Our operations kick off significant cash. How would you go about funding store expansion in countries in which Wal-Mart has a small foot print? Specifically, would you make a USD denominated loan to the subsidiary or have them get in country/in currency funding?
The first part is a fairly simple new venture analysis with all the concerns that come with it. I didn't know what to make of the last part and I kind of think the interviewer was just trying to make me uncomfortable and see how I would react.
That is a pretty typical question. It may be intimidating, but market potential sizing is a problem you would need to be able to solve as a product manager. Usually, the interviewer is looking for you to validate/justify assumptions you made and walk through the logic of how you arrive at your estimations -- to see how you would think, when an answer is not readily available, or the situation is ambiguous, with multiple possibilities, dimensions, or directions... such as for a new or emerging service or product, where reference or data points may be limited.
They were picking my brain to see if I would spill the beans on the competitive activities of my former employer.
Agree with the candidate’s answer- it is a test to see if you are a) willing to spill the beans - which also indicates your potential loyalty to the new company b) aware of the confidentiality clause in your former contract (again, probably one here too). However, there are still ways to answer this, such as: "While I need to remain respectful of sensitive company information, I can indicate that they are focused more on the mid-sized market; but you probably know that from your competitive analysis” Or pick some other generic non sequitur like east coast, Midwest, etc
If you had 5 red balls that contained 4 red balls and those red balls contained the original 5 red balls, then how many sets of sets of balls would I take to have a double set of red balls of varying sizes inside each next largest red ball?
I always go into interviews with a few of these "negative" types of stories prepared with the most positive spin possible. never make it anything too big of a deal, but it shouldn't be without issue either. and always discuss what you learned from it or how you've changed. In other words, when the interviewer is looking for a negative answer or an opportunity it should really be that with a positive spin, not something that's really a positive that you've spun negative (I work too hard, I'm a perfectionist, etc. - make it more like I need to work on my public speaking skills and I've joined XYZ group to help me with that or I should have been more open with my concerns earlier in the process as it would have saved time and frustration.) This is a classic MBA interview technique. I saw it alot.
Lucky for me, I had researched about the product and was able to make smart assumptions. After stating my assumptions and asking about other facts, I talked about the company SWOT and the product's 4Ps to reach my conclusion. They mentioned my case answer was very good.
I had not ever really thought of what I would be doing, in general, in 10 years. Would I be the plant manager? Would I be at another location? I pondered this for a while, and answered, "I will be working hard for this company, and will have worked toward my goals within the engineering group. I will have also created great work relationships with my fellow employees. With the use of my previous technical/business work experience, my dual-master degree, analytical skills, and my vis a vis skills, I see myself as the Plant Manager of this, or, perhaps another plant/division."