Quick steps to crack Product Manager Interview?
In this article, I will be sharing my experience of being an interviewee as well as what I look for in a candidate when I hire. So let’s dive right in and talk about what you should prepare one day before a Product Manager interview! Seven steps to crack a Product Manager Interview!
A.) Read your resume twice
B.) Prepare a pitch for introduction
C.) Prepare few past stories
D.) Pick a past Product you launched successfully
E.) Prepare Frequently asked questions?
F.) Do your research
G.) Prepare questions to ask the interviewer
Read Your resume twice: First and foremost, prepare according to you what you already claimed to know in your resume. I have come across multiple candidates when I ask details written on their resume they rant and don’t have full knowledge about their resume. This is certainly not good for you a successful interview, so thumb rule is always cover the topics which have put in your resume.
Prepare a pitch for introduction: This is one moment when you can win the trust of an interviewer because in most cases the way you present in during your introduction pitch sets the way how the interviewer is in a confidence mindset to spend good time with you during the interview. Tips are:
1.) Prepare two different pitch. a.) Shorter one focusing on your current role, achievements, tools tech and methodologies. b.) Prepare a longer one which will cover your resume walkthrough including previously mentioned elements as achievements, tools tech and procedures.
2.) Know your interviewer and adopt the flavour of your introduction, according to the audience. As an example, if you are getting interviewed by Sales, adapt your introduction overview that helps get buy-in from sales.
Prepare a few past stories: This section will serve you as a meat of the interview where an interviewer asks you how do you deal with or behave at certain times. Don’t forget to put them into the right format when you are talking, so it sounds more structured. Many candidates don’t bother to prepare them and when asked these behavioural questions tries to come up with the stories on the fly and starts to stumble upon which is what you want to avoid. Below is the format that always worked for me:
S: Situation | Describe the situation you were in and provide details actor around you.
T: Tasks | Explain your roles and responsibilities and what was the expectation from you at that time.
A: Action | Remember to tell three major action items you took to solve the issue or deal with the situation.
R: Results | Don’t forget to mention the results, candidates most of the time fail to talk about the effects that sound stories unfinished, and you won’t be able to earn interviewer’s trust.
Pick a past Product you launched successfully: Mark my words, your interviewer for sure is going to talk about your approach of getting the product to life. It’s always a great idea to back up your answers as to how you did in the past from product discovery, design, develop and delivery. This part is going to give you a lot of brownie points if you have a product that you launched to apply your thoughts too.
Prepare Frequently asked questions: I know it’s already a day before your interview, so you are looking for frequently asked questions to prepare, below are the items that you will always get during a Product Manager interview no matter if your interviewer is Product person, tech and sales etc.
- How do you prioritize the user stories/features/bugs?
- How do you identify a customer problem?
- How do you validate if the problem you are working is the right problem to solve?
- How do you translate requirements and make it more tangible for developers?
- How do you work together with a designer?
- How do you measure the success of your product?
- What do you do when the product is launched?
- How do you manage stakeholder expectations?
- What is your favourite product? How and what would you improve?
- How do you decide MVP (Minimal Viable Product)?
- Design (Design an app for senior citizens to manage their medicine routine) and estimation (How many people are watching youtube now?) related questions. Mostly asked in big companies like FB, Amazon etc. or when you are getting hired for a more senior role.
The list is endless, but if you prepare the questions mentioned above and done with the steps, you already have your area covered.
Do your research: Don’t go unprepared. Read about the company. Go to the company website, look at the latest news section. Read about when the company was founded and how it evolves. What it does, Who are their customers? Who are their competitors? Read Glassdoor reviews to know about the company culture and values. This helps you to tailor your answers and make sure you are aligned to the company core values. This is always the right way for you to decide to as well if this is the company you want to work for or not.
Prepare questions to ask the interviewer: Last but not least; an interview is not over yet, this is the time when you showcase your thinking process, your motivation towards the role and company etc. The interviewer is still assessing you on your skills, and this is one of the most important areas where I have seen many great candidates lose their hard work. Always prepare questions at least 3. How would you train them is: Consider your self in a position as what would you need to know after joining the company and start from that thought process to win the heart of interviewer.
Thanks for reading! I wish you good luck with your upcoming interviews. Please write in the response section if you have any questions.
A good read about MVP, have a look at this: