Product Estimation Questions - Common Mistakes to Avoid
Product Manager Interview Questions: Common Mistakes to avoid while Answering Product Manager Estimation Questions
Here is a list of common mistakes which people make while answering product estimation questions:
1. Making the Wrong Assumptions
The best way to avoid this is by asking clarification questions that help you narrow down the scope of the question, stating any assumptions you are making, and checking with the interviewer that it is ok to make those assumptions.
2. Taking a bottom-up approach instead of a top-down approach
It’s easier to take a top-down approach in answering an estimation question because the interviewer can easily see how you’ll plan to eventually arrive at the number using your main equation and the new equations you’ll be creating.
The problem with bottom-up approaches is that it’s not clear to the interviewer at the beginning of your answer how you arrived at the answer and that can make them wonder if you are taking the right approach. They might start challenging you on your approach without giving you a chance to present your approach.
3. Skipping the Sanity Check
You can sometimes catch your miscalculations by doing a sanity check at the end of your answer. The interviewers will be delighted to see that you catch your own mistakes before they highlight them for you.
It’s not always easy to do the sanity check because sometimes, the numbers are hard to validate but, when it’s possible, do a quick sanity check to increase your chances of being in the right ballpark and showcase your ability to check your own work.
For example, you’re estimating the number of cars on Highway 101 and your estimate comes up to be like 100 million cars per day, you have to inform the interviewer that you think the number is unusually high and that you might have made a mistake in your calculations given that the total population of people in the bay area is less than 10 million.
To help you with your Product Manager interview preparations, we have compiled a complete list of the most asked Product Management Interview Questions and Answers at companies like Facebook, Google, Amazon, Microsoft, Netflix, etc. answered by PMs at FAANG.
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