We asked our community for their pro tips on how to crush a PM interview and this was their take! Check it out 👀
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What’s your pro tip for a PM interview? Share it below to help a fellow PM out! 👇
Always ask Why?
If you’re asking about the interview itself, my best advice is: do your homework on the company! As a hiring manager I am astonished at how many product manager candidates know little to nothing about my company or product. Given the amount of info available on-line, this is an immediate disqualifier for me.
- Be authentic
- Create your own frameworks.
- Speak from heart for behavioral questions.
They’re attempting to understand what type of a product manager you are, not how good you are at the product manager interview process. Study accordingly 😊
They’re interviewing you as much as you are interviewing them. It’s important that it’s a fit for both sides.
Olaf Kowalik definitely, for some interviews I’ve researched the company to be able to talk financials but also looked at some products to be able to talk through scenarios in the interview
Research on the product and the company you are going for. Understand the latest about what’s happening in the industry the product is operating in. Are there regulations, market changes, user behaviors, etc? Try the product for yourself if you can, and go with some thoughts about recommendations and how your skills could help.
Top tip from me: Do not jump on solutions, jump on the problem statement first. Structure answers and thinking is the most important part of a PM interview process.
Most companies expect to understand how their values align with your career goals . So ignoring monetizing desires and being yourself to rightly explain why this job means the world to you and would add meaning to your passion is important. Most interviews I attended this week cover about what project experience I had and real-time problems I had solved. The companies seek the prospects that have a way of thinking for products. Most company values have “ customers “ as an important attribute.
Workday’s interview was a mix of culture and technical experience .
Questions were as follows :
How would you foster diversity in a work environment ?
Tell a situation when you had to encounter a multicultural environment where there was a resentment to your product idea and how did you tackle it ?
They love to listen to your innovative ideas .
Sometimes not complicating by thinking too much and offering simple solutions to problems work . They want people like that . ( just like the old joke about a scientist having a larger hole on a lab door for the dog to enter and a small hole for the cat to enter but failing to consider the fact that the cat can use the bigger entrance as well 😇).
If you are a great storyteller , they love it .
Most companies did ask me for choosing my favorite product and asking why I love it the most? What are the pain points that you found in it and how would you communicate that as a user to the development team .
Companies that I covered include
Smile 😄 even if you are on the phone
It’s true ! You can tell enthusiasm and positive energy even over the phone
Here are my pro tips 🙂 https://www.linkedin.com/posts/sugatnayak_productmanagers-intuit-razorpay-activity-6823182421392003072-b2er
Avoid sounding robotic mimicking books/YouTube advises
Know the company, know the job requirements, know your history and have an experience story ready that speaks to every requirement, practice all the ‘interview questions’ (tell me about yourself, a time when you failed, etc…)
Oh, and interview them. Some places and people are not the right fit for you.
Nathan Yes! I always try to have my “tell me about time when…” answers ready for things like “difficult decision”, “difference of opinion with senior stakeholders”, “made a mistake and had to adjust”…
Don’t lie if the interviewer is the line manager of that position you are applying. But, lie elegantly if you talk to the recruiter.
If you’re not willing to invest in meaningful prep – especially focused at understanding product, market space, price/acquisition strategy, etc. you’d better be an “on the fly” rockstar to not be shuffled to the list bottom. Come with a couple of questions and/or ideas that demonstrate your product brain, and give yourself a chance to lead part of the conversation. Good PMs don’t go into meetings unprepared.
Don’t offer them reasons not to hire you.
If you have a couple of years experience, try to connect the products/features/situations from your past to the current company’s industry, to answer questions about customers, product development, analytics or general business questions. For example for the same question, if you have both E-com and Gaming experience, when you interview for an E-com company make sure you are prepared with answers for E-com. Agree to everyone who said you need to spend enough time preparing, prepare your own structures and models to answer standard questions.
Have introspective stories ready, e.g a story of your biggest failure, learning, or mistake.
When I am hiring PM, the main focus of the interview is to be able to know how the person thinks (not what he knows or did), so in my opinion it is better to share the rational thinking behind the decisions made.
Be curious and ask questions to the interviewers – show that you are an active listener as well as speaker.
Take your time in your responses. It’s better to think through what you want to say then to ramble and try to piece together your thoughts on the fly. Also, it’s perfectly fine to take notes and pause because you are writing/typing additional context of the discussion. Plus, it serves you well when you send a follow up email.
❌ Don’t talk theory and don’t use many artificial terms
✅ Bring your experience, your thinking
❌ Stop giving immediate answers to questions like “How many tennis balls can fit in the Airplane cabin”
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