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How to Answer Every Product Manager Interview Question

I frequently get asked by prospective members, “what if the company I am interviewing for asks me this question? Have you been asked this question before?” There are only two outcomes: either they have or they have not been asked this question before.
4 min read

With the current demand for highly skilled product managers, there is no way to collect all the questions that a candidate might receive during their product manager interview. Throughout our consultations and coaching sessions, we found that we get asked this question aggressively, because our members are extremely scared of losing out on the company they are interested in. Trust us, you are not the first person to fall in love Google or would trade everything to get a PM role at Apple. If you really want to get a job at your dream company, you shouldn’t attempt to solve every possible question. Instead, you should strategically be prepared for the interview to tackle any question you get asked. Wondering how to do that? Read and apply our formula below.

Prepare for the Common Questions

Just because you don’t have access to all of the questions, you should give up preparing the perfect answer to the most commonly questions. While every company will add its unique edge to the product manager interview, there are quite a few common questions that you should be expecting in one form or another.

99.9% of the time, you will be asked to talk about yourself. This is your chance to showcase your professional life in 60-90 seconds. It is your elevator pitch and UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCE should you come up with something during the interview. You should have it ready and practiced, so that you can talk about yourself clearly in an interesting way within a limited amount of time.

If you are struggling with presenting yourself during an interview, make sure that you read How to Market Yourself As the Ultimate Product Manager.

In addition to the elevator pitch, there are tons of commonly asked questions that you can face during an interview. You should have an idea about your favorite product (and why you like it and what would you change about it), your daily routine at work, common terminology and PM practices. Unfortunately, these common questions don’t appear the first thing after a Google search and they are all scattered around the internet. Thankfully, we have compiled an extensive list of questions and some insightful tips on answering them. Make sure you go through the common product manager questions list here.

Do Your Research

Make sure that you know a great deal about the company before stepping into the interview. Regardless of where you interview, the company’s expectation is loud and clear: know the general facts about the company and the product. Note that your research should go beyond the company website. Look for all the articles and news to understand what the company is up to lately. Have a clear idea of what their vision is and try to understand what kind of people do they hire. At the end of the day, this is a one big assessment to see if you are on par with their expectations.

Note that you should actively integrate what you learned about the company to some of your answers during the interview. This is a point that many candidates miss and their research isn’t obvious to the interviewer, which of course, defeats the whole purpose of taking the time to do research.

Also, many companies have a profile on Glassdoor. Glassdoor has very valuable information about interviews and you can always extract some interview questions by simply visiting the company page there.

With more than 200 successful replacements over the past few years, our alumni pool brings in a valuable source of knowledge. Joining our community would give you a real edge in terms of understanding what the company is like from the inside as well as the interview procedure. Make sure you schedule a call with us to learn how you can become a part of this community!

One very important warning that we would like to reiterate here. From our past and current members, we always observe a lack of enthusiasm when they interview with companies they aren’t particularly excited about. Yes, we get it, this is not the company you were aiming for. But guess what? You’ll need a good deal of practice before you get a chance to interview with your dream company. So, this is a valuable experience to learn how to do a proper research about a company and sound energetic and interested during the interview no matter how bad your day is going or how much you don’t care about this particular opportunity. Long story short, NEVER let go of an interview! Keep on reading, we got more on this last idea.

Have an Interview Game Plan

This is certainly the most important step that you should take into consideration. We take every opportunity to repeat the fact that every interview is an OPPORTUNITY to improve your skills. Building up the confidence to talk to strangers and answering professional questions doesn’t come naturally in most of the cases. And so, if you want to shine in your dream company’s interview, you should be ready for the stress.

If you want to learn about the ultimate interview and product manager job application strategy, make sure you schedule a call with one of our coaches now!

At the end of the day, winning a product manager interview and landing an offer is all about confidence. If you think about it, product management is all about handling ambiguity and coming up with creative solutions to open-ended questions. The best practice approach to the interview would be to consider it as the job itself. Memorizing questions and answers might get you the offer but it will not get you to the place you want in your job. So, it is essential for you to understand how to tackle ambiguity starting from the interviewing process itself.

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