Top 5 Product Management Interview Questions (+ How to Answer Them)
So, you want to be a product manager.
After honing your hard skills and gaining relevant knowledge, your hurdle is to pass a product management interview to do what you love — build products that people enjoy.
Product management interviews ensure that you have the right skills and experience to build and maintain a product that drives business growth. Here, you are asked a variety of questions that test your communication, critical thinking, problem-solving, analytical, and technical skills.
Let’s look at five of the most important product management interview questions and answers which will help you get one step closer to a product manager job.
1. What makes a product great?
This top product management interview question is asked by almost every interviewer looking for a passionate product manager. Every product that is doing well in its respective market shares certain common traits that make them popular, and these are the ones that you must know.
This interview question for product management tests your analytical and observation skills. As someone on the product manager career path, you should be able to draw parallels between two great products from different domains and learn from them.
The answer to this question depends on the position you are interviewing for. For instance, if it's a product management intern interview question, you can stick with the basics such as ease of use, uniqueness of the product, etc.
However, if you encounter this interview question for the director of product management position, your answer should be much more precise. In that case, you can start by mentioning the key performance indicators (KPIs) and their ideal value ranges.
How to answer this question: A great product is unique in its offering, solves a real problem, dynamic, versatile, scalable, and easy to use. You can always start with these universal points regardless of the position you are applying for.
You can dive deeper into each of the points by mentioning crucial metrics while answering this product management job interview question. For instance, if a SaaS product is easy to use, the onboarding process should be fast and new users should find their way around the product without much friction.
2. How would you improve [this product]?
This product management interview question asks for your suggestions to improve an existing product in a way that results in better feedback from customers and an increased market share. Here, you might be asked to pick a product of your liking.
While answering this technical product management interview question, you should focus on what this product needs to achieve certain business goals rather than what you would personally like to see in it as a consumer.
Sometimes, product managers fall in love with their products which could affect their growth trajectory. Objective problem-solving and design thinking are the two primary skills that this product management technical interview question tests.
Most candidates limit their answers to the functionalities, usability, etc., of the product. But, while answering this product management interview question, you can also include how you can improve the product development process for a better result.
How to answer this question: As this interview question for product management is multi-layered, the first thing you need to do is to take some time to structure your answer. This will allow you to arrange all the points you want to get across neatly.
Try your best to give objective reasons while giving improvement suggestions for various aspects of the product at hand. It will make your answer to this technical product management interview question more comprehensive and logical.
3. What will you consider while building a roadmap?
Product management is interesting because there is always something next. Whether it is a feature, a bug fix, or a patch, the product continues to evolve. This common product management prioritization interview question tests your ability to map out the next step.
Prioritization is one of the most important skills for product managers in general and senior product managers in particular. This best product management interview question examines what inputs you consider to plan sprints and visualize the product in the future and why.
One of the most used prioritization models is RICE:
As with most interview questions for product management, the answer to this question depends on the position you are applying for. For instance, if this is asked as a director of product management interview question, you should mention your areas of focus to evolve the product.
Similarly, if it is a product management internship interview question, the interviewer is more interested in how well you understand the feature prioritization process.
How to answer this question: While mentioning the market, strategy, or technology-related inputs that you will consider, explaining why is key in answering this product lifecycle management interview question.
Always keep in mind to curate your answer based on the position you are applying for. If it is a director product management interview question, for example, focus more on strategy-based inputs and support your point with relevant statistics or anecdotes from your experience.
4. How did you manage a situation when you had to say no to senior management?
This basic product management interview question helps the interviewer evaluate your communication skills. As one of the crucial responsibilities of the product manager is to ensure team alignment, communication skills are given the utmost importance.
These types of product management interview questions also test your conflict and disagreement-handling skills. Sometimes you will have to say “no” to senior management’s suggestions and recommendations to save resources or maximize the ROI.
Your answer should contain how you explained your decision to the senior management rather than just your actual decision itself. Explaining those points also helps your interviewer gauge how much you trust your own decisions and why.
How to answer this question: Usually, this can be asked for an intern’s position and as a product management leadership interview question where you are expected to share how you would manage this situation in an actual setting.
Not saying “no” outright, asking reasons for the senior management’s suggestion, and providing data to support your counterpoint are some tactics that you must mention while answering this question.
5. What metrics would you track for [this product]?
The value of a product in the eye of its users can be tracked by monitoring metrics such as customer lifetime value (CLV), net promoter score (NPS), and usage frequency. However, such metrics vary greatly depending on the nature of the product.
For instance, the usage frequency of a travel planning app will be far less as compared to a mobile game. Similarly, the average purchase value would be higher for the former than the latter.
This common product management interview question examines your ability to critically analyze how a product is used and what parameters truly reflect its market value. It is necessary to understand the various types of product management metrics to give an accurate answer.
How to answer this question: After mentioning the relevant KPIs necessary to measure a particular product’s performance, you should always state the why. These types of product management interview questions check how you understand data.
If this is a technical product management interview question, you should also include how you can monitor that metric. This will reflect how well-versed you are in different product management tools and tech stacks.
All the product management interview questions and answers shared above are a great starting point for you to understand what the job requirement is. However, as product management is a dynamic field, you have to consider the industry setting in which the questions are asked.
Sometimes interviewers conflate two questions to make the test more challenging. For instance, the second and fifth product management case interview questions can be combined into — what metrics would you track for [this product] for improving it?
Apart from your hard and soft skills, you also need to have the right tools to perform your duties as a product manager. For instance, your roadmapping skills are as good as the functionalities of the tools you and your team use.
This is where Zeda.io comes in.
Zeda.io is a super app that helps product managers run all product management processes from one place. You can bring data from other apps in your tech stack to Zeda.io via integrations and get started within minutes.
- How do I prepare for a product manager interview?
Start by practicing common product management questions for interviews and reading various case studies.
- What are product manager interview questions?
Product management interview questions examine your hard and soft skills to ensure whether you are the right professional for the job. The questions depend on the role you are applying for. For instance, VP product management interview questions are different from those for interns.
- Why product management interview questions?
These questions give you a good idea of your strengths and weaknesses as a candidate. Furthermore, these act as a great starting point for your preparation for a product manager job interview.
- How do you succeed in product management interviews?
Continuous preparation and improvement are necessary to maintain an edge over other candidates. Also, taking time for arranging your points before answering questions helps you go a long way during product management interviews.
- What are the top 3 skills of a Product Manager?
Communication, prioritization, and problem-solving are the three top skills for a product manager.
- What skills make a good Product Manager?
Apart from professional skills, a good product manager is a good listener, pays attention to detail, and is empathetic towards his team and target audience.
- What is your role as a product manager?
The product manager is responsible for managing all the steps involved in building and refining a product with time.
- What is the most important role of a product manager?
The most important role of the product manager is to align the efforts of various team members across sprints.
- What is the biggest challenge you faced as a product manager?
The biggest challenge faced by most product managers is balancing different responsibilities at their workplace.
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