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Questions To Ask Product Managers In An Interview

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What Is One Of Your Favorite Products And How Would You Improve It

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

Product managers need to be passionate about products.

But more important than passion for products themselves is a passionate pursuit of endless improvement, even for products they love.

What youre looking for is a candidate who has equal parts passion and critical thinking, who recognizes all the best parts of the product yet can still find flaws and room for growth.

What Are Your Strengths

When a candidate performs well in phase one, Haar said, they proceed to a meeting with cross-functional teams to assess their working style and alignment with the companys culture. This is generally followed by a third interview in which applicants are asked to perform exercises with engineers and designers on a whiteboard. What is their problem-solving approach? Can they draw and test assumptions?

During the process, candidates are likely to have an opportunity to share their strengths. At some companies, this might be put as bluntly as, Youve got X years of core product experience. What might you suggest as your key strengths?

In a candidates response, Riechers wants to see evidence of where they excel, but also what are uniquely going to add at Square to make not only team but the entire organization better?

Product Improvement Example Questions

Sometimes in large companies, improving existing products will be more important than launching new ones. If you’re targeting a specific company, then it’s a great idea to prepare answers for that company’s products.

Example questions: Product improvement

  • How would you improve Facebook?
  • How would you improve Google Pay?
  • How would you improve coffee machines used in offices?
  • How would you improve throughput at an airport?
  • How would you improve AirBnb?
  • How would you improve Dropbox?
  • How would you improve Netflix?
  • How would you improve Reddit?
  • How would you improve LinkedIn’s user profile page?
  • How would you improve engagement in Trello?
  • How would you improve Google Home?
  • How would you improve Google Image search?
  • How would you improve the NYC transit system?
  • Pick a Google product. How would you improve it?
  • Pick your favorite website. How would you improve it?

Here’s our guide to answering product improvement questions. Right, there’s one more type of design question…

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As A Product Manager How Would You Enable Effective Communication With The Engineering Team

As a product manager, I would make sure that I put across the vision of the product clearly along with a detailed market scenario and limitations.

For effective communication, I would:

  • Make data-driven decisions to avoid disagreement on the product.
  • Communicate challenges at hand and let the engineering team do the problem-solving.
  • Ensure clear and frequent communication with the engineering team
  • Help in resolving product-related issues to make it easier for the engineering team.
  • What Do You Understand By A Product Manager

    Things Product Manager Candidates Should Ask During an Interview ...

    This is one of the basic product manager interview questions and a simple answer talks about the role of product managers throughout the product lifecycle.

    Product managers possess product expertise and take decisions based on innovation, strategy and market conditions.

    They are a part of product development from the conception of the idea through a products launch and even beyond.

    Product managers know the why, when and what of the product and lead cross-functional team activities for its development.

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    Tell Me About A Time You Had To Prioritize Tasks

    Between internal demands and external feature requests, product managers are constantly juggling product priorities.

    The product manager candidates answer to this question will tell you:

    • If they have the skills to do the job. Youre not just asking them if they do youre taking it a step further by asking them to tell you about a time where they have demonstrated it.
    • What their working style is. Does it align with what youre looking for?

    Ideally, your product manager candidate will tell you about a time they had to prioritize product-related tasks. But its OK if they talk about a time they juggled tasks in other contexts. Prioritization is a transferable skill.

    Whats Your Biggest Failure As A Product Manager And Why Did It Happen

    This question has two benefits. First, it gets them to look back and provide critical thinking about why something went awry, which is helpful in a post-mortem situation. But what they select as their failure also tells you a little about them and how broad and developed their sense of ownership is.

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    How Would You Redesign Our Product

    To redesign the product, I would build a strategic roadmapI would start with understanding what the product lacks and needs improvement. To determine that, I would communicate with customers, engineers, and other stakeholders.The next step would be to retain and build features that are unique and make the product easy to use. The idea is to make the product innovative and reduce variety so that it does its core function effectively.I would also try to make it cost-effective in order to multiply sales & revenues without hampering the users satisfaction.

    How Do You Monitor Performance And Success

    PRODUCT MANAGER Interview Questions & Answers! (Interview TIPS, Strategies Sample ANSWERS!)
    • Retention, attrition, churn, customer lifetime value: Track the movement or flow of customers
    • Customer counts: Current customer base
    • Velocity, time to revenue, onboarding times: Looking to accelerate revenue recognition and customer adoption
    • Understanding the cost basis on which to calculate profitability
    • Net promoter score or customer satisfaction : Subjective analysis of customer feedback
    • Number of users per feature or transaction volumes: Can track feature importance for prioritizing sprints, and can highlight value for marketing or competitive positioning
    • Time to execute: Records of time that functions take to perform, possibly indicating infrastructure or complex calculations which will result in customer complaints for poor performance
    • On-time delivery: Managing the roadmap and creating credibilitythe integrity of the team will depend on delivering as expected, on-time
    • Team velocity: Monitoring team performance against sprint calculations using story points
    • Resource availability: Monitoring critical resource availability and planning appropriately for coverage
    • Support tickets and escalations: Monitoring the quality of the released product
    • Testing or QA: Monitoring the quality of the code going into test

    As a follow up, ask them what they did when they found a KPI that was not moving in the right direction. Listen for an action plan that would include common sense root cause analysis, and some creative thinking to solve for an unexpected KPI.

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    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.

    That said, the best candidates will make mention of some of the most popular management apps out there. These include Asana, Monday.com, Trello, Bamboo HR, and Zoho, among others.

    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.

    What Aspects Of Product Management Do You Find The Most And Least Exciting

    The most exciting thing about being a product manager is that I get to build products from ideas and impact a large number of people.

    The least exciting thing for me would be when innovation is on a standstill and I have to work in maintenance mode only as that would limit development and innovation.

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    What Are The Specific Differences Between A Project Manager And A Product Manager

    This is a super important product manager interview questions. Whoever you hire to fill this role needs to have a clear understanding of the difference between project management and product management.

    A project manager drives key day-to-day activities and ensures various teams in different departments are executing effectively and hitting deadlines.

    And while a product manager is partially responsible for the same things, theyre mainly focused on the design, functionality, and performance of the product being created, and ensuring the end product aligns with customer needs and desires.

    What Is A Good User Interface For A Product

    33 Questions Smart Product Managers Ask In Job Interviews

    While this question may be more common in the tech industry, you may be asked a variation of it in product management interviews. Here, the interviewer wants to know what you prioritize as a product manager and what you think matters to users. While your specific answer may vary from industry to industry, there are some key principles to keep in mind while answering this question.

    Broadly, your answer may look something like: A good user experience is generally made up of functionality, simplicity, and ease of use. Products should, first and foremost, address customer needs. They should also be easy to understand and navigate, and their look and feel should be consistent and identifiable with the companys brand.

    Whats more, you can cite some examples of products that you think excel in providing an excellent interface and achieving business goals for the company behind them. While the iPhone is one famous example, there are many smaller examples that you can discuss. If you can share direct experience, this is even better. You can also show off your product development work from a boot camp and provide examples of key pitfalls you will strive to avoid in a product management position.

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    How Did You Prioritize What To Work On For A Product You Owned

    Riechers is hardly alone in viewing workflow prioritization as a crucial skill set for PMs to demonstrate its a point echoed by several sources who say backlogs can quickly become graveyards for good ideas.

    There is no right way to answer Riechers standard question on the subject, which is this: For a product you owned, how did you prioritize what you worked on? Rather, a thoughtful response will show a candidate is aware of useful prioritization tools, such as the Three Feature Buckets framework, and applies a data-driven mindset to produce results.

    What Questions Should You Ask Your Product Manager Interviewers

    BY Kenton KivestuON JULY 1, 2019

    Smart candidates know they need to prepare thoroughly for their product management interviews. However, most candidates focus their prep exclusively on answering questions and completely overlook the importance of preparing questions to ask their interviewers. In this post, I look at the value of asking great questions, cover a few strong sample questions and suggest some exercises to help you generate your own insightful questions.

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    Whats One Of Your Favorite Products And Whats Something Youd Change About It

    This question tells you about what they value. Asking your interviewee what they would change identifies where their initial instinct takes them. Is it usability? Appearance? Technical? Endurance? This question flips it on its head and asks them to think critically and find a flaw in something they love. Its a particularly relevant exercise because we often fall in love with our products but need to keep finding ways to improve them.

    Questions About Experience And Background

    15 Common Technical Product Manager Interview Questions

    Interviewers ask these background and experience questions to learn about your history in product management. Your answers can tell them about the kinds of situations you’ve encountered and how you’ve applied your technical knowledge in the workplace. Some experience and background questions may include:

    • Describe a tough project you’ve completed and what made it challenging.

    • Tell us about a time you had a team conflict and how you resolved it.

    • Describe a typical day in your current technical product manager role.

    • What is the greatest advantage of having a technical background as a product manager?

    • How do you work with product engineers in your current role?

    • How does a product manager support business development?

    • What is your approach to hiring employees for the product development team?

    • How do you get your team to agree on a production schedule?

    • How often do you hold team meetings in your current position?

    • Describe a time when you launched a product in direct competition with another and how you distinguished it from that other product.

    Related:What Is Technical Project Management?

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    Product Manager Interview Questions And Answers

    Max 8min read

    Youve made a good impression on your application. Now its time to prepare for the next step: the product manager interview questions!

    There is no substitute for interview preparation, but that doesnt mean it has to be a time-consuming process. Between nervousness and excitement, the best thing you can do for your product manager interview is to show up well-prepared.

    Customize the to organize your thoughts and responses while you read through this guide!

    How Do You Control And Avoid Scope Creep

    Two of the scariest words in the project world are scope creep. When the feature set keeps growing, and stakeholders move the target over and over, any product development project is more likely to fail. Budgets will spiral out of control, or the requirements become so complex they simply wont fit together. Its a nightmare in the making.

    Many hiring managers want to make sure that candidates have strategies for keeping scope creep at bay, so you should be ready to showcase how you make that happen.

    EXAMPLE ANSWER:

    If a request is out of scope and would have a significant impact on the timeline or budget, I let the person asking for the feature addition that it doesnt fall into scope. I outline the overall impact the new request could have, including timeline delays, budget implications, and risk increases. Often, scope creep puts projects in jeopardy, and I would make that clear in a professional manner. Then, I would provide additional information about how they can have their request assessed in the future, potentially allowing it to be added to a future project.

    MIKE’S TIP:

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    Product Manager Interview Questions To Know In 2022

    Product management is an excellent profession with significant room for growth and upward mobility. From the tech industry to a range of businesses looking for a new and integrated approach to branding and development, companies are looking to hire knowledgeable and energetic product managers. Product managers often come from a variety of backgrounds in the workforce, mobilizing their strengths in a new and promising career. If you are wondering how to become a product manager, you need the skills, training, and confidence to succeed and the ability to demonstrate those traits in project management job interviews.

    + Product Manager Interview Questions And Answers

    The PM Interview

    The Product market has evolved manifold in the last decade and the ever-increasing need for innovation and technology has shifted the focus towards developing unique products that stand out, leading to a high demand for product managers.

    While landing a product manager job is no easy feat, we are here to help you take the first step. Here are 34 Product manager interview questions to prepare you for your next interview. These interview questions are divided into:

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    What Is The Interviewer Looking For

    For product improvement or design questions, the interviewer is looking for 6 primary aspects:

    • Goal Orientation Understand and define the objective before you start answering
    • User empathy Think deeply about target user personas and their pain-points
    • Prioritisation Use sound judgement to prioritise competing use-cases and communicate them
    • Creativity Unique ideas for solutions are given brownie-points
    • Analytical Mindset Identify metrics to track the success or failure of proposed solutions
    • Critique your solutions by identifying potential reasons for failures or gaps
    • Leadership Lay down an implementation plan and explain your reasoning behind it

    Metric Definition Example Questions

    Metric definition questions focus on your ability to define metrics that provide clarity on the health of a product or feature. There are many different metrics you could be tracking . Your interviewers will be interested in the process that you use to select metrics, and whether you are able to identify the most important ones.

    Example questions: Metric definition

    • What metrics would you use to determine success for the Facebook Newsfeed?
    • What metrics did you use to measure the successful launch of your product?
    • What metrics would you use to measure the success of Facebooks Save Item feature?
    • How would you measure the success of the new YouTube Player UI?
    • What analysis would you use to understand if we should increase the price of an Amazon Prime Membership?
    • How would you determine the negative value of an abusive posting?
    • Imagine you are the PM of the Facebook Newsfeed how would you measure retention?
    • How would you determine post ranking in the Facebook Newsfeed?
    • Tell me what metrics you would look at as a product manager for Instagram ads
    • What are the things that Netflix should measure and analyze on a daily basis?
    • How would you measure the success of Apple’s WWDC event?

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    Expert Tips And Resources For Acing The Product Management Interview

    The better you prepare for the interviews, the better your chances are for acing the interview no matter if you are the interviewer or the candidate. If you have the time, consider holding mock interviews with colleagues or other product managers.

    If youre looking for more tips and insights, check out these past interviewers from expert product managers:

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