Product Manager is a great job profile these days. A Product Manager needs to have a fusion of diverse hard and soft skills. They need to have a basic knowledge and experience of researching, strategizing, designing, computer skills, digital marketing, and data analytical skills. Few technical skills a Product Manager can master are user experience, web development, designing, etc.
However, mastering only the hard skills is not enough. Product management is a leadership position with lots of responsibilities. Thus, having a good set of soft skills is mandatory. Every Product Manager must have these essential soft skills:
- A Good Leader is what the product team needs to influence decision-making, empower the team, and introduce a good strategy for the team. A leader listens to others effectively and respects everyone’s views for the betterment of all.
- Excellent Communicator to convey the information, idea, and message effectively to different audiences.
- Good At Organization And Prioritization of multiple tasks at the same time while keeping pace with the deadlines.
- Flexible in approaching projects to ensure effective and timely launch of products.
- Think Critically And Analyze myriad options before weighing their value to deliver the best product in the market with the team’s help.
How To Answer Questions In A PM Interview?
In a Product Manager interview, the interviewer asks several questions related to prioritization, strategizing, tradeoffs, and basic technical skills. For passing the interview with triumph, the focus must be on building better communication with the interviewer right from the CV. Interviewees often neglect the importance of resume/cv, which is the first document projecting their skill sets. So, prepare a good CV after thoroughly checking the company and their requirements. The next big step is – interview questions. Interview questions are roughly categorized by the type of skill the interviewer wants to focus on. For answering any product manager interview questions, follow these simple steps-
- Clarify the questions with your interviewer
- Define the business objective
- Properly structure the answer
- Answer objectively by including data and examples
- Give a great concluding to the answer
Example Of Prioritization And Tradeoff Question
An interviewer can ask a variety of questions in a Product Manager interview. However, prioritization and tradeoff-based questions often find more space in an interviewer’s mind. Keeping the job’s complexity, it is essential to prepare for making decisions with ease and rationality. The difference between prioritization and tradeoff is based on which project holds precedence over the other. For instance, if the interviewer asks-
Suppose you are a ride-hailing company’s Product Manager in its early stages. What will you prioritize between increasing driver growth and rider growth?
The above answer involves a tradeoff between two equally important initiatives. As a Product Manager, it depends on your judgment on which option will generate more benefit to the company. While you are busy prioritizing one option over another, there is a loss somewhere; however, the goal is to focus on current demands and look for future opportunities.
How To Approach A Prioritization And Tradeoff Question?
Before providing an answer for the above question, let us look at the structure and the type of approach you need to ace this question:
- Understand the goals
Understanding the goals is very important for selecting the right option during prioritization.
- Business value
To understand the potential of any project, focus on the value it can bring to the business, i.e., monetization power of the project.
- Impact on user
Money is essential, and so is delivering an excellent user-centric product. The happier the user is, the more the business will expand.
- Team effort and resources
Product management is at the core of cross-functional teams. Thus, enhancing the coordination among diverse groups to utilize time, effort, and resources better.
Product Manager jobs are never easy, so it involves a tradeoff between two equally compatible choices no matter what decision is made. The only difference could be because of the timing and resources.
Sample Technique To Answer
The above framework makes it easier to answer the above question. That is,
- Ask the goal– if the goal is to expand the cab service app, the focus should be on making the user experience better. For example, suppose the company works on making every ride of the users a comfortable experience as a Product Manager. In that case, you must focus on making cabs readily available, thus reducing the waiting time.
- Business value– as per the goals, increasing the number of drivers will generate more demand from the customers. Accelerating driver growth will provide money for the company as well as drivers.
- Impact– decisions are mostly user-centric. That is, how a user interacts with the company’s app. For instance, if the cabs are readily available, it reduces waiting time and cab fares. However, the focus on rider growth will eventually create mayhem on the app, with the increased number of riders, fewer cabs available, and increased waiting time.
- Effort– acquiring drivers is a challenging task, where document checking, background checking, and notifying other terms and conditions. It needs effort. Whereas increasing the number of riders is a trivial task based on user experience. Easier navigation through the app and cheaper fares with comfortable and secure rides can increase rider growth.
Prioritization and tradeoffs complement each other, making it a must-countering question for every Product Manager to master. You must know how to value one project over another and understand what you are losing in this tradeoff. There is substantial uncertainty about the outcome, but the trick is to minimize this uncertainty. That’s what makes a good Product Manager.