As a candidate, the recruitment process is one of many mysteries. Fortunately, Product Gym is able to shed some light on the otherwise mysterious process. You’ll learn best tips on what a hiring manager is looking for and what to say in your interview to better your chances of moving on to the next round.
Q: I passed the initial HR interview, now I have a phone interview with the Hiring Manager. What should I expect with this call?
Product Gym: The second round call with the hiring manager means you will be directly reporting to this person, should you land the job. They will be asking themselves, “How can this person make my life better or add value? Will their involvement in the hierarchy help us make more money? Are they going to help us save costs or time?
You want to tie in your background with one of these three things. What is it that the hiring manager needs? (Identify which pain point it is). If you can save time on their end, that will make them more money. Before the call, go to Google News and research 3-4 things about the company.
Q: What is a hiring manager really looking for?
Product Gym: Product Gym was able to show us how to save more time and more clarity, resulting in less frustration. They were able to show me that this is a worthwhile investment in time, energy, money or effort. Uncover their problem by asking (in the interview), “Can you tell me a little more about your frustrations or challenges? How much time have you spent interviewing people, which takes time away from doing other things?” Pitch yourself by understanding the problem.
Ex. Let me tell you about an example of a time that a process which took used to take 3 days, I got down to 2 hours. I understand your problem, this is the solution, me, and this is how I can help. Problem. Solution. Here’s how I can help because I’ve done XYZ.
What if I feel like I am bothering them or lack confidence?
Product Gym: It’s all about mindset. Never feel that you are bothering them. You are investing YOUR own time in this company. In the beginning of the interview, FIGHT for the question. You NEED to know what the problem is.
Also, don’t go into the interview with imposter syndrome or you will not get the job. Don’t be afraid to go out there and try different things. Again, you are INVESTING YOUR TIME into them. NEVER put a company on a pedestal, no matter how bad you want to work there.
What if I really want to work for XYZ company?
Product Gym: KEEP generating 1st round interviews or you will end up feeling hopeless and defeated. Don’t get hung up on one company. Don’t focus on things you have NO control over (not getting a call back etc), or you’ll end up disappointing yourself.
How can I get better and find the right pitch?
Product Gym: Once you figure out the right pitch for you, you will be unstoppable. How can you come up with the right pitch? By continually learning and iterating. And you can ONLY do so through interviews. You HAVE to find your own voice. INTERVIEW, INTERVIEW, INTERVIEW.
You’ll be more confident with every interview. You are playing the game. You are a product. You’ll become a better Product Manager by interviewing – better than ANY book you can read. Think of this job search as if you are interviewing your users basically. Get back to applying. Make applying #1 thing you do for one hour when you wake up. If you are not continually building your funnel, you need to. If you don’t get the second or third interview, and you have 4 more lined up, you’ll be less depressed.
How about making small talk in the interview? Any other tips?
Product Gym: ONLY make small talk if they seem they would be okay with it. Now, let’s say you are interviewing with a company that takes a notice in your eCommerce background. Ask them, “What about my eCommerce background is it that you like? Ask WHY 5 times!
You can ask questions like, “I’m not sure what Sharon told you guys about me, but what was it that she said that prompted you to want to continue talking to me?”. Get the interviewers attention and re-engage you. Make yourself memorable. Ask ENGAGING questions (to really understand their pain points). Extract as much information from the interview as possible because it makes life so much easier for you. Set yourself up for success rather than failure for doing more front-end work and the offer becomes easier. The more information you have, now they are rooting for you and want you to go to further rounds so they can give you offer. They want to interview as LITTLE candidates as possible.
Rich is the Founder of Product Gym™, the first professional career coaching service committed to helping aspiring and veteran Product Managers transition into the Product Manager job of their dreams. Previously, Rich worked as a Technical Recruiter for both CyberCoders and Workbridge Associates, where he partnered with countless companies to attract, develop, and retain their top talent. Currently, he specializes in coaching his students to generate more interviews than they can count, perfect their interview pitches, as well as negotiate the biggest offers for themselves with the most exciting companies. Rich graduated from Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles with a Bachelor’s Degree in History.