Product manager interview questions (2023 sample answers)

Updated 10 August 2023

The role of a product manager is a crucial position in an organisation. To ensure that you're a perfect fit for the position, you can prepare by researching the requirements of the job and 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 act as a bridge between the business, technology and the customer experience.Their job is to collaborate with engineering, design, and marketing, to bring the product to the market and drive its ongoing improvement. They create product roadmaps, and make strategic decisions to meet business goals and maximise user value. Product managers then monitor market trends, competition, and user feedback to stay ahead in the market. 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.

Related: Product manager vs product owner

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

  • Behavioural questions

  • Company questions

  • Technical questions

  • Product management questions

  • Leadership and communication questions

Related: Project Management Skills and How To Improve Them

General/personal 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?

  • Why do you want this job, and how does it fit your overall career trajectory?

  • 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?

Related: 20 product manager skills for CVs

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.

Related: How To Use the STAR Interview Technique in Competency-Based Interviews

Company questions

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?

Related: How To Research a Company for an Interview

Technical questions

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?

Related: How to become a data product manager: a step-by-step guide

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?

Related: Product Manager vs Product Marketing Manager Explained

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?

Related: 13 Leadership Styles and Their Characteristics

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

  • Is logical

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.'

Related: Interview Question: 'What Can You Bring to This Role?'

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:

  • Relevant

  • 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 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.'

What's your biggest failure as a product manager, and why did it happen?

With this question, Interviewers want to see how you learn from failures. Make sure your answer:

  • displays honesty

  • Self-awareness

  • Shows how you learned from your mistake

Example: “As a product manager, I experienced a significant setback with the launch of a new feature that did not connect with our intended consumers. This failure occurred because we did not directly engage users during development and had poor team communication. From this experience, I learned about the significance of focusing on users and working collaboratively across functions. I now prioritise gathering user feedback, improving communication channels, and embracing failures as growth opportunities.”

The model shown is for illustration purposes only, and may require additional formatting to meet accepted standards.


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