If you are interviewing for a product manager position, then it is important to know the likely questions that may be asked so you can prepare your responses with them.
Learning about the questions that may be asked at a product manager interview before the day of the interview will give you an edge over the candidates who didn’t as you will be able to practice your responses beforehand and develop confidence.
This article covers common product manager interview questions and suggested answers to help you to effectively prepare for a job interview for the position of a product manager.
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What do Interviewers Look for in a Product Manager?
The most important qualities that an interviewer will be looking for in a candidate for the product manager role are a high level of intelligence and the ability to communicate effectively.
They will also look for a product manager who can work in a team, be creative and have good leadership skills.
10 Most Common Product Manager Interview Questions with Answers
Here are some of the most common questions you may be asked in a product manager interview (suggested answers are also provided):
1. What would you like your boss to know about you?
I think one of my best qualities is striving for excellence in all that I do because it produces the best results. My work ethic is something that will never falter and I feel as though because of it, I can really become a leader at our company.
2. Why do you want this job?
I want this job because I believe that it offers great opportunities for personal and professional growth in my field.
3. Tell me about yourself (be as specific as possible)
I am a Californian girl who was born and raised in the State. I graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with a degree in Business and Marketing and I also have an MBA. I have worked for many years in marketing and sales, most recently as a marketing director at Coca Cola Company.
4. When do you make decisions?
It depends on what type of decision. Whenever I make a big decision, I spend time praying about it and talking to people who have been there before me. I also make sure to trust my intuition and follow my heart. Sometimes, following your instincts is the best way to do things.
5. What is your biggest regret?
I regret that I was not the bigger person, and that I listened to what my friend told me about his feelings. For years, I kept talking to him as if he had reciprocated those feelings and now we are just friends again.
6. What skills do you need to be a successful product manager?
To be a successful product manager, you must understand your customer and their pain points. You’ll also need to understand what the market is doing and how your competition is satisfying customers’ needs.
You can then use that information to create products that will win customers over from your competitors.
7. What is good customer service to you?
Good customer service is being attentive to the needs of customers and being confident in solving their problems. It also means being honest, friendly, empathetic, and polite.
8. How do you motivate your team members?
To motivate my team members, I will often seek out ways to help them enjoy their work. I also try to give them tasks that explore the skills they have and things they are passionate about.
9. Who was the most difficult person you ever had to work with and how did you handle them?
One of the most difficult people I’ve ever had to work with was my sister. It was hard to work with her because she never got anything done and she would always try to blame it on someone else.
I tried to deal with her by setting clear expectations for how many hours she needed to spend doing homework or chores, and holding her accountable for it.
10. If we asked your best friend to describe you, what would they say?
My best friend would describe me as a broad-minded person who respects all people. I have been known to stand up for what is acceptable and right even if it means going against the grain of popular opinion.
My sense of fairness can lead me to be at odds with the society sometimes. I am empathetic and likeable and have the ability to make friends quickly and enjoy life to its fullest by traveling near and far.
More Sample Interview Questions for Product Manager Position
Here are more samples of product manager interview questions to practice with:
Sample Behavioral Interview Questions for Product Manager Position
1. How well do you work under pressure?
2. What is your opinion on working nights and weekends?
3. How would you handle a disagreement with a colleague or boss?
4. Can we discuss something that didn’t go as planned and the lessons learned from it?
5. What’s one thing you wish someone had told you about this role up front before taking the job, but didn’t know to ask at this point in time?
Sample Case Interview Questions for Product Manager Position
1. Quickly walk me through your resume.
2. Why are you interested in this opportunity?
3. Tell me about a time when you successfully handled conflict at work.
4. What is the biggest issue in the industry today?
5. How do you deal with criticism from others?
Sample Competency Based Interview Questions for Product Manager Position
1. What is the most important quality in a leader?
2. What would your current employer say has been your greatest contribution to the company?
3. You are given a product with some issues. What steps are you going to take to find out what the problem is?
4. What are your salary requirements for this role?
5. Share with me about a time where you had to handle an irate customer.
Sample Problem-solving Interview Questions for Product Manager Position
1. What is your biggest weakness?
2. Tell me about a time when you had to make an unpopular decision at work.
3. Describe how you handled a difficult or problematic customer service situation.
4. What are some things that cause stress/frustration for customers?
5. How do you prioritize the tasks on your daily to-do list?
Sample Situational Interview Questions for Product Manager Position
1. What would you do if there is a disagreement about an important task?
2. Would you be able to work in a fast paced, high stress environment?
3. How well are your skills at working effectively with others?
4. Do you have experience dealing with difficult people or situations?
5. If someone had just left the company, how would you go about finding their replacement?
Sample Communication Skills Interview Questions for Product Manager Position
1. What is your communication style?
2. When you put your all into something, what motivates you to keep going when the going gets tough?
3. Tell me a story about a time where there was conflict in this role and how it was resolved.
4. How do you maintain composure during times of high stress or adversity?
5. What type of personality would be most successful in this role?
Sample Interpersonal Skills Interview Questions for a Product Manager Position
1. How do you motivate your colleagues?
2. What would you say is the most important skill for a product manager?
3. What are the top 3 soft skills that product managers should have?
4. How do you handle difficult customers?
5. Introverts vs. Extroverts: Which have an advantage in this position?
Sample Company Culture Interview Questions for Product Manager Position
1. What is the company culture like?
2. What would you say are some of the perks to working at this company?
3. Would you describe your work environment as relaxed or more formal?
4. How many hours a week do people usually work?
5. How would you describe the relationship between marketing and engineering?
Sample Product Interview Questions for a Product Manager Position
1. What is the trickiest part of your job?
2. What are some ways you measure success for product managers?
3. How does a PM know if their work is done or not?
4. How do you enforce deadlines with engineers and designers to make sure they don’t create bottlenecks in other teams?
5. Do you have any tips for good documentation on design, code, and everything else that goes along with the process of shipping the product out into production?
Sample Leadership Interview Questions for Product Manager Position
1. What type of product experience would be relevant to this role?
2. How do you motivate your employees?
3. Do you have any leadership failures that are memorable, and what did you learn from them?
4. What are some of the qualities that make a good leader to be an effective product manager?
5. Can someone develop these qualities over time, or does it require innate personality traits to excel as a product manager in this way?”
Sample Management Interview Questions for Product Manager Position
- Give me an example of a project your team completed with minimal supervision.
- Does MBA degree have any advantages?
- How do you prioritize tasks in order to complete them most efficiently?
- What are some best practices for managing interfaces with key stakeholders?
- How would you hire someone who is not qualified but shows potential for success?
Product Manager Interview Success Tips
There are usually many candidates interviewing for this role and the employer will select the candidate they consider the most appropriate.
Here are some tips that can give you an edge over others in a product manager interview session:
• Most PMs don’t need more than 3 – 5 years of experience. The most important thing is that you have relevant experience with the skills needed to be successful at this job.
• You should anticipate being asked about your personal leadership style, so think about an example of when you have led others successfully in the past.
• If you are taking time off during the interview process, be sure to explain the reasons behind it so that they don’t interpret it as laziness or dissatisfaction with their company.
• If you have to relocate, don’t be afraid to tell the truth when they ask why you want to move. You can say it is for personal or professional reasons and hopefully they will understand.
• Make sure that your resume matches what you said in your cover letter and online profile without any discrepancies. Provide a copy of references ahead of time to avoid an awkward moment in the interview when you are asked for them.
Interviewing for a product manager position can be difficult, but with the right preparation it’s more manageable.
Whether you are an introvert or extrovert, have experience in this field already, or are new to product management altogether, the interview questions shared on this page will help give you some direction on what to expect during your next interview.