Google Senior Product Manager Interview Questions | Glassdoor

Google Senior Product Manager Interview Questions

Updated Jun 19, 2017
24 Interview Reviews

Experience

Experience
35%
25%
40%

Getting an Interview

Getting an Interview
42%
23%
23%
9

Difficulty

3.6
Average

Difficulty

Hard
Average
Easy

24 Candidate Interview ReviewsBack to all Interviews

Filter

Sort: PopularDateDifficulty

Filter

Sort: PopularDateDifficulty

Helpful (4)  

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

Other Interview Reviews for Google

  1. Helpful (7)  

    Senior Product Manager Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in New York, NY
    No Offer
    Negative Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied through a recruiter. The process took 1 day. I interviewed at Google (New York, NY) in November 2015.

    Interview

    HORRIBLE experience. Totally changed my POV of Google. I have nearly 20 years experience and was interviewed by an arrogant 22 year old. he wouldn't let me get a word in edgewise and kept interrupting me. He loved the sound of his own voice and clearly thought the world of himself. He was 10 minutes late. He ended the interview early. He asked me NO questions except the math calculation question below. He answered every question I asked with "it depends on the project and the team". After the interview, Google sent me a link to give "feedback" on their recruiting process. The survey they sent to fill out took over an hour and was 10 pages long! What hubris. Before the interview, to prepare, they send Product folks a long list of books and other assets to read and research. This included a listing of Google products on the Google corp. website, many of which are defunct and no longer exist. From end to end, it was awful, insulting and extremely disrespectful. Off the list!

    Interview Questions

    • Do basic math to calculate the storage needs for all videos on YouTube for current and future years   1 Answer

  2. Helpful (4)  

    Senior Product Manager Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied through a recruiter. I interviewed at Google.

    Interview

    The process consists of a phone interview followed by an on-campus visit. When you go onsite I was interviewed by 3 people from the product management team. If they like you then you are requested to stay back for another 2-3 rounds of interviews after lunch. I was good enough to be asked to stay back but not good enough to be made an offer. the interviews after lunch was another product person, a technical round and I got to speak to the manager of the group I had said I wanted to join if made an offer.
    Don't sweat too much about technical stuff, questions were not that hard. Get familiar with questions on database design, server side redundancy/fault tolerance designs etc.

    Interview Questions

    • Signed an NDA so cannot disclose the exact questions but they centered around some core topics: (a) product design - design a product for a specific segment of the population, say physically challenged (b)quant case (c) product strategy - improve a product and talk about how you would launch it (d)general product questions - pick a product, why do you like it, why don't you like it,what would you improve etc (e)technical   Answer Question
  3. Helpful (8)  

    Senior Product Manager Interview

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

    Application

    I applied through an employee referral. The process took 1 day. I interviewed at Google (Mountain View, CA).

    Interview

    Interview process was very chaotic. HR rep didn't show up, his replacement sent out an interview using a 3 years old copy of my resume, and wasn't available either. The interviewers were confused, and so was I.

    Interview Questions

    • What data structure should be used for storing Internet searches results?   Answer Question

  4. Helpful (2)  

    Senior Product Manager Interview

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

    Application

    I applied through a recruiter. The process took 3 weeks. I interviewed at Google (Mountain View, CA) in March 2015.

    Interview

    Head hunted by Google. I had to two phone interviews, one by HR and then a second by a product manager. Passed both, so invited to Mountain View for several hours of interviews. Second interview and onsite interviews were almost all the same as detailed by others on Glassdoor, so I am not going to repeat it. I did not get an offers--HR person that contacted me said the software development manager that interviewed me did not find me technical enough. I was a software engineer for 15 years before going into product management, so to get a thumbs up from their product manager and a thumbs down from the software development manager was exactly the opposite of what I expected.

    Interview Questions

    • How would you optimize an algorithm to ensure that no duplicate data was being stored on Google servers?   2 Answers

  5. Helpful (4)  

    Senior Product Manager Interview

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

    Application

    I applied through other source. The process took 4+ weeks. I interviewed at Google (Mountain View, CA) in February 2015.

    Interview

    Lengthy and involved, but very well described and managed. Everyone I dealt with was very respectful, courteous, and enjoyable to talk with. Although I didn't get an offer, I came away with an even better view of the company and their employees and processes. The information their staffing organization provided to use for preparation was invaluable. All around a very positive experience.

    Interview Questions

    • When was the last time you were really excited about something you were doing?   Answer Question

  6. Helpful (2)  

    Senior 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 February 2015.

    Interview

    Phone interview with recruiter then product manager before on-site interview with three product managers. Each step of the way the recruiters gave very good guidance through emails about what to expect and prepare.

    Product managers asked mostly open ended questions looking at creativity and industry knowledge. Good to understand what's happening in a market. Didn't ask anything about my experience.

    Two of three interviewers very easy to talk to and open. Third got frustrated when I asked clarification questions.

    Interview Questions

    • What do you like about a web site, what would you do different?   Answer Question

  7. Helpful (34)  

    Senior Product Manager Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Mountain View, CA
    Declined Offer
    Negative Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied through a recruiter. The process took 3 weeks. I interviewed at Google (Mountain View, CA).

    Interview

    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.

  8. Helpful (5)  

    Senior Product Manager Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    No Offer

    Interview

    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.   1 Answer

  9. Helpful (1)  

    Senior Product Manager Interview

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

    Application

    I applied through a recruiter. The process took 2+ months. I interviewed at Google (Mountain View, CA) in September 2013.

    Interview

    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

Don't Miss Out On a Job You Love
Upload a resume to easily apply to jobs from anywhere. It's simple to set up.