With changing market dynamics and customer base dynamics, there is an increasing need for professionals who work closely with a diverse team to deliver a product or service. The role of a product manager starts from the idea of a thing. The next step is to give form to this idea. Thus, product development involves a lot of thinking, analysis, re-thinking, etc. This continuous iterative process gives severe headaches to an ordinary employee, but a product manager copes with pressure easily. With the increasing demand, the companies want a professional to help them look at the build-up process of their product. That’s why product manager interview questions are so hard to crack. Before dwelling on the three essential tips, let’s learn a little about the types of product management interviews.
Common Types Of PM Interviews
A field as diverse as product management can involve a different set of interviews relative to the company’s scale and product. Nevertheless, the interviewer is trying to look into the brain and attitude of the candidate indirectly to judge if he fits the role at the respective company. An interviewer tests a candidate on these hard and soft skills like good communication, analytical skills, prioritization skills, etc. While skills are pretty similar, their application differs, which differentiates in interview type. Here we have discussed three types of interviews like
Basic Product Sense
These interviews primarily focus on questions like describing your favorite product. It is a form of an unstructured interview focusing on generic description and critique methods of products.
The product management interviews have evolved into more structured and specific product questions. Typically, these interviews want a candidate to develop a product strategy. The candidate must state his reasons for the proposed plan and give a brief analysis.
Product management is an interdisciplinary field with people from all professions. The primary purpose of these interviews is to assess how easily the candidate can collaborate with other teams.
No matter which type of interview you had, the essential criteria always test your soft and hard skills. That was about the interview type, but first and foremost is to understand if you fit into product management or not.
Tips To Get Into The Role Of A Product Manager
Getting into product management is challenging. It would help if you had a great hand at performing diverse tasks and solving problems. Your interviewer is responsible for finding the best fit for the company and teams to lead the projects. Things are drifting in product management to elevate up from the old biases.
So, worry not and consider these tips to approach breaking into PM.
Understand PM’s Role
PM is not just a job; instead, it is an art of getting things done. If you are eager about breaking into PM, devote time to learn the craft of PM’ing. Learning about PMs’ role in a company, skills required, tasks executed by a PM, etc. These questions will help you dive into the job of PM as a beginner. Other things you can consider doing is:
- Learning about some great PMs and their art of product managing
- Getting in touch with a PM to understand their high-low career points as a PM
- Ask questions by going away from the basic know-how types like working with cross-functional teams.
PMs interact with many professionals every day from all careers like engineers, designers, communicators, etc. Learning from a PM about their unique perspective will help you better understand this job profile.
Learn And Apply The Craft
After learning your PM lesson, it is time to practice it. You can start focusing on a product you love and looking for ways to improve it. Start by incorporating user research into your daily checklist. Because knowing about the pain points of existing users will help you analyze the prospective scope for changes. With a valid reason for the change, you can now move on to defining the new feature and, at last, determining its practicality.
This technique forces your mind to answer the why-question about a product and helps you learn how to make wireframes.
Deliver The Value
People often confuse the importance of value with ability. But, value generally sheds light on your professional career, like the projects you have worked upon, your productivity scale, etc. The best way to identify and then deliver value to the company is by sharing your work on social media platforms like LinkedIn. This pm-style work speaks volumes about your expertise and niche area. You can also add your research in the intro mail about your finished product manager jobs to give a quick inside view of your skills.
With this, it must be apparent that breaking into PM takes a lot of hard work from your side. A PM’s job search does not end with dropping a resume. Also, the role of a product manager does not end with product delivery only. A PM’s job is to take the product forward, even if there’s no clear way. Sounds complex, but everything gets easier once you get into the position.