If you are an aspiring or seasoned Product Manager, chances are you have thought dreamed or despised the idea of joining Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Netflix or Google's Product Management corps. However, to join their ranks, you have to get through the PM Interview process which is everything you have heard. Different, difficult, and unlike any other interviews you have been through. A bit like the GMAT. But fret not, let's try and demystify it. We'll do our best to keep the advice based on our own experiences or those of peers we've interviewed.
Google PM Interview Overview
Let's start by demystifying the Google Interview process. It's important to note that every member of the FAANG club is looking for a slightly different set of ingredients when it comes to their Product Manager. At Google, the technically savvy PM who are creative seems to be the emphasis. We'll look at Google in two parts. Part I will focus on understanding the type of questions you could get, and resources to help you with prep for those tough questions. Part II will be focused on understanding the series of interviews you’ll go through at Google.
Google PM Interview Questions
- The first set of questions you might encounter might be General or Googlyness questions. Sample questions include “Tell me about yourself”, or “Tell me about a time…” questions. The goal is to get to the candidates who "bleed" google and are a cultural fit.
- Product Insight and Design questions are next. Sample questions include “Design a better way to find a roommate in a new city” or “Should TikTok build a video scrubber to allow users to skip to certain portions of the video?“ The goal here is to understand how you attack and try to understand a problem from a design and business pov.
- Strategic Insights questions are asked because, at Google, PMs are business leaders. Questions could be “Should TikTok acquire Snapchat?“ The expectation is that candidates are not only familiar with business issues but are familiar with Google’s competitive landscape, vision for the future, and their strategy by product family (Cloud, Shopping, Education, Assistant, Search and Pay).
- Technical questions are unavoidable at Google. And while you are not expected to code, you will be expected to have a mastery of key concepts. Potential questions could be “Design the algorithm to recommend videos on Disney+“, “What is everything that happens when you type Twitter.com in a browser window and hit enter“
- Analytical Questions are asked to ensure you are fluent with numbers and have strong problem-solving skills. It goes without saying that as a Product Manager demonstrating that you can and do leverage data to make decisions is a cornerstone. Sample questions could include “How many queries per second does Gmail get?“, “How much does the average Zoom call cost?“ and, “Estimate the revenue of Apple Music subscription in the US“
- Leadership Questions seek to understand how you lead and influence effectively your team as well as others around you. Questions can include “Tell me the time you didn’t have the resources to do something but you got it done anyways“ or “Imagine a designer on the team wasn’t meeting expectations. How would you proceed?“
Interview Prep Site that provides a slack channel on top of the usual suspects which are video courses, questions database and peer mock interviews.
[FEE]Site provides a great way to practice for that big tech product manager interview, complete with a great list of product design, insight and strategy questions.
[FEE]Site that provides a set of resources to ace that big tech PM interview
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