Product Manager - product manager interview

5 Tips for Acing Your Product Manager Interview

Applying for the role of a product manager can be nerve-wracking and stressful, but luckily it only takes one interview to determine whether you are the right fit for the position or not. 

According to McKinsey, the importance of data in decision-making is expanding, and this means that the product manager has to take on more responsibility. Maybe your interviewer will find out during the interview that you aren’t qualified for the job, or maybe your interviewer will ask about an aspect of your experience that is critical to the company’s success.

Regardless of what happens, read on to learn five ways to ace a Product Manager interview.

1. Understand What a Product Manager Does 

A product manager must take a long-term view and ensure that their company’s products are innovative, marketable, and profitable. In addition, they must be able to identify a need in the market and decide how best to fulfill it. Unfortunately, many companies don’t hire product managers for their first jobs out of college but offer internships that test the potential applicant’s abilities. 

2. Remain Patient With the Process 

If you’re applying for a product manager position, you’ll likely have to interview with different companies multiple times. You can expect this process to take anywhere from 3-to 5 hours total and require extensive knowledge of the company’s products and culture.

3. Prepare Your Answers 

Interviewers want to know how you would approach a new product or business strategy, your short-term and long-term vision for the company, and how you will maintain that vision. They also want to know about how long you’ve been in this position, where else you have worked, and why you’re passionate about this job.

4. Showcase Your Skills and Expertise

Product managers are responsible for a company’s products, from the conceptual to the final product. When you’re interviewing for this position, make sure that you’ve prepared and have these skills:

  • Communicating with your team and stakeholders
  • Planning
  • Time management

One of the essential components of a product manager interview is your enthusiasm for your company and what you have to offer. List your skills and expertise that are beneficial to the position. Answer questions about the company, its technical products, and what it’s like to work with that specific team.

5. Do Your Research

To prepare for your interview, make sure to do your research:

  1. Find out who you’re interviewing with and research the company. If it’s a start-up, research the founders and their backgrounds to understand the company’s mission and culture.
  2. Make sure to understand what it will be like to work there, including typical work hours, salary expectations, and type of work environment (business casual vs. jeans-and-T-shirt).
  3. Review your resume, cover letter, and portfolio in detail before interviews, so you are comfortable sharing your experiences about the position you’re applying for. 

Enroll in Udacity’s Product Management Nanodegree 

In Udacity’s Product Manager Nanodegree, you will learn to define product strategy and KPIs based on market analysis, pitch a product vision to get stakeholder buy-in, and design a user-centered prototype that adheres to engineering constraints. 

You will also develop an execution timeline that handles competing priorities, communicate a product roadmap that builds consensus amongst internal stakeholders, and create a comprehensive go-to-market plan based on product KPIs. Finally, you will make tests to enhance product features based on market data.

These are just a few things to be aware of when applying for product manager positions. There is much more to it than just the questions themselves. Before interviewing, you must research the company extensively and make sure you are prepared for any questions or concerns about their products, industry, or company culture.

.Check out Udacity’s Product Manager Nanodegree today!

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Eraina Ferguson
Eraina Ferguson
Eraina Ferguson is the Marketing and Communications Manager at Udacity. Her recent monologue, Listen to Her, was read by actress Marla Gibbs and featured at the WACO Theatre’s 50in50 event. Her writing has been featured on NBC Universal, Red Tricycle, LA Parents Magazine, and the LA Times. Eraina lives in California with her husband and children.