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Interviewing Like A Product Manager


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A talk for prospective/current product managers about applying their core product mgmt skills to getting a job. Takeaways:
- In your job hunt, *YOU* are the product/service
- Good product managers should be able to segment markets, turn features into benefits, and do basic solution selling
- "Studying for the test" may work for huge structured companies, but not for startups
- previous product management experience is a very big hurdle for not-yet-been-product-managers to leap. We didn't have any easy generic recommendations

Published in: Business
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Interviewing Like A Product Manager

  1. 1. Interviewing Like A Product Manager Rich Mironov CEO, Mironov Consulting 18 May 2016 1
  2. 2. • Veteran product manager/exec/strategist • Organizing product organizations • Business models, pricing, agile/lean • 6 startups, including as CEO/founder • “The Art of Product Management” • Founded Product Camp • Interviewed many hundreds of product management candidates About Rich Mironov w w w . M I R O N O V . c o m
  3. 3. w w w . M I R O N O V . c o m Will product manage for food, options, and illusory moments of self-importance
  4. 4. Conversations, market information, priorities, requirements, roadmaps, epics, user stories, backlogs, personas… product bits strategy, forecasts, commitments, roadmaps, competitive intelligence budgets, staff, targets Field input, Market feedback Segmentation, messages, benefits/features, pricing, qualification, demos… Markets & CustomersDevelopment Marketing & Sales Executives Product Management What Does a Product Manager Do? w w w . M I R O N O V . c o m 4
  6. 6. • Good product managers know how to • Learn about markets/customers • Segment markets, target customers • Turn features into benefits • Do basic solution selling • In your job hunt, you are the product • Quiz: how to apply these skills to your job hunt? Core Product Skills w w w . M I R O N O V . c o m ME!
  7. 7. • Segmentation: identify reasonable-fit companies • Identify where your background/skills/assets are most relevant • Market/customer analysis • Do some homework, try my product, read up on my company • Benefits, not features • Tell me why you’re who I need. Highlight relevant résumé bits. • Solution selling • Think about my pain points: what product problems am I having? How would you help? Demonstrate Your Product Skills (What I Expect from Candidates) w w w . M I R O N O V . c o m
  8. 8. • Quiz: best ways to learn about what’s happening inside a company? • F2F discussion with someone who works there • Not someone on the interview roster • Ideally, a product person • LinkedIn is your friend • Humble, thoughtful, open-ended • You would never launch a product without understanding your target audience… “But I Don’t Know What’s Happening Inside These Target Companies” w w w . M I R O N O V . c o m
  9. 9. “As a product management executive… I want to hire product managers who already have great product skills… So that I can unload a bunch of products problems that I currently handle myself” Non-goal: product training/mentoring responsibility Non-goal: carefully frame all problems and decisions What Hiring Managers Really Want w w w . M I R O N O V . c o m
  10. 10. “As a programmer who knows nothing about being a technology product manager, what should I learn before interviewing for / transitioning into a product role?” - Real Quora question to Rich 10
  11. 11. "As a professional race car driver who knows nothing about software, what should I know before interviewing for an enterprise software architect role?" 11w w w . M I R O N O V . c o m
  12. 12. • Promise a new feature to a customer during meeting • First customer interview represents a market segment • Confusing sales calls with customer learning/research • Believing your own marketing/selling materials about why customers buy and love your product • Confuse process steps (stories, tickets, releases) with market success (renewals, revenue, customer love) • Announcing that you’re “CEO of the product” • Narrow job role definitions (“you do X”) • Project managing development work • Ticket-writing instead of communicating • Telling engineers how to solve things • Not knowing internal counterparts (Marketing, Sales, Support, Finance) 11 Mistakes You’ll (Probably) Make in Your First 6 Months as a Product Manager W W W . M I R O N O V . C O M
  13. 13. CONTACT Rich Mironov, CEO Mironov Consulting 233 Franklin St, Suite #308 San Francisco, CA 94102 RichMironov @RichMironov +1-650-315-7394