Joe Cotellese

👋 Hi! I'm Joe – product guy, coach and founder.

How to prep for a Product Manager Interview


The job interview is a nerve-wracking, fear inducing prospect for a lot of people. The thing is, with some prep work, your really don’t need to stress over the interview. In fact, I like to tell people that a job interview is a two way street. If you think about it you’re both prospects. The company is trying to figure out if you are a good fit for them. At the same time you should figure out if they are the right company for you. If you go in with that mindset it goes a long way to calming your nerves. You know what else calms your nerves?


In my over twenty years in business I’ve interviewed a lot of people and I’m shocked at how many candidates come into an interview completely unprepared. They don’t know much about the job or the company. When I talk to friends who don’t get an offer after an interview I often ask “How much did you prepare going into the interview?” The answer more often then not is “Prepare?” I’ve been really fortunate throughout my career. I’ve only ever gone on one interview that didn’t result in an offer. While some of that success was luck I like to think being prepared played a pretty big part. If you’re reading this you probably recognize the value in preparation but maybe aren’t sure how you should prepare for a Product Manager interview. There are really two parts to preparing for an interview. Figuring out how to answer the interviewers questions and having enough information about the business and industry that you can make your responses relevant. Anyone can Google “PM interview questions,” get a list and memorize appropriate responses. That’s not good enough. You need to provide relevant insights that tie back to their business. You do that and you’re going to stand out from the other candidates. This is exactly what I do and I believe it’s key to me getting job offers nearly every time out. And, I’ll let you in on a little secret. I’ve interviewed dozens of candidates and not a single time in all my years interviewing did a candidate do this. This is not a hard process, it’s just time consuming. It boils down on focusing on these key areas:

  • Learn about the company
  • Learn about the people who are interviewing you
  • Learn about the product
  • Learn about the competition
  • Tying what you just learned to the job description to make your answers relevant

The benefit to putting the time in before an interview hopefully results in more job offers faster. While this is no guarantee that you’ll land the job it will give you a great head start. If you want a deeper dive into how to prep for an interview, download 34 Essential Questions to Answer for your PM Interview . So that’s my process. What do you do to prepare for your interview? I’d love to know in the comments below.