A collection of advice I've received and given regarding the Product Management interview process. Despite the variety in PM roles across companies, there are definitely common themes.
Disclaimer: The views expressed here are my own. They do not necessarily reflect the views of my employer.
Every company has a different interview process, but these are the three most common variants I've encountered.
- Product intuition
- Is smart
- History of successful execution
- Cultural fit
- Technical skills
- Business intuition
Types of Questions
- Why do you want to be a PM?
- Tell me about a time when...
- Tell me about your background...
- How do you prioritize features?
- How do you build your product roadmap?
- What do you do if you are overcommited on a project?
- What happens when you type
google.cominto a web browser?
- Explain how
- Tell me about your last product's tech stack...
- Wireframe a video player.
- Design an espresso machine.
Design++ / Product Creation.
- Design an autonomous drone.
- What features will make the MVP?
- How will you monetize the product?
- How will you measure the success of the product?
- What do you like and dislike about Product X?
- How would you improve it?
- How would you grow it?
- How is Company X positioned against Company Y?
- Why does Company X's business model work?
- Why is Company X pursuing Y?
Brain Teasers / Analytical.
- What's the market size for Product X?
- How much revenue does Product X earn?
- Research the company, product, competitors, landscape, interviewers before the interview.
- Crunchbase is your best friend for researching startups.
- Read past Glassdoor interview experiences at the company to familiarize yourself with their process.
- Have prepared questions to ask. Explore how product management works at the company, what the future direction of the product/company is, potential future opportunities, etc.
- Tell a compelling story for why you want to be a PM or work at the company.
- For process questions, tie your experiences into your answers. Don't be afraid to talk about trade-offs you made and be critical / learn from your mistakes.
- For technical questions, it's OK to say "I don't know". Talk about what you do know and reason through a possible answer.
- Design questions are purposefully ambiguous. Ask questions to understand the purpose of the product and its users.
- Don't forget you can always test designs with your users.
- When talking about KPIs or metrics, make sure you can also talk about how to take action on them.
- Product assignments consume a lot of time. Research and design are among the hardest parts.
- Do a product review for something you use everyday. Identify what's good, what's bad, use cases, improvements, market, competition, user base, revenue, ways to boost user base, ways to boost revenue.
- Start forming opinions on why certain products/companies succeed and others don't. Justify them with data and historical evidence.
- Be careful when suggesting ideas to a company when you lack context.
- Have an idea of what a PM does, but don't expect the role to conform to the cookie-cutter definition.