16 Product Manager Interview Questions You Need to Think About

product manager interview questions

The scope of Product Manager Interview questions you may be asked is one of the broadest of any role that software companies hire for.

Simply put, product management is a new industry and profession that has not been explicitely defined. Thus, you must have a diverse depth of product management knowledge that also speaks to your professional background and personal backstory to be prepared for Product Manager interview questions.

Here, we’ll be going over some of the most frequently asked Product Manager interview questions specific to the first and second round calls. For a comprehensive look at the interview process from beginning to end, take a look at our complete Product Manager interview guide to be fully prepared.

While you may not get these questions word by word, it’s good to know that you will receive some variation. So, take some time to prepare to avoid stepping into interviews unprepared!

Please note that we are only including the Product Manager interview questions for the first two rounds. These are questions you would get from a Recruiter and a Product Manager at the company who is hiring. That Product Manager may potentially be your manager or could be the Founder or CEO of the company.

The third and fourth rounds, in general, involve case study and case-specific questions.

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First Round Calls

  1. Tell me about yourself. Walk me through your background and experience.
  2. Why are you interested in {company}?
  3. Why are you interested in leaving your current company?
  4. What makes a good Product Manager?
  5. Have you ever worked in an Agile environment? / Do you currently work in an Agile environment?
  6. How do you determine if your product is successful?
  7. How do you define your product roadmap?
  8. What are you looking for in your next role?

How to Prepare for First Round Calls

Preparing for the first round mostly involves organizing your professional background in a concise and thorough pitch. You will most likely talk with a Recruiter or a Hiring Manager. The pass criteria for this interview is how much experience you have that is relevant to the role.

While talking about your resume might sound easy, you need to frame your response to the “tell me about yourself” question in a specific way. To learn how to answer this question and qualify for the next round, check out this video:

In addition to framing your answers correctly, you should also incorporate a specific set of Product Manager terms to your answers so that the hiring manager is convinced that you have the right background to do the job.

Here are those words and how to add them to your responses:

Second Round Calls

  1. How do you make your team more Agile?
  2. What is your product development lifecycle?
  3. How do you prioritize your backlog?
  4. How do you make product decisions?
  5. Where do you get new Ideas for features?
  6. If {company} wanted to implement {some feature}, walk me through your thought process.
  7. How closely do you work with design?
  8. Tell me about a difficult time you worked with a {designer, engineer, senior leader, etc}.

How to Prepare for Second Round Calls

Unlike the first-round call, this phase of the Product Manager interview will focus on the specifics of your product management process. You will receive a ton of questions about how you manage different stakeholders, how you work in an Agile environment, and how you interact with the customer.

While a second round doesn’t require preparation as intense as the first round, you will still need to know what to expect. Make sure you watch our second-round preparation guide:

Many of our members tell us that they don’t have enough experience with different kinds of stakeholders. Therefore, they struggle to answer interview questions that require them to speak about those.

Their lack of experience with engineering teams disqualifies them from further rounds of the Product Manager interview. So, we have released our guide to answering questions about your experiences with the engineering teams.

Note that the tactics we have on this video could be applied to different stakeholders (i.e., design teams, senior leadership, etc.). Watch this video a couple of times, especially if you experience the cross-functional team experience.

Last but not least, you should also expect a lot of questions about how you interact with customers and how you design your product accordingly.

These questions also touch upon “Agile principles” to assess how organized you are when distributing tasks to the developers.

We interviewed Rodhmir Labadie, one of our design instructors and Senior Product Manager at TuneCore, to answer the most common product design interview questions.

How to Answer Product Manager Interview Questions

With over 3000 interview questions from product management candidates, product management hiring managers and the best recruiters for product management, we’ve realized that the answers to all these questions lie in the candidate’s mindset.

The interview process is broken. A recruiter spends hours culling through hundreds of thousands of resumes, only to choose a couple to call and even less to promote to the next interview stage. It inherently becomes an interrogation when you get on that first phone call with them. That is because the power dynamic is clear – you need this job more than they need to hire you.

But – that’s where a fundamental shift in your mindset helps you control the product management Interview. You start asking the questions. Create discomfort and interrogate the recruiter or the hiring manager. Essentially, you have to build the necessary confidence to feel that they are courting you for the job and not the other way around. The best way to do this is to understand that the answers to the above questions always depend on the product and the context.

Want a comprehensive overview of the Product Manager job hunt? Check out our free training on how to get a Product Manager job!

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