An approach to frequently asked questions in Product Management Interviews

Product Design | Product Improvement | Root Cause Analysis


Following frameworks or approach are taken by various resources and if it differs then it’s just my POV. Because Product Management is not a rigid role like other traditional ones. Thank-you and enjoy the blog.

It is indeed true that there is no absolute path to crack a PM interview. Product Managers or Aspiring PMs come from diverse backgrounds.

Types of PM Interview Questions

There are various types of questions asked in Product Management Interviews such as:

  1. Product Design Questions(My Favourite One 🤩): Design an Alarm Clock for Blind People
  2. Favourite Product
  3. Product Improvement Questions
  4. Product Metrics Questions
  5. Root Cause Analysis
  6. Estimation Questions(Estimate total number of videos on Youtube)
  7. Behavioural Questions
  8. Product Strategy Questions(Usually asked for MAANG PM Interviews)
  9. Technical Questions

If you want to learn System Design, Machine Learning, Blockchain and SQL for Product Managers:

But in this story, we will cover frequently asked questions such as

  • Product Design
  • Favourite+Product Improvement
  • Root Cause Analysis

Approach to Product Design Questions

I know when you will google this you google this you would find numerous frameworks.

After repeating a lot of mistakes and observing approaches from OG level books for Product Management Interviews

Now, I know most of the people will say that CIRCLE method is good enough but

I somehow modified my approach in-order to get an appropriate solution:

  1. Clarifying Assumptions- (What | Why | Whom | Where anything which you want to)
  2. Identify Users & User Segments- (on the basis of geography, demography, activity, subscription model, purpose based, cultural basis)
  3. Drafting User Need and Pain-points (Emphasizing users and customers)
  4. Prioritize the needs and pain-points using MoSCoW
  5. List Solutions
  6. Evaluate the solutions from a different perspective
  7. Draft the solutions again which are feasible and genuinely customer or user-centric
  8. Prioritize the Solutions using MoSCoW and RICE Method
  9. Identify Metrics- You can use various frameworks such as AARRR(Acquisition-Action-Retention-Referral-Revenue) but again you can draft your own too if product or condition varies.


Note: I talked about general approach only. Product Metrics can get varied again on the basis of business objective and products. For example: if someone is an API Product Manager then he/she can consider Business/Performance/Adoption framework for external API Modules.

Approach to Favourite Product + Product Improvement Questions

I know interviewers can ask these questions separately too but while discussing the interview questions to some of the product geeks I got that interviewers are asking product improvement questions following up by favourite product questions.

Although, candidates try to give answer in a structured way but while asking these two questions togetherly. Candidates screw-up these kind of questions.

Here’s my approach:

  • Talk about the product
  • Easy-to-use
  • Innovative
  • Useful/Utility
  • Honest

You can use DECODE & CONQUER by Lewis C. Lin for this.

Then let’s come to the main part, to the Product Improvement Questions. Here’s my approach:

  1. Describe the product: talk about its details such as Company Type Solves the ‘X’ problem for ‘Y’ users by providing “ABC” Product
  2. Identify categories of users: On the basis of Activity | Purpose | Demographics | Geography | Subscription | Cultural basis
  3. Describe the Business Objective: Acquiring new customers| Engagement | Revenue
  4. Select one User Segment you picked
  5. Identify the Problems faced by the User Segment
  6. Try to find out Problems again and solution while Mapping-out a User Journey
  7. List the Possible solutions which are feasible
  8. Prioritize the Solutions using RICE framework or any other depends on an individual
  9. Identify the Metrics on the basis of Business Objective and Solutions


Approach to Root Cause Analysis Questions

  1. Clarifying Questions: Define the Metrics | Channel | iOS or Android | Windows or MacOS
  2. Sanity Check: Data & Metric are correct and accurate? | Any A/B testing is going on?
  3. External Factors: Change Govt. Policy(for example for cryptocurrencies) | -ve PR or NEWS | Change in Data Privacy | Competitors? | Miscellaneous(Choose what you sense is referring to)
  4. Internal Factors: UI/UX Change | Algo/Code | Any frequent complaint you got? | Any new feature or feature edit?
  5. User Journey(From Awareness-Acquisition-Action-Retention-Referral-Revenue)

If you want to learn estimation then:

Hope! you guys enjoy the blog. You can reach-out to me on linkedin.

Thanks! 😁