The competition for product manager jobs has never been so intense. To help you prepare, we've gathered some of the most asked product manager interview questions from top companies including Google, Facebook, and Amazon. Get ready to nail that interview!
So, your heart's set on being a product manager. No wonder; it's one of the fastest-growing and most lucrative sectors. You may even have applied for jobs but didn't quite make the grade. By now you may ask yourself "what skills should a product manager have?" and "how do I prepare for a product manager interview?"
The good news - we've done all the hard work for you. We've compiled a list of common questions that you could be asked in an interview. As a bonus, we've added some examples of both good and bad answers to help you prepare your responses.
If you take the time to practice these proven interview questions for product managers, your job interview process will go a whole lot smoother!
Contents (click to jump to that section):
Product Interview Questions
A good product manager candidate will know how the stages of the product life cycle work together to create products that deliver real customer value.
According to Anand Subramani of Stanford University, product manager's have four core responsibilities: setting clear goals, managing multiple projects, executing (by planning, organizing, delegating), and managing the whole product life cycle of both new and existing products.
The following questions test these “core responsibilities,” including your ability to analyze markets, understanding feature requirements, improving the customer experience, product design, testing it before launch, publicizing it and managing its growth post-launch.
Customer Analysis Interview Questions
- What are the types of customer research you have conducted (surveys, interviews, etc.)?
- What questions do you typically ask when conducting user research?
- What is the one most important thing you want your users to know about your product?
- How do you ensure that your product meets customer requirements?
- What are the most important things you look for in a potential customer?
- What do you feel is the main reason a client/user would buy from you?
- What was a time when you had to make a hard decision that could affect your career while satisfying customer needs?
- What is your approach to customer retention?
- What are some of the difficulties that could arise when dealing with customers?
- You are tasked with improving customer satisfaction rates of an existing product. What are three things that you would focus on first?
- How do you ensure that the design of a product does not go beyond the scope of what the customers need?
- How do you prioritize the features that add the most value for your customers?
- What are some common customer complaints that you have dealt with in the past?
- How do you make sure that customers are satisfied with your products or services?
- What is the best way for a customer to make suggestions to you?
- How do you make sure customers get fast and helpful customer service from you and your team?
- Give me an example of how you've successfully used your analytical skills in the past.
Product Strategy Interview Questions
- How do you come up with a new idea for a product?
- How do you know when it's time to introduce a new product to market?
- What are 3 important factors that are needed to launch a new product?
- What are the top 3 reasons for not going with a new product?
- How do you come up with ideas that will make the product successful, increase market share or fulfil a business need?
- Walk me through your thinking when introducing a new product into the market. What are the steps you normally take, and what does each step involve? What risks do you face?
- You are developing a new digital product. There are two competitors whose products are similar, and their prices are identical. What is your strategy for gaining market share?
- You're in charge of launching a new product that needs to be sold through a third-party service (like Amazon). What are the factors to consider when deciding which techniques should be used to promote the product? What features should it have for it to achieve profitability?
- How do you prioritize feature development for your team/company/product?
- When should you start thinking about what features your next product will have? When should you decide on the name of the next important thing that your company is working on (e.g., Apple naming the next iPhone)?
- How do you know which features will be included in a product?
- How do you prioritize what to work on next?
- What is a product backlog and how does it work?
- How do you decide which items to cut from a product to reduce costs without affecting the quality of the product?
- How do you find opportunities to improve a product?
- How do you handle conflicting requirements from an engineering perspective?
- How do you work with your development team to garner support for new features or changes for existing features?
- Explain 2 ways in which you see products becoming obsolete over time.
- How do you decide when to add or discontinue products?
- When will you know that it's time to stop working on a product and move onto another one?
- How do you recognize when it is time to release a new version of your product or service?
Product Estimation Interview Questions
- What are your thoughts on the use of estimation in product management?
- How would you go about estimating an annual cost for a product or service?
- What would be the most accurate way to estimate a cost for a new product or service, and why?
- In what situation is it appropriate to estimate a product without putting an associated cost on it?
- Give two examples of different products with varying levels of complexity. Explain how you might estimate each one.
- How do you properly identify the amount of time to budget on a product?
- What is the most important element of estimation within product management? Give an example.
- When would you estimate that a product should be released?
- How do you usually handle a situation where the product deadline is not being met?
- Do you have experience working on multiple products at the same time? If yes, how did you manage your schedule and responsibilities to work on multiple products at once?
Product Metrics Interview Questions
Metrics can be used to help a product manager in two major roles:
- To evaluate a new product to determine if it will be successful and profitable for the company, and.
- To evaluate existing products to ensure that they are achieving goals and meeting expectations.
- How do you determine if a product is successful?
- How would you measure the success of a product launch?
- Describe how you would use metrics to measure success.
- What are some examples of "key performance indicators" (KPIs) for measuring the success of a product or project?
- What are some of the metrics we should track on a regular basis? Would you use any other metrics we haven't considered yet here?
- What metrics would you use to evaluate progress for a new product and what is the most important metric?
- Why is it important to use leading indicators rather than lagging indicators when monitoring product metrics?
- How would you recommend measuring product adoption among target customer segments?
- Why is it important to be able to identify and communicate about "notable events" within a particular company, division, or department?
- How would you track the purchase of products from your company by end-users (as opposed to other companies) to measure adoption and portfolio optimization of your products?
Technical Skills Interview Questions
A product manager must know everything about the technical challenges of the organization to create great products. Even though it may not directly be your job requirement to have technical expertise, you need to understand how the technology functions. This also helps you avoid conflicts between your team members and developers. Here are some of the most common technical knowledge questions.
- How do you ensure that your product is reliable?
- How would you ensure quality control for a new product?
- Describe the difference between test driven development and other testing in terms of application design goals and actual practices.
- What are some of the challenges you have faced from a technical perspective for product development?
- What tools do you use to help test your products and how do you use them?
- Tell me about your experience with [a specific platform, e.g., Android/iOS] development?
- What makes a good technology partner? How do you choose one?
- Do you enjoy working on products that require a high level of technical skills or could you work on any product regardless of technical complexity?
- How do you integrate new technologies and tools into your product?
- How do you remain current with the latest technology trends?
- What are your thoughts on using data and analytics to drive product decisions?
Product Pricing Interview Questions
- What are your thoughts on price points?
- How do you determine your pricing matrix (i.e., how much should it cost, how many features it should have, etc.?)
- How do you manage the pricing of your products? What is your goal in doing so? How would you react when a competitor has a lower price for the same product or when a customer tells you that he/she will be willing to pay more because it's better?
- If margins are high and the product has been established in the market, should you lower prices just because other products might offer better value for money but have a higher barrier to entry?
- Is it part of your job to monitor competitors on pricing and ensure that you have staying power in the market?
- How do you handle a product that is not profitable? Do you try to make it profitable, or do you discontinue the project?
- How do you determine return on investment on a product? What determines ROI on a product?
- What are your thoughts on developing products with a small budget? How are your products affected by this situation?
Product Marketing Interview Questions
- How do you go about researching and describing a market to understand and meet customer needs?
- What are some effective ways of assessing the market potential for a new product?
- How do companies successfully market a product to mass audiences of people today?
- What is your experience with producing a product for a large customer base?
- What is the difference between managing a consumer product and an enterprise product?
- Briefly describe the role of marketing staff and how it affects product development?
- Describe the sales, marketing, production, and service aspects of a product to a customer.
- What would you do if there was no market for your product?
- What is your experience with managing products that solve problems for (specific industry, product, demographics, etc.)? What is your opinion on the current and future state of that industry?
Questions & Answers
What is a product?
This one is the most popular and probably one of the easiest questions to answer. It's also an example of how not to talk about a product. In this case, you need to demonstrate that you have product experience designing tangible things and understand the concept of the several types of products (e.g., software, hardware, services). More important than what you say here is that you can demonstrate your ability to define and understand products.
Offer an example or explain a concrete example from your firsthand experiences.
Good Answer: A product is a detailed description of what something will do, or what the customer will get. Products should be used to provide value to your customers. The product should also serve a specific purpose and should meet the needs or wants of the customer. For example, if you have a product that helps people organize their finances and makes it easier to manage all their receipts, it's serving a specific purpose for them. They need it to make sure they can keep track of all their expenses – so software like this is needed to help them manage all of their receipts.
Bad Answer: A product is something that is manufactured and is sold.
How do you avoid scope creep?
Good Answer: I spend a lot of time in the beginning of the project with clients and stakeholders, getting them to agree to what I am about to do. I also make sure that our team has a detailed product roadmap, so we know ahead of time what we are likely going to be working on. This way, when new features come up during development, it is easy for everyone on my team to know whether they are part of the scope we agreed upon. I do this by updating the product roadmap at least once a week based on what I learned from the previous week.
Bad Answer: I just manage it as it happens.
How do you know when a product is well designed?
Good Answer: Design is more than just surface-level aesthetics. It's about considering the user's goals and motivations and meeting them in a way that makes sense to their world.
Bad Answer: Design is just about how things look.
Why do you think this product needs to be updated?
Good Answer: The market has changed since the product was first created. There are new users who use our product, and there are new ways they would like to use our product.
Bad Answer: Previous products don't need to be updated as they've already been working for a long time.
How do you prioritize product features?
Good Answer: Most of the time, I prioritize based on a combination of business value and technical risk. Business value is how much impact a given feature will have on our target customer's goals (i.e., how much the feature meets their needs), and technical risk is how difficult it would be to implement given the current context (team size, time frame, etc.).
Bad Answer: We are trying to make sure our products meet the vision of the company.
What would you do if you were putting together a new product launch?
Good Answer: Typically, a new product launch starts with the CEO or marketing team coming up with an idea, and then the company begins to research the new market and how to best serve its customers. The next step is deciding on launch timing and pricing. After that, we would create a product strategy that could be communicated through messaging to convey what this product is all about.
A product launch needs to have a clearly defined goal, a set of measurable metrics, and an agreement on how you are going to measure those goals. This way everyone knows what they need to do, and you can tell if the product was successful.
Bad Answer: You just have to launch it and see what happens. You can't plan for this stuff, so no product planning process is needed.
How do you manage a new product launch?
Good Answer: I rely on both statistical and qualitative analysis to predict the success of the product, I create a roadmap for marketing campaigns, and I decide when the market is ready for rollout.
Bad Answer: I guess I just follow my boss's instructions.
What are the most common product roadmaps you have used?
Good Answer: We typically have a roadmap that is updated every month or every quarter. This helps us plan for the future and ensures we stay on track with our goals.
Bad Answer: When we first started out, my manager let me do whatever I wanted, and I just went ahead and did it. I should have known better.
If you were a customer of a product you were using, what would be some things you would look for in a product management team?
Good Answer: I would want a product management team that understands my problems and can make decisions to alleviate them. I would expect the product management team to periodically ask for feedback from customers, both formally and informally, and incorporate the feedback into their process. Good customer engagement is one of the key components of supplying products that meet customers' needs. I like someone who always asks the tough questions but at the same time listens to everyone else on how to do something.
Bad Answer: I don't know; I've never had that experience.
Product Management Interview Questions
The product management job involves taking a product from idea to market, which requires strong leadership and communication skills.
Leadership skills are vital for product managers because they not only have to coordinate with various departments such as R&D, design, operations, and sales, but also have to deal with marketing issues such as pricing analysis, customer service, media relations etc.
Leadership Interview Questions
- Which leadership style do you think is best?
- How do you adapt your leadership style to a specific situation?
- How do you deal with a subordinate who is holding up progress on a project?
- What are some ways in which your peers can recognize your leadership qualities, and demonstrate them to others in the office?
- How do you develop trust throughout an organization, while still leading a team of people?
- Tell me about a time when you had to work with someone who wasn't good at their job.
- What is the most important trait that someone in your position should have?
Teamwork Interview Questions
- What are the components of a good team?
- What are the biggest challenges you've faced in a team setting and how did you solve them?
- What is your favorite team-building activity?
- What are the types of meetings that you would use for various team-building efforts?
- How do you ensure that your team has a clear idea of what is needed for them to build an effective product?
- How would you motivate a group of people who were unwilling to work together? How do you get them to be more productive?
- How do you think about conflicts in a team setting and how do you manage them?
- How would you handle a situation where two teammates got into an argument?
- What is the biggest mistake that you have made in terms of teamwork?
- Have you ever been involved in a cross-functional team? What was it like working with people from other areas of the business?
- What are the common problems that a team of developers might have, and how do you deal with them?
- How do you deal with people who are uncooperative when trying to solve a problem or implement a solution?
- How would you handle a situation where a team member was slacking off?
- Can you describe a situation where you had to convince someone to agree with your point of view or idea about a certain product?
- How would you act when a member of your team wanted to leave?
Decision-Making Interview Questions
- Tell me about a time you had to make a hard decision? How did you handle this situation? How did you deal with the pressure?
- Describe a situation where you had to deal with conflicting stakeholders and how to handle the situation?
- How do you handle making a decision with incomplete information?
- Tell me about a situation where you had to make decisions and deliver bad news within an organization.
- Explain a situation where you made a decision and communicated it to others in your team. What happened after that?
- Give me an example of a time when you had to make a crucial decision. How did you do it? What was the outcome?
- You have a prototype of a new product that is ready for pilot tests. The product designer has made some changes since the last time the prototypes were tested. What would be your approach?
- How do you prioritize your tasks and responsibilities as a product manager given limited resources, unlimited goals, and tight time constraints?
- Tell me about a decision you made that you're not proud of. What did you learn from the experience?
- How would you handle an executive who says he/she does not want to hear from your team? Or wants to be notified only if there is a severe problem? Or wants to be the last person to know about everything?
Communication Interview Questions
- How do you handle meetings to discuss group ideas and make decisions? What is your preferred style of communication for both internal and external stakeholders?
- What are some of your strengths in communication and what areas do they show up in?
- Give an example of a time when you had to deal with an irate customer, annoyed colleague or frustrated employee.
- How do you handle negotiating with people who might disagree with you?
- Describe a situation when you had to deliver bad news to people who were affected by the outcome?
- What are some techniques you use when communicating with internal stakeholders such as developers, salesforce, and the marketing team?
- How would you rate your communication skills?
Questions & Answers
What is your leadership style?
As the leader of the team, product managers are often asked about their leadership style to help determine if they will fit in with the company's culture. This question is typically answered by describing how they lead teams and what values they uphold as a manager.
Good Answer: I lead my team by being open, honest and direct. I also believe that it's important to have a strong work ethic and set ambitious standards.
Bad Answer: It depends on the company or industry really.
What is your management style?
Good Answer: I prefer to be very direct. I like to give the team members a lot of responsibility and let them do their jobs. Balance and kindness are vital aspects for a successful leader.
No one enjoys an extremely strict leader; nor would they like an extremely lenient leader. They need to know where they stand being a nice leader, but also being a strict one.
I do not believe in micro-managing my team. I like to give them the freedom and room to work as much as they can, while also holding them accountable. If I see something that needs improvement, I'll let my team members know about it directly.
Bad Answer: I'm a people person. I can inspire others to get the job done.
What is your leadership philosophy? How does it apply to this role?
Good Answer: I think leadership is more about actions than titles. A leader should have a set of core values that she or he believes in, and actions that support and reinforce those values. Every leader has a unique way of displaying/revealing the values that she or he believes in. I believe that as a leader it is important to live by the code. In other words, you should stand for the values that you have as a leader and should be trustworthy and honorable.
I believe in leading by example. I work hard and try to keep good working relationships with my team members. I never want to undermine anyone's skills just because they are not my direct reports. I also try to lead by example in my own life. Everyone looks up to their leaders. I want my team members to know that I am a good leader, and that they can look up to me.
Bad Answer: I like to do things my way.
What do you think makes a good manager?
Good Answer: I think it is important for managers to be clear when they make decisions and show respect for both their team members and their peers. They also need to have an open-door policy so that the team members can freely talk to them and express their opinions. I would also believe it is important to keep a positive attitude, because a positive attitude is contagious.
I believe that managers should be fair and consistent in their evaluation of everyone's work. I will not try to undermine my team members because they report to different people. If my manager has asked me to do something, then it does not matter who my direct report is to - I will deliver the results on time. I will also be prompt in my response to all my colleagues.
Good managers understand what motivates their colleagues. They try to keep them motivated by showing appreciation for their work and giving them more opportunities for development as individuals and as a team.
Bad Answer: I just do everything they tell me to do.
What do you think makes a good team? What do you see as the challenges in building an effective team?
Good Answer: I think a good team is made up of people who can work together and respect each other. They also need to have the right skill set to get the job done. Even if people’s personalities do not match, they can still work effectively together as a team. The key is to compromise and communicate effectively as team members. The challenge in building a great team is around teamwork skills.
I believe that a great team has high tolerance for differences of opinion. In addition, they have excellent communication skills so that they can get the job done. There is no “I” in the word team, and all members should respect each other's contributions to the work.
Bad Answer: We all get along and make the hardest decisions collaboratively.
How do you manage your team? What values do they hold?
Good Answer: I am clear about my vision as a leader. I believe in leading my team by setting a good example. I do not micromanage and expect them to be responsible for their work. I believe in building a dedicated team without destroying the culture of the company.
Bad Answer: I tell people what to do.
What are the toughest challenges you have faced with your team?
Good Answer: The hardest challenge I've had to face was making sure everyone was on the same page. After that, it's usually just taking care of day-to-day issues. It's easy for people to burn out. The hardest thing about being a product manager is that you can't really take a break because there is always something that needs to be done.
Bad Answer: I just keep trying to get people to do stuff. It depends on the person.
General Interview Questions
Basic Interview Questions
- What are the top 3 things a product manager should do daily?
- Do you have examples of past products that you have worked on?
- What is your favorite product and why?
- What are the stages of a product development cycle?
- What differentiates a good product from a poor one?
- Describe the various forces that hinder product development.
- What are some useful product management tools that you have used?
- How do you think the product manager role has evolved over the past 5 years?
- How would you define a successful product company?
- Define a product manager's responsibilities to their company?
Work Interview Questions
- How do you prioritize your work?
- What do you think are the top 3 things that will keep you productive throughout the day?
- What is your personal work style, and how has it affected your success in product management?
- Do you prefer a team- or project-oriented work environment?
- How do you manage uncertainty in your job as a product manager?
- What is the most difficult part of your job?
- How do you stay organized and on top of tasks so that you can get them done efficiently and move on to the next task without forgetting anything?
- How do you work under pressure while still meeting deadlines and keeping high quality standards?
- What is one thing that you would like to change about your job?
Work (Situational) Interview Questions
- What is an example of a difficult situation you faced at work, and how you dealt with it?
- Tell me about a time when you were under pressure to complete something on deadline.
- What have been some of your biggest product failures? Did you learn from these experiences and adjust as necessary to avoid future mistakes?
- Tell us about a time when you were most satisfied at work.
- What is your least favorite thing about product management?
- What is your most important product-related accomplishment?
Behavioral Interview Questions
- Tell us about yourself and how your personal background has prepared you to be the ideal product manager?
- What is your approach to problem solving?
- How do you deal with stress?
- Tell me about a time you had to think strategically?
- How do you think your current manager would describe your strengths and weaknesses?
Job Interview Questions
- What are three words that best describe you as a person and as an employee?
- Do you have any concerns about taking this job?
- What do you think differentiates you from other candidates for this position?
- What do you look for in a company that you want to work with?
- Why did you leave your previous company?
- What is your current salary expectation?
- What kind of salary do you want in five years?
- Why do you want to work as a product manager for our company?
Questions & Answers
What are the key differences between a product manager and a project manager?
Good Answer: Product managers come from various backgrounds but have some specific skills like understanding the user's problems and needs and can take that need to the engineering team. Project managers are usually responsible for coordinating tasks within the organization, such as setting up meetings or assigning tasks to individual members.
Bad Answer: They essentially do the same thing.
Good Answer: A product manager owns the vision for what a product should be and how it should look. They define which features are included in it (by understanding the user's problems) to make those outcomes happen and decide when to ship them. A project manager will work closely with a product manager to get things done, and can help them come up with ideas or even just a direction to start. The product is their baby. The more a product manager has to do with the technical aspects of it, the more they should make the difficult decisions and own all of them.
Bad Answer: A product manager is the person in charge of a product, and a project manager is someone who manages projects.
What are your strengths?
Good Answer: My two biggest strengths are my work ethic and my patience. I sometimes get frustrated when things don't go as planned, but I get things done. I've taken projects that other people thought were impossible and delivered on time and under budget. The fact that I know how to solve problems makes me a good team player too.
Bad Answer: My main strength is I'm a workaholic.
What are your weaknesses?
Good Answer: I'm a perfectionist, which means I sometimes spend too much time tweaking things that don't need it. I'm working on improving my time management skills so that I can get things done faster. A weakness I had a challenging time overcoming was X.
Bad Answer: I don't really have any weaknesses.
What has been your proudest achievement?
Good Answer: When I came up with the idea for a new product line and brought it to life, I saw revenue increase by 30%.
Bad Answer: My degree.
What would you improve about our product?
Good Answer: I would improve the performance and/or design of our product by making it better than the competition.
Bad Answer: I would make our product cheaper.
What skills and tools do you think a product manager should have to be successful?
Good Answer: Communication skills are important for an effective product manager because you need to be able to work with different teams and explain what needs to be done. Having a good grasp of the technical aspects of your product is also important because you need to be able to figure out how things work.
Bad Answer: I don't think that you need to have any particular product management skills, because you just need to be good at what you do.
What would be the one skill you would like to gain?
Good Answer: I would love to learn how to do user interviews and ethnographic research. It is a priority for my team to get more first-hand customer feedback.
Bad Answer: I am already great at everything.
What is your favorite part about this company?
Good Answer: I really enjoy the opportunity to work with such great people.
Bad Answer: I like all of it!
Top Tech Companies Interview Questions
Facebook Product Manager Interview Questions
The three types of interviews you can expect at Facebook are:
- Product Sense: Evaluate your product-related skills, including strategy based on market needs, creativity, and designing a solution.
- Execution: Tests your aptitude to execute, track, and improve tasks; includes identifying problems, compromising features, and establishing metrics to monitor the success of a product.
- Leadership and Drive: Evaluates your capability to lead and your motivation to push forward, as well as determining whether you're the right fit for Facebook.
1 -- Product Sense Questions
Describe how you would build a Facebook product in the healthcare space.
Answer: The goal of this project is to analyze the US healthcare industry and to design an app for patients and physicians. The app will help patients track their cholesterol, blood pressure, BMI, body fat, etc. They will be able to interact with their physicians by sharing information and photos. My idea is to use a rewards system: patients can earn points by exercising and eating healthy food. These points will be converted to money that they can use in in-app stores or exchange for free items like clothes and sneakers from the Facebook Marketplace. There will be group discussions, photo contests and more. Physicians can use the app to track their patients’ progress, see photos, and send reminders. All of this will be carried out through the Facebook API. I think I will start with Android, then iOS, and plan to build and release the app in six months.
2 -- Execution Questions
What are three KPIs you track to measure success for a product?
- Number of new users acquired
- Time passed until a user abandons the product
- Average number of sessions per day per active user
3 -- Leadership and Drive Questions
Why do you want to be a product manager at Facebook?
Answer: I want to leverage my skills to help Facebook continue to grow. I see a tremendous need for new products and believe I can make a valuable contribution to the company.
I admire how everyone at Facebook has a passion for creating products that are simple and elegant, and get used by millions of people every day. The opportunity to work on products with such a huge audience is both challenging and fun.
Google Product Manager Interview Questions
The Google product management interview process is unorthodox, and there are a few things to keep in mind: hiring managers typically ask questions like "what did you like about Google X?", or "which products would you recommend to your friends?" Interviews at Google usually involve a wide range of product management questions. We've categorized them into six main buckets:
- Product Design questions: These questions test how much you understand the customer, your creativity, and approach in designing products.
- Strategy questions: Here, you will be assessed on product strategy, including competition, marketing, and pricing, etc.
- Estimation questions: This tests your ability to break down a complex problem, make assumptions, and make simple calculations - even if it results in the wrong answer; getting the right number is not the end goal here.
- Behavioral questions: You will be assessed on your motivation to work for Google, your ability to work with a wide range of people, and your previous, relevant experiences.
- Technical questions: These are designed to test your understanding of specific technical concepts and the ability to explain them in simple terms.
- Data analysis questions: You'll be asked what specific metrics to track for a certain situation.
1 -- Product Design questions
How would you improve Google Maps?
Answer: To improve the features of Google Maps, I would start by:
- Investigating the needs of the user or potential user
- Gathering feedback from our customers and what they would like to see in Google Maps
- Identifying key features that are currently missing from Google Maps
Google Maps is an excellent application for finding directions but does not offer many other features, which is what I consider to be a simple mapping application. As more features are added, Google Maps will become a better product and is already a valuable tool as it is now.
There are a few things that I would like to see on Google Maps. The first thing that comes to mind is the zoom-in feature. Currently, you must zoom in with your mouse before it changes the map view and zooms in closer. I don't believe this should be necessary as it breaks up the continuity of viewing a map or route. It would be nice if Google Maps would allow people to click on an area and have it automatically zoomed in and focus their attention on that area without having to use your mouse or trackpad if you're using a laptop. Secondly, another feature of Google Maps I'd like to see is adding a filter to the map to show specific types of businesses. One last feature I would like to see added is one where people can look up movies that are currently showing so that they don't have to go out of their way looking at movie times.
2 -- Strategy questions
You have been given $500 million to build a product with. What would you create?
Answer: I would create a service that allows you to find and book an appointment with a nearby doctor, lawyer, or any other professional. I think it's important for people to be able to get the help they need quickly. I would create this service for the phone, so you could call it up and set an appointment right after you call. I would also have a website version of this service, so if you have a smartphone, you can use the site too. I would charge a small fee ($1.99) to use the service, since I think the time spent booking an appointment should not be free. My plan would charge a small fee every time you use this service to help recuperate the cost of running it.
I would target this service to people who need a quick appointment with a local professional, anyone who can quickly schedule an appointment with someone. I want to specifically target families with young children. They often have problems that require quick attention, such as stomach aches or small injuries that they don't want to wait until the next day for a doctor's appointment.
I would advertise the service on television, radio, and online. I would also have business cards and flyers printed to hand out to local professionals who already have a following. I would try to find ways of reaching potential clients daily to build up usage of this service.
3 -- Estimation questions
Estimate the data storage for Google Photos.
Answer: If more than 4 trillion photos are stored in total in the service, and assuming each photo is on average 2MB, then the data storage would be 8 trillion MB or 8,000 PB (Petabytes).
Alternatively, assuming there are 1 billion users, each using the maximum 15 GB capacity in their Google account, the total storage would be 15,000 PB (Petabytes).
4 -- Behavioral questions
What is the most difficult problem you've faced in your current or past job?
Answer: As a product manager, I try to create products that solve customer problems and provide solutions to their pain points. My biggest challenge was trying to figure out how we could integrate new features into our existing product while maintaining the integrity of our core user experience.
5 -- Technical questions
Describe the concept of "recursion" to a seven-year-old.
Answer: You're in a queue and want to know your position in the line. To find out, you ask the person in front. They don't know, so they ask the person in front. This repeats until finally, the first person in the queue replies with "1." Then each person behind the first one adds one to the previous person's answer, until it reaches back to you.
6 -- Data analysis questions
How do you handle a tricky situation when designing a notification system for Google Calendar and Gmail?
Answer: Look at the data. For example, if you have lots of people clicking on the "Mark as read" link, then you might want to consider changing that button's behavior. If notifications are growing exponentially, then you might want to consider making the notifications more visual or less interruptive (turn them off by default). In each case, you would split test, by only changing one element at a time. So, you would run a test where half the users are directed to the old button and the rest to the new button. Decide on a winner when you have statistically significant data.
Amazon Product Manager Interview Questions
An interview at Amazon can be a challenging situation. The questions are difficult and cover a wide range of product management topics.
There are three main buckets of questions that you'll be asked by an Amazon hiring manager.
- Behavioral questions: Amazon’s interview process heavily focuses on whether it aligns with the company’s core leadership principles. Over half the questions you'll be asked will be behavioral questions.
- Strategy questions: These questions test your ability to adapt to different conditions and for new products, as well as having a structured decision-making process.
- Other questions: The remaining questions are based on your critical thinking and decision-making abilities - which will test your estimating, analysis, technical and design skills.
1 -- Behavioral questions
What are some of the challenges you will face as a Product Manager at Amazon?
Answer: Amazon constantly evolves as it grows. For example, when the company was smaller, it could focus on developing one or two online shopping websites in a particular category. Now that we're a global powerhouse with more than 350 separate marketplaces and hundreds of millions of customers around the world, our challenges have grown exponentially.
One challenge I might face would be managing different customer activity around the world. Customer needs in the US might be different than customer needs in China, for example. As a product manager, I would need to develop strategies to best meet each type of customer needs, and then communicate these different strategies across the company.
Another challenge I might face is balancing steady growth with quality. For example, Amazon started by selling books, of all things! Now we have e-book readers, music players, computer tablets and TVs all designed to "ease the pain of shopping online" as our commercials like to say. The challenge, of course, is to make sure that each new product fills a real need that customers have.
2 -- Strategy questions
What are the greatest challenges that Amazon is currently facing?
Answer: Amazon has quite a few large-scale challenges that are difficult to solve. One primary challenge is how to get more products on the shelf from third party sellers. There needs to be a greater level of trust between Amazon and these sellers for them to have full access to our marketplace. Possible solutions include the ability for third party sellers to have more control and responsibility over their listings.
Another challenge is working on ways for customers to better understand how their buying decisions impact the environment. As part of this, Amazon needs to work more with top brands and product manufacturers across several categories to develop solutions that improve one's understanding of sustainable consumption in everyday life.
3 -- Other questions
How would you design a washing machine for the blind?
Answer: First I would identify the users. Are they completely unsighted, do they have a normal range of motion, can they read braille? Is the end-user the caregiver? Next, clearly define the user’s goals; put clothes in, add detergent, change the settings, start a wash program, take clothes out. Then research how existing products meet these users' goals - and what they lack. For instance, do they provide non-visual feedback for the user, when changing the settings/temperature, by turning a knob? Instead of a simple click, an audible narration of the status: "warm wash cycle for coloreds, at 40 degrees Celsius for 60 minutes"
What's it like to be a product manager at a top tech company like Google, Facebook and Amazon.
Top 3 Preparation Tips
1 -- Product Fundamentals
If you're just starting out in the world of project management, then it's important to brush up on the basic concepts. Learn which key product manager skills you need to give you a head start.
2 -- Do Your Homework
Learn more about the organization, its products, history, news, etc. before the interview. You could even impress your interviewer with facts and figures, to make you the stand-out candidate.
For instance, here's some interesting data about Facebook.
3 -- Practice Makes Perfect
You could practice on your own, by answering common interview questions. Record yourself on the phone to improve your presentation skills and hone your preparation technique. After you've perfected your answers, approach friends and family to do mock interviews with you.
All you need to do now is start applying for those jobs!