Google Product Manager Interview Questions | Glassdoor

Google Product Manager Interview Questions

Updated Feb 22, 2017
230 Interview Reviews

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Helpful (380)  

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.   1 Answer

Reasons for Declining

Not a PM position but a position in Google Tech Services

Other Interview Reviews for Google

  1. Helpful (201)  

    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.

  2. Helpful (2)  

    Product Manager Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    No Offer
    Neutral Experience

    Application

    The process took 2+ weeks. I interviewed at Google.

    Interview

    Phone interview followed by full loop. Here is learning resources share d ahead and a very nice scheduling system. Recruiting also required to have referrals as much as possible. Not sure if they ever use them.

    Interview Questions

    • Describe a product that does not go well and how you would change it.   1 Answer
  3.  

    Product Manager Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Kansas City, MO
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 3 weeks. I interviewed at Google (Kansas City, MO) in November 2016.

    Interview

    Brief introductions, followed by an extensive and complex hypothetical problem. When asked about my favorite google product, they kept digging about 5-6 levels deep with why this or why that.

    Interview Questions

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  5.  

    Product Manager Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Seattle, WA
    No Offer
    Neutral Experience
    Easy Interview

    Application

    I applied through a recruiter. The process took 4+ weeks. I interviewed at Google (Seattle, WA) in November 2016.

    Interview

    Recruiters were terrible with lots of hand-offs, but on-site interviewers were nice. I think I talked to ~7 different people before I even got on-site, which is insane. It's very difficult to get feedback regarding areas for improvement... Google seems awesome but I'm not sure it's worth the hassle.

    Interview Questions

  6. Helpful (3)  

    Product Manager Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    No Offer
    Neutral Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied through a recruiter. The process took 6+ weeks. I interviewed at Google in October 2016.

    Interview

    Process started with a phone call with the recruiter, followed by phone interview and then onsite. Onsite interview had 5 interviews: 3 Product Design, 1 Technical and 1 Strategy. There was a lunch discussion but it was not part of the formal interview process. Overall, the interview process was good with the exception of one interview. Interview process at Google is quite standard but there is no room for error. It's not enough for you to be just good, you must be extraordinary in the interview process to get an offer.

    Interview Questions

    • Interview 1

      Tell me about an app that you like? How would you improve it?
      Estimate the number of bicycles required to start a bike sharing operation in a big city.

      Interview 2
      Pick a Google Product and explain how could you improve it?

      Interview 3

      How would you assess the opportunity for showing "You may also like" block along with the existing Ads block on Google Shopping
      How would you estimate the bandwidth for Gmail for community in Mars?

      Interview 4
      If I were the CEO of Xerox printing company, how would I think of growth and providing shareholder value since the printing industry is dying. This was a phone interview, and due to some technical difficulties, it started late. Interviewer did not seem too interested in understanding my response, was fixated on what he thought was the right answer.

      Interview 5
      Designing camera that always uploads
      How would I estimate the cost for such service?
      Would this device upload at all times or less frequently?
      How would I reduce the cost for such a service?  
      1 Answer
  7. Helpful (2)  

    Product Manager Interview

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

    Application

    I applied through an employee referral. The process took 2+ months. I interviewed at Google (Mountain View, CA) in October 2016.

    Interview

    Met 4 people in the morning, 1 over lunch and was invited back to the afternoon session to meet 2 more people. If you get invited back after lunch it means you have done reasonably well. If you do well during your final 2 interviews you will be presented to the hiring committee in a week or two (completely different people than the ones you interviewed with - they just read the feedback). The committee makes the final call and if you pass you then need to find a team in Google to work with as a PM.

    The people I wet with were all very nice and asked some interesting questions. I have read enough about Google PM interviews to know what to expect. The Engineering guy I met in the afternoon asked me to explain the most difficult technical challenge I faced and how I overcame it.

    In the end I got the thumbs down for the committee - no reason given which is very frustrating considering I put in weeks of preparation. With Google you can generally apply again after a year, but I move on.... maybe in my next life :-)

    Interview Questions

    • You are tasked by your Google manager with creating a "smart fridge". Take me through the steps to come up with the product, how you'd sell it, market it, etc.   Answer Question
    • Design an app for touring a city in an offline mode (bit like Google Trips I guess)   Answer Question
  8.  

    Product Manager Interview

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

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 2 weeks. I interviewed at Google (Mountain View, CA).

    Interview

    Several conversations with product managers and one engineering manager. The bizarre part was that they seemed completely indifferent to my business background. They asked a lot of questions about technical capabilities, problem solving, and attitudes. The engineering manager asked me to pose a solution to a theoretical engineering problem, which caught me off-guard, because, as a product manager, I'm usually the one posing the questions, not proposing solutions. If I tried to explain that, if I'm proposing the solutions, the engineering team is severely broken. That failed to impress, I think.

    Interview Questions

    • How would you solve a problem in performance in a theoretical Web app?   1 Answer
  9. Helpful (3)  

    Product Manager Interview

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

    Application

    I applied through an employee referral. I interviewed at Google (Mountain View, CA) in September 2016.

    Interview

    Recruiters were excellent and provided great preparation material. The interviewers were friendly, but some of the questions were so far-out and unrealistic that it was difficult to apply product management frameworks to them or quite get to what the interviewers wanted, even after several questions. It was failing on some of these questions that probably resulted in no offer. Overall a good experience though and I would try again.

  10. Helpful (58)  

    Product Manager Interview

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

    Application

    I applied through a recruiter. The process took 4 weeks. I interviewed at Google (Mountain View, CA) in April 2016.

    Interview

    Google Recruiter reached out to me. I had a phone screen with the recruiter which is primarily experience based.
    Once that's done you have 1 phone screen with a Product Manager.
    If you clear that, you're asked onsite for a round of interviews. It usually involves speaking to 3-5 interviewers.
    There can be a technical round, but it looks like in recent times most of the interviews have been very product focused. The email I got from the recruiter said that it's unlikely that you'll be asked algorithm questions (but it's best to be prepared anyway).
    I had 3 interviews + 1 lunch interview which is totally non evaluative.
    On the whole the process is quite fun and the people were really nice.

    Interview Questions

    • Phone Interview:

      1) Design a Washer and Dryer - You need to ask the interviewer questions about who the users would be. When I asked him, he said "The same sort of people who would buy a nest thermostat (Younger, more tech savvy and somewhat affluent).
      2) How would you measure the success of Apple's WWDC event (This year vs Last Year). Note: The key here is to discern the difference between the event itself being better vs Apple releasing cooler stuff this year thereby getting more press coverage etc.
      3) How would you improve Youtube

      Onsite:

      1st Interview:
      1) Latest trends in technology
      2) What are the network implications of a handheld device meant for elementary schools kids
      3) If Google has invented a way to make air travel 4x cheaper and 4x faster, what would you do with this technology?

      2nd Interview:
      1) Design an app for the dmv
      2) Explain recursion to my grandma
      3) You have an ecommerce site in Spain and you've just localized this and now see that traffic has reduced. What could be the reasons.
      4) Give me 3 features you like about your favorite google product and 3 that you would improve.

      3rd Interview:
      1) How would you improve throughput of an airport by 100%
      2) You've done all this stuff to improve throughput , what are the implications for the airport itself
      3) How much storage space is required to host all the images of Google street view.
      4) You see starbucks' on either side of the road sometimes, why do you think Starbucks Corp does this?  
      1 Answer
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