Product marketing interview questions
|Francisco Bram, Head of Product Marketing, Uber
|Published: August 2, 2021
Experiential | Motivational | PMM foundations | Behavioral | PMM case questions
You’ve made it! Your resume was selected from thousands of applicants, and you are now invited to interview for your dream product marketing role.
This is your time to shine, but a good performance will require great preparation. This means anticipating questions, preparing your answers and positioning yourself as the ideal candidate for the role.
Famous entertainer Will Rogers once said: “you never get a second chance to make a good first impression.” To help you make a great first impression, in this article, I will give you a list of different types of questions that are commonly used to assess the quality and talent of a product marketer.
First, I recommend you get familiar with the type of questions you may be asked. In my mind, there are 5 common types:
- Experiential -> assessing your relevant experience
- Motivational -> understanding your interest in the company / industry
- Foundational -> assessing your product marketing (PMM) fundamentals
- Behavioral -> assessing how you navigate problems
- Case -> assessing your PMM skills live on a relevant business scenario
In this post, I'll cover some of the most common questions in each category.
Experiential questions (Top)
These questions are meant to validate your background and experience based on your resume or online professional profile(s). These questions are designed to not only review your experience but also evaluate your storytelling and positioning skills. Meaning, are you able to tell a compelling, memorable story about yourself that positions you as an intriguing candidate?
- Can you tell me about yourself and the journey that brought you here?
- What’s your value proposition/elevator pitch?
- Can you tell me about your responsibilities in your current/last role?
- How is product marketing defined at your current/last company?
- Walk me through your resume. What did you learn most in each position and how did it help you become a better product marketer?
- What product launch are you most proud of? What was your contribution and how did you measure success?
- What was your least successful product launch and what did you learn from it?
- Can you tell me about a time you used customer insights to inform a product roadmap or marketing campaign?
- Tell me about a time when you were able to influence a decision made by another leader.
- Do you have management experience? How many people have you managed and what’s your leadership style?
Motivational questions (Top)
These questions are designed to assess your true motivations for applying for this role, at this company. The interviewers want to know if your heart is in the right place, your logic and reasoning behind applying for this role and your excitement for the company and/or products. They’ll want to assess if you spent enough time researching the company, industry and products.
- What made you apply for this role? Why now?
- Why our company?
- What do you know about our products?
- What do you know about the industry and our competitors?
- What do you know about our target audience(s)?
- Why product marketing?
- What do you think about the product messaging on our website?
- What market or technology trends do you think will impact our industry and customers?
- What do you think will be your biggest challenge coming into this role?
- Where do you see yourself in 3-5 years?
Foundational questions (Top)
These questions are designed to evaluate your understanding and knowledge of product marketing. If you are applying for your first product marketing job, this section is especially important for you. Interviewers will assess your domain knowledge of the different functions product marketers are responsible for and the skills required to be successful.
- How do you define product marketing?
- What is your approach for sizing a market and evaluating its business opportunity?
- Which metrics are most important to you during a new product launch?
- What methods would you use to uncover customer insights?
- What’s your approach to designing a narrative?
- How would you define a go-to-market (GTM) strategy?
- What are all the elements that support a GTM strategy?
- What cross-functional teams are part of a GTM strategy?
- Do you have a product launch checklist?
- How would you encourage customers to use a new product, feature or service?
Behavioral questions (Top)
These questions are designed to learn more about your reactions to hypothetical situations to see on a macro-level how you may handle challenges or opportunities that arise in product marketing or in the specific role you are applying for. For these types of questions, you should bring up examples of your past work that can help the interviewer understand how your acquired experiences position you as the ideal candidate for the role.
- Your product team has a new product, but you don’t think customers really need or want it. What do you do?
- A member of an executive team does not agree with your GTM strategy. What do you do?
- You have 5 product managers asking for product marketing support, but you have limited bandwidth. How do you prioritize and how do you push back?
- You were on track to launch a product, your marketing assets, channels and comms are all ready to be deployed, but you were informed the product is not ready for prime time. What do you do? What recommendation would you make and what information do you need?
- Given the opportunity to go back and change a choice you’ve made professionally, would you do it? If so, what would it be?
- You were assigned to a product that is performing poorly with low customer acceptance and high churn rate. What do you do?
- You are managing a product launch with a big deadline coming up and need everyone to pitch in extra hours to hit it, but nobody directly reports to you. How do you approach this situation?
- If you had a deadline you knew you weren’t going to meet, would you be more likely to work through the night to hit it or ask for an extension? Why?
- You’ve received feedback from peers that someone on your team has consistently delivered subpar work and they are concerned about their upcoming product launch. What do you do?
- You’re about to launch a product and discovered that a main competitor just launched a similar product with a similar narrative and positioning. What do you do?
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Case questions (Top)
For case style interview questions, interviewers are trying to assess your thought process. They look for the way you will think through a problem, in other words, how you would solve a challenge. These questions are meant to test critical thinking skills while seeing how you handle pressure and whitespace.
- What is a product that you enjoy using? Assume you are hired to be that product’s product marketing lead. What would you do differently to help grow market adoption? Walk us through each step.
- Your finance team wants to increase the price of one of your products. What analysis do you need to do? How do you tell your customers without alienating them?
- We are about to launch a new product, but we are unclear what price we should charge customers. How would you define the optimal price for this product? What’s your approach?
- You look at this past quarter’s numbers and sales have declined, but your competitor’s product gained market share. How do you approach this problem?
- We are entering a new industry vertical. What steps need to happen for us to be successful?
- We are approaching the end of the year and you still have $100,000 from your product marketing budget available to spend. What do you do? Walk us through your analysis.
- You’ve received feedback that your messaging is too technical for the intended target audience and you need to redesign it. Walk us through the steps of this narrative redesign.
- A member of the executive leadership team asked you to promote your product through new channels (e.g., TikTok, Clubhouse). What’s your approach to determining if these channels are right for your product? Walk us through your analysis and recommendation.
- Revenue from your product is split 50% direct sales and 50% online self-service. In the past 2 quarters, revenue from direct sales has been increasing and revenue from self-serve has been declining. What’s your approach to diagnose the root causes and what actions could you take to increase online sales?
- What’s your 100-day plan if you are offered this position?
Now that you made it to the interview rounds, the “ball is your court”. The most important thing you can do to land that product marketing job is to ensure that you are fully prepared for all the different types of interview questions.
By going through these questions, you’ll be able to refresh your memory with everything you’ve learned in your previous roles and in school. You will be able to anticipate what will be asked in the interview, you will have learned so much about the business and you'll feel confident, calm, collected and ready to make a great first impression. Good luck!
Real interview questions. Sample answers from PMM leaders at Google, Facebook, Amazon, Uber, PayPal and more. Plus study sheets on key concepts like positioning, GTM & more.