How do you demonstrate that you can manage products

Product Management interview question:
Tell me about a project you have run or a product you have managed through its life cycle?

This is an interview question that gives you the opportunity to:
a) Demonstrate that you have a practical experience in the product development process.
b) That you have considered the user by developing a product that utilises technology to solve a problem and therefore meets the customer’s needs.
c) That you are able to lead with-out-authority by matrix managing a cross functional team of multi-disciplined professionals.

When answering this question you also have the opportunity to briefly touch on a previous area/question that you may have felt you didn’t answer too well – however you have to be brief, no detract in any way shape or form from the original question and ensure you don’t give the impression that you are labouring any particular point or trying to get one up on the interviewer. For example if you where previously asked about stakeholder management and you didn’t feel that you gave a full and impressive answer - then touch on your experience on stakeholder management while speaking about a project you have worked on.

A few typical points that you need to bring out are as follows:

  • Be sure to outline the role you played at each stage.
  • Ensure you highlight that you took the initiative at each key stages.
  • Speak about brain storming sessions that you led out in to firm up on requirements and the products feature set and ultimately define the product.
  • Your ability to create and manage a product roadmap.
  • Be sure to explain how you communicated the vision and project to technical and business stakeholders.
  • Show how you led the team and got buy-in at each stage of the product life cycle.
  • Speak about your interaction with stakeholders from across the organisation from sales and marketing to engineering and customer support.
It is important that you take the opportunity while answering this question to speak about your domain and knowledge of the technologies you worked with – coupled with your sharp business acumen. Above all don’t be afraid to mention things that went wrong BUT be sure to speak about what you did to put things right and be prepare demonstrate what you learnt from such mistakes.

The interviewer may ask you to speak about a project that went well or not so well. If so be sure clearly demonstrate that you understand why the project went the way it did.
It's possible to spend the whole interview on this one question alone -

Bottom line is that you as the Product Manager are seen to be in fully in touch with the product at every stag ein its life cycle.


  1. Nice blog, thanks. I'll visit often.

  2. Good timing we now have product manager roles and this was very helpful when looking at these roles

  3. this is really helpful

    thanks for sharing