Always have plenty of questions ready when you go into any associate product management interview. Have so many they don’t even have time to answer them all. It shows you’re genuinely interested in learning more about the company. There are so many things you could ask about and so much you can't possibly know without working at the company, that any lack of questions is a major red flag. Write them down if you need to, but make sure you have them.
It's always good to mix in some questions specific to the person you’re interviewing with, the company, or the industry they operate in as well. For example, you could ask about their product or service, a news article, or their competition. This allows you to really demonstrate a clear interest in what they're doing and show that you've done your research. There’s nothing wrong with asking more generic questions. Some of them, like questions about culture for instance, are really important, but you should definitely add some specific ones or adapt the generic ones to the company wherever possible.
Here are a bunch of sample questions to get you thinking. Before you just go ahead and grab some, think about what's most important to you, what you're actually interested in learning about, and what makes sense given the company you're interviewing with.
- What do you think the biggest challenge is for people joining this company?
- How can someone at the company add value outside of their day-to-day work?
- What's the one attribute you value in a new hire above all others?
- How are teams structured?
- What does the team I'll be joining currently look like?
- What do the team's (engineering / design / research / analytics) resources currently look like?
- Tell me about someone else on the team I won't have a chance to meet.
Company Culture and Values
- What's your favorite part about working here?
- What's your least favorite part about working here?
- What one thing would you change about working here?
- What’s the most challenging part of your position?
- Does the company have any stated values internally? What are they?
- What have been some of your biggest challenges working across multiple offices / remotely?
- Can you show me where I'll be working? Can we walk around the office?
- Tell me about your commitment to customer success.
- How has the company changed over the time that you've been there?
- How would you describe your company culture?
- If you had to model your culture off an existing company, what would it be and why?
- If you could improve anything about the culture, what would it be?
- If you could improve anything about the company, what would it be?
- If I succeed in this role, what would the career progression be like in 12-16 months?
- What sort of training and professional development is in place?
- What will I be working on in the first 3-6 months?
- Who makes the decisions and how involved is everyone else in that process?
- How risk-tolerant or risk-averse would you say the company is in terms of its products?
- How often do you talk to users? Can you provide an example of how it has influenced the direction of the product / service?
- How does your competition influence the work you do, if at all?
- What are your primary success metrics and how did you land on those?
- How will my work be evaluated?
- How do you establish goals for yourself and your team? How are you evaluating your work?
Product Roadmap and Vision
- What’s your main focus right now as a company?
- How do you envision the future of this company and its product / service?
- Where do you see the company a year from now?
- If you could improve anything about the product what would it be?
- What has surprised you since joining?
- What are you excited about right now?
- What’s the biggest challenge you’re facing right now?
- Why did you choose to work here?
- What has been your most successful feature / product launch? What do you think made it successful?
For the Founder
- Why did you start the company?
- How would you describe the vision of the company?
- What’s the vision for the company in the next 6–12 months?
- What have been some of your biggest challenges operating in a foreign country?
- What’s the last book you read?