Product Manager interviews can be daunting. In addition to the regular questions about your experience and qualifications, you'll also be expected to know a lot about the Product Management field in general, explain how you think about Product Management, and ask thoughtful questions of your own.
At its core, Product Management is about identifying, developing, and delivering products that meet customer needs and create value for the company. A product manager is responsible for overseeing the entire lifecycle of a product, from conception to launch and beyond.
In this post, we share sample interview questions to prepare for when looking for your next Product Management opportunity, and break these into specific categories to study for.
Start with the Basics: Write down your thoughts on what a Product Manager means to you.
In order to ace your next product manager interview, you should be prepared to answer questions about the essential qualities that every successful product manager should have. Some of the qualities that you may be asked about include:
-The ability to identify and solve problems
-The ability to think strategically
-The ability to communicate effectively
-The ability to lead and motivate teams
-The ability to make tough decisions
Spend some time writing down how you broadly think about these traits, and what your personal philosophy is when it comes to communication, leadership, and making tough decisions. For example - if you had to describe your communication style in just a few words, how would you do so? If you had to describe what strategy means in Product Management - how would you develop a thoughtful answer?
Jotting down some thoughts on how you think about each of these concepts can be helpful when you start to get into more specific questions.
Next, start preparing for these 25 Common Product Manager Interview Questions
Product managers are responsible for the strategy, roadmap, and features of a product. They work with cross-functional teams to bring products to market. As such, they need to have a deep understanding of the market, the customer, and the product.
The following are some questions that you may want to ask a Product Manager during an interview, or prepare for if you're interviewing for a Product Manager job.
We've broken these into four sections: questions that ask about Product Management in general, questions that assess your analytical thinking skills, questions geared toward understanding your soft skills, and questions that test what you know about the company you're interviewing with.
Let's get into it!
Questions about Product Management in general
When it comes to product manager interviews, you can expect to be asked questions about your technical skills and abilities as well as Product Management in general. This is to ensure that you have the necessary skills to perform the job.
Be prepared to answer questions about your experience with various programs, as well as your ability to solve problems. You may also be asked how you would handle a situation if something went wrong with a product. These questions can include variations like:
1. What are the most important responsibilities of a product manager?
2. What skills are necessary to be a successful product manager?
3. What makes a great product?
4. Tell me about a time when you launched a new product or feature and it wasn't received well by users. How did you handle it?
What are some of your top tools for executing product management work?
5. Tell me about how you've handled scope creep during a project.
6. In your opinion, what makes a great user experience?
7. Do you have experience with agile methodology? If so, can you tell me about a time when it was particularly useful/helpful in developing a product?
8. What was your process for evaluating and selecting the right technology stack for a new product?
Questions that ask about Analytical and Strategic Thinking Skills in Product Management
Product managers are responsible for the strategy, roadmap, and features of a product. They work with cross-functional teams to bring products to market. As a result, product managers must be strong analytical and strategic thinkers. These questions can include variations like:
9. How do you prioritize and manage competing demands on the time you spend on products?
10. How do you conduct market research? What are some common methods?
11. How do you develop and prioritize features for a new product?
12. Once a product is launched, how do you measure its success? What metrics do you use?
13. What methodologies do you use to manage agile product development sprints?
14. Describe a time when you had to make a tough call affecting the product roadmap.
15. How do you handle stakeholders who want different features than what's in the roadmap?
Questions that ask about Soft Skills in Product Management
Questions about your soft skills and how you behave or react in certain situations are inevitable for any job interview. These can include questions like:
16. What is your working style within a team?
17. What is your preferred management style if you are being managed?
18. What is your management style if you are managing people or projects?
19. How do you resolve conflicts within a team?
20. How do you quickly make decisions, even if they are difficult?
21. Tell me about a time when you made a mistake and what you did to fix it.
Questions that test what you know about the Company's Product(s)
This may be the trickiest category to prepare for, but it's incredibly important to do some homework around the company, their products, and understand how they function.
If you've made it to the interview stage - you should definitely be excited about the products you may potentially be working on, and should be able to demonstrate that enthusiasm with thorough answers. These can include questions like:
22. How would you describe our product in a couple of sentences?
23. Which features would you recommend if you were in charge of building our next roadmap?
24. What's one of your favorite things about our products, and what's one thing you would change?
25. What excites you about working on our product team?
Final tips for Acing Your Next Product Management Interview
We have a few final tips for acing your interview:
1. Do your research: In addition to doing research about the company's products, research the company in general. What can you learn online about recent updates they've made, changes they've undergone, funding they've received, etc.?
At some point during the interview, there will be an opportunity for you to weave this information into your answer to a question.
2. Ask thoughtful questions: Asking thoughtful questions shows that you’re interested in the role and invested in doing well in the interview. Prepare a few questions beforehand so that you can ask them confidently during the interview.
3. Follow up after the interview: Make sure to follow up with an email after your interview. This will show that you’re grateful for the opportunity and interested in staying in touch.
4. (And this is the most important one) - Rehearse! Practice your answers to interview questions like the ones above, and read your answers out-loud to yourself or a friend, even if you feel silly. This will only help you gain more confidence.
Interested in learning more about Product Manager jobs that are available? Check out our Jobs Page for the latest opportunities.