Product Sense Is Both Domain
As Stripe Product Lead Shreyas Doshi pointed out, a key element of product sense is domain knowledge. By familiarizing yourself with the common problems, solutions, constraints, and facts around a specific domain, you can make high-quality product decisions for 80% of the cases rather easily.
How about the remaining 20%?
Well, these are typically hard problems that require you to connect knowledge across different domains. In order to train yourself on doing so, you must apply first-principles thinking to comprehend why things work the way they are, rather than simply memorizing commonly-accepted beliefs. Over time, you will be able to mix and match domain knowledge and think outside of the box. This ability is often the key to unlock true, disruptive innovations.
Advanced Product Manager Interview Questions
Examples of Product Manager interview questions that some of the top tech companies ask candidates include:
|Think of a product you used today. What did you like about using it? What would you change?|
|Think of a product you hate to use. How would you improve it?|
|Please give an example of a tech trend to watch.|
|Give us your view on leadership. What makes a strong leader?|
|Think back to a time when you had a difficult problem to solve. How did you tackle it?|
|Have you ever made an unpopular decision on the job? What happened?|
|What innovation are you most proud of?|
|Think back to an example of a professional failure. What did you learn?|
|Explain your approach for improving X product?|
|Explain your approach to design X product for Y people?|
|Think of a real-world example of a competitive move a company has made recently. Give us your opinion on the move.|
|Define the concept of protocol.|
|What is typical page load time distribution on desktop, and how does it compare to mobile?|
|Choose any digital app or product. What would you do to improve it?|
|Whats your approach to optimizing the production process on a production chain?|
|Whats your approach to motivating users to return to use an app every single day?|
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.
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How Product Execution Answers Are Assessed
These kinds of interview questions have a large scope.
More than anything, your job in these interviews is to get the interviewer on the same page as you.
Explain product management concepts that you may take for granted and make it easy to follow your thought process.
You can expect each of them to assess your:
- attention to detail,
- and general technical knowledge.
What Are Three Interview Questions You Ask In A Product Management Interview
1. Leadership and DriveWho is the hardest person you ever worked with? What made the relationship difficult? How did you address that situation? If I called them up today, what would they say about your time together?
2. Product SenseFor example, how would you build commerce into Facebook?
- “Focus on the people problem first. Why would consumers buy and sell things on Facebook? Then they focus on why it is a good fit for our company given our mission and strategy. The most common mistakes are when people are too focused on the market size, and not the people problem and why our company can bring something unique to the table.
- Good answers usually look at what people are trying to do on the platform today and how we can extend that to a broader audience. This problem is also one that encourages whiteboarding and designing a solution.”
3. ExecutionLet’s say your biggest partner calls you upset that there is a 2 percent drop in their daily traffic. How would you go about figuring out what happened?
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Whats One Misconception Your Coworkers Have About You
Umbrella co-founder Sam Gerstenzang once wrote that its not the presence of weakness, but rather a failure to recognize it that usually holds people back and accordingly, his go-to interview question centers around self-awareness.
I’ve found this question tends to open up a candidate, he tells us. By asking for a misconception rather than something coworkers simply don’t know about you, the interviewer often receives a more important and revealing truth while also understanding how the candidate relates to their co-workers.
In Gerstenzangs experience, the misconception is often something a candidate wishes they had more or less of, which helps understand their underlying motivations. A less-than-great answer often reveals an underdeveloped sense of self or poor communication with co-workers, he says.
Asking about misconceptions is a powerful tool. It speaks to both your conception of yourself, and your understanding of how others perceive you both of which are critical.
Questions To Ask In A Product Manager Interview
At the end of a product manager interview, it is commonplace for the interviewer to ask if you have any questions for them. Showing up to the interview with some well-prepared questions is key to cracking the product manager interview, since it shows youve done research and are thinking critically about this position. These questions should be something that didnt come up in the product manager interview or in your research of the company.
3 examples of questions to ask in a product manager interview:
- What is your ambition for this product and how does it meet your company goals?
- What is the biggest challenge for a product manager at your company?
- What is the onboarding process like for a product manager here?
Product managers have a variety of skills and responsibilities, and product manager interview questions will likely cover a wide range. The best way to excel in a product manager interview is preparation.
Think about how you can demonstrate skills like leadership, communication, and flexibility in your product manager interview. Prepare some concrete examples of times youve used your skills and finish your pm interview with some questions for the interviewer.
Although product manager interview questions are meant to be challenging, the reward of managing a valuable product is worth the time and preparation it takes to outdo the interview.
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Senior Product Manager Interview Questions
Q: What will you do to keep your team on schedule?
Senior product manager interview questions will be more specific about your leadership, organization, and communication skills. This pm interview question will help the interviewer gauge your ability to organize your team and stick to deadlines.
Sample Answer: I would use weekly meetings to coordinate among the different team leads and decide which tasks should take priority. Communication is the most important part, and Id want my leads to prepare a daily list of tasks for their team. Ive used software in the past to keep everyone on track with deadline alerts.
Here are four more examples of senior product manager interview questions.
Become A Product Manager
Speak to a Learning Advisor to learn more about how our bootcamps and courses can help you become a Product Manager.
In order to ace a Product Manager interview, you need to be prepared for a range of interview questions. Although the hiring process will be different from one company to the next, you can expect that Hiring Managers will be looking to understand who you are as a candidate, your experience as a Product Manager, and what you can bring to their team.
You want to make sure that you are the right fit for the role, so there are a few steps you can take to get ready for your Product Manager interview process.
- Research the company and have a thorough understanding of its product/service. Employers may ask how you would improve their products.
- Review the results of your past work. Consider your accomplishments as a Product Manager and make notes about how many people used your product, the revenue you
You will be asked about your past experience, and employers will be eager to learn about the impact of your work.
The best way to prepare for your Product Manager interview is to practice, practice, practice.
Create an action plan and ask a friend or peer to do a mock interview with you and go over potential questions.
If possible, find an experienced Product Manager to go over interview questions with you. This will set you up for success, and help you prepare answers, no matter the type of question.
Product Strategy Interview Questions
Like product design interview questions, strategy questions are another critical component of the product manager interview.
- Amazon is launching free storage for photos. If you’re a Google PM for Photos, what would you do?Watch an expert answer to this interview question here.
- How would you monetize Facebook Dating?
Tell Me About A Time You Took Unexpected Initiative Follow
So it comes as no surprise that his go-to interview question helps him uncover those candidates who push the bounds of their own personal growth. Ive found that the best people on your team consistently take initiative, even when its not expected of them, says Rothenberg. But after they give one example of initiative in action, its critical to follow up by asking for another. I want to see a pattern, whether its at work, school, or any other place.
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Common Favorite Product Variations
Because of its popularity, interviewers can ask the favorite product question in multiple ways. Here are a few sample variations –
- Describe your favorite app. How will you improve it?
- Talk about your favorite non-tech product.
- Do you use product xyz? What is your favorite thing about it? How will you improve it?
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?|
How Would You Define A Cone Of Uncertainty
A cone of uncertainty is a model that predicts the amount and type of information needed in order to make decisions. The shape dictates when youre going through an iterative process, the more data collected at each step then the less need for additional rounds. This cone can be used in many different types of situations whether its project management or personal decision making depending on what level of detail you want to have down.
How Do I Deal With Conflicts Between Different Departments
The best way to handle these kinds of questions is to have a visible product roadmap, and be proactive about including all the disciplines in meetings.
To help encourage cooperation between different departments, you can try something like Whats your favorite part of our product? or asking for their opinion on how they would improve one aspect.
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What Product Sense Is And Isnt
We often hear how important Product Sense is to a product manager. Its like the sharp vision of an eagle, helping it locate prey from miles away. Thats why many companies use product sense as a key criterion to evaluate their PM candidates.
But what is product sense exactly?
Although its technically not wrong to call it the ability to understand what makes a product great, I find this definition a bit self-repeating and ambiguous. Since theres so much confusion around this term, even among many of my fellow PMs, I want to deep dive into what product sense is and isnt to address common misconceptions and offer some clarifications.
Product Management Skills Interviewers Look For
Interviewers try to observe how youre able to break down any given problem statement, and strategically plan your way forward. You can get better at this by reading about the frameworks under each category of questions and practising your answers accordingly.
To stand out, you must highlight some of the following skill-sets in your introduction to the interviewer:
- Business Intelligence Your ability to have a clear focus on the vision and key business objective
- Research skills Talk about your work in market research or customer data analysis to derive insights and translate them into product decisions.
- Technical skills Explain your knowledge about web-app/mobile-app ecosystems, APIs, UI/UX design etc.
- Interpersonal skills Mention your strengths or challenges youve overcome while managing all key stakeholders for your product
- Creativity Highlight any creative solutions you proposed that helped optimally achieve substantial business impact.
- Showcase your ability to describe your products core value most simply.
Now that you have clarity on the skill sets that matter in product management, lets take a look at how to demonstrate each of them while answering product manager question categories!
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Whats The Difference Between Product Owners And Product Managers
This question helps the interviewer know how familiar the candidate is with the tasks a product owner should perform in contrast with those of a product manager, even when both roles are product strategists in essence.
Product managers oversee the entire product and its lifecycle, from conception to production. Product owners are responsible for strategizing about what should be built next in order to meet customer needs and company goals.
Its important that these two roles work closely together, as they both have different but vital perspectives on products.
In many organizations, this is not a problem because there are separate teams with one person leading each team-but it can become an issue if you dont provide enough resources or lines of communication between them.
Its also worth mentioning that people can change roles depending on their skillset: certain developers may take up more responsibility than others when needed based on the project requirements. This does make things a bit trickier when determining who should be the Product Owner.
How Long Is Facebook Interview Process
The Facebook interview process, as described by Wikipedia, spans four to eight weeks and typically involves seven interviews. The interview process can change from time to time, but the basic structure remains the same.
The first step in the Facebook interview process is to submit a resume and cover letter.After that, you will be contacted for an interview. The interview process will consist of questions about your experience, skills, and passions. After the interview, you will be offered a job if you are successful.
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Tell Me About A Time You Really Screwed Something Up How Did You Handle It And How Did You Address The Mistake
In one fell swoop, this question tests for humility, self-reflection, problem-solving and communication skills, says Chad Dickerson, former Etsy CEO turned coach-to-other-CEOs at Reboot.
He notes that it also provides greater insight into scope of responsibility in prior roles. The bigger one’s scope, the bigger the mistakes and the more complex the remediation of those mistakes, says Dickerson.
Product Manager Interview Questions And Tips
Product management is an exciting opportunity that requires a range of skills, and acing a product manager interview is your first step to getting this exciting job.
Product managers need to juggle different aspects of a products development and launch, and beyond. They need to maximize the companys investment by balancing goals and cost, developing marketing strategies, and understanding the technology involved in development. They also focus on user experience, incorporating things like design and feedback.
All these elements are sure to come up in the product manager interview.
Product managers are indispensable to any company, which is why pm interview questions can be such a challenge.
Product managers follow the life of a product, and at times manage a large team. There are bound to be problems with any product, so interviewers will ask specific product manager questions to determine that you can minimize issues and maximize profit.
Brands rely on consumer experience, and a product managers attention to detail could support a popular product and bring in substantial income for their company. Interviewers will be selective, so its important to thoroughly prepare for your product manager interview.
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