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The Last Interview List You Will Need

March 04, 2018

The Last Interview List You Will Need

Ultimately, if you are reading this blog article you are looking for a clear strategy to land the Product Manager Job you want with the highest possible offer in the shortest amount of time possible.


The Strategy is Simple:

Also


Keep reading if you want to learn exactly what you need to do to land the Product Manager Job you want with the highest possible offer in the shortest amount of time possible.

 

Quantity

Job Hunting is still a numbers game no matter what role you are going for, the fact that you are going for such a coveted role like Software Product Manager makes it even more so.

Why Job Hunting NEEDS to be a Numbers Game

You will never improve the quality of your interview game without increasing the quantity of the interviews you go on. 95% of your responsibilities as a Product Management is Stakeholder Management.

To gain the offer, the people that are choosing to make an offer, have to want you. That will never happen until they are confident you are the right person for the job and their team. This can never happen until you are confident in yourself and you will never be confident in yourself until you're comfortable interviewing for Product Manager roles. At the end of it all, you will never be comfortable unless you have interviewed.

Definitions of Confidence:

  • the feeling or belief that one can rely on someone or something; firm trust
  • the state of feeling certain about the truth of something
  • a feeling of self-assurance arising from one's appreciation of one's own abilities or qualities

How do you get companies to feel confident in you?

By generating more interviews and applying at scale. You are at your fighting best when you know there are another 10 interviews lined up for you. Desperation is never referable or attractive. We are going to garner the big offer by generating multiple offers. How confident can you be in yourself when you are only interviewing 3 to 5 times a month without knowing how to generate more interviews? When you don’t have any other interviews lined up, you don’t have options, and that is bad.

 

How does this relate to the offer?

Applying at scale is a MUST if you expect to land multiple offers and more importantly multiple offers around the same time. Over 50% of the roles that are posted right now will not respond to you immediately because they are simply not urgent to hire. In fact only 10 to 20% of the roles that you do apply will ever respond to you. The percentage drops when you consider how long it is going to take for the company to respond to you after you have applied. Let’s face it, just because you applied to the job or jobs on Tuesday night; doesn’t mean you will get a response on Wednesday, Thursday, or ever. That’s why you have to continually generate activity into your funnel because you simply cannot control if the company you are applying will ever respond to you. In addition, there are many other factors to consider even when you ARE interviewing with them. Hiring freezes can and do happen all the time. On top of all that, companies that are interviewing can interview as many candidates as their time allows. These companies are playing the numbers game on their end and you need to play the numbers game for your job search as well. It’s one of the few things you can control.

Another reason why you want to play the numbers game is you never know if the company you are interviewing with ends up hiring an internal candidate. This happens more often than you think. The solution, PLAY THE NUMBERS GAME.

5 Challenges Stopping You from Applying to More Product Manager Positions

  1. Not being able to find the time to apply
    1. Learn how Product Gym coaches people how to apply 30 to 60 positions in a less than 45 minutes.
  2. Spending too much time customizing their resumes
    1. What a Rockstar Product Manager Resume Looks Like
  3. Spending too much time filling out application forms
  4. Not feeling motivated to apply
    1. Seeing the same positions over and over again
  5. You do not have an automated system to help you achieve scale and your resume, linkedin, and cover letter is not built for mass market.

     

    How to Improve the Quality of Your Product Manager Interview

    Think of landing the Product Manager Job of your dreams as a 4 round competition. Each round is an interview with different stakeholders that are looking for different qualities that are deemed to be attractive in hiring for the role.

     

    What is a high quality Product Manager interview?

    A high quality Product Manager leaves the stakeholder you are interviewing with FEELING very good about you and that there is no doubt in their mind that you are best person for this role on their team.

    Easily put, if you knew all the questions you were going to be asked in a Product Manager interview and exactly how to present the best answers to those questions, then landing multiple offers just becomes a byproduct of the whole process. Improving the quality of your Product Manager Interviews and converting them into offers is just that, know what the answers are and how to best present those answers based on the stakeholder you are interviewing with.

     

    Product Manager Interview Roadmap

    First

    Second

    Third

    Fourth (Final)

    Phone

    Phone

    Onsite

    Onsite

    Internal Recruiter

    Direct Hiring Manager

    Panel

    Panel

    HR

    Talent Acquisition

    Product

    Product Manager(s)

    Engineering

    Design

    Project / Scrum

    Mobile

    Data



    Management

    Operations

    Finance

    Sales

    Marketing

    Partnerships



    First Round Interview Questions and Strategy

    First Round Phone Screen Sample Interview

    1. Tell me a little about yourself?
    2. Why you are looking for a new opportunity
    3. Do you have any initial questions about our company??
    4. What you are doing and what keeps you busy these days?
    5. How big is the current team that you are working with?
    6. I want to hear your career goals
    7. What are you good at professionally?
    8. What are you not so good at professionally?
    9. Are you the sole product manager?
    10. Let’s say you join a team here and you are put on a product, you have features x and y, how would you go about deciding which one to build first?
    11. How technical do you get with your Engineers, do you have any say with technical direction or do you mostly have high level conversation
    12. Can you tell me a little about a product you’re passionate about and well designed
    13. If any, what aspect of product management do you find least interesting?
    14. What attracted you about this company?
    15. How big is the company you are currently for?
    16. What is your leadership style?
    17. Who do you report directly to right now?
    18. What questions do you have for me?

     

    Tips and Strategies

    • The tell me about yourself question isn’t going anywhere; so have your rocket pitch ready to go and make sure it only takes 30 seconds
    • Be firm but not too fast or too slow; it takes practice
    • If you find yourself stuttering its fine
    • Your transition to talking about your background should be very strong to inspire confidence. Understand that the recruiter doesn’t work on the product team and they hire for multiple roles, so there maybe things you know that they don’t even though they are asking you technical questions.  
    • Be very cognizant of your ahhs and ums here; if you need a filler just don’t say anything. Powerful people are not afraid to take their time. In fact our coaching clients that talk too fast often have received feedback that they made the First Round Stakeholder feel that they don’t think things through.
    • Try to make the recruiter laugh as much as possible

     

    If you want to find out the best method to answer these questions, please schedule the call here

     

    Second Round Interview Questions and Strategy

    Phone Screen Sample Interview

    1. Tell me a little bit about yourself
    2. Are there any other product managers?
    3. Can you tell me more about your experience working web products?
    4. You mentioned 8 different stakeholders, who they are and how do you interact with them?
    5. How do you work with your offshore team?
    6. How do you decide what to build? How do you balance what to build?
    7. Why do you decide the make the move to your current company?
    8. Tell me a little about your ideal role
    9. What do you use to keep track of your data?
    10. Can you tell me a little experience of your experience with {this piece of software our company uses}?
    11. How familiar are you with the integrations?
    12. How would you resolve a conflict between 2 developers?
    13. How do you define success for the products you launched?
    14. Have you worked on system integrations like CRM platform?
    15. In terms of roadmapping, who usually comes up with ideas or features?
    16. How do you source new ideas?
    17. Walk me through a product you ideated to launch.
    18. Walk me through your customer interview process.

     

    Tips and Strategies

    They are going to want to find out if you ever owned, developed, and tested a product. More specifically are your processes of deriving decisions. What kind of research you conducted and how you went about that research. Hence, the constant badgering about the size of your team. Remember, having more engineers on your team is a good thing in this interview. It is also important to highlight whether or not those developers are onsite or overseas.

     

    Third Round Interview Questions and Strategy

    Onsite Sample Interview

    1. How many developers do you have? How many onsite? How many overseas?
    2. Are you acting as a Project Manager or more a Product Manager?
    3. When coming up with your product roadmap, what’s the process you use to determine the features and functionality?
    4. Tell me about how you use Google Analytics and dont you?
    5. Are you the owner of the product?
    6. Marketing has goals, How do you interface with Marketing? Who decides to A/B test?
    7. Do you have any shopify experience at all?
    8. Do you have any experience with Drupal? What kind of Drupal do you have?
    9. What cross-functional skills do you have?
    10. Can you explain more and walk me through Design to Engineering?
    11. When you were doing A/B Testing, what specific things were you evaluating? (Transaction speed & volume?)
    12. What does a typical day look like for you?
    13. What are the most common KPIs that you have to be involved with?
    14. How would you ensure the scrum team, um, is working on the most valuable user stories?
    15. How would you organize the process of refining the product backlog? 
    16. How do you connect teams to the product vision and kind of show them how their contributions bring that vision to life?
    17. And what would you say is your approach to creating product roadmaps? 
    18. How would you say that you go about learning new ideas and new requirements? 
    19. Do you have experience biking down epics into features? 
    20. How is your experience with cloud platform, or platform as a service, or cloud technology?
    21. What process did you disagree with and changed? What was the result?
    22. Do you have any experience with lean/agile?
    23. How do you work with engineers?
    24. If you could design your next role/position... What would it look like?
    25. What do you feel are your core strengths?
    26. Tell me about your last 2 builds/stacks. What were the challenges and how did you overcome them?
    27. Do you have any experience developing, managing or enhancing a CRM software?
    28. Do you have any experience working on products related to mobile? 
    29. Walk me through building an end user facing graph showing email campaign open rates and how you'd build it.
    30. What is your release cycles?
    31. Have you ever worked in an agile environment?
    32. Walk me through a technical challenge you overcome with the dev team?



    Tips and Strategies

    You will be going through multiple stakeholders from Product, Engineering, Design, Project, Mobile, and Data.

    The most important stakeholders are people from the Product and Engineering teams, but DO NOT rule out anyone. They all have to like you and be sure to keep your energy up. Technical onsites can last as long as 3 to 5 hours.



    Fourth and Final Round Interview Questions and Strategy

    Final Round Onsite Sample Interview

    1. Tell me a little about yourself
    2. Do you have any experience working with Senior Management, presenting hurdles, and can you tell me a little about it?
    3. Regarding A/B testing, do you have any experience setting up the infrastructure for it?
    4. Tell me about your experience about Web Content, SVOD?
    5. What steps did you develop your expertise in Product, esp on the technical side?
    6. Tell me a little about yourself
    7. What are some experiences you have to take over - what decisions did you make and how did you lead efforts?
    8. Tell me a little about how you would motivate an external team to do what you need them to do?
    9. What is a user story and what does that mean to you?
    10. How do you approach informing the team what you ultimately what you want to built?
    11. How did you learn about our company?

     

    Tips and Strategies

    Congratulations first of all for making it this far! You can practically see the offer right now, but it is still not over. You will need to get the Business side stakeholders on your side now. The fourth round is all about laying the foundation to generate the offers.

    If you are looking for product management resources to transition into this space, please Schedule a Call with us or join us at one of our upcoming Product Management Events.





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