Acko Product Management Interview Guide 2022

Content:

  1. PM Interview Structure
  2. PM Interview Questions
  3. Negotiations
  4. Product Organizational structure
  5. Asking the Right Questions
  6. Conclusion

PM Interview Structure

The process of getting the call from HR to obtaining the offer letter takes about 3-4 weeks on an average.

Phase 1 (Exploratory Round and Problem Solving)

1. Introductory Discussion and Assignment

This is the stage when you’ll be interacting with someone from the HR team. As soon as your CV is shortlisted or an employee refers you, the HR will set up an exploratory discussion based on your availability

🔓The intent of this round is to understand your past experience, expectations and aspirations for the future.

Common mistakes: Speaking poorly about previous employers and coworkers instead of focusing on your own journey.


2. Problem Solving And Discussion

In conversation with a current PM at Acho, you will be given a real-world problem statement where the interviewer will judge you on how you use structured thinking and frameworks to understand a problem on the macro level and break it down into deeper and smaller areas. The problem statement can be from any domain/industry/business/context. You can also expect non-based questions on metrics and guesstimates can also be part of this interview round.

NOTE: be ready for some insurance related scenarios such as how would you implement auto insurance renewals?

🔓The interviewer will evaluate you on the breadth and depth of your thought process through this exercise. Be as exhaustive and thorough as possible.

Common mistakes: Thinking that there is a single universal solution and not exploring different possibilities, restricting yourself to artificial constraints.

3. Product Thinking and Improvement

The interviewer will ask you about your favourite product and how it can be better. This will be followed by a discussion about designing a product and the approach you would take for the same. Be prepared to answer questions about the toughest part of your last job and elucidation upon the successful product initiatives you drove in your last company. Never lose focus from the customer or what you are trying to achieve for him/her.

🔓You’re expected to have clarity around frameworks and approaches taken for product improvement/design case questions.

Common mistakes: Not pinpointing the exact problem you are trying to solve and instead trying to solve the initial ‘hazy’ problem statement.

Phase 2 (Understanding Fitment)

1. Culture Fitment

In this round, you will be interacting with the CTO and will be evaluated for your cultural fitment. The round is meant to assess whether you would be a good fit. There are no right or wrong answers. Be honest and think thoroughly before you answer.

🔓There may be questions around your past experiences, career aspirations, hypothetical scenarios, your strengths and weaknesses, etc. We highly recommend that you invest some time in preparing yourself for the interview.

Common mistakes: Lying about your personality in order to seem more aligned with what you perceive the company wants.

PM Interview Questions

  1. How would you go about redesigning your most used product?

Pro Tip: They will focus on the approach you take and whether you break down the problem into smaller chunks in a structured manner.

2. Can you name your favorite product and why? What are the limitations of your favourite product?

Pro Tip: A quick overview of your favourite products and your ability to break them down to critique the features and flows. You can always have this question prepared by having a pre-defined approach of breaking down the pros and cons of your most used product.

3. Can you tell us about a story that you have worked on or a problem you solved during your previous product management experience?

Pro Tip: They aren’t looking for a very detailed answer, focus on your spikes (things you are very good at), and try to weave a story around yourself.

4. Please share one instance when you had to convince someone on your team of something or when you resolved a conflict?

Pro Tip: This is a common culture fitment round question, so make sure you have a real and true scenario ready!

5. Have you worked on APIs? What kind of APIs does your current product use? REST vs SOAP APIs?

Pro Tip: An in-depth discussion on APIs that you have encountered till now and how the current organization you work at utilizes them.

6. Use any arithmetic operation to create 24 from 6, 5, 4, 1 (or something similar, a brain teaser!)

Pro Tip: Once approach can be:

4! - 6 - 5- 1

= 4*3*2*1 - 0

= 24

7. Some basic SQL queries


Pro Tip: For you to have a working knowledge and conceptual clarity of SQL queries.

Negotiations

On a scale of 1-10, with 1 being the easiest and 10 being the hardest, most applicants rated the interview and the salary negotiation process at around 6 points.

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Asking the Right Questions

  1. Can you show me examples of projects I’d be working on?

Why ask this : Shows your curiosity and enthusiasm for the company & your planning abilities.

2. What does a typical day look like?

Why ask this : Shows you care about company culture, and are curious about how you would spend your time at the company.

3. What are the biggest challenges that someone in this position would face?

Why ask this : Shows you have a planning nature and are eager to learn about the intricacies of the role.

4. What are the performance expectations of this position over the first 12 months?

Why ask this : Shows you know how to do expectation setting and want to understand the demands of the company from you.

5. What’s your favorite part about working here?

Why ask this : Shows you are eager to learn about company culture.

6. What are the current goals that the company is focused on, and how does this team work to support hitting those goals?

Why ask this : Shows you want to understand company vision and how you would contribute to it.

Product Organisation Structure

💡
No of PMs in the team - 50 to 60 PMs currently
PM to Engineers ratio - 1:3

Conclusion

Apart from exceptional PM skills, high growth startups look for a dependable and well rounded individual that operates with a user first approach. PMs have to work in a collaborative environment which makes good communication skills a must amongst other qualities like the ability to prioritise and execute fast.

What makes any candidate a strong YES for everyone on the interview panel is their approach to the problem statement and the structure of their solution. This post has tried to cover all the information one needs to crack a product management interview at Acko General Insurance.

Best of Luck !

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