A Product Owner plays an important role that defines the product vision and direction. The success or failure depends upon how well the Product owner can articulate and communicate the needs to the team. A Product Owner is largely successful if S/he understands and practices the Product management aspects well and can bring such experience into the role.
When a Product owner role opens up in an organization, there are several perspectives in which the interviews are approached. Given the several stances of the Product Owner (PO) role, the recruiter needs to understand how s/he tackles different scenarios as part of the job profile. The key is to have a broad discussion around the assumed responsibilities by both parties. This will ensure that the expectations are understood, and the Product Owner can fulfil the duties.
Product Owner Interview Questions
In this article, we will discuss a few questions that are most important in a PO interview. We will skip the initial icebreaker questions such as “Tell us about yourself” and jump to questions more pertinent to the role. So, here we go.
- How is a Product Manager different from a Product Owner? Can the Product Owner perform the duties of a Product manager?
- How do you develop the product roadmap and how often would you revisit it? And what makes you revisit it?
- Who are the important stakeholders in your product prioritization decisions? How do you work with them?
- Would you say No to any requirements? If so, what are some of the scenarios in which you had said No earlier?
- How would you spend the first 1–2 months in the organization if you are onboarded?
- What are the metrics that you would track for your product? In other words, what would determine your success as a PO?
- What are some of the prioritization techniques that you would use as a PO? What is your favorite and why?
- Have your ever killed some features in the product that you dealt with? And why did you do so?
- How much time would you spend with the development team in explaining the user stories? How do you ensure your availability to the team?
- What do you understand by Technical debt? How important is it for you to know the intricacies of the Tech debt?
Here’s a bonus question that might make sense to ask the PO, just in case:
- Can Product Owner play the Scrum Master role as well? Provide the rationale for your answer.
When looking at the above questions, you could see that we have covered stakeholder management, negotiation capabilities, tools and techniques in a Product Owner’s armoury and time management aspects. Depending on the replies for each of these questions, you could expect more context-driven questions to be discussed in the interviews, along with some additional areas covering soft skills, methods, or frameworks. The key is being able to communicate and substantiate the answers in an easy to understand manner. Of course, nobody is perfect, but it helps if the basic understanding of the product owner profile clearly comes out during the interview.