Product Management interviewing can be quite daunting. If you are preparing for your first-ever Product Management interview, we completely understand what you are going through. This article will help you understand the PM interview process and the specific kinds of questions you will face during your interview.
Product management is one of the few organizational roles that is extremely important and that has been around for quite some time without a formal educational training available for it. Hence, it is really important for applicants to learn how to position themselves, prepare for interviews, and ace them.
“Every interview is a different interview. But you can prepare for the best outcome by understanding what is required of you and by proving how you can overcome all the challenges in order to succeed.”
Product Managers are responsible for a lot of things, from doing thorough market research for the product to conducting user interviews to understand their requirements better. Product managers are also responsible for creating product strategy and roadmaps and communicating them effectively across the teams responsible for building the product.
In short, Product Managers require quite a lot of skills to be great at their job. This should make it pretty obvious that the interview for the product manager job role will encompass questions that can gauge all the skills required for the job role.
Here are some of the important question categories every aspirant should be aware of and prepare for before their PM job interview
Estimation questions are quite common in product manager interviews. These questions might seem incredibly ridiculous when you first hear it. It is important to understand that it is not the right answer that the interviewer is looking for but how you approach it.
Some of the examples of Estimations Questions are:
- How many designs get created in Canva on any given day?
- How many cars would Uber need to satisfy all of the demand in London?
- How much is Google’s annual revenue?
There are a lot of different strategies available to answer such questions. We recommend you start by breaking down the problem into a digestible chunk. If you need some clarifications, feel free to ask some clarifying questions. This shows the interviewer where you are trying to reach. You should use the basic facts around the problem situation and use it to your advantage in estimating the answer. Remember that the interviewer isn’t really looking for the right answer but how you approach it. After you have given your answer, you can also provide some details on how and what you have considered if you had more time to answer.
As a Product Manager, you will be responsible for making some important decisions every day. Some of those decisions would be very critical, the results of which can’t be reversed, and would require serious consideration and analysis. That’s why analytical questions are one of the most important and common kinds of questions in a Product Manager interview
Some of the examples of Analytical Questions are:
- What metrics would you look at to measure the success of the product Y?
- How would you experiment with Netflix’s homepage to drive sign-up rates?
- What’s the most important metric for Uber?
Analytical questions mostly test your ability to work with metrics and data. These questions help the interviewers understand your problem-solving capabilities and critical thinking skills to uncover hidden yet important data that could affect the final outcome of the product.
Product Managers are responsible for building products that customers need and creating a strategy to build them efficiently. Product Managers drive the product vision and keep all the teams linked to it throughout the product lifecycle. Hence, it is important for a Product Manager to have a deep understanding of the concepts that relate to product design and development. That’s where Product questions come into play. They can be further divided into Product design and product strategy questions.
Some of the examples of Product Questions are:
- What is your favorite product by Google? How would you make it better?
- How would you design a new money management app, and how would you differentiate it from other products in the market?
- How would you redesign a high-tech refrigerator?
Product questions usually test the product related abilities of the interviewee such as product vision, product strategy, and passion for solving real user problems through the product. It also tests how familiar the individual is with the user-centric design and how it can be used effectively in achieving business goals through the product.
These are some of the most common question categories in a product manager interview. It is really important to understand that there are no right or wrong answers for most of the questions. It all boils down to how you approach the questions, simplify it, dig deeper into the real problem, and come up with a solution.
We hope you find this article helpful and you are better prepared to face such questions. On that note, I do want to stress the importance of practicing these question categories many times. It is really important to get familiar with all these question categories and create a strategy for answering these. We hope you nail your job interview, future product managers.
At Knowledge Officer, we offer a Structured Product Management Boot Camp that helps candidates pursuing product management to hone their skills to the utmost perfection and excel in their field.