Books For Product Manager Interview Prep
- The Product Manager Interview: 167 Actual Questions and Answers: This is the second edition of Lewis C. Lins book previously titled The Product Manager Interview 164 Actual Questions and Answers a great resource for both budding and seasoned product managers. Lins book will not only provide you with good pointers for interview preparation but also help you in day to day life as a PM.
- Hired How to Get a Great Product Job: Tailored guide-to-go for PM positions in top tech companies. As this book will show you, some of the most successful product transitions originated from people in music production or finance, with full-time jobs or with no prior experience. The collection of stories of Product Management transition will show you how its done.
- The author gives an industry insiders perspective on how to conquer the most difficult PM interview questions. Covering frameworks for tackling product design and metrics questions, the biggest mistakes and answers to the top product manager interview questions.
- Product School Pro: If you really want to deep-dive into the best interview techniques, and become the master of any interview you walk into, you should check out the exclusive resources we have in our Product School Pro community. Weve got cheat sheets, templates, and more!
Is A Cs Background Necessary
Companies use technical expertise as a proxy for specific skills. If you don’t have a CS background, find ways to develop and demonstrate three skills:
Ability to form a working relationship with engineers. PMs have to work closely with engineers, understand their mindset and appreciate the complexity of their work.
A good understanding of how long engineering work takes. PMs need to make informed tradeoffs between time spent and the value of the work to the customer.
Hands-on and self-sufficient. PMs must be able to make minor product changes and gather data independently.
How To Crack The Product Management Interview By Valentine Aseyo
Its often said that looking for a job can be a full-time job! Interviewing can be particularly tough, especially when youre transitioning into product from a different industry. Our guest writer, a superstar PM, has seen it all though and hes here to help read on for his 10 pro tips to set you up for success!
Valentine Cem Aseyo is the SVP of Product @ Bandsintown, the #1 concert discovery platform that connects 40 million fans with 450 thousand musicians. Before Bandsintown, he spent 8 years working at in Ireland, India, and US spanning many roles from User Experience to Product, as well as Advertising, Marketing, and Sales. Prior to that, he worked at IBM and Colgate & Palmolive. This unique background covering multiple geographies and departments made him an expert in all cycles of Product Management.
Valentine is also an Olympic recruiter he interviewed over 2,000 candidates throughout his career and loves sharing his tips & tricks on how to score your dream job in Product Management.
Interviewing for a job is never a piece of cake. It takes courage, spectacular communication skills, and extensive prep. When I had my first interview 15 years ago, I wish someone gave me these golden rules that took me a decade to learn. If you follow them religiously, you can get any job you apply for.
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Build The Right Profile
Interviewers look for five key competencies in PM candidates:
Analysis and Insight: Companies seek data-driven PMs who can analyze metrics and draw insights from usage patterns. Find ways to build and demonstrate data analysis skills.
Customer Focus: Companies want candidates who can understand customer requirements and translate customer feedback into product specs.
Business Cases: Companies love candidates who have built business cases, sized markets and made business decisions.
A background in marketing can help PMs effectively communicate the value of a product and design products that will do well in the marketplace.
Industry Expertise: A deep working knowledge of a specific industry can be a good boost when you apply for PM roles in the same industry.
Faqs On Product Manager Interview Questions
Some of the most commonly asked questions about product manager interviews are:
Q1. How to prepare for a product manager interview?
Read up on the core values and principles of the company youâre applying to thoroughly. Research the questions and answers and prepare accordingly. You should have thorough product knowledge .
Q2. What is a product manager responsible for?
A product manager is responsible for gathering and prioritizing product and customer requirements, defining the product vision, and working closely with engineering, sales, marketing, and support teams.
Q3. What are the qualifications of a product manager?
A bachelorâs degree in computer science or a related field or equivalent experience is usually required for a technical program manager.
Q4. What skills must a good product manager have?
Some essential skills a good product manager must have are â technical expertise, communication skills, business acumen, and research and analytical skills.
Q5. List the five stages of product development.
The five stages involved in product development are ideation, screening, conceptualization, product development, and commercialization.
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Recommendations For Interview Preparation
In summary, this new wave of AI/ML product management opportunities brings challenges too, but there are ways to crack the interview and get the job. Here are a series of recommendations based on my past successes, and obviously on the painful failures:
- Build your unique value proposition mix It really depends on your professional and academic background, but I usually recommend to connect at least to aspects that will make you special and better than other candidates. In this case, it could be industry-related experience, previous AI/ML experience in similar projects, IT architecture skills to help design AI/ML solutions, teaching experience that you may leverage later with your colleagues and clients everything counts, and you will have to reflect on that and build your own mix.
- Be ready for case-based interviews I have seen this a lot with hiring companies and clients, where they quickly present a situation or opportunity, and they ask candidates to elaborate and plan and to present it to a panel. This is always relevant for product management positions, but AI/ML is a specially good area. Why? It gives you a perfect opportunity to showcase your knowledge, and it can be a huge differentiator if you are better than other candidates. That being said, get ready for all kinds of cases, from single paragraphs with open ended questions, to fancy cases asking you to create a roadmap for a specific AI/ML solution.
Preparing For The Interview
- Business orientation and KPIs
- The why and the what a test case that verifies that the candidate knows how to approach features and priorities, and understand where the value lies.
- An analytical question that tests the candidate approach to data analysis.
These questions should be different whether youre interviewing a junior PM or a senior one. Ill provide some example questions below.
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How To Prepare For Netflix Product Manager Interview Questions
Just like Apple, Netflixâs product manager interview questions are aimed at finding out if youâll be a cultural fit and whether you have the required knowledge of the products they provide to their users. Netflix values candidates who do their research on the company.
âCandidates should prepare themselves with an understanding of Netflixâs values and any relevant news about the company.â â Patty McCord, a talent manager at Netflix
âEach candidate should be a Netflix subscriber and be familiar with the product from the user perspective. Everyone at Netflix is passionate about the product, and they own it from day one.â â Christophe Jouin, Device Engineer
Proven Product Management Skills
Since Tech PM is first of all a PM, candidates should be able to demonstrate product skills and support them by real examples from their experience. Good interviewee should:
- Know the business basics of the products they work with: what problem do they solve and what main business metrics improve.
- Able to switch between planning horizons: what is the next immediate problem to solve, strategical product plans for the upcoming quarters and overall vision/mission for the long term.
- Demonstrate experience with day-to-day topics: research, brainstorm, planning, prioritisation, retro, working with stakeholders, conflict resolution.
For each of the points candidates should be prepared for deeper questions, because it is expected that the Product Owner knows their product to the very details. For example, if you mentioned a payments integration youve implemented, be ready to answer the follow up questions like:
- What payment methods youve chosen to enable and why?
- How they improve customer experience and how youd measure that?
- How did you handle security?
- What still doesnt work as you envisioned initially?
The conclusion is simple: preparation for the interview for a job you crave should start not a week before a call, but months and years in advance with all the projects you work on in your current company. Then you can use the last week to just refresh all the most important conceptions in your head.
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What Do Companies Look For In A New Product Manager
Before we dive into questions, its important to get inside your interviewers head. What are they looking for?
Aside from intellect, smarts, the power to adapt, think and act on their feet? They want a person who is motivated to do the job, can work with different teams and has the ability to prioritize features that they already know users are looking for. A Product Manager has to be resilient, strategic and insightful. Which means the hiring company will ask a multitude of questions to figure out if you are the one.
Here is the ultimate list of questions you can expect to be asked in a Product Management interview. Get ready to nail the interview!
Cracking The Pm Interview: Everything You Need To Know
Product management has always been a popular topic. In fact, its so popular that numerous product people shared their experiences, expertise, and even their memories of product management in hundreds of blog posts and product management books. But out of all these resources, one that has always been under the spotlight was Gayle LackmansCracking the PM Interview.
How to crack pm interview is so popular that we always receive at least one question about it during our live events. So, to tackle the big quetsions, heres our very own take on Gayle Lackmans Cracking the PM Interview.
One big disclaimer before we begin our review: Please be aware that all of the views shared here are the Product Gym staffs personal opinions and dont necessarily reflect everyones views.
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Why Are You A Good Fit For This Job
Questions PurposeThey want you to connect the dots between this opportunity and your experience. Honestly, I find this question lazy on their part. Obviously, they think Im a good fit for the job otherwise they wouldnt have called. Id rather hear why they think Im a good fit than I have to explain it to them. But thats the way interviews go and you need a good answer.
How to AnswerDraw a large T on a piece of paper. On the left side of the T, list the jobs requirements. On the right side of the T, list your experiences that map to the requirements. Take the top 3 most important requirements and chat about them and how your experience maps to them. Remember to tell a story. Dont just say your requirements are A, B, C and Ive done A, B, and C. Tell the story of how you overcame the odds and did A, B, and C.
For example, the following requirement is on every PM job description: The ability to take a strategy and translate it into action. Use that as your talking point for this answer and tell a story about how your last company handed you a convoluted one-page business doc with 37 bullet points and you turned that into a proper roadmap, rallied the troops, and began executing on it.
Interview Questions About Data Analysis
This category is primarily concerned with metric tracking or investigating changes in a particular metric for a product. Sample questions include:
- What is your favourite app? Define the success metrics for it.
- How would you track the success of Facebook Events?
- There is a 20% drop in Flipkart revenue this month. Diagnose the problem.
- Engagement on Instagram stories is down. How would you investigate it?
- The occupancy rate of Oyo rooms is low. What could the reasons be?
- Restaurant sign-ups on Zomato have lowered. Evaluate why?
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What Is Your Favorite Product And Why
Questions PurposeThis question dives down into how critically you think about a products business, its users and their pain points, and how innovative product design solutions can solve those pains and make money.
How to AnswerAlways have an answer prepared for this. If you really want to go overboard and have the perfect soup-to-nuts answer, take a look at these guys approach: .
My answer is much more lightweight.
My answer is your favorite product can be any product, it doesnt really matter, its all about the why of the product and how well you understand that why.
Can you identify and articulate the products customer and their unique pain points and how the products design solves those pains? And very importantly, how would you improve that product to better solve those pains?
My answer follows this formula, I love how product X makes it easy for customer Y to do X . It would be amazing if they also build it to do Z because I believe its an underserved need. Interviewers always ask questions about that underserved need and the customer, so I would have researched and memorized some data points for the conversation.
The key is to find a product you really do love, so when you tell the story about that product your passion for it comes out.
Get Familiar With The Product Manager Interview Process
The interview process for Product Managers will vary significantly depending on the company, the specific role, your level of seniority, etc. However, there are some elements that are pretty typical across the board.
So, in this section we’ve summarized common elements of PM interviews to help you get an overview of what to expect. This is an important first step because it will help you gain a high-level understanding of the steps you need to prepare for, allowing you to be more strategic with how you allocate your prep time.
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Why This Blog Post
I recently started a new role as a Product Manager. As I made the leap to product management from being a founder, I went through a set of interviews some of which worked out and some of which didnt.
Like anything in life, I learned from the ones that didnt work and built a set of frameworks that helped me do well in the interviews that mattered.
As I went through this process, I realized that most of the resources around preparing for PM interviews available online, are fairly shallow.
In fact, most of them are really crappy . I want to call out Cracking the PM Interview by Gayle Laakmann as an exception because it really is a good book.
That said, I still found it pretty shallow when it comes to areas like Product Design and Data .
So, I decided to publish a list of missing things I wish someone told me when I was preparing for the interviews.
I also decided to write about this because PM interviews seem fuzzy and daunting at first sight youre often told even during interviews that there is no right answer to a question. The set of things mentioned in this post hopefully provide a structure that reduces this fuzziness a little.
In a typical PM interview, you are evaluated on the following areas:
- Behavioral questions
- Leadership qualities
Cracking the PM Interview covers the soft skills and product strategy parts pretty well so I wont delve deep into it. In this post, I will try expanding on how to answer
Cracking The Ai/ml Product Manager Interview
Editors note: the following was written by a guest blogger. If you have product management/tech industry experience, and would like to contribute to the blog, please contact
This article is an overview of the current state of the AI/ML product management roles around the world, along with a series of recommendations to succeed in cracking the AI/ML PM job interviews. It includes personal notes based on the authors industrial and academic experience.
Before we start, here is the industry context, because you need to be aware of what is happening out there in order to prepare for your future job interviews: The increasing level of AI maturity of adopter organizations around the world is both a) consequence of the granularity of tasks within well organized AI teams, b) a motivation to continue hiring to create talented multidisciplinary teams.
Part of this granularity relies on profiles such as ML engineers, AI ethicists, and of course our beloved AI/ML Product Managers. This was not the case some years ago. Most of the hiring efforts were fully dedicated to data science and engineering folks, but good news for you there is life beyond the typical data trilogy , and the AI/ML product manager is now part of the family, and a standard for a lot of companies.
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