The diversity of backgrounds in product manager applicants increases the level of difficulty in making a good hire. Moreover, product manager roles and job descriptions also vary wildly from one organization to the next. The combination of both of those elements makes an effective product manager a challenging position to fill. For example, sometimes you need a technical whiz, or someone with marketing chops, while other opportunities demand deep experience in a particular industry.
- What would you say is the best way to gather consumer feedback? …
- Can you tell me what insights one might gain from web analytics? …
- You need to introduce new product features to customers. …
- Can you explain the best way to gather information on competitor products?
Associate Product Manager (APM) Mock Interview: Favorite Product
Why the Product Manager Interview Questions Matter
Many people approach an interview with a “let’s just see how it goes” attitude. They think they can get a sense of the person and their fit for the role regardless of which direction the conversation may go.
Entering an interview unprepared is just as bad for the interviewer as the interviewee. You may luck into a deep and diverse discussion that provides a great sense of the candidate, but you may also have many uncomfortable minutes of silence when you struggle to come up with the next question.
And there’s no assurance the dialogue will cover all the pertinent points unless the interviewer makes a concerted effort to get there. That’s why every interview should include the most relevant topics to ensure everything’s covered.
While the specifics of the role and the candidate’s background may dictate which of these to include and which to skip, here’s a set of basic categories of questions you’ll likely want to touch on:
Don’t worry that this will lead to a disjointed interview. Multitasking and context switching is essential to the job. If the interviewee can’t hop from one area to another easily in an interview, they’re likely to struggle with that on the job. Now, let’s review the eleven product manager interview questions to reveal whether a candidate is a good fit for your position.
Seeing a list of skills is all well and good, but an interview gives a company a chance to gauge how you behave day to day. They want to know that you work well in high-pressure environments, that you’re able to influence without authority, and manage stakeholder expectations. If you’re asked about a situation you haven’t yet faced, instead of saying “I haven’t done that yet,” talk about how you would face it in future.
Leadership and Communication Questions
Even at a junior level, a Product Manager is a kind of leader. (Crazy, right?!) So even entry-level PM roles will come with questions about leadership. But don’t worry, they won’t be too high-level or philosophical until you reach seniority. They’ll be more similar to behavioural questions, and they’re just trying to see how you interact and communicate with the people on your teams.