What the interviewer(s) are looking for:
#How would you, as the product manager, manage upwards?
#Do you have the product management skills to communicate at the CEO/MD level?
#Are you able to push back in a diplomatic way?
#Are you able to manage expectations?
Suggested thoughts that need to be projected are as follows:
It’s important to be in tune with the commercial aspirations of chief executives and senior stakeholders. You need to demonstrate that you share the vision and will be an asset and not an obstacle to achieving the ultimate goal. However – and here comes the but – BUT you need to be able to positively steer the thinking towards realistic time frames and firming up on the unknowns [power point presentation are generally shallow]. Details need to be properly defined – here you have the opportunity to demonstrate [to the interviewer]:
- your skills in creating a road map –
- that flows into a project backlog –
- that divides down into a set of user stories -
- that can be estimated in terms of complexity and
- time to complete.
- Who? (permanent or contract),
- When (do you need technical resources to assist in the research if research is needed) and
- How much does will it cost (different organisations have different approaches to recharges – central departments or each business unit having their own development team(s).
Ensure that you demonstrate your ability to balance your business and commercial acumen as it’s the combination of 'business sense and technical sense' that makes a good product manager. Remember organisations (and therefore processes) differ one from another - the interviewer will understand this - so it's the logical thought processes and stakeholder management skills you show when answering that determine if you give a satisfactory answer or not.