How to Get a Product Management Job at YouTube

YouTube is the world’s largest video streaming platform by far, with over 1.9bn logged in monthly users.

It’s the second largest search engine and second most visited site after Google.

We watch over 1 billion hours of YouTube videos every day.

It’s also the single greatest source for funny cat videos, so if you’re looking for a product job with impact, look no further! We’ll tell you how to go after your first product job at YouTube.

YouTube on phone

Job Overview

  • Average salary for a Product Manager: USD $101,744
  • Benefits: As you can expect from a Google company, YouTube aims to create an outstanding employee experience. Expect free food, generous maternity leave, health insurance, an on-site gym and plenty of organized events. (Benefits vary between locations.)
  • Locations: Headquartered in San Bruno, California, with other locations in Los Angeles, New York, Toronto, Mumbai, Paris, Berlin, London, Dubai, Minato, and Rio de Janeiro.
  • Background required for PM role: BA/BS in Computer Science or a related field. Most roles also expect a minimum of 3 years experience. YouTube is definitely a place for more experienced PMs, so if you’re looking to transition from another discipline or need to build up some experience first, a career with YouTube may be further down the line.

What Are the Core Values?

As YouTube was bought by Google in 2006, you can expect YouTube’s company values to be very much in line with theirs. You can check out our guide on how to prepare for a Product Management interview at Google for extra help with this.

Other than normal Google values, YouTube’s mission is to make the world more informed, more connected, more creative, and more entertained. YouTube also cares deeply about equal opportunity, and are driven to give the world a voice:

YouTube quote graphic

The YouTube Interview Process

Expect a very typical tech industry interview from YouTube. Oftentimes, a recruiter will reach out to you on LinkedIn if they see you have the skills needed for an open role.

Alternatively you can apply directly through their jobs website. You may also see job listings in all the usual places; LinkedIn, Glassdoor, etc.

  • Step 1: Phone screening
    You’ll have a quick phone interview with a recruiter, to make sure you have all the basics needed to qualify for an interview. Although you’re not speaking directly to the Product team, don’t underestimate the importance of this step! It’s the first impression you’ll make in the company, so be sure to prepare! 
  • Step 2: Phone interview
    Whoever you have the phone screening with will set up a phone interview with you and a member of the team you’d be working with. They’ll ask you some general questions about industry trends, your experience, and why you want to work for YouTube. If the team is quite large, you may go through a second phone interview with others on the team.
  • Step 3: On-site interview
    This is what you’ve been working towards! You’ll be invited into the office for a set of in-person interviews (usually around four) which will probably involve a team lunch. Don’t be afraid to let your personality show, as it might be what sets you apart from other candidates.

How Can You Ace Each Step?

The key in each step is to be very goal-oriented. Remember exactly what you excel at and why you want to bring those skills to YouTube in particular.

Big tech companies with lots of appeal have the luxury of being very selective about who they hire, and they’re going to want someone who shares their vision.

You should also have your elevator pitch perfected. Throughout the process you’ll be introduced to new people a few times, and they’ll all want a summary of you and your professional experience.

When asked ‘tell me about yourself’ go with the past-present-future model. First tell them a few lines about your previous work experience, what you’re currently doing, and what you’re looking for from the future. For example:

“I studied Computer Science at USF and worked on a few side projects before landing my first PM role. I’m now working as a Senior Product Manager for a FoodTech company in San Francisco, but I’m looking for something that lets me work on my passion for communication and new media.”

This model works because it tells people where you’ve been, who you are now, and where you want to go.

Finally, it’d be useful to know a little bit about YouTube culture, which means watching YouTube videos! Do some research into creators who make content around things that genuinely interest you. If you just spout out a list of the biggest names it’ll come across as inauthentic.

That being said, it’s also helpful to know who the biggest names are. If they come up in conversation and you’ve got no idea who they’re talking about things could derail! Luckily Business Insider has a list of the most popular YouTubers of 2019.

And don’t forget the single most important YouTube channel you could ever find…ours!

What Questions Can You Expect to Be Asked?

Funnily, as YouTube is a search engine, if you search for ‘YouTube interview questions’ you’ll find a long list of interview videos, but nothing to do with getting a job at YouTube! Luckily, we scoured the internet to bring you questions asked by real product teams and recruiters for YouTube:

“If you came into work one day and nobody from your team was here, what would you do?”

  • “Why do you want to work at YouTube?”
  • “How would you change YouTube and why?”
  • “Describe yourself in a group setting.”
  • “Name the most difficult question you’ve worked on.”
  • “What’s your favorite YouTube channel?”
  • “How do you stay organized?”
  • “Why should we hire you?”

These are questions that candidates have reported being asked in YouTube interviews, but you can also expect some of the more usual Product Management interview questions, which you can find a definitive interview questions list right here.

Interview checklist banner

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