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Fintech Product Manager Interview
Questions

25 Questions and Answers by
| Marcie is the principal and founder of CopyHawk, a company that offers editing, writing, and career coaching services. She loves to revamp client resumes so they can land the job of their dreams.

Question 1 of 25

How would you describe our product to someone who wants something similar but cheaper?

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Fintech Product Manager Interview Questions

  1. 1.

    How would you describe our product to someone who wants something similar but cheaper?

      Product managers are in charge of a new product's overall vision. They need to be able to translate that vision into everyday language that colleagues and prospective customers will understand. With this question, the interviewer is testing your communication skills and whether or not you researched their company and its products prior to the interview. Consider mentioning product features, cost/benefits, and user testimonials during your answer.

      Marcie's Answer

      "If I were talking to someone who liked our new product but wanted it cheaper, I'd say that our stock trading app is innovative and based on a smart algorithm technology that makes it far superior to other stock trading apps. Unlike other cheaper apps, it offers up-to-the-minute live updates from multiple stock exchanges that make it easier to carry out informed and profitable trades. It also provides personalized investing ideas and is highly secure. Spending an extra $25 on our app versus another one will give you at least $100 more in benefits. Our users say that they make more profitable trades on our app compared to any other ones they've tried."

  2. 2.

    Describe a time when you had trouble reaching a consensus and how you handled it.

      Fintech product managers frequently have to persuade others to support a vision that they've set for a product, which can be a challenge. Talk to the interviewer about the actions you would take to overcome objections and bring key stakeholders to a consensus. If possible, use the STAR method (situation, task, action, result) to describe how you've handled this before.

      Marcie's Answer

      "Every project entails different types of stakeholders with different priorities and expectations. As the fintech product manager, you have to be able to manage these various personalities and bring them all into alignment. You also have to be able to clearly communicate your vision so you can get them all on board with it. At my last job, I had spent considerable time conducting customer and market research, identifying a market opportunity, and creating a vision for a new product. When I met with the various stakeholders, I discovered that although I had complete buy-in from upper-level management, sales, and marketing, the engineering team was hesitant because they saw some challenges in the development stage of the product. I realized that I had gone right into granular details with them without explaining the broad strategic objectives of the product first. After I took a step back and did this, they began to support the overall idea and were willing to work with me to tackle the technical challenges that they saw."

  3. 3.

    What KPIs do you typically use to track performance and success?

      Fintech product managers use a variety of key performance indicators (KPIs) to monitor and measure performance. You'll want to mention several KPIs and explain how you use them. Make sure to provide examples from various categories, including business, product development, product quality, and product usage metrics.

      Marcie's Answer

      "I rely on KPIs to track and measure product growth, position, progress, and success, and I use a ton of them. A few of my favorites include retention, churn, attrition, and customer lifetime value, which help me monitor customer movement. I also regularly look at metrics like margins, gross margins, cost of goods sold (COGS), and operational cost of goods sold (OCOGS) so I can calculate cost basis and profitability. In addition, I monitor metrics like resource availability, on-time delivery, and team velocity, as well as support tickets and testing. Finally, I always watch revenues/bookings, the sales funnel, and customer counts to see how the product is selling. There are so many KPIs, and they are invaluable when it comes to monitoring the success of a product. I rely on them heavily and make many of my decisions based on them."

  4. 4.

    What is the top technical skill that you possess?

      There are a variety of technical skills that the interviewer would love for you to have, including being an expert at collecting, extracting, and analyzing data, using Excel, running A/B tests, churning out prototypes, and knowing how to code, among others. Talk to them about one skill in particular that you excel at and enjoy. If possible, give an example of a time when using that skill resulted in a positive outcome.

      Marcie's Answer

      "In my spare time, I like to learn how to code in various coding languages like CSS, Javascript, and HTML. I also spend time thinking and learning about how various apps, servers, databases, and codes are used to create the products that I envision. Having an understanding of these technological elements allows me to more easily communicate with the engineering team when we're working together during the development stage to bring a product to life. I look forward to continuing to increase my knowledge in this area as my career progresses."

  5. 5.

    Talk to me about what scalability, securability, billability, and reliability mean in the context of a SaaS fintech product.

      The interviewer wants to know that you're familiar with the various elements that are necessary to launch and maintain successful SaaS fintech products. Explain how you define these terms and, if possible, give examples of them in action.

      Marcie's Answer

      "I am familiar with all of the terms you mention. To start, I would define the scalability of a product as the ability to grow it without any impact on its production environment. In other words, maintaining peak performance of the product even while encountering high growth and ensuring that the customers aren't affected at all. When it comes to securability, this refers to meeting regulatory requirements and handling compliance reporting, as well as managing things like encryption, archiving, and authentication. It also means being prepared for certain scenarios like high-availability (HA) and disaster recovery (DR). Billability, on the other hand, is a term that refers to a system being able to handle various billing options whether they be based on subscribers, usage, or transactions. This system needs to be easily adjustable and offer simplified reporting of usage and other metrics. Finally, reliability means that performance and uptime need to be working at peak levels and there should be backup strategies in place if needed."

  6. 6.

    How experienced are you in the end-of-life process for a product?

      It's important that a fintech product manager know how to shut down a product or service. Talk to the interviewer about the various elements you would take under consideration during this process. If possible, cite personal examples. Consider emphasizing how important it is to not lose large clients or damage the company's image when going through this process.

      Marcie's Answer

      "In my experience, there's a lot to consider when shutting down a product line for a company. First, there's the high-level decision-making that goes into choosing to do this. What is driving this decision? After the decision has been finalized, there's the need to inform and prepare the sales team so they can communicate this appropriately to customers. When I was last involved in the end-of-life process for a product, there was a ton of discussion around how to migrate customers to various alternative products. And then we had to effectively communicate this to the customers and help them make the change. We also had to consider the financial aspect of this decision. For example, would the company offer any refunds or rebates? Also, was the opportunity there to upsell customers? My team and I also had to make decisions about when to stop selling the product, when to discontinue its availability, and when to stop providing customer support in relation to it. Finally, we had to think about our larger customers and make sure we were still fulfilling our contractual obligations to them. It's not an easy process and there's a lot that goes into it, but I have experience in this area and am capable of successfully carrying it out from start to finish."

  7. 7.

    How will you gain credibility from the engineering and development teams when you are first hired?

      As a fintech product manager, you will be expected to lead. It's not always easy to jump right into an established team and immediately be respected, liked, and considered credible. The interviewer wants to find out how you will initially engage with the team, as well as how you plan to listen and communicate with them.

      Marcie's Answer

      "When I first step into a new role, I start by going around the office and introducing myself to everyone. I want them to put a face to the name and see that I am accessible, friendly, and enthusiastic. Within my first week, I set up a meeting with my new team so everyone can get to know me and I can get to know them. During this meeting, I ask for their feedback and ideas, and I listen to what they say. Basically, I am in learning mode. I also schedule remote and/or in-person meetings with other teams as well, the ones that I will work a lot with, like engineering, development, sales, and marketing. Again, I ask for their thoughts, and I listen. As we all progress, my goal is to show that I am collaborative, fair, honest, and hardworking. Whenever the moments arise when a timely decision needs to be made, I make it without hesitating. I also set reasonable deadlines and expectations, in addition to working with people rather than just barking orders at them. Finally, I think respect and credibility are earned over time as others learn that I know what I'm talking about but am open to their thoughts and ideas as well. It's a process and one I look forward to starting!"

  8. 8.

    Tell me about the elements that comprise a competitive analysis.

      It's likely the interviewer is looking for you to break this question down into two parts. First, you'll want to discuss what a SWOT analysis is and how you perform one. Second, talk about how to conduct a technical feature-by-feature competitor comparison. Show the interviewer that you have a thorough understanding of all aspects of a competitive analysis.

      Marcie's Answer

      "Typically when I conduct a competitive analysis, I start by performing a SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threat) analysis on my company. Doing this helps me to determine our positioning in the market, and then my team and I can create appropriate sales and marketing language. After this happens, I put together a report that compares our product's features against similar competitor products. This allows us to see where our competitors are falling short so we can make sure to fill those gaps. It's important that my team and I examine both the technical and business aspects of the product during this stage in the process so we can ensure a successful launch."

  9. 9.

    What methods do you use to determine what customers want and need?

      It's crucial that a fintech product manager know how to conduct customer research so they can clarify what market opportunities exist. The interviewer wants to know what kinds of methods you might use to connect with customers to find out what they need and want. Try to provide some examples of times in the past when you've performed this type of research and what the outcomes were.

      Marcie's Answer

      "It's imperative that fintech product managers be skilled in conducting customer research so that they can determine product positioning and requirements and understand competitive landscapes. Over the years, I've gained a lot of experience in performing market research that has helped to ensure the success of multiple products I've helped launch. I've administered surveys and questionnaires, in addition to looking at data and analytics, which provide quantitative results. I've also used qualitative methods like focus groups, interviews, and customer observation. Occasionally, I use secondary research tools as well, including commercial and public sources."

  10. 10.

    How do you communicate your product vision?

      It's important that a fintech product manager be able to build a consensus around their product's vision and strategy by key stakeholders. Discuss with the interviewer the techniques and tools you use to do this. Be sure to emphasize that you bring everyone on board and don't just announce and push through your idea without support.

      Marcie's Answer

      "I use various methods to explain and communicate the strategy and idea I've developed around a new product. In part, the method I use depends on my audience. But, most importantly, I strive to make sure everyone buys in on the idea and understands why it's a good one. In particular, I use data and analytics to support my recommendations. I also make sure to provide a roadmap with a timeline so everyone can see how long the project will take. Depending on who the stakeholders are and how many of them there are, sometimes I meet one-on-one with them while other times I hold a larger meeting with multiple people present. In the end, I make sure that I clearly explain my reasons, support them with data, and make sure everyone understands why we're looking to move in this direction."

  11. 11.

    How does this job fit into your overall career trajectory?

      Most people have an idea of how they see their career going and where they want to be in three to five years. The interviewer wants to make sure you don't view this job as a short-term stepping stone. While most people don't stay at a single company for life anymore, the interviewer wants to be sure that you aren't going to up and leave six months after they hire you. Assure them that you are looking to stay with their company for a long period of time.

      Marcie's Answer

      "I've climbed the product manager ranks for several years now, starting as an entry-level associate fintech product manager and gradually moving up into a mid-level position. My goal in the next several years is to continue to strengthen my skills and build my knowledge so that I can move into a senior-level product management role and perhaps even become a product leader at some point. But I'm most excited about your company and its products, and I really want to be a part of it for the long-term. I see the potential to make an impact within your company and hope I get the opportunity to do so."

  12. 12.

    What would you improve about our product?

      This can be a somewhat challenging question to answer but really what the interviewer wants to see is that you have researched their company and its products. You will want to talk knowledgeably about what their company does and make a thoughtful suggestion or two about how they might improve one of their products. Make sure to lead off with some of the things that you like about their product so your response is more positive than negative.

      Marcie's Answer

      "I hold the SEC filings service you provide your customers in high regard because it appears to be very useful, saving companies money when it comes to analyst salaries and assisting them in making smart investment decisions faster. I would love to lead the team that develops and launches other similar services for your clients. Having said that, if I had to improve upon your service, I would look to automate it even more as right now you rely on a lot of data analysts to parse data manually for you."

  13. 13.

    In your opinion, what makes a good fintech product?

      A fintech product manager should be able to identify and develop good products. This means they should have some criteria in mind when judging whether a fintech product is well designed or not. Talk to the interviewer about what you take into consideration when determining this.

      Marcie's Answer

      "I think that it's imperative that we spend our time building great products, not mediocre ones. In my opinion, a great fintech product, first and foremost, meets the needs of the company's target audience. It provides a simple and intuitive solution to a problem for them. Also, I think that the nature of fintech means that the product should be more efficient or better than traditional financial methods, an improvement that provides additional services and/or is able to quickly adapt to the user's needs. Moreover, a great fintech product will be fully compliant with all governmental regulations and technologically secure."

  14. 14.

    What processes and methods would you use to launch a new fintech product?

      A huge part of a fintech product manager's role is launching new products. The interviewer will want to know that you are knowledgeable and experienced in this area. Discuss the processes you follow to develop a launch strategy and plan, as well as how you monitor and measure your progress. You'll want to show that you're a team player and collaborative, in addition to being a leader who is competent and in charge.

      Marcie's Answer

      "Over the years, I've successfully launched several new fintech products. As the product manager, it's my job to determine if there's a market opportunity, establish the vision for the product, and then gather and prioritize requirements. After all this has happened, I put together a detailed launch plan that is based on discussions I've had with various teams like sales, marketing, and engineering/development. I consult with key stakeholders to determine a realistic timeline and work with the project manager to develop a schedule with deadlines. I also collaborate with the project manager to establish a budget for the launch. As the launch date nears, I hold frequent meetings to ensure everyone is on the same page. Most importantly, I make sure that we all continue to keep the target audience in mind as the product is designed, developed, and tested, and I keep track of our progress and success by monitoring key KPIs."

  15. 15.

    Let's say we're rolling out the successor to our most popular product. How do you position the legacy product so it continues to sell?

      An experienced fintech product manager will be expected to have some ideas about how to handle legacy products. If you've been through this before, use the STAR (situation, task, action, result) method to talk through what happened, your role in it, and what the final outcome was. If you haven't, theoretically discuss how you would handle this; display a strong understanding of the company's products and target audience, in addition to providing some ideas about how you would position the older product so it still has appeal.

      Marcie's Answer

      "I think in many cases companies choose to lower the price of their legacy product so it still appeals to the more money-conscious segment of their target audience. This makes sense to me because there's always going to be a segment of the target audience who's into the updated and newer features of the product and willing to shell out the extra money for that. But if it's a good product, which, in this case, it is because it's your company's most popular product, thriftier consumers will be happy to forgo the new version/features of the successor and pay less for the legacy since they already like it. In the past, the one time I was involved in a situation like this one, this is the route we decided to go, and it worked well. Positioning the legacy product as a lower-cost but solid option allowed it to continue on for a number of years, still bringing in a significant amount of revenue for the company."

  16. 16.

    Tell me the differences between a project manager and a product manager.

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  17. 17.

    Can you tell me about a time when you failed and what you learned?

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  18. 18.

    What is the hardest decision you've ever made as a fintech product manager?

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  19. 19.

    Tell me what GDPR is and what you know about it.

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  20. 20.

    What do you think are the most exciting fintech trends right now?

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  21. 21.

    How do you define low-hanging fruit?

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  22. 22.

    What would you do if it looked like you were going to miss your deadline? Would you cut any corners?

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  23. 23.

    How do you define market opportunity in a business plan?

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  24. 24.

    Can you talk about a time when you had to deal with a conflict?

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  25. 25.

    What has been your most successful product to date as a fintech product manager?

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