So I decided to compile a list containing all the interview questions (some with my version of the answer) I could find for the Associate Product Manager and Product Manager position for Google.
Before I post them, here is a little something I found.
Google is aware of these questions (they must be since I used them to find these questions), so it is not far fetched to assume that the questions you will be asked on your google interview won’t be similar to that listed below. I found that interviewers are encouraged to come up with their own questions and there is a list of ‘banned’ questions (questions widely known and listed in sites like mine). If you get a question from this list and they figure out (since you were to quick to answer), they will either make it harder or ask another one…
That being said, use this list as a way to prepare yourself from past questions asked for associate product manger and product manager.
Questions in green are most recent questions (questions asked within 6-month period position).
1) How many buses does the local transportation corporation own?
My Answer: Estimate what the local population is (say 100,000), and percentage who would use local transportation (say 75%). From there estimate how many major routes you have (routes to say from city A to city B/downtown/mall/universities). How many buses will be traveling those routes (taking into account when the busiest times are should have the most buses out and remember that some of these buses go both ways e.g travel from city A to city B and back to city A.) Take into account how many you can fit into a bus, you can estimate how many buses a local transportation corp could potentially own.
2)How would you handle someone who is just not doing the work, doesn’t get along with anyone, and is generally not working out?
My Answer: Response to this question reflects on the individuals management and leadership style. But the candidate being interviewed should also keep in mind what company or team policy is when addressing the above issue.
3)How many bottles of shampoo are produced in the world a year?
approximate 30 million = population of Canada
approximate 6 billion = World Population
23% of the world’s population is 3rd world population
2% of the world’s population don’t use shampoo b/c they are bald or use soap
25% of 30 million don’t use shampoo, use soap, are bald, or cannot afford to purchase shampoo (third world) (-7.5 million) =22.5million
One bottle of Shampoo lasts approximately 2 months, giving us 6 bottles a year per person.
22.5million *6 = 133.1 million bottles in Canada
6 billion – 25% = 4.5 billion
4.5 billion *6 = 27.0 billion bottle per year
4) You have 15 horses that run various speeds. You own a race track on which you can race the horses, and this track holds a maximum of 5 horses per race. If you have no stopwatch or other means of telling exactly how fast the horses are, how many races would you need to run between the horses to be ABSOLUTELY SURE which horses are first, second, and third fastest?
Race 1: Horse 1,2,3,4,5 => Assume 1,2,3 win in that order
Race 2: Horse 6,7,8,9,10 => Assume 6,7,8 win in that order
Race 3: Horse 11,12,13,14,15 =>Assume 11,12,13 win in that order
Race 4: Horse 1, 6, 11 (all first place winners) =>Assume 1 wins first (1 is the fastest) for the sake of simplicity and 6 and 11 came 2nd and 3rd place
Race 5: Horse 6, 11, 2, 7, 3 - Notice I did not choose horse 12 in this race because we assumed from Race 4 that horse 11 came in third place so it is of no value having horse 12 in the race.
Total Race 5
1st Place is Horse 1, 2nd and 3rd Place is found from Race 5
5) Follow up, now you have 16 horses. How many races would you need to conduct to find first, second, and third?
First three races are identical to the above three races
Race 4: Horse 16, 1, 6, 11 => Assume 16 wins first, and Horse 1 and 6 came second and third.
Race 5: Horse 1, 6, 2, 7, 3 =>Notice I did not choose any horses from Race 3 results, this is because we know that horse 11 did not come out in the top 3 in Race 4.
Total Race 5
Race 4: Horse 16, 1, 6, 11 => Assume 1 wins first, and Horse 6 and 16 came second and third.
Race 5: Horse 6, 16, 2, 7, 3=>Notice I did not choose any horses from Race 3 results, this is because we know that horse 11 did not come out in the top 3 in Race 4.
Total Race 5
6) Tell me about yourself? -Yep, they still ask this question
7) How would you boost the GMail subscription base?
8 ) What is the most efficient way to sort a million integers?
9) How would you re-position Google’s offerings to counteract competitive threats from Microsoft?
10) You are shrunk to the height of a nickel and your mass is proportionally reduced so as to maintain your original density.
11) You are then thrown into an empty glass blender. The blades will start moving in 60 seconds. What do you do?
12) How much should you charge to wash all the windows in Seattle?
13) How would you find out if a machine’s stack grows up or down in memory?
14) You have to get from point A to point B. You don’t know if you can get there. What would you do?
15) How many piano tuners are there in the entire world?
16) You have eight balls all of the same size. 7 of them weigh the same, and one of them weighs slightly more. How can you find the ball that is heavier by using a balance and only two weighings?
Weighing 1: weight 3 balls on each side.
If( 3 balls are equal)
Weighing 2: weight the last 2 balls. The heavier is one of these.
Weighing 2: weight the heavier group from the first, put 1 ball on each weigh – if they are the same, the heavier one is the one you didn’t weigh…else the heavier one will be shown.
17) You are given 2 eggs. You have access to a 100-story building. Eggs can be very hard or very fragile means it may break if dropped from the first floor or may not even break if dropped from 100th floor. Both eggs are identical. You need to figure out the highest floor of a 100-story building an egg can be dropped without breaking. The question is how many drops you need to make. You are allowed to break 2 eggs in the process.
18 ) Describe a technical problem you had and how you solved it.
19) How would you design a simple search engine?
20) Design an evacuation plan for San Francisco.
21) There’s a latency problem in South Africa. Diagnose it.
22) What are three long term challenges facing Google?
23) What do you know about Google’s product and technology?
24) If you are Product Manager for Google’s Adwords, how do you plan to market this?
25) What would you say during an AdWords or AdSense product seminar?
26) Who are Google’s competitors, and how does Google compete with them?
27) What’s a creative way of marketing Google’s brand name and product?
28 ) If you are the product marketing manager for Google’s Gmail product, how do you plan to market it so as to achieve 100 million customers in 6 months?
29) How much money you think Google makes daily from Gmail ads?
30) Name a piece of technology you’ve read about recently. Now tell me your own creative execution for an ad for that product.
31) Say an advertiser makes $0.10 every time someone clicks on their ad. Only 20% of people who visit the site click on their ad. How many people need to visit the site for the advertiser to make $20?
32) Estimate the number of students who are college seniors, attend four-year schools, and graduate with a job in the United States every year.
33) If you were given the land prices in the Bay Area, what would you pick, the mean or the median? Why?
34) Estimate the revenue of various free web services from Google and competitors.
35) You are a parking lot attendant in a lot that has one open spot, and you want to move the cars from their original positions into a new arrangement. Create a program that will print out instructions on how to move the cars most efficiently
36) What is Google’s primary source of revenue?
Adwords, Advertisement, TVAds
37) How will you make Google win in (specific regional zone)?
38 ) What website do you visit the most and what would you do as PM for that website?
39) Airports are inefficient. What would you do to improve them?
40) It is difficult to remember what you read, especially after many years. Contemplate how to address this.
41) If Google were to offer a TV commercial service, how would you implement this?
42) What is your favorite google product and what would you change about it?
43) How would you design google maps?
44) What google product do you like the best and how would you improve it?
45) Why is a good user interface good for the company?
Good user interface encourage the visitor to stay longer on the page, explore other pages, click on advertisement, and retreive and access information easily. Companies can build their identities on a good user interface since users will associate them with it. A good UI (e.g. Google Search Engine) can become their brand and if it is done right, it saves a lot of money in re-doing it or advertising.
46) What is the marginal cost of a gigabyte in gmail?
47) Name three web sites (non-Google sites) that I visit often and like. Comment on what I like about the user interface / design.
48 ) Follow up with the above, choose one of the three sites and comment on what new feature/project I would work on and how I would design it.
49) Elevator design – concentrate on if there is only one elevator in the building(what would I change in the design). Then moved up to having two elevators in a building..
50) How many vacuum’s are made per year in USA?
51) If you look at a clock and the time is 3:15, what is the angle between the hour and the minute hands?
Answer: 7.5 degrees ( 30 degrees between ‘3′ and ‘4′, 30/4 = 7.5 degrees)
52) Every man in a village of 100 married couples has cheated on his wife. Every wife in the village instantly knows when a man other than her husband has cheated, but does not know when her own husband has. The village has a law that does not allow for adultery. Any wife who can prove that her husband is unfaithful must kill him that very day. The women of the village would never disobey this law. One day, the queen of the village visits and announces that at least one husband has been unfaithful. What happens?
Answer: Recursion Problem – If the women in the village know instantly when other men in the village have cheated, we can use this to our advantage in answering the question. If one man has cheated on their wife, then his wife will know he cheats since no one else is cheating and will thus meet his demise. Take example if two men cheats, one of the wives will know one cheating husband in the village and must wait one day to see if she hears of another man cheating – if not, she knows her husband has cheated and therefore kills him.
53) If the probability of observing a car in 30 minutes on a highway is 0.95, what is the probability of observing a car in 10 minutes (assuming constant default probability)?
Answer: P(30min) = 0.95 ; Pbar(30min) = 0.05; Pbar(10min)=(1/3)^(0.05)=0.368 ; P(10min)=1-Pbar(10min) = 0.6312 = 63.12%
54) Four people need to cross a rickety rope bridge to get back to their camp at night…Unfortunately, they only have one flashlight and it only has enough light left for seventeen minutes. The bridge is too dangerous to cross without a flashlight, and it’s only strong enough to support two people at any given time. Each of the campers walks at a different speed. One can cross the bridge in 1 minute, another in 2 minutes, the third in 5 minutes, and the slow poke takes 10 minutes to cross. How do the campers make it across in 17 minutes?
Answer: Classic Microsoft question.
Trip A –> B A < — B Total Time
Trip 1 1min, 2 min 2 min
Trip 2 1 min 3 min
Trip 3 5 min, 10 min 13min
Trip 4 2 min 15min
Trip 5 1min, 2 min 17 min
55) You are at a party with a friend and 10 people are present including you and the friend…Your friend makes you a wager that for every person you find that has the same birthday as you, you get $1; for every person he finds that does not have the same birthday as you, he gets $2. would you accept the wager?
Answer: Probability of someone sharing a birthday with you is P(share b-day) = 1/365 ; hence P(no share b-day)=364/365. I wouldn’t take the bet.
56) Imagine you have a closet full of shirts. It’s very hard to find a shirt. So what can you do to organize your shirts for easy retrieval?
Answer : Anyone who knows me knows I have a mild case of OCD. I would have my closet organized (install shelving units) and compartmentalize some sections visually. I have a section for shirts I would wear out and section for shirts I would wear at home (worn out, great for spring cleaning). Then in each section I would organize the shirts by color from white to black. A relatively simple question, but I think Google asks this to check your organizational skills and for a software engineer – grouping (think hash tables)
57) Explain a database in three sentences to your eight-year-old nephew.
Answer: There are many answers to this question.
1) Dictionary is like a database. You have word and what the word means.
When I think of a database, I think of a filling cabinet my parents have where each hanging folder contains information. One folder has my grades, another has my birth certificate and birth hair, another has some pictures of me and my art work in elementary…etc.
58 ) How would you re-position Google’s offerings to counteract competitive threats from Microsoft?
Answer : My first thought – remove the awful word…’work around’ from Google’s work practice. This was my most hated two words I heard from there.
59) You have five pirates, ranked from 5 to 1 in descending order. The top pirate has the right to propose how 100 gold coins should be divided among them. But the others get to vote on his plan, and if fewer than half agree with him, he gets killed. How should he allocate the gold in order to maximize his share but live to enjoy it? (Hint: One pirate ends up with 98 percent of the gold.)
If you have 2 Pirates involved, only one pirate needs to support with pirate ‘2’s decision (namely pirate ‘2′ himself). Pirate ‘2′ would be highest in chain and hence can take all 100 gold coins since half would agree with this decision.
If you have 3 Pirates involved, pirate ‘3′ needs only one other pirate to support him. Pirate ‘3′ is aware of the 2 pirate scenario if he dies and hence offers pirate ‘1′ 1 piece of gold to vote in his favor. Pirate ‘1′ will take the offer because 1 piece of gold is better than none. So end result is Pirate ‘1′ gets 1 piece of gold and Pirate ‘3′ takes 99 piece of gold (leaving Pirate ‘2′ with nothing).
If you have 4 Pirates involved, you only need one other pirate to support you. Pirate ‘4′ is aware of the 3 pirate scenario if he dies and hence can offer pirate ‘1′ 2 pieces of gold to have his vote, but pirate ‘4′ is greedy. Instead he offers 1 piece of gold to pirate ‘2′. This gives him the vote from one other pirate he needs for support.
Draw a table showing the 2-4 pirate scenarios, and you will notice a pattern. From this you can easily come up with a solution for the 5 Pirate scenarios.
1 2 3 4 5
3 1 99
4 1 99
5 1 1 98
60) How many golf balls can fit in a school bus?
Answer:Calculate size of bus (approx in feet 8lengthx6widthx20depth) = 960 sq. feet (convert to sql inches *1728) = 1,658,880; golf ball is 2.5 cubic inches (4/3* pi*0.85inches radius) ; 1,658,880/2.5=663,552 ; don’t foget seats and such so round down to say 500,000
Got any Google Interview Questions that are not listed here? Feel free to add them in the comment box.
61) How many people run marathon in UK every year?
62) Describe the operation of Layer 2 (Data Link Layer) of the 7-layer ISO stack in as much detail as possible.
63) How do you code integer division without using divider (‘/’)
int x =20; int y = 5;
log(x) – log(y) = log(answer)
10^(answer) = 4 = answer;
64) What are three things Google should know before releasing a product in Country XYZ?
65) A man pushed his car to a hotel and lost his fortune. What happened?
66) How would you determine if someone has won a game of tic-tac-toe on a board of any size?
67) How many resumes does Google receive each year for software engineering?
68) How would you design google maps?