Common Personal Product Manager Interview Questions: Personal
During the interview, employers are assessing how well a candidate would fit in with their company. The purpose behind these personal questions is for an employer to get to know a candidate better and learn about their work habits, passions, and interests.
This question type is an opportunity to show your passion for the company youre applying for while also giving some insight into who you are as a person and why youve chosen the PM career path.
Personal questions that interviewers may ask a Product Manager include:
Question: Think back to a product idea of yours that didnt come out as intended. Where did you go wrong, and what would you do differently?
Answer: As a Product Manager, you need to be a critical thinker. You have to know how to monitor performance and pivot on a dime, how to test and evaluate your design ideas, and how to conduct a thorough and unbiased post-mortem.
This question is an opportunity to show that you are capable of handling criticism and taking a clear-eyed critical look at your own work. Its also a chance to show that you take ownership of your mistakes and dont shift the blame to others. But you still want to make sure the project you choose to discuss wasnt a total disaster.
Instead, provide an example of when you realized through some form of analytic reflection that your initial concept wouldnt work and you made changes on the fly to fix it.
Segment : Internal Stakeholders Leverage
Working with different internal stakeholders is also a big piece of the product owner role. These following questions give recruiters an idea of the level of familiarity that candidates have in this aspect.
7. How do you deal with uncooperative stakeholders?
Understanding the product owners process includes determining how they deal with issues and roadblocks. Many times, product owners have to face uncooperative stakeholders, and that puts a bump in the discovery phase. While each person has a different way of dealing with these bumps, product owners always have to be diplomatic in the end.
The answer should involve a diplomatic solution where the product owner would continually engage with the stakeholders to win their confidence. The product owner should demonstrate the value of agile product development and continue discussions. If all else fails, they should seek help from the sponsors.
8. Do you have experience working in a Scrum Team?
A product owner should be able to distinguish different roles and teams involved in product development. Most product owners have experience working in a Scrum product team, but not all of them.
Scrum teams are generally composed of the product owner, Scrum Master, and developers. They work together on sprint measures, product requirements, and user stories. The development team’s work also includes coding, developing, and testing.
9. How do you explain your marketplace knowledge to the Scrum team?
Why Do You Want This Job And How Does It Fit Your Overall Career Trajectory
Lifers are pretty much extinct these days, so everyone is always plotting a long-term career path toward their ultimate job. This question gives you a sense of whether theyre thinking of this position as a short-term stepping stone or someplace theyll want to stay for a while because it complements their long-range plans. If they can identify the professional gaps this role will fill, it shows humility and drive. Keep an eye out for both of these critical traits. If they want your job in six months or dont have a compelling rationale for wanting the job, their resume can go to the bottom of the pile.
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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.
Competency : General Management Questions
The questions mainly relate to your educational background, experience, and knowledge. In this section, you will be asked about the strategy used for the organizations growth.
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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.
Example Question: How Would You Explain How Apis Work To Your Grandparents
A great way to answer a question like this is with an analogy: If I had to explain how APIs work to my grandparents, Id use a wedding analogy. For example, the couple requests a certain type of food that falls within a budget. It will be the job of the wedding planner to look for and communicate with various caterers and hire the one that is willing to cater the food at the right price. In this scenario, the event organizer acts as an API and performs multiple tasks like communicating with multiple entities, obtaining the needed data, and getting the job done.
Here are some other technical know-how questions you can ask:
- How would you explain Google Cloud to your uncle?
- What technologies would you use to build a live stream video service?
- How would you store large images in a database?
- How would you write a program to randomly shuffle an array of numbers?
- How would you take in an unsorted array with duplicates and return it with no duplicates?
- Note that this question is more geared towards a technical product manager role.
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What Changes Would You Make To Our Product What Would You Build
This is yet another direct question that recruiters enjoy asking product manager candidates. In line with the previous question, this one serves to provide the interviewer with clear insight on how you would impact the company in your role as a product manager. In this case, the recruiter aims to find out your initial thoughts on what type of product is best suited for the organization.
If the company does not yet have a product created, then you will have to explain your product proposal in its entirety. If the company already has a product, then you will have to dive into the features that you would either add or modify.
Answering this question requires in-depth knowledge of the company’s target market, objectives, and product line. For that reason, the response you will give will vary from company to company.
However, the important thing to remember is that you should touch on how the product will be unique and will add value to the company’s customers. You should also highlight how the product and its respective features will not pose a hassle for the company’s users in terms of its usability.
Here are some additional product management-related questions that recruiters tend to ask:
3. What do you believe are the qualities of a great product manager?
4. What aspects of product management do you enjoy the most? What do you dislike the most?
Tell Me About A Product That You Love
The crucial part of this question — or the answer to it — is not the product itself, but the candidate’s explanation of why they love that product.
This will tell the interviewer a lot about the candidates’ understanding of what’s behind good product development, and about their passion for the field.
Mentioning something they would change on the product is a plus. This demonstrates a sense of critical thinking that any good technical product manager must-have.
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The Manager Of Component ‘a’ Says His Functionality Is More Important Than That Of Component ‘b’ The Manager Of Component ‘b’ Says His Is More Important Than That Of Component ‘a’ You Can Only Implement One A Or B But Not Both
The key question to ask is definition of “IMPORTANT”. Is it important to the managers , important to the end consumer or important for Amazon. The first one needs to be thrown out immediately and the others must be quantified based on achievability, impact on end user and ROI.Less
I would say whichever is more valuable to customer & amp gives competitive advantage to Amazon.Less
In addition to the above suggestions, I would look at cost and time to market and then score both options. Then define value metrics. The cheapest and most valuable either as a technology sustainer or for customer wins. Given that it’s Amazon, customer value will hold up the highest as one of their corporate culture virtues.Less
Try to define “scale”, ask for clarifications. Are we trying to scale to more users or to more ad providers? Are there any current bottlenecks? What is the goal here? How about we improve the experience by providing more relevant ads? etc…Less
Its such a tricky question. I guess its by the analytic we use to know the page views and all..Less
I’d ask ‘why’?Something radically changed since the last time this was discussed. Understanding what it was that changed is critical to determining the best course of action. Adding manpower, reducing scope, working 24/7, or pushing back might all be reasonable solutions. By first understanding the need, you can then develop a solution.Less
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?|
Additional Personal Product Manager Interview Questions
|Tell us about yourself.|
|What aspects of the product management process excite you?|
|Why should we hire you?|
|Why do you want to work at our company?|
|What do you do for fun?|
|Where do you see your career in five years?|
|To be successful in a product management role, what do you need from your manager?|
|As a Product Manager, how do you define success?|
|Please tell us about the best idea youve ever had as a Product Manager? How about the worst?|
|What interests you about a product management role?|
|What is your top quality as a Product Manager?|
How Do You Get An Amazon Product Manager Interview
The most conventional way of getting an interview at Amazon is by applying through their careers site. You can apply by creating a profile, submitting your resume and cover letter, and expecting a response from the recruiter if there was a match.
Given the intense competition for this role and Amazon, you might want to take your career hunt a step further by networking with a recruiter. This can be a complicated and time-consuming process, so to do it the right way, follow our proven strategy to get interviews at any FAANG or high-profile company:
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What Does A Product Manager Do
Come in hot out of the gate and get them to share their understanding of the role. Since there is so much variety from one organization to the next, many people have different expectations for a product manager. This question helps ensure theyre applying for a job they want and wont be overwhelmed/frustrated/disappointed when they start working in your available position.
What Are Your Weaknesses
Another tricky one. The purpose of this question is to see how you view and evaluate yourself.
One the one hand, if you suggest you dont have any weaknesses, your interviewer will almost certainly see you as a lair, egotistical, or both.
Dont fall into the trap of trying to present a positive skill in disguise as a weakness, like I work too hard or I am a perfectionist. Any experienced interviewer will see through this in a heartbeat.
Additionally, revealing that Im not really a morning person and have been known to come in late raises immediate and obvious red flags.
The trick here is to respond realistically by mentioning a small, work related weakness and what you are doing or have done to overcome it.
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The Third Big Product Manager Interview Question: Conflict
Reviewing responses from other senior product leaders about their top Product Manager interview questions, most questions fell into three buckets:
Perhaps I should ask this question more directly given its importance to other product leaders! Managing conflict productively is near and dear to my heart, and I recommend the book Difficult Conversations to anyone interested in the topic. Here are different ways the conflict question is asked:
These three questions arent all the questions to ask, theyre just the most important ones according to this set of product leaders. Other interesting questions that came up include:
- If I spoke to your colleagues, what misperceptions about you would I hear? Catherine, Shutterstock
- Give me an example of a product you love or hate, and why Tomer, LinkedIn
- How do you articulate a future, and how do inspire your team to build that future? Wyatt, Hired
Common Behavioral Product Manager Interview Questions
The purpose behind behavioral questions is to see how job candidates handled past situations, since similar situations may arise in the future.
For this type of Product Manager interview questions, use a specific example, explain the steps you took, and share the outcome and results.
When asked for examples of conflict with more senior employees, be honest but make sure you ultimately speak in only a positive way about any colleagues, current or ex. Interviewers will be on the lookout for any signs of a difficult or stubborn personality, and any red flags here could be disqualifying.
Here is an example of a behavioral interview question for a Product Manager job:
Question: Describe a scenario that required you to say no to an idea or project.
Answer: Product Managers guide products from ideation to launch, and that means theyre involved in a great number of decisions and brainstorming sessions. So if youve been in the job for any amount of time, youll likely have a long list of suggestions, concepts, and even projects that youve had to shoot down as being ineffective, unrealistic, or unoriginal.
The key in answering this question in an interview, however, is showing that you can be tactful and encouraging even in saying no. Show that you can be flexible and open-minded.