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130 product manager interview questions and tips to nail your onsite

Hi, I’m Dan, a former product manager and now advisor at Pathrise. I work with hundreds of product managers to help them land their dream job.

So, you have an onsite interview coming up and you are getting ready to wow them so that you can land your dream job. How can you make sure that you nail the onsite and turn that interview into an offer?

We created a list of 130 product manager interview questions, including questions from top tech companies, so you can prepare for your interview and ace it with confidence.

Personal taste/experience

  1. Pick and product that you like/dislike. Why? What would you change about the product?
  2. Apple questionWhat’s your favorite Apple product?
  3. Tell me a time where you had to make a decision in the midst of a lot of ambiguity?
  4. Autodesk questionDo you have experience estimating and managing a project budget? If so, can you describe how you managed a project’s cost?
  5. Box questionDescribe how you used one of your greatest strengths in your job
  6. Cisco questionHow do you work with engineering?
  7. Explain a process within your role that you learned or developed at your previous job which you feel is valuable enough to take with you to future position.
  8. eBay question – Describe a challenging situation you faced as PM recently.
  9. How do you decide which features are the best for a product?
  10. Facebook questionAs a PM on the Facebook Birthdays team, how would you make it better?
  11. Choose a technology you are particularly excited about and explain why.
  12. FICO questionWhat experience do you have in writing product requirements and what product management methodology was used?
  13. Google questionTell us about your 3 favorite unknown android applications. Why?
  14. HubSpot question What is your product development process? Do you utilize experimentation?
  15. Intuit questionHow have you had to deal with customer expectations in the past?
  16. LinkedIn questionIf you were a VC, are you more bullish on AR or VR? What app would you build? What would be your killer feature?
  17. What are your 2 main product management principles?
  18. Rakuten questionWhich stage of product management are you most excited to contribute to?
  19. Teradata questionWhat specific domain experience do you have?
  20. TripAdvisor questionWhat websites do you use everyday and how would you incorporate their user experiences into your product?
  21. Workday questionHow do you engage customers in the product development process?

Operations/strategy

  1. If you have a disagreement with an engineer about what should be built, how do you go about solving that?
  2. Amazon questionShould Amazon enter into selling contact lenses?
  3. Pretend you know nothing about Amazon Prime. How would you price it?
  4. We know that 10% of the time a customer will enter a product into our search feature and it will return a “no item found” message. What are some of the possible reasons and how can we fix it?
  5. Apple questionThere is an assembly line and all of a sudden it stops working. No one is around, how will you handle it?
  6. Cisco questionHow do you prioritize your backlog?
  7. Dropbox questionHow do you align stakeholders that have different options when you get into a project?
  8. eBay questionHow do you decide which features are the best for a product?
  9. Show me your individual process to prioritize a product roadmap and its stories.
  10. Expedia questionThe marketing team asked you to take down your feature from the landing page because it caused a lower conversion rate in Italy. What would you do?
  11. Facebook questionHow do you prioritize competing features?
  12. Intel questionWhat is your vision of the industry and what strategy do you suggest?
  13. Intuit questionWhat technological trend do you see Intuit taking on in the future and how will it apply it to its growth?
  14. NetApp questionTalk about the future trend of storage management.
  15. Pinterest questionCurrently Pinterest helps people store ideas via pins. How do you motivate them to take action, i.e. buy?
  16. Facebook questionPick an industry that will be different in 10 years and how can Facebook be a part of that?

Design

  1. Adobe question What are some of your favorite product? Why? If you were the PM on this product what would you improve and why?
  2. Box questionTell me about a feature you designed. How did you come up with this feature? What metrics will you use to track the success of the feature?
  3. Microsoft questionDesign a novel remote control that has only one button to control the TV. Write the binary search.
  4. Cisco questionHow would you create a minivan?
  5. Intel questionHow do you see Intel’s recent market challenge? How do you design a product to overcome that challenge?
  6. Microsoft questionDesign an airport traffic control system
  7. Design a system to advise drivers how many spots in the parking lot are free
  8. Salesforce questionHow would you design a platform to encourage users to use new tools or other existing tools/features that they don’t use often?
  9. Uber questionDesign an airport to optimize for luggage pickup

Technical

  1. Dell questionWhat does cloud computing mean?
  2. Docusign questionHow familiar are you with APIs?
  3. What considerations would you take to develop a mobile app?
  4. Expedia questionExplain how an object is passed to the results page and what is included.
  5. Google questionWhen are Bayesian methods more appropriate than “Artificial Intelligence” techniques for predictive analytics?
  6. Microsoft questionAre there any complications in C when you try to typecast an Integer to an enum?
  7. VMWare questionWhat is a virtual machine? What are all the advantages of a virtual machine?
  8. Google question How much storage space do you need to store all the info from Google Maps
  9. Groupon questionHow would you design a Sudoku game for mobile device?
  10. HubSpot question Talk about the most technical project you’ve worked on and the successes and failures within it.
  11. InterSystems question Learn a logic system and produce resulting code to implement
  12. Microsoft questionHow do you output a tree in column sequence from left to right?
  13. Design a method that removes every other node from a linked list.
  14. How would you get authentication to work across domains?
  15. Oracle questionHow do you calculate the sum of integers in a randomly chosen rectangle within a finite grid of numbers?
  16. Rakuten questionHow would you optimize an API?
  17. Salesforce questionHow would you integrate video into Chatter?
  18. SAP questionTell me how HANA works.
  19. Slack questionWhat would you build as an MVP for a 3D printer that can print any type of pharmaceutical?
  20. Spotify questionWhat does continuous integration mean?
  21. What is spaghetti code?
  22. VMWare questionWhat is the difference between public and private clouds? What is a hybrid cloud?

Metrics

  1. Amazon questionDescribe a customer feedback recommendation that you implemented
  2. Booking questionWhat metrics did you use to measure the success of a product you were involved recently?
  3. Box questionHow do you measure effectiveness of your user interface?
  4. eBay questionHow would you design a better metric for measuring seller success?
  5. LinkedIn questionHow would you get sales professionals to post more links on LinkedIn? What metrics would you look at?
  6. Expedia questionTalk about a time you used data to make a product decision.
  7. How would you, as a PM, track what your client selected in their itinerary?
  8. Facebook questionYou are the PM of the Facebook timeline, how would you measure retention?
  9. LinkedIn question What are some main KPIs for project X? Be able to talk at length about metrics and KPIs.
  10. Facebook questionHow would you determine the negative value of an abusive posting?
  11. Slack questionAggregate prints per household dipped but the marketing campaign was a success and unit sales increased. Explain why this happened.   
  12. Intuit questionDescribe some of the best practices/strategies you use for marketing data analysis and the different methodologies for devising marketing analysis plans.
  13. LinkedIn questionA/B testing – how would you test a certain LinkedIn feature? (Ex: ‘people you may know’ feature). How would you initially think about it when you don’t have any data to base the decision off of?
  14. How would you determine the success of a specific feature?
  15. Pinterest questionChoose an Ad at a given point of time from a pool of promoted pins from all advertisers and make sure every advertiser’s daily budget needs are met.   
  16. Slack questionWhat is the most important metric for Slack and why?
  17. Snap questionGive an example of a data analysis process to change a feature or price of a product.   
  18. Stripe questionDefine a north star metric for a given product, how do you move the metric, how do you set goals, metric x is going up/down, why?
  19. TripAdvisor questionReview data of consumer conversion between pages in an Excel spreadsheet. Derive insights on the conversion data.
  20. Twitter questionHow would you increase engagement of users with analytics features in Twitter?
  21. Uber questionThere 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?
  22. Facebook questionHow would you determine how to rank posts in the news feed?

Market sizing/estimation

  1. Amazon questionHow did you size the market for your product? What metrics did you use to measure the product success? What would you go back and change in your product
  2. Google questionThe NBA championships are about to happen and you are the producer of merchandise showcasing the winning team–but, you don’t know which team that will be. What do you produce and how much do you produce to dress the stadium visitors with merchandise?
  3. Microsoft questionHow would you calculate the market value of the Segway market in the United States of America?
  4. Dell questionCan you analyze current market trends and opportunities for Dell for a Product X?
  5. Facebook questionHow would you calculate the number of daily registrations that Facebook has?
  6. Let’s say you wanted to build the world’s most popular mobile messaging product, and you needed to estimate how much network bandwidth would be used in a year. How would you go about doing this?
  7. Google questionWhat will be the impact of self-driving cars?
  8. Choose a city and estimate how many Piano Tuners operate there.
  9. Microsoft questionHow many ping pong balls can you fit into a warehouse?
  10. Twitter questionHow many logins are there in a day into Gmail?
  11. What is the market size of toilet paper in Canada?

Situational

  1. Accenture questionWhat are the use cases you worked on?
  2. Adobe questionWhat do you do when a team stops working on the product and is only working on innovations and not listening to the needs of our customers and the business?
  3. Are you concerned about any features? What did we do right, what did we get wrong?
  4. Airbnb question How would you drive supply-side growth for certain markets?   
  5. Talk about a project you started and pushed through engineering – what data did you look at, what did you consider, what problem did you see, how did you resolve it?   
  6. Amazon questionThink of a new product or business for Amazon, and describe how you would decide to create the product and launch it? How would you choose which features to implement and which are most important to our customers?
  7. What are the variable costs associated with sending physical products to customers?
  8. Apple questionWalk me through the components needed to build a data processing and reporting system.
  9. Cisco questionCan you explain market transitions and technology transitions?
  10. eBay questionHow would you explain what the Internet is to aliens?
  11. Esri questionHow do you translate a business need into requirements?
  12. Facebook questionHow would you build Facebook for blind people?
  13. How would you bootstrap a product that helps people find apartments and how would you differentiate it from existing competitors?
  14. FICO questionGive me some examples of what you see as emerging credit trends.
  15. FIS questionHow would you handle a situation where a vendor is not meeting a deadline, which in turn is delaying your deadline with the customer?
  16. GE Healthcare questionHow do you manage if you have conflict with your team member?
  17. Slack questionWhat holds Slack back as you think of unreleased feature x? What would you build in the short term? What would you build in the long term?   
  18. Google questionIf you were the product manager of (unnamed product), how would you improve the functionality 10x of what it is now?
  19. IBM questionHow do you convince non-designers of your decisions?
  20. Intuit questionDesign an experiment for Quickbooks Online.
  21. LinkedIn questionWhat is a product you would improve? (Be ready to talk at length about why your improvement is important and how you could market it).
  22. McKesson questionStakeholder A wants to build Feature 1 on product X and stakeholder B wants to build Feature 2 on product Y. You only have the budget and IT bandwidth to build 1 feature for 1 product. IT resources are shared across products. Walk me through your approach and your decision.
  23. Microsoft questionHow would you market the Windows 8 pre-packaged product?
  24. How else could you market ping pong balls if ping pong itself became obsolete? (List many, then pick one and go into detail)
  25. NetApp questionA client makes a request for modifying the storage software. The client is insistent but the development team is busy on other work and is unable to dedicate time to the client request. Also, you are not sure if making an investment in modifying the software will be useful for other clients. What would you do in this situation?
  26. Slack questionHow would you drive adoption of apps from Slack’s app directory?   
  27. TripAdvisor questionWhat are the top features you would add to our site and why?
  28. Twitter questionIf Twitter were to get into payments, how should they do it?
  29. Uber questionName the most recent large concert, sports game, or event you attended. Based on your observations, what were some complications with ridesharing during the event, and how could we improve?

Our advisors meet with so many smart product managers who still find that they have difficulty with their onsite technical interviews. So, we also wanted to provide some tips for you to keep in mind to nail your onsite interview.

  • Always start with clarifying questions

Sometimes, interviewers make a question intentionally vague. Always take about 15-30 seconds to think about clarifying questions, like “Can I wireframe this out first?” or “Can I take notes with a pen & paper?”

  • Proactively show positive signal

Take the time to show that you know what you’re doing. This is a strong tactic used by candidates who want to reduce the amount of opportunities to show negative signal. In general 30 second “tidbits” of knowledge bodes well. Give background information as you go.

  • Keep context in the forefront

Context statements let the interviewer know that you know what you are doing. By providing the reasoning before doing something, you can change how you are interpreted for the better.

  • Know how to get help

Most of the time, it’s ok to ask for help. But, it’s important to know that some interviewers really hate the word, “hint.” A better approach would be to say, “my assumptions are X and Y, I’m thinking of doing Z. But I’m struggling with solving [problem].” You can also ask collaborative questions like,

  • I was wondering if you had any thoughts.
  • Do you think I’m going down the right direction?
  • Do you think my assumptions are incorrect?

With these questions & tips in your back pocket, you should be more than prepared for your next technical onsite interview. For more steps on how to become a product manager by landing a great job, check out our guide.


Pathrise is a career accelerator that works with students and young professionals 1-on-1 so they can land their dream job in tech. With these tips and guidance, our fellows have seen their interview performance scores double.

If you want to work with any of our advisors 1-on-1 to get help with your product manager interviews or with any other aspect of the job search, become a Pathrise fellow.

Apply today.


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