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Best questions to ask in a product manager job interview

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.

You have prepared extensively for the technical and behavioral questions that will come up in your next product manager job interview so that you can respond with confidence when you get into the room with the interviewer.

Then, the interview is winding down and you hear, “so, do you have any questions for me?” and you completely freeze. You’ve forgotten to plan for this! And that’s a serious missed opportunity because asking good questions can often give you the final push when it comes to interviewer feedback.

As a product manager at places like Salesforce & SurveyMonkey and now an advisor here at Pathrise, I’ve interviewed hundreds of candidates throughout my career. When I hear them ask good questions, I always write them down in my notes, a practice that a lot of interviewers follow. We would use these notes to determine if we think the candidate would accept the position and remain interested in the role in the long term. In short, these questions affect the decision to move forward and/or extend an offer.

So, we’ve come up with the 10 best questions for product managers to ask in their interviews to ensure they show interest.

  1. How do you see the product changing in the near future? What about a bit further down the line?
  2. What are the challenges that the team is facing currently? How can I, in this role, best contribute to solving these challenges?
  3. What opportunities will I have to learn and/or teach my teammates?
  4. Is the product team more collaborative or autonomous?
  5. How much ownership would I have over my projects and how much guidance would I expect to receive from my supervisor?
  6. What do you like most about working at [company]?
  7. What is the most challenging part of your day at [company]?
  8. How would my work directly affect the company’s mission of [company mission]?
  9. I read that [recent update about company]. How does that affect [the mission, the work of the product team, etc]?
  10. If I were to start on the product team tomorrow, what would my first task be?

Preparing questions before your interview will help make you confident when the time comes to ask. Your questions should show a willingness to learn, drive to work hard, and excitement about the company and mission. If they do, you will ensure that the interviewer is left with a positive impression of you and your culture fit.

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, we’ve seen interview performance scores double for fellows in the program.

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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