Panel Interview Questions
Making it to a panel interview is exciting and scary at the same time. On the one hand, you’re well on your way to potentially receiving an offer. On the other, sitting down in front of three-to-five people who are asking you in-depth questions about your resume and experience can be pretty intimidating. Hopefully, practicing these questions will help you feel more comfortable:
6. How would you improve our product?
Answering this question is like walking a tightrope: it requires balance, poise, and a hint of luck even. Much like Question #5, you want to be careful about not bashing anyone’s product, of course. But at the same time, your interviewers are asking for your ideas. And considering it would be your job to improve their product, your answer here is pretty important.
Our advice? Focus on something small. Don’t come in and offer sweeping advice on how their product needs a massive facelift. Instead, choose one small, but potentially high-impact change you could make. Then, sandwich that advice between some nice compliments about the product and be sure to contextualize your response with a phrase like, “I’d want to take a look at usage data to confirm this would have an impact, but here’s what I think…”
7. What’s a product you use every day? What makes it a great product?
Most people will default to their phones here—avoid that. It’s been done before. Instead, focus on something simple: a coffee maker you love, an app that has changed your life for the better, maybe even your toothbrush. This question helps interviewers see your eye for design and functionality.
8. What’s the product or feature you’ve built that makes you most proud? Why?
With questions like this, bigger isn’t always necessarily better. Spearheading a major product launch for a big tech company might look good on paper, but your interviewers want a genuine response out of you here. Often, the things product managers love the most are features that didn’t change the world but had a small yet significant impact on the usefulness of the product.
Of course, if that big product launch is your proudest moment, that’s okay, too. The point here is to be honest about your product management experience.
9. What’s been your biggest product failure to-date? Why did it go wrong? How would you do it differently now?
This question helps interviewers understand a few things about you: first, it reveals how much self-awareness you have. Everyone has a failure or two under their belt. Knowing yours and showing that you’ve put thought into how it could’ve gone differently shows interviewers you’re able to learn from mistakes and improve. Second, it reveals some about how you work with a team. Are you blaming others for the project’s failure? That’s a red flag for most product leaders. Product managers need to know how to work closely with different teams to bring a product or feature to market.
10. How do you define “success” with a product launch?
Successful product launches often tie directly to an increase in revenue, but is that really the only indicator of a successful product launch? Chances are that the answer here is “no.” Other factors—like adoption, brand awareness, and customer retention—are also indicators of a successful launch (and generally all of those trickle down to increased revenue anyway).