Product Owner Interview Questions


When conducting interview it’s especially hard to determine if someone doing the interview really knows enough to do the role they’re applying to. While it’s impossible to fully vet someone in just a quick 30 minute interview below are a few questions I ask to try to determine if they have real world experiences they can share, or if they’re going off hearsay.

I usually start asking a general overview of how they became a ___________ and what have they enjoyed/not enjoyed about that role. Their answer here can start to give you early insights into their potential to be a good culture fit, and if their goals match the goals the hiring manager is desiring.

  • How long have you been a PO?
    • If they include time spent as a BA I would ask them what the difference is, in general a BA doesn’t have as much decision making authority as a PO
  • What have been some of your biggest challenges and how have you overcome them?
    • Usually a PO’s biggest challenge up front is writing stories small enough for the team to complete in a single sprint. To overcome that most PO’s work collaboratively with the team to get their help breaking these down, they may also need to coordinate with or coach the Product Manager as well
  • Have you worked with teams doing automated testing? If so how has that impacted your story writing?
    • Often teams will start to use Gherkin format for automated testing, a PO may start to lean more on QA resources to help with story writing when starting their journey to automation
    • The PO’s level of understanding here is good to know as devops maturity can be a huge organizational constraint. If a PO has worked in a mature devops org it is a definite positive and would be likely to move forward faster than a PO that has no exposure to that type of environment

Originally published here

Danny Presten

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