Product School

The Ultimate List of 72 Product Manager Interview Questions

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Carlos González De Villaumbrosia

January 09, 2023 - 12 min read

Updated: May 16, 2024 - 12 min read

Increase your chances of getting hired (and calm your nerves) with interview preparation á la Product School. In this post, we'll explore the most common Product Manager interview questions with tips on how to answer them.

At Product School, we are always in conversation with product leaders about cracking the PM interview. These professionals have been on both sides of the interview and are experts in product manager interview questions and answers. We've distilled those insights here to help you ace your next interview.

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The 10 most common Product Manager interview questions

While you can't anticipate all potential interview questions for product managers, you can be sure that you'll need answers for some of the ones listed below. Preparing to answer these typical interview questions will give you the best chance of acing your next PM interview.

These questions are common, but your answer doesn't have to be! Remember to personalize and make connections to your own experience.

The more you can bring the interviewer in, and show them how you are unique and a value add to their company beyond just a resume, the better.

–  Erik Huckle, former Sr Product Manager at Amazon

  1. What do you see as a Product Manager’s main role within product development?

  2. How do you stay user-focused?

  3. What main changes would you make to [our product]?

  4. How do you see your career developing in the next 5 years?

  5. Tell us about a time you used data to influence an important stakeholder.

  6. Tell us about a time you faced failure and how you bounced back.

  7. How would you improve your favorite product?

  8. What’s your approach to prioritizing tasks?

  9. Why do you want to work at [our company]?

  10. Why do you want to be/what do you love about being a Product Manager?

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It's no secret that interview processes are becoming longer and longer. Therefore, you can expect to answer more than ten questions. With this in mind, we've broken down the remaining questions into categories. Read on to see when to expect different common product management interview questions and how to answer them.

Product questions

How to answer product questions

Some companies will dedicate an entire interview just to product questions, often referred to as the product sense interview. The idea behind these common product questions is to evaluate a candidate's ability to understand what makes a product great (and profitable) within the context of market demands.

It's essential to know the company's products and business model inside and out as you'll be asked to think critically about both. To further prepare, experts recommend mastering a product sense framework like the CIRCLES or S(T)AR methods. These frameworks help you break down your answer into logical parts that work together, and the handy acronyms make sure you don't leave anything out.

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Examples of product-focused interview questions

  • How would you prioritize resources when you have two important things to do but can’t do them both?

  • Describe a scenario that required you to say no to an idea or project.

  • How do you decide what and what not to build?

  • What is a product you currently use every day? Why and how would you improve it?

  • There is a data point that indicates that there are more Uber drop-offs at the airport than pick-ups from the airport. Why is this the case and what would you do within the product to change that?

  • How would you improve the functionality of the product?

  • How would you increase adoption of X feature?

  • What is the key to a good user interface?

  • While we make X product for the consumers, we also have a B2B division. What is your experience with juggling both markets?

  • How do you know if a product is well-designed?

  • How would you redesign our product?

  • What is one improvement you would implement for our product in the next 6 months?

  • What is a major challenge our company will face in the next 12-24 months?

  • How would you describe our product to someone?

  • Suggest a new feature for Amazon. What metrics would you use to measure its success?

  • What has made X product successful?

  • What do you dislike about our product?

  • How do you know when to cut corners to get a product out the door?

  • How do you think we came up with the product pricing?

  • Who are our competitors?

  • Tell me about a company that has great customer service, what they do, and why do they do it well?

  • ____ metrics are down. How would you go about determining the root cause?

Technical questions

How to answer technical questions in PM interviews

In most product management interviews, technical questions are designed to see how well you would work with engineers and to test your familiarity with the tech the company is working with.

To answer, you don't need to be a tech wiz—and you definitely don't want to exaggerate your expertise. Instead, focus on what you know about topics that matter to development teams, such as:

If you are applying for a technical product manager role, check out these technical pm interview questions.

  • Our engineering teams are used to employing X methodologies. What is your opinion of them? Have you used them in the past?

  • What is the importance of engineers and technical teams as stakeholders? How do you integrate them into the overall product vision?

  • How do you ensure that market-oriented teams fully understand technical challenges?

  • What are the key conflicts between development and business teams? Can you show examples of how you reconciled them in the past?

Estimation questions

How to answer estimation questions

A Product Manager has to come ready with an analytical mind in order to succeed. Some companies may ask you logic-based questions designed to reveal how you think.

For the first question below, your first response might be that it's impossible to know how many people are currently online in Europe. You'd be right. The key is to make an educated guess based on some rough estimations of total population and your assumptions about what percentage of it would be online at a given moment. Use ballpark guesses for the real numbers to show how you would go about making a calculation.

Sample estimation questions

  • How many people are currently online in Europe?

  • How many windows are in New York City?

  • How many iPads are sold in the USA every year?

  • How much money is spent in the USA per year on gas?

  • How would you go about finding out the number of red cars in China?

  • If you wanted to build the world’s most popular mobile messaging product, and you need to estimate how much network bandwidth would be used in a year, how would you go about doing this?

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Product Management questions

How to answer questions about product management

Product management takes different forms at different companies, so hiring managers often ask candidates how they approach it in order to see if they are the right culture fit.

For these questions, it's important to be positive, specific, andn to highlight what experiences and skills make you a great PM.

  • What aspects of Product Management do you find the most exciting?

  • Tell me about a time when you had to build or motivate a team.

  • What do you think a day-to-day would be like for a Product Manager?

  • How do you think Product Managers interact with engineers?

  • How would you explain Product Management to a 5-year-old?

  • What aspects of Product Management do you find the least interesting?

  • Tell me about your role on your team, who else you work with, and how you work with them.

Behavioral questions

How to answer product management behavioral questions

Hiring managers know the importance of soft skills for product managers. They want to know that you work well in high-pressure environments, influence without authority, and manage stakeholder expectations.

These are the "tell me about a time when..." questions. To prepare, review important projects in your portfolio and jot down some ideas about the main challenges, results, and personal takeaways. What role did you play and what did you learn? Having these reflections top of mind will help you respond to the questions below.

Behavioral questions that often come up in product interviews

  • Tell me about a challenging issue or challenge you took on.

  • How do you interact with customers/users?

  • Tell me how you've overcome product failures/challenges or poor feedback.

  • Tell me about a time you had to influence someone.

  • Tell me about a mistake you made and how you handled it.

  • One executive says that Feature A is more important and another executive says Feature B is more important. How do you choose which one to implement?

  • Tell me about a time you used data to make a decision.

Leadership and communication questions

How to answer leadership questions

Even at a junior level, a Product Manager is a leader. Even entry-level Product Management roles will come with questions about leadership. They’ll be more similar to behavioral questions with an emphasis on how you interact and communicate with the people on your teams.

To prepare, look over your past experiences again, this time with a focus on your interpersonal interactions. Identify some times when you took the lead on an initiative or helped out a colleague.

Sample leadership questions

  • What’s the best way to work with executives?

  • Is consensus always a good thing?

  • What kinds of people do you like to work with?

  • What kind of people do you have a hard time working with?

  • What would you do to get a team to stick to a schedule?

  • What’s the difference between leadership and management?

General / Personal / First-round questions

How to answer general interview questions

Sometimes the simplest questions are the most important. Make sure you prepare your answers to personal questions so that they have a clear structure and tell a compelling story.

When talking about the company, explain what the brand means to you or how you relate to the mission statement on a personal level.

Former Amazon Product Leader Ameya Thorat urges candidates not to wing this type of interview question.

A lot of people do not prepare well enough for these questions. That tells me that you've not thought seriously about what you've done and where you want to go.

Examples of general questions

  • Tell me about yourself

  • Why should we hire you?

  • Why do you want to work here at Company X?

  • Where do you see yourself in five years?

  • What do you need from your manager to be successful?

Remote Product Management questions

Answering questions about remote work

These days, it’s quite likely that the company you’re applying to has some kind of remote working/flexible hours possibility. You could even be applying for a 100% distributed remote team.

To prepare for these questions, reflect on the pros and cons of different working models and educate yourself on best practices for remote, asynchronous teams.

Remote work example questions

  • Do you have experience in a remote working environment?

  • How have you kept communication from breaking down in a remote setting?

  • How would you face the challenge of managing a team that works across timezones?

  • What challenges have you faced when working remotely? How have you overcome them?

  • How would you build a high-performance async product team?

Product Manager Interview Resource Kit

  • Master the Product Management Interview YouTube Playlist: We’ve collected our best webinars on acing the PM interview. Check out the entire playlist here, or head straight to one of our favorites from DAZN Talent Acquisition Lead, Kasia Paczynska:

  • Proven examples of Product Manager interview questions to ask: We've curated and listed all the questions an interviewer could ask you. But what about the questions YOU should ask during a Product Manager interview? Don't miss these 20 questions to ask at the end of the Product Management interview.

  • Do a mock interview: Partner up with a fellow product manager or someone you trust and go through the questions above. You'll learn a lot from how you answer questions outloud and on the spot. Check out this mock interview with Adecco Group Product Leader, Motunrayo Apara for inspiration:

  • Interview response techniques:

Books for Product Manager interview prep

  • Hired — How to Get a Great Product Job: This is a tailored guide to land Product Manager positions in top tech companies. As this book will show you, some of the most successful product transitions originated from people in music production or finance, with full-time jobs or with no prior experience.

  • The Product Manager Interview: 167 Actual Questions and Answers: This is the second edition of Lewis C. Lin’s book, a great resource for both budding and seasoned Product Managers. Lin’s book will not only provide you with good pointers for interview preparation but also help you in day-to-day life as a Product Manager.

  • Decode and Conquer — Answers to Product Management Interviews: An industry insider’s perspective on how to conquer the most difficult Product Manager interview questions. Covering frameworks for tackling product design and metrics questions, the biggest mistakes, and answers to the top Product Manager interview questions.

  • To complement your learning, check out our reading list: The Most-Read Books by Product Managers

A Last Word on How to Prepare for a Product Manager Interview

In this article, we've covered 72 possible interview questions, yet you'll likely be asked one that's not on this list. There are infinite versions of product interview questions. However, your answers will always be top-notch if you understand the logic behind each question. This is the key to knowing how to answer.

Once you have your story straight and your frameworks mastered, nothing can stop you!

Updated: May 16, 2024

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