Google’s mission is to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful. One of the most lucrative yet difficult positions to work for at this company is engineering manager. Therefore, you need to know exactly how to prepare for the challenging interview and absolutely nail it.
If you are preparing for a tech interview for the Google engineering manager position, check out our interview questions page and salary negotiation e-book to get interview-ready! Also, read Google Engineering Manager Interview Questions and Preparation to practice common Engineering Manager questions asked at Google and take your prep to the next level.
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Some of the basic tasks of a Google engineering manager are listed below.
A Google engineering manager interview typically consists of 2 to 3 rounds. At Google, the team-matching process takes place right after the interviews. As a result, this loop can go on for weeks and sometimes even months. The interview process kicks off with a telephonic round with the recruiter and is followed by a technical phone screen. After you pass this round, you will sit for 4-5 on-site interviews.
Here’s what you can expect during each round of the interview process.
Recruiter Phone Screen
The recruiter will call you and ensure your identity and if you are a mutual fit. They will assess this by asking few basic behavioral questions. The questions will cover the fundamentals of the role and will also shed light on the upcoming technical round.
Technical Phone Screen
This round covers data structures and algorithms. The questions are usually open-ended to test your eye for details. You will need to define the problem state and identify the requirements.
Remember to walk through the process and explain it algorithmically.
Google interviewers expect mistakes. Thus, you can optimize and test your code later. Jot down the corner and edge cases and brace for testing. Then, proceed to refine your code. Identify the bugs following the test cases and clean your code accordingly.
After clearing the technical round, you will need to sit for 4-5 rounds of on-site interviews. These cover various aspects, including coding, systems design, behavioral, culture fit, strategic, analytic and data, etc.
Engineering Managers direct, plan, and coordinate activities within a team. Therefore, engineering manager interviews focus more on gauging whether you have what it takes to lead a team. Here are some key concepts or categories you should focus on in your prep.
Interviewers want to test your ability to relate to the customers and innovate accordingly. Therefore, these questions will assess your creativity level and if your approach to developing and designing new products is straightforward and clear.
Analytics and Data
Every Google product has a set of hero and secondary metrics which help the engineering manager to assess if a product is successful or not and whether to proceed with it. Hence, the interviewer will ask you a couple of questions about which metric to track in a given scenario. It may also be about how you would identify and investigate the changes in a given metric.
Therefore, it is recommended that you prepare these types of questions beforehand if you know the product team you are interviewing for.
As an engineering manager, you will also be a part of the product vision and its delivery path. As a result, Google interviewers gauge your versatility and ability to judge the dependent aspects while making product decisions through strategic questions. They also check your acumen to consider factors like competition, marketing, pricing, etc. and make the decision with a structured approach.
Through cultural questions, Google interviewers aim to check your compatibility with the company culture and how well you can adapt to your working place. They also assess your ability to think differently through these questions.
It is no mystery at this point that Google is partial towards technically strong candidates. Therefore, you should expect some technical questions that do not always involve intense coding. However, they do test your ability to understand specific technical concepts and if you can explain them simply.
Behavioral questions delve into your past experiences to assess how you can perform in the future. These questions test your knowledge, skills, and ability to deal with various workplace situations. Behavioral interview questions help measure your communication skills as well.
We’ve listed some sample questions for each category to help you prepare for the interview.
Some common Google interview questions you can expect in this round:
How to Prepare for the Product Design Questions:
It is evident by now that you need to have in-depth knowledge about Google’s products to become a successful engineering manager at this FAANG company. Therefore, familiarize yourself with the products, deep dive and know the integrals, and thoroughly research the company fundamentals. Google Strategy Teardown by CB Insights is an ideal resource to start with.
Some common questions in this round are:
How to Prepare for the Analytics and Data Questions:
Brushing up on the fundamentals is a strong recommendation to answer these questions. Digital Product Management by the University of Boston, Data-Driven Product Management: Choosing the Right Metrics for Your Product by productcoalition.com, etc., are free resources that can help start your interview preparation.
We have listed some of the common questions for this round. Take a look.
How to Prepare for Strategic Questions:
For starters, finalize the business objective adhering to the question. Then, proceed to generate a structured list of solutions to tackle the strategic problems. A discussion will then naturally follow on the priorities and trade-offs of the various options. You can then conclude the discussion by making the best possible recommendation.
Some common questions that you will come across in this round are:
How to Prepare for the Culture Fit Questions:
To answer these questions, you need to be aware of the company culture, like its values, mission, and vision, etc. Learn about the work environment, communication preferences, etc., at Google. You can research these from the company website and other documents available on the internet.
We have listed below 4 Google engineering manager interview questions for this round.
How to Prepare for the Technical Questions:
Before you start, clarify what exactly the interviewer is looking for and understand the same clearly. Narrow down to the most important aspect of the answer, and explain the technical concept step by step. Then, summarize your explanation in brief, and answer any follow-up questions. Remember to admit that you do not know something if a situation of the sort arises.
Behavioral questions generally fall into three categories:
Few common Google interview questions in this round are:
How to Prepare for the Behavioral Questions:
Prepare answers for these kinds of questions beforehand, and practice the stories thoroughly. Jot down even the smallest details, and be careful not to repeat the examples. Make sure to highlight the problem and the impact of your decision and, of course, its results.
Recommended Reading: Google Interview Questions
Just knowing what to prepare is not enough. When preparing for tough tech interviews at a company like Google, your prep should be planned, and you must adopt a strategy that ensures you’ll be ready and comfortable during the interview. You should also be ready to adapt during the interview, so you can solve any problem that comes your way. Here are some tips to help you:
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1. What is the salary of an engineering manager at Google?
The median salary of Google engineering managers stands at around $230,000. Salaries range between $100,000 and $1,200,000, depending on the position and experience.
2. What is the minimum experience necessary to apply for an engineering manager job at Google?
A minimum of 4 years of experience in a relevant field is mandatory for an engineering manager interview at Google. However, certain positions may require more experience, depending on the role.