What to expect: Google, Facebook and Amazon Technical Program Manager interview


What to expect: Google, Facebook and Amazon Technical Program Manager Interview

At Google you can expect three types of interviews:

  1. Program management interview
  2. Technical interview
  3. Leadership interview

You can expect the following questions, according to Glassdoor:

Program management interview

  • General questions

What is your current role?

What methodology do you use in your projects and programs?

Why do you want to work here?

What makes a successful program manager?

Give me an example of a time when you had to manage a technical program from end to end.

  • Prioritization questions

How do you make decisions and how do you prioritize your work?

If your team is too small, how do you prioritize and allocate resources?

  • Delivery results

How will you make sure that your project has a quality result?

If you find a critical error the day before the software release date, how will you handle the situation?

Describe and whiteboard a continuous deployment system. And a continuous build system.

  • Planning

If you have additional requirements in the middle of a project, how do you handle that situation?

How do you build a forecasting tool/document?

How do you envision a project without a history?

  • Risk

How do you manage risks on your projects?

Tell me about a difficult situation when you had to manage a significant risk on one of your programs?

Technical interview

In the technical interview, Google tests the depth of your technical knowledge, and your ability to communicate that knowledge simply. Google requires deep technical knowledge.

There are three parts of a technical interview: system design, technical explanation, and coding. Expect questions like:

System design questions

Design a Google Maps program.

Design WhatsApp.

Design Web cache.

Design Facebook.

Design GDrive.

Deploy a solution for cloud computing to build in redundancy for the computer cluster.

Design a key pair system that can handle 3,000 keys per second.

Technical explanation

How does the cloud work?

What is Ethernet?

The difference between TCP and UDP?

Describe the TCP protocol?

Explain what happens when a file is deleted on a machine?

Describe the memory structure of an operating system (data, heap, and stack)?

Coding questions

Write a program to find if an integer is a palindrome

Write a program to select two numbers which sum is lower than a target number

How would you implement a queue in an array?

Parse all lines in a CSV file with a given string

Leadership interview questions

Tell me about yourself

Why do you want to work here at Google?

Tell me about a time you worked with a difficult engineer/executive/client.

How do you deal with difficult stakeholders?

Give an example of a time you failed.

Tell me about the biggest challenge you faced as a TPM / in your current role

Tell me about a time you faced a technical and people challenge at the same time

Tell me about a time you had to work with a “superstar” and how you dealt with them

When your team didn’t agree on the path forward, how did you handle that situation?

How do you manage someone who doesn’t deliver what they promised/underperforms

What makes an excellent leader?

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At Facebook, you can expect five types of interviews for TPM:

Two technical sessions:
  1. Technical project retrospective
  2. Architecture and system design
Three leadership sessions covering:
  1. Program sense
  2. Partnership
  3. Leadership

Technical project retrospective

Tell me about a project you managed end-to-end, also about the architecture design and technical details for that project

How did you manage technical dependencies and tradeoffs for that project?

How did you manage technical risks for that project?

How did you manage resource planning for that project?

System design

How would you design WhatsApp

How would design Instagram

How would you design Facebook Live

How would you design Twitter’s trending topics

How would design a transfer system for large files

How would design a distributed Botnet

How would design a system that can handle millions of card transactions per hour?

Design a system to prevent adverts from foreign actors from interfering in domestic politics

Program Sense

What is your step-by-step approach to managing programs?

How do you make trade-offs between time, resources, scope, and risks?

How do you define roadmap milestones and execute your projects?

How do you manage risks?

How do you define KPIs for your projects?

How do you manage cross-team dependencies and deliverables?

How would you handle performance decline in a program?

How do you sunset a program?

Explain the most difficult situation you’ve been in as a TPM

Tell me about a time:

you were late on an early milestone

you changed a process to make it better

you were on an extremely tight deadline


Tell me about a time you bridged the gap between engineering and less technical cross-functional teams

Tell me about a time you got buy-in from peers who were initially resistant to your idea

What was the most difficult challenge you had working in a cross-functional team?

Tell me about a time a resource from another team did not want to work on your project

How do you keep stakeholders up to date for a given project?

How do you get resources from other teams to work on your projects?

How do you get multiple cross-functional teams to work together?


Tell me about yourself

Why do you want to work here at Facebook?

Give me an example of a project you worked on where goals were ambiguous and changing

Tell me about a time you struggled to work with one of your colleagues

Tell me about a time you struggled to deliver a program

Amazon’s TPM interview questions are 75% behavioral, based on 14 leadership principles

You can expect three types of interview questions: Behavioral, Technical, and Program management questions.

Behavioral questions

Amazon tests if you breathe the company’s 14 leadership principles. You can expect questions like:

Tell me about a time you had to deal with a difficult client/customer

Tell me about one of your projects where you put the customer first

Describe a time where a feature deliverable was falling between two teams with neither taking ownership and referring to the other team. How did you address the situation?

Tell me about a time you did something at work that wasn’t your responsibility / in your job description

Tell me about a time you had to change your approach because you were going to miss a deadline

Tell me about a time you had to make a decision with incomplete information. How did you make it and what was the outcome?

Tell me about a time you had a conflict with a coworker or manager and how you approached it

Tell me about a time you disagreed with your team and convinced them to change their position

Tell me about a time you invented something new

What is the most innovative idea you’ve ever had?

Describe a time you made a mistake

Tell me about a time you applied judgment to a decision when data was not available

Describe a time you proposed a non-intuitive solution to a problem and how you identified that it required a different way of thinking

Give a specific example where you drove adoption for your vision and explain how you knew it had been adopted by others

Tell me about a time you hired or worked with people smarter than you are

Why do you want to work at Amazon?

Tell me about a time you successfully delivered a project without a budget or resources

What technologies are you learning at the moment?

What’s your biggest career failure and what you learned from it

Why technical program management?

Describe a project that you wish you had done better and how you would do it differently today

How do you earn trust with a team?

What are you most often criticized for?

Technical questions

  • System design

- Design

  • a database for a tiny URL implementation
  • a software for an elevator system
  • a vending machine
  • an ads auction service
  • an online ticketing platform
  • an anti-virus scanner

-Describe a deck of cards using OOD

  • Technical explanation

Explain the difference between a router and a switch?

What is the computational complexity of hash tables?

Tell me how mobile devices are made secure?

What is a linked list? Double linked list?

What is the lookup time for linked lists/trees?

  • Codding

Write a program to find common items between two linked lists

Write a program that traverses a linked list

Write a program to identify all the equal elements between two arrays

Write a test scenario for copying a file from one location to another using a wireless connection

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