How Your Product Strategy Answer Is Assessed
This part of the interview investigates an aspiring PM’s capacity to follow the competitive landscapes their products are involved in.
Product strategy also consists of thinking about and making decisions regarding high-level product direction.
As such, you can expect these kinds of product management interview questions to be very business-focused.
You may be asked to explain your thoughts on:
- competitive analysis,
- product roadmaps.
Strong PM candidates must have strategic knowledge of their products and the company they are a part of.
This is because PMs are ultimately responsible for making product decisions regarding market opportunities/threats.
What Skills Should A Product Manager Possess
Here, the interviewer is analyzing the skills you possess as a product manager.
Tip 1: Enlist the skills and capabilities of a product manager.
Tip 2: Include skills that you have or can easily adopt.
A product manager should have a theoretical understanding and practical experience in product management. He should be good at critical thinking, decision making, teamwork, leadership, communication, organization, time management, customer relationship management, supervision, and risk management.
Why Do You Want To Become A Product Manager
Focus on your enthusiasm for the product range of the company. Tell them how your skills, abilities, and experience make from you a good candidate for the job of a PM.
Alternatively you can speak about particular ideas you have, suggesting how youd help them to improve their products, or design new ones. One way or another, they should hear some enthusiasm in your voice to believe that you really want the job.
If you have had the same position in the past, you can say that youd like to continue your professional career in the same field, and believe that your past experience will help you to do a great job in their company.
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Were Preparing To Roll Out The Successor To Our Best
Interviewers are looking to test your technical and soft skills with this question. Make sure your answer contains:
An understanding of consumer trends
A grasp of the target audience
Example answer:Budget-conscious users make up around 30% of your customer base, so I would lower the price to make it more accessible to that demographic. The new product launch will appeal to users that value owning the newest, best and most advanced technology.
Behavioral Questions For Product Manager Interviews
Apart from the screening and technical questions, the interviewers will also ask you behavioral questions. Answers to these questions help them o understand how youd act in various work related situations. They help them to understand your personality and attitude to work, and they can often decide the winner in an interview. To typical behavioral questions belong:
- Describe a time when you struggled to communicate something to your boss, colleague, or to a customer. How did you manage to get your message over?
- Tell us about a time when you went above and beyond.
- Give an example of a time you showed initiative at work.
- Describe the biggest failure of your professional career.
- Tell me about a time you had to comply with a policy or procedure that you did not agree with.
- When you worked on multiple projects , how did you prioritize?
- Describe a conflict you had with your colleague.
- Describe a time when you did not know how to solve a problem. What did you do?
- Tell me about a time when you were overwhelmed with work.
* Special Tip: If you are not sure how to answer the questions from my list, or experience interview anxiety, have a look at our Interview Success Package. Up to 10 premium answers to basically all tricky questions you may face in your Product Manager job interview will help you streamline your interview preparation, find the right words in every moment of the interview, outclass your competitors, and eventually get the job. Thank you for checking it out!
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Talk About The Most Technical Project Youve Worked On And The Successes And Challenges Within It
The interviewer wants to know how well you understand the technical aspects of a project. You need to give an example of a project where you utilized your expertise as a technical project manager to make sound decisions for its smooth functioning.
Be honest while answering this question. We all learn through mistakes and so does a Product Manager. Mention all the good and not so good decisions and their repercussions. Also, talk about what was your thought behind going with a particular solution/ decision. Next, say which decisions led to success and which led to failure.
How To Become A Product Manager
The first prerequisite of becoming a product manager is being fully aware of product management meaning. In addition to it, you must hold a bachelors or masters degree in product management or a similar field. However, what triumphs the qualifications is the skills possessed by an aspiring candidate. You should have the following skills to become a product manager:
- Critical thinking
- Problem solving skills
Product managers should also have comprehensive knowledge about product management fundamentals because recruiters hardly get lured by their qualifications and skills. So, to become a product manager, you need to be well-prepared for the interview round. Preparing the product manager interview questions is the first step toward passing an interview. So, here are some product manager interview questions often asked by recruiters.
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Why The Product Manager Interview Questions Matter
Many people approach an interview with a lets just see how it goes attitude. They think they can get a sense of the person and their fit for the role regardless of which direction the conversation may go.
Entering an interview unprepared is just as bad for the interviewer as the interviewee. You may luck into a deep and diverse discussion that provides a great sense of the candidate, but you may also have many uncomfortable minutes of silence when you struggle to come up with the next question.
And theres no assurance the dialogue will cover all the pertinent points unless the interviewer makes a concerted effort to get there. Thats why every interview should include the most relevant topics to ensure everythings covered.
While the specifics of the role and the candidates background may dictate which of these to include and which to skip, heres a set of basic categories of questions youll likely want to touch on:
- Strategic thinking
- Product management experience
- Other relevant experience
Dont worry that this will lead to a disjointed interview. Multitasking and context switching is essential to the job. If the interviewee cant hop from one area to another easily in an interview, theyre likely to struggle with that on the job. Now, lets review the eleven product manager interview questions to reveal whether a candidate is a good fit for your position.
Name The 3 Types Matrices Used To Manage Risk In A Project Using Information Taken From Pmbok If You Have 5 Projects Running Concurrently Describe A Single Matrix That Would Easily Show How Each Of Those Projects Were Doing
Why is an Agile Project Manager interview based on the PMBOK? That’s a really, really bad sign. 🙂Less
For the second question, I’d probably use either a cost/schedule variance chart… since you can’t assume the same budget or schedule for any of the projects, variance against plan would likely be the best way to go.Less
For both of these questions, I told them if there was a single correct answer, I didn’t know it…but I walked them through how I would handle each question.Less
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What Was Your Biggest Success
Questions PurposeThis question is a trap! It looks like a blank cheque to brag about yourself, but its not. Its not your biggest success theyre after its the biggest success youve delivered for the customer they want to hear about. Do you see the distinction?
How to AnswerDont talk about how amazing you are. That should come out organically in your answer. Tell the story about the pain you were trying to solve and its dire consequences for the user. Tell them about how your team collaboratively worked together to come up with a solution and how that solution solved that pain. Be proud of the team. Be proud of their efforts. And be proud of the positive change you made in the customers life. Thats the best kind of answer. It lets them know you are collaborative, driven, and passionate for the customer. Anything is else bragging, which puts your perceived importance above the team and the customer, which is not good.
Additional Product Manager Interview Resources
- Master The Product Manager Interview Playlist: Weve collected together our best talks on acing the Product Management interview, from a look behind the scenes of recruitment, to how to break into the industry. Check out the entire playlist here, or enjoy this sample from Googles Product Manager
- Proven Examples of Product Manager Interview Questions to Ask: We curated and listed all the questions an interviewer could ask you! But what about the questions YOU should ask during a Product Manager interview? Here we have listed 20 questions to ask at the end of the Product Management interview.
- The Interview Response Technique: If you are looking for a very useful preparation technique that can be deployed to emphasize your achievements in context, we recommend you to check the SAR method.
- Technical Product Manager Interview Questions: Lets be real! You cannot be a Product Manager at Google or Apple if you lack understanding of some specific technical topics. Check out the essential Technical Product Manager interview questions here.
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Describe Some Of The Most Important Inputs You Take Into Account When Crafting Your Product Roadmap Explain Why You Use Them
With this question, interviewers want you to provide key insight into the things you value the most when creating product roadmaps.
Recruiters understand just how instrumental product roadmaps are. Not only do they define the technology that will be used to build the product, but they also condition the development team’s workflow.
For that reason, figuring out how you piece together a product roadmap will let them know how good your product management skills are.
The best candidates know that the most important inputs are market-related, strategy-related, and technology-related. The key, however, is to know why these inputs are important.
For example, in the case of market-related inputs, product managers need to express how customers, prospects, competitors, and the target market all impact a product roadmap.
The same goes for strategy and technology: candidates must be able to show a clear link that shows why how inputs are directly related to product roadmaps and vice-versa.
Here are some more common product roadmap questions that recruiters may spring on you in a product manager interview:
2. Talk me through how you managed the roadmap for your previous product.
3. Describe how you communicate the product roadmap to all of the relevant teams at your company.
4. Create a roadmap for an imaginary product.
5. One of your highest paying customers demands a feature from you. This feature wasn’t included in the initial product roadmap. Describe how you will react.
How Technical Pm Answers Are Assessed
Technical PM questions assess a candidate’s:
- critical thinking skills,
- experience with various software tools,
- ability to define product features,
- general comfort operating under technical constraints.
There are many different technical questions you could be asked during your PM interviews. Usually, they are very open-ended or abstract.
Typically, they will be based on product design questions. The interviewer will ask you to dive deeper into the technical aspect of the design.
Don’t think that technical PM questions are the same thing as coding questions.
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What Is A Poorly
Any product that does not fulfill its purpose and leaves the user dissatisfied is a poorly designed product.
For e.g. ABC company launched a mobile phone with an alphabetically ordered keypad.
The phone was a major flop as mobile users are habitual of using QWERTY keypads. This led to constant confusion while texting, making it uncomfortable to use.
How Important Is Competitive Analysis To You As A Product Manager
Companies typically have competitors and an important duty of a product manager is to deliver competitive products. A good candidate would define competitive analysis and explain its importance in a product’s life cycle. What to look for in an answer:
- Experience conducting competitive analysis
- Understanding of the importance of competitive analysis
- Effective communication skills
“I think competitive analysis is an important aspect of product management. In my last previous roles, I analyzed an organization’s software to determine areas we could improve. I found that we could increase our page loading time to have a competitive advantage. Analyzing our competitor’s products also helped us discover better marketing strategies and reach more users.”
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Create A Product For Vr For The Disabled
Think about how the disabled interact with the world and understand the challenges they face. Working in a virtual environment presents challenges on its own as well. How does working in VR affect mobility and what pain points may arise?
You should also mention how you’ll work with the product development team to understand limitations of building features.
How Do You Set Goals For Your Team And How Do You Track These Goals
As Product Managers do not directly manage a team, they need to set project-specific long-term, mid-term, and short term goals. These goals can be divided into tasks for various teams involved at different stages of a product.
Product Managers are a connecting point between the development, design, marketing, sales team, and upper management. They need to work closely with the development team and also bring all these stakeholders on the same page.
They have to take important decisions about prioritizing the various tasks and goals and assign them to appropriate departments and team members. Using a collaboration tool can help in creating a well-defined product roadmap that is shared among all the stakeholders. These tools also make it easier for the Product Manager to create product-specific tasks for each team, and to track the progress of these teams.
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How Do You Align The Technical Team With The Product Vision And Overarching Goals Of The Company
Some recruiters might reserve this question for a technical product manager interview. However, most product manager interviewers tend to include this question in their interview process since it is more people management-related as opposed to technical.
With that in mind, the question invites candidates to touch on the strategies they use to unify the technical team with product strategy.
The nature of the question implies that fluid communication and frequent follow-ups will be crucial in this phase.
Candidates should refer to the importance of conducting as many meetings as necessary. In doing so, they must mention how important it is to sensitize the technical team and orient them on the product vision as well as the companys overarching goals.
The best candidates will also speak to the passive and active resistance that the technical team will display either before or during the development phase. You must mention how your meetings will help to reduce any type of resistance. Be sure to indicate that you will conduct ad-hoc meetings as needed in order to resolve specific concerns that one or more team members may have.
Here are some more technical product management-related questions that recruiters can ask:
3. Talk me through how you would write an algorithm to recommend friends to add.
4. Explain how you would write an algorithm to recommend contacts to add.
5. Describe how you would write an algorithm to recommend articles to a user.
How To Prevent Product Failure
Here, the interviewer is trying to analyze your skills and capabilities to prevent a product from failing and save the company from any big loss.
Tip 1: List down factors that can result in product failure.
Tip 2: Enlist some tips and techniques to prevent so from happening.
A product fails when it is not innovative, is poorly designed, offers bad user experience, and is over-priced. Product failure can be prevented by incorporating an innovative feature, designing a great product, offering a rich user experience, testing the samples, and setting the right price.
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What Do You Consider The Right Time To Release The Product
Some people believe that the product should not be released until they reach perfection, until all beta tests have been completed and everything works without the slightest chance of a failure.
The competitors do not sleep, however. Other companies also work and design new products, and they can sometimes act faster, and secure the coveted first place on a market with the new product.
Bearing this in mind, you should think carefully about the industry, and decide about a good answer to this question.
Take Notes While Your Interviewer Asks The Question
This is a crucial step before you answer a product management interview question. As the interviewer asks your interview question or lays out the parameters and constraints, be sure to actively listen to them.
Make notes of the critical points as they do so.
This part of the interview process may feel redundant if you already know how to answer a question. But slowing down and showing that you can listen to directions and process information effectively is equally valuable.
Take the time to get on the same page as your interviewer.
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