Product Manager Interview Questions (With Sample Answers)
The role of a project manager is a crucial position in an organisation. To ensure that you're a perfect fit for the position, you can prepare by researching common product manager interview questions. Though the recruitment process may differ from one company to another, you can expect questions about your personality, experience and what you bring to the team. In this article, we'll discuss the role of a product manager and give sample questions and answers to expect for your product manager interview.
What's the role of a product manager?
The role of a product manager is to identify customer needs, outline a product's vision and guide a cross-functional team responsible for achieving it. They set up a strategy to develop and market the product and then rally behind it to achieve the larger business objectives.
Depending on the company, product managers are also required to align stakeholders around the product's vision. They may also be required to work with a team of specialists to develop product designs and test prototypes.
Common product manager interview questions
You will be asked a variety of questions during the interview for a product manager position. You have to come up with thoughtful answers for each question presented. Questions may fall into the following categories:
General or personal questions
Product management questions
Leadership and communication questions
These questions help employers assess how well you fit with their company. Take this opportunity to discuss your personality and interests, and draw attention to your unique skills and strengths.
Why do you want to work here?
What are your hobbies?
Why should we hire you?
What's the most challenging decision you've ever had to make?
What's your career goal for the next five years?
What are your strengths and weaknesses?
What's the best and worst product idea you've ever had?
Behavioural questions for a product manager
Your interviewer will want to know how you approach and handle situations. They'll want to know if you can work under pressure with examples of how you've handled past situations. For these questions, be sure to highlight the steps you took to manage the situations and if you're yet to face such a challenge, explain how you can face it if it arises in the future.
Tell me about a wrong decision you made and how you handled the outcome.
Describe a challenging scenario you've encountered as a product manager.
Describe a time when you had conflicting ideas with a manager or a team member.
How do you interact with customers?
Describe a time when you had to deal with a challenging customer.
Describe a time you had different product ideas from your team and how you decided on which one to implement.
Can you think of a time when your superior changed your project priorities? How did you handle the new project?
Talk about a time you had to motivate your team.
Your potential employer is looking for a candidate who is interested and excited about their company. Be sure to do some research on the company and focus on its mission, vision and strengths. Also, check to see what the role of a product manager entails in that company, so you can be prepared for any question they ask you.
What do you know about our company?
How would you improve our product in terms of design?
Which marketing strategies would you implement to improve our sales?
Who would you say are our competitors and what can we do to be the leading company in the market?
What's your favourite part about working with us?
The purpose of these questions is to assess your product management know-how and how well you can explain technical concepts to someone else. Though these questions are rare, it is good that you go prepared.
How do you integrate stakeholders into the product vision?
Do you have any technical skills other than what other product managers have?
Are you familiar with any predictive analytic techniques?
What is market opportunity?
Product management related questions
Product management interview questions are probably the most you'll be asked in a product manager interview. The best way to prepare for these questions is to research the company's products and look at emerging issues around the potential employer's industry.
How do you know if a product is well designed?
How do you come up with a product strategy?
How do you decide the price to set for a certain product?
Tell me about your most successful product idea as a product manager.
How do you improve an existing product?
What do you understand from the term product management?
How do you know if your product is doing well in the market?
How do you differentiate products to make them competitive in the market?
Leadership and communication questions
A good product manager should have excellent leadership and communication skills. These questions seek to evaluate your leadership and communication skills.
How do you deal with difficult team members?
What is your leadership style?
How do you ensure your team is well-motivated?
How do you communicate bad news to the management?
How do you plan to gain credibility from the existing engineering and development team?
How do you regain control after a product failure?
Do you think it's important to reward employees as a form of motivation?
Interview questions for product managers (with answers)
Here are sample questions for the product manager interview with answers.
How would you improve our product?
The interviewer wants to see if you researched the company's products and if there's any value you can add to their company. Be sure to first appreciate the existing product design before giving your ideas on how to improve it. Make sure your answer:
Offers an explanation
Gives analysis of the existing product features
Example: 'I'd start by understanding the current product features and design, and then analyse what areas can be improved. I'd talk to stakeholders and customers to see what they think of the existing product and the new ideas I hope to implement. The next step would be to implement my ideas, keeping in mind the cost implications and marketing strategy.'
What makes you a good fit for this role?
The interviewers are looking to see how your experience and skills fit the product manager role. Be sure to focus on your qualifications and experience. Avoid making assumptions and being overconfident. Your answer should contain:
An understanding of the product manager role
Experiences and skills
A motivating vision
Example: 'I've had a chance to work as a product manager in my previous role, and from that, I've learnt how to make a strategy and translate it into something viable. In my previous role, I guided a team to develop and implement the company's product, and until now, it's one of the best-selling products in the company. I believe I'm ready to take up a new and challenging role as your product manager.'
How do you choose between two desirable features if your budget and timeline only support one?
The question is checking if you have good decision-making skills. Be sure to explain your decision. Your answer should portray:
Excellent decision-making skills
Ability to work within a set budget and timeline
An understanding of the company's needs
Example: 'My first step would be to consider customer needs and preferences. If they prefer one to the other, then I'd prioritise that feature. But, I'd also consider the feature that makes the product different from our competitors. Putting these factors into consideration, I'd implement the one that's most valuable to the customer and the company.'
What's your most exciting aspect of product management?
The question helps the interviewer gauge your attitude towards the role as well as your motivating factors. It's an open question, meaning you can add some passion to your answer. But make sure your answer is:
In alignment with the company's values
Relevant to the product manager role
Example: 'The best part of working as a product manager is making a product that creates a positive change in the world. I particularly enjoy the process of creating and designing a new product. There's nothing more rewarding than seeing a new product in the market doing well.'
How do you know when to cut corners and launch a product?
Interviewers are testing for your decision-making skills. They especially want to see if you can identify opportunities. Make sure your answer:
Gives an explanation
Adheres to the company's rules and regulations
Shows an understanding of customer trends
Example: 'I'd cut corners and launch a product if my team and I think it's ready for the market and the team has spent a lot of time working on it. Also, I'd cut corners if launching at a later time would reap lesser results than launching immediately. But, I'd make sure to first inform and convince my superiors on the need to launch it now than later.'
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