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How to Become a Product Manager

Product Manager Interview Questions

Ready to start your career in Product? Find out more about BrainStation's Product Management Course

In order to ace a Product Manager interview, you need to be prepared for a range of interview questions. Although the hiring process will be different from one company to the next, you can expect that Hiring Managers will be looking to understand who you are as a candidate, your experience as a Product Manager and what you can bring to their team.

You want to make sure that you are the right fit for the role, so there are a few steps you can take to get ready for your Product Manager interview process. First, you’ll want to research the company and have a thorough understanding of their product/service. Employers may ask how you would improve their products. Next, you should review the results of your past work. Consider your accomplishments as a Product Manager and make notes about how many people used your product, the revenue you generated, the impact of your product and make sure to include other metrics of success. You will be asked about your past experience, and employers will be eager to learn about the impact of your work.

The best way to prepare for your Product Manager interview is to practice, practice, practice. Create an action plan and ask a friend or peer to do a mock interview with you and go over potential questions. If possible, find an experienced Product Manager to go over interview questions with you. This will set you up for success, and help you prepare answers, no matter the type of question.

To help you with your interview preparation, we have compiled a list of questions you may encounter in your Product Manager interview.

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.

Interviewers may ask a candidate questions such as:

  • How would you explain product management to a stranger?
  • What was your most successful product as Product Manager?
  • What type of customer research do you conduct and how often?
  • How do you develop product strategy?
  • How do you monitor performance and success?
  • Take me through how you manage product features from conception to launch.
  • Tell me about the most successful product you have managed. What made it so successful?
  • How do you know if a product launch is successful?
  • How do you know if a product is well designed?
  • How would you redesign our product?
  • How would you come up with a product vision?
  • How do you manage a new product launch? What tactics, strategies and processes do you use?
  • How did you interact with your users in your previous job?
  • How would you fit new features into an existing product roadmap?
  • What was your process for gathering feedback from users? How did you use this feedback to shape your product roadmap and timeline?
  • How do you know if your users are satisfied with your product?
  • What do you believe are the qualities of a great Product Manager?

List of Product Manager Interview Questions: Technical Skills Questions

Product Managers will need to understand technical concepts and translate them to non-technical audiences. You may already know how to communicate these concepts to someone on your team, but how would you explain something technical to someone else. The purpose of this type of interview question is to assess your product management knowledge and how well you can communicate your understanding.

A few examples of questions interviewers may ask include:

  • How do you define market opportunity in a business plan?
  • What inputs do you use to build your product roadmap?
  • What is a product you currently use every day? How would you improve it?
  • What is the key to a good user interface?
  • Talk me through how you managed the roadmap for a previous product.
  • Explain machine learning.
  • Explain recursion.
  • What technical skills do you have that sets you apart from other Product Managers?
  • Can you provide an example where a technical solution you or your team designed became a commercial product?
  • What are the important elements of a competitive analysis?
  • What is the difference between C++ and Java?

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.

Personal questions that interviewers may ask a Product Manager include:

  • Tell me about yourself.
  • What aspects of the product management process do you find the most exciting?
  • Why should we hire you?
  • Why do you want to work at XYZ Company?
  • What do you do in your spare time?
  • Where do you see yourself in five years?
  • What do you need from your manager to be successful in this role?
  • What does success as Product Manager look like to you?
  • What is one of the best ideas you’ve ever had?
  • What is one of the worst ideas you’ve ever had?
  • What interests you about this role?
  • What is your superpower as a Product Manager?

List of Product Manager Interview Questions: Leadership and Communication

Leadership and communication are two essential skills for all Product Managers.

Expect interview questions such as:

  • Tell me about a project that required you to influence people that did not report to you.
  • Tell me about a time when something went wrong at work and you took control.
  • Have you ever had a disagreement with a teammate? What was the outcome?
  • How would you describe your leadership style?
  • Tell me about a time when you had to build or motivate a team.
  • How do you communicate your product strategy?
  • How would you communicate your roadmap to another team?
  • Is consensus always a good thing?
  • What is the best way to work with customers and users?
  • What’s the difference between leadership and management?
  • How do you gain credibility from the development/engineering teams as a new Product Manager?

List of Product Manager Interview Questions: Behavioral

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.

Examples of behavioral interview questions are:

  • Can you describe a scenario as a Product Manager where you failed? What did you learn from it?
  • Tell me about a mistake you made and how you handled it.
  • Tell me about a time you used data to make a decision.
  • Tell me about a time where you made a gut decision without the use of data.
  • Describe a scenario that required you to say no to an idea or project.
  • Tell me about the most challenging problem you’ve faced as a Product Manager.
  • Tell me about a time where you had to motivate your team.
  • Tell me about a time you had conflict with a team member or a manager.
  • Tell me about a time when you made a difficult decision with input from many different sources (customers, stakeholders, team members). What was the situation and how did you arrive at your decision?
  • Describe the last time you had to make a challenging decision when prioritizing.

List of Product Manager Interview Questions From Top Companies (Amazon, Google, Facebook, Microsoft)

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?
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