How to Answer Product Strategy Questions?
Here is a step by step guide on how to answer Product Strategy Questions with examples
Why are Product Strategy Questions asked?
Product strategy questions are an essential part of a product management interview. The interviewer asks these questions to evaluate the candidate's skills in assessing various strategic paths for a product or company and making informed decisions about the path forward. Here are some reasons why product strategy questions are asked in a product management interview:
Assess structured thinking process: Product strategy questions are designed to evaluate the candidate's ability to think in a structured manner when dealing with abstract situations. The interviewer wants to know if the candidate can develop a logical approach to problem-solving and decision-making.
Understand company's strengths and weaknesses: Product strategy questions also aim to assess the candidate's understanding of the company's strengths and weaknesses. The interviewer wants to know if the candidate has researched the company and can identify areas where the company excels or needs improvement.
Determine strategic choices: Product strategy questions evaluate the candidate's ability to determine strategic choices for the company and its product offerings. The interviewer wants to know if the candidate can develop a product strategy that aligns with the company's business goals.
Analyze and evaluate options: Product strategy questions assess the candidate's ability to carefully analyze and evaluate the pros and cons of different options from various perspectives. The interviewer wants to know if the candidate can make informed decisions based on data and analysis.
Make meaningful executive decisions: Lastly, product strategy questions aim to assess the candidate's ability to make meaningful executive decisions that consider all the key aspects of the decision. The interviewer wants to know if the candidate can balance short-term and long-term goals, weigh trade-offs, and communicate their decisions effectively to stakeholders.
How to answer Product Strategy questions?
When answering product strategy questions in a product management interview, it is essential to follow a structured approach to ensure that you provide a comprehensive and well-thought-out response. Here is a step-by-step guide that you can use to answer product strategy questions:
Clarify the Question: Make sure you fully understand the question being asked by the interviewer. Ask for clarification if necessary to ensure you address the question correctly.
Describe the Company & Product: Provide an overview of the company and the product. This will help to set the context for your answer and demonstrate your understanding of the company and its offerings.
List your Strategic Choices: Identify and list the various strategic choices available to the company. These could include expanding the product line, entering new markets, or repositioning the product.
List your Evaluation Criteria: Determine the key criteria that will be used to evaluate the different strategic choices. This could include market size, competition, financial viability, and customer needs.
Evaluate each Strategic Choice: Analyze each strategic choice based on the evaluation criteria you have established. Identify the pros and cons of each option and evaluate the potential impact of each choice on the company and its product.
Make a Recommendation: Based on your evaluation, recommend the best strategic choice for the company and its product. Explain your reasoning and provide evidence to support your recommendation.
To prepare effectively for a product strategy interview, it's important to understand how to approach the different types of questions that may come up. Let's take a closer look at each point in detail:
1. Clarify the Question
The first step in tackling any question is to clarify the scope of the problem. Sometimes, the question may already be specific enough that you can proceed without further clarification, e.g. Should Facebook have a dating feature? . However, in cases where the question is too broad, it's important to ask for clarification to ensure that you understand what is being asked. For example, if the question is "What should be the product strategy of Company X moving forward?" you might ask, "Are we talking about the overall product portfolio or a specific product within the portfolio?" or "What are the key metrics that we should be considering when defining its product strategy?"
Asking these types of clarifying questions can help you understand the scope of the problem and ensure that you are addressing the right issues. It's also important to ask questions about the current status of the company and the product, such as "WHY is the company considering a shift in strategy?" or "What are the current pain points that users are experiencing with the product?" Understanding these key details can help you prioritize the right strategy.
Note that the interviewer may sometimes respond by giving you more freedom to choose the path to move forward. In this case, it's important to take a step back and think critically about what the company's missions and goals are and what you believe is the best approach to achieve those goals. Ultimately, the goal is to demonstrate that you can think creatively and strategically about product problems and come up with effective solutions.