Product Manager Interview: Pre-Interview Research

As a product manager, you will be expected to know quite a few different areas of knowledge. Not only are you required to become a domain expert in the product that you’ll own, but you’ll also need to understand the industry within which you work.

While most companies have some sort of on-boarding process for new hires, in my experience, I’ve found that interviewers appreciate when candidates are already knowledgeable about the role, the company, and the industry.

Candidates who conduct research before the interview are likely to be more successful, because they remove the burden from the interviewer in needing to explain their company and industry. The interviewer can then spend more time in better understanding the candidate’s fit for the role. Continue Reading

Product Manager Interview: Improve a Product

Product Manager Interview - Improve a Product

Another common question that is frequently asked during product manager interviews is “How would you improve X product?”

While the product design question asks you to design from scratch, this variation is meant for the interviewer to see how well you can understand the current situation of an existing product, propose potential solutions to any problems the product may currently have, and understand your ability to execute on those solutions.

As usual, you’ll want to structure your answer so that it’s easier for you to process in your mind as well as clear for your interviewer to understand.

Depending on the situation, you may either have the option of choosing an existing product to improve or your interviewer may propose his/her own company’s product. Either way: Continue Reading

Product Manager Interview: The Favorite Product Question

Product Manager Interview - Favorite Product Question

*Updated: September 2017*

One commonly asked question during product manager interviews is:

“What’s your favorite product and why?”

At first glance, it seems like a harmless question and oftentimes feels like the interviewer is just trying to make casual small talk.

However, don’t take this question too lightly; an interviewer may genuinely be curious about the types of products you enjoy using, but may also be using this question to understand how you think about products and get a sense of your standards for amazing products.

When approaching this question, you don’t need to follow a specific structure but we recommend using this answer framework:

1) What is the product and what does it do? Continue Reading

Product Manager Interview: The Product Design Question

Product Manager Interview - Product Design Question

*Updated: Sept. 2017*

A product manager’s core responsibilities include working with a team to design, build, ship, and continuously improve a product. During product manager interviews, most companies love to hone in on your ability to execute against these responsibilities by asking how you might think about designing a product.

The popular product design question usually takes shape in the form of something like:

“Walk me through how you would design X product for Y user”

Some common example questions we’ve frequently heard include:

  • Design a pen for an astronaut
  • Design an alarm clock for a blind person
  • Design an elevator for an individual in a wheelchair

When you answer these types of product design questions, you should always approach them with a framework in mind. Below is one that we highly recommend: Continue Reading