A good product manager or product owner carriers the idea of the company product forward. A PM owns the roadmap and works on lining ideas, challenges and problems. PMs balance the questions: customer purported needs, UX explorations and tech teams potential solutions. They provide a personal view but draw mostly from others. They spec and draw and speak the tech language.
Apart from specific company fit, my questions to candidates are about the 3 responsibilities of a Product Manager:
Understand the business and the product opportunities to improve it
- What do you know about our company? What are we doing here, what's our potential?
- Where is the industry going?
- What's impact to you? List the 5 most important ways in which a product improves. How would you define success in your job? Tell me about your biggest impact in a product management role you've had. How did you measure that?
- In 60 seconds, make an accurate picture of X? Do you know what MECE is?
- What do you hate about our product/ another product? Why? How would you make it better?
- What features would you kill in our product/ product X? Prioritize them for killing until there is no product left. Where would you draw the line of what gets killed and not? Why's that?
Manage the product project. Adequately balance scope, time, cost and quality.
- What's the impact of our business model in designing a Product? What are the critical challenges? Do you have the skills and experience when dealing with similar problems? Explain.
- Do you have experience in working with a team like ours? What do you think about X as a technology?
- What is an effective project management? What are the variables to optimize?
- How do you organize yourself? How do you communicate with people? How do you detail an issue?
- Talk to me about Agile, Kanban, Scrum, X. Which do you like the most?
- The "one more thing"
- Fo you think our product is beautiful? What's magic about it?
- Tell me about the most incredible experience you've created
- How do you systematically create those?
And that's all! Now, people aren't required to nail all of the questions? I wouldn't nail all of them, for sure. Between Values and these Technical questions, a good interview will take you perhaps some 2 hours. Some fare better in some questions, some in others. Cross check the most obvious answers with their past managers. Some questions don't have a right answer. What matters is that you get a good feeling about who you're about to hire!