Johannes' blog

Product Management Interview

In April 2020, I was preparing for job interviews as product manager (PM) and studied the case interview questions to prepare for interviews at top tech companies. In the following, I want to summarize my journey and write down my opinions and thoughts on some principles that were important to me and that overall guided my preparation and my job search.

Finding the right job is a stochastic process

You have to maximize every part of the equation to decrease your risk to end up with a job that you do not like. Your interview success is depending on how many interviews you practice and experience. Further, you should also aim to expose yourself to as many companies as possible, to not only gain experience but also to increase your chances.

Interview Preperation


I approached interview preparation in three different stages. My goal was to optimize towards getting as much practice as I could. Preparing for the interview is all about following a routine. Start with baby steps and get an overview. There is already lots of material available on how to prepare for product management interviews (exponent, Cracking the PM Interview, Decode and Conquer: Answers to Product Management Interviews,, Product Management Exercises).

Do not fail but learn

It’s part of the process to fail a case, and you should not be discouraged by that. There are two kinds of stresses that you have during job search.

Do not fail but learn

This solution helped me in different ways:

Training the mix

Product management interviews are comprised of design, strategic, and analytical cases. Building a routine that covers these three types of questions was key for my prepartion. Preparing for the product management interview is similar to training for a triathlon. To do well in all three disciplines, you have to alternate between these types of interview questions. You find lots of PM questions and how to approach them online.

Self Care

Although learning and failing is part of the process, do try to focus on the goal. Do not compare yourself to people that have been through this process. Only compare yourself to your previous self. Sticking to your routine is the most critical thing. After all, you try to find a company where you feel comfortable, do not forget that this talk is also about you feeling comfortable!

Product Manager cases

In the following, I list my personal most important learnings:

Product Design

Try to focus as much as possible on defining the precise user needs. One of the most important things to demonstrate during these cases is that you can think customer-centric. Say you are asked a very open design question such as “How would you design a supermarket?”. Here you do not indicate a customer segment whatsoever, and there are indefinite aspects of a supermarket that you could start to talk about. The problem in this case that you should solve to come up with the right user problems. Typically you start by going broad on who could be potential customers for a supermarket (think about demographics, jobs & occupations, anatomic considerations). Try to maximize the number of customer segments until they are not mutually exclusive anymore.