Round 2 interview role play

Last post 12:52 am October 18, 2020
by Mark Adams
3 replies
10:08 am October 16, 2020

Hi all, I have just finished round 1 interview for PO role, I have been told that the second round is in 4 days. This interview is apparently roleplaying. Has anyone done this sort of roleplaying? I'm wondering what the topic would be stakeholder management? Negotiation skills test? or prioritising the product backlog?

Any insights will be great. Thanks in advance.



08:39 pm October 16, 2020

Ideally, you'd teach them something about product ownership which they don't know. If they are good they'll appreciate this. A failure to do so risks hiring to type.

Based on your experience of "round 1", do you think the interviewers would be up for such a challenge?

11:38 pm October 16, 2020

I think it really depends on the needs of the product and organization. Here are some questions I advise you to think about:

What do you know about how the organization currently obtains feedback from its stakeholders? Is there a significant distinction between users and customers? How does the organization sell its product(s)? Is the organization a market leader? Does it tend to innovate and experiment? Does it compete on price, where operating with low costs may be a priority?
How many users and customers are there, and how does that affect the needs for having good quantitative and qualitative feedback? What are the biggest unknowns that this organization faces when developing its product(s)? What constraints are in place that impede innovation?

Based on the answers to these kinds of questions, you may have a better understanding of what Product Owner skills are important.

For instance, a SaaS product with millions of customers (who are also the end users) might require a data-driven approach and a strong need to manage customer success in a scaleable way.
Whereas a high price product, just sold to a handful of customers might require greater attention to the sentiment of each individual customer, the maintenance of good relationships, and good tactical awareness of when to satisfy decision makes (even at the expense of the overall product vision). The value of end user feedback might be secondary.

12:52 am October 18, 2020

This has become pretty standard, especially with management consulting firms, or large European corporations. They want to see how you would solve real world problems. If you have experience as a PO or PM, and have completed some advanced training, like the PO Learning Path on this site, you should be OK. Remember your buzz words. Leadership love people who can talk the talk.