Q: "What are some technical questions that Product Managers are asked during interviews?"
Let's unpack the word "technical" here first.
If that's taken to imply questions related to programming or software development, then there are a few companies out there that might ask you to:
- Write up a piece of psuedo-code on a whiteboard
- Write database queries against a problem statement
- Suggest a data structure to solve a certain problem
- Draft an algorithm and optimize it for space-time complexity
Note: Coding questions are rare, even though they aren't unheard of.
Most Product Managers aren't expected to code on the job even though they may need to familiar with certain technical jargon & software/web development concepts.
Now, in my book, questions about Product Management practices and principles are "technical" too e.g.
- Brainstorm questions to ask a customer to collect meaningful validation data
- Here's a problem X. Ideate a user story to solve it
- Design questions e.g. Design an alarm clock for the blind
- Wireframe an experience
- How would you prioritize between A and B?
- Customer brings up an issue. How would you identify the root cause?
Over the past years, I've heard of other non-behavioral questions that come up at interviews which are considered as "technical" by some:
Questions related to the technical or business domain of the product.
- Platform Product Managers can be asked differences between Webhooks and APIs, fundamentals of REST, etc.
- Fintech product managers might be asked conceptual questions around payment tech, lending, GDPR, forex, etc.
- Similarly, a mobile Product Manager might be asked basics of mobile app analytics or queries around device fragmentation
Questions related to generating demand or opening top-of-funnel for a product e.g.
- Queries about On-page and off-page SEO
- Funnel Metrics & Retention tactics
- Explain what Cohort Analysis is
- Devise a growth loop for a product
Questions that "attempt" to assess the raw brainpower of a candidate e.g.
- Brainteasers like "Why is a manhole cover round?" (sigh. not a fan of such Qs.)
- IQ test questions
- Construct a flowchart to depict certain logic with IFs, ANDs, ORs, etc.
Statistics & Numbers
Questions that test the mathematical & data interpretation skills:
- Market sizing questions (determine the TAM/TOM/SOM of a product)
- Traffic, revenue projections & forecasting
- A/B testing and statistical confidence
- Math questions that test COAP: Correlation, Outliers, Aggregates & Probability