What do companies look for in a new Product Manager?
Aside from intellect, smarts, the power to adapt, think and act on their feet? They want a person who is motivated to do the job, can work with multiple types of teams, and has the ability to prioritize features that they already know users are looking for. A product manager has to be resilient, strategic and insightful. Which means the hiring company will ask a multitude of questions to figure out if you are the one. Here is the ultimate list of questions you can expect to be asked in a product management interview for you to prepare and nail it.
General / Personal
- Why should we hire you?
- Where do you see yourself in five years?
- What is the most difficult decision you’ve ever had to make.
- What do you need from your manager to be successful?
- How do you say no to people?
- What is one of the best ideas you’ve ever had?
- What is one of the worst ideas you’ve ever had?
- What do you do in your spare time?
- What aspects of product management do you find the most exciting?
- What aspects of product management do you find the least interesting?
- How would you explain Product Management to a 5 year old?
- How do you think product managers interact with engineers?
- Tell me about your role on your team, who else you work with, and how you work with them.
- What do you think a day to day would be like for a product manager?
- Tell me about a time when you had to build or motivate a team.
- Tell me about a challenging issue or challenge you took on
- Tell me about a time you had to influence someone.
- Tell me about a mistake you made and how you handled it.
- 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?
- Tell me about a time you used data to make a decision.
- Talk about how you overcame product failures/challenges or poor feedback.
- Tell me about how you interact with customers / users?
- How do you decide what to build?
- How do you decide what not to build?
- What is the key to a good user interface?
- What is a product you currently use everyday, why and how would you improve it?
- How do you know if a product is well designed?
- How would you redesign our ______ product?
- What is one improvement you would implement to our _______ product in the next 6 months?
- Who are our competitors?
- What is a major challenge our company will face in the next 12-24 months?
- How would you describe our product to someone?
- Suggest a new feature for Amazon. What metrics would you use measure it’s success?
- What metrics do you think would be important for us to track?
- What has made _____ product successful? (might be the company’s product or another popular mainstream product)
- What do you dislike about our ______ product?
- How do you know when to cut corners to get a product out the door?
- How many iPads are sold in the U.S. every year?
- How would you prioritize features?
- How do you think we came up with the price for _____ product?
- Tell me about a company that has great customer service, what they do and why do they do it well?
- How many windows are in New York City?
- How many people are currently online in Europe?
Leadership and Communication
- Is consensus always a good thing?
- What kinds of people do you like to work with?
- What kinds of people do you have a hard time working with?
- What would you do to get a team to stick to a schedule?
- What’s the difference between leadership and management?
- What is the best way to work with customers and users?
- What’s the best way to work with executives?
Also check out: How to prepare for a product management interview at Google