Senior Google Product Manager Shares Interview Preparation Strategy

Yung-Yu Lin, a senior product manager at Google in Sunnyvale, California, has shared his interview preparation strategy based on his two-decade-long tech career. Lin, originally from Taiwan, has worked at companies such as Yahoo, Meta, Visa, and PayPal before joining Google. He emphasizes the importance of practice and familiarizing oneself with the interview process. Lin recommends taking mock interviews on career-building sites like IGotAnOffer, where he personally took four mock interviews structured as role-playing sessions with another candidate. This format allowed him to gain feedback and learn from his partner’s performance.

As a product manager, Lin’s technical interview rounds focused on system design questions rather than coding. To prepare for these rounds, he practiced system design questions available on various websites and books. Lin also highlighted the significance of preparing different examples for each use case.

Lin believes in building a partnership with recruiters during the application process. He advises candidates to proactively ask recruiters about the upcoming interview rounds and what a successful candidate for the role looks like based on their experience. Lin views recruiters as valuable sources of information and seeks their insights to better prepare for the interview.

In the last 24 hours before a big interview, Lin suggests refraining from additional mock interviews or looking at new technical questions to avoid increased anxiety. Instead, he recommends reviewing notes from previous interview or question practice sessions. Lin also sets up Google Search alerts for the company he is interviewing with to stay updated on recent news and developments. This allows him to ask informed questions during the interview and demonstrate his understanding of the company and its industry.

Lin’s approach to asking questions during interviews has proven successful in his career. He aims to understand the team dynamics by asking what a good team player looks like. Additionally, he inquires about the most challenging project the interviewer has worked on, which provides insights into the scale of problems and growth opportunities within the company.

Lin’s interview preparation strategy has helped him secure job offers in the past, with hiring managers appreciating his understanding of the company, its business model, and team responsibilities.

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