Tuesday, November 28, 2023

Product Manager System Design Interview Questions

Don't Miss

Q How Will You Define A Good User Interface

10 System Design Interview Questions You’re Likely to be Asked (and How to Answer Them)

The advent of technology has transformed the way products are bought and sold. Therefore, a product manager needs to know about modern concepts like user interface, user experience, SEO practices, SEM, and others to integrate them into product management plans and market strategy.Experts define a user interface as a tool to monitor how the audience and different computer systems interact. Thus, a good interface is intelligent, intuitive, and simple.

Design An Umbrella For Kids

Business objective considerations:

  • If the user is a child, who is the customer? Parents? Schools or summer camps?

Possible user problems:

  • Difficulty holding an umbrella due to its weight and size of handle
  • Buttons and opening mechanisms pinch fingers
  • Difficulty opening and closing an umbrella with small hands
  • Easily confused with other umbrellas grouped together at school, on field trips, etc.

Possible solutions:

  • Smaller, ergonomic handle for small hands, which sizes up by age
  • Easy push-button for opening and closing
  • Customizable design and option to print childs name in visible spot

Additional Technical Product Manager Interview Questions

How do you define market opportunity in a business plan?
To build your product roadmap, what inputs do you use?
What is a product you cant live without? How would you improve it?
Please explain how you managed the roadmap for a product in the past.
Define machine learning.
Have you attained a product management certification?

Recommended Reading: Guru99 Manual Testing Interview Questions

How Would You Design A Parking Lot

For questions like these, interviewers are testing your skills in object-oriented design, to see whether you can apply technical thinking to physical objects.

Ask clarifying questions

  • Is this a multiple floor parking garage or a single level parking lot?
  • How many entry and exit points will be needed, and for what types of vehicles?
  • Are there monetary goals for this parking lot?

Design high-level

  • Possible use cases: customers parking and paying for their spot, admin managing the system, parking attendants maintaining the lot and helping customers, etc.
  • Possible classes of the system: ParkingLot, ParkingFloor, Account, ParkingTicket, Vehicle, etc.

Drill down on your design

  • How will you diagram specific activities?
  • What are the required enums, data types, and constants of the eventual code for the parking lot system?

Bring it all together

  • Will this system meet the requirements youve laid out with the interviewer in the beginning of the session?

For a full answer to this question, take a look at this text guide from Educative.io. You may also find this video walk-through from Think Software useful:

Dont Be Afraid To Close The Deal

Sharing customer interviews as part of your product design process The ...

Once the interview is over, the likelihood is both you and the interviewer have a good idea of where one another stand. As you stand up post interview and engage in a final handshake, be upfront. Confidence here can go a long way. If you believe you nailed the interview, be bold:Im going to be straight with you I think that went really well and I think Id be a great asset here. Where do I stand as of now?. Alternatively, if you dont think it went wellyou probably have your answer already.

Dont Miss: What Is Whiteboard Coding Interview

Read Also: Watch Interview With The Vampire Online Free

Practice By Yourself Or With Peers

In our experience, practicing by yourself is a great way to prepare for PM interviews. You can ask and answer questions out loud, to help you get a feel for the different types of PM interview questions. Practicing by yourself will help you perfect your step-by-step approach for each question type. It also gives you time to correct your early mistakes.

You can find free practice questions on articles like this one or on YouTube. Alternatively, if youre looking for a comprehensive database of PM interview questions as well as high quality answers from ex-FAANG interviewers, then check out our online product manager interview course.

If you have friends or peers who can do mock interviews with you, that’s a great option too. This can be especially helpful if your friend has experience with PM interviews, or is at least familiar with the process. You can also find peers to practice with on our PM mock interview platform.

In addition to practicing by yourself and with peers, it can be a huge advantage to do mock interviews with experienced PM interviewers.

How To Answer System Design Interview Questions

First and foremost, the system design interview is designed to evaluate your capability to produce technical solutions to abstract problems. As you can probably already tell, system design interview questions are meant to simulate the real-world problems candidates would tackle in their roles.

As such, they’re not designed with a specific correct answer, nor will hiring managers be looking for one. Instead, interviewers use these types of system design interview questions to evaluate how you think and approach solving complex technical problems.

You must explain the various options or paths a potential solution can take, along with the tradeoffs and drawbacks of each.

Believe it or not, system design interview rounds are usually incredibly influential on which level you are hired if you receive an offer.

Despite how influential these interview questions are, don’t be nervous! Instead, use this framework to ensure you answer the question as effectively as possible, both in practice and real life.

Also Check: What Are Questions They Ask In An Interview

Design An Alarm Clock

Business objective considerations:

  • Is it for a specific age group? Is it only to help people wake up, or also to set reminders or timers? Is this a physical or digital product?

Possible user problems:

  • Easy to sleep through or fall back asleep after alarms
  • Users frequently forget to set the alarm until they are already lying in bed
  • Sound disturbs others sleeping in the same room

Possible solutions:

  • Voice control to set alarm from bed
  • Puzzle or physical movement required to shut off alarm
  • Bluetooth connection to headphones or vibrating bracelet to wake up individual users

How Do You Communicate With Executive Leadership

The Product Design questions of a Product Manager Interview

Communication is an imperative skill for Product Managers. They need to convey project information to executive leadership, partners, teammates, and other stakeholders. The interviewer wants to know how effective you are as a communicator. Mention some of the points that you keep in mind while speaking to leadership and which make you a better communicator. Few examples of these skills are:

  • Be proactive: If there is a problem at hand, try finding a couple of solutions before you raise the issue in a stakeholder or leadership meeting. The issues will be better received if you include a potential approach plan in the discussion.
  • Be empathetic: Get into their shoes. The executives are like your customers. Think about what information they will require like project costs, risks, schedules, etc.
  • Keep it short and simple: Communicate the maximum information in minimal words. Whether it is email communication or a meeting, use short and crisp sentences and make the most of the executives precious time.

Also Check: How To Prepare For A Customer Service Interview

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.

Can You Name Some Metrics For Measuring System Performance

Interviewers may ask you this question to find out if you understand the different ways to measure system performance and the importance of these monitoring techniques. When you answer, explain how these metrics help ensure a fast and efficient system.

Example:”The three most common metrics used to measure a system’s performance are availability, latency and throughput. These metrics help system designers measure the speed of a user’s experience while interacting with a system. Availability shows us how often a system responds to a user in a ratio of Uptime vs. Downtime. Latency refers to the speed at which a message is delivered in milliseconds. Finally, throughput measures the amount of data that successfully travels through a system to a user in a specified time period. Throughput is typically calculated in bits per second.”

Recommended Reading: Identity Access Management Interview Questions

Questions About Experience And Background

Your interviewer or interviewing committee may also ask you about your experiences and background to help them understand your credentials. Questions they ask can include:

  • Tell us about your education level and experiences.

  • Have you ever completed product design training?

  • Do you consider yourself a lifelong learner and if so, why?

  • How long have you been working in the product design industry?

  • Do you enjoy working individually or collaboratively?

  • Have you ever held a design leadership role?

  • What skills do you believe you have earned from your educational and professional experiences?

  • Do you have any product design certifications?

  • How many professional experiences have you engaged in regarding product design?

  • When did you complete your education and how long have you worked in each of your previous positions?

Tell Me About A Product Feature That Didnt Work Out What Would You Do Differently Now

The Product Manager Interview (4th Edition)  InterviewSteps

If youre an ambitious product manager, its almost inevitable you will launch some duds. Thats why Riechers asks candidates to tell about a product feature that didnt pan out. What would you do differently now?

Heres Milos riff on the theme: How do you handle situations where things are not going smoothly? Lets dive into some examples and discuss.

Self-awareness is at the heart of a good response.We all make mistakes, Riechers said. How did they deal with them? Did they take responsibility for poor outcomes? How do they treat their teams? Do they have a bias toward action? What did they learn that makes them a better PM now than before the failure?

Haar, who has a similar question in his repertoire, said assigning blame is never the right approach. A bad answer to that question is, my work was great, but this other person screwed it up. I mean, for lots of reasons, not the least of which is a lack of self-awareness, thats not really an acceptable answer. But more importantly, as a product manager, youre often leading without authority, and thats why those relationships are so important.

You May Like: Amazon Data Engineering Interview Questions

Additional Situational Product Manager Interview Questions

Please recall a situation when a project went wrong. How did you regain control?
Please recall a situation in which you disagreed with a teammate. How did you resolve the conflict?
What is your leadership style or philosophy?
Do you have any experience trying to build or motivate a team?
Whats your approach to communicate your product strategy?
How do you communicate and gain buy-in on your roadmap from other team members?
Is consensus always your goal?
Whats your approach to dealing with customers and users?
Is there a difference between leadership and management?
As a new Product Manager, how do you establish yourself with development/engineering teams?

What Are System Design Interviews

System design interviews typically test the knowledge and design skills of professionals seeking an upper-level position in a technological field. In system design interviews, applicants answer broad questions by developing a prototype system using key components to outline a model before explaining their approach. Interviewers may also ask job candidates questions to determine their technical knowledge and experience. They are commonly used for roles like development manager, system engineer or technical program manager.

Recommended Reading: What Should You Say In An Interview

Faqs About The Pm Interview Process

Below are some of the most frequently asked questions about how to prepare for the PM interview.

How do I prepare for a product manager interview?

  • Step 1: Research the company you’re applying to and learn the product manager interview loop for that company.
  • Step 2: Choose one type of interview questions for that role .
  • Step 3: Review the most common interview questions. Create stories from your resume to prepare for your interview. Practice using the STAR method to answer each question.
  • Step 4: Compare your answers to the most popular answers to interview questions from people who landed the job.
  • Step 5: Move between interview question categories and repeat.

What makes a good PM interview?

Ultimately, your product manager interview will come down to three things.

  • Product Vision and Sense: How well are you able to envision future products to solve user pain points and needs?
  • Communication: Can you communicate your product ideas and vision to a product team and engineering team to execute?
  • Culture Fit: Do you align with the company’s vision and the ethos of its workers?
  • Is Product Manager a Technical Role?

    Depending on the company, your product management role may be technical. Companies like Google encourage a strong technical and coding background to succeed in their product management positions. However, many companies don’t require a technical background to lead technical teams.

    Is Product Management a Stressful Job?

    Study up on example PM interview questions

    What Are The Key Strengths That Make You A Great Fit For This Pm Role

    How to answer Product Design Questions – BEST Framework to follow!

    It is very common for hiring managers to ask about the candidates strengths in an interview. You can mention some of the vital core competencies for Product Managers. Additionally, you can also mention the soft skills or the emotional intelligence skills that make you stand out.

    Few competencies you can talk about are:

    • Team management
    • Defining and tracking project success metrics
    • Communication skills

    An ideal way to answer this question is to pick up a few competencies that you are good at then give an example of how you used those competencies at work.

    Recommended Reading: Facebook Engineering Manager Interview Prep

    How Would You Design A Social Media App

    For this question you’ll typically be asked to design a specific app, such as Twitter, Instagram, etc. For this example, well assume the interviewer asked you to design Twitter. Here are some considerations for answering this question:

    Ask clarifying questions

    • Is the interviewer looking for a design of the core features, or a high-level overview of the whole service?
    • What are the constraints of the system?
    • What are your assumptions?

    Design high-level

    • Back-of-the-envelope calculations: average KBs per tweet, size of new tweet content per month, read requests and tweets per second, etc.
    • High-level components: write, read, and search APIs types of databases SQL vs NoSQL etc

    Drill down on your design

    • Potential bottlenecks: adding a load balancer with multiple web servers, scalability issues, fanout service slowing down tweets and @replies, etc.
    • Components that you could dive into: how a user views the home timeline or posts a tweet, the intricacies of the database design, etc.

    Bring it all together

    • Consider: does the final design address the bottlenecks youve identified? Does it meet the goals you discussed at the beginning of the interview? Do you have any questions for the interviewer?

    For a full answer to this question, take a look at the video guide below from Success In Tech or this text guide from donnemartin on GitHub.

    Can You Share A Lesson From Your Last Product Launch

    As a Product Manager, each of your successful or failed product launches brings you a step closer to tried and tested methods. Your last product launch must have taught you some great lessons which you can discuss with the interviewer.

    Few examples of such lessons are:

    • Create an awesome team: It is not you but the team that decides the success or failure of the product. As a Product Manager, you are responsible for creating a great team. Finding out everyones strengths and utilizing them, fixing the weak link and taking tough decisions within the team are some important qualities needed in your job. With each product launch, you must be realizing the importance of having a perfect team that complements each other. Remember to highlight this in your interview.
    • Stay focused: With so many products and tasks in hand, it is human to sometimes lose focus or divert to other low priority tasks. The product launch might have reminded you how important it is to focus and not let negative self-talk affect you.
    • Embrace critical feedback: Constructive criticism when embraced can help you improve on your product. The product launch might have given you a chance to hear and ponder over the positive criticism and gives you a perspective to try and understand the problem from the users point of view.

    Recommended Reading: Spring Boot Interview Questions For 10 Years Experienced

    Top Product Manager Interview Questions And Answers

    Products are the companys lifeline, and product managers play a critical role in transforming an idea into a physical entity . Hence, the role of product managers is no less than that of the Chief Operating Officer of a company. They are the chief who critically examine and transform a product from an idea into a thing that holds the power to change the lives of their users.The sudden technological boom might have outshone other professions, but not product managers. Their work, from monitoring the market to representing the user, analyzing product management strategies to communicating with stakeholders and customers, cannot be automated. In fact, the current complexity of businesses is creating a pool of opportunities for skilled product managers who can tackle business risks and challenging situations.

    If you have extensive experience as a product manager, then now is your time to shine. And, for novice product managers, heres how to become a successful product manager with the right preparation.

    More articles

    Popular Articles