Are you interviewing for a role as a product manager?
You know that you're not just being interviewed by, but also interviewing a potential employer. They have the capital to pay you, but you have the skills they need. It's very much a two way street. There are key areas you want to learn about: company culture, company finances, company strategy and goals, and how you can fit into all of it.
Sometimes, the conversation naturally inspires particular questions. Other times, you're kinda stumped or they've answered your questions. Here's a list of some of my favorite "generic" questions to ask that you can pose to any company for any product role.
1. What is the company's product strategy and vision?
Rationale: Understanding the company's product strategy and vision helps you align your goals and aspirations with the organization's long-term plans. It also gives you insights into the company's market positioning and potential for growth.
2. Can you describe the typical product development process and methodologies used?
Rationale: Knowing how the company approaches product development allows you to assess if their methodologies and processes align with your own work style and preferences. It also gives you an idea of the level of collaboration, agility, and innovation within the organization.
3. How are product decisions made, and what is the role of the product manager in the decision-making process?
Rationale: This question helps you understand the decision-making hierarchy and the level of autonomy and influence you will have as a product manager. It provides insights into the company's culture, stakeholder involvement, and the weight placed on data-driven decision-making.
4. What are the key performance indicators (KPIs) used to measure product success?
Rationale: Understanding the metrics and KPIs used to evaluate product success helps you gauge the company's priorities and expectations. It allows you to align your focus and understand how your performance will be measured.
5. How does the company gather customer feedback and incorporate it into the product development process?
Rationale: This question highlights the importance of customer-centricity and the company's commitment to user feedback. It demonstrates your interest in customer validation and involvement in the product decision-making process.
6. Can you tell me about the product team's structure and the key stakeholders involved in the product development process?
Rationale: Understanding the team structure and key stakeholders helps you assess the level of collaboration, communication channels, and dependencies within the organization. It also gives you an idea of the cross-functional relationships you'll need to navigate as a product manager.
7. What specific challenges or opportunities is the product team currently facing?
Rationale: This question shows your proactive approach and interest in understanding the current state of the product team. It helps you gauge the potential hurdles or areas where you can make a meaningful impact in your role.
8. How does the company prioritize product features and enhancements?
Rationale: Prioritization is a critical aspect of product management. Understanding how the company approaches feature prioritization, whether through a structured framework or other methodologies, gives you insights into how decisions are made and resources allocated.
9. Can you describe the company's competitive landscape and the product's positioning within the market?
Rationale: Understanding the competitive landscape helps you assess the market dynamics and the product's unique value proposition. It allows you to evaluate the company's market strategy and potential challenges you may face as a product manager.
10. How does the company support the professional growth and development of its product managers?
Rationale: This question demonstrates your interest in continuous learning and career progression. It helps you understand if the company invests in the development of its employees through training programs, mentorship opportunities, or other resources that foster growth in the field of product management.