A chief product officer (CPO) is a C-suite executive who is in charge of the organization’s overall product strategy and execution. The duties of a CPO start throughout the stages of product invention and vision, and continue during the marketing campaign and after the product is released.
As it’s a crucial role for any organization, the interview process for this role is always under heavy scrutiny. To keep you better prepared, below is a list of chief product officer interview questions, along with examples.
1. Can You Explain a Little About Our Organization and Product?
The interviewer frequently asks this question to see if you have learned enough about the company and the product. Additionally, it gives them a sense of your commitment to the position and your level of attention to detail. You can give a succinct explanation of their business model and the product to respond to this question.
Example: “I am familiar with your organization and I believe it’s a great product for anyone commuting every day. Managing tickets from just one application is an easy and effortless process because of this.”
2. What Skills do You Possess as a CPO?
This inquiry is intended to determine whether you know the abilities needed for this position and whether you are prepared for the role’s responsibilities.
Example: “Communication, problem-solving, leadership, and critical thinking are a few crucial skills for this role. I can communicate with different teams and specialists from different departments with the help of these skills. I have also handled a variety of business circumstances in the past, which will assist me to perform well on the project.”
3. How Would You Describe the Relationship Between Chief Product Officers and Chief Marketing Officers?
This question may be asked of you during an interview to determine your comprehension of the two positions and their relationship. Additionally, it would help them realize how your comprehension of the connections between the jobs will be advantageous to their company.
Example: “The CMO and the CPO are vital roles in any organization. The CMO would promote the product, determine the messaging, discuss comments with the CPO, and note the improved product. The CPO, on the other hand, would develop the product based on market research.”
4. Why do You Want to Join Our Company as a CPO?
This question is often asked by employers to gauge if you’re willing to take on the responsibilities of the position.
Example: “I would want to work with your company because of the place and respect it holds in the market, and because of the product that your company has. I am keen to work with a company that has developed this product, and look forward to taking it further.”
5. What Value Will You Ensure When You Fail to Increase Margins?
This may be one of the trickier chief product officer interview questions to gauge your capacity to accept responsibility for your deficiencies and make improvements.
Example: “First, I’d look at the margins and the potential reasons why the product did not succeed as intended. Then, to fit it back into the budget and make up for the marginal loss, I would take some steps to lower the cost of procurement and work around other issues.”
6. Provide an Example of a Time When You Had to Make a Difficult Decision Regarding a Product You Were Overseeing.
The interviewer will ask you this question to examine your decision-making and critical-thinking abilities. It’ll help them understand if you’re fit as a leader and if you can make an informed decision under pressure.
Example: “In my previous experience as a CPO, I had to take a harsh call regarding one of our products. The product development and its upgrades cost a lot of money to the company which couldn’t be reciprocated in profits. As a result, I had to discuss the termination of that product with every decision-maker from the company involved. Looking at and sharing insights, we came to a conclusion regarding the termination of that product.”
7. Do You Have Experience in Managing a Product Management Team?
An interviewer may ask you this question in order to understand your leadership and team management skills.
Example: “I have managed a team of seven professionals in my past company. It was an insightful journey for me, as all of them had different personalities and we all had to be on the same page for the benefit of the product and organization.”
8. How do You Perform Market Research?
This question helps the recruiter understand the tools and strategies you use for doing your market research.
Example: “I start with getting a clear idea about the demographics of my research topic. Then, as I’m understanding those, I look for competitors’ data and start analyzing both in order to understand the nuances of that product’s effect on the market.”
9. How Often Should a Product Be Redesigned?
This question is the most insightful question because this indicates your whole understanding of product development, product management, and a product life cycle.
Example: “I think a product should be redesigned once it feels like the quality has started depleting or it is not meeting the needs of our current market trends. That can happen once a quarter or once in 2 quarters or maybe even a year if the market stays with the same relevancy throughout.”
10. Would You Like to Ask us Any Questions?
This is one of the key chief product officer interview questions where you can clarify any doubts you may be having regarding the role or the company. It’s important that you identify a list of questions regarding the culture, profitability, challenges, or future of the organization, to ensure it’s the right fit.
- What would my day-to-day responsibilities look like for this role in your organization?
- What is the work culture like in your organization?
- What is the greatest strength of your organization?
- What is the greatest weakness of your organization and how can the CPO role help?
- What is the 10-year BHAG of the organization?
- How does your organization stack up to the competition?
Emeritus can assist you in obtaining this position, and assist you in deciding how to respond to any chief product officer interview questions. Consider taking a chief product officer program to sharpen your skills and prepare you for the life of a CPO.
By Siddhesh Shinde
Write to us at content@Emeritus.org