Google hires 800 to 900 Product Managers a year. While this may look attractive, considering how many freshers graduate each year, it is a shallow figure. The success rate of becoming a product manager at Google is only 0.55%.
This detailed guide about Google’s interview process in product management thus helps you improve your chances of clearing Google interviews. With Seekho, you can not only get your application selected but also successfully clear the interviews that Google has smartly designed for all its employees.
So, let’s get started with Google’s 7-step interview process.
The 7-step Google Product Management Interview
Step 1: Submit your resume, cover letter, and referrals
Put your best foot forward with a detailed and formal CV, accompanied by an impressive and unique cover letter.
Step 2: Online interviews, aka ‘Phone Screens’
If your application gets shortlisted, Google will schedule a telephonic or e-meet interview called Phone Screens. Typically, there are one to three phone screens for each candidate. The recruiter conducts one of these interviews while product managers and engineers conduct others.
These interviews last for about 30 minutes, and in that time, the recruiter asks behavioral and resume-related questions. Whereas ‘Phone Screens’ with PMs dive right into the design, estimation, and strategy-specific questions.
Step 3: On-site Interviews
The most crucial part of the hiring process at Google is the on-site interviews. Candidates usually spend an entire day at the Google office, attending interviews one after the other. The first half of the day usually has two interviews with Product Managers and Engineers at Google. After these 30-45 minute interviews, the candidates have lunch with a Product Manager.
During this time, the PM clears any questions they may have for them. While at all other times, they will be the ones asking questions and assessing the candidates.
Step 4: Recommendation from the hiring committee
Based on how the interview rounds go, the recruiter will make a detailed report about the candidates. They assess the candidates’ application based on behavior, knowledge of product management, communication skills and cognitive abilities, qualities as a leader, and general ‘Googlyness’.
Step 5: Review by the senior leader
At the same time, the senior leader of the product management team that candidates have applied to will make a detailed report on them. They base the essay on skills, problem-solving ability, and product management knowledge.
Step 6: Recommendation from the compensation committee
The leader sends the application further to the compensation committee. It rolls out an appropriate package for candidates.
Step 7: Review by a senior executive
Then, a senior executive reviews the overall application, a summary of the review by the senior leader, and the compensation package. And then finally, an offer is rolled out to the selected candidates.
Now that you have a clear understanding of the interview process, let’s look at the type of questions you are likely to face during your Google Product Management interview.
Questions asked in a Product Management interview at Google.
Product Management interviews involve a wide variety of questions because of the nature of the job itself. However, you can divide the category of questions as follows for easier reference:
- Design-related questions
Your core task in product management at Google would be to design new features and applications that billions of people will use worldwide. So, expect a large chunk of product design questions.
How would you improve a product (it could be Google’s product or some other existing product/business in the market)?
Which product do you like the most in terms of usability?
How would you solve x (a problem) in y (a product)?
- Questions that test your strategizing abilities
A skilled product manager needs a clear vision, acute awareness of the challenges of the product, and a fair understanding of how the user thinks. Google will thus test your strategic skills to ensure that you will make the right product decisions.
You are the CEO of X company. Which products or features would you focus on launching and executing?
What is the most competitive move made by X company in the last year? Why?
- Behavioural questions
These questions judge how you would be as an employee and a leader. They are analyzing you on your Googlyness here– whether your aspirations, attributes, and nature are in-sync with the company’s ideologies.
What makes one a good Product Manager?
What are the best leadership qualities?
- Technical & data analysis-based questions
These questions judge your acumen, your knowledge of product management, and your approach to the field in general. These questions can be tricky, so being creative yet straightforward can earn you extra points.
How would you measure the success of a particular feature?
Describe the concept of “protocol” to a grandma.
Give an algorithm to perform an X task.
More material to prepare for your Google interview
Following are some links that you should refer to as you prepare further for your interview at Google or learn to upskill:
- Harvard Business Review on how to be a great product manager.
- A former product manager at Google shares some tips.
- Silicon Valley Product Group differentiates between Product and Feature teams.
- Tips on Google’s official Careers website.
Google’s interview process is long and taxing. On average, the interview process for Product Management at Google lasts anywhere between 4 to 8 weeks. Although, you already know that all the effort is worth it. So, we recommend that you give this process your all and further learn the nitty-gritty of how Google hires from the industry gurus themselves.
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