Product Strategy Case Study Questions
Product strategy questions started trending recently as many companies seek intuitive Product Managers who can take ownership beyond the scope of the product they were hired to work on.
Unlike product design questions, strategy questions require you to think about the bigger picture. Youll either be asked to find ways to make a product or to complete the overall organization more successfully.
Here are five of the most frequently asked product strategy questions to prep for:
Name Your Favorite Software Tools To Manage Team Members Explain How You Use These Software Management Tools
This is yet another product management-related question. Here, the aim is to get a feel for the type of tools, applications, and software that the candidate uses when theyre on the job as part of their management strategy. In this case, the question specifically asks how candidates manage team members.
Once again, the answers you get will vary as every candidate will have their own preferred set of tools that they use to manage team members.
The key here is for the candidate to first describe what the app is, and then break down how they use it to manage their team members. In doing so, you should show the benefits that the app can bring to people management.
Better Way Firm Is Thinking About Buying A Competitor’s Business Is This A Good Business Choice For Better Way
This case interview question falls under the category of a business case question. Such questions can assist an interviewer in assessing a candidate’s commercial decision-making abilities. This sort of query usually demands you to ask multiple questions to assess whether the business choice is a smart idea. Your questioning and thinking process can reveal your critical reasoning abilities.
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Each Question In An Interview Has A Goal
This is a good mindset to have while enrolling job interviews. Put yourself in the recruiters shoes, try to understand the goal of each question that you receive. Why he or she is asking it?
Some common goals of interview questions:
- Understand how you deal with stressful situations
- Understand your leadership maturity and principles
- Analyze if you can think out of the box solutions to a problem
- Understand if you can have a global understanding of the problem and its impacts
With time and practice, you can improve your answers. Many of them repeat in each interview and you can improve on each time that you answer them.
An important aspect of it is to think about each interview as an opportunity to learn and improve for the next one. After each one, I suggest that you take note of the questions that were asked and try to identify your good and bad answers and how could you have done better.
Now bring it to the product context.
When I decided on changing my career to Product Management I never had the opportunity to participate in any PM job interview, it was a whole new experience to me.
In fact, I had participated in two selection processes in my whole life, both on small startups to Software Engineer roles.
Basically I had no idea how a PM selection process was.
So I started to search about it and found
As You Prepare For The Case Study Phase Of Your Product Manager Interview Follow These 10 Steps
If youve recently landed a product manager interview, congrats! With tons of top product talent out there, its an achievement just to have gotten through the initial screening process. But youre not over the finish line just yet, as youll need to impress the interviewers more than the next candidates in order to land the job. Heres a checklist of ten things to help you prep for your interview:
- Do external research
- Reflect on your favorite products
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The Product Design Case Interview
No, theyre not going to hand you a wacom tablet and ask you to mock up an entire product in the room! Instead, youll be asked to think through some solutions to pretty common design problems. Things like:
- How would you improve our in-app messenger?
- If we tasked you with making our user interface more inclusive of those with disabilities, how would you approach that?
- How would you redesign our homepage to make it more appealing for X demographic?
- Were finding that X number of users dont make it through the entire onboarding process. What would you do/design to fix that?
The key when being asked a question about how youd improve the companys product is not to insult it too heavily. Remember, the people who built it are in the room with you, so if you come in hot with well, for starters, your homescreen is absolutely hideous and needs a complete do-over, youre not going to endear yourself to them. A product manager is a diplomat, so be as diplomatic as possible.
Instead of focusing on how youd fix what you see as glaring problems, try to come up with something that adds to the product. I think a chatbot in your user onboarding process would help people to navigate through the process. Heres where Id implement it
Questions And Tips For Interviewing Product Managers
As the leader of a 50+ person Product organization, one of my biggest responsibilities is attracting, hiring, coaching, motivating, and retaining great Product professionals, primarily Product Managers and Designers. And given the central, facilitating roles of Product Management, PMs bring extra leverage to speed up or bust up the digital creation part of your organization. Hiring the right PMs is critical for the company and a big part of my job. Hiring well requires asking the right Product Manager interview questions. Below are some of my Product Manager interview questions, as well as thoughts from other product leaders and hiring experts. Interviews are one part of a broader hiring process that also includes sourcing, skill testing, referencing, selling, and onboarding, although interviews tend to be an area Product Leaders often get wrong but think they get right.
A Google search turns up many list of Product Manager interview questions, even interview simulations, often written directly for Product Managers. This article addresses some of the most useful ways for Product Leaders to approach interview questions, and how Product Managers can think about the most important messages to share when interviewing.
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How To Ace It
Ask Your Network For Help
When I was laid off from my last job, I pushed myself far out of my comfort zone and called seven PMs with whom I had worked in the past and asked them for interviewing advice. They all had great feedback for me one even gave me an interview prep worksheet that I still use today!
Each of them told me how they interview product candidates at their companies and what theyre looking for in candidates. Their feedback informed my whole interviewing strategy and helped me focus on what matters.
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Books For Product Manager Interview Prep
- The Product Manager Interview: 167 Actual Questions and Answers: This is the second edition of Lewis C. Lins book previously titled The Product Manager Interview 164 Actual Questions and Answers a great resource for both budding and seasoned product managers. Lins book will not only provide you with good pointers for interview preparation but also help you in day to day life as a PM.
- Hired How to Get a Great Product Job: Tailored guide-to-go for PM positions in top tech companies. As this book will show you, some of the most successful product transitions originated from people in music production or finance, with full-time jobs or with no prior experience. The collection of stories of Product Management transition will show you how its done.
- The author gives an industry insiders perspective on how to conquer the most difficult PM interview questions. Covering frameworks for tackling product design and metrics questions, the biggest mistakes and answers to the top product manager interview questions.
- Product School Pro: If you really want to deep-dive into the best interview techniques, and become the master of any interview you walk into, you should check out the exclusive resources we have in our Product School Pro community. Weve got cheat sheets, templates, and more!
Designs/ Wireframes/ Areas Of Improvement
If your case study requires designs, consider where you would make the above changes in the CRM interface. What or how would you change the interaction model to achieve success?
Pictures do speak louder than words, and as a Product Manager, your designs should do the same. The best way to ensure that everybody understands your product is to include wireframes and preliminary designs in your presentation.
In this case, being an isolated design, we would draw out the forms that the end-users and service professionals would use. For the latter, a mobile-phone wireframe is probably best, given that the users are constantly out in the field.
Case Study Presentation Pro Tip
If you are working on a product that already exists for your PM case study question, embed your solution within the products actual design to earn extra points. Google the product to find images of its interface and consider how you would change the interactions with the user to meet the requirements of the case study or achieve greater success.
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Tailor Your Resume And Cover Letter For The Role
There is a LOT of debate on the topic of whether or not its worth tailoring your resume.
Im a big proponent of doing so, and heres why.
Most companies use Applicant Tracking Software, which applies a machine-learning algorithm to decide if each applicant is a good match for the position.
The algorithms typically factor in keyword matching to approve or reject each applicant. If your application makes it through this gatekeeper process, it will rank your application against everyone else whos applied.
Tailoring your resume will help you avoid being rejected and rank higher so that you are more likely to receive a request for a first-round interview.
Most people avoid tailoring their resume because they think it takes too long. This is a big misconception.
Tailoring your resume does not take a lot of time.
I helped Claire craft the perfect resume and cover letter in less than an hour.
You dont have to spend a ton of time tailoring your resume and cover letter. The main thing is to pay attention to the keywords in the job description and incorporate them strategically.
Her first-round interview is in just a few days. Im so excited to see how things go, and Im confident that she will crush it because of two things:
First, Claire knows that this role is ideal because of the values alignment. The hiring manager will undoubtedly see how much value she can bring to the company.
How Would You Figure It Out
Product managers need data and metrics to make good decisions and gain the support of stakeholders. This often requires doing some research to develop the right facts and figures to make their case. Asking a candidate how they would find a fact they dont already know will indicate whether they can enter a query into Google and do the up-front thinking on the right questions to ask and explain how they got there.
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A Company Owner Has Recently Opened Their Doors To The Public And Is Deciding What Sort Of Product To Place In The Restroom For Clients To Use To Dry Their Hands There Are Three Options Which Are Paper Towels Hot Air Dryers And Roller Towels What Questions Should The Owner Ask Herself If She Had To Make A Decision This Week
This is a problem-solving question that hiring managers may ask during a case interview to assess if the applicant can utilise hypothesis-driven analysis to solve an issue. In this case, the issue would be determining which product to use for hand drying. You may provide specific reasons and rationale to back up your answer.
How Might You Gather And Evaluate Feedback On This Product
An effective answer to this question can reveal your research methods to an interviewer. They may ask you to create a series of interview questions and share how you plan to gather important information or analyze certain data. This can help demonstrate that you’re aware of what metrics are important and how data can inform product development.
Example:”I would create a survey with qualitative and quantitative questions so we can analyze data and custom information provided by customer feedback. This may include questions with a rating scale and open-ended questions. I could then organize the numerical data into graphs and read customer comments to understand what we can improve upon. If many people describe wanting the same new features, we can prioritize these features moving forward.”
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The Most Common Product Manager Case Study Question Types
Congratulations on getting a Product Manager interview and making it to the case study round. Getting this far along the process is a real accomplishment, although its nowhere near the finish line. You have got to dominate the case study round first! To ace your Product Manager case study questions, first, you have to know what to expect. Given the plethora of companies and resources online, it might be tough to navigate your way to the right types of questions to solve when prepping for your next case study interview.
After mentoring more than a thousand members and helping them land the Product Manager job of their dreams, we have noticed a few trending patterns in the case studies they were given. While every company has its style when it comes to interviewing, there are certain types of questions that we continuously see appear in case study interviews.
In this article, we categorize these questions by what they ask you to do and how you should approach them. Here are the four common types of Product Manager case study questions that you should expect in your case study interview, ordered from the most common to least common:
Know What To Expect From Your Startup Case Study Assignment
You might be thinking that the case study round is just a part of the interview process, but its not. Its a simulation of the real job, especially in startup interviews. This is a tricky situation, but you can leverage it to learn as much about the company as possible.
Many Product Gym members have taken the startup route to land their next role, and many of them have noted how unorganized a PM interview can get at a startup. So, be ready for some confusion. At the end of the day, many of these companies dont have a recruiting team or a full-fledged HR strategy, and therefore chances are they are also exploring interviewing as they go.
Be on top of your follow-up game and show the company that you got what it takes to join the team. Moreover, assess how they treat you and try to figure out how the company culture is. Are they ignoring your emails and acting like you dont exist? Or are they making a genuine effort to make the interview work for you despite the lack of resources?
You might be expected to solve a complex case study on the go during an interview or receive a very ambiguous prompt with little to no information. You might get minimum direction as to what to deliver and how to deliver.
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Product Manager Case Study Solution: Step 1
To get started, lets recap the information above in a simplified form:
- Company: A CRM marketing tool.
- What they do: Connect tradespeople with leads.
- Problem: The tool is getting leads to the tradespeople, but they are not answering leads.
In this scenario, were imagining a service professional, such as an HVAC technician, electrician, or plumber, who has the CRM tool installed on their phone or computer. However, though customer leads are pinging them, calling, or providing their information on a form, the service professionals are not getting back to them.
Like with everything in product management, always start with the user when solving Product Manager case study interview questions. You should have a clear idea of the user persona, their needs, and their pain points.
In this case, there are three different parties involved: