IT products are managed by product managers, who define their strategy, roadmap, features, and success. The product manager is a popular and challenging role that might require you to have certifications at times. You can be a part of this demanding job by signing up for Agile Management courses. Here is a curated list of 50 product manager interview questions for freshers, intermediate and experts in the field of product management. Explore these top interview questions on topics like product strategy, business models, resource management, product design, KPIs, MVPs, SWOT, Product Market and Performance and more. We have also included expert tips and questions you can expect in these interviews. Aspiring product managers must go through these classified product manager interview questions and answers for a successful interview.
In one word, a Product manager is a "Visionaries." A product manager identifies the need of the customers and plans business objectives based on the questions of what, why, and how to build a product with innovative technological trends.
A product manager's role spans from strategic to tactical activities. A product manager is the center of the product team that connects the customers, engineering, marketing, and sales teams. He sets a product's strategy and roadmap and shares product marketing responsibilities. So, in a nutshell, the everyday duties of a product manager are;
A product manager deals with various teams and products and plays different roles, so they need a diversified skillset, from personal, to technical to managerial. Apart from these core skills, a product manager should be updated with the new technologies and what is new in the market. A product manager should, however, possess the following skills:
If a company wants to launch a sustainable product in the market, it is essential to work with a plan of prospects rather than playing a blind game. Product management is a process with significant benefits;
The decision-making for a product differs from project to project. However, there are some basic steps that one should follow:
Product management is full of challenges, and most project managers thrive on the challenges. I like the challenges and switching roles in a day; the project manager went through from communicator to researcher, innovator, and organizer. Bringing a positive impact to the user's life by shaping innovative ideas is the most exciting part for me. And coming to the least exciting part, when I have to work on the maintenance of the product, I feel that it limits my working area, planning and development side.
Launching a new product in the market can be risky; however, there is some preventive measure a product manager should keep in mind before bringing the product into the market;
It is essential to communicate the strategy clearly and effectively to the team so they can work efficiently on the same page. Here is the five-step framework for communication:
1. Financial Objectives: Revenue growth, sales targets, and profit.
2. Business Objective: product launch, team growth
3. Technical Objective: implementing new technology
4. Quality Objectives: NPS score
5. Marketing Objectives: social media engagement, sale leads, or brand awareness
Product management roles vary with different aspects, like company size. One important factor that differentiates the role of the product manager is in what category product came from B2B or B2C. The main differences between B2B and B2C product management are business model and customers.
Product lifecycle management is the period that moves with a product from designing, development, introduction to market, growth, and decline. Good knowledge of product lifecycle management is good as it leads to better decision-making and revenues.
The proper understanding of PLM product managers can face any challenge with product development. The product management benefited the product management process in various ways;
So, in a nutshell, PLM simplifies, organizes, integrates, and allows an in-depth knowledge of product management and how to maximize product profit.
ERP AND PLM are assets for an organization and benefits it in many ways, like getting real-time updates, increasing efficiency, cost reduction, and providing multiple deployment options. Though ERP and PLM systems complement each other and keep track of the data and product, the business needs and the type of industry differentiate them.
PLM manages product development, from documentation, requirement gathering, technical development, and final product launch. However, ERP records the logistics, financials, and production resources, like inventory management, order processing, accounting, customer relationship management, and human resources.
Organizations use KPIs to measure performance, and the product is one of the vital factors to measure, as it is a dominant source of revenue generation. Product success gives an overview of how the product serves the users and its profitability. Various parameters help in measuring the product's success; the basic parameters are;
Setting a product price is like balancing a check book; going too high will miss out on some variable sales, or going too low, you might miss the revenue. To set the best product price, a product manager considers multiple factors;
I see a few key factors in the product to call it well-designed:
(Note: This question is equally important for technical product manager interviews)
There are fast-growing technology trends with time, and how product managers, engineers, or companies use these changing trends to bring innovative products to customers. Any business that wants to stay in a market for the long run should keep up with new technologies.
There are various frictionless products in the market with new trends like APIs, artificial intelligence, blockchain, the Internet of things, quantum computing, machine learning, cyber security, and many more. These technologies enhance the user experiences of the product, like, effortless ordering by just a chatbot or tracking real-time processes. So, by adapting the new technologies, businesses improve the working process and save time and money.
A product manager works with a cross-functional team, and there will be a chance of disagreements, as every team has a set of goals. Hence, a few behavioral and communication changes can help you deal with the conflicts; I use a few simple strategies;
Product manager is the team's core; teams look to you for leadership and guidance for quality product development. As a product manager, you are responsible for giving proper tools and inspiring them. However, things are not always as planned, and the product fails, and again, you have to embrace the failure and learn from it to create a quality product. I take care of a few things while I deal with the failure:
Metrics is a measurement that gives an insight into the organization's success. It helps to detect problems, set goals and make concrete decisions. Evaluating the product metrics provides a good understanding of how the product is performing and increases the product's and company's success. The key metrics are;
MVP (minimum viable product) is a product version that includes enough features to solve the core problem of a specific set of users to validate a product idea early in the product development cycle. MVP means:
This means developing a minimal first workable product version rather than an extensive end-product with various features.
The product must be a viable solution to the problem with the minimum number of features.
As the name suggests, it does not mean it's always a product, it can be a business hypothesis and it's an experiment to deliver your idea to the market.
Benefits of Building an MVP
Competitive analysis is the starting point of differentiating your product or service from all your competitors- existing and potential competitors who might enter the market in the future. It requires you to understand your competitor and have a deep knowledge of the benefits and quality of your competitor's products. As a product manager, it comes under his work profile to analyze all aspects of the product, from basic to technical.
SWOT analysis is perfect for understanding the product's strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats for the elemental analysis to get the product's total value.
SWOT analysis can be directed in both ways, looking at your own company or outward conducted on competitors; these are four elements of SWOT analysis
In the technical analysis, it is essential to analyse all the features of the products, like pricing. Mapping a business model will help to understand how to price similar products in the market.
Benchmarking analysis is another leading process that helps an organization examine key facets of competitors and adopt improvements. This analysis leads to reduced cost, optimizing the sales funnel, and improving the product that delivers more value to target customers.
What do you understand by Gartner Magic quadrant, and why is it important for many software vendors?
The magic quadrant is helpful for software vendors who wish to analyze their competition.
The Magic Quadrant provides an abstract view of a market's top businesses, displaying their strength and weakness. Competitive organizations can use that information to improve their software products or services, giving them an advantage in the market.
Gartner's magic quadrant research technique offers a competitive graphical positioning of four different types of technology providers in fast-growing markets based on completeness of vision and ability to execute.
Magic quadrant research reports can be valuable tools for investors looking to find a company that fits their needs and businesses, thus helping companies secure funding.
Usually, product and project managers work closely towards the same goal, to build a successful product, but have different responsibilities. A product manager is responsible for driving the development of products, while a project manager is responsible for overseeing them. If the product manager is the strategic thinker, the project manager is the executor.
Product Manager's responsibilities are research, setting a vision for the product, communicating the product's image to stakeholders and the team, and developing a strategic roadmap. There responsibilities also include breaking down the tasks, planning a project timeline, allocating project resources, and monitoring the task completion.
Organizations utilize value streams to implement solutions that provide continuous value to customers through several steps. A value stream starts, ends, and continues with the customers, and the value stream is an excellent tool to improve delivery chains with complex processes. A value stream is built on understanding, organizing, and delivering value in SAFe.
SAFe has two types of value streams:
The Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe) is the most trusted system for business agility and development teams. SAFe gives the product development team flexibility, with three pillars; Team, Program, and Portfolio. SAFe can be used;
No, features, and capabilities are both different things. A feature is a function that meets the need of the users and provides value. For example, Facebook users can direct messages to others with the FB app.
Capability is the set of features of the product and can be split into multiple features. For example, enabling a posting feature in FB have various aspects,
TAM (Total addressable market) calculates the total revenue opportunity for a product and defines the total available market. It helps determine the funding a business or company should put into product development. The TAM concept is essential for a business because the calculation of effort and budget allows for setting priorities and customer segments. When an organization is ready to launch a new product or plan to cross-sell the existing product, TAM helps in breaking down all numbers at an understandable level.
There are three ways to calculate TAM:
A product manager is responsible for product development from vision to product launch among users. The product manager is the best-known person for the needs of a sales and marketing team and helps them by educating marketing resources. The key activities a product manager should know:
Apart from this, while you release the MVP and collect the feedback, keep the sale and marketing team in sync and mention the revenue times and lifetime values such as KPIs.
Changing the working habits and culture in an organization is challenging, as people resist the changes unless it is exceptionally good to accept them. Reaching the tipping point means an organization cannot compete in a dynamic environment, and the product agrees with the change rather than resisting. Set a clear vision of change is necessary, as it provides three main benefits:
The strong KPIs are best for monitoring the growth, progress, and success of a product, and these should be the critical categories like;
Various google products have made our lives easy. My favorite product is a google map, which solves the issue of carrying big folding maps and provides a detailed map with different views like streets or terrain. I like google maps because it solves the main pain points of the users while we are in a new place; it is difficult to find gas stations or ATMs as it shows the nearest restrooms, restaurants, and petrol pumps.
Selecting what will be a budget and time-friendly commute to the destination is a real challenge for users. Google maps solves this challenge by giving every available transport option a number for a particular destination, like a metro number and bus number with the estimated time.
Active User is the indicator of product health by calculating the total number of users using or interacting in a particular period. Time interval and interaction are two important components to measure active users. Though active users sound straightforward, there are few ways to calculate them;
As the name suggests Northstar metric gives direction to the company's long-term growth. An organization uses the Northstar metric to measure the amount of value it delivers to the customers. The Northstar metric explains the relationship between customer needs and the revenue that that organization aims to generate. To choose the best suited Northstar metric, one needs to keep a few things in mind;
Net promoter Score is one of the most used KPIs for customer satisfaction. NPS (Net Promoter Score) is a widely used market research metric to get aware of customer experience and predict revenue growth. NPS can be calculated by asking just one question to the customer,
"On a scale of 0-10, what is you score to recommend a product to anyone?”
Customers rated six or below are Detractors, seven or eight are passives, and that rated nine-ten are promoters. And by using the given formula, one can get the NPS;
NPS = % promoters - % detractors
Statistical Significance is a powerful digital marketing tool, and this is used to optimize various core marketing activities like A/B testing. Statistical Significance deepens into specific causes and helps make informed decisions, like; whether the result of the experiment is attributed to the change or random.
Statistical Significance is essential and gives the confidence that the used data is reliable for marketing decisions, like campaigns that positively impact engagement. For example: If the statistical Significance of your product is 70%, it means 30% success of the product is by chance, and it's a huge risk to take a chance.
The Chi-square test is used in calculating the statistical Significance and uses the formula;
Statistical Significance = Probability (p) < Threshold (a)
Retention metrics are a tool to measure how long the customers stick around and engage with the product. It can be measured by comparing the number of customers at the beginning with the number at the end. To get the value from the formula, there is a need to understand two key phrases,
"Continue to use" means customers have been using the product.
"Period " means what period a retention rate refers to, i.e., weekly, monthly, or yearly.
Retention rate = All customers at the end of the period – New customers acquired during the period / All customers at the beginning of the period.
Quora is a Q&A social platform where users from around the world can ask questions and get an answer from a diversified community. So, the goal of Quora is to share and grow the user's knowledge, and in my opinion, to measure its growth, I will focus on two significant metrics, engagement and retention.
To track customer engagement, measure the total number of questions answered over time because it's important for users to get the answers, as it is the platform's purpose.
To track retention, measure how many users return to the platform in 30-days because they find it valuable.
And one more important metric to measure is the percentage of questions with one answer with five upvotes.
These metrics measure the qualitative and quantitative value of Quora.
E-commerce KPIs are key indicators that can measure a business's success and monitor online business growth and sales, and we can set KPIs according to our business objectives. There are some important KPIs that can not be ignored at all;
Imagine you are the Product manager of messenger, and DAU is significantly down; what is your approach to finding the cause?
First, I will get good knowledge about active users (sending, reading, and opening messages), and second, I will set a period; let us set DAU down for 30 days. Now coming to the issue, I will look into four types of issues;
If there will not be any issue from above, then it's essential to break down the message by type of sender and message, and when I think about these segments, few ideas are there,
User interface is the most common front-end app view, in which users interact, manipulate, and control the app or software. The user interface has a fundamental task; communicating information from machine to user and user to the machine.
A good user interface has these key qualities;
Several reasons make me want to work as a product manager. I will list the top ten reasons;
Facebook is a social media place that builds community by bringing the world together. Blood donation fits directly into the Facebook frame and enables the social good with its vast network. The scenario to focus on before starting making the solution are;
There are pain points for users, like;
I have an idea for blood profiling;
I have an idea for motivating the users;
You are developing a video streaming service with an 80% drop in one key metric; what will you do?
80% is a considerable drop; I will first identify what metric this is, like monetization, customer retention, etc. Secondly, I will determine whether the decline is sudden or gradual, as an 80% drop is a definite sudden drop. Next, I will find the times when the drop happened and the factors (External/Internal) that caused it.
External Factors: Bad PR or new competitors in the market are some external factors that affect the product.
Internal Factors: New feature was released, a server issue or a bug are some internal factors that majorly affect the product performance.
After narrowing down the factors, I will check for relational KPI drops by checking the user journey, as it is essential to narrow down what time the problem starts. If the issue is a feature, I will check the purpose of that feature and will check if changes affect the goal of the feature.
If the issue is uncertain, I will work with my development team; we will fix it urgently if it is a bug. If there is a server issue, the system op will work on it. It will take time if the issue is external, as it must understand full product development and communicate with the team.
I will use a top-down TAM (total Addressable market) approach.
The total population is 7.5 billion.
China does not use google, and 50% of Russians don't use google as a primary search; it leaves us with 6 billion.
Only half population is connected to the Internet, the remaining 3 billion.
Google share 75% market with other search engines, remain 2.25 billion
Now I will break down 2.25 billion with user frequency, Active, aggressive, or passive.
Passive searchers don't use google daily, like older adults, kids, and the rural population, who assume they are 50% of remain 1.1 billion.
Active users search once a day, assume it's 25% of the population, remain 550 million.
Aggressive users are super active and search 7-8 times daily; 25% of the population remains 550 million.
Total searches per day = 550*1 + 550*6 = 3.8 billion per day = 3.8 billion / 24 hrs/ 60 min/ 60 sec = 44,000 searches per second
Save feature is an important feature and affects users and marketers. This user will ease the user's work, and they do not have to take a screenshot or copy the link to see later. Metrics to measure the save feature success;
individuals use Google maps to reach from point A to B, and ETA calculates the accurate time for users. Higher the accuracy, the higher the user satisfaction. The algorithm inputs used in calculating ETA include:
All these inputs combinedly give the ETA, as any of these change ETA change.
Facebook is where people interact with each other, and defining meaningful social interaction works as a north star to increase engagement. In FB, interaction happens when someone responds to content with likes, comments, and shares. Meaningful social interaction can be between the creator and the viewer or between two viewers. I will look into four dimensions:
Now, I will use data science to calculate the score on each of the above points to calculate meaningful social interaction.
Any web search speed depends on its functionality and features. When we search on the web, we all get almost the same result; this means web search work on cache, while there is no cache stored for Gmail searches. This is one reason; I think there are a few more reasons why Gmail search is slow;
Cloud computing offers faster innovation, flexible resources, and economies of scale by providing a broad range of internet-based computing services, storage, database, networking, software, analytics, and intelligence.
Benefits of Cloud Computing:
Instagram reel is a platform where individuals share their creative videos in a broader Instagram network and help them build a community worldwide. The business goal of IG reels is:
The top three success metrics:
1. Usage Metrics;
2. Community Metrics: number of creators greater than 150k followers
3. Counter Metrics: reel feature is not impacting the other features of the Instagram
A product manager works with a cross-function team; as we know, a happy and motivated team leads to the most innovative and creative solutions. So, to motivate my team, I keep a few points in my mind:
Task management involves the task lists and determining the necessary things and deadlines, task assignments, prioritizing, and tracking the progress. There are many tasks management tools, and I am familiar with a few;
Asana focuses on project and workflow management, with its key feature of task list comments, community support, and workflows. In addition, asana helps assign the task to the team, and you can see each member's assigned work with a deadline.
Monday focuses on setting timelines, automated workflows, and creating Kanban boards.
Fellow work as a team meeting hub for setting meeting agenda, notes, and feedback. There are various meeting templates and full integration of other important apps, like google calendar.
Proprofs project is a simple tool that allows creating tasks, assigning resources, and setting deadlines across multiple projects within a minute.
There are many more names that I have heard, like ClickUp, todoist, bascampAirtable, etc., and will use in future product management.