Specific duties of a Product Owner can vary from business to business — along with factors like company culture, work environment, and team dynamics — it’s vital to tailor any job description and interview content to your company’s needs and expectations.
Hiring Guide: Product Owner
Product Owner interview templates
Featuring content from professionals at companies like:
Why you should hire a Product Owner
Product Owners help companies achieve success by managing product backlogs to optimize the value of the product and the business. They are an integral part of a product development team and rely on their deep expertise of customer needs to solve problems by developing customer-centric solutions.
In this hiring guide, we'll provide everything you need to hire a great Product Owner.
Top skills for Product Owners
Maintain and Prioritize Product Backlog
Agile Project Management
Sample Product Owner job description
Product Owners are generally responsible for representing the voice of the user to the product development team. They focus on delivering the most end value to users by defining the product goals and features, prioritizing the product backlog, and working with cross-functional teams to execute those requirements. Although sometimes Product Owner and Product Manager titles are used interchangeably, Product Managers tend to work more on product strategies and roadmaps to deliver a vision for the company whereas Product Owners are more tactical and translate strategies to actionable objectives to build product requirements. Product Owners also tend to appear more in companies that build scrum teams and use agile project management methodologies.
Sample interview questions for Product Owners
Tell me about how you have worked with cross-functional teams in the past to successfully bring a product idea to life. How did you collaborate with teams, and why was it successful?
What does this question reveal?
Candidate has the ability to work effectively with key product teams (design, engineering)
- Emphasizes the importance of synergy between key teams (product, design and engineering)
- Proactively holds roadmap sessions to align stakeholders and track progress
- Actively listens to others to solicit and incorporate ideas/feedback
- Communicates the business case behind the idea to reinforce alignment in thinking
- Explains how collaboration contributed to the project’s success
Imagine you're asked to analyze user data to inform the next steps in development. How would you go about analyzing the data and making development decisions?
Alycia Damp, PhD IRHR
What does this question reveal?
Candidate has the ability to apply user findings to drive development initiatives for product success
- Gathers data from various reliable user sources (e.g., feedback, user research)
- Discusses incorporating trend research to improve user experience and design
- Explains how they incorporate insights into product-related decisions
- Reassesses existing priorities by incorporating user feedback/suggestions
- Acknowledges the importance of continuously conducting research to improve products