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The Ultimate Guide to Product Manager Interview Questions

To get the Product Manager job you want, you should aim to leave the room with the interviewer convinced that you are the best person for the job. Getting it right involves a lot of moving parts, the biggest of which is your response to the questions typically asked in a Product Manager interview.

The most common Product Manager interview questions will cover: 

  • Reasons for leaving 
  • Biggest weakness 
  • Greatest strength
  • “Tell me about yourself”
  • Salary

But there’s much more — The Product Manager interview structure covers everything from your resume and experience to behavioral and technical aspects of the job. You need to feel comfortable answering all kinds of questions. 

We’ve created this ultimate guide to Product Manager interview questions and answers to get you as ready as possible for the next time you’re in the hot seat.

How to Be a Product Manager Interview Superstar

product manager interview questions rounds

Think of landing the Product Manager job of your dreams as a four-round competition. Each round is an interview with different stakeholders that are asking different interview questions for Product Managers — they’re looking for different qualities that are deemed attractive in hiring for the role.

If you want to be a superstar at nailing all four rounds above, there is one thing you should do: Interview! The best way to improve your Product Manager interview skills is through direct experience.

And there is only one way of getting more interviews: applying for every opportunity. The interview process is going to be demanding—you need to accept being pushed out of your comfort zone.

Whether you’re interested in the company or not, just send out your resume and try to land as many interviews as possible. In fact: prioritize interviewing with the companies you care the least about first. This way, your prime practice rounds are lower stakes, and by the time you’re applying to your passion company, you’ve honed your interviewing skills.

Interview Buzzwords

Put your best foot forward by showing the interviewer you can talk the talk. The best interview answers involve Product Manager vocabulary that communicates your experience and competence. But not just any industry buzzwords. We did a survey across the country and found that people hiring for Product Manager roles want to hear more about:

  • Stakeholder consensus 
  • Customer empathy
  • Cross-functional teams 
  • Requirements and documents 
  • Agile and/or Scrum Ritual 
  • KPIs

The video below explains more about each:

The Top Five Most Important Product Manager Interview Questions 

Before we get into the nitty-gritty of the Product Manager interview structure, let’s knock out the questions that you can be sure will show up in every interview, no matter the position or company you are interviewing for.

These questions can come up in any of the interview rounds, sometimes even in more than one stage of the interview. Keep in mind that how you answer should depend on who is asking.

For example, the customary “Tell me about yourself” question is likely to come up more than once. You’re not going to give a recruiter in the phone screen round the exact same personal pitch as the one you give the Product Lead in the third technical round. Always tailor your answers to the context at hand.

“Tell Me About Yourself”

As much as we dread it, this question is guaranteed to make an appearance. And what’s more, it’s one of the first Product Manager interview questions you’re likely to be asked.

Interviewers ask this question for two reasons: First, it’s a natural conversation starter to introduce yourself before diving into the technical questions. Second, they want to get a quick overview of you. They are looking to hear keywords pertaining to the job you are interviewing for and relevant, high-impact experience. They are also screening for social skills (for example, rambling for 10 minutes here would be a bad indicator).

Answer Templates

a. Rising Action 

This template structure is about framing your response in a way that highlights the current work you are doing and builds a story that ends with the results of what you are achieving.

I’m currently working on {your current and/or most relevant project}, supporting {business division}. I work in a cross-functional team, which consists of {any kind of people, e.g. engineers, QA testers, business analysts, scrum master, etc.}, and orchestrate the product’s development end to end.

My responsibilities include interviewing my clients and understanding their needs, documenting what clients said and sharing it with the rest of the team, and following agile principles to organize meetings to discuss requirements and check progress.

We rolled out the first version of our product {time when the first version was released to customers}, and data coming from the customer suggests that {a key KPI} increased by {percentage or any other relevant unit of measurement}.

b. The Flashback 

This template focuses on describing your actions in a way that gives an overview of your career so far and helps the interviewer understand where you’ve been and where you want to go, and your goals for this next chapter.

I’m here now, I started {x} years ago when I was at {Company A}, mainly working on {Greatest/most important project you worked on}, supporting {the business division that you were working with}. 

I realized that I really enjoyed {the kind of function/work/business division you were passionate about at the time} and decided to pursue my passion at {Company B} as I saw more opportunity for growth there.

During your pitch, it is important to highlight your experience as a Product Manager. You will want to utilize keywords that hint at Product Manager skills, describe project(s) that demonstrate Product Manager work, and show confidence about your Product Manager career trajectory or your historical ability to make an impact. Check out more templates in the video below: 

Reasons for Leaving

The “why are you leaving your current job” question is a staple of interviews no matter what field, and it usually comes up in first-round interviews in the first 3-5 questions you are asked. 

When asking your reason for leaving your current job, recruiters are trying to get a handle on your situation and motivating factors. However, potential employers may also be looking for certain cues or red flags depending on what your resume looks like. Bottom line: no matter your reason, never speak ill of the company you’re leaving. 

How to Answer

a. When You Haven’t Been at Your Current Job for Very Long 

Even if you are coming from the most toxic work environment, avoid negativity at all costs. When asked why you want to leave your current job, identify that while you are content in your current position, you are a close follower or a fan of the company and were excited to hear about their plans for expansion in/to a certain market, or to break into a new product line, or whatever your specific reasons are.

b. When You’ve Stayed in Your Current Role Too Long 

The above strategy is also very effective in a scenario where you have been at your current company for a very long time. Identify to the recruiter that you are actually very happy at your current company and did not have plans to leave before you saw the opportunity open up and decided to polish up your resume and give it a shot. Circle back to your research and the specific reasons you are excited about the company.

c. When You Have Gaps in Your Resume

Even if you have gaps in your resume, keeping the focus on your strengths and value to the company as a Product Manager is always a winning hand. Never make a big deal out of gaps in work history. The less you make it a problem, the less recruiters will treat it as a problem. The more nervous you are, the more likely you are to seem like you are someone with something to hide.

With all situations, work on shifting the narrative from ‘you need a job’ to ‘you feel like you can add value to the company’s mission.’ 

Your Biggest Weakness

This is perhaps the trickiest interview question to answer as it contradicts the most basic instinct you have during an interview: showing your best self to the interviewer. 

Interviewers want to find out: 

  • If you are self-aware of your shortcomings. 
  • Whether you are working on improving yourself in a proactive and motivated manner.

Greatest Weakness Answer Template

No matter what you answer, it is important to keep in mind that your response must walk the line between being too honest and trying too hard. These answer templates can help you market yourself as a realistic and open-minded Product Manager:

a. Quiet 

“I tend to stay quiet during the first few meetings when I am starting a new project or initiative, but speak up more as I get to know the work better.”

Nobody wants a garrulous teammate, so the interviewers will appreciate the fact that you know when to let others speak.

You can complete this response by suggesting a way of improving this habit of yours. One great example is doing some research beforehand and preparing some questions to ask during the meeting.

b. Multitasker 

“I tend to do a few things at once.”

Yes, juggling between multiple tasks isn’t the best way to do your work, but it shows a prevalent trait of Product Managers: multitasking. Any interviewer who meets with a natural multitasker will appreciate this.

The best way to complete this answer would be to share the importance of prioritization when it comes to juggling multiple projects.

c. Blunt 

“I am blunt with giving feedback.”

Being blunt might demotivate teammates and hinder their productivity. However, it shows you care about the quality of the work more than you care about what people think of you. It proves that you are all about the product. It also shows that you are honest.

You might add to this answer by telling your interviewer that you are working on ways to frame your opinions in a way that shows empathy with the challenges that the receiver of the feedback faces.

Your Greatest Strength

What are interviewers looking for? There are three keys to pick from when it comes to your greatest strength:

  1. The ability to make the company money
  2. The ability to save the company money
  3. The ability to save the company time

How to Answer

a. Strengths That Make the Company Money 

Identify what it is that you do that drives traffic, revenue, or engagement. This is how you make the company money. For example, your strength may be that you are customer-obsessed. You can elaborate on that strength by talking about a time when you anticipated the customers’ needs and offered them a product as the solution, driving more business to the company. 

Remember to mention any additional strengths that complement what you choose to highlight.

b. Strengths That Save the Company Money 

When highlighting your greatest strength of saving the company money, it is great to give numerical examples of how much money you saved your current company over a certain time period.

To relate saving money in your personal life to your Product Manager position you may say something like, “I’m always looking for ways to save money for myself and my friends and family. I am just a frugal person in general and love to look at a situation and highlight all the areas where I can save money.”

c. Strengths That Save the Company Time 

If your greatest strength is that you are process-oriented you will want to show potential employees how that will ultimately save them time. For example, documenting processes and developing them to be more efficient will make onboarding easier and minimize the learning curve for new hires.

The Salary Question

Though this may seem like a Product Manager interview question that warrants a straightforward answer, it’s a nail-biting process for many PMs. What’s the perfect figure? Go too high and you could hurt your chances of getting an offer, too low and you end up with an amount you’re not happy with. 

A recruiter or employer wants to know what you expect to earn as a Product Manager at their company for three main reasons: 

  1. Budget: They want to know whether they can afford you or not. 
  2. They want to determine your professional level. 
  3. They want to gauge how much you think you are worth.

How to Answer the Salary Question

Always tailor your answer according to the person interviewing you as each has different motivations. Internal Recruiters (AKA HR managers or Talent Acquisition Specialists) are incentivized by how much money they save a company and thus want to hire you for the lowest amount of money possible.

On the other hand, External Recruiters (AKA technical headhunters or technical recruiters) earn a commission or a percentage of your first-year annual salary. Therefore, these people are extremely incentivized to get you more money.

a. In the First Round Interview

Avoid answering the salary question during the first round phone screen as much as possible. If you absolutely have to answer, give a range of what you are comfortable with, instead of tying yourself to a single number. Research Product Manager salaries in your target location and give a salary range within that ballpark.

b. In the Post-Final Round Interview

There are many critical factors to consider due to everyone’s unique situation. For example, it may be a position you are comfortable taking a pay cut for because you are simply such a big fan of what they are doing. You might also consider the benefits package and other perks they offer.

If you find yourself in a situation where you have to negotiate, research suggests that your counteroffer should be 10 to 20 percent higher than your initial offer. If you’re in need of more negotiation tips, we encourage you to reach out to us for a second opinion and learn how to negotiate for a higher salary after receiving an offer.

Product Manager Interview Questions and Answers: Round 1

Preparing for the first round screening call 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. Questions asked in the first round of interviews include: 

  1. Do you have any initial questions about our company?
  2. What are you doing now: what keeps you busy these days? 
  3. How big is the current team that you are working with? 
  4. Who do you report directly to right now? 
  5. Are you the sole Product Manager? 
  6. What attracted you to this company? 
  7. What is your leadership style?
  8. Let’s say you join a team here and you are put on a product, you have features x and y, how would you go about deciding which one to build first? 
  9. How technical do you get with your engineers? Do you have any say with technical direction or do you mostly have a high-level conversation? 
  10. Can you tell me a little about a product you’re passionate about?

Strategizing Your Answer

1. Don’t Get too Industry Technical: Remember that these recruiters are likely not from your industry. Sometimes they’re barely knowledgeable of the industry that they’re recruiting for. In other words, save your industry jargon for the Product Lead interview.

2. Know What Questions to Ask: Culture? How has it changed? What do they think about the organization? Ask questions about the company as a whole. Your interviewer won’t be able to answer any questions that are product-specific. If you ask too many product management questions that they don’t know the answer to, you risk making them feel stupid, and no one likes that. 

3. Ask What the Process Is: Is it going to be two, three, four calls? Who is it going to be with? Be as detailed as possible. You have to extract as much information in the beginning rounds if you expect to do well in the later rounds.

Additionally, you can use these Product Manager interview tips on delivery to make a good impression: 

  • Be firm, but not too fast or too slow. It takes practice. Get used to hearing your own voice. You can even record your elevator pitch and listen to it to understand your weaknesses. We get it. It’s uncomfortable, but it will make you aware of your flaws instantly.
  • Be very cognizant of your ahhs and umms. if you need a filler, just don’t say anything. Powerful people are not afraid to take their time. In fact, our coaching clients that talk too fast often have received feedback that the First Round Stakeholder thought they don’t think things through. 
  • Try to make the recruiter laugh as much as possible. Humor always makes a good impression on people!

How to Answer Behavioral Product Manager Interview Questions

Behavioral Product Manager questions usually take the form of a scenario or situation, typically one with some form of conflict, and ask you to share your approach to addressing (not necessarily solving) the issue presented. 

Categorically, there are 3 primary types of behavioral questions you will get asked in a Product Manager interview. 

  1. Addressing Conflict
  2. Personal Failure
  3. Product Sense 

Conflict Questions: 

  • Tell me about a time when you missed a delivery deadline
  • Tell me about a time when you had to say no to an important stakeholder/your supervisor.
  • Tell me about a conflict you had with a stakeholder or stakeholders, and describe how you resolved it.

Answer strategy: Start with a recent scenario you found yourself in, then formulate a sensible course of action to address the problem, and frame a realistic outcome that has as little collateral damage to your team as possible. 

Personal Failure Questions: 

  • What’s an example of a challenge you had to overcome?
  • What would your boss/teammates say is your biggest weakness?

Answer strategy: Reframe the Conversation. Whenever possible, readjust the conversation to things that you are good at or that you would like to highlight. The key here is to give an acceptable answer and move on to the next as quickly as you can. 

Product Sense Questions: 

  • What process do you go through when deciding what features to build?
  • How do you determine if your (product or feature) is successful? 
  • Tell me about a time when you had to make a decision with little or ambiguous information. 

Answer strategy: The biggest error made when approaching interview questions about product sense is to supply a single “correct” answer. Building product sense takes time and should be an iterative process of discovery, testing, validation, and reinvention. On the other hand, your process should be consistent.

Using the STAR Method to Answer Behavioral Questions

One of the best ways to come up with expert answers for behavioral questions is the STAR method. This technique provides a simple framework to shape your answer into a fully formed beginning, middle, and conclusion, thus enabling you to tell a meaningful and interesting story. 

STAR stands for:

  • Situation: Describe the situation you were involved in
  • Task at hand: Your responsibilities in the situation
  • Action: The actions you took to resolve the problem, situation, or task
  • Result: The positive difference you made in the situation 

For example, a STAR response to the question, “Tell me about a time you had to complete a task within a tight deadline.” would look like this:

  • Situation: I like to plan out my work in stages and tick items off a list, but I can also achieve high-quality results under tight deadlines. Once, at a former company, an employee left days before the imminent deadline of one of our projects.
  • Task: I was asked to assume responsibility for it, with only a few days to learn about and complete the project.
  • Action: I brought the rest of the team together and delegated work according to strengths.
  • Result: We completed the assignment just in time and without too much stress or pressure. In hindsight, I believe I handled the pressure well by quickly coming up with an effective plan.

Go into more detail with the video below:

Product Manager Interview Questions and Answers: Round 2

During the Product Manager job application process, second-round interview calls are usually with the director of Product Management. They are the hiring managers, and will likely be your boss when you get the job. Examples of questions to expect include: 

  1. Are there any other Product Managers in your team/company?
  2. Can you tell me more about your experience working on web products?
  3. You mentioned X different stakeholders, who they are and how do you interact with them?
  4. How do you work with your offshore team?
  5. How do you decide what to build? How do you balance what to build?
  6. Why did you decide to make the move to your current company?
  7. Tell me a little about your ideal role.
  8. What do you use to keep track of your data?
  9. Can you tell me a little of your experience with {this piece of software our company uses}?
  10. How familiar are you with integrations (this can be third-party software with in-house products etc.)?

Answer Strategies

For these PM interview questions, your interviewers are going to want to find out if you ever owned, developed, and tested a product. More specifically, they want to know your processes of deriving decisions.

What kind of research did you conduct and how did you go about that research? Are your developers onsite or overseas? How many engineers were involved? These are all details you can and should include.

The best preparation for this round of product management interview questions is to think about 2-3 products that you developed or played a crucial role in their development. Jot down the stages of this product’s development. What did you do for the ideation phase? What software did you use to track your progress (e.g. Jira)? Was your team agile (interviewers love to hear this!)? What was the development and testing phase like? Think about the whole process and have a pitch about your favorite project ready.

When answering Product Development Lifecycle questions, cover the key stakeholders, the key pain points, any testing that you did, and then release. The level of detail you give on each will depend on the Product Manager who interviews you because a lot of these Product Managers come from different backgrounds.

When in Doubt, Work With an Interview Coach

If you’re struggling to convert Product Manager interviews into job offers, interview coaches like the ones at Product Gym can help you develop a strategic approach to acing every round.

Our interview coaches provide a range of services to help you navigate the gruelling Product Manager interview process as an aspiring or first-time Product Manager. Some of these services are tangible and easy to unpack, like reviewing your case study presentations before you submit them and providing pieces of strategic advice when it comes to these tricky first and second-round interview questions and salary negotiation.

But product management interview coaches can also help you in more hard-to-describe ways. For example, an interview coach might help you recognize red flags in the interview and navigate which companies you do and don’t want to pursue based on culture fit. They can also help you build your confidence, crush imposter syndrome, and develop a growth mindset. Our goal is to help our members land a Product Manager job they love, and succeed in their day-to-day as a PM. All in all, an interview coach will help ensure you make the absolute best impression possible on your interviewer.

Product Roadmap Interview Questions 

There are a variety of product roadmap questions that an interviewer could ask you. Here are some examples: 

  • What inputs do you use in your roadmap?
  • How would you develop your roadmap?
  • How do you prioritize when using a roadmap? 

Here’s a basic guide on how to create a product roadmap in an interview:

  1. Ask Questions to Understand the Goal: Before answering your product roadmap interview questions, ensure you ask the interviewer what goals the product needs to meet.
  2. Set Relevant Metrics: There is a plethora of metrics that you can choose from, but you need to ensure that they are specific, contextual, and align with the user metrics. Be careful of vanity metrics; these are metrics that look great in a press release but don’t translate into meaningful business results.
  3. Define Your Customer: Your business cannot capture value unless you create value for your customers. The only way to do this is to identify the target customer. Use any of the many methods of segmenting customers to do this.
  4. Prioritize Your Features: In this stage, it is vital to determine the minimum viable product: this is what features attract the early adopters and validate the product idea early in the product development cycle.
  5. Create a Timeline: With all of these elements in mind, you need to provide the interviewer with estimations for when you will have completed certain tasks within the product roadmap.
  6. Highlight Assumptions and Revisit Questions: Validate your assumptions surrounding elements like inputs, resources, or time taken to complete. This section also enables the interviewer to ask any questions they have about your product roadmap

Product Manager Interview Questions and Answers: Round 3

You’ve made it this far into the process, which means your interviewers see something they like! Now is the time to see whether you can handle the technical aspects of the job. In this technical round, you are likely to face a panel: Stakeholders from Product, Engineering, Design, Project, Mobile, and Data.

Let’s break down the questions to expect in this round according to these stakeholders:

Most Common Technical PM Interview Questions and Answers

1. How Do You See Your Role as a Technical Product Manager Differing From a PM? 

Answer this question honestly with your unique perspective. However, here are some things that will be great to demonstrate your understanding:

  • As a Technical Product Manager, you will often need to be more involved in the technical scoping of your products than a regular Product Manager.
  • You will need to be willing to dive deep into understanding the product area in question which is likely a bit more technical than other products.
  • Technical Product Managers may work more closely with engineers than other Product Managers when it comes to scoping out solutions for your products.

Demonstrating not only an awareness of these duties but also a desire and enthusiasm to perform them will go a long way in showing your preparation for the role.

2. Tell Me About a Technical Product That You’ve Worked On 

With Technical Product Manager roles, the interviewers typically are assessing two levels of technical knowledge. The first is general: Do you have the awareness of and interest in the technical side of your products? Have you had an engineering education, been in technical roles, or worked on technical products before that would have given you this insight?

The second is more specific and pertains to the particular domain knowledge for the product you are interviewing for. For example, have you worked with 3rd party API integrations, Natural Language Processing, NoSQL databases, etc.? 

3. Do You Have Experience with X, Y, Z Technical Concepts/Products?

The context of this question is similar to the one above. While it is definitely a plus if you have worked on the specific technology for the product you are interviewing for, it is not a requirement. So, for this question do not be afraid to answer honestly. Be careful about over-exaggerating your domain knowledge or experience because the interviewer will definitely drill down. 

4. What Is Important to You When Working with Engineers? 

Collaborating with your engineering team members is probably one of the most significant parts of working as a Product Manager. Interviewers ask this question to ensure that you would be someone who would be a great addition to the team and someone who folks would want to work with.

Download Our Interview Questions Guide

Use this downloadable resource as your cheat sheet for practicing every Product Manager interview question necessary to impress recruiters and ace your interview.​

DOWNLOAD GUIDE

Product Design Interview Questions and Answers 

1. How Do You Evaluate Product Designs? 

Answer Template: 

That really depends, I rely on the right KPIs and analytics tools to evaluate product designs. For example, we recently tracked XYZ, which resulted in higher conversion rates and user engagement. For that particular project, we used either optimize Optimizely, Pendo, Mixpanel, or Google analytics. What types of analytics do you guys use at your current company right now? 

2. What Would You Say Is the Difference Between UX and Product Design? 

Answer Template:

Well, I would say that there are essentially two different roles, but there is a lot of overlap. However, this overlap is becoming more commonplace as organizations are increasingly mixing the two roles. It could be due to budget, but to the best of my knowledge, companies usually hired UX designers before they would hire a product designer, much like hiring a Product Manager before the product Marketing Manager. How does your team differentiate UX and product design?

3. What Is Your Definition of Design Thinking?

Answer Template: 

When I think of design thinking, the first thing that comes to mind is methodology. Or better yet, a people-first approach to solving complex problems that satisfy the needs and wants of any given stakeholder.

4. How Do You Test Product Designs? 

Answer Template: 

I approach testing in a few different ways depending on what we’re trying to achieve. Recently, I led two projects on my team. I used X methodology to test for Y which resulted in Z. On my other project, I used A methodology to test for B which resulted in C. The most important thing I keep in mind when approaching testing is making sure product design is aligned with our business and/or marketing goals

Engineering Interview Questions and Answers

Some common PM engineering interview questions that you should think about: 

  • How do you work with Engineers?
  • What’s a time when you and your Engineers disagreed?
  • How do you communicate changing requirements to your Engineers?
  • How do you deal with tech debt?
  • What are some of the ways that you managed the backlog?

There are four key strategies to answering Engineering Product Manager Interview questions:

Answer Strategies

But what if you have no previous experience with engineers? Here’s how you should craft your story about your work if you never had any experience working with Software Engineers:

  1. Write out what you do at your job. Make sure that it is as detailed as possible and include who you work with, what you do, when you do it, and whether or not the cadence of your work changes daily, weekly, monthly, etc.
  2. Figure out who your Engineers are in their day-to-day life and how you interact with them. What’s their persona like? Do they build an application, or are they supporting a product that is already in use? In summary, you should figure out what they do to fit with the engineering persona.
  3. Define your relationship by listing out the challenges you have with them. Many people think that they can’t answer this question because they never worked with an Engineering team. That’s not necessarily true if you focus on one level of abstraction removed from what the software engineer is responsible for. Write out and define the relationship you have with those people that are responsible for the final deliverable.
  4. Write out the specific resolution that happens when you interact with these types of people. So, is there a particular story to tell? Was there a specific challenge? Focus on what that resolution was and what that story was to make sure that you highlight yourself and the software engineer for that specific story.
  5. Then, edit this script to include yourself in that particular resolution. Keep in mind that it’s also essential to include what you learned about yourself and Product Management. Often, people don’t have much of a problem talking about a challenge, but they get stuck when it’s time to explain why it was a challenge and precisely why it was a successful challenge. You must articulate what you learned about that challenge and what you learned about yourself.

The Infamous Product Manager Case Study

The third round is also where you can expect to be challenged with a PM case study.

This round is integral to success as companies rely heavily on the case study interview to assess your critical thinking and problem-solving skills as it closely mirrors the day-to-day activities. Luckily, we’ve created an ultimate guide to case studies to walk you through everything you need to know to ace this notorious stage of the interview — from startup case studies to whiteboarding questions. That should be your next step of preparation after this guide!

Here’s a quick video on case studies to get an idea of what to expect:

Product Manager Interview Questions and Answers: Round 4

Congratulations! You’ve made it past the toughest part of the interviews. But that doesn’t mean that your Product Manager interview preparation should stop there.

The final onsite interview is the ultimate opportunity for you to display your capabilities and credibility to senior leadership. At the end of the day, these are the decision-makers, so you have to be at your best.

In this stage, Product Manager interview strategies involve you asking the questions. The two most important qualities to demonstrate are a genuine interest in the role and competency in communicating knowledge. This ties very specifically to asking good questions about the business and strategy.

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Best Questions to Ask in the Final Product Manager Interview

In this stage, Product Manager interview strategies involve you asking the questions. The two most important qualities to demonstrate are a genuine interest in the role and competency in communicating knowledge. This ties very specifically to asking good questions about the business and strategy. Here are some examples:

  1. Talk to me about your company’s ten-year plan.
  2. Do you think that your primary product is going to be acquired?
  3. Do you have an exit strategy?
  4. Are you looking to go public?
  5. Are you looking to sell the company and be a feature on Google?
  6. What is the long-term strategy?

Note that some of these questions might not apply to you, depending on the company you are interviewing with. If you are interviewing with Google, for instance, (please!) avoid asking questions about going public or exit strategies. Small to mid-sized companies will find these questions more relevant.

Also, notice that the questions have a general approach, meaning that they don’t focus on the specific product or team that you’ll be involved with. As we mentioned before, the main focus of this round is to have a generalistic conversation about the company’s overall strategy.

In the final round of your Product Manager interview, you will likely be expected to prepare a short presentation walking the interviewer through a product strategy you developed and are proud of. Let’s take a look:

How to Deliver a Winning Presentation in the Fourth Round Interview 

First, it’s important to understand what the interviewers are looking for when they ask for a presentation.

Your Product Manager interview presentation should include the following:

  1. The problem you are trying to solve or opportunity you are seizing
  2. The way it fits into the organization’s mission, goals, or KPI’s
  3. Explain where the strategy originated and why you’re proud of it
  4. Explain a key design decision that positively impacted the product
  5. Share an example of a technical challenge, roadblock, or constraint that influenced the product
  6. Highlight your role on the team and your contribution
  7. Reflect on what went well and what you learned from the process
  8. If possible, share screenshots or a demo

However, while the information you provide in your presentation is tremendously important, the company is not solely concerned about the data. They are evaluating your ability to give a presentation that is part strategy and part execution.

You want to show the team you can communicate effectively by familiarizing and explaining your concepts to people who may know nothing about your project.

How to Close the Final Product Manager Interview

Going into final round interviews can feel like you’re at the 5-yard line and all you need is one final push to score a touchdown. Nothing is worse than enduring all of these exercises, crushing your final round, and then waiting an eternity to hear back.

So how can you make sure you close the offer, score the touchdown, and land the Product Manager job of your dreams? The inner workings of final round interviews on the company side are worth looking into.

Once you have properly qualified the company, it’s time to consider your final round interview strategy. There are a couple of things you can do to allay any concerns that you are the right fit for the role: 

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Show the Team What it’s Like to Work With You 

Have projects that you’ve previously worked on documented and categorized to use as storyboards for your next final round. The key here is to pick projects that align with the new role you are seeking. 

Solve a Problem With Them 

Try walking through a problem together with members of the team you will be working with. Have some examples and work through them from a high level. Don’t make it weird. If the discussion is flowing naturally you may get this opportunity organically. However, having a simple scenario that you’ve practiced and that is relevant to the new team will help them try before they buy. 

Show Them the Value You Bring to the Table

Product management is more than just prototypes and documentation. In production, you also need to quantify your impact on the organization. Perhaps the feature you developed is now generating revenue for the company? What was the process you went through to find product-market fit? Make quantifiable achievements a regular part of your personal portfolio. 

Ask Questions 

Ideally, you’ve kept notes on the things you discussed during the earlier interview rounds. Now,  you can try to sprinkle those notes throughout the interview in the form of meaningful questions. Try to be crafty and remember to drop your gems at appropriate times during the conversation. 

Remember, practice will help you deliver a sharp combination of counterpunches that will have the desired effect.

Nail Every Product Manager Interview Round

Still feel like you need more guidance when it comes to tackling Product Manager job hunting? That’s where Product Gym comes in. We’ve made it our mission to help aspiring PMs get to where they need to be to land the job of their dreams. Our in-house team of PM recruiter experts is scheduling free, 20-minute career coaching sessions. Get in touch with us and let us help you figure out the next step in crushing your job hunt, from the application to the offer.

Product Manager Interview FAQs

What Questions Should I Ask in a Product Manager Interview?

While having a good list of questions is a great place to start, it is often the little details that will set them apart. For example, a question like, “Tell me about the company process.” is general and uninformed. But consider this one which is essentially asking the same thing: “What goals are the company focused on and how do the current processes support that?”

We have a handy guide on how to uncover the best questions, which also includes a complete list of product management questions you can ask at each interview round.

How Do I Prepare for the Product Manager Interview?

1. Start with basic research on the company. Find resources about the company you are interviewing for on Google News, LinkedIn, Crunchbase and other news outlets. Remember to think like a Product Manager when you are going through these sources.
2. In the second round, you’ll need to focus on the specifics. What type of examples in your pitch will you have to refine? A larger part of a Product Manager’s job is to balance relations with other working professionals on the team. Think about how you’ll adapt to each stakeholder.
3. Prepare smart questions
4. Align to the work environment. Do your due diligence to figure out the structure of the organization. Tailor your answers to similar organizational structures. 
5. Align to the purpose. Use details about the company to craft a story about how you’ve worked with or in a similar capacity.

What Product Manager Interview Red Flags Should I Watch For? 

Job interview red flags to watch out for include a lack of clear goals for the role; mixed role expectations; your potential employer seems uncomfortable discussing the compensation structure of the job; the people you are dealing with are negative, angry, or just generally miserable with their jobs; and lastly, you are going to be the first Product Manager at the company.

What Product Manager Interview Mistakes Should I Avoid? 

Eight of the most common interview mistakes that aspiring Product Managers should avoid include: 
1. Lack of adequate preparation for the role. 
2. Talking too much: Clear, concise, and effective communication is a fundamental part of being a successful Product Manager.
3. Not talking enough: Being too reserved is an issue because you can easily give off the air of arrogance or disinterest.
4. Being a passive interviewee. You run the risk of being forgettable if you are passive throughout the interview. 
5. Going into the interview with low energy. Always aim for genuine excitement about the position. 
6. Focusing the conversation on the hard facts of the job. The interview should be a dialogue between you and the interviewer. 
7. Going down without a fight. Aim to exhibit tenacity and grit through your interview process.
8. Not sending out a thank you letter. Thanking your recruiter is a sign of respect for them giving up their most valuable commodity: their time.

How Can I Stand Out in My Product Manager Interview? 

The goal is always to get the interviewer to stop viewing you as a resume in a pile and start connecting with you emotionally as though you are already a member of the team. If you focus on being engaging, thoughtful, and taking the lead as much as possible, you’re sure to leave a lasting impression every time.

Can I Interview for a PM Job Without Experience? 

Absolutely. At Product Gym, we have helped people from all types of professional backgrounds land Product Manager jobs. The truth is, if you have organizational skills, communication skills, and a little bit of hustle, you can absolutely be a Product Manager.

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