Sunday, January 29, 2023

Product Manager Technical Interview Questions

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Technical Knowledge Interview Questions

The Top 10 Product Manager Interview Questions (And How To Answer Them)

The purpose of these questions is to verify how far your technical knowledge goes. Some positions require less technical know-how while others have a strong focus on the development phase of the product.

If you are interviewing for a company with complex technical solutions, expect to hear several of these questions. Your interview will also have a strong focus on this type of interview question if you are interviewing for a Technical Product Manager position.

  • If you could redesign one of our products now, which one would it be? Why?
  • How have you previously integrated the development team with the product vision?
  • What would you say that separates a product averagely designed to a product exceptionally designed?
  • Our engineering team develops products using Agile Scrum methodology . How familiar are you with it?
  • How would you describe our product to an engineer that doesnt know the product?
  • Have you ever had to cut a product feature even if it would make your product more usable, for priority reasons? How did you convey this to your developing team?
  • How do you see the importance of the engineering team as a stakeholder?
  • Can you tell me about a technical solution that you designed with engineers that became a commercial product?
  • How do you decide what is not worth it to build?
  • How do you integrate quality assurance procedures into the products development?
  • What strategies do you use to translate strategy aspects into technical requirements?

How To Prepare For Product Sense Questions

Heres a step-wise framework you should follow to answer such questions effectively.

  • Describe your understanding of the product and use clarifying questions to define the scope of the question.Some commonly asked clarifying questions that you can consider:1. Do I need to focus on any demographic or user groups?2. What is the goal/objective of the task? Common goals include usage, revenue, engagement, user experience etc.3. Should I look at any specific platforms e.g. mobile, desktop etc?
  • State the Goal If your interviewer hasnt mentioned the goal yet, use your logical reasoning to select a goal for the product, explain why you are choosing it
  • Define your Target User Groups Segment your user groups well and describe what you mean by stating their distinctive behaviour
  • Select the most relevant user group Give proper reasoning for selecting one user group over the other
  • Highlight users pain points Describe the user journey and communicate the users pain points clearly so that the interviewer understands the problems you are planning to solve
  • Prioritise the pain point that you would like to address first State the impact of the pain point youve selected
  • List at least 4-5 solutions to solve it Get creative! Try to have a mixed bag of feasible and out-of-the-box solution ideas
  • Plan your roadmap Demonstrate your ability to plan your feature release
  • Define success metrics to track your solution List down 1 primary and 2 secondary metrics that you would track
  • Ace The Technical Product Manager Interview With Exponent

    Hopefully, our list of the top technical product manager interview questions helped give you a better idea of what to expect.

    But why stop there?

    At Exponent, we have dozens of interview prep resources to help you ace your technical product management interviews.

    Join thousands of other product managers, software engineers, program managers, and more that have used Exponent to land their dream jobs in tech.

    Study up on example product manager interview questions

    Brush up on your strategy with a list of the best PM books

    Read through our company-specific Product Management interview guides

    Practice your behavioral and product sense skills with our interview practice tool.

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    What Do You Consider When Creating Product Roadmaps

    Product managers are building and improving the future. The product roadmap is a strategic action plan defining the product OKRs, features, positioning, schedule, and contributors needed to build and ship a product. This is where youll walk through a high-level summary of what youll be accountable for.

    If youre struggling with getting a practice response started, ask yourself this: What is the problem were trying to solve and how are we going to get there?

    Check out ClickUps product management glossary to brush up on relevant terms or spark inspiration for your response!

    Master Your Technical Product Manager Interview Questions

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    So there you have it: some of the questions you are bound to get as you interview for Technical Product Manager positions. The best thing you can do apart from preparing for specific technical questions is to continue to develop your skills and technical expertise in the product you are interested in.

    For more help with interview questions and general preparation to land you the Technical Product role of your dreams, definitely check out Product Gyms programs further: you can get in touch with them here to learn more.

    Samidha Visai

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    Describe Your Process To Improve A Declining Metric

    Product managers have a responsibility to optimize the teams performance. So its important to know if youre meeting, exceeding, or not yet reaching the product vision and customer needs. Hiring managers want to know product metrics youve had an active part in nurturing.

    First, give the hiring manager context to the metric about why it matters. Then, detail your data analysis process. Here are a few examples of product metrics to answer this interview question:

    • Daily active user and monthly active user count
    • Monthly Recurring Revenue

    Top 3 Product Manager Interview Questions

    Now that you have a winning strategy, its time to take the next step. By reviewing some product manager interview questions and answers, you can harness what youve learned and see how to put it into practice. That way, you can formulate your own amazing responses, using a tried-and-true approach that has the potential to impress.

    Here are the top three product manager interview questions you might encounter and examples for how to tackle them.

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    What To Expect From A Product Manager Job Interview Process

    Most product manager job interviews are at least two weeks long. Most companies organize their interview process in five stages:

    • On-site interviews

    The phone screens purpose is to filter the candidates to select who has the minimum product management requirements to perform the job. These short interviews are held by human resources team members. This person will ask general questions about your background and your expectations for the job.

    If you seem to be the right fit, you will go through a video interview likely with your potential manager on the job. At this stage, the interviewer will look for more job-specific knowledge besides general background questions.

    The next phase of the interview process tends to be an assignment. The intent of this assignment is to evaluate your ability to materialize requests and deliver high-quality projects within a deadline.

    If your assignment meets the standards that the team is looking for, you get the chance to spend a few hours at the companys office to be interviewed by a few people. This phase is the most decisive part of the process. During these interviews, you will be asked every sort of question from basic background questions to complex technical questions.

    And guess what? The more prepared you are, the better your chances to demonstrate confidence in your answers.

    Strategies & Examples For Execution Questions

    How to Answer Technical Product Manager Interview Questions on Tools & Methodologies

    The goal of execution questions in the product manager interview is to reveal to the interviewer how the candidate identifies and prioritizes opportunities for the products. These questions are asked to find out how the candidate uses their resources, develops roadmaps and KPIs, and how they can use data to build better experiences.

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    As A Product Owner What Is Your Relation With Stakeholders

    Stakeholders are any groups or individuals that have a significant interest in the product. Product owners typically work closely with stakeholders, gathering feedback and keeping them informed about progress on their project.

    Stakeholders can be internal to an organization or external . The best way for a product owner to build relationships with stakeholders is by building trust over time through providing consistent updates on work status as well as soliciting regular feedback from those involved.

    What Analytics Tools And Key Performance Indicators Do You Use To Assess Product Design

    Product managers often evaluate their development efforts by using KPIs and analytics tools. By using such tools, product teams increase customer satisfaction and boost performance. By asking this question, interviewers gauge your familiarity with analytics tools in terms of usability and the ability to understand user behaviour and make informed decisions.

    Example:”I have experience with A/B testing, data visualisation and segmentation in my last role, where I used analytical tools like Google Analytics and Quantum Metric to analyse user activity and customer behaviour. I have also used key KPI tools to monitor session duration, bounce rate, event action and exit rates to align product design and business metrics.”

    Related:Customer Satisfaction: How To Measure And Tips For Improvement

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    What Are Some Important Skills A Product Owner Should Have

    The Product Owner typically is the person who has ultimate responsibility for a product and sets its broad direction. The Product Owner role can be supported by one or more Product Managers.

    Some of the technical skills and product owner should have are:

    • Understanding how products create customer value
    • Managing relationships with key customers in order to understand market needs/requirements better
    • Ability to communicate both internally and externally about what work is being done and why its important
    • Guiding cross-functional teams through development iterations including user research, design thinking & testing, prototyping, engineering implementation and QA cycles
    • Excellent verbal communication skills so that they can represent the product and respond to other stakeholders

    Books For Product Manager Interview Prep

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    • 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.

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    How To Answer Product Manager Interview Questions

    Alright, we know that youre here for example product manager interview questions and answers, and we promise were getting to that. But thats really not the best place to start, anyway. Instead, lets talk about strategy.

    Having a solid interview strategy makes a difference. It gives you a process to fall back on, making it easier to answer even an unexpected question.

    Lets face facts theres always a chance a hiring manager will catch you off guard. In fact, some try to do it on purpose, asking outlandish questions that no one in their right mind would ever predict.

    So, how do you develop that winning approach? By embracing proper research and technique.

    Research lets you learn details that can help you stand out. While the hiring manager is probably going to ask you open interview questions, they are actually trying to find out if you have skill X or trait Y. They arent just going to ask you that directly because yes and no questions arent effective for getting to know what candidates genuinely bring to the table.

    Start by reviewing the product manager job description.

    If you keep seeing the same skills or traits repeated throughout the posting, those are obviously important to the company. They are there for a reason after all. You need to show the hiring manager in your interview that you possess these skills!

    What Is A Good Course Of Action When You Cant Control The Product Backlog

    It is important for the Product Owner to be able to control what goes in and out of the backlog. That being said, if a change happens that cant be controlled , its necessary to react accordingly re-prioritizing high-priority items and removing low priority ones which will no longer make any sense.

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    What Qualities Make A Product Great

    This question is a favorite among recruiters whenever theyre scouting for product managers. This is because the answer to this question provides them with insight into how you view product design and development from a general standpoint. It also lets them know more about the possible design features and modifications that you may implement in their own products. Most of all, this product manager interview question is one of those that will tell a recruiter how much you know about creating great products.

    For that reason, prospective product managers need to respond to this question with utmost precision. Granted, there is no hard and fast rule to design a great product. After all, each product is different and will have its own unique set of features.

    However, when responding to this question, you must state that there are universal elements that characterize products that perform well. A product must:

    • Have a unique value proposition.
    • Solve a problem experienced by a given target market.
    • Be simple and easy to understand.
    • Allow users to leverage it in an efficient and effective way.

    Whats The Difference Between A Product Owner And A Scrum Master

    Technical Product Manager Interview: How to Prep for a Technical Interview with a Software Engineer

    A product owner is accountable for the success of a product, and they are in charge of making decisions on behalf of stakeholders.

    Scrum Masters are responsible for guiding teams through daily stand-ups, sprint demos, and retrospectives to ensure that goals are met.

    A Product Owner should always be thinking about what the company needs from them so as not to make any bad mistakes or wrong decisions that could endanger their job security.

    On the other hand, the Scrum teams job is to make sure that the team completes tasks and accomplishes goals. Some of the professional Scrum masters responsibilities are:

    • Ensuring that the team has enough time to complete tasks
    • Dealing with interpersonal conflicts between team members.
    • Helping the team process any impediments that they might be facing.
    • Helping the team to complete tasks and succeed in goal completion.

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    Question : How Would You Improve X Product

    Another product design question, this one assesses how well you can analyze an existing products features and change them to better meet user needs.

    Below is an abbreviated sample answer to this question, using the BUS framework, same as question 1 above. For the complete answer and an explanation of the framework, take a look at our guide to product improvement questions.

    Sample answer: How would you improve Facebook?

    Business objective

    First, clarify the target user and the specific product. Assume here that the interviewer wants you to improve Facebooks Ads Manager, and that the business objective is to grow the conversion rate from registered to active users amongst small businesses.

    User problems

    Brainstorm typical problems small businesses face using Facebook Ads:

  • Users might not have run ads before and are unsure where to start
  • Users might be overwhelmed by all the customization options offered by the Ads Manager and not have enough time to learn it all
  • It makes sense to prioritize solving problems that will let users launch an ad and see results as quickly as possible. Therefore, focus on problem two.

    Solutions

    Here are some solutions which could help solve problem two:

  • Create a custom onboarding experience to guide small business users through creating a first simple ad
  • Create a simpler and separate version of the Ads Manager with less granular controls but thats much easier to use
  • Assume youve discussed with the interviewer and chosen option b.

    What Is It About Our Product That Excites You

    Keep in mind that the interviewer might choose to ask this question right in the beginning .

    Solid preparation is the mark of a strong candidate.

    If they dont know the product theyd be working on, its going to look bad.

    In case theyre not aware of the project theyre being interviewed for, they should at least do some research about their potential employer.

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    How Does Your Role Differ From A Typical Product Manager

    As you can probably tell, things are getting a bit more specific at this point.

    The interviewer isnt looking for an accurate response or a textbook definition.

    Ideally speaking, the candidates answer shouldnt reflect that theyd restrict themselves to the technical side of things .

    Sure, they can list down some of the main responsibilities, but they should also understand that during tight deadlines and intense phases, everyone ends up doing everything.

    This is their chance to step up and show that theyd be willing to go above and beyond the call of duty, and assume additional responsibilities of product management, which are usually not a part of the job description.

    How Do You Determine When A Product Is Well

    How to design interview form template

    People have different views on what a well-designed product is. By asking this question, you can determine whether a candidate prioritizes the factors you believe are important for every product. What to look for in an answer:

    • A logical definition of a well-designed product
    • Explanation of their answer
    • Effective communication skills

    Example:

    A well-designed product is simple, functional and beginner-friendly. It must deliver on its promises, and users must be able to use it without having to read manuals. It must also meet stakeholders goals before its launch and be environmentally friendly.

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