Associate product manager (APM) roles

You might ask what is an associate product manager, or what does an associate product manager do? Well, the associate product manager is the first stop on the product manager’s career path. This is an entry role. For this product role, you must understand what product management is, and must have an obvious interest and passion for the customers.

Product management is a strategic function, and it’s hard to define in precise terms. Because product managers do very different things from organization to organization. They work on different products, with different teams, within different company structures. But they all share a core function: drive the development of products and ultimately be responsible for the success of those products.

Product manager key functions:

  • Researching
  • Setting product vision
  • Communicating that vision to the stakeholders
  • Developing strategic plan
  • Creating and maintaining a roadmap

The associate product manager does the same that the product manager does, BUT ON THE LOWER SCALE. So, you will not set the product strategy, but you will set priorities for your projects. You will not present the product plans across the company, but you’ll be responsible for keeping your peers and manager updated.

The role is to balance business objectives and customer needs by reconciling the business’s goals with benefits.

In this entry role, you must demonstrate your empathy for the customer and must highlight your ability to identify issues and opportunities.

APM Responsibilities

Associate product managers are responsible for prioritizing tasks. Associate product managers make scoping and prioritization decisions around the tasks or projects they’re assigned. And also, will collaborate daily with other product team members and other adjacent teams.

They’ll communicate the status of their product to all relevant stakeholders.

The most common Associate product manager question is: “This is what we’re doing and why we’re doing it”! (They use metrics).

APM interview process

The typical interview process for an APM role is rough as follows:

  • Resume / cover letter application
  • Phone screen (1 interview)
  • Onsite interviews (3-5 interviews)
  • Final interview with an executive

The APM interview includes three main parts:

  • Warm-up

This part is a casual conversation starter, and your good preparation means leaving a good first impression. In this part, the interviewer asks you casual questions like: tell me about yourself, why you choose this role, why our company…?

  • Product management questions

This part includes product management interview questions, and the interviewer will expect you to give more in-depth answers, (5-10minute each answer). For example: “How would you design a smartwatch for a child?”.

  • Your questions

In this part, the interviewer gives you space for you to ask them questions. Prepare well for this part too, plan questions, to make a good impression.

Interview questions for APM role

  • What would you say is the best way to gather consumer feedback?
  • Can you tell me what insights one might gain from web analytics?
  • You need to introduce new product features to customers. How do you proceed?
  • Can you explain the best way to gather information on competitor products?
  • A customer complains about issues with new product features. How do you respond?

How to prepare?

Before going in for an interview, have at least a few products in mind.

  • Know more about the products, what you like about the products, why the products are user friendly, what their strengths and weaknesses are.
  • Focus on analytical skills.
  • A lot of practice: Practice interview questions. Also, you can use our platform for mock interviews.
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