The One Thing I Wish More Candidates Asked in Their Product Management Interviews

Ben Staples
5 min readNov 7, 2022
Photo by Christina @ wocintechchat.com on Unsplash

This article was originally published on www.Ben-Staples.com

Finding a new job is hard. Hiring is also hard. As a hiring manager you’re working two jobs; one as an interviewer / recruiter, the other still trying to fulfill your normal responsibilities. I recently had an opening on my team. After countless interviews, phone calls, and screeners, we’ve landed with a stellar Product Manager that made all that pain worth it.

Now that the marathon is over, I thought back on the experience and asked myself; what is the one thing I wished candidates asked in their interview that never seemed to come up? All interviewers should save time for questions, and coming prepared with the right ones to ask will book-end your interview with either a great finish or a terrible one.

Well I’m sick of waiting for someone to ask so here it is. Thanks to Bessy Tam for originally teaching me this as an interviewee.

The very best question to ask at the end of your Product Management interview is:

Do you have any concerns about me as a candidate for this role that I could potentially address?

One clarifier before we jump in; to make this a non awkward question, it 1000% needs to be asked in the realm of addressable things. You do not, I REPEAT, DO NOT want to ask “did I get it?” or “how did I do?”. These are completely different and can make things quite uncomfortable.

Maybe the interviewer is reading into one thing you said too much, maybe they are just looking for a bit more clarification, but this question can unlock a cornucopia of feedback that can literally change the trajectory of your professional career.

This magical question does three very important things:

1. Potentially saves or solidifies an interview

Interviews can be a roller coaster of emotion. In a very short amount of time (generally minutes and not hours) interviewers need to assess if you will be a good fit for the role, the team, and the company. They need to figure out if you know what you’re talking about, and if you come to life as well as your resume.

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Ben Staples

Ben Staples has over 7 years of product management and PMM eCommerce experience from at Nordstrom, Trunk Club, and Vistaprint . Currently based in Chicago IL