What To Expect In The Interviews
Now lets cover the above steps in more detail.
Step one is getting the interviews. For that, youll need a quality resume and cover letter that are tailored to the role and company to which you’re applying. Don’t underestimate the importance of customizing your application to the specific company that you’re applying to. Leading companies like Google and Amazon heavily emphasize the importance of culture or values fit during their application processes.
If you have yet to apply, you can optimize your documents using our PM resume and PM cover letter guides. In addition, if you have a friend or connection who’s already working at your target company, then see if they’d be willing to give you an internal referral. Getting a referral can have a really big impact on your chances of getting an initial interview.
Once youve been invited to interview, youll first speak with a recruiter or HR rep for a phone screen interview. During this initial conversation, you should expect the recruiter to cover typical resume and behavioral questions. For example, theyll likely ask you about your past experiences and how youve handled specific situations . If you pass this phone screen, then the recruiter will advance you to the next round of interviews.
If all goes well, the onsite interviews are your last step as a candidate, and from there you just have to wait to receive your offer.
Prepare For System Design Interviews
System design interviews are often asked in the engineering manager interview process, and require a different type of preparation than the people management interviews. These interviews often are in the format of “Design X” where you’ll be asked to discuss a technical implementation for a software product and consider trade-offs in building it.
For each system you design in the interview, consider how it affects the following aspects:
- Scalability: a system is scalable if it is designed so that it can handle additional load and will still operate efficiently.
- Reliability: a system is reliable if it can perform the function as expected, it can tolerate user mistakes, is good enough for the required use case, and it also prevents unauthorized access or abuse.
- Availability: a system is available if it is able to perform its functionality . Note reliability and availability are related but not the same. Reliability implies availability but availability does not imply reliability.
- Efficiency: a system is efficient if it is able to perform its functionality quickly. Latency, response time and bandwidth are all relevant metrics to measuring system efficiency.
- Maintainability: a system is maintainable if it easy to make operate smoothly, simple for new engineers to understand, and easy to modify for unanticipated use cases.
Review some of the system design fundamentals in our system design interview prep course to be fully prepared to ace these questions.
Top 5 Behavioral Creative Director Interview Questions And Answers
Behavioral questions primarily focus on your people skills and management style. The interviewer wants to know you and determine if youll blend into the current team. Although these questions may seem easy, they can quickly disqualify a candidate, so be prepared.
What Tactics Do You Use for Hiring New Creatives?
Creative directors are in charge of expanding the entire team. In addition, you will hire designers, assistant managers, directors, and freelance talent to participate in ad campaigns. Explain your hiring process, focusing on training and the long-term development of the entire team. This question gauges your leadership style and employee retention potential.
How Would You Give Constructive Feedback to Your Team When a Campaign Isnt Successful?
This question highlights your leadership and communication skills. The hiring manager wants to understand how you react to failure. You must prove that you can control your feelings and not blame your team because youre the leader. In addition, explain the need for including the ream in finding solutions to prevent the same failures.
Have You Worked with Freelance Talent in the Past?
What Is Your Experience Giving Presentations?
What Excites You About Working as a Creative Director?
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Show How You Solve Problems
A favorite interview prompt at Parsyl is Tell me about a product you use often and how you might improve it. Its a useful query, Haar said, because it allows candidates to apply a diagnostic approach to products with which they are intimately familiar, whether thats a parking app with a clunky payment system, or music streaming service with a minor bug.
Tinder makes a similar assessment of a candidates aptitude for problem solving, though in a more open-ended format: How do you approach solving a complex problem that nobody solved before? Lets discuss some examples and dive into details together.
Another way this type of question might be couched is as a measure of a candidates responsiveness to a customers needs. Pick a product that you owned and are proud of. Who was the customer?
This should be a gimme question for a good PM, Riechers wrote. Who was the customer? What was their pain point? How were you going to address that pain point?
The key, in all cases, is to be ready to illustrate your thinking with a clear methodology and concrete examples.
Master Preparing For A Product Management Interview
Now you know how to prepare for a product management interview! We hope this helped. Ready to start applying? Check out our free training on how to write the best Product Manager resume and get going! But if you need some support, weve got your back. Were offering free career coaching sessions with our in-house PM training experts: schedule yours today.
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What Is A Product Manager
Product managers are responsible for deciding what product to create, developing effective delivery systems to launch the new product, and then monitoring customer feedback to continually improve the product and customer experience. Put simply, they function as a facilitator, ensuring the product is properly fostered throughout the life of the project.
Digital product management is a relatively new position that encompasses many areas of expertise. Depending on the company, product managers can be responsible for coming up with products, aiding in production to ensure proper execution, and monitoring customer response. Though its important for PMs to excel in all of these areas, companies dont always require that they perform all three roles.
Why The Product Manager Interview Questions Matter
Many people approach an interview with a lets just see how it goes attitude. They think they can get a sense of the person and their fit for the role regardless of which direction the conversation may go.
Entering an interview unprepared is just as bad for the interviewer as the interviewee. You may luck into a deep and diverse discussion that provides a great sense of the candidate, but you may also have many uncomfortable minutes of silence when you struggle to come up with the next question.
And theres no assurance the dialogue will cover all the pertinent points unless the interviewer makes a concerted effort to get there. Thats why every interview should include the most relevant topics to ensure everythings covered.
While the specifics of the role and the candidates background may dictate which of these to include and which to skip, heres a set of basic categories of questions youll likely want to touch on:
- Strategic thinking
- Product management experience
- Other relevant experience
Dont worry that this will lead to a disjointed interview. Multitasking and context switching is essential to the job. If the interviewee cant hop from one area to another easily in an interview, theyre likely to struggle with that on the job. Now, lets review the eleven product manager interview questions to reveal whether a candidate is a good fit for your position.
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How Do You Communicate Your Product Strategy
This question explores which methods and tools the candidate utilizes to get the job done. It also checks to see whether theyre employing consensus-building tactics or merely broadcast their vision. Are they using data to back things up? Are they meeting one-on-one with key stakeholders or holding a large public forum? Are they using a roadmap to provide a planned timeline or just skipping to the endgame?
How Do You Know Which Features To Include In A Product
An important duty of a product manager is to find out what features users want in a product. A good candidate would have methods of researching users’ needs. What to look for in an answer:
- Analytical and research skills
- Understanding of framework to identify users’ needs
“I determine what features to include in a product by first researching current users. I look through comments and go through social media to determine what features they want. I also look at the feedback that they give our customer service representatives. Collecting data and conducting extensive research is a great way to get useful insights.”
Best Places To Look For Jobs
- The sites: There are a ton of aggregators out there, but some of the more useful ones are Glassdoor, , Hired, AngelList, The Muse. Youll see a lot of repetition but also a bunch of unique jobs after perusing them. Id also advise people to visit company websites every now and then a handful of companies will deliberately post things only on their website and not in many other places.
- Slack groups: Product School has a ton of resources and events, not just jobs. Its one I still keep an eye on every now and then.
- VCs and their networks and communities: Theres FirstRound Talent , Ken Nortons blog and newsletter , and the websites of various VC firms out there . Theyll often post jobs from the companies in their portfolio, and you might find something that hasnt been posted anywhere else.
- Womens communities: I found two to be helpful, and they are the Women in Product newsletter and Women 2.0 . I met up with a lot of ladies from the Women in Product Facebook group but none of them turned into jobs.
Scrutinise The Job Description
Unfortunately, in 2020, the role of a PMM is still largely ambiguous and misunderstood, meaning whats expected of you in one company could be vastly different from another. So, to ace your interview, you need to get to grips with the business in question and what they want in their next PMM.
How? Go through the job advert with a fine toothcomb and look at the responsibilities the companys listed. Itll give you a better idea of exactly what youre walking into and how you can ensure you not only meet the criteria, but the role is what youre after.
Tip #1: check out our jobs board to compare the variety involved in product marketing descriptions.
Tip #2: sign up to our Slack channel. Everyones super friendly and weve had tonnes of PMMs jumping on a call to help each other prep for an interview.
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Align To The Work Environment
Figure out the structure of the organization. If youve done your first call right, you should have asked about the Product organization, its size, how many people at each level of the hierarchy, etc. If not, go to LinkedIn to get an idea of the org structure. Find how many Product Managers of each title there are and youll get a better understanding of the size of the teams.
Have you ever worked in this large or small of a team? If so, find an example that really facilitated progress and make sure to bring it up on the call. If not, find an example where you worked on a specific task of a project in a small team. Do your best to relate to how you progressed in your career when you worked on a team of a size similar to their organization. This helps them visualize you succeeding in the roles environment.
What About The Day Of Your Pm Interview
When interview day finally arrives, there are things you can do to ease your mind and proceed with confidence. Try these tips:
- Give yourself plenty of time to get ready: The last thing you need is to be rushing around in the hours leading up to your interview. Leave plenty of time in your schedule to prepare, as this helps minimize the stress and anxiety youre sure to feel.
- Meditate: Take 15 to 20 minutes to meditate. Relax your mind and body, visualize the outcome of the interview, and realize that youre embarking on a learning experience regardless of what happens.
- Focus on the basics: Get in the right frame of mind by practicing how to answer basic questions such as what is your favorite product and why how would you improve your favorite product and how do you deal with difficult co-workers?
Along with the above, theres one final thing to remember: dont schedule a PM interview until youre confident in your ability to prepare accordingly and perform at a high level.
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What Is The Job Description Of A Product Manager
The Product Manager is responsible for the product planning and execution throughout the Product Lifecycle, including: gathering and prioritizing product and customer requirements, defining the product vision, and working closely with engineering, sales, marketing and support to ensure revenue and customer satisfaction
How To Prepare For Product Management Interviews
A PM interview is challenging to prepare even for PMs with extensive experience. We look at the process in some detail below and how you need to approach it. We will go through the structure of the process, the types of questions you will be asked as well as some general principles which should help guide you when answering them.
For a more comprehensive guide on PM interviews, more information on the skills needed to be a PM as well as bespoke mentoring programs that will significantly improve your chances of getting that dream product management job be sure to visit myproductmentor.com.
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Top 5 General Creative Director Interview Questions And Answers
What Are Your Salary Expectations?
Hiring managers ask this question in an interview to ensure your salary expectations align with their budget. Some will even ask about your previous salary before making their offer. Align your salary expectations to your experience and qualifications. According to PayScale, creative directors earn an average salary of $89,566.
What Are Some Skills that Define an Excellent Creative Director?
This straightforward question gauges whether you understand your role as a creative director. Your answer should include technical, leadership, analytical, problem-solving, and interpersonal skills. Be prepared to delve deeper into each of these topics and give examples if the hiring manager asks for a detailed explanation.
What Would Make You an Influential Creative Director?
This question gives you the chance to vouch for yourself and highlight your various strengths and achievements. Talk about your creative vision for the company if you were to get hired to the team and discuss your team management style. Finally, dont forget to shed light on your strategies for the bigger picture and running the department every day.
What Are Your Weaknesses?
Why Did You Leave Your Previous Position?
Quick Note Regarding The Favorite Product Question
Sometimes the interviewer will ask a Favorite Product question, followed by the Product Design question. This is structured as follows:
- What is your favorite product? How would you improve it?
The second part of the question is explained in the above steps. One way to answer the first part is to format your answer using the following structure:
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How To Prepare For Second Round Calls
Unlike the first-round call, this phase of the Product Manager interview will focus on the specifics of your product management process. You will receive a ton of questions about how you manage different stakeholders, how you work in an Agile environment, and how you interact with the customer.
While a second round doesnt require preparation as intense as the first round, you will still need to know what to expect. Make sure you watch our second-round preparation guide:
Many of our members tell us that they dont have enough experience with different kinds of stakeholders. Therefore, they struggle to answer interview questions that require them to speak about those.
Their lack of experience with engineering teams disqualifies them from further rounds of the Product Manager interview. So, we have released our guide to answering questions about your experiences with the engineering teams.
Note that the tactics we have on this video could be applied to different stakeholders . Watch this video a couple of times, especially if you experience the cross-functional team experience.
Last but not least, you should also expect a lot of questions about how you interact with customers and how you design your product accordingly.
These questions also touch upon Agile principles to assess how organized you are when distributing tasks to the developers.
Know The Company And Why Youre Interested In The Role
Nicholas Stanford, a product manager at the San Francisco-based digital writing company Grammarly, stresses the importance of understanding a companys history before the interview. Its always a great sign that youre a conscientious person who has been thoughtful about your interest in the role, he wrote. One aspect of this might be putting some effort into understanding the companys vision demonstrating that you get what the company is trying to do. Its also a good idea to have some strong opinions ready about the companys current product so you can show youve considered whats good about it and also where the product can go in the future.
At Tinder, this learning process is a two-way street. Two of Milos standard questions are, What do you need to know about Tinder to make a call on coming to work with us? and What do you value in a great workplace?
But these questions also reveal whether the candidate did their homework. Do they understand enough about Tinder to be able to explain why they are interested in the role? Can they see themselves at the company for the long term? As Milo wrote by email, Spending effort toward getting a job at a company that one doesnt understand or has taken the time to learn about is not a great sign.
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