PM Case Solving 101 – Product Management Interview Questions

With this piece, we understand an approach to solving Product Management Interview Questions/Cases. The idea behind this piece is to give you a broad overview of the approach using the example of Big Basket, which, the author had submitted for a PM case competition. Let’s dive right into the piece!

A Product Management case study involves various steps from developing a Product to eventually managing it. Today, we’ll work together to derive a few actionable tips by going through an example to help you understand and eventually solve a case study, doing research to get some background information, and finally, identifying key metrics. Let’s start with the Problem statement!

Problem Statement (by PM School)
For the next quarter, we are planning to introduce video e-commerce. We believe it’ll unlock the next phase of growth in terms of engagement and monetisation. Our UX Research team has collected enough qualitative data to help us reach this decision.

As a Senior PM, your task is to come up with a plan which is actionable.
Understanding the Problem and Goals

The very first step to approach a Problem such as this is to study the Firm and its Product followed by Laying down the company’s “Mission Statement”.

For example, Mission for BigBasket is to walk you away from the drudgery of grocery shopping and allows an easy relaxed way of browsing and shopping for groceries. 

The next step is to Identify the Problem and goals.

For this case,

Problem: there is a boom of Video Apps becoming E-commerce Apps. As short videos start to look more and more like commercials.

Goal: to introduce a Video E-commerce and thereby increase the growth in terms on engagement and monetization.

Product Management Interview questions - Goals and Mission statement
Company Problem and Goal Discovery
Users and their Pain Points

The next step now is to Understand the Users. For this activity, we Identify and use user personas. What are user personas? Well, they’re the representation of a customer segment of a company. Every Product released by the company passes the user persona test before the Product is launched to folks out there.

What factors account for in these personas?

Demographic factors: Age, Education, Location and Mentality.

Professional background: Job Title, Skills, Responsibilities, and Experience.

For this case study we are considering age, education, location, Job title and mentality for defining person’s background.

For example the user persona could be,

Seema Sinha

Age – 19 years

Education- Student

Location- Mumbai

Mentality- Very much cautious about her looks and career.

Understand their Pain points

Financial, Productivity, Support, Time etc.

For this case the main issue faced by the customer’s during this pandemic was hygiene. Therefore, whether proper hygiene is maintained or not is pain point for the customer.

Product Management Interview questions - User Persona examples, pain points example.jpg
User Persona and Pain Point Example
Solutions and Features

After you deep dive and figure out the problem for the consumers, it is now time to Identify the Solutions. This could be a building a new App/Product/Website, or adding various features to the existing ones. For this focus of this case, we will look at features.

What? What feature do you want to add?

Who? Who are the targeting audience?

Why? What’s the benefit to your company?

Some ideas for new features:

Feature 1- Video Related to Product will be visible on the Product description page.

Feature 2- User can record and upload review Videos of a particular Product.

Feature 3- Adding a “challenges” page where users can see the various video challenges and can upload their videos

Product Management Interview questions - Features and solutions
(If possible) Add Mock-ups

Use tools like Balsamiq for making wireframes.

Mock-up gives us an idea how our final product will look. So, while designing mock-ups keep in mind of the targeting audience, try to keep it easier for them.

Product Management Interview questions - Mockups
Identify the Metrics for success

Finally, Add Metrics. This would mean Identifying the KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) based on your Product or category and knowing if the Product is doing well.

While choosing the right key performance indicators or KPIs, we must be clear on the business goals our product serves.

For this case, the KPIs should be Number of Active users, Number of videos uploaded and seen, Number of Key User Actions Per Session.

  • Identify the success metrics to analyze the performance.

For this case we need to know how many people are actually seeing are video and for that we need to analyse the success of this feature by adding several metrics

For example,

% of Videos Viewed =

(Sum of no. of views on the videos) /

(No. of users visited our msite/website)

The GTM (Go-To-Market) Strategy:

This is where your focus is on Recognizing the Gaps – filling them and then coming up with a launch plan.

In the product launch plan, we document the summary of ideas, activities, and processes we will use to release product in the market.

The basic roadmap contains ideation, concept, testing and release.

Related: Take a look at Marketing Strategy 101 - we're sure this may help you early on
Product Management Interview questions - Go-to-market-strategy-gtm-strategy

You could approach this question in similar way in an interview. Be sure to take your pauses, think through before you answer. Mockups are not mandatory and even not possible in an interview – but you can definitely give it a shot by describing how the Product may possibly look by talking about the User Journey.

The Author:

The author of this piece is Priya Sinha. Priya is a student at IIT Kharagpur and is a Product Management Enthusiast. The slides you’ve seen above is all her work. We appreciate her energy to help aspiring Product Managers out there! If you liked her work too, go ahead and drop a thank you and share this piece with your best friend on WhatsApp.

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