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Google Software Development Manager Interview

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

Tech companies have a wide range of criteria and distinct leveling factors for evaluating candidates, inevitably evolving with changing times. Therefore, it is important to gather as much information as possible about a company, its values, vision, evaluating attributes, and hiring process. This will help you prepare accordingly to a companyâs expectations from you.

For instance, Google seeks candidates who can contribute progressively to their vision which is centered on innovation. Furthermore, their interview process is highly technical, and candidates are expected to solve complex coding problems.

Generally, interview processes at FAANG companies are focused on testing your knowledge of Data Structures and System Design apart from getting a sense of your coding skills. Interview rounds typically involve a phone call with a recruiter, a technical phone interview, and onsite interviews.

Check Their Knowledge About Project Scheduling

Software engineering managers are anchors for taking the projects to their final destination. Since each project has a distinct goal, their role has a greater impact on the success of the entire team. If youre eyeing this position in Project management, youll need to be able to know complete details on Project scheduling. Project Scheduling in a project refers to the roadmap of all activities to be done with specified order and within time slot allotted to each activity. These activities are calculating the total time required for the project from start to finish, breaking down the project tasks into smaller, manageable form and assigning an adequate number of work-units for each task, etc.

Problem Solving & Coding

Engineering Managers are engineers at the end of the day. They are expected to help their teams solve technical problems using analytical thinking, logical reasoning, and code-based execution. Most companies dont require EMs to be writing code on a day-to-day basis, but they do expect EMs to know how to solve problems by writing good quality code. The assumption is that this skillset is crucial for three aspects:

  • They can roll up their sleeves and write code alongside their team if needed this can certainly happen in smaller companies or during oncall incident remediation.
  • They can teach/mentor junior engineers on best practices when needed
  • They can command the respect of their senior engineers on technical best practices and challenge them when needed

There are different approaches companies take to measure this:

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Essential Software Management Interview Questions

Software development is a non-physical new stream in business management and most of the products are customized as per clients requirements. In todays ever-changing, rapidly evolving Information technology market the prime importance is given to management skills of the Software manager as the techniques and development experience of one product can be absolutely opposite or irrelevant to one another.

In other words, we can say the findings of one product may not be useful to others at all and to survive the cut-throat competition in this ever-evolving software scenario, constant upgradations of skill-set, updating to the latest technology, modules are the only way out. It creates a constrained business environment for software developers and managers as the risk factor is higher in software development and they need to be very efficient, innovative and risk-taker with their planning and executions.

Organizations have become very selective in hiring the best talent pool for Software management of their organizations in order to deliver a quality product at a restrained budget, with profits, and on-time delivery. A Software engineering manager closely monitors the development process, and executes various plans, arranges necessary and adequate resources, maintains communication amongst all team members in order to address issues of cost, budget, resources, time, and quality and customer satisfaction.

Question: What Was A Hard Choice You Had To Make In A Previous Position

Our Talent Approach

Answer: Early in my software engineering career, I had to choose whether to ask for more time to complete a project. I knew that for the project to be successful, there were some unexpected roadblocks to overcome.

Instead of keeping it to myself and delivering a result I wasnt proud of, I spoke with my manager. I broke down the roadblocks, asked for advice, and proposed a solution. My manager appreciated the communication, and the final project wowed our stakeholders. I tell this story to all my team members so they know they arent working alone they have a team for a reason.

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What Are The Critical Skills Of A Successful Program Manager

The goal of the question is to evaluate the candidates perspective on the necessary skills to succeed in the position. What to look for in an answer:

  • Understanding the full scope of duties and responsibilities of the position
  • Ability to identify critical skills and abilities of a successful program manager
  • Ability to adapt their experience to benefit the job and company


Having been a program manager for several years, I relate my success to several critical skills. To narrow down, I would say the top three abilities are organizational, analytical, and communication skills. All of these skills are essential to be successful in the role.

Question: How Do You Support Your Team To Help Them Complete Projects

Answer:I support my team as an active listener who holds weekly one-on-ones with clear, collaborative, changeable meeting agendas. I encourage my team to take courses too engineering means learning. In my previous role as a at , the organization offered various training courses throughout the year. I regularly kept my team up to date on these courses. Plus, when a course overlapped with someones goal to improve a certain skill, I messaged them directly to keep them in the loop.

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What Is The Biggest Challenge That You Foresee In This Job

The interviewer seeks to understand whether you can handle challenging situations

Tip #1: Describe a big challenge that you foresee in this role

Tip #2: Show that you can handle and overcome the challenge

Sample Answer

I anticipate a huge challenge when clients request software products that may require some special skills that may not be possessed by the development team. Lack of relevant skills may result in delays as hiring a competent person may take time. In some cases where the skills are unavailable or impossible to learn, the project may never be completed. To handle this challenge, I will ensure to recommend the hiring of people with special skills temporarily to ensure delivery time is not delayed and the company saves on the cost of hiring the person on a full-time basis.

Item #2 Program Manager Methodology

Interview tips from Google Technical Program Managers

In my experience at , Program Manager roles do not require knowledge of a specific Project Management methodology. However, candidates are expected to know one or more methodologies. You should read the job description and know if the company prefers Agile, Scrum, another methodology, or none at all. This is also a question you can ask during the interview if it is not clear in the job descriptions.

You canât be rigid in your approach. You have to show that you can work on multiple projects, interact with multiple teams and be flexible whenever it is required. Focus on examples that show a commitment to âgetting things doneâ as opposed to a singular approach.

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What Was A Difficult Decision You Had To Make In Your Past Role

Managers in any industry must sometimes make difficult decisions, and the interviewer will likely want to know how you approach the decision-making process. Demonstrate your ability to evaluate information, form conclusions and make choices.

Example:In my last role, I had to make the choice of whether to keep a gifted engineer on my team or to let them go. They continuously demonstrated negativity on the team, even though their work was exceptional. Ultimately, I kept them on the team by compromising with them to work independently most of the time. This was a difficult, but necessary decision as this particular team member continued to produce amazing outcomes for the company.

How Do You Prioritize Tasks In A Project

Knowing what to prioritize is key to a project. Thereâs a chance youâll receive a question asking what you decide to prioritize, and why. You might also be asked how you would juggle working on multiple projects at once.

How to answer: Tie your answer back to the interest of the project. Your answer might include some combination of deadlines, stakeholder needs, or determining tasks that make up a critical path. You can pull from some examples in the past, or work your way through some hypothetical situations.

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How Do You Combat Scope Creep

Budget management and time management skills are crucial elements of a project managers job. Scope creep refers to any factors that might cause you to miss deadlines or exceed budgets. From your answer, interviewers should gain a sense of how you carefully manage staff, resources, and other factors to ensure your projects stay on track. Provide a real example in your answer of a major project you steered that had both large scope and some challenges that you couldnt possibly have anticipated .

Go into detail about how you divided the project up into smaller parts that you could complete in advance and how you responded on the fly to client feedback that threatened to take the project over budget. Projects do need to change and adapt constantly due to client needs, market conditions, and other factors, so this example should prove your ability to use time management and superior communication to adapt to these issues and present finished projects in the agreed-upon amount of time.

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How Would You Describe A Project Plan

5 Stages of a Job Interview

An interviewer can try to gauge your technical knowledge of basic project management concepts.

How to answer: Start by answering the questionâdescribe what elements you know to be an important part of a project plan . You can then go into an example of how youâve typically implemented them in the past.

Read more: How to Make a Project Plan in 4 Steps

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What Are Some Of The Software Design Patterns That You Use And In What Situations Do You Use Them

    How to Answer

    Interviewers ask you operational questions during an interview for a software developer’s position with Google to determine how you complete the tasks required by this role. They also want to learn that your techniques are similar to those of the Google development team. Operational questions are best responded to succinctly and directly. You should always expect follow-up questions when a Google interviewer is asking about a specific task. This indicates that they have a special interest in the topic they are questioning you about.

    Written by William Swansen on October 5th, 2021

    1st Answer Example

    “Throughout my career, I’ve tried several different software design patterns. Some of these were Singleton, MVC, and Iterator. However, the one I use the most is Template. This design pattern helps me code straightforwardly and accelerates the software development cycle. It also results in fewer errors and less debugging.”

    Written by William Swansen on October 5th, 2021


What Are Verification And Validation And Why Are They Important

    How to Answer

    Verification and validation are crucial in the software development process. If you can’t verify or validate a set of activities to ensure that the software is not implemented correctly, hasn’t been built to specification, or is functioning properly, you will surely have problems with your production environment. Google interviewers know how important this is and will ask questions about it to ensure that you practice doing your due diligence to ensure the highest quality software development. When questions come up about verification and validation, it might score you an extra point in the interview if you give the Google interviewer a history of how V& V was formed. It is an application of Six Sigma and its principles. It was used to design products in the manufacturing and support process areas. It’s important to remember, if asked, that there are two critical aspects of software quality management. Verification answers the question of whether the software is being developed correctly, and validation provides the answer to whether the right software is being produced.

    Written by William Swansen on October 5th, 2021

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What Sort Of Project Management Software And Tools Do You Use

Unless the information is included in the job posting and its certainly worth looking you wont know exactly which project management tools are used at different companies. So you should aim in your answer to illustrate a breadth of different tools and programs that you have experience using. You would like to include industry-standard communication and PM tools like Microsoft Project, Trello, or Basecamp since theres a good chance their organization will at least use one of them. This will also show your overall technical skills and proficiency.

  • What project management software do you prefer?
  • Whats your preferred project management methodology?
  • Do you have budget management experience?
  • Have you managed remote team members and outsourced resources?
  • What are the different kinds of project management tools you have worked with?
  • What is your strategy for prioritizing tasks?
  • What experience do you have with process development?
  • Whats your proficiency level with ?
  • What are the steps you take to assess the risks of a project? How do you work to manage them over the projects lifetime?
  • Describe how you schedule projects and establish timelines.
  • What is the first thing you do when assigned a new project?

Putting It All Together

Engineering Management: Interviews & Hiring ft. Google Engineering Director

Ultimately, by embracing the tips above, you can show those program manager interview questions whos boss. Just make sure to practice your answers ahead of time, ensuring you can discuss your capabilities with ease. That way, youll showcase yourself as the amazing candidate you know you are, increasing the odds that youll get the offer when all is said and done.

Good luck!

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Tell Us About A Time Something Went Wrong In A Project You Were Managing

Setbacks are normal in managing projects. Hiring managers will want to know how youâve dealt with them in the past to understand what you do when things donât go according to plan.

How to answer: Since dealing with unforeseen challenges is a core part of project management, youâll want to have a few examples to point to for your interview. You can also mention how you would implement change processes in your project.

Consider using the STAR method when asked for specific examples from your past. Hereâs how to put the method into action:

  • Situation: Start by describing the facts of the situation and why it happenedâin this case, what had gone wrong.

  • Task: Go on to describe what task you were expected to do to solve the situation.

  • Action: Next, explain what you did, and how you did it.

  • Result: Finish by sharing the outcome. Also describe what you learned from the experience.

  • I Like What Im Hearing But Weve Got A Ton Of Great Candidates Why Should We Hire You

    An easy question to answer well with one caveat dont slam your fellow interviewees. On the one hand, you have an opportunity to really stand out from the pack. Alternatively, You shouldnt assume the skills of other applicants. Focus on your own strengths, and if the interviewer hasnt given you an opportunity to mention that one slam dunk quality about yourself, now would be the time.

    Is there a wrong way to answer this question? Consider the responses below:

    • I really need a job right now
    • I need the money
    • Your office is really close to my house
    • Ive always been interested in what you guys do

    Notice any commonality here? All of these answers demonstrate a benefit to you. While every employer assumes that these sorts of things play in on some level, these are not the reasons they are going to hire you.

    In summation, clearly illustrate what in specific has made you a good employee, and how you envision yourself contributing to and benefiting the company.

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    Google Software Developer Interview Questions

    • – San Salvador and Rum Cay
    • – Central Andros District
    • Bosnia and Herzegovina – All Cities
    • – Federation of Bosnia and Herze
    • – Bosnia Serb Republic
    • – San Andrés and Providence and
    • Democratic Republic of Congo – All Cities
    • Federated States of Micronesia – All Cities
    • – Baladiyat az¸ Z¸aayin
    • Republic of Congo – All Cities
    • – Autonomous Province of Kosovo and Metohija
    • United Arab Emirates – All Cities


    May 4, 2014

    Anonymous Employee in Mountain View, CA


    I applied through an employee referral. The process took 4 weeks. I interviewed at Google in Apr 2014


    Update About It Policies To Comply With New It Standard

    Googleâs Rahul Roy

    Any Software management interview question/ hiring process is not completed without testing the Software managers knowledge of IT policies which are ever-changing because of the advancement in the applications. A successful Project manager must keep himself abreast of the latest business software and understand the need for up-gradation and training programs for the success of the company and the project. Software managers have to work with a team to create new software and systems for a new training schedule for the staff to teach them about new technology. Also, he must be equipped with handling IT systems and services and must stay updated with new IT laws and standards.

    Software Project Management consists of several different types of management and Engineering Manager/ Software manager interview questions must touch upon these topics to get a competitive candidate for their organization as well when and if required during the course of the interview:

    • Resource Management

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