You must be ready for a variety of interview questions if you want to nail this interview. Although every organization will have a distinct hiring procedure, you can anticipate that prospective employers will want to know about you as an applicant, your product management experience, and what you might add to their team. That is why, we at founderactivity have compiled a comprehensive list of product manager interview questions.
Roadmaps are evidence of strategy. Not a list of features– Steve Johnson
There are a few things you can do to prepare for your Product Manager interview process if you want to ensure that you are the proper match for the position.
- Know everything there is to know about the business and its goods and services. Employers might inquire as to how you might enhance their offerings.
- Examine the outcomes of your earlier work. Make a list of your successes as a product manager, including how many people used your product and how much money you
Employers will question you about your prior experience and be interested in learning how your work has impacted others.
Who is a Product Manager?
A product manager describes what success will look like for a product, pinpoints the consumer need and bigger corporate goals that a feature will address, and rallies a team to make that vision a reality. I have gained a thorough understanding of what it entails to be a product manager after studying the profession of product management for ten years.
What do Companies Look For in a New Product Manager?
Get inside your interviewer’s thoughts before they start asking product manager interview questions. What are they seeking, exactly?
Besides intelligence, smarts, and the capacity to change, think, and act quickly? They are searching for someone who is driven to succeed, who can collaborate with many teams, and who can give the features that they already know users desire the highest priority. Product managers need to be resourceful, strategic, and perceptive. This means that the employing firm will enquire about you in great detail to see whether you are the right fit.
Why the Product Manager Interview Questions Matter
Many people have a “let’s simply see how it goes” mentality while going into an interview. Regardless of where the conversation takes them, they believe they can gain an understanding of the person and the suitability for the position.
Being unprepared for an interview is terrible for both the interviewer and the interviewee. It is possible to have a rich and varied conversation that gives you a good sense of the applicant, but it is also possible to experience awkward silences while trying to think of the right follow-up questions.
Product Manager Interview Questions
There are many possible product manager interview questions one may make of a candidate for product management. However, these eleven product manager interview questions are the ideal for you to use to learn more about your candidate’s values and goals while covering the essential topics every interview should go over:
1. What does a product manager do?
Ask them to express how they perceive the role right away after you arrive. Many people have various demands for a product manager because there are so many variations between organizations. By asking them this product manager interview question, you can make sure they are applying for a position they want and will not be overburdened, frustrated, or disappointed by when they start to work there.
2. How does this position fit into your overall career goals and why do you desire it?
Nowadays, lifers are essentially extinct, so everyone plans their long term professional path toward their dream job. This product manager interview question reveals if they view this employment as a temporary stepping stone or as something they will want to stay in for a while since it fits with their long term goals. It demonstrates humility and motivation if they can pinpoint the professional shortcomings that this position will cover. Watch out for these two important characteristics. Their resume may be placed at the bottom of the pile if they do not have a strong reason for seeking the job or if they desire your job in 6 months but not now.
3. How would you determine it?
To make wise decisions and win over stakeholders, product managers require data and metrics. To create the proper facts and numbers to support their point, this frequently calls for investigation. A candidate’s ability to use Google, think through the best product manager interview questions to ask, and describe their process will be revealed by asking them how they intend to find a fact they do not already know.
4. How do you determine what customers want and need?
The work requires extensive customer research. You can learn more about the candidate’s customer-centric approach and connection with actual, live users by asking them this product manager interview question. They ought to be familiar with the many approaches to gathering this data and own some instances from the past. If they do not offer several options, that may be a warning sign or just a chance for guidance and development.
5. Tell me about a time when you struggled to get people to agree, and how you accomplished it.
For a product manager who is not just along for the ride, achieving stakeholder coordination, getting engineers onto the same page, and overcoming obstacles are relatively typical fare. They are more likely to speak about this important subject with specificity when asked for an example rather than using generalizations.
6. Which four things would you put in what order?
Product managers have primary responsibility for prioritization, so they gain a sense of their approach or if they have a preferred framework. You should provide more than simply two components, but not so much that the interview is completely consumed by this. To give some background information and to be ready for some follow-up inquiries (if they do not, that may be a major worry right away).
7. “Sell me this pen.”
This well-known scene from The Wolf of Wall Street puts people under pressure to make a strong argument for why someone should purchase a very uninteresting item. You do not have to choose a writing instrument, but you should pick something the candidate is already familiar with to assess their communication skills and how persuasive they are.
8. What was the cause of your largest product management failure?
This product manager interview question offers two advantages. First, it encourages reflection and critical analysis about what went wrong, which is useful in post-mortem situations. However, the failure they choose to focus on also provides some insight into who they are and how strong and developed their feeling of ownership is.
9. Which of your favorite goods do you like, and what would you modify about it?
This product manager interview question reveals their values to you. By asking the candidate what they would alter, you might learn where their first impulse leads them. Usefulness, perhaps? Appearance? Technical? Endurance? By asking them to critically think and identify a defect in something they adore, this product manager interview question turns it on its head. It is a particularly pertinent exercise since we frequently become infatuated with our products even though we need to always look for ways to make them better.
10. How do you communicate your product strategy?
This product manager interview questions focuses on the techniques and equipment the applicant uses to complete the task. Additionally, it examines whether they are attempting to forge a consensus or are only outlining their position. Are they supporting their claims with data? Are they organizing a sizable public forum or private meetings with important stakeholders? Do they present a planned schedule employing a roadmap or do they merely get to the finish line?
This product manager interview questions is important, particularly given that 53% of product managers apparently feel unhappy or average about their method of communicating product strategy. So, now is the moment to assess how at ease they are with a crucial aspect of their position.
11. If we hire you, what will you be doing within the first 90 days?
This is a useful product manager interview questions to discover the candidate’s approach to the initial 30, 60, and 90 days of employment. It will demonstrate their top priorities and perhaps reveal some troubling pre-hire activities. They might be a touch too ego-driven, for instance, if they insist on improvements and new features rather than understanding about the product, processes, and people.
12. What qualities make a product great?
When looking for product managers, recruiters frequently use this question. This is due to the fact that your response will reveal your general perspective on product development and design to them. They learn more about the potential design elements and adjustments that you might use for their own products as a result. The most important thing is that a recruiter will be able to see from this product manager interview question how much you know about developing excellent products.
Therefore, aspiring product managers must answer this query with the utmost accuracy. Granted, there is not a set formula for creating a successful product. Every product is different and has a special set of attributes, after all.
However, you must mention in your answer to this product manager interview questions that successful products share some traits in general. Any good must:
- Possess a distinct value proposition.
- Fix a problem that a certain target market is experiencing.
- Be clear and straightforward to grasp.
- Permit users to use it effectively and efficiently.
13. What modifications to our product would you suggest? What would you construct?
Another straightforward product manager interview questions that recruiters like to ask potential product manager candidates is this one. Similar to the last question, this one aims to provide the interviewers a clear understanding of how your potential impact on the business as a product manager will be felt. In this instance, the recruiter wants to know your initial impressions of the kind of product that will work best for the company.
If the business is yet to have a product developed, you will need to fully describe your proposed product. You will have to go into the elements that you would either add or adjust if the company already has a product.
Understanding the target market, goals, and product line of the organization in-depth is necessary to respond to this question. As a result, each company will receive a different reaction from you.
However, it is important to keep in mind that you should discuss how the product will be distinctive and will benefit the company’s clients. Additionally, you want to emphasize how the product’s users will not find the product’s features to be difficult to utilize.
Product managers lead a product team to develop distinctive and appealing goods that suit consumers’ demands and, eventually, aid a firm in achieving its commercial objectives. They do this by performing customer surveys and market analysis.
It is important to treat this like a strategy product manager interview questions and include more about your ideology on the significance that a product management team can deliver by carefully guiding products from the concept development and product design process through launch in addition to providing a concise definition of what product management is.
14. Could you outline how you evaluate success and performance?
Product questions such as this one should be viewed as a chance to both demonstrate the technique you employ for assessing the performance of your products and to boast about the accomplishments of some of your earlier goods.
Discuss how you establish applicable KPIs for every project and product you work on, then systematically track them to see if you are evaluating based on:
- How many people utilize it
- Lifetime worth of the client
- Testing outcomes
In order to get insight into how your goods are being accepted and used, you should also discuss the analytics tools, user research techniques, and other methods you apply in your interviews.
In order to improve lagging performance, highlight your attention to detail, versatility in making changes on the fly, and commitment to data-driven decision-making.
15. Describe how you will use data in your position.
Data analysis is used to analyze client response to a new or better product, thus product managers need to be familiar with it. Interviewers are interested in learning about your technical expertise and thought process.
To determine if the business has maximized the return on its investment (ROI) on the product, data is employed. Employers want to know what measures should be utilized and how you will assess if a statistic changes for the better or worse. Explain how you plan to measure and react to various indicators, such as Meta’s Saved Items list, Instagram comments, mailing list sign-up data, and customer interviews.
16. How can you tell whether a product has good design?
Beginning with the consumer will enable you to assess how well the product is developed. Your expertise contributes to determining if a product succeeds by satisfying the demands of its target market. Describe the qualities that the best product managers seek in a design.
17. How would you organize a product redesign if one were required?
The answer to this product manager interview questions will depend on how well you collaborate with others and how well you can plan as a team. Even entry-level product managers need to manage projects and exercise leadership.
Walk your interviewer through the makeover process step by step. Begin by developing a redesign vision utilizing market research. The next step is to assign tasks to the team’s experts using excellent communication abilities. Describe how you’ll persuade the key players to accept your plan and go on to improve the customer experience.
18. What significant challenges must our product department overcome in the following 12 to 24 months?
All businesses desire staff that are forward-thinking, and product managers are no exception. With this product manager interview questions, you may demonstrate your knowledge of the market and any study you have done on the competition analysis.
The employer is probably searching for any tendencies you may have discovered via your industry analysis. Discuss the competitors and your predictions for future customer preferences and aspirations. Take use of the opportunity to establish yourself inside the organization by planning dynamic, methodical changes. Show them how prepared you are to join a team that is developing.
19. Which is more essential: completing a task on schedule or following the plan?
Product managers must balance the duties of launching goods on time and ensuring that they achieve their design objectives. If you prioritize quality above timelines, your recruiter wants to know.
Both! A product isn’t done if it isn’t done as planned, and it is crucial to work within the structures of the company to launch products customers will love. Describe how you will create customer journey maps, roadmaps for your team, and an appropriate overview during the development process. Show how you keep your specialists on track with smaller deadlines and quality control mechanisms.
20. How would you describe our product to a customer?
Employers are looking for you to show that you have excellent communication skills and know how to advertise to customers.
You should relate to the customer’s problems, explain simply how the product may be of assistance, and highlight any key characteristics that would stimulate their interest in learning more. It will be simpler throughout your interview as you have more experience answering questions.
21. Which elements of product management do you find most satisfying?
Another chance to talk about product management from a broad viewpoint is provided by this product manager interview questions. You will collaborate closely with the individuals doing the interview, particularly at smaller start-ups. Be approachable and talk about what drives you each day.
Focus on your advantages. Explain why you excel at striking a balance between technical concerns, business-focused choices, and user experience. Give an instance from your career in which you were successful. Mention your team’s support throughout the process, as well as any particular figures demonstrating the benefits to the business.
22. What components of your job do you find the most difficult?
Every applicant will have strengths and limitations, employers are aware of this. Even while it may be tempting to act flawless when you are not, be honest—and wise.
Give an answer on how you can get better at whatever it is that you are having trouble with (this might be anything from coming up with fresh ideas to addressing issues among team members at work).
23. What would you do if two individuals disagreed on a product’s most significant feature?
To create goods as intended, product managers need to be capable leaders and decision-makers. The decisions you make will determine your leadership style.
With your team, talk about how you might use your mediation abilities to help them solve the issue collectively rather than through a top-down decision. Describe how you may use particular measurements to decide the optimal course of action because disagreement frequently overflows into emotion.
24. What method do you employ while collaborating engineers and designers?
Product managers often collaborate with a variety of experts, especially in bigger companies. The purpose of this product manager interview questions is to find out how you deal with various personality types.
Make it clear to your potential employer that you value the diversity of your team of experts. This implies that you may adopt a hands-off strategy so that everyone feels empowered in their duties. You must develop the talents and confidence of the team members you lead. Share your strategy for supporting everyone’s communication.
25. What support do you require from the executive team to succeed in this position?
The executive team of the organization would want to help you if they are seeking a product management job. However, until you tell them, they cannot determine what you require to succeed. Your chance is now.
Respond to this question as though you are already a member of the team to conclude your interview on a favorable note. Bear in mind what the business requires; this may be a funding for online learning opportunities for product team members or scheduled meetings to discuss plans and objectives. Sometimes all you need to do is ask for a dialogue. Describe how your objective as a product manager is to collaborate with the business to help both its customers and the company succeed.
Be stubborn on vision but flexible on details– Jeff Bezos
General Product Manager Interview Questions
The majority of interviews begin with a few introductory product manager interview questions. These product manager interview questions are meant to help the interviewer get to know you better and understand why you applied for the product management role.
Here are some such product manager interview questions you could get:
- Tell me a little bit about yourself.
- How did you find out about this position?
- What about this position appeals to you?
- What qualities do you seek in a job?
- What motivated you to quit your current position?
- What aspects of your present employment do you enjoy best and least?
- Why do you wish to work here?
- What do you want out of your career?
Skills and Experience Product Manager Interview Questions
The interviewers will want to know how your previous expertise in product management will apply to the new role. Expect to talk about issues including strategy setting, developing product roadmaps, controlling releases, generating ideas, and defining features.
Make sure you have responses ready for the following product manager interview questions so you can successfully summarize your experience:
- What kind of consumer research do you carry out, and how frequently?
- How is product strategy developed?
- What sources do you depend on while creating your roadmap?
- How are releases planned? What technique of development does your organization use?
- How frequently do you introduce new features?
- Where do major feature inspiration come from? How do you choose which to establish?
- Describe the process you use to oversee a feature from ideation to release.
- Tell me about the product that has achieved the most success. What contributed to its success?
- Describe a time when you failed. Why do you believe it fell short? And what would you change?
- How can a successful product launch be assessed?
- What did you learn from your most recent product launch?
Leadership Skills Product Manager Interview Questions
Product managers that are successful must be capable of leading a team of people. To do this, it is necessary to be able to lead teams (such as engineering, marketing, sales, and support) toward a shared vision and set of objectives. Listed below are a few samples of leadership skills product manager interview questions that test your leadership abilities:
- Which personalities do you prefer to work with?
- What factors enrages you?
- How often do you have meetings for cross-functional teams?
- Tell me about a project where you had to assert control over individuals who did not answer to you.
- What one word would your coworkers use to summarize you if I spoke to them?
- Have you ever argued with a fellow team member? What happened as a result?
- How do you interact with the top management?
- What best describes your style of leadership?
- Whom do you see as having the best leadership qualities, and why?
Questions You Can Ask
“What questions do you have for me?” is a common question asked of you at the conclusion of the interview. This is your chance to show interest and learn more, so you can decide if this is the kind of career you actually want.
To find out more about the organization and the position you are looking for, you can ask the following questions:
- What is the product’s strategic vision?
- How is your product roadmap created?
- How does senior leadership interact with product management?
- What kind of consumer research do you carry out, and how frequently?
- What aspects of your product do buyers say they love (and dislike) the most?
- How is release management done?
- How frequently are new features introduced?
- What do you like most about your job as a product manager here?
- What aspect of being a product manager in this company is the hardest?
- How should new product managers be trained?
Types Of Product Management Interview Question You’ll Ever Be Asked
It should not be surprising that questions about the product are likely the most frequent in PM interviews. Even if you do not have a lot of technical knowledge, the easiest approach to get ready is to carefully read the job description for the position you are applying for and look for resources (blogs, press releases, etc.) on the products you will be working with. It will be really helpful in this situation if you can show that you have prior experience or education in product management.
In a Product Manager interview, you will not frequently be asked any too technical product manager interview questions. Unless you are looking for a Technical Product Manager position or you have already passed a few rounds for a particular PM position that calls for a higher tech skill set. Technical questions in PM interviews are typically intended to assess your ability to collaborate with engineers and assess your familiarity with the technology the organization uses.
To be successful, a product manager must be prepared and have a keen analytical mind. Some employers could ask you questions meant to elicit information about your thought process and problem-solving strategy. The secret is to not rush yourself when answering these questions. It is acceptable to take a brief break to reflect. It is preferable to scrambling and hurrying through an awful response that you later regret!
Product Management Questions
Every organization has a unique approach to product management, and every individual has their own style. The employer can assess how well you understand the role and whether you would fit in with the PM team’s culture. You run the danger of being turned away if you enter with a “CEO of the Product” mentality when they are seeking for someone more collaborative and humble. So just be genuine and true to yourself. They will recognize immediately away if you are the best PM for the team.
A skill list is fine, but a firm can get a better sense of your behavior on the job during an interview. They want to know that you can manage stakeholder expectations, work well under pressure, and influence without formal authority. Instead of responding, “I haven’t done that yet,” when asked about a circumstance you have not yet encountered, describe how you would handle it in the future.
Leadership and Communication Questions
A product manager is a leader, even at a junior level. (Absurd, right?) Therefore, leadership-related questions will be included in even entry-level PM responsibilities. However, until you become senior, they will not be overly abstract or philosophical. They will resemble behavioral questions more closely, and the purpose of them is to observe how you relate to and interact with the members of your teams.
At their core, PM interviews are still just conventional job interviews, and perhaps the most straightforward inquiries are the most significant. Therefore, do not forget to prepare your responses for the simpler questions.
Remote Product Management Questions
It is likely that the employer you are applying to will allow remote work or flexible hours in 2021. You might even be submitting an application for a completely remote team. Try not to take this as an opportunity to vent, even if you have always detested working remotely. If questioned, be truthful about the difficulties it brought you, but make an effort to keep a positive outlook.
- Do you have any prior experience working remotely?
- How have you managed to maintain contact in a remote setting?
- How would you approach the difficulty of leading a group that operates across time zones?
- What difficulties did you encounter when working remotely? How did you get past them?
- How do you go about forming a team when no one has ever met in person?
Tips For You
You can use this manual to help you respond to some of the most typical product manager interview questions. But keep in mind that you can run into unforeseen or peculiar questions, no matter how well you prepare.
In conclusion, no matter what inquiries you receive, give your response some thought and, if necessary, seek clarification. There is often no right or wrong response to a product manager interview questions. The interviewer wants to see that you are reasoning logically through the question. Additionally, if you are unable to provide one, ask if you may return to the subject at a later time in the interview or explain how you would go about doing so.
Getting paid to sleep would be my dream job.