3 Difficult Interview Questions All Product Managers are Asked
Most job interviews are essentially the same, no matter where you are applying or what role you hope to fill. You will be asked about your education and experience, your strengths and weaknesses, and your hard and soft skills. But sprinkled amongst these generic inquiries will be questions designed specifically to evaluate your aptitude as a product manager. And they are intentionally worded to trip you up. Giving a great answer could be what sets you apart from other candidates. Fumbling over your response could be what costs you the opportunity. Watch out for the three interview questions for product managers below, and be sure to prepare your answers in advance.
“What Makes You Commit to a Product?”
The role of a product manager is fundamentally to decide what to build and what not to build. The manager’s ability to separate the good ideas from the bad ideas is what makes them an asset to their employer. Interviewers ask this question in order to get a look at your thought process. Product management is an analytic process rather than an intuitive process. The interviewer will want to hear that you consider all the relevant variables – business needs, user feedback, cost, time to build etc – and only after making a careful survey give either the green or red light to the product.
“Describe How You Interact with Users.”
Effective product management is impossible without considering the wants/needs of the end user. Corporate history is filled with horror stories about products that consumers clearly didn’t want. The interviewer will want you to first confirm your unwavering commitment to end-user satisfaction, and then find out how you get a sense for that user. Where do you solicit options? How do you conduct interviews? What does the revision process look like?
“Tell Me about Your Biggest Professional Failure and Your Response.”
No experienced product manager has a perfect record of success. And no experienced product manager will be immune to failure in the future. This question is designed first to evaluate the scope and character of your biggest failure – some flops are too significant to excuse – and then to measure how well you deal with adversity. In your response, you will want to be completely honest and emphasize that every failure is a learning experience. Try to cap off your answer by illustrating a time when you applied the lesson learned to a project that went successfully.
Before you even get to the interview stage, you will need to find appealing vacancies, put together impressive application documents, and rise to the upper ranks of the candidate pool. Rely on the expert experience of the marketing recruiters at Artemis Consultants to guide you through every step of this process.