Google Technical Program Manager Interview Questions
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I interviewed at Google
I got a call from a Google recruiter and agreed to interview. I had several rounds of interviews. After about four online interviews, I flew on site for another set of interviews, total of 3 sessions on site.
Anonymous Interview Candidate in Seattle, WA
I applied in-person. The process took 4 weeks. I interviewed at Google in Jun 2022
- Imagine you work on a team with an individual or in a negative culture, how would you address the issues with this individual or team?
Q 1 Explain A Bit About Yourself And Your Reasons To Become A Program Manager
Answer: The project manager interview question aims to dig out your necessary details and motivations. Start by briefly explaining about yourself and share 1-2 short reasons behind your intentions to become a program manager. Refrain from mentioning factors such as money, but keep the answer accurate and straightforward.
An ideal answer to the latter part of the program management interview question would be:
I have always been a strategy-driven person, focusing on how I can perform better at everything I do. I find the program manager role best-suited for a person as driven as me. The role is ideal for me to capitalize on my knowledge and skillset.
I have invested several years of my career in the domain, which has helped me gain valuable insights into the industry. Plus, leading a team of esteemed and driven individuals is also a goal of mine. I believe the role can help me perform at my best while catering to my individual goals too.
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Describe The Team Forming Process You Follow In Project Management
A project manager should possess knowledge about the various stages that a team goes through during the project hence, this is one of the common questions asked in interviews and exams on project management. Forming, Storming, Norming, Performing, and Adjourning comprises the five development stages in team formation. While you answer this project management interview question, you should describe each of these steps with clarity of thought.
Use Your Gut Instincts
The 21 questions weve revealed above will go a long way to helping you find a strong leader for your business.
As always, we recommend using a variety of different interview questions to assess your candidates dont just use all of the 21 above.
If you use every single question you risk making your interview sound a bit stilted and wooden, and it needs to be more rounded and natural sounding.
Try if possible to use a selection of the most appropriate questions.
If you need more inspiration about what makes a great leader, make sure you
Recruiter Pro Tip.
There are, of course, other leadership attributes that cannot be revealed by mere questioning.
To assess these intangibles, youll have to use your gut instincts and keen eye for body language.
You should ask yourself questions like
- Is this candidate likable?
- Are they confident enough to lead other people?
- Will they fit in with my team?
- Do they seem arrogant?
- Are they going to cause friction?
People are a lot more likely to follow and be inspired by leaders that they actually like and trust!
Always let your conscience be your guide!
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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.
Walk Me Through The Steps You Would Take To Implement A Program Successfully
Most candidates are familiar with the best practices and control processes to bring a program to fruition, explained Kumar Saurabh, senior engineering program manager, instructor and author of 27 Program Management Interview Techniques.
But to Saurabh, the greatest predictor of success in the role is structure, flow and clarity of thought in a candidates response. As you prepare for your interview, make sure to review your previous jobs and projects, and make sure youve crafted a compelling story that puts your experience and skills in the best possible light.
Tips: In addition to succinctly summarizing their process, top candidates also describe their previous work and link their actions and behaviors to outcomes, Saurabh added. Out of a hundred interviews, he estimates that only one or two candidates describe how they drive projects to meet company objectives, so taking that extra step can definitely set you apart.
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Name Three Tactics Youve Used To Develop And Maintain Great Customer Relationships
Depending on your field, you may have to deal with customers or clients on a regular basis. If youre skilled at creating and maintaining solid relationships, youre going to be a great asset to your company.
What the question means: Happy clients or customers are importantthe interviewer wants to know if you have more than one card up your sleeve when it comes to fostering meaningful professional relationships.
How to answer: Think about your past customer relationships and what they valued. Did they appreciate your quick and positive communication? Did you make them feel like they were your only client or customer? Did you consistently exceed their expectations? Were you able to understand their goals and speak their language? All of these are tactics proven to build and maintain strong business relationships.
What not to say: Dont brag about how great you are with clients or customers. Humility is one of the many tactics that help maintain positive professional relationships so make sure youre staying humble in your interview to prove youre capable of this.
Google Technical Program Manager Interview Process And Timeline
Typically, the process of interviews at Google for the Product Manager role has three rounds.
The first round is the Recruiter Round. The recruiter calls you to understand your motivations and expectations from the role. For example, they would ask you questions like “Why do you want to work for Google?” or “Why do you want to leave your current organization?” or “Why do you want to work as a Technical Project Manager?”
They would also ask you about your work experience. The recruiters are looking for character more than skills at this stage. Therefore, be honest, clear, and keep a positive perspective.
After this round, if the recruiter is satisfied with your profile for the role, HR will schedule your phone screen. They will let you know who will be interviewing you and the resources needed for the interview.
The second round would be the Tech Phone Screen. In this round, you are interviewed by the current technical program manager at Google for about 30-45 minutes. This phone interview will be a mix of technical and behavioral questions. If you get through this round, you will hear from the recruiter in a week or two.
Technical Program Manager Interview Questions
Technical Program Manager roles have become increasingly popular these days in FAANG and other top tech companies. Many candidates we help with resume writing mention that theyre targeting Technical Program Manager roles and are intrigued by the exciting job opportunities available in the job market for this position.
You must be wondering what does a TPM exactly do?
Let us help you learn more about the role before diving headfirst into it!
Putting It All Together
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.
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How To Use This Guide
I would suggest reading the whole thing! To save you time, Ive tried my best to put everything into immediately actionable things so that youll know exactly what to work on.
In addition, this resource assumes that you dont have too much time every day as many people can only prepare during off-hours, But Im always a big believer that if you are focused on the right thing, youll have a perfect work/life balance.
Even if you are somewhat familiar with this topic, Im pretty sure youll find some new weapons to add to your arsenal as things have changed a lot over the past few years.
Have You Ever Had A Project That Did Not Meet The Deadline Or Budget
No one is perfect, and as long as you have a good explanation for why a past project wasnt delivered on time or on budget and you can illustrate how you learned from your mistake this answer should show that a candidate has the ability to grow as a PM. One way to answer this question without necessarily admitting a mistake of your own would be to think back to a situation when a client might have wanted to add a new feature sometime over the life of the project that would increase the cost or time to complete the project.
- What was a challenging project you have worked on and how did you manage it?
- Whats the biggest mistake you have made on a specific project?
- Have your colleagues or your manager ever challenged your decisions?
- Describe a time the customer was not happy with the result and did not accept the project. What did you do to resolve conflicts?
- What was your most successful project?
- What was the last project that you worked on?
- Have you ever had a project that did not meet the deadline or budget?
- Tell me about a time when your stakeholders didnt agree on a project. How did you proceed?
- Talk about a time when you had to persuade or influence someone to achieve a goal.
- What was one of the biggest mistakes you have committed in your past projects? How has it impacted your approach to work?
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What Does A Technical Program Manager Do
Technical Program Managers wear many hats in their role. They mainly oversee the technical direction of a program or project while working with different teams of the company to ensure the program meets its objectives.
TPMs collaborate with engineering teams to ensure that a programs technical deliverables are met and work closely with the product, sales, marketing, and other teams to ensure their needs are fulfilled. TPMs are tasked with mitigating risks and dealing with issues while ensuring the program is appropriately resourced.
Technical Program Managers work through different stages of the program lifecycle and accelerate the delivery of complicated programs by developing an underlying strategy to make the project successful from a technical standpoint and ensure all stakeholders are happy.
Types Of Tpm Interview Questions
System Design: These interview questions evaluate the ‘technical’ in technical program management. The responsibilities of a technical program manager are a little more big picture than that of a software engineer. For example, these questions are typically focused on system design. In many instances, TPM candidates are asked to think through and design a product’s system architecture.
- Program Sense: As the title suggests, another critical piece of the TPM role is managing programs. These kinds of questions evaluate your ability to think and work through technical dependencies, product context, execution strategy, and impact on a team.
- Cross-functional Partnership: As we mentioned, technical program managers sit at a crossroads between many different teams and departments. Cross-functional partnership questions, then seek to discover your capability at managing these cross-functional relationships.
- Behavioral: Behavioral questions are common in many interviews. Chances are, you’ve been asked plenty of them interviewing for your previous roles. Nevertheless, behavioral interview questions are meant to get to know you better based on how you performed in past roles and situations.
Below, you’ll find several sample questions for each category. We recommend practicing one type of question at a time. That way, you’ll get a better idea of your particular strengths and weaknesses.
We also recommend brushing up on key concepts in our technical interview cheat sheet.
Coding Interview Questions For Google Technical Program Managers
Coding questions are relatively fewer at Google interviews for managerial positions. However, you still need to be ready to face a few of them.
Check out for more.
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?
Google Technical Program Manager Interview Process
Technical Program Managers at Google drive a wide spectrum of technologies from Youtube and Adwords to Search and Android. Their role is crucial to ensure that these technologies function seamlessly when they reach the end-user.
It is no surprise that Google deals with enormous amounts of data and uses complex processing and security tools to ensure the smooth and hassle-free functioning of applications and technologies. Technical Program managers liaise with multiple teams, including Data Engineering, Software Engineering, Machine Learning, and Engineering Design, to ensure there are no hiccups in deployment.
The interview process for Technical Program Managers at Google is significantly challenging, particularly because of the complexity involved and the acumen needed to execute the roleâs responsibilities. If you are preparing for Googleâs Technical Program Manager interview, this article will help you understand the interview process in general.
Also, read and for specific insights and guidance on Google tech interviews.
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