons for Declining

    Not a PM position but a position in Google Tech Services


  2.  

    Product Manager Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Mountain View, CA
    No Offer
    Negative Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied through a recruiter. I interviewed at Google (Mountain View, CA).

    Interview

    It was the longest interview process I have been thru. Took 3 months for them to say no. I was really interested in cloud but the interview panel was a bunch of PMs with 2-4 years experience in very consumer centric areas - one guy was the PM for payments risk, another one was PM for Google Play store monetization, the senior most of them was PM for Google shopping. I asked him the difference between the job of a PM and a GPM at Google. He gave a pretty elaborate reply - hopefully he did not take it in a bad way and give me a bad review! The technical interviewer was by far the smartest guy.

    I get the feeling that Google's hiring process has created a very uniform set of people who walk and talk very similar things and are in a bubble. Google is no where on the scene when it comes to messaging, social networking, etc. Even in digital ads, small companies like Branch.io have come up with very innovative ideas. Clearly these PMs are not really that earth shattering and lack originality.

    My interview feedback, however, was not positive - the first hiring manager balked. I am a pretty honest and brutal judge of myself and was feeling good about the interview - I was quite surprised. The recruiter then decided to share my resume with the cloud teams as thats what I was really interested in. Turned out a bunch of PM managers in the cloud were interested. I spoke with a few and 2 managers were really interested and sponsored my case to the hiring committee. Based on the feedback from the earlier interviews, however, I was rejected.

    In places like AWS, Microsoft, Facebook, etc. hiring managers have an important say in the hiring process. There is no data to suggest that these companies are doing badly because of that. Google , on the other hand, is not really doing any different in terms of innovation because of its strange hiring practices. It is lagging behind in terms of market share in many areas that it has stepped into - that is a direct indication of how its Product Managers are performing.

    Interview Questions

    • The Chrome team is looking to reduce power utilization on mobile phones when using the browser. How would you go about solving this problem.   1 Answer
    • Name a company that in your opinion has not done very well.   1 Answer
    • Tell me how you would improve Google Maps.   1 Answer
  3.  

    Product Marketing Manager Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    No Offer
    Neutral Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied online. I interviewed at Google.

    Interview

    As you'd imagine it's really hard to get a job here so it was a long process, including an initial screening all the way through a couple long-winded interview rounds and it was a little more dragged out than it should have been. I did enjoy the interview although it ultimately did not go positively.

    Interview Questions


  4.  

    Product Manager Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    No Offer
    Neutral Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied online. I interviewed at Google.

    Interview

    Applied online on the Google careers. Got call from a recruiter after few weeks and interview was scheduled shortly.

    Interview Questions


  5. Helpful (1)  

    Product Manager Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    No Offer
    Negative Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied online. I interviewed at Google in July 2017.

    Interview

    Interviewer rushed the Interview through and did cut me off on several instances saying due to limited time we have move forward. I felt it was badly organised and personally did not expect this from Google

    Interview Questions

    • Can you tell me how much budget is required for Facebook to maintain Facebook Photos ?   Answer Question

  6. Helpful (2)  

    Senior Product Manager Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    No Offer
    Negative Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied online. I interviewed at Google.

    Interview

    I had a phone screen with the recruiter, who was super nice. and upbeat. Great first impression of the company. She wanted me to interview for a job that was different than the one I applied for - that "the team" thought I would be an excellent fit for a more senior position. This lasted about 30 minutes. She explained that the interview process at Google takes a long time, often several months. Additionally, she asked me if I got another job offer to let her know.

    About 3 weeks later I had a phone screen with someone on the team I would be working with - a peer. This woman had a miserable demeanor and seemed as if she would rather be doing anything else than be on this call. I was well prepared and based on the Q&A would say I did well. However, I was unable to get a positive feel from the interview so imagine my surprise when a month later, they wanted to schedule an in-person interview!

    Even though I knew I would be going onsite to the Google campus, it took several weeks for them to schedule a date for my interview - logistics of getting the right team together, I was told. Once the date was set, they wanted to move ahead quickly. I was given information with their travel partner to book my flight and accommodations - of course which they pay for. The travel partner was very nice and super helpful. I booked my flight through them, car, and hotel that had a shuttle to campus. I was ticketed for the flight and received a confirmation through email.

    That very same day, I received an "urgent" call from the recruiter. They were cancelling my interview. The reason I got was that the team discussed it and wanted to expand the scope of the role and wanted someone "more senior". This was ironic since the role I originally applied for was "less senior" and they thought I was qualified for something "more senior". At this point, communication broke down between the travel partner and Google as they were still sending me trip details after the interview was cancelled. On one hand I am glad they did not have me come in for a day of grueling interviews knowing they were not going to hire me. On the other hand, I cannot believe this happened. When I asked if I could interview for the original position I applied for, they told me it was filled. I was very disappointed that they dragged this out for months, only to cancel the interview hours after I booked my flight. I am so glad I did not tell people that I was interviewing in Mountain View because I would have been humiliated. As it is, I was depressed about this for weeks. I would never want to work for them after this.

    Interview Questions


  7. Helpful (2)  

    Product Manager Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Seattle, WA
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied online. I interviewed at Google (Seattle, WA) in June 2017.

    Interview

    Telephonic interview followed by in person. I could not clear the telephonic interview. The entire process was professional and transparent. The recruiter gives you a heads up on the interview process , along with reference material which was very helpful.

    Interview Questions

    • Design a product. It could be anything.   1 Answer
  8.  

    Product Manager Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    No Offer
    Positive Experience

    Application

    I applied online. I interviewed at Google.

    Interview

    Google interviews were pretty much as described by others on glassdoor.

    After emailing with a recruiter, I had a phone screen with an existing employee. He asked about my current work and a Google product I like. A few weeks later I had an onsite with five employees. Each tested a different area: 1 tech, 1 industry knowledge (I'm in cloud computing), 2 market sizing questions, 2 design questions. 2 of 5 interviews were video conferenced.

    I was surprised by how different Amazon and Google approach interviewing.

    Amazon digs deep into your past behavior. They ask questions like "Tell me about a time you were in X situation? How did you interact? How did you know things were going well? Not well? What happened when you did Y?" Amazon has research showing that behavioral interviews result in data fairly predictive of future performance.

    Google doesn't appear to be interested in past experience. They ask questions like "How many X's are in the United States? Design a smart Y (unrelated to you industry). What's the market opportunity of [obscure google product]". Basically think-on-the-spot questions, best answered using whiteboards, napkin math, frameworks and metrics.

    Both companies have their preferred way of assessing candidates. Both approaches have strengths and weaknesses.

    After the onsite, the recruiter contacted me a week later with their decision. I appreciated that he phoned me to let me know.

    Overall, it was an okay experience. Good luck, GCP.

    Interview Questions


  9.  

    Hardware Product Quality Program Manager Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Mountain View, CA
    No Offer
    Neutral Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied through a recruiter. I interviewed at Google (Mountain View, CA) in June 2017.

    Interview

    The overall recruiting process was OK but needs improvement as the hand-offs from one person to another was not seamless. First contact by recruiter during first week of May, then handed off to phone interview coordinator. Phone interview end of May. Handed off to program manager coordinator for scheduling on-site interviews during third week of June. Total of 5 interviews - 2 technical, 2 program management and hiring manager - 45 mins. each. Regret response by phone last day of June. Total process time - 8 weeks.

    Interview Questions

    • Many questions were hypothetical scenarios and required quick thinking to come up with possible solutions. A piece from a hardware device was given and candidate requested to identify critical characteristics. Be quick to relate experiences from past projects when asked behavioral type questions.   Answer Question

  10. Helpful (224)  

    Product Manager Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Mountain View, CA
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied through an employee referral. The process took 3 weeks. I interviewed at Google (Mountain View, CA).

    Interview

    The phone interview lasted about 45 minutes. Covered a couple of recent roles on the resume, one analytical question (see below) and one long term business growth/competition scenario analysis.

    The onsite interview lasted about 5 hours and as many interviews. Each interviewer asked analytical questions similar to those in the phone interview. All questions fit roughly these patterns - for fictitious product/scenario arrive at a formula and use it to provide a number for total size, speed etc.; prioritization exercise for desirable changes to an existing internet product or a new product.


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