Have you ever found yourself dumbfounded and lost for words after facing a simple Product Manager interview question? In today’s article, we will be showing you how to answer this one particular question that can crush the novice Product Manager candidate: What is your Product Management process?
Let’s start by telling you who would ask this question in the interview process. It might be asked by the recruiter, the hiring manager, or any other stakeholder that you meet during the interview process.
This question might occur multiple times because it is essential to answer it correctly! It will set the tone for the rest of the interview and give your interviewer a clear picture of your experience level.
To give this question a well-thought-out and structured answer, we will share an eight-step process with you.
You will want to use your previous projects as a starting point to answer this question based on a solid example.
Step 1: Define the Problem You Were Trying to Solve
This is a critical step because it will set the foundation to determine the scope of the problem. You need to specify who you are addressing and who you are solving the problem for.
You need to think and clearly define the problem. It’s essential to avoid vague words here as it can convolute the whole product development process.
We also noticed that some Product Managers end up developing products that don’t necessarily solve the customer’s problem. If that was the case, either choose another project or tell this to the interviewer.
Step 2: Talk About Your Research
Research is vital when it comes to understanding the problem and what needs to be done to solve it.
There are several ways of finding answers to your questions, and one method might be better than the other, depending on the scope of the problem.
For instance, if the problem is faced by an internal team, you might want to interview and shadow the team that is actually facing the problem. This way, you can have the client’s perspective.
Larger scopes and external clients might also require extensive market research involving multiple resources.
Regardless of the medium of your research, target market, or your product, it would help if you were aiming to find the features that your product should have to differentiate itself from what the market is currently offering.
Step 3: Write Down Whatever Solutions and Ideas You Have
This could be anything. It could simply be you writing your ideas on a sheet of paper or having a whiteboarding session with your teammates.
You and your team might want to focus on a single solution and writing the specs. Or you might have more than one solution and want to weigh the pros and cons of each.
This is the step where the whole team has to come together and collaborate. Be it the engineering team or the other stakeholders, everyone involved with the product has to come up with ideas or at least have a voice in evaluating the ideas you propose.
Step 4: Define the Relevant Metrics
This step is as important, if not more important than the previous step. To assess your solution’s effectiveness and determine whether it achieves the goal that it was designed for, you will have to define specific metrics.
How do you know that the product is successful? What do you need to measure? What metrics are more important than others, and what does the team need to do to make sure that these goals are achieved?
You need to answer all of these questions in your discussion with your teams and come up with a detailed list of KPIs to focus on.
Most importantly, you need to have a reliable projection of the revenue that this product would generate if it were in the market. It would be your best interest to talk about how you envisioned the product you designed to generate revenue for your company in your Product Manager interview.
Step 5: Prioritize the Features
Now that you have a clear set of goals to focus on, it’s time to determine the features that need to be implemented to build it. This is the step where you create your product roadmap.
In addition to discussing the necessary features, you and your team should engage in prioritization so that the client can have a working MVP as soon as possible.
It would help if you focused on the most important KPIs that you defined in the previous step while prioritizing your features.
Step 6: Spec out the Features
Now that you have a product roadmap, it’s time for you to pick up the features from your backlog and clearly define the requirements for everyone.
This is a crucial step in product development, and you need to work with the engineering team to ensure that everyone in the group is on the same page when it comes to implementing features.
You want to make sure that any possible scenario, down to the technical aspect is taken care of. It would be best if you had your engineers’ input as they might come up with some points that you haven’t thought about.
Note that this is where you start thinking about how your feature works in an environment that runs the other features that already exist in the platform.
While there are many different modes of expanding requirements and specifications, the most prevalent method is to write out the details for a given feature under the user story that the feature is assigned to. This way, the engineer who picks up the user story can work on the feature without looking at the whole requirements document.
Step 7: Testing
Once you roll out the features, you have to make sure that they work and function as expected. You will think about how to test and what the product has to achieve to pass the tests that you defined.
In addition to the simple unit tests that check if the feature properly works or not, you should consider if this feature is working as expected when integrated with the rest of the product.
Most importantly, you should test your feature to see if it satisfies the customer.
Step 8: Congratulations! You are done, but not really…
Once your product passed all the tests and it’s delivered to the client, you should celebrate the completion of your feature/product!
You should note, however, that you are not entirely done with implementing the product. It is an iterative process, so it’s crucial for you to regularly receive customer feedback to see if you need to improve the product or add a new feature.
As you interact with the customer more, you should not be surprised to get more work. Make sure that you and your team are fully engaged and have the bandwidth to work on the improvements suggested by the client.
This is the method that many of our members have used to answer this popular Product Manager interview question and managed to qualify themselves for further rounds.
Make sure you watch the video explanation of this framework:
If you are struggling to relate your professional experiences with this framework, schedule a consultation call with us today to find out how we can help you!