One of the most critical components of product management is product marketing. Product marketers play a crucial role in new product development and product launches. Their efforts can be the difference between a successful product and a failed product. Therefore, it’s essential to hire the right person. To do that, you need to have the right product marketing interview questions.
Product marketers usually work at the same level. As a result, you can use product marketing interview questions as product marketing manager interview questions and vice versa.
In this article, we’ll dive into the most common product marketing interview questions are. If you’re an aspiring product marketer, you can use this article to get prepared for your upcoming interview.
Let's check them out.
Product Marketing Interview Questions and Answers
Asking the right questions during a job interview will help to set the best candidates apart from the other ones. That not only makes the interview process more efficient by it also affects the entire hiring process, including onboarding.
Product marketing interview questions tend to be the same for most companies. Even larger companies such as Google, HubSpot, and Glassdoor tend to ask the following questions. More importantly, these questions can also be a part of the product marketing manager’s (PMM) interview.
Here are the common product marketing interview questions you can expect, in no particular order. Each question is followed by the best way to answer them.
1. Describe one product that you think is marketed poorly. Also, explain what you would do differently, and why.
Every new product needs an excellent marketing campaign that’s derived through inspiration from multiple sources. Alternatively, bad or failed marketing campaigns and efforts can be equally inspiring. They provide insight into what works, what doesn’t, and what could have been done differently. The question above is a test to see how aware the candidate is and how creatively they can fix a bad situation.
The best way to answer this question is to figure out one product that has enormous potential but its marketing efforts failed to take them far. Keep in mind that for this question, candidates don't necessarily need to avoid bad personal experiences. Acknowledging an unsuccessful previous experience shows that the candidate learned from their work experience. They can also evaluate a product from a customer point of view and provide a strategy that would help improve the campaign. Include real-world applications and creative solutions to sell your answer.
The key to a strong answer is to answer the second part of the question in detail.
2. How would you inform customers of new product feature launches?
About 80% of new products fail because teams are often too focused on the development side of the product and end up failing to communicate effectively with customers about the upcoming changes.
Candidates must show that they understand the importance of having processes in place to inform customers of the new product or feature that's coming. That can be through email announcements, mass media, social media, and any other platform that works for the company's specific clients.
The best way to boost this answer is to give an example of a product marketing strategy used to launch a new product or feature.
3. How would you justify any price changes to old customers?
With new product features, there is often a price change involved. Although product improvements are beneficial to users, the price change can lead to negative reactions and churn.
A question like this helps hiring managers to see how much the aspiring product marketers understand the customers and how they would handle these difficult situations. Typically, the answer should be given in steps. It’s important to understand where to start and to know what the customers want to hear.
It’s also best to list down some potential marketing tactics or and promotions that could work.
4. You believe the market is too saturated to get profit with a new product. What would you do in this case?
The customer perspective is often overshadowed by excessive research and development. Many organizations move forward with a product because they’ve invested so much time and money into it. They often overlook how the customer would perceive it and end up suffering a sales crunch. It’s a product marketer’s job to make sure the right product reaches the customer with the right message. It’s also their job to explain the market situation to the company on time.
Product decisions are very time-sensitive, and that makes it a priority to explain any unwanted circumstances to internal stakeholders. Candidates should be able to outline a complete strategy to deal with internal management; explain to them potential market shares, profits, and sales using hard data. Furthermore, in case the product needs to be released, they should be able to provide a marketing plan under those circumstances.
Product Marketing Role-Based Questions
5. How does your PM background look like?
Many good product marketers have work experience with several marketing jobs. Many of them have been a part of the sales team, the customer success team, or even the product development team. Their combined experience makes them an excellent product marketing candidate.
Furthermore, product marketers are responsible for increasing brand/product awareness. They use email campaigns, pricing adjustments, and targeted product positioning to achieve their goals. Therefore, product marketers require an extensive skill set and excellent analytical skills.
The product marketing career can start with any number of marketing positions. After years of working with several products, marketers often end up specializing in product marketing.
6. What do you expect from this PM role?
This question gives candidates the opportunity to show hiring managers about how much they understand about the product marketing job in general but also about how in-depth they went about the role for the specific company they are interviewing for.
Aspiring PMs must understand that there’s a clear difference between product managers and product marketing managers (or product marketers, in general). The product marketing role can be very dynamic, depending on the organization. Their job description can also require them to be good with digital marketing, conversion rates, go-to-market strategies, churn reduction strategies, and other marketing efforts.
7. What products have you previously marketed, and how?
Such questions are purely there to gauge how well candidates understand product marketing, and how much they have been involved in it. An active ability to recall all the products and projects they have worked on is a positive sign. It shows that they were always involved, provided substantial input, and followed through. Furthermore, it’s also a chance for them to sell themselves by mentioning successful products and their contributions to its success.
The best way to answer such a question is to prepare beforehand. Pre-interview research and preparedness help to recall situations faster during the interview. As an interviewee, it's a good idea to list down all the products you’ve worked on, so you remember them. When you’re answering the question, explain what marketing tactics, strategies, and campaigns were used for marketing the products. After that, explain how you contributed at every step. Answering such questions is a great way to showcase your product marketing prowess.
8. What's the best way to measure the success of a product launch?
Every interview has its share of technical questions, and this is one of them. While talking about past product experiences gives insight into how well you, as a potential PM, can articulate yourself, such questions show how much you know. These questions show how much marketing and product knowledge you have. It also shows how up-to-date you are with current marketing and industry trends.
To answer this question, candidates need to be aware of the latest marketing tools. They have to be able to list down the KPIs and metrics that need tracking to assess the success of a product launch.
That includes launch campaign metrics such as lead generated, page views, news coverage, and promotional channel metrics. They should also mention product adoption metrics, such as product trials, user retention, and customer usage. Furthermore, market impact metrics such as revenue, market share, and competitive win rate may seem like a given, but they need a mention. Lastly, they should also explain why qualitative internal and external feedback is important in determining product launch success.
9. How do you make sure that the sales team understands how to present the product in an engaging manner?
Product marketers should understand that the marketing and sales teams need to work together. Product marketers have to help sales teams understand the product and marketing positions to make sure the right sales approach is adopted. Since product marketers are responsible for how a product is perceived in the market, it’s their job to convey that to the sales team. They have to validate value propositions and explain them forward.
The best way to answer such a question is by mentioning previous experience. As a product marketing candidate, you should detail and explain how you collaborated with sales teams in the past to ensure product success. You should also mention how the sales team used your information and how successful they were. Your answer should include communication and collaboration methods and tools. You should mention things like weekly meetings, daily discussions, two-way feedback sessions, and more.
10. Have you been involved in a failed product marketing campaign? If yes, what do you think went wrong, and what was your lesson from it?
Such questions are the perfect opportunity to talk about previous failures in a prosperous way. Every product marketer has been a part of a failed product marketing campaign. If not failed, then a campaign that didn’t do as good as it was supposed to do. Those experiences help you understand what to do and what not to do. They’re valuable lessons and help you grow, and become more aware.
Preparation is the best way to answer such questions. Interviewees should try to recall any failed product marketing campaigns they were a part of previously. You should already know what went wrong and why it failed; you just have to explain it in a concise yet complete manner. Most importantly, you should focus on what you learned from that failure. It doesn’t matter whether it’s a direct or indirect failure, talk about what you learned as a result of it.
If you haven’t been part of a failed campaign, you can always give an example of someone else’s case study.
11. How do you make sure you and your team members communicate effectively?
A large part of why products succeed is effective communication among teams. Interdepartmental communication and collaboration are vital to every product’s success. Everyone has to be on the same page to avoid any issues and discrepancies. Product marketers are the most crucial team players because they’re responsible for communicating effectively with customers.
To answer the question correctly, candidates must demonstrate knowledge of communication tools. More importantly, they should understand the proper flow of information. They should explain how to set up communication channels, two-way feedback systems, reminders, and what tools are best for communication. They should also mention the difference between personal information, public information, and research information. Explain when each kind of information should be and can be communicated.
12. How do you keep up-to-date with the latest industry and market trends?
Such a question aims to check how involved you are with your industry. It helps paint a picture of how much you know, how much effort you make to be on top, and how aware you are of your surroundings generally. It’s also an opportunity to portray your understanding of product marketing, the industry, and the market.
The best way to answer such questions is to talk about industry changes, unique market trends, and updates. After that, you can mention how you came across that information. Mention any blogs, books, or sessions you have attended or read. Furthermore, you should mention any courses or certifications you completed recently. For market trends, you can site activities such as effective user interviews as your source.
Acing Product Marketing Interview Questions
Most product marketing interview questions tend to be more marketing-oriented rather than product-oriented. Therefore, you should brush up on your marketing knowledge.
Furthermore, product marketing is more about how a product is perceived and identifying the reasons behind that perception. Eventually, those reasons are utilized for effective marketing efforts. True product marketers use that perspective to tackle product marketing challenges.
Recruiters should adjust their product marketing interview questions to reflect that. Alternatively, product marketers should commit to product marketing from a user’s perspective; that would automatically help you ace your product marketing interview questions.
If you are new to product management and are looking to break into your first product role, we recommend taking our One Week PM course, where you will learn fundamentals of product management, launch your own product, and get on the fast track towards landing your first product job.