Why Cracking the PM Interview is the WORST Book to Read When Preparing for Product Manager Interviews

2 min read

Many people default to reading the book “Cracking the PM Interview” when looking to transition into Product. However, this is the WORST possible book you could read when preparing for Product Manager Interviews. We’re going to tell you why.

So, it’s not a good book to read for people that are trying to transition into Product Management. There are a few reasons for this. One, the people that wrote the book have been grandfathered into a Product Management career. They don’t come from a non technical or non software background. So, anything that they write will always be in a position or perspective that’s already educated and informed as they already have the context. So, for someone that reading a book that they wrote, it’s kind of unfair because people that are reading it don’t have that context at all.

The second reason is the contents of the book are only relevant if you know how to apply them to companies and scenarios outside of what they teach. The problem is, though, if you don’t come from a tech background, like these authors, you won’t know how to apply it unless you take a course that specifically tells you how to apply these strategies outside of the scope of their case studies.

So, the third thing is that for someone who doesn’t have this contact background and is looking to break into it, if they study these case studies it’s going to be an inaccurate representation of what they’re going to need to know and what they expect for interviews with other companies because the fact is that if they don’t come from the tech industry, they’re not going to be able to interview with Google, Amazon, Facebook, Apple, etc.

As for what the book covers, the question is always like, why are people that are not even in tech or software engineering or don’t have Product Management or robust Product Management experience, why are they reading a book that’s a level 10 on the Product Management scale of knowledge? They should be reading something that’s like much more at their level and much more broader so that they can apply to other companies, even if they apply to all of these big companies now (Amazon, Facebook, Apple), those big companies aren’t going to pick up their resume. So that’s why these books don’t make any sense for someone that’s trying to make a transition into Product.

You have to be provided with the theory first, before the practical applications. These books don’t provide you the theory. They don’t provide you with like a context around it. It’s very easy to just write something very specific. But what they don’t cover is the breath of questions that you might get.

The authors have written this in a very specific way for you to think very specifically. But in the interviews, especially for someone that does not come from a Product background, you’re not going to be able to understand the context of why the questions are set up the way they are in the book. So unless you understand the theory and like the entire breath of questions that they are going to get asked and all the variations of these questions, the book is really useless.

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