It is not easy to be a product manager. There is tough competition on the market for nearly every product. Good person for this job must be good project manager and know more than a little from both marketing and sales. Employers are aware of this situation. They try to locate the right candidate for the job by using list of targeted product manager interview questions.
These questions are constructed to test different abilities, needed for a good product manager. At least, an interview in big companies is conducted this way. If you are one of the applicants, you can find the following list of questions handy. It was used in real interviews in Fortune 500 companies, to identify the best possible product managers. And if the following list is not big enough for you, I recommend you to check website that specializes on this position only, at www.productmanagerinterviewquestions.com. However, let’s have a look at our own list now.
List of product manager interview questions and how to answer it.
Why do you want to be a product manager?
Try to focus on your enthusiasm for the products of the company where you are applying for the job. Enthusiasm or even love for the product is very important. To say that you want this particular job because of your related skills and experience is of course also a good idea.
What do you think characterize a good product manager?
Ability to define unique selling point and make from the product what customers want to it be. This is the best answer I have ever heard to this particular question.
Tell us something about your experience.
Recruiters are typically too busy (or too lazy) to study in deep your resume before the interview. When answering this questions, you should talk about several things:
- Experience related to product management – or at least experience in which you gained skills needed for a good product manager.
- Achievements in your previous jobs – achievements from the point of view of the company, e.g. increase of sales of the product after you made improvements, etc..
You should simply not waste too much time speaking about your experience which is not related to the job. Always try to connect everything you talk about to this product management.
Why did you decided to apply for the product manager job in our company?
Honest compliment is the best answer to this question. Tell them how much you like the product, the professionalism of the company or simply the working environment. In order to have this answer ready, you should identify something you like about the company, before the interview starts.
When managing the product, how do you manage the expectations of internal groups, just like sales and services?
You should focus on the close interactions with these departments in your answer. As a good product manager, you should have always feedback from all the departments related to the product. You shoudl adjust the overall strategy based on this feedback.
When do you think it is the right time to release the product?
This is a tricky question. Some people believe that the product should be released just after it is perfect, all the beta tests have been made and there are no mistakes or even possibilities of these.
However, competition does not sleep on roses and can sometimes act faster than you and earn prime position on the market. So, how to answer this question to get a job? You should probably say that it depends on the market research. Anyway, there is hardly any wrong or right answer to this question.
Tell me something more about the life cycle of the product you managed.
This is one of the typical product manager interview questions. They are testing your theoretic knowledge with that. You should know what is this life cycle and if you don’t, this article will make it clear to you: product life cycle on Wikipedia.
The demand for the product has exceeded your production capacity in the initial phase. What would you do?
Obviously, good product manager will do everything he can to not disappoint the customers and keep the demand high. That means, you will either outscore your production or do something else to keep the dice rolling.
Imagine that your mobile phone is a brand new product in the market – a first phone with a digital camera (funny imagination today, isn’t it?). You have limited budget for advertising, let’s say 1 million dollars. What steps would you take in order to achieve successful product lunch?
Product managers are pretty good in budgeting projects, planning and allocating resources. You shoudl be also. Obviously, the strategy is up to you to choose. You can make the product viral, or do anything else to make it popular. We can hardly give you any exact answers at this place, I am sorry.
So, this was a list of typical and most importantly targeted product manager interview questions and answer. Inspire yourself with the list and prepare well for your job interview. And do not forget – tell the interviewers, what they want to hear! We wish you good luck.
PS: You can check also project management interview questions or inspire yourself with other fascinating articles on InterviewPenguin.com