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“How Do You Test Product Design?”: Product Design Questions for a PM Interview

You’re probably expecting to receive some Product Design questions in the Product Manager interview, right? You’ve probably prepared your answer for the “How do you test product design?” question. Wait — don’t answer that. We’re willing to bet that whether you’re mid-interview-prep or not, your answer to this common Product Design question could use some work.

If you’re a first-timer or don’t have much product management experience to draw from, you might lack examples of actually testing product design, leaving you stumped with how to answer. And if you’re a veteran in the field, you’ll likely jump to the latest scenario you faced in your current position.

Today, we’re going to provide you with the best framework to answer this question, no matter how much experience you bring to the table. Follow along with our video guide as you read:

How Do You Test Product Design: The Most Common Pitfall

Where we’ve seen a lot of candidates get stuck with this question is that they jumped to the conclusion too quickly.

An interviewer will ask potential candidates, “how do you test for product design?” and immediately, the interviewee will try to jump in with an answer they hope is the correct one.

Unfortunately, this approach typically doesn’t provide the desired results. This is especially true if you’re a first-time Product Manager or if you’ve never been part of a product management training program. Alternatively, an experienced Product Manager might quickly regale the interviewer with what they did in their last project.

As you may have guessed, both of these approaches are less than ideal. If you’ve been on a series of interviews, this current strategy for interviewing and answering this question isn’t being too helpful to your cause. Essentially, this is because one quickly-arrived-at solution does little to highlight your adaptability and your open mind. Giving one quick and definite answer makes you seem like you have only one key way of using tools.

The Best Approach: How Do You Test Product Design?

In most cases, when you’ve been asked, “how do you test product design,” the first thing to do is provide them with multiple scenarios. Definitely let them know that there’s no one size fits all solution. When you give the interviewer options, you give yourself an opportunity to gather as much information as possible. After all, when you’re jumping at the answer, you’re signalling to the interviewer that this is the solution or methodology you rely on to solve product design.

If you create this impression, the interviewer will leave the session assuming that your mindset or approach is too singular. You can reassure them by simply starting the answer off with, “well, that depends on the type of product designs that we are testing for and exactly what outcomes we’re looking to achieve.”

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Testing Product Design: Two Key Tips

1. Provide Two Examples

While you don’t want to deliver a single case scenario, you also don’t want to barrage the interviewer with every example you can muster. Typically, the sweet spot is two cases with noticeably different aspects and approaches involved. This communicates that you are versatile and able to view product design in a multifaceted way.

Even if your solution doesn’t illustrate a methodology that the company currently uses, you’re showing them that it’s not outside your comfort zone to incorporate it. After all, there is no “one methodology” that is the clear winner and is the one size fits all option. Each scenario and desired outcome will dictate the optimal approach.

2. Align Your Response with the Company’s Goals

Regardless of what you do, you need to align your answers with business and/or marketing goals. Keep in mind that every action you take is to serve the customer while meeting or exceeding their expectations. In fact, it’s your job to go out there and anticipate the customer’s needs. Sometimes even before the customer knows what they want. 

One way to shed light on your flexibility while gathering more information is to ask how they test product design. This will help you better tailor your answer to their goals.

Get in Touch With Product Gym

If you are a first-time Product Manager, you may not feel comfortable answering this question. But don’t lose your cool: 90% of Product Gym members are first-timers with no technical or design experience. We’ve helped thousands of our members land multiple Product Manager offers. To avoid getting stumped with product design questions, schedule a free consultation with us today. Even if you are an experienced Product Manager and still have further questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out.

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