The Ultimate Guide to Product Manager Interview Questions

At Product Gym, we’re all about teaching you how to generate more Product Manager interviews, leading to multiple job offers. Read on for an extensive overview of what to expect every round, and a list of the most commonly asked Product Manager interview questions.

Let’s get started by looking at the bigger picture. Your job application is very simple:

How to Be a Product Manager Interview Superstar

If you want to be a superstar at nailing product manager interview questions, there is one thing you should do: interview!

The best way to improve your Product Manager interview skills is through direct experience. There is only one way of getting more interviews: applying for every opportunity. Whether you’re interested in the company or not, just send out your resume and try to land as many interviews as possible.

You need to be pushed out of your comfort zone to feel comfortable sharing answering all kinds of product manager interview questions: talking about your experiences, summarizing your resume, and answering behavioral and technical product manager interview questions. This will inevitably raise the quality of your interview techniques and take you to the further stages of your job application.

More Interviews, More Offers

If you have multiple offers in your hand, then you would have the leverage to choose the best one for you. Therefore, the more you interview, the more (and better) offers you get!

Phase 1: The Application

Before you begin to prep your answers to the top product manager interview questions, you’ll need to lay the groundwork for a winning interview. In other words, you need to have a strategy for applying.

Why Job Hunting Is a Numbers Game

You will never improve the quality of your interview game without increasing the number of interviews you go on. To earn that offer, you have to make the company want you. That will never happen until they are confident that you are the right person for the job and their team.

And they can never achieve this level of confidence until you are confident in yourself and in your Product Manager interviewing skills.

There is one, and only one way to build up that confidence: interviewing as many times as possible. Notice that we are not talking about mock interviews. We are talking about actual interviews.

You have to be okay with getting out of your comfort zone. You should have no problem presenting yourself and doing your elevator pitch to complete strangers.

But how do you know you’re confident enough? Is there a way to measure it? Not really, but you can use the definition below to understand when you are most likely performing Product Manager interviews confidently. Note that the companies interviewing you should also feel this way if you’re going to receive that next-round invitation.

Playing the numbers game never fails you — even during COVID-19. Despite the significant decrease in hiring, Product Gym members have been landing jobs constantly. Check out this video to learn more:

Definitions of Confidence:

  • The feeling or belief that one can rely on someone or something; firm trust
  • The state of feeling certain about the truth of something
  • A feeling of self-assurance arising from one’s appreciation of one’s own abilities or qualities

Confidence Over Desperation

You are at your fighting best when you know there are another 10 interviews lined up for you. Desperation is never attractive in job applications. You get the big offer by generating multiple offers. That’s why the best way to ensure you go into our interviews as confidently as possible is to generate more interviews and apply at scale.

How confident can you be in yourself when you are only interviewing 3 to 5 times a month without knowing how to generate more interviews?

When you don’t have any other interviews lined up, you don’t have options. This desperation leads to a lack of confidence as you mentally program yourself to focus on a single task, which dramatically increases stress.

You should radiate confidence by showing the companies that you have other choices; you can go anywhere, and if they don’t decide to move to the next round with you, it’s their loss and another company’s gain. You will also notice the change in your state of mind and a decline in stress levels during Product Manager interviews when you know that you have more interviews lined up. Well, now that you’ve developed some confidence, what’s next? How does scaling multiple interviews lead to a better offer?

Let’s find out.

How Does This Relate to the Offer?

Applying at scale is a must if you expect to land multiple offers and more importantly multiple offers around the same time. Over 50% of the roles that are posted right now will not respond to you immediately because they are simply not urgent to hire.

In fact, only 10 to 20 percent of the roles that you do apply to will ever respond to you. The percentage drops when you consider how long it will take for the company to respond to you after you have applied.

Let’s face it, just because you applied to the jobs on Tuesday doesn’t mean you will get a response on Wednesday, Thursday, or ever. That’s why you have to continually generate activity into your funnel because you simply cannot control if these companies will ever respond to you. In addition, there are many other factors to consider even when you are interviewing with them.

Playing the numbers game is essential, but sometimes (especially for higher profile companies), you need more than that. You need to build your network with Product Manager Recruiters to get more information about hiring.

Watch our networking guide to learn how to network with Recruiters to get noticed!

Hiring freezes can and do happen all the time. On top of all that, companies that are interviewing can interview as many candidates as their time allows. These companies are playing the numbers game on their end and you need to play the same game for your job search as well. It’s one of the few things you can control.

Another reason why you want to play the numbers game is you never know if the company you are interviewing with ends up hiring an internal candidate. This happens more often than you think. The solution? Play the numbers game.

Most of the time, we receive complaints from people about how they have no time to apply at scale. We get it, getting a new job is a job on its own. So how do you generate more applications, interviews and ultimately, offers with limited time? Keep on reading to find out.

5 Challenges to Applying to Product Manager Positions

  1. Not being able to find the time to apply
  • At Product Gym, we coach our members on how to apply for 30 to 60 positions in a less than 45 minutes

2. Spending too much time customizing your resumes

3. Spending too much time filling out application forms

4. Not feeling motivated to apply

  • Seeing the same positions over and over again
  • Not hearing back

5. You do not have an automated system to help you achieve scale: your resume, Linkedin page, and cover letter is not built for volume

Phase 2: The Interview

Quality matters as much as quantity. Now that you mastered the quantity game, it’s time for you to conquer the second stage of the Product Manager interview. Here, we will give you tips and tricks to dominate your interviews, as well as examples of classic product management interview questions you should expect.

How to Improve the Quality of Your Product Manager Interview

Think of landing the Product Manager job of your dreams as a 4 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.

What Is a High-Quality Product Manager Interview?

A high-quality Product Manager leaves the interviewer feeling very good about you, with no doubt in their mind that you are the best person for this role on their team.

Simply put, if you knew all the Product Manager interview questions you were going to be asked and exactly how to present the best answers to those questions, then landing multiple offers just becomes a byproduct of the whole process.

Improving the quality of your Product Manager interviews and converting them into offers is just that: know what the answers are, and how to best present those answers based on the stakeholder you are interviewing with. Here, we broke down the interview questions for product managers round by round so that you know what to expect.

As a PM candidate, one way to be fully prepared is to familiarize yourself with the Product Manager vocabulary. These words should be present in your product manager interview answers. Wondering what these key terms are? Watch the video below to find out:

Keep on reading to find out the most commonly asked Product Manager interview questions.

Try to come up with an answer for them as you keep on reading since these questions are asked most of the time in a typical product manager interview.

Product Manager Interview Roadmap

First Round Product Manager Interview Questions And Answers Strategy

  1. Tell me a little about yourself.
  2. Why you are looking for a new opportunity?
  3. Do you have any initial questions about our company?
  4. What you are doing and what keeps you busy these days?
  5. How big is the current team that you are working with?
  6. I want to hear about your career goals.
  7. What are you good at professionally?
  8. What are you not so good at professionally?
  9. Are you the sole product manager?
  10. 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?
  11. 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?
  12. Can you tell me a little about a product you’re passionate about and well-designed?
  13. If any, what aspect of product management do you find least interesting?
  14. What attracted you to this company?
  15. How big is the company you are currently for?
  16. What is your leadership style?
  17. Who do you report directly to right now?
  18. What questions do you have for me?

Strategize Your Answer

  • The “tell me about yourself” question isn’t going anywhere, so have your rocket pitch ready to go and make sure it only takes 30 seconds. Practice your pitch in front of the mirror and be comfortable with your OWN voice.
  • 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.
  • If you find yourself stuttering, it’s fine.
  • Your transition to talking about your background should be very strong to inspire confidence. Understand that the recruiter doesn’t work on the product team and they hire for multiple roles, so there may be things you know that they don’t even though they are asking you technical questions.
  • Be very cognizant of your ahhs and umms here; 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 they made the First Round Stakeholder feel that they don’t think things through.
  • Try to make the recruiter laugh as much as possible. Humor always makes a good impression on people.

In this round, it’s essential for you to answer the “tell me about yourself” question in the best, possible way. Make sure you watch our guide below to learn how to structure your response:

Second Round Product Manager Interview Questions and Answers Strategy

  1. Tell me a little bit about yourself.
  2. Are there any other product managers in your team/company?
  3. Can you tell me more about your experience working on web products?
  4. You mentioned x different stakeholders, who they are and how do you interact with them?
  5. How do you work with your offshore team?
  6. How do you decide what to build? How do you balance what to build?
  7. Why did you decide to make the move to your current company?
  8. Tell me a little about your ideal role.
  9. What do you use to keep track of your data?
  10. Can you tell me a little experience of your experience with {this piece of software our company uses}?
  11. How familiar are you with integrations (this can be third-party software with in-house products etc.)?
  12. How would you resolve a conflict between 2 developers?
  13. How do you define success for the products you launched?
  14. Have you worked on system integrations like CRM platforms?
  15. In terms of road mapping, who usually comes up with ideas or features?
  16. How do you source new ideas?
  17. Walk me through a product you ideated to launch.
  18. Walk me through your customer interview process.

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 you conducted and how you went about that research? Hence, the constant badgering about the size of your team. Remember, having more engineers on your team is a good thing in this interview.

It is also important to highlight whether or not those developers are onsite or overseas.

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!)? How was the development and testing phase like? Think about the whole process and have a pitch about your favorite project ready.

Round 2 PM interview questions can be tricky, given that it’s the first time you speak to a Product Manager. To learn what to expect and how to prepare make sure your watch our Round 2 prep guide below:

Third Round Technical Product Manager Interview Questions

  1. How many developers do you have? How many onsite? How many overseas?
  2. Are you acting as a Project Manager or more a Product Manager?
  3. When coming up with your product roadmap, what’s the process you use to determine the features and functionality?
  4. Tell me about how you use Google Analytics and if not why aren’t you?
  5. Are you the owner of the product?
  6. Marketing has goals, How do you interface with Marketing? Who decides to A/B test?
  7. Do you have any Shopify experience at all?
  8. Do you have any experience with Drupal? What kind of Drupal do you have?
  9. What cross-functional skills do you have?
  10. Can you explain more and walk me through Design to Engineering?
  11. When you were doing A/B Testing, what specific things were you evaluating? (Transaction speed & volume?)
  12. What does a typical day look like for you?
  13. What are the most common KPIs that you have to be involved with?
  14. How would you ensure the scrum team, um, is working on the most valuable user stories?
  15. How would you organize the process of refining the product backlog?
  16. How do you connect teams to the product vision and how do you show them how their contributions bring that vision to life?
  17. And what would you say is your approach to creating product roadmaps?
  18. How would you say that you go about learning new ideas and new requirements?
  19. Do you have experience biking down epics into features?
  20. How is your experience with X cloud platform, or platform as a service, or cloud technology?
  21. What process did you disagree with and change? What was the result?
  22. Do you have any experience with lean/agile?
  23. How do you work with engineers?
  24. If you could design your next role/position, what would it look like?
  25. What do you feel are your core strengths?
  26. Tell me about your last 2 builds/stacks. What were the challenges and how did you overcome them?
  27. Do you have any experience developing, managing or enhancing CRM software?
  28. Do you have any experience working on products related to mobile?
  29. Walk me through building an end user-facing graph showing email campaign open rates and how you’d build it.
  30. What are your release cycles?
  31. Have you ever worked in an agile environment?
  32. Walk me through a technical challenge you overcome with the dev team?

Technical Product Manager Interview Questions: Answer Strategies

You will be going through multiple stakeholders from Product, Engineering, Design, Project, Mobile, and Data.

Our members have constantly told us that the most challenging part of the stakeholder interview is reflecting on their experiences with the Engineering team.

If you are coming from a non-engineering background and have no experience dealing with the technical aspects of a product, make sure you watch our stakeholder management video:

The most important stakeholders are people from the Product and Engineering teams, but still, do not rule out anyone. They all have to like you and be sure to keep your energy up. Technical on-sites can last as long as 3 to 5 hours.

There is also a possibility that you can present a case study assignment to a team of Product Managers and stakeholders. To learn how to successfully complete and present a case study assignment watch our video with our case study instructor:

Final Round Product Manager Interview Questions and Strategy

  1. Tell me a little about yourself.
  2. Do you have any experience working with Senior Management, presenting hurdles, and can you tell me a little about it?
  3. Regarding A/B testing, do you have any experience setting up the infrastructure for it?
  4. Tell me about your experience with Web Content, SVOD?
  5. What steps did you develop your expertise in Product, especially on the technical side?
  6. What are some experiences you have to take over — what decisions did you make and how did you lead efforts?
  7. Tell me a little about how you would motivate an external team to do what you need them to do?
  8. What is a user story and what does that mean to you?
  9. How do you approach informing the team what you ultimately want to build?
  10. How did you learn about our company?

Tips and Strategies

First of all, congratulations on making it this far! You can practically see the offer right now, but the product interview questions are still not over. You will need to get the Business side stakeholders on your side now. The fourth round is all about laying the foundation to generate the offers.

How Did Product Manager Interviews Change Post COVID-19?

Despite the enormous economic damage caused by COVID-19, many companies are keeping up with their usual hiring. We have noticed a consistent number of Product Manager roles available to candidates on LinkedIn and other popular job platforms.

A record-breaking number of Product Gym members got Product Manager offers in the second and the third quarter of 2020, at the pandemic’s height.

The only thing that changed about hiring is the way interviews are done. Given the fact that many companies adopted a work from home policy, candidates are expected to complete their in-person interviews virtually.

Nail the Virtual interview

While many companies try their best to keep the regular four-round Product Manager interview by relying on video-conferencing tools such as Zoom, we also have been noticing an increased number of take-home case study assignments. This is because many companies believe that they don’t get as much opportunity to assess the candidate online as they would in person.

The best way to prepare for an online interview starts by asking the recruiter/interviewer the structure of the interview. You should also make sure that you are aware of any specific tools and technologies they use to install everything you need prior to the interview.

Checking your internet connection and ensuring that your computer can handle the video conferencing tools are also essential steps.

If you are interviewing with a big company that hires a large number of candidates, it is quite possible that they published a virtual interviewing guide on their platform. So, be on the lookout. Regardless of how much information they share with you, don’t be hesitant to ask about how whiteboarding sessions or case study presentations are conducted virtually. The more you know, the better you are prepared for product interview questions!

Any Questions?

Still feel like you need more guidance when it comes to 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.

Want to be a Product Manager? Product Gym teaches you how to act like a PM, think like a PM, talk like a PM, and most importantly, how to interview like a PM.