List Of Product Manager Interview Questions From Top Companies
Examples of Product Manager interview questions that some of the top tech companies ask candidates include:
- Pick a product that you used this morning and tell me why you like it.
- Pick a product you hate and tell me how you would improve it.
- Which tech trend are you following at the moment?
- What is your take on leadership?
- Tell me about a time you had a difficult problem to solve.
- Tell me about an unpopular decision you made on the job.
- Tell me about your greatest innovation.
- What is something that you learned from a failure?
- How would you improve X product?
- How would you design X product for Y people?
- Tell me about a competitive move by a company in the past six months and what you think about it.
- Explain the concept of protocol to a four-year-old child using an ice cream store as an analogy.
- Describe a typical page load time distribution on desktop. What about on mobile?
- Pick an app or product. How would you improve it?
- Take any production chain. How would you optimize the production process?
- How would you motivate users to use an app every single day for a month?
Behavioral Questions For Product Manager Interviews
Apart from the screening and technical questions, the interviewers will also ask you behavioral questions. Answers to these questions help them o understand how youd act in various work related situations. They help them to understand your personality and attitude to work, and they can often decide the winner in an interview. To typical behavioral questions belong:
- Describe a time when you struggled to communicate something to your boss, colleague, or to a customer. How did you manage to get your message over?
- Tell us about a time when you went above and beyond.
- Give an example of a time you showed initiative at work.
- Describe the biggest failure of your professional career.
- Tell me about a time you had to comply with a policy or procedure that you did not agree with.
- When you worked on multiple projects , how did you prioritize?
- Describe a conflict you had with your colleague.
- Describe a time when you did not know how to solve a problem. What did you do?
- Tell me about a time when you were overwhelmed with work.
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General Product Management Knowledge Interview Questions
With these product management questions, the interviewer will start getting an idea of how your knowledge can benefit the company. They will analyze whether your previous experiences have qualified you for the position at stake.
Expect to hear these questions in any stage of the interview process and for any product position you are applying for — entry-level to executive positions.
- What differentiates you as a product manager?
- What are the qualities of the best product managers you know?
- How do you create, implement, and product projects? And how do you measure its success?
- What resources do you use to obtain product management knowledge?
- Can you tell me about a product that you owned from the vision ideation to launch?
- How did you impact your previous company as a product manager?
- What was your biggest mistake as a product manager?
- What aspects of product management do you find the most exciting?
- How do you balance gut decisions with the use of data?
- What aspects of product management do you find the least interesting?
- What was the most challenging problem that you faced as a product manager?
- Think of a product that you use regularly. How would you improve it and why?
- How do you define an excellent user experience?
- What is one improvement you would implement for our product?
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List Of Product Manager Interview Questions: Personal Questions
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:
When Do You Think Is The Right Time To Cut The Corners And Launch The Product
Many people fail to decide when it is the right time to move towards the product launch. Here, the interviewer is trying to look into your efficiency and decision-making capabilities.
Tip 1: Use your past experiences to offer a plausible answer.
Tip 2: Try to understand what the interviewer is expecting.
I think the right time to cut corners and open the doors for a product launch is when the deadline has been long passed, and the team has taken more than allocated time for product development. It is also fine to launch a product when the prototype is ready and requires market feedback for further development. However, it is important to make sure that the product is ready for launch.
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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:
Product Manager Interview: The Failure Question
Ive found that no matter what, part of the product manager interview process involves asking the failure question to prospective candidates.
The popular failure question usually looks like the following:
Tell me about a time when you failed.
Its a daunting question, especially if youre not used to interviewing as a product manager!
In the past, whenever I heard this question, I went immediately on the defensive. To me, it felt like the interviewer was out to get me.
But now that Ive been on the other side of the interview process as an interviewer, I finally understand why employers ask this thorny question about failure.
So, let me first share with you the reasons why employers ask this question so that we understand what theyre trying to get at. Then, Ill share a framework for how to best address the question.
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What Is Your Understanding Of The Relationship Between Product Managers And Engineers
A product manager takes care of end to end execution of products, from ideation to execution. Engineers and technical teams build products.
Engineering teams provide Product Requirements Document and test plans for the product to be built.
The product manager carries out market research to identify the audience, competitors and economic challenges.
Engineers set an architectural vision, technical strategy and define development methodology for the organization.
The product manager leads the product from concept to reality and is responsible for the constant fixing and development of the product.
What Was Your Biggest Success
Questions PurposeThis question is a trap! It looks like a blank cheque to brag about yourself, but its not. Its not your biggest success theyre after its the biggest success youve delivered for the customer they want to hear about. Do you see the distinction?
How to AnswerDont talk about how amazing you are. That should come out organically in your answer. Tell the story about the pain you were trying to solve and its dire consequences for the user. Tell them about how your team collaboratively worked together to come up with a solution and how that solution solved that pain. Be proud of the team. Be proud of their efforts. And be proud of the positive change you made in the customers life. Thats the best kind of answer. It lets them know you are collaborative, driven, and passionate for the customer. Anything is else bragging, which puts your perceived importance above the team and the customer, which is not good.
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How Do You Decide What And What Not To Build
I follow a 5-step process to understand what needs to be built:
What Technical Skills Make You Stand Out As A Product Manager
The goal of this question is to find out what a product manager candidate is good at. For example, some candidates are great at collecting data, and others are good at interactive prototyping. Asking this question also helps you decide which team to place a product manager in. What to look for in an answer:
- Example of a useful skill
- Experience using valuable skills
- Results from using skills
“I’m an expert at coding. At my last job, the senior software engineer went on leave, and I had to identify performance bugs in a product. Resolving the issue on time helped us launch our product successfully. I’m also good at A/B testing because I have a background in business analytics.”
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How To Ask Questions At A Product Management Interview
This is not as straightforward as it seems. REMEMBER: you are there to listen and answer. There are only a few moments when you will have the chance to intervene, and they usually come at the end. This is the classic: Do you have any questions? that a lot of people struggle with. But, before that, you have supposedly taken care of effectively answering your interviewers questions. There is a lot of information online on how to do so.
There are two main ways to do this: targeted and open questions.
Now, lets imagine that you have indeed been prompted by your interviewer to ask him or her a question. One good way of formulating it is to build a targeted question like this:
You said that . In the past, I have . Can you tell me if + here?
Lets unpack why this targeted structure helps you.
An alternative way of building more open questions is the following:
What is like in this company?
Also, never forget that your interviewers answer is usually followed by the following:
Did I answer your question/Is this what you wanted to know/Does this clarify your point?
Exactly! You are given another opportunity to answer something. This is where being extra attentive pays off. If you were able to create an interesting dynamic, you can top it off by adding information about your background. For instance:
Yes, I am happy to hear that. I am actually very involved in local volunteering initiatives and I like to hear that you care about things that matter to me.
How To Answer Questions About Your Product Management Process
You may hear these questions asked more than once throughout your interview process because they make it easy for the interviewer to gage your product management experience level. Use a previous project that you worked on as an example when answering interview questions about your product management process.
What Is Your Product Development Lifecycle?
When describing your product development lifecycle in an interview, be sure to cover the key stakeholders, the key pain points, and any testing that you did. Depending on who is interviewing you they may want you to dive deeper into one part or another. Walk them through each product development lifecycle phase:
Where Do You Get New Ideas for Features?
New feature ideas develop from customer feedback. Continue using your past products as examples. Talk about your process for obtaining customer feedback and what ideas you came up with to improve the product based on said feedback.
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How To Answer Product Manager Interview Questions
While you would be in pretty good shape if you review these 50 product manager questions, there is no doubt that you will be asked several interview questions not found on this list.
Have no fear!
No matter the question, every great answer in the PM interview will follow the same general format.
Just follow these seven steps during your interview, and you will be in a great place to ace every question that comes your way.
List Of Product Manager Interview Questions: Product Management
Often referred to as a Mini-CEO, Product Managers are responsible for a wide variety of tasks, from understanding users to coordinating teams. To see whether you have the necessary experience for the role, a Hiring Manager will ask questions about your work and your understanding of product management practices.
Since product management sits at the intersection of business, technology, and design, questions in this category should be viewed as an opportunity for a PM to show a holistic understanding of their job and how their work contributes to companies overall goals.
Interviewers may ask a candidate any of the following PM interview questions:
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What Do You Wish You Could Do With That You Cant Do Today
This question is similar to the what if you could wave a magic wand question. Its a fairly standard product management question. You want to try to understand how things might be different with a particular product or a job function. Then following up with why is a great way to get more insight into the value that this capability might bring your customer.
How Do You Know If A Product Has An Exceptional Design
This question tests your technical and product manager’s content knowledge. Interviewers are looking to understand what you know about the design process and quality assurance of a product. To answer, consider using an example of an actual product you’ve designed or worked on that had an excellent design and explain your criteria for determining if a product is good.
Example:”Last month, my team finished a design for a new handheld vacuum cleaner. The product was innovative, especially for pet owners, because it could clean furniture the same way a large vacuum cleans the floor. The design was also reliable, with the prototype working as promised in nine of 10 tests. According to the focus group tests, it was also easy to use and convenient to store, even for people in apartments and other small spaces.”
Related:How To Become a Product Manager
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How To Answer Questions About How You Prioritize Your Backlog
In your interview, the product team will ask you how you prioritize your product backlog. When joining a new team we recommend that you take a week or two to learn the systems and processes currently in place for prioritizing the product backlog. Implementing new systems on day one of the job tends to frustrate people which is not what you want to do in the Product Manager role. Explain to the interviewer why you choose to do this and how you feel it benefits the team. Include plans to improve the process as needed while keeping the parts that everyone seems to like about the current system.
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
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How Would You Explain Product Management To A Stranger
Product Managers make strategic, creative, and data-driven product decisions, conducting user research and market analysis to help lead a product team to create unique and attractive products that meet customers needs and ultimately help a company meet its business goals. In addition to supplying a simply worded explanation of what product management is, its also worth treating this similar to strategy questions and include a bit more of your philosophy on the value that a product management team can bring by carefully steering products from the ideation and product design phase through launch.