Sunday, February 5, 2023

How To Crack Google Product Manager Interview

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Who Hires Tech Pms

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

If you are not familiar with what the Tech Product Manager role is about, first consider reading this article. Long story short, Tech PMs are the best fit for technologically innovative products and there are more and more job openings in different domains: search , social networks , travel , content streaming , data processing , infrastructure and so on.

How Much Time Do You Need To Prepare

When we surveyed a group of software engineers on how much time they thought youâd need to prepare for a technical interview at Google , the answers ranged from 2 weeks to a year, with 6 months being the most popular response.

Ava says that her answer to this question assumes you have a foundation in Computer Science knowledge â either through a university degree, online courses or some form of self-study. Without such a foundation, youâd really struggle and the time spent on prep work would be really unproductive and demotivating.

If you can dedicate yourself to full-time preparation and working through sample problems like itâs your job, Ava says 2-3 months should suffice. If however, youâre only able to work part-time on your coding prep, which letâs be real here, is most people, then you should aim for 1 year.

Itâs important to be realistic about the time and effort that you need to invest in preparation and upskilling in order to land these kinds of roles. When a group of fresh hires at Google were asked how many practice questions they solved in preparation for their SWE interview the answer was 200-300.

  • You should be able to solve the problem given to you as efficiently as possible.
  • You should use the Data Structure that is most optimal for solving the given problem.
  • You should be able to code it up and the code needs to work, in one attempt if possible.
  • All of this under 40 minutes. The lesser the better.
  • Quick Note Regarding The Favorite Product Question

    Sometimes the interviewer will ask a Favorite Product question, followed by the Product Design question. This is structured as follows:

    • What is your favorite product? How would you improve it?

    The second part of the question is explained in the above steps. One way to answer the first part is to format your answer using the following structure:

  • I evaluate products based on 3 criteria :
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    Bridging The Gap Between Theory And Practise

    Disclaimer: Views expressed here are my personal thoughts.

    Anyone who has interviewed Product Managers or interviewed for PM roles would tell you that its a pretty crazy role to interview for.

    Youre expected to be good at a lot of different things and at the same time, you are expected to influence a team of people where everyone is better at their respective functions than you are.

    You are expected to ship software even though you cant write code as well as your engineers can you are expected to guide the design process even though you cant play around with pixels as well as your designers do.

    You are expected to act as a leader to these teams even though they technically do not report to you.

    A Note On Soft Skills

    How to Ace Googles Product Strategy Interview

    While the hard skills are important, I have seen that many people screw up the soft skills part. This is an unforced error.

    Cracking the PM Interview has a set of good tips on how to answer the standard Tell me about yourself, Tell me about a time when, Why this role kind of questions.

    In fact, regardless of the role you are interviewing for, these questions are important and having structured answers for these can come in handy.

    A mistake that I see most people make here is relying on just bullets or ideas in their head to answer these. That doesnt work.

    You need to write down the entire answers to these questions and rehearse them so that you dont have to think during the interview itself. I also recommend recording yourself answering these questions and playing them back so that you dont sound too robotic.

    Fun fact I rehearsed my Tell me about yourself about 40 times.

    Here are some items that I had fleshed out, written answers to:

    • Tell me about yourself
    • What makes a good PM
    • What makes a bad PM

    No matter your answers to these questions or your proficiency in communication, do not wing this.

    Read Also: What Are The Basic Accounting Interview Questions

    Skills Required To Work As A Product Manager At Google

    • Previous experience as a Product Manager. Google has an agnostic interview process in which they aim to hire generalists that can easily float through different product lines such as consumer, mobile, enterprise or platform to name a few. That being said, you dont need to study an MBA in order to work at Google.
    • Technical background. Google is an engineering-driven company and appreciates that product managers are former engineers or have a proven track record working with engineers. That being said, you dont need to hold a Computer science degree in order to work at Google.
    • Previous startup experience. Google operates as a big startup made out of smaller startups. Having past experience either as a startup founder or early employee in a fast-growing startup are definitely a big bonus points. That being said, you dont need to try to create a company if your goal is to work at Google.

    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
  • 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:

    Also Check: What Are The Most Common Behavioral Interview Questions

    Salary Negotiations After A Job Offer

    Did you get a job offer and you want to maximize the compensation that you are being offered? If so, then you have 2 main ways:

  • Ask the help of a professional
  • Levels.fyi negotiation services: Chat with former tech recruiters whoâll guide you on exactly what to say to get you a higher offer
  • Levels.fyi: Find the salary band for your level in any tech company
  • 71 Brilliant Salary Negotiation Email Samples by Lewis Lin : Learn how to negotiate your salary with easy-to-use emal samples and phone scripts
  • Also By Gayle And Jackie: Cracking The Pm Career

    Prepare for Your Google Interview: Troubleshooting and Scripting
    With Cracking the PM Interview focused on product management interviews, Cracking the PM Career focuses on thriving in the PM role.”Our goal for Cracking the PM Career is to be the guide we never had. This book shares the skills, frameworks, and practices that my peers and I have painstakingly learned and honed over the years so that PMs can spend less time reinventing the wheel. It delves into the mystery and ambiguity surrounding career progression so that PMs can focus on the right areas and reach their potential. It connects the dots on how to develop each important PM skill so that mentors can point their mentees towards actionable feedback.”

    Also Check: List Of References For Job Interview

    Ready To Nail The Google Product Manager Interview

    The Ultimate Guide to Google Product Manager Interview has covered all important aspects of nailing the Google PM interview. Are you still confused about how to practically apply this? Donât worry we are here to help!

    Interview Kickstart offers interview preparation courses taught by FAANG tech leads and seasoned hiring managers. We have trained thousands of software engineers to crack the toughest interviews at Google, Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Netflix, and other top tech companies.

    Problem Solving / Root Cause Analysis

    As a product manager, you will often have a crisis to solve your internal dashboard at Uber shows a dip in number of active rides, your internal dashboard at Amazon is showing that product returns are spiking your job is to quickly get to the root of the problem by digging deeper.

    But these are complex systems and so interviewers want to assess whether you can approach the problem in a structured fashion. Root cause analysis problems are usually structured as a follow-up to the metrics question interviewers typically ask OK, we know that < metric> has < changed> .

    Can you figure out what happened? This is a bit of a wild goose chase as the interviewer has an answer in mind and wants you to work towards it, but theres a way to approach it systemically.

    The framework I use to approach these questions is as follows:

    Make sure you understand how the metric is measured

    Eliminate the obvious

    • Is the data source accurate or known to have issues?
    • Was the change in metric sudden or gradual over time?
    • When did the change start and is the change seasonal

    Narrow down your scope

    • Is it happening in a specific geo, platform, or some other narrow cohort?

    Articulate the system and find what changed

    • The product backend, frontend, apps, etc.
    • The business marketing, pricing, legal, etc.
    • The users suppliers, consumers, etc.
    • The environment competition, regulation, disasters, etc.
    • Other elements in the system

    Identify root cause and prescribe solution.

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    Is Google Phone Interview Hard

    However, landing an offer from Google isnt easy. In fact, landing an interview with Google is difficult, to begin with. With the right strategy in place, though, both outcomes are possible. Although you may receive a few technical questions, your phone interview will be largely behavioral in nature.

    Automated Interviewing With Coding Challenges

    Akash Gupta

    Unlike the , where the initial assessment is a phone screen, Amazon expands this assessment to sometimes include a coding challenge.

    Some interviewers prefer this method, as the performance anxiety of interacting with another person is absent, and the only requirement on your end is to write code that executes correctly and efficiently.

    This is also positive for Amazon, as they do not need to expend resources on conducting 30-45 minute interviews with candidates. Furthermore, they can also expand their reach substantially, as this process is somewhat automated.

    Oftentimes, these coding challenges are driven through an engine similar to that of HackerRank, where your code is automatically analyzed for syntactic correctness, efficiency, and correctness for the task at hand. This gives a better signal to the interviewee about how well they are performing during the interview itself.

    While all of these coding assessments will have instructions, they will often mimic those of HackerRank insofar as actually using the same submission and judging criteria.

    Therefore, it is most likely a good idea to play around with the HackerRank interface, practicing a few problems to ensure that you do not get tripped up on the interface itself. This way, you can then just focus on solving the problem.

    Read Also: Interview Attire Women

    Also Check: How Can I Watch The Oprah Interview

    How To Prepare For Google Interview

    You need to study well and make a perfect plan to prepare for the interview. You can follow the below tips:

    • Get all of the details related to the process conducted by Google.
    • Benchmark yourself
    • Target more on data structures and algorithms on a daily basis.
    • Relax before the interview and get complete sleep.

    Read Also: What To Wear For An Interview Women

    Here Are Some Preparation Resources Which You Could Use:

    • Coursera Algorithm Specialization : This is a really good summary to refresh your skills on common algorithms and data structures concepts. I recommend you to audit these courses before you start practicing.
    • Cracking the Coding Interview: this is a really popular reference when talking about coding interviews. For a good reason, this book is a go to book everytime you want to refresh your knowledge and skills. It is concise but still clear enough to describe typical coding interview questions and theories.
    • Github SWE Interview Prep: This is a nice repository to refresh yourself of basic to advanced algorithms. The author did a superb job to explain tough problems and list the important concepts in the coding interview .

    Also Check: What Are The Top 20 Questions Asked In An Interview

    Questions About Product Sense

    Product sense is about understanding and evaluating different possibilities, not finding the one correct answer. Under this category, interviewers mostly ask product improvement or product design questions such as:

    • How would you improve Google Maps
    • Design a gardening app for beginners.
    • Design a social feature for any video service such as Facebook or Youtube
    • How would you improve Instagram Live?
    • Design a camera for the elderly.
    • Tell me about a product you love. What do you like and how would you improve it?

    Stay True To The Role

    How To Crack A Software Development Interview At An Elite Company | Simplilearn

    Remember what youre interviewing for and what the team does. If youre interviewing for a product role but you give examples of marketing initiatives to improve their business, then youre not on the right track. Dont answer the questions from the domain of your past expertise but answer them from the domain of your future role.

    Recommended Reading: What Do I Need For A Job Interview

    Brainstorm 3 Solutions Explain Tradeoffs And Recommend One

    Now its time to show your creativity. Think about the problems that your users are facing, as well as your business goal. How can you use the problem and optimize your goal? The is to be as creative as possible.

    Some creative ideas for the alarm clock for blind people might include:

    • Wrist band that has voice recognition and vibrates to wake up user
    • Ear piece that is modified as an alarm clock
    • Modification to the bed
    • IoT device with Alexa/Google Assistant integration

    After you list your creative ideas, then you should explain the tradeoffs of each approach and select one solution as the recommended one.

    IMPORTANT: It is super helpful to have some backup creative ideas that work with multiple problems, in case you cannot think of something exciting during the interview. The following ideas might be helpful:

    • Machine Learning

    Video Mock Interview W/ Microsoft Pm

    For another example of a product execution interview, check out the video below where RocketBlocks Founder, Kenton Kivestu, gives Ankur Biswas, a Microsoft PM, a product execution interview. This particular question is a similar investigation based execution question looking into a decline in Instagram engagement.

    Finally, don’t forget to have some fun with investigation questions like this one – they’re like a mini mystery for a PM to solve.

    Also Check: How To Send A Thank You For The Interview Email

    How To Prepare And Test If Your Preparation Is Good Enough:

  • If its a DS/ Algo based coding round, you can prepare for it while you prepare for your DS/ Algo round. If you are hitting the targets for your DS/ Algo round , you are well prepared for it. Usual pitfalls are that people miss out on the edge cases, so make sure you handle those.
  • If its a functional coding interview, then the best way to prepare is to practise some sample problems and get the code reviewed by your peers. You should also try running some static code analysers on your code to check your code quality. Alternatively, you could do an LLD mock interview which should give you a good insight into your code quality.
  • This worked for me and helped me to get offers from almost all the companies that I applied for. I hope it works for you too!

    Types Of Questions To Expect At A Google Pm Interview

    Remo Antony Raymond

    Google interviews are challenging. The questions are primarily Google-specific and cover a wide range of topics. We have gathered information related to types of questions from different trustworthy resources and collated it here for you to understand and know the types of questions to expect in your Google PM interview.

    Hereâs what you can expect:

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    How To Prepare For Data Analysis Questions

    Consider the following phases of a user journey and pick out the relevant ones.

    • Awareness Evaluate how different channels might be performing in terms of the number of impressions
    • Acquisition Estimate the level of user interest in the feature by observing metrics such as the number of sign-ups/downloads, bounce rate, lead-conversion ratio etc.
    • Adoption Monitor how user onboarding flow is performing. E.g. percentage of users with first transaction/total number of users who signed up
    • Engagement – Assess metrics such as avg time spent by users, and deep-dive further by segmenting it based on media or category
    • Retention – Define it based on the context of the feature. Some examples include the percentage of users who repurchase or the number of users who read posts in the last 30 days compared to the previous month.
    • Monetization – Track metrics such as ARPU , percentage of paid users, frequency of purchase, revenue generated via ads vs organic channels etc.
    • Referral – Track metrics such as % of users referring, % of referrals converted.

    Practice With Peers Or Experienced Pm Interviewers

    Practicing with peers or experienced PM interviewers will give you an extra edge. You will find yourself more confident and focused, and it will help you correct your early mistakes.

    Practicing with experienced PM interviewers will give you a real insight into what goes on with a PM interview. You will have the most accurate bunch of information from them.

    Programs at Interview Kickstart include mock interviews with industry experts and hiring managers at Google. to learn more.

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