As a product manager, it is important to understand and be well versed with the rules and characteristics of the role just like one should know the rules of a game to win. Get to know those rules, my superpowers to write a fabulous resume and how to ace a PM interview!
● More questions than confusion
● Build your perfect elevator pitch
● Sr Director - Products
● 11+ years of building & scaling products from scratch
● Help startups on growth, platform issues and product.
What Product Management is not?
● Product Management is not Project Management
● Product Management is not requirements gathering
● Product Manager is not a conventional Manager
● Product Management is not Marketing
● Product Management is not Deep Visual Design
So, what does a Product Manager do?
● Help team (and company) ship the right experience to users
and deliver measurable benefits to org
Growth Progression as PM
● Every PM starts as an individual contributor
● Typical PM hierarchy looks like:
● PMs often come from engineering, marketing, revenue
Enterprise vs Consumer Product
Everything flows from the business
model & buyers
Everything flows from Users
Sales/Subscription Matters Scale/Virality Matters
Customer ≠ User Every customer is a user
Reliability > Usability User Experience is King
Longer sales & dev cycles Cycles usually < 6 months
Startup vs Big Companies Product
Startups Big Companies
Biggest Challenge: Resources Biggest Challenge: Prioritisation
Build for growth Build for Scale
Ad-hoc requirements run the project (Formal) Processes run the project
Roadmap ~ 3-6 months Roadmap = 1-2 Years
Focus on new features Focus on later stages of product lifecycle
Product Vision = Founder(s)’ Vision Requirements are derived from competitive
analysis and white spaces
How to build a Kick-Ass Resume!
● Make your accomplishments stand out by :
Accomplished [X] as measured by [Y] by doing [Z]
● Avoid Cardinal Mistakes:
○ Typos : Read your resume from bottom to top. Use Grammarly.
○ Length : 1 Page for 7 years of work experience
○ Formatting : 11pt Headline. 10 pt font. White paper, Black ink. Use Pdf
○ Lies : Google “Fired for lying on Resume”
● Have keywords in your Resume. Pepper them
● Don’t use photo & paragraph. Use bullets
● Don’t pay to write your Resume
● A/B test your Resume(s)
How to ace a PM Interview?
● Generate a career portfolio
● WRITE your answers
● Have a Plan B : A/B test your answers
● Always back your answers with proof
● Practise. Speak Aloud. Record Yourself.
How to get your foot in the door?
● Do things that don’t scale:
○ Stalk people. Ask for coffee. Do WhatsApp call.
○ Explore: Go to meetups
● Things which add up:
○ Write. Have a blog. Do product teardowns
○ Have an opinion (about products)
○ Read (a lot and everything which you can get your
○ Find a mentor
About Me | Experience | Success Stories
● Tell me about yourself
○ Most important question
● What’s your elevator pitch
● Your Strengths & Weaknesses
● When have you used massive amounts of data to drive a decision?
● Tell me about a business or product metric that you were responsible for
and how you went about attaining it.
● Success Stories :
○ S. T. A. R (Situation, Task, Action, Result)
○ At least 2 each from your last 3 roles
○ Quantify - Metrics
○ Sell yourself!
Functional Skills = Framework!
● What your favorite product and why?
● Describe a time when you used data to make a decision.
● What’s a cool innovative technology or product that you’ve seen recently and why?
● How do you know when to cut corners to get a product out the door?
● Describe one of your failures. What would you do differently, given the chance?
● How do you prioritize? : RICE (Reach, Impact, Confidence, Effort)
● How do you know a product is well designed?
● What are pitfalls of being too reliant on hard data in product design?
● Your sales and marketing team came to you with a feature request, build it and a deal
gets done, what do you do?
● How would you determine the price for piece of wearable technology?
● How do you decide what not to build?
● What aspects of product management do you find the least interesting and why?
● Tech Stuff : APIs, Microservices, PWA, React Native
● How do you negotiate?
● How do you hire?
● How do you get a team to commit to a schedule?
● How do you work with Design / Engineering Team / Stakeholders
● Have you ever had a disagreement with a team member, and what was
● How do you define a product to the engineer?
● How do you solve a tech blocker
● A product is ready to ship, but the UX Designer doesn’t approve of
shipping because of an UX issue, what do you do?
● Market & Industry : Where do you think the industry is going? Is it ripe for disruption?
● Competitors : What’s the competitive landscape and revenue model? What’s the value
● Business Model : Can the company position itself for success and what does that
mean for the product?
● Metrics & P&L
● State of Product : Experience it
● Recent News
● What do you want to build here and why?
● We’re thinking about expanding into XYZ business, should we?
● Personalised question for the interviewer