Product manager interview questions (the ultimate list)

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Preparing for a product manager interview? We've analyzed hundreds of real PM questions reported by candidates who interviewed at leading tech companies like Facebook, Amazon and Google.

We've listed 9 very typical questions for you here, with links to detailed answers for each. Take a quick look and then we'll dig deeper into the various different types of questions and how best to prepare for them.

9 typical product manager interview questions
  • How would you turn Facebook events around? (see our step-by-step answer)
  • How much revenue does YouTube make per day? (answer)
  • Design a computer keyboard (answer)
  • How would you improve Facebook? (answer)
  • How does the internet work? (answer)
  • How would you design a method to identify if a number is prime? (answer)
  • What metrics would you use to determine success for the Facebook Newsfeed? (answer)
  • YouTube traffic went down 5% — how would you report this issue to the executive team? (answer)
  • Tell me about a time you had an innovative idea that had a positive impact (answer)

You'll have noticed that the questions cover a range of different areas and skillsets. To help you prepare for your PM interview, we've grouped the questions into 5 main categories and provided you with plenty more real question examples, as well as tips on how you should prepare.

Ready? Let's go!

1. Overview

Before we dig deeper into each question category, it's important to be aware that some types of question are asked more frequently than others. Don't worry, we've done the hard work for you and analyzed how frequently each type of question is asked by the top tech companies. Take a look at the chart below.

Product manager interview question types by company

Now that you have a high-level understanding of the types of questions asked at top tech companies, you can be more strategic with your preparation. We would encourage you to look at the question types that your target company focuses on, and use that to plan your prep time.  For each question type, we’ve also provided a link to a step-by-step guide on how to solve them. 

2. Strategy questions (24%)

There are two types of strategy questions: Product strategy questions and Estimation questions.

2.1 Product strategy example questions

Product managers are responsible for driving product strategy. In other words,  making decisions on how to approach competition, pricing, time to market, and more. You'll therefore be asked questions intended to assess your ability to develop a product vision and roadmap.

Example questions: Product strategy

  • How would you turn Facebook events around? (see our step-by-step answer)
  • What do you think that, as a business, we should do next?
  • How would you monetize Facebook Messenger?
  • How would you bootstrap a product that helps people find apartments?
  • If you were a VC, would you be more bullish on AR or VR?
  • Why do you think Microsoft bought LinkedIn?
  • If you were the CEO of LEGO, what new product line would you come up with to increase revenue?
  • Imagine you’re a PM at a startup that works with big data from the NHL — what’s the first product you would ship?
  • How would you sell live plants at Amazon?
  • If you were the CEO of Facebook, what are the top three things you would do?
  • Imagine you’re the CEO of Apple — what product would you eliminate from the lineup?
  • Facebook is expanding into travel to compete with AirBnB — should they build a standalone app or integrate new travel features in the core Facebook experience?
  • How would you solve homelessness in downtown San Francisco?

Here's our guide to answering product strategy questions. Right, let's get on to the next strategy sub-category.

2.2 Estimation example questions

Making product decisions often requires estimating market sizes, revenue potential, the number of customers, etc. Estimation questions test your ability to work with numbers and to break down problems into smaller pieces. It's not so much about getting to the right number, more important is how you think through the problem, making assumptions and calculations. 

Example questions: Estimation
  • How much revenue does YouTube make per day? (answer)
  • What is the market size for driverless cars in 2025?
  • What is the market size for toilet paper in the US?
  • What is the storage space required to host all images on Google Street View?
  • What is the required internet bandwidth for an average college campus?
  • How many golf balls can you fit into a Boeing 777?
  • How many restaurant reviews are written on Google Reviews every month?
  • How many kindergarten teachers are there in the US?
  • How many millennials own homes in the US?
  • How much ad revenue does GMail make every year?
  • How many computers does Google own?
  • How many dentists are there in New York?
  • How many bicycles do you need to start a bike sharing service in New York?
  • How many passengers are in the air on a plane at any given time in the US?
  • What is the weight of the Empire State building?
  • What is the weight of a school bus?
  • You are opening a new Walmart store. How many cash registers do you need?
  • How much money is spent on gas in the US every year?

Here's our guide to answering estimation questions. Right, let's move on to the next question category: design.

3. Design questions (24%)

There are three types of design questions: Product design questions,  Product improvement questions and Favourite product questions.

3.1 Product design example questions

One of a product manager's core tasks is to help with product design. These questions assess your creativity, customer empathy, and your ability to use a structured approach to design products. 

Example questions: Product design

  • Design a computer keyboard (answer)
  • How would you design X for Y people?
  • Design an alarm clock for the blind
  • Design a pen for an astronaut
  • Design an umbrella for kids
  • Design a phone for deaf people
  • Design a washer and dryer
  • Design Google radio
  • Design a car for blind people
  • Design a dictionary lookup for scrabble
  • Design an app for a community of Celiac's disease patients
  • Design a grocery app
  • Design an app for the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV)
  • Design a bike-based delivery service
  • Design an elevator
  • Design a new computer keyboard
  • Design Google search 

Here's our guide to answering product design questions. 

3.2 Product improvement example questions

Sometimes in large companies, improving existing products will be more important than launching new ones. If you're targeting a specific company, then it's a great idea to prepare answers for that company's products.

Example questions: Product improvement
  • How would you improve Facebook? (answer)
  • How would you improve Google Pay?
  • How would you improve coffee machines used in offices?
  • How would you improve throughput at an airport?
  • How would you improve AirBnb?
  • How would you improve Dropbox?
  • How would you improve Netflix?
  • How would you improve Reddit?
  • How would you improve LinkedIn's user profile page?
  • How would you improve engagement in Trello?
  • How would you improve Google Home?
  • How would you improve Google Image search?
  • How would you improve the NYC transit system?
  • Pick a Google product. How would you improve it?
  • Pick your favorite website. How would you improve it?

Here's our guide to answering product improvement questions. Right, there's one more type of design question...

3.3 Favorite product example questions

The final sub-type of design questions is the "favorite product" question. Favorite product questions are also popular in Google APM interviews 

Example questions: Favorite product
  • Tell me about your favorite product that’s not an app or website
  • Pick your favorite Google product. What would you change about it?
  • Tell me about a free service you like and how would you monetize it
  • Tell me about a product you love. How would you make it better?
  • What’s your favorite Facebook feature? 
  • Pick your favorite app. How would you improve it?
  • What’s your favorite Microsoft Office Product? What are the first three things you would change about it?
  • Tell me about a product you use often
As you can see, there are a few different ways you might be asked the favorite product question in PM interviews, but you should use the BUS method to answer any variation of it.

4. Technical questions (9%)

There are two types of technical questions: Technical explanation questions and Algorithm questions.  

4.1 Technical explanation example questions

As a product manager, it will be important for you to understand technical concepts, and to be able to explain them to others in a simple manner. Leading tech companies use technical explanation questions to assess the extent of your technical knowledge, and your ability to communicate that knowledge.

Example questions: Technical explanation
  • How does the internet work? (answer)
  • How would you explain X concept (e.g Google Cloud) to your grandmother
  • Explain recursion to my grandmother
  • What technologies would you use to build a live stream video service?
  • Explain the concept of "protocol" to a 4-year-old child
  • What is the difference between C++ and Java?
  • Explain what happens when executing mergesort
  • When are Bayesian methods more appropriate than "Artificial Intelligence" techniques for predictive analytics?
  • How would you most efficiently store large images in a database?
  • Explain the concept of big O notation
  • How would you get authentication to work across domains

4.2 Algorithm example questions

Tech companies use algorithm questions to test if you can think like a developer. When interviewers ask this type of question, they are primarily interested in how you think, and they'll usually only expect you to write pseudocode (not production-level code).

Example questions: Algorithm
  • How would you design a method to identify if a number is prime? (answer)
  • Design a method that removes every other node from a linked list
  • Write a program to randomly shuffle an array of numbers
  • How would you output a tree in column sequence from left to right
  • Invert the words of a sentence in a string
  • Write a function that returns how many digits are in a number
  • Take in an unsorted array with duplicates and return it with no duplicates
  • Write a function that determines if an array of "chars" is a palindrome
  • How can you find and then remove the second to last element in an infinite list?

Here's our guide to answering both types of technical questions, explanation and algorithm. Which leaves us with the final question category...

5. Analysis questions (12%)

There are two types of analysis questions, both based on metrics: Metric definition questions and Metric change questions. 

5.1 Metric definition example questions

Metric definition questions focus on your ability to define metrics that provide clarity on the health of a product or feature. There are many different metrics you could be tracking (e.g. impressions, clicks, return on ad spend, etc.). Your interviewers will be interested in the process that you use to select metrics, and whether you are able to identify the most important ones.

Example questions: Metric definition

  • What metrics would you use to determine success for the Facebook Newsfeed? (answer)
  • What metrics did you use to measure the successful launch of your product?
  • What metrics would you use to measure the success of Facebook’s “Save Item” feature?
  • How would you measure the success of the new YouTube Player UI?
  • What analysis would you use to understand if we should increase the price of an Amazon Prime Membership?
  • How would you determine the negative value of an abusive posting?
  • Imagine you are the PM of the Facebook Newsfeed — how would you measure retention?
  • How would you determine post ranking in the Facebook Newsfeed?
  • Tell me what metrics you would look at as a product manager for Instagram ads
  • What are the things that Netflix should measure and analyze on a daily basis?
  • How would you measure the success of Apple's WWDC event?

5.2 Metric change example questions

Interviewers use metric change questions to see if you know what to do when a key product metric (e.g. traffic, revenue, engagement, etc.) is changing without a clear cause.

There could be many variables involved, and your interviewer will want to see if you use a thorough process to identify the root cause.

Example questions: Metric change
  • YouTube traffic went down 5% — how would you report this issue to the executive team? (answer)
  • There's been a 15% drop in usage of Facebook Groups — how do you fix it?
  • You have just localized an ecommerce site in Spain and now see that traffic has reduced — what could be the reasons?
  • You are looking at YouTube’s Daily Active User data worldwide and notice a 10% jump compared to yesterday in Indonesia — what happened?
  • Users are no longer signing up for our email list — what would you do?
  • Reddit traffic went down 5% — how would you report this issue to the executive team?
  • The usage of Facebook Event’s “Yes I’m going” dropped 30% overnight — what data would you look at to try to isolate the issue?
  • You are the PM of Facebook 3rd Party Login, and you see your numbers are declining 2% week-on-week — what do you do?

So, now that we've introduced both types of metric questions, here's our guide to answering them. 

6. Behavioral questions (31%)

Tech companies use behavioral interview questions to assess candidates based on their past experiences, their motivations for applying, and their understanding of what makes a good PM. 

Example questions: Behavioral
  • Tell me about a time you had an innovative idea that had a positive impact (answer)
  • Tell me about yourself
  • Why do you want to work here (e.g. at Google, Facebook, etc.)?
  • Why product management?
  • Tell me about your most significant accomplishment. Why was it significant?
  • Tell me about a time you demonstrated leadership
  • Tell me about a time you worked backwards from a customer problem — how did you solve it?
  • Why do you want to work at this company?
  • Why Program Management?
  • Tell me about a time when you faced conflict within a team, and how you dealt with it
  • Describe a project that you wish you had done better and how you would do it differently today
  • Tell me about a time you applied judgment to a decision when data was not available
  • Tell me about a product you lead from idea to launch
  • Describe the last time you had to make a challenging decision when prioritizing

Remember, you'll probably be asked more behavioral questions than any other type, so it's worth preparing thoroughly. Here's our guide to answering behavioral questions.

7. Skills that PM interviewers look for

The product manager role is one that requires a very broad set of skills, hence the variety of question types that we've outlined above.

Firstly, there are the the hard (technical) skills required for PMs to be able to contribute at each stage of the product development lifecycle. These include:

a) Strategy skills to identify and plan the product opportunity

b) Design skills to design the product

c) Engineering skills to build the product

d) Digital marketing skills to launch the product

e) Data analytics skills to assess the product success and iterate

On the other hand, to make best use of these technical skills at every stage of the product lifecycle, a PM also needs excellent soft skills, above all; leadership, communication and organization.

As you'd expect, the question types we've gone through in the sections above are clearly designed to test you on these technical and soft skills. The only skillset you might not face specific questions on is "digital marketing skills", but it's a topic that you might want to touch on when you're answering a question on product strategy, for example.

If you'd like to dig a little deeper into the skills required to be a PM, we've done so here.

8. PM interview company guides

This guide is relevant for product manager interviews in any tech company, but of course, the exact process and questions will vary. The good news is that we've also created specific guides for each of the leading tech companies. If you've already got an interview at one of these companies then you absolutely must take a look at the relevant guide below!

Of course, you may have interviews at various companies or none at all yet and want to keep your preparation more general, and that's fine. Let's walk-through a few preparation tips to help you get ready for your PM interviews. 

    9. Preparation tips for PM interviews

    It’s best to take a systematic approach to make the most of your preparation time for PM interviews, and we recommend the following three steps. 

    9.1 Learn a consistent method for answering each type of question

    In this article, we’ve provided a huge list of example questions that you can use to prepare for the main question types used in product manager interviews.

    For each type of question, we've linked our guides which cover the basic steps for solving them as well as giving a detailed answer for one of the questions. We'd recommend that you begin by memorizing the method for solving a question type. 

    After learning the basic method for a question type, you should try answering several sample questions on your own. This will help you to understand the structure of a good answer. 

    Once you've learned the method for one question type, and after you've practiced with a few examples, then you should move onto the next type of question. Repeat this process until you've covered each question type that's used at your target company.

    These steps will give you a good start, BUT just knowing the method for answering questions is not enough, you also need to be able to perform in interview conditions. 

    9.2 Practice by yourself or with peers

    A great way to practice the method for solving PM interview questions, is to interview yourself out loud. This may sound strange, but it’s an excellent way to improve the way you communicate your answers during an interview. Play the role of both the candidate and the interviewer, asking questions and answering them, just like two people would in an interview.

    If you have friends or peers who can do mock interviews with you, that's a great option too. This can be especially helpful if your friend has experience with PM interviews, or is at least familiar with the process. You can also find peers to practice with on our new PM mock interview platform.

    In addition to practicing by yourself, and with peers, it can be a huge advantage to do mock interviews with experienced PM interviewers. 

    9.3 Practice with experienced PM interviewers

    If you know a Product Manager who can help you, that's fantastic! But for most of us, it's tough to find the right connections to make this happen. And it might also be difficult to practice multiple hours with that person unless you know them really well.

    Here's the good news. We've already made the connections for you. We’ve created a coaching service where you can practice 1-on-1 with ex-interviewers from Google, Amazon, and other leading tech companies. Learn more and start scheduling sessions today.

    cta_illustration arrow_left Browse PM ex-interviewers

    Any questions about PM interviews?

    If you have any questions about product manager interviews, don't hesitate to ask them below and we will be more than happy to answer them. All questions are good questions, so go ahead!

    Keep reading: product manager interview articles