The Fight

Type of questions


Behavioural

Brainstorming/Problem Solving

Execution

Estimation/Guesstimate

Market Entry

Market Trend

Metrics

Product Design

Product Growth

Product Improvement

Product Launch/Go to Market Strategy (GTM)

Product Pricing

Product Strategy

Product Technology

Technology Casing


General background

[Credit to Aha.io for this section]


Most interviews start with some general questions. The purpose of these questions is for the interviewer to learn more about you and why you applied for the product management position.


  1. Tell me about yourself.

  2. How did you hear about this role?

  3. What interests you about this role?

  4. What are you looking for in a new position?

  5. Why do you want to leave your current job?

  6. What do you like most/least about your current job?

  7. Why do you want to work here?

  8. What are your career goals?

  9. Why should we hire you?

  10. What do you do in your spare time?

  11. Where do you see yourself in five years?

  12. What is the most difficult decision you have ever had to make?

  13. What do you need from your manager to be successful?

  14. How do you say no to people?

  15. What is one of the best ideas you have ever had?

  16. What is one of the worst ideas you have ever had?


Product management skills and experience

[Credit to Aha.io for this section]


The interviewer will want to understand how your past product management experience will translate into the new position. Expect to discuss common product management topics, such as setting strategy, creating product roadmaps, managing releases, gathering ideas, and defining features.


Prepare answers to the following questions so you can effectively describe your experience:


  1. How would you explain product management to a stranger?

  2. Tell me about the product(s) you own.

  3. Who are the customers? How big is the customer base?

  4. What type of customer research do you conduct and how often?

  5. How do you develop product strategy?

  6. What inputs do you use to build your roadmap?

  7. How do you plan releases? What development methodology does your company follow?

  8. How often do you launch new features?

  9. Where do ideas for new features come from? How do you decide which ones to build?

  10. Take me through how you manage a feature from conception to launch.

  11. Tell me about the most successful product have managed. What made it so successful?

  12. Describe one of your failures. Why do you think it failed? What would you do differently?

  13. How do you know if a product launch is successful?

  14. Can you share a lesson from your last product launch?

  15. What aspects of product management do you find the most exciting?

  16. Tell me about a time when you had to build or motivate a team.

  17. What do you think a day to day would be like for a product manager?

  18. How do you think product managers interact with engineers?

  19. How would you explain Product Management to a 5-year-old?

  20. What aspects of product management do you find the least interesting?

  21. Tell me about your role on your team, who else you work with, and how you work with them.


Behavioural


  1. Tell Me About Yourself

  2. Tell me about a challenging issue or challenge you took on

  3. Tell me about how you interact with customers/users?

  4. Talk about how you overcame product failures/challenges or poor feedback.

  5. Tell me about a time you had to influence someone.

  6. Tell me about a mistake you made and how you handled it.

  7. One executive says that Feature A is more important and another executive says Feature B is more important. How do you choose which one to implement?

  8. Tell me about a time you used data to make a decision.

  9. Tell Me About a Time When You Failed

  10. 20 Job-Winning Behavioral Interview Answers

Answer format to above kind of questions can be found at The STAR Method: The Secret to Acing Your Next Job Interview. Alternatively you can use the SAIL method by Phyllis Njoroge .


Leadership skills

[Credit to Aha.io for this section]


Successful product managers must be skilled at leading a cross-functional team. This requires the ability to make decisions, influence other people, and unite teams (such as engineering, marketing, sales, and support) around a common vision and goals. Here are a few examples of interview questions that explore your leadership skills:


  1. What types of people do you like to work with?

  2. Tell me how you motivate other people?

  3. What makes you angry?

  4. How frequently do you meet with cross-functional teams?

  5. Tell me about a project that required you to influence people that did not report to you.

  6. If I spoke to your co-workers, what is one word they would use to describe you?

  7. Tell me about a time when something went wrong at work and you took control.

  8. Have you ever had a disagreement with a teammate? What was the outcome?

  9. How do you communicate with executive leadership?

  10. Describe a time when you used data to make a decision.

  11. How would you describe your leadership style?

  12. Who do you respect most for their leadership ability and why?

  13. Is consensus always a good thing?

  14. What is the best way to work with executives?

  15. What is the best way to work with customers and users?

  16. What kinds of people do you like to work with?

  17. What kind of people do you have a hard time working with?

  18. What would you do to get a team to stick to a schedule?

  19. What is the difference between leadership and management?


Product


  1. How would you prioritize resources when you have two important things to do but can't do them both?

  2. Describe a scenario, which required you to say no to an idea or project.

  3. How do you decide what and what not to build?

  4. What is a product you currently use every day, why and how would you improve it?

  5. There is a data point that indicates that there are more Uber drop-offs at the airport than pick-ups from the airport. Why this is the case and what would you do within the product to change that?

  6. How would you improve the functionality 10x of what it is now?

  7. How would you increase adoption of Google's Fiber to the Home product?

  8. What is the key to a good user interface?

  9. While we make X product for the general public, we also have a B2B division. What is your experience with juggling both markets?

  10. How do you know if a product is well designed?

  11. How would you redesign our product?

  12. What is one improvement you would implement for our product in the next 6 months?

  13. What is a major challenge our company will face in the next 12-24 months?

  14. How would you describe our product to someone?

  15. Suggest a new feature for Amazon. What metrics would you use to measure its success?

  16. What has made X product successful?

  17. What do you dislike about our product?

  18. How do you know when to cut corners to get a product out the door?

  19. How do you think we came up with the price for X product?

  20. Who are our competitors?

  21. Tell me about a company that has great customer service, what they do and why do they do it well?


Technical


  1. Interviewing with Engineering Managers

  2. Designing Instagram

  3. Designing a URL Shortening service like TinyURL

  4. General Technical questions

  5. The System Design Primer

  6. Trending on Instagram

  7. How do you ensure that market-oriented teams fully understand technical challenges?

  8. When are Bayesian methods more appropriate than "Artificial Intelligence" techniques for predictive analytics?

  9. Our engineering teams are pretty used to employing x methodologies. What is your opinion of them? Have you used them in the past?

  10. What is the importance of engineers and technical teams as stakeholders? How do you integrate them into the overall product vision?

  11. Can you provide an example where a technical solution you or your team designed became a commercial product?

  12. 40 Key Computer Science Concepts Explained In Layman’s Terms


Analytical


  1. How many people are currently online in Europe?

  2. How many windows are in New York City?

  3. How many iPads are sold in the USA every year?

  4. How much money is spent in the USA per year on GAS?

  5. How would you go about finding out the number of red cars in China?

  6. If you want to build the world's most popular mobile messaging product, and you need to estimate how much network bandwidth would be used in a year. How would you go about doing this?

  7. _____ metrics are down. How would you go about determining the root cause?


Miscellaneous


  1. When launching a new feature, how do you manage risk?

  2. How do you say no to people?


Of course, it matters the context, but in product world, it typically means a request is coming from a stakeholder for a new feature or a modified interaction. Ask yourself does it align to our vision? Does it align with our market segment's needs/jobs to be done? Does it align with our company's financial targets or objectives? If the answer is no to all of those - then it is important to understand what the requestor is trying to accomplish with this request. Is it lack of understanding of the above, or do they know something you do not know? Getting to that answer will dictate how you can answer.


It is important to find the underlying outcome they are driving with their request and letting them know how another feature is driving that or is planned to drive that.


  1. Best to lead conversations with empathy and know the narrative you are driving. Always be prepared to include metrics/data to support your narrative.

  2. Tell me about a time when you solved a problem for a user?

    1. What kind of data informed your decision?

    2. What were the alternatives you considered?

    3. How did you get stakeholders?

    4. What risks did you see?

    5. How did you manage them?

    6. How did you decide on MVP?

    7. How did you think about GTM?

    8. How did you collaborate with sales/marketing?

    9. Did you test with beta users? How did you measure success?

    10. Did anything go wrong?

    11. How did you respond?

    12. How did you collect users' feedback post release?

    13. How did you work with design?

    14. How did you validate your hypothesis?

    15. Who was responsible for that? You or someone else?

  3. What is your hobby? How would you make it more efficient?

  4. If an L1 suggests an enhancement to you, what is your next step?

  5. We noticed that (X metric) has dropped X%, what do you do?

(Really looking for the interviewee to ask me more details rather than conjure up a solution)

  1. Walk me through a time when you had to learn an industry on the job, be specific.

  2. You are working with a SME expert and suspect/confirm that that person is being withholding because they fear a process change, how do you respond? If not listed on the resume, I will ask them to walk me through metrics they were responsible for.

  3. Why our company? Why this product?

  4. I will frame up two different enhancements we may be considering and ask the interviewee which of the two they would choose and why.

(Again hoping they ask questions for clarity but can independently navigate this enough to prove they did some homework ahead of the interview).

  1. Which physical product did you come across recently that delighted you and why?

  2. Working of internet to your kindergarten student. You will be amazed on many people cannot talk without jargons. IMO, PM should have a skill to simplify any feature or product so that any one understand.

  3. What is your favourite digital and non-digital product and why?

  4. What is more important tech or marketing?

  5. What is the best insight you learned last week?

  6. Estimate my monthly phone bill

  7. What aspect of being a product manager do you find the least interesting?

  8. What parts in your CV can you attribute totally to yourself? Explain.

  9. Can you tell me about a situation where you were thoroughly outsmarted by a person less educated/qualified than you were?

  10. What do you do outside of work?

  11. Did you innovate/execute any idea/feature that had 10+ strangers/new users writing praiseworthy messages to you within 3 days of launch? If no, select any one Product in market and mention two new features/services that will make it 100X over a period of 6 months.

  12. What would you build in 7 days (Solution & Priority)

    1. How will you get users (Growth)

    2. Signals to track and what will you build based on that. IF this Then that (Future thinking)


Asking questions

[Credit to Aha.io for this section]


At the end of the interview, you will often be asked, "What questions do you have for me?" This is your opportunity to demonstrate curiosity and gather insights — so you can determine if this is a job you really want.


Here are some questions you can ask to learn more about the company and the role you are applying for:

  1. What is the strategic vision for this product?

  2. How do you develop your product roadmap?

  3. How does product management work with executive leadership?

  4. What type of customer research do you conduct and how often?

  5. What do your customers say they [love most](https://bit.ly/30Twv8c) (and least) about the product?

  6. How are releases managed?

  7. How often are new features released?

  8. What is the best thing about being a product manager here?

  9. What is the hardest thing about being a product manager here?

  10. How do you on-board new product managers?

  11. Is there anything about my profile that concerns you?

  12. What kind of ideal candidate you are looking for?

  13. Based on my resume and interview, is there anything at this time that could prevent me from obtaining this position?


Mock problems


Checkout this Case Study template - For Product Managers before you start.


  1. Product Management Exercises

  2. You have a choice between selling a new oven or an oven mitt. Which one do you choose and why?

  3. How to answer the Product Manager Estimation questions

  4. 4 Practice Case-Studies for your Product Management interview

  5. How to crush product management case interviews [Part 1/2] and [Part 2/2]

  6. PM Interview Questions by Manas J Saloi

  7. Product Design question