From identifying customer needs to ensuring that the development is going as planned, a product manager holds several responsibilities. Considering the importance of the role, the management and the product team leaders have to be very careful when hiring a PM.
However, hiring a PM can be extremely challenging, especially because there is no perfect template to describe an ideal PM candidate. The diverse work portfolios of the candidates add to the difficulty of finding the right fit. Furthermore, product manager job descriptions and roles greatly between companies. There are several other factors, a combination of them adds to the difficulty of finding the right candidate for the job.
The task could be like finding a pearl in an ocean. But with the right interview questions in hand, you can get closer to finding the right candidate.
In this article, we have curated the list of top 20 product manager interview questions that you should ask the candidate to find the right fit.
To make it easier, we have bucketed them in the following categories –
1. Product Management Questions
2. Technical Questions
3. Leadership and communication questions
4. Remote product management questions
5. Personal questions
So, let’s dive right in.
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Project Management questions
A product manager is often referred to as the Mini-CEO as the professional is responsible for a wide variety of tasks, starting from understanding customers to coordinating different teams. When looking for the right candidate, the hiring manager has to see whether the interviewee has the necessary understanding and experience of product management practices.
Because product management is at the nexus of business, design, and technology, questions in this category should be considered as an opportunity for a PM candidate to demonstrate a holistic understanding of their position and how their work contributes to the overall goals of their company.
Here are the questions –
- How would you explain product management to a layman?
- What do you are the qualities that make a product great?
- If there is one thing that you can change in our product, what would it be and how would the new change add value?
It is important for a product manager to be able to convey technical concepts to non-technical audiences. They may be capable of communicating the concepts to their team members, but how would they explain a technical notion to someone else?
Such interview questions help access their product management expertise as well as their ability to articulate their understanding.
Here are a few interview questions you may ask –
- How do you define a good user interface?
- How will you explain market opportunity in a business plan?
- Tell me about your experience with technical products?
Product managers require to be leaders with the ability to communicate effectively.
Most product managers are in charge of design and development teams, and they must work with a varied group of stakeholders on a daily basis. Getting all of them together to work in harmony to achieve a shared goal is a key responsibility of Product Managers.
Here are a few interview questions you may ask –
- Can you share your leadership experience and style with us?
- What’s your approach to communicating your product strategy?
- Can you tell us about your experience trying to build or motivate a team?
- How do you pass on insightful details about your product roadmap with other team members?
Remote product management questions
Since the COVID-19 pandemic, the remote has become a popular work option. Today, both employers and employees are looking at remote working/flexible hours or a hybrid work model. As a hiring manager, you will have to be prepared to understand the PM candidate’s mindset about remote working.
Here are a few questions that could help you understand how their attitude towards remote work is –
- Have you ever worked in a remote environment? Can you share how you have/would manage the team when working in a remote environment?
- How do you plan to keep up your communication in a remote setting?
- If you have to manage a team working across time zones, can you tell us how do you plan to do it?
- Tell us about some challenges you faced when working remotely? And how did you overcome them?
As a hiring manager, you will have to examine how well a candidate might fit into your organization during the interview. Personal questions are designed to help you get to know the candidate better by learning about their work habits, interests, and passions.
This type of question allows you to demonstrate their enthusiasm for the organization and why they chose the PM career path.
Some of the personal questions to ask a PM candidate include –
- Tell us about yourself.
- What is the one quality that you rate as number one as a Product Manager?
- Why should we hire you?
- What aspects of the PM process excite you?
- Whhat has motivated you to work for our company?
Product manager interview questions asked by top companies
Here is a list of some popular product manager interview questions asked by top companies –29
- Think of an everyday use product. Tell us what you like about using it? Tell us what you would change?
- What approach would you use to motivate the users of the products to return to the app every single day?
- Tell us about the qualities that make you a good leader?
- Can you please enumerate an example of a tech trend to watch out for? Have you ever made a despicable decision on the job?
- Explain your approach for enhancing X product?
- Define the concept of “protocol.”
When hiring a product manager, it is important for you to keep in mind that the ‘one-size-fits-all strategy’ will not work. The recruiting managers must have a firm grasp of their individual PM role needs. This way, they can determine whether a candidate is a right fit for your organization. Happy recruiting!
Shivani is a talented CS manager with the skillsets to elicit, scope and manage end-to-end B2B SaaS project delivery. She has a keen interest in depicting her learnings in customer success by writing resourceful blogs and articles.
Published March 09, 2022, Updated August 04, 2022