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What to expect: Google, Facebook and Amazon Product Manager interview questions

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What to expect: Interview questions for Product Manager for Facebook, Google and Amazon

Google Product Manager Interview Questions

Google tests the PM candidates in a few areas.

The questions for the Google PM interview are broken down into:

  • Product design questions
  • Analytical
  • Cultural fit
  • Technical
  • Strategy
  • Estimation questions

Product design questions

  • How would you design a smart thermostat for a college dorm room?
  • How would you design a map-based product for the SF Museum of Modern Art?
  • How could you make Google Calendar better?
  • How would you reduce G-mail storage size?
  • How would you detect duplicate websites, if you’re part of the Google Search web spam team?
  • What’s your favorite Google product? Explain what you like or don’t like about it?
  • How would Google Maps improve?

Analytical

For testing your analytical skills, expect questions like:

  • How many iPhones are sold in the US each year?
  • If you’re the PM for Google Glass ‘Enterprise Edition’, which metrics would you track? Explain how you know if the product is successful?
  • How many queries per second does Gmail get?

Cultural fit

  • Why PM?
  • Why Google?
  • Why are you the best candidate?

Technical questions

In this area be prepared for whiteboard coding questions at the onsite interview. Expect questions like:

  • Design an RBAC system for Google to use internally.
  • Design a load balancer for Gmail.
  • Write an algorithm that detects meeting conflicts.
  • Write a function that can reverse a linked list.

Strategy

  • Should Google offer a StubHub competitor? Sell sports, concert, and theater tickets?
  • If you were Google’s CEO, would you be concerned about Microsoft?
  • How much time do you regularly invest in strategic planning? You can visit Interview Help’s guide on time required for TPM interview preparation for FAANG.
  • What ways do you keep your team informed of your strategic decisions?
  • When building a strategic plan, what important factors do you consider?

Estimation questions

This is testing for your ability to structure complex problems. Expect questions like:

  • How many Starbucks are in the United States?
  • How many traffic lights are there in North America?
  • How much revenue for YouTube make each day?
  • What is the marginal cost of storing a gigabyte of information in Gmail?

Facebook Product Manager Interview Questions

The Facebook PM interview includes three components:

  • Product sense
  • Execution interview questions
  • Leadership and Drive

Product sense (interview questions)

  • How would you design Facebook Events 2.0?
  • Why would people use this product?
  • Why should Facebook want to build it for them?
  • How would you improve the Facebook News Feed?
  • What would the interface look like, the wireframe? How would people use it?
  • Your MVP works, what’s the next step for your product?
  • Why do you think Facebook hasn’t built this product yet?

Execution

Do you get things done and make critical decisions? An excellent Facebook PM does that. So, Facebook’s term for testing this competency is called execution. The interview questions for testing your executive skills can include:

  • What is the one-sentence mission/goal of this product?
  • What are the goals for Facebook’s News Feed?
  • What metrics would you use, to measure progress/success in achieving this goal?
  • How would you decide between showing more ads on the Facebook News Feed vs. showing a People You May Know recommendation widget?
  • If you’re the PM of this product, how would you decide what to work on (e.g. what to improve, what features to build) to achieve your goal?
  • How would you prioritize the different things you want to work on?
  • Weekly active users (WAU) for Facebook’s iPhone dropped. What happened?

Leadership and drive

Sample questions for testing leadership and drive include:

  • Give me an example of when you disagreed with an engineer. And tell me how you convinced him or her?
  • What’s a self-development area that needs improvement?
  • What’s your favorite project where you played a leadership role?
  • What’s a technology trend that you’re excited about?

Amazon Product Manager Interview Questions

Amazon tests the product manager candidates in the following areas:

  • Negotiating skills/ability to influence other
  • Thinking Big
  • Deliver results
  • Innovate
  • Cultural fit
  • Communication

Negotiating skills questions

In this area expect questions like:

  • Launching ads to display on Amazon’s web page was a very controversial decision within Amazon. Explain your position on including ads on the site. Pick the pro and con side of the argument.
  • Assume you are the new product manager in the Amazon Prime business and are in charge of new feature development. What data would you look at to develop new features and what new features would they be?

Thinking big

  • How would you price the Kindle Fire HD?
  • Assume you are the new product manager in the Amazon Prime business and are in charge of Pricing. The VP would like to lower the price from $80 to $70 per year. What do you think? Develop the financial projections of this decision, based on your assumption.
  • Start a new category or international market for Amazon. Which one did you choose and why?

Deliver results (Behavioral questions)

  • Did you have a situation where you had to overcome major obstacles to achieve your objectives? Tell me more about it.

Innovate

Amazon PMMs are highly aware of new trends and new opportunities. In this area expect questions like:

  • When was the last time you had an idea to improve the way things work? Tell me more, was this idea implemented? Why or why not?

Cultural fit

  • Tell me an example of a situation where you disagreed with the decision of a manager or higher-ranked individual. How did this play out and explain to me, what was the final decision?
  • Choose a company that you believe provides a world-class customer experience, and tell me why you choose exactly that company, what do they do well?

Communication skills

  • Did you ever have a situation in which you communicated a very complicated situation to a group of people that were completely unfamiliar with the topic? Explain to me, what approach did you take in this situation?

Keep in mind that Amazon PM interviewers almost never ask programming interview questions! So, focus your interview preparation efforts elsewhere.

See also:

Update: 2021-10-20