The Product market has evolved manifold in the last decade and the ever-increasing need for innovation and technology has shifted the focus towards developing unique products that stand out, leading to a high demand for product managers.
While landing a product manager job is no easy feat, we are here to help you take the first step. Here are 34 Product manager interview questions to prepare you for your next interview. These interview questions are divided into:
Also read: Product manager salary in India
Core Product Interview Questions
1. How do you identify a well-designed product?
For me, a well-designed product is simple and user-centric. With a subtle design interface, it should stand out with innovation and inclusivity.
2. How would you describe our product to someone?
For an effective product description, it is important to communicate relevant information about the product with a user-centric approach.
I would identify the target audience and share the innovation, context and background of the product.
I would also emphasize on the product’s vision and explain to the user how the product can benefit them.
3. How would you prioritize product development when you have two important things to do but can only do one?
I would divide the tasks in the first level and second-level priority keeping in mind the urgency, time it will consume and Return of Investment (ROI).
I would also adopt a systematic process for assigning time and resources for product development at hand so that the backlog can be cleared at the earliest.
4. What is your favorite product by XYZ? How would you make it better?
XYZ could be any famous company with multiple products. Interviewers ask this question to assess your product awareness.
The best way to answer this question is to start with a brief introduction followed by a detailed description on these 3 fronts:
• Use– talk about how the product is useful in resolving key pain points
• Efficiency – discuss how the product enables easy problem-solving for the user
• Innovation – The features that make the product simple and unique.
5. Who are our competitors? What is better or lacking in our product in comparison?
Interviewers ask about their competitors and flaws in their own products to evaluate your understanding of the company.
To answer this question, research well before appearing for the interview and identify market competition.
Evaluate the differences between the organization and competitors and assess who is doing what better.
Use their products first hand to get an insight into their strengths and weaknesses from a user’s perspective.
6. How do you define a good user interface?
A good user interface is simple, intuitive and consistent. It effectively communicates important information and reduces user errors.
7. Which product do you use the most and what do you like/dislike about it?
This is a subjective question through which the interviewer aims at assessing:
• If you can understand the connection between user satisfaction and product.
• If you are aware of the products in the market.
• If you can answer questions in an organized manner and back it with facts and research
Pick a product you know well. You can share unique insights if you connect well with the product.
PQR is an Indian ride-hailing company that has enhanced commuting experience.
I use the PQR app frequently as it lets me book cabs of different segments, depending upon the number of people taking the ride.
It also provides autos and bikes for small distances. Apart from daily cab services within the city, PQR solves the problem of commuting inter-city with its outstation segment, at decent prices.
One of the things I like about the company is that it provides convenient payment methods, like Money Wallet, Google Pay, UPI ID, etc., effectively solving payment related issues.
The user experience on the app is simple and lets the user track the live location of cabs, providing the consumer with an accurate ETA.
The brand stands out in terms of innovation and unique concepts.
PQR also offers postpaid services that allows people to take a ride on credit and pay for it after 2 weeks.
However, there are some things that I do not like in the product, one of them being additional charges during waiting in traffic.
The customer service fails to satisfy as there is no proper enquiry on feedbacks.
PQR has a cab for everyone in every situation and I believe that it helps cover distances unlike anyone else in the business.
8. What is a poorly-designed product?
Any product that does not fulfill its purpose and leaves the user dissatisfied is a poorly designed product.
For e.g. ABC company launched a mobile phone with an alphabetically ordered keypad.
The phone was a major flop as mobile users are habitual of using QWERTY keypads. This led to constant confusion while texting, making it uncomfortable to use.
9. How proficient are you with the X tool?
Interviewers ask this question to understand how much training the candidate would need to work at the same pace as the team.
Most companies mention the tools and software they use on the job description for the candidate to understand the required skill set.
Read the description carefully to be able to match your skills with the proficiency expected by the company.
Product Manager Interview Questions
1. What do you understand by a Product Manager?
This is one of the basic product manager interview questions and a simple answer talks about the role of product managers throughout the product lifecycle.
Product managers possess product expertise and take decisions based on innovation, strategy and market conditions.
They are a part of product development from the conception of the idea through a product’s launch and even beyond.
Product managers know the why, when and what of the product and lead cross-functional team activities for its development.
2. How do you decide what and what not to build?
I follow a 5-step process to understand what needs to be built-
- Identification of market trends and demand for the product, available resources and if it is feasible.
- Brainstorming with the team to plan out product design, development, and process of execution.
- Measuring scalability to figure out the availability and quantity of resources for product development.
- Preparation for the execution by collecting resources and resolving challenges
- Execution to bring the plan to action.
3. What aspects of product management do you find the most and least exciting?
The most exciting thing about being a product manager is that I get to build products from ideas and impact a large number of people.
The least exciting thing for me would be when innovation is on a standstill and I have to work in maintenance mode only as that would limit development and innovation.
4. How would you redesign our product?
To redesign the product, I would build a strategic roadmap
• I would start with understanding what the product lacks and needs improvement. To determine that, I would communicate with customers, engineers, and other stakeholders.
• The next step would be to retain and build features that are unique and make the product easy to use. The idea is to make the product innovative and reduce variety so that it does its core function effectively.
• I would also try to make it cost-effective in order to multiply sales & revenues without hampering the user’s satisfaction.
5. What is a major potential challenge our company could face in the upcoming year?
It is crucial to research well before answering this product manager interview question. Make sure that you do an in-depth analysis of the company’s past failures, success strengths, and weaknesses.
You can also do a SWOT analysis of the company to identify potential challenges to the organization.
6. How can a product failure be prevented?
The key to success of the product is innovation. Refurbishing ideas and using stale concepts is a recipe for product failure. My first step would be to make sure that the product stands out with its features.
I would launch the product to a sample audience before the official launch to gather people’s perspectives about the product. In case of frequent negative feedback, I would identify the pain points and resolve them.
Even though marketing plays a key role, overhyping a product often leads to its failure. I would promote marketing of the product post its release once the reputation of the product has been established.
Pricing the product right is another way as higher prices push potential buyers towards cheaper alternatives that are affordable and relevant.
Resolving bad user experience, poor design, inefficient implementation, lack of quality control, etc. would also help damage control.
7. How do you know when to cut corners to get a product out the door?
I would cut corners and launch a product if:
• The product has been long overdue and the team has spent more than the estimated time.
• The prototype is ready to be launched and I need market feedback for further product development.
• The product is situation centric and would reap lesser results if launched at a later stage.
However, I would ensure that the product is ready to perform and meet customer expectations before giving a go-ahead on product launch so that the company reputation is not affected.
8. How do you communicate a product development strategy?
A product development strategy discusses market demand, business situation, competitors, technological capabilities, domain, and design expertise
An effective product development conveys:
• Emerging market and technologies that can accommodate customers.
• How it plans to meet business goals and generate revenues
• Economic factors that affect the customer’s budget
• Evolving customer behavior.
9. As a product manager, how do you juggle between B2B and B2C market segments?
The fundamentals of product development are the same in both markets. Any product with multiple value propositions must define the business model and benefit the customers through effective problem-solving.
The difference is that B2B products focus on enabling simple and profitable business activities for stakeholders while B2C products, demand a good user experience for each individual in the target audience.
Given that both market segments work on similar aspects but have different objectives, I build different roadmaps and strategies to juggle between B2B and B2C markets and in case of any discrepancy, I focus my efforts towards identifying the pain points in both segments.
10. What is PLM and how does it aid product managers?
PLM is Product lifecycle management and includes managing the entire lifecycle of a product- from the inception of the idea to final execution.
The primary goal of PLM is to enable the flow of information, people and processes concerned with the product’s lifecycle.
PLM helps product managers by reducing marketing time, improving quality, sustaining operational serviceability and making products eco-friendly.
11. What is the difference between PLM and ERP?
• PLM is concerned with design and innovation whereas ERP aids the manufacturing of quality products.
• PLM takes care of concept, design, production, and distribution. ERP enables manufacturing, resource Planning, HR, Purchasing, accounting, inventory and order management.
12. Based on what metrics would you measure a product’s success?
I would measure a product’s success on 6 parameters:
- • Product Awareness (number of people that know about the product)
- • Product Breadth (Number of people using the product)
- • Frequency of Use (How frequently does the user return)
- • Product Depth (analyzing features of the product being used)
- • Efficiency
- • Customer Satisfaction
13. How do you decide on the price of a product?
To determine the price of a product, I would choose an effective pricing strategy to make it cost-effective.
I would assess the market and target audience followed by a research on the pricing structure of competitors.
3 important inclusions here would be:
- Variable costs- Cost of goods sold, Production, Packaging, marketing costs and shipping.
- Fixed Costs- unavoidable expenses like rent, electricity, salaries of employees, etc.
- Profit margin- The profit company aims to make per unit.
14. What is your understanding of the relationship between product managers and engineers?
• A product manager takes care of end to end execution of products, from ideation to execution. Engineers and technical teams build products.
• Engineering teams provide Product Requirements Document (PRD) and test plans for the product to be built.
The product manager carries out market research to identify the audience, competitors and economic challenges.
• Engineers set an architectural vision, technical strategy and define development methodology for the organization.
The product manager leads the product from concept to reality and is responsible for the constant fixing and development of the product.
15. As a product manager, how would you enable effective communication with the engineering team?
As a product manager, I would make sure that I put across the vision of the product clearly along with a detailed market scenario and limitations.
For effective communication, I would:
- Make data-driven decisions to avoid disagreement on the product.
- Communicate challenges at hand and let the engineering team do the problem-solving.
- Ensure clear and frequent communication with the engineering team
- Help in resolving product-related issues to make it easier for the engineering team.
16. How would you explain technical challenges to market-oriented teams?
In order to explain the technical challenges to market-oriented teams like sales and marketing, I would
• Discuss insights about the user segment, demand for product, Innovation and business goals.
• Share data with concerned teams and define demands, resources, and limitations.
• Keep all stakeholders in the loop for all development and include their suggestions for effective decision making.
17. On what parameters do you base the performance of a product in the market from a product manager’s perspective?
A product’s market success can be measured on 4 parameters:
Product Usage- monthly users and users per feature.
Product Quality- escalation and negative feedbacks, product testing to validate the quality of the product and draw a roadmap for ongoing improvement.
Product Development- On-time delivery, resource availability and estimated time to complete development.
Business performance- Customer experience, revenues, bookings, profits, and costs.
Analytical Interview Questions
Interviewers often ask questions that can leave you confused with no definite answers.
These questions are vague and require big statistics. The key to facing such questions is preparing an analytical scheme.
Through these questions, the interviewers want to assess the candidate’s ability to deal with uncertainty, analytical thinking, and clear communication.
Here are 4 analytical questions that you may have to face in your next interview:
1.How many windows are there in New York City?
2.How many doctors are there in the US?
3.How many people are currently online in Europe?
4.How would you find the number of Red cars in China?
Start by seeking further clarification. For instance, to estimate windows take into account car windows, subways, computers, etc.
This indicates curiosity and makes the question clear and simple.
Ask for some time to draw a strategy estimate based on the basic information you possess.
For instance, New York City has a large population. Assuming there are 8 million people there and we allot 5 windows to each person, keeping in mind that offices have fewer windows than homes and more people than windows.
Based on this logic, the number of windows in New York City 8 Million X 5, which is equal to 40 million windows.
Figure out logical strategies and a way to work on those.
Remember! The method matters, not the answer!
Behavioral and General Interview Questions
1. How would you interact with users?
Interacting with users becomes important for ideation and gathering feedback.
I would communicate with them through individual/group interviews, user forums, analytics, and surveys.
The customer services team get first-hand feedback and can help bridge the communication gap between us and the users.
2. Explain your role on your team and how you work with them?
The objective of asking this question is to identify the knowledge and experience you possess.
Learning about your role in the team helps the interviewer understand your position in the hierarchy, leadership skills and gives an idea of the rapport you share with the team.
3. Why should we hire you?
Answer this to reflect self-confidence and preparation. Connect dots between job description and your skills, experience, and qualifications to explain why you would be a perfect fit.
Also Read: How To Answer "Why Should I Hire You?"
4. Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
Interviewers ask "Where Do You See Yourself Five Years From Now" to understand your career goals with the organization, and to assess if you have long term goals there.
The answer should be realistic and logical.
Communicate to the interviewer that you are content with the position as is and try to align your career goals with that of the organization.
Tip: Check out Getting a Product Manager Interview: The Checklist to bag the interview you have been waiting for.
All The Best!