Friday, March 1, 2024

Google Product Manager Technical Interview

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What Is Your Favorite Google Product What Would You Do To Improve It

Mock Technical Product Manager Interview (Google PM): How Google Docs Works

This is a question that helps the hiring manager gauge your familiarity with Googles offerings. Luckily, any Google product will do, as long as you can speak about it with enthusiasm and provide a relevant recommendation.


My favorite Google product is YouTube. The platform itself is incredibly engaging, while also empowering for those who want to share their thoughts, talents, and tips. Ive personally used it extensively to find answers to questions, gain new skills, or simply enjoy some entertainment.

As for how I would improve YouTube, I would create an option for refining what videos are recommended. For example, clicking on a single video on a new topic can cause a feed to get flooded, even if the person no longer has an interest in that topic. Implementing the ability to request that YouTube show a person less content that is similar to a particular video would potentially alleviate this problem.

Would You Be More Comfortable Managing An Engineering Team Sales/marketing Department Or Both

Another one of the commonly asked technical product manager interview questions is related to teamwork.

Product management is a very hands-on field.

Communication, collaboration, and consistency or as I like to call them, the 3 Cs of product are key to winning the race.

Whether youre a regular PM, a TPM, or a PMM , you need to have a knack for teamwork.

Working in silos and resisting collaboration with other departments is a classic recipe for disaster.

Sure, a TPM would mainly be involved with the engineering/design team, but they would also have to work closely with sales, marketing, and other departments to ensure the products success.

Behavioral Interview Questions For Google Technical Program Managers

A technical Program manager is a highly functional and essential role where you will closely work with engineers, product managers, data scientists, and system designers. Behavioral questions will assess your ability to work well in a team and decide whether you are fit for the work culture at Google.

  • Tell me about a time when you solved a conflict at work.
  • Which of the company principles is your greatest strength?
  • How do you move forward with stakeholders who want to do one thing one way but don’t think that is the right way to do it?
  • Recommended Reading:Behavioral Interview Questions for Software Developers

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    Questions About Experience And Background

    Interviewers ask these background and experience questions to learn about your history in product management. Your answers can tell them about the kinds of situations you’ve encountered and how you’ve applied your technical knowledge in the workplace. Some experience and background questions may include:

    • Describe a tough project you’ve completed and what made it challenging.

    • Tell us about a time you had a team conflict and how you resolved it.

    • Describe a typical day in your current technical product manager role.

    • What is the greatest advantage of having a technical background as a product manager?

    • How do you work with product engineers in your current role?

    • How does a product manager support business development?

    • What is your approach to hiring employees for the product development team?

    • How do you get your team to agree on a production schedule?

    • How often do you hold team meetings in your current position?

    • Describe a time when you launched a product in direct competition with another and how you distinguished it from that other product.

    Related:What Is Technical Project Management?

    How Would You Interact With Users And Customers

    What Are the Basics of Product Manager Interviews by Google PM

    The answer to this question will reveal candidates’ experience handling user interviews and how they leverage users’ feedback. Different from what many think, technical product managers must also have strong communication skills.

    Hiring managers should look for structured processes that involve individual and group interviews, user forums, analytics, and surveys.

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    Consistency Is The Key

    Practice makes perfect. Through your practice, you must come up with a clear, well-chalked-out plan for the interview. You must prepare yourself for different categories of questions. This will help you to build strong interview habits. These habits would ultimately reduce stress on the day of the interview for a great impression.

    Work On Product Fundamentals

    Entry-level candidates are advised to spend some time brushing up on the basics of product management concepts. Product management is not just about managing teams. Concepts such as customer experience, user segmentation, Net Promoter Score , feature adoption, feedback, road mapping, and product operations are key to product management.

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    Topics To Prepare For Google Technical Program Manager Interview

    Here are a few topics that you can prepare for your TPM interview at Google. First, you should get acquainted with data structures and algorithms. These are essential to crack coding interview questions at Google.

    Data structures you should know:

    You will also face some system design related problems. Read System Design Interview Preparation Tips to get a detailed understanding of how to prep yourself.

    In addition to these, also make it a point to brush up on all your past projects. You can expect many discussions on topics like how you solved a problem and how you managed a team. Keep examples around these themes ready.

    Did you know? The average salary of a Google Technical Program Manager in the US is $168,620 . However, with companies like Google, the offer you receive will depend on how well you exhibit your value and negotiate. To learn more, check out The Ultimate Guide to Salary Negotiation at FAANG.

    + Google Product Manager Interview Questions

    Top 20 Google Product Manager Interview Questions and How To Answer Them

    The product manager interview is extremely challenging, especially when it comes to large organizations, such as Google, Apple, , Microsoft, Netflix, or LinkedIn. The hardest among them is considered to be Google, and to prepare for it you need to practice with various interview questions.

    In this article, we will cover the following to help you prepare for your Google product manager interview.

    • The interview timeline and process.
    • Typical Google product manager interview questions.
    • Tips for interview preparation at the end.

    Lets dive in.

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    How Do You Know If A Product Has An Exceptional Design

    This question tests your technical and product manager’s content knowledge. Interviewers are looking to understand what you know about the design process and quality assurance of a product. To answer, consider using an example of an actual product you’ve designed or worked on that had an excellent design and explain your criteria for determining if a product is good.

    Example:”Last month, my team finished a design for a new handheld vacuum cleaner. The product was innovative, especially for pet owners, because it could clean furniture the same way a large vacuum cleans the floor. The design was also reliable, with the prototype working as promised in nine of 10 tests. According to the focus group tests, it was also easy to use and convenient to store, even for people in apartments and other small spaces.”

    Related:How To Become a Product Manager

    How Does Your Role Differ From A Typical Product Manager

    As you can probably tell, things are getting a bit more specific at this point.

    The interviewer isnt looking for an accurate response or a textbook definition.

    Ideally speaking, the candidates answer shouldnt reflect that theyd restrict themselves to the technical side of things .

    Sure, they can list down some of the main responsibilities, but they should also understand that during tight deadlines and intense phases, everyone ends up doing everything.

    This is their chance to step up and show that theyd be willing to go above and beyond the call of duty, and assume additional responsibilities of product management, which are usually not a part of the job description.

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    How To Nail Your Next Tech Interview

    Google is indisputably a trend-setter in the technology space. The tech giant looks for the same attribute in its candidates during interviews. Google interviews are considered to be extremely difficult, but the right preparation strategy can help you land the job of your dreams.

    Google is one of the most sought-after employers in the technology space, given the employee benefit programs they have adopted. In the financial year 2020, Google hired 20,000 people for different job roles. One of the most coveted roles at Google is that of a Product Manager . The PM develops new products and features that impact millions of users daily.

    If you are planning to apply for the role of Product Manager at Google, you must first understand the interview process at Google. The Google PM hiring process can be classified into different stages. They are:

  • Resume screening
  • Phone screens
  • On-site interviews
  • Hiring committee recommendation
  • Senior executive review
  • You get an offer
  • While steps 4 to 7 happen behind the scenes, what you do from steps 1 to 3 will determine the outcome. We have compiled this guide to help you crack Google Product Manager Interview. Weâll answer all your questions, including:

    Talk Me Through Your Preferred Prioritization Framework Discuss The Pros And Cons Of Using It

    What Are the Basics of Product Manager Interviews by Google PM

    Product prioritization is one of the most important skills that product managers can develop.

    Of course, there are several frameworks which you can use. Here’s an example of the Kano Model which is used to prioritize product features. Just like all other frameworks, the Kano Model has its advantages and setbacks.

    Be sure to state the possible pluses and drawbacks to the prioritization framework you use.

    Read Also: How To Crack Scrum Master Interview

    How Do You Manage A New Product Launch

    Product managers help with every aspect of product design, from conception to launch. Interviewers may ask this question to better understand how you strategize at the end of a design cycle. Consider answering with a story about a real product launch you’ve conducted and explain why you made the choices to manage it the way you did.

    Example:”Two years ago, my company launched a new line of energy drinks specifically designed for people who work night shifts, like truck drivers, first responders and hospital staff. We launched in five locations across the country that these people frequent. I coordinated with my team to get a group of presenters and promoters out to each location and worked with the marketing team to offer incentives to new customers at these locations, such as buy-one-get-one discounts.”

    Assessing Your Fitness To The Role

    This is obvious right? The company needs to know whether you are suitable for the advertised vacancy.

    While we cannot go into detail as to what you will encounter, think that the key variables are: seniority of role, economic sector and company size. These parameters will really change the setting and tone of the interview. It will not mean the same to answer a Technical Product Manager vacancy at a growing startup, than at a large digital corporation.

    As a whole, what interviewers are trying to assess here is your interest for that particular position. Product Managers being so in-demand, it is no wonder that recruiters seek to hire only the perfect candidates.

    • How does this position fit in your overall Product Management career path?
    • Do you tend to be more business-oriented or technical-oriented?
    • While we make x product for the general public, we also have a B2B division. What is your experience with juggling both markets?
    • What attracts you the most to this project: our product or our company?
    • I have seen that, in the past, you have worked as x position . Can you tell me what this taught you with regards to the importance of x factor ?
    • What do you think makes a Technical Product Manager stand out? Are there any differences with regular Product Management?
    • In this position, you will be in charge of x processes and y teams. Can you tell me whether you have had similar experiences in the past?

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    The Role Of A Google Technical Program Manager

    A Technical Program Manager plays a critical role in helping drive company strategy, aligning teams, collaborating with cross-functional stakeholders, and delivering on multiple complex projects for the company. Given the rapid expansion of companies in the digital space, it has become imperative for companies, especially ones with a large digital footprint, to hire TPMs.

    Google is a technology giant with products across the hardware and software domain. Google needs TPMs who can lead and manage technical projects and help achieve its product development and growth targets


    Google TPMs put on different hats depending upon the teams/programs they are assigned to. Some of the different teams at Google where TPMs have to lend their services are:

    • Apps Services
    • Network Engineering Deployment

    Here’s a generic description of the roles and responsibilities of a TPM at Google

    Skills/Qualifications required

    Google Technical Program Manager salary

    • Entry level salary :USD 165,000.
    • Senior positions :USD 376,000.
    • Median salary :USD 233,000 with base component being USD 143,000, stock component being USD 64,000 and bonus being USD 25,000.

    Tell Me About A Product That You Love

    Prepare for Your Google Interview: Project, Product, and Program Management

    The crucial part of this question — or the answer to it — is not the product itself, but the candidate’s explanation of why they love that product.

    This will tell the interviewer a lot about the candidates’ understanding of what’s behind good product development, and about their passion for the field.

    Mentioning something they would change on the product is a plus. This demonstrates a sense of critical thinking that any good technical product manager must-have.

    Read Also: How To Describe Company Culture In An Interview

    How Do You Determine What Products To Buy As A Consumer

    Interviewers may ask this question to learn how well you can evaluate a product as a designer and a consumer. This process may involve looking at the item from different perspectives. To answer, tell a story about how your design background influences your personal shopping habits.

    Example:”Recently, I bought a new microwave. I spent a few days researching and comparing models online, looking at their features. I also read product reviews and company statements about each model. When I had it narrowed down to three models, I went to the home improvement store to view them in person. While there, I used the same principles I use in the design room to determine if a product is of quality, such as sturdy construction, reliability and functionality.”

    What Technical Skills Do You Have That Set You Apart

    This question is an opportunity for candidates to highlight their strengths and outline what technical skills will help them succeed on the job. It’s important that the candidate’s answer aligns with the position requirements. This will show recruiters that the potential hire understands what it takes to succeed in the role.

    The way that this question is answered could make the difference between a good and a great candidate clear for recruiters.

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    Learn The Question Types

    The questions you’ll be asked in PM interviews can be boiled down into five broad question types. Below you’ll find a break-down of these five question types, showing their frequency of use at the four leading tech companies.

    Note: the below numbers come from a previous analysis we conducted using interview data from

    If you’re not familiar with these question types, don’t worry, we have plenty of examples later in this article that should help to make things more clear. But first, you may know of some other product manager interview questions that you don’t see in the image above. For example, estimation, algorithm, or metric change questions.

    We actually consider these other questions to be sub-types of the five question types mentioned above. Here’s a detailed break-down:

    Using the information above, you should be able to identify the question types that are most relevant for your situation. This will help you to be more strategic with your preparation.

    Now, you’re going to have 2 main options for how to proceed:

  • You can do general preparation for PM interviews
  • You can focus on preparing for a specific company
  • If you want to do general preparation for PM interviews , then you can continue on to step 3 below to begin practicing with some example questions.

    And, if you’re not sure exactly what you want to do, then continue on to step 3 below. It never hurts to start thinking about some practice questions!

    Analyzing And Mitigating Risks

    Product Manager Interview Questions: What You Need to Know

    PMs regularly assess and identify potential project-related issues at various junctures. They also plan effective strategies to mitigate risks to ensure smooth and timely delivery of project outcomes.

    Want to learn what it takes to grab a Technical Program Manager role at FAANG+ companies? Check out our post on Landing TPM jobs at FAANG+ Companies.

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    How Would You Tackle A Technical Hiccup

    This question somewhat overlaps with the previous one.

    Thats because the recruiter actually wants to know how the candidate would handle a stressful technical situation. It could be anything a bug in the code, problem with the design, etc.

    Furthermore, theyd want to see if they would use the best practices to overcome the challenge with their team.

    While the answers may vary, the best possible way would to sketch out a rough roadmap or the step-by-step process they would take to handle the situation.

    Additionally, the candidate should also come up with a decent reiterative solution/framework to prevent that technical error from happening again.

    Get Familiar With The Product Manager Interview Process

    The interview process for Product Managers will vary significantly depending on the company, the specific role, your level of seniority, etc. However, there are some elements that are pretty typical across the board.

    So, in this section we’ve summarized common elements of PM interviews to help you get an overview of what to expect. This is an important first step because it will help you gain a high-level understanding of the steps you need to prepare for, allowing you to be more strategic with how you allocate your prep time.

    Note: If you are interviewing for a product leadership position , learn more about the process and how to prepare here.

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