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Product Manager Interview Questions

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  1. How would you describe our product to someone who wanted something similar, only $20 cheaper? See answer
  2. We’re about to roll out the successor to our most well-known product. How would you position the legacy product so that it continues to sell well? See answer
  3. How do you manage a new product launch? What tactics, strategies and processes do you use? See answer
  4. Take a typical day in your life as a product manager. What’s something you would perhaps prefer to skip? See answer
  5. How do you know when a product is designed well? See answer
  6. What would you improve about our product? See answer
  7. What technical skill do you have that sets you apart as a product manager? See answer
  8. How do you determine which features you should add to your product? See answer
  9. Describe your process for managing and prioritizing your tasks.
  10. Tell me about a product you use regularly. What do you like most about it?
  11. What’s your process for conducting research on your customers?
  12. What’s the most successful product you’ve managed? What made it so successful?
  13. Have you ever managed a product launch that went wrong?
  14. How often did you release products in your previous position?
  15. Why do you believe product management is important?
  16. Do you use any task management software systems to prioritize your own tasks and your team’s work items?
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8 Product Manager Interview Questions and Answers

Q:

How would you describe our product to someone who wanted something similar, only $20 cheaper?

A:

This question checks that the candidate has researched your products and knows enough to speak about them with familiarity. It also gives you real-time insight into the candidate’s communication and prioritization skills.
What to look for in an answer:

  • User testimonials
  • Specific product features
  • Cost-benefit overview

Example:

“For only $20 more, you get at least $100 more worth of features with this product. For example, it syncs to your smartphone, computer and other devices to save you a lot of time and hassle. Our users also say that they love the ability to control it when they’re at home or on vacation. Also, they rarely have to contact customer support for help with an issue.”

Q:

We’re about to roll out the successor to our most well-known product. How would you position the legacy product so that it continues to sell well?

A:

With this question, you get to see the candidate’s thought process and how technical and soft skills are combined.
What to look for in an answer:

  • Practical solution
  • Knowledge of consumer practices
  • Understanding of targeted consumers

Example:

“I would lower the price so that you’re able to reach the budget-conscious consumers who make up about 30 percent of your base. The new product would appeal more to consumers who prioritize having something more recent and advanced.”

Q:

How do you manage a new product launch? What tactics, strategies and processes do you use?

A:

You want a candidate who launches a product with teamwork and a schedule in mind. A candidate who replies in generalities is one to approach with caution.
What to look for in an answer:

  • Team effort
  • Mention of timeline
  • How progress is tracked

Example:

“I develop a launch plan based on input from teams such as support, testing and product management. I also seek advice from key stakeholders when setting a schedule with dates and deliverables. I hold weekly meetings as the launch date approaches to ensure everything is on track. I also check that we’re staying on track by continuing to design and market the product toward the right audience.”

Q:

Take a typical day in your life as a product manager. What’s something you would perhaps prefer to skip?

A:

The question checks that your values align with those of your candidate. For example, if your company prioritizes teamwork but the candidate names collaboration as something to skip, that could be an issue.
What to look for in an answer:

  • A true answer, no “there is nothing to skip”
  • Supporting details
  • Cultural fit

Example:

“Having to document extensively is something I think any product manager would like to skip sometimes. It’s a vital process, of course, and something I never do hold back on. Working with customers and developers and meeting deadlines is what I particularly enjoy, so the paperwork side feels slow in comparison.”

Q:

How do you know when a product is designed well?

A:

Not everyone agrees on what good product design means. Maybe your company prioritizes some factors over others, and your candidate should be on the same page.
What to look for in an answer:

  • Fit with your priorities
  • Logical answer
  • Explanation of the why

Example:

“A product is well-designed when it’s simple, intuitive and promises what it delivers. Consumers should be able to use it out of the box without thumbing through a hundred pages in a manual. Plus, a well-designed product today should be environmentally friendly. I shouldn’t be able to notice a waste of resources such as excessive packaging.”

Q:

What would you improve about our product?

A:

This is another question that examines how well the candidate knows your company. You want to bring aboard professionals who took the time to learn about your product(s) and who can think critically about it.
What to look for in an answer:

  • Pros of the execution/example of something that succeeded
  • Something that didn’t go well
  • Logical answer

Example:

“Yes, you did a creative job of executing your product. I especially enjoyed the video that went viral and the buildup to the product reveal. One thing I would change would be to narrow the focus of the product. It wasn’t clear if it was meant for parents or children.”

Q:

What technical skill do you have that sets you apart as a product manager?

A:

You likely want a product manager who is especially good at something, whether it is data collection, interactive prototyping, coding, analytics or another area. This question ensures that your teams remain well-balanced.
What to look for in an answer:

  • Example of a useful skill
  • How it has helped in the past
  • Results obtained from the skill

Example:

“I’m an expert at A/B testing. Because of my knowledge of analytics and statistical significance, I was able to determine that ideas for a previous product launch were likely based on chance. I devised a new test, got it approved by the product manager, and with the variables better controlled for, we got an in-depth understanding of our customers’ pain points. The product launch went on to be one of the company’s most successful.”

Q:

How do you determine which features you should add to your product?

A:

Product managers should have extensive knowledge of their users' needs to design features and products that appeal most to their customers. The most effective way for them to come up with features that will benefit users is to have a strategy for researching their users and determining their needs. Look for a candidate who provides a clear strategy for studying user insights and applying them to their feature and updates list.

The candidate's answer should emphasize:

  • Research and analytical skills
  • Familiarity of common frameworks to determine users' needs
  • Clear strategy for applying feedback and data to their updates and additional features

An answer to this question could look like this:

Example:

"When I'm determining which additions to add to a product, I'll typically start by conducting research on our current users. I'll review insights to determine which features they're currently using the most and will determine what type of updates I can add to make that specific feature more enjoyable for them. Another method I use is reviewing the comments and feedback that users will leave on our software or the input they provide our sales or customer service teams. I'll use these to determine what can be added to enhance they're overall experience."

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    Last updated: Apr 21, 2021