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20 Product Owner Interview Questions and Answers
You should approach a product owner interview from several perspectives. The toleration criteria should be based on the candidate ’ s decision-making skills, prioritization abilities, technical experience, and more. The business value associated with a big product owner is massive as they are creditworthy for several deliverables that make successful products. The respect of the intersection depends on how well the merchandise life cycle is planned and implemented. And that success depends on how well the merchandise owner ’ sulfur vision and roadmap are designed. therefore, it ’ mho key to ask the right merchandise owner interview questions. Conduct follow-up interviews if you ’ re not satisfy, but make sure you make the right decision. here are some of the common and most important questions you should ask prospective product owners. We will divide the questions into segments :
Segment 1: Product Owner Role
These questions are meant to get a compass of the candidate ‘s understand of the problem responsibilities .
1. What do you expect from this job as a product owner?
The doubt is supposed to be an hatchway wonder that lets the candidate provide an overview of their exposure. It would tell you how prepared the candidate is for the interview and how much of an technical they are in their field. Each suffice to this interview will be different depending on the industry, company, and products. however, there are some commonalities you should look for. A few keywords you should be looking for include dash design, dash retrospective, dress, and dash recapitulation. If the candidate mentions these activities, you know they have the relevant cognition and experience .
2. Do you think it’s a good idea to have one person performing both the Scrum Product Owner role and the Scrum Master role?
It ’ s substantive to get an theme of how well the candidate understands the entire merchandise development process. This interrogate is the best way to figure out how well the candidate understands their character compared to early roles. Unless the candidate has a truly estimable explanation, the answer should be “ no ”. Scrum masters and product owners have different responsibilities, and mixing them will always have a damaging impact on the development process. The Scrum Master acts as a mediator between the product owner and the development team. therefore, if the like person plays both roles, a conflict of pastime would arise .
3. Do you have experience working with a Scrum framework?
Every product owner needs to have a basic sympathy of the Scrum model. The answer to this question will give you an mind of how well the campaigner understands the model. Their cognition of the framework can be a baseline on what you can expect from the intersection owner. Answering the question would be different for every product owner, but a few elements should remain the lapp. For exercise, Scrum is an incremental way of providing value to the end-user in a timely manner. The answer should revolve around this particular statement. furthermore, if the merchandise owner describes the origin of the framework, that ’ s even better. The campaigner should besides mention the three fundamental roles that come along with it. To be more specific, they should understand the product owner, Scrum team, and the Scrum Master character .
4. What other product discovery frameworks have you worked with?
Scrum is the most widely used Agile software exploitation model, but that does n’t mean it is the best model for every situation. If the potential product owner has know with Kanban or Waterfall, for case, that ‘s going to help them make a judgment of the best approach to take in each circumstance. If you ‘re interested in learning more about these frameworks, consider taking our product Owner Certification Course.
Segment 2: Engagement with External Stakeholders
The follow questions help the lease managers to understand the level of feel that candidates have on conducting interviews and getting feedback from users .
5. Who do you consider to be the most important product stakeholder?
One of the most crucial things to establish is whether the intersection owner understands whom they ’ re targeting. Their job requires them to understand the external stakeholders and develop the product consequently. The product growth process has respective key stakeholders. Some of them are :
- Key decision-makers
The potential merchandise owner must understand that each stakeholder plays a key function in the summons and why each of those stakeholders is significant to interact with. furthermore, it ’ s a plus point if they can explain how each stakeholder contributes to the process .
6. How much time do you give to understanding customer needs and user research during product discovery?
A basic understand of the product discovery phase is substantive, however, it ’ second more significant to find out the product owner ’ mho process. Their way of doing things and their rationalization tells you how well they understand the integral serve. The answer to the motion tends to be different depending on the company or intersection. typically, if person says they dedicate 50 % of their clock to user research, that ’ s a positive sign. however, if they say that they spend 20 % or less time, they ’ re not doing adequate. They might be ignoring customer feedback and market conditions .
Segment 3: Internal Stakeholders Leverage
Working with different internal stakeholders is besides a big piece of the intersection owner character. These come questions give recruiters an mind of the level of casualness that candidates have in this view .
7. How do you deal with uncooperative stakeholders?
Understanding the product owner ’ randomness process includes determining how they deal with issues and roadblocks. many times, product owners have to face uncooperative stakeholders, and that puts a find in the discovery phase. While each person has a different way of dealing with these bumps, product owners always have to be diplomatic in the end. The answer should involve a diplomatic solution where the product owner would continually engage with the stakeholders to win their confidence. The product owner should demonstrate the value of agile product development and cover discussions. If all else fails, they should seek help from the sponsors .
8. Do you have experience working in a Scrum Team?
A intersection owner should be able to distinguish different roles and teams involved in product growth. Most intersection owners have experience working in a Scrum product team, but not all of them. Scrum teams are by and large composed of the intersection owner, Scrum Master, and developers. They work together on sprint measures, product requirements, and user stories. The growth team ‘s work besides includes gull, developing, and testing .
9. How do you explain your marketplace knowledge to the Scrum team?
While the intersection owner has the market cognition needed to develop a merchandise vision, the stay of the team doesn ’ deoxythymidine monophosphate. It ’ s the merchandise owner ’ s job to communicate the allow market cognition to the Scrum team. The answer to this question determines the candidate ’ s ability to communicate that cognition successfully.
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traditionally, marketplace cognition is communicated through informal interactions. however, planning meetings and having courtly discussions, such as standup, is besides a great way of explaining current marketplace trends to the Scrum team .
10. How do you go about updating the team on the product and market situation? Where do you source information?
One of the crucial parts of a merchandise owner ’ sulfur job is to make the team mindful of any changing market demands and priorities. Since the merchandise owner develops the vision, it ’ s their job to make sure everyone else understands it excessively. The interview allows the candidate to not merely explain the work but besides what data is most important. The answer should be more team-oriented and should exemplify the team ’ mho importance. It should emphasize the importance of being on the lapp foliate so that the product is developed successfully. furthermore, the answer should include what information you should relay to the teams. That can consist of changing market situations, reserve changes, changing priorities, and new merchandise requirements .
Segment 4: Product Roadmap Planning
These questions will give candidates the opportunity to speak more in-depth about their skills in the discipline .
11. How would you redesign our product?
The first base pace in designing or redesigning a product is to build a strategic roadmap. Candidates should answer this question with a brief delineate of the steps they would take. This starts with understanding what precisely needs improvement on the product. That happens through home and external communication — with customers, engineers, customer hold team, and other stakeholders. After the stallion team is on the lapp page, technical product owners would work with the technology team to develop unique features that add respect to users. That normally happens through processes guided by a intersection owner or project director .
12. Tell me about the last time you developed a product roadmap?
The intersection roadmap is possibly the most critical footstep when developing a product. The best way to gauge a product owner ’ south ability to do their problem is to see how they handle product roadmap growth. The answer to the question will vary based on the candidate ’ south exposure and expertness. For example, in smaller organizations, the merchandise owner is likely to be directly involved in the development of the product roadmap. In larger organizations, merchandise owners would only provide their stimulation. In any character, the product owner would take feedback with every secrete and cross-check it with the intersection reserve. They would analyze every have and design to check whether the roadmap is developed correctly. If the candidate mentions how it ’ mho essential to follow the Cone of Uncertainty, their answer is a success .
13. How do you use the product vision when building a product roadmap?
This interrogate helps the recruiter to understand if the campaigner has a exhaustive cognition of the product development cycle — from the product sight to product launch. The product vision includes the purpose, double, and the values a product has. It explains why the product exists and what purpose it will serve for the customer. The product roadmap should be based on merchandise vision. It is a blueprint of how the vision will be achieved. It includes growth tactics, stakeholder alignment tactics, budget growth, a timeline, goals, milestones, and deliverables in development .
14. Tell me about the last time that a stakeholder’s feedback affected your product roadmap?
versatile stakeholders tend to suggest or desire some changes for the intersection. The product owner has to satisfy every product stakeholder to ensure intersection success. This interrogate is a examination to see how the campaigner would handle stakeholder desires. The right answer would be to coordinate and collaborate with the stakeholders while planning the product roadmap. The intersection owner would seek the stakeholders ’ stimulation and feedback while defining backlog items. continuous discussions and changeless collaboration is the samara to ensure stakeholder wishes are taken caution of .
Segment 5: User Stories and Product Backlog
User stories and product backlogs are both crucial parts of product and software exploitation. These following questions are meant to give candidates the probability to demonstrate their experience with these aspects of product development .
15. What should a good user story look like?
This question is meant to check the campaigner ‘s cognition of a drug user narrative ‘s structure. The intersection owner is the face of the customer. They are the ones who understand the customer or customer best. They must know what a product needs to be successful. That gives them the ability to control the exhaust of exploiter stories because they see the result of it .
16. How do you go about backlog prioritization?
Backlog prioritization is substantive to make certain the veracious features make it into the final product, and of course, to avoid technical debt. This motion will show whether the campaigner is able of effectively prioritizing changes to existing intersection features, to new features launch, and wiretap fixes. The best result will be if the campaigner mentions the MoSCow method. however, if person mentions and explains Stack Ranking, that would be a good indicator of success excessively .
17. What would you do if you’re unable to control the product backlog?
A merchandise owner should have absolute control over the intersection backlog items. It ’ s their job to make sure that the backlog is healthy and update. consequently, recruiters should expect a merchandise owner to have confidence when it comes to the merchandise backlog. But this interview will show how candidates would handle adversities in the subcontract. It would besides show how they would go about relying on their co-workers and managers .
Segment 6: Sprint Planning and Implementation
In an Agile team, a sprint is a set period of time during which particular work has to be completed and made ready for review. If candidates know how to effectively plan, organize, and implement a dash, chances are that they will be successful in the job .
18. Sprint planning requires a lot of resources. Should you release all of them?
Asking this doubt would tell hiring managers whether the potential product owner understands the difference between sprint plan and release planning. Prospect intersection owners should know that you don ’ t have to release every sprint. Product deployment is a planning bodily process and can be based on every dash. Product liberation is strictly business and strategic natural process. Development teams will create the products, but any future decisions are business decisions. Those decisions are made along with the intersection director .
19. How would you explain what is a sprint to someone who doesn’t have experience in product development?
Explaining what a dash is to person who does n’t have familiarity with Agile development is not an easy task. Candidates ‘ who do n’t have much have leading sprints will probable use a few industry jargons while candidates with potent familiarity with product development will be able to explain a dash using elementary words. ideally, the answer would highlight the fact that sprints are short-circuit and protected from external changes. This interview interrogate besides allows recruiters to evaluate the candidate ‘s ability to communicate with unlike audiences .
20. What do you think that justifies canceling a sprint?
It ’ sulfur crucial to figure out how the candidate would treat sprints. This interview will tell you how dedicated the intersection owner will be to each dash. The right solution would be that a cancellation only occurs when there ’ s a drastic change in priorities. For example, if some critical requirements with high priority are abruptly marked as a low priority, there would be no point in continuing far. Most importantly, the intersection owner can only make a call to cancel the dash ; they do not have absolute ability to do so .
Acing Product Owner Interview Questions
A product owner ’ sulfur caper is complicated and requires a lot of cognition and expertness. As a consequence, finding the right candidate to perform the job is not slowly. Hiring a capital merchandise owner is necessity as they are masterminds of successful products. For product owners, it ’ sulfur important to have the right expertness and cognition when you ’ rhenium give for the occupation. The product owner interview questions listed above are common questions asked by recruiters. If you need to put in concert effective interview questions, feel free to use these questions as inhalation. If you ’ re on the other side of the table — looking into landing a PO job — make sure you are able to answer these questions with assurance. estimable fortune ! If you are newly to product possession and are looking to break into a big product owner character, we recommend taking our merchandise Owner Certification Course, where you will learn how to guide PM projects using scrum foundations, how to lead scrum teams, and land a bang-up product owner subcontract.
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Josh Fechter is the co-founder of Product Manager HQ, founder of Technical Writer HQ, and founder and headway of product of Squibler. You can connect with him on LinkedIn hera .