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Mastering the Product Interview

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Part-time Product Management Courses in
Silicon Valley, New York and Los Angeles
www.productschool.com
MASTERING THE
PRODUCT INTERVIEW
June 22, 2017
Dan Corbin
Sr. Director of Product Management
Return Path
Dan Corbin
Sr. Director of Product Management
Return Path
dan.corbin@gmail.com
https://www.linkedin.com/in/danielcorbin

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Mastering the Product Interview

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Product interviews can be nerve-wrecking and stressful, especially if you aren’t properly prepared. However, if you know exactly how to get ready, the experience can be incredibly rewarding. We cover what research you should do before the interview, how to craft the best possible answers, ways to distinguish yourself from other candidates and discuss what's required to get the job offer you really want.

- An overview of the types of questions to expect
- Best ways to prep for a Product Manager interview
- Do's and Don'ts for the actual interview
- A comprehensive list of books, online training, and other online resources related to product interviews

Product interviews can be nerve-wrecking and stressful, especially if you aren’t properly prepared. However, if you know exactly how to get ready, the experience can be incredibly rewarding. We cover what research you should do before the interview, how to craft the best possible answers, ways to distinguish yourself from other candidates and discuss what's required to get the job offer you really want.

- An overview of the types of questions to expect
- Best ways to prep for a Product Manager interview
- Do's and Don'ts for the actual interview
- A comprehensive list of books, online training, and other online resources related to product interviews

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Mastering the Product Interview

  1. 1. Part-time Product Management Courses in Silicon Valley, New York and Los Angeles www.productschool.com
  2. 2. MASTERING THE PRODUCT INTERVIEW June 22, 2017 Dan Corbin Sr. Director of Product Management Return Path
  3. 3. Dan Corbin Sr. Director of Product Management Return Path dan.corbin@gmail.com https://www.linkedin.com/in/danielcorbin
  4. 4. LEARNING OBJECTIVES ‣The types of questions to expect ‣Best ways to prep for a Product Manager interview ‣Do's and Don'ts for the actual interview ‣Additional Resources
  5. 5. MASTERING THE PRODUCT INTERVIEW INTERVIEW QUESTIONS
  6. 6. MASTERING THE PRODUCT INTERVIEW PRODUCT VISION QUESTIONS
  7. 7. PRODUCT VISION QUESTIONS ● What’s your favorite product? ● What’s your favorite app? Sample Questions Include: ● How would design a bookcase for children? ● How would you improve Microsoft PowerPoint?
  8. 8. PRODUCT VISION QUESTIONS USING THE CIRCLES METHOD
  9. 9. THE CIRCLES METHOD Comprehend the situation Remember the 3 W’s and the H: 1. What is it? 2. Who is it for? 3. Why do they need it? 4. How does it work?
  10. 10. Identify the customer
  11. 11. THE CIRCLES METHOD Report the customer’s needs As a <user> I want <goal/desire> so that <benefit>.
  12. 12. THE CIRCLES METHOD Cut, through prioritization ● Review the customer needs you identified and then narrow the list done to just one ● Explain the prioritization process ● Be data driven
  13. 13. THE CIRCLES METHOD List solutions ● Now you can discuss solutions… ● Think Big ● Have at least three ideas
  14. 14. THE CIRCLES METHOD Evaluate trade-offs ● Define your trade-off criteria ● Analyze, criticize, and critique your solutions
  15. 15. THE CIRCLES METHOD Summarize your recommendation ● Choose which product or service you’d recommend. ● Recap why your solution is the most beneficial ● Show your product vision
  16. 16. THE CIRCLES METHOD Comprehend the situation Identify the customer Cut, through prioritization Report the customer’s needs List solutions Evaluate trade-offs Summarize your recommendation
  17. 17. MASTERING THE PRODUCT INTERVIEW BEHAVIORAL QUESTIONS
  18. 18. BEHAVIORAL QUESTIONS Sample Questions Include: ● Describe a technical problem you had and how you solved it. ● Describe a time you had to motivate employees or co-workers ● Tell me about a time you showed initiative ● Tell me about a time you built a team
  19. 19. BEHAVIORAL QUESTIONS Answer behavioral questions with a story! How to tell a great story: ● Be specific ● Talk about how your role in the story ● Paint a picture with vivid details Credit: Charles Du - Mastering The Product Interview
  20. 20. ALERT!!! Right before you answer a behavioral question is the perfect time to ask: “What are the top three qualities you look for in an ideal candidate?” Credit: Charles Du - Mastering The Product Interview
  21. 21. MASTERING THE PRODUCT INTERVIEW INSTRUCTIONAL QUESTIONS
  22. 22. INSTRUCTIONAL QUESTIONS Sample Questions Include: ● How do you make a cup of coffee? ● How would you make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich? ● How do you iron a shirt? ● How would you teach someone to brush their teeth?
  23. 23. INSTRUCTIONAL QUESTIONS INGREDIENTS OF THE PERFECT INSTRUCTIONAL ANSWER: ● STRUCTURE ○ Demonstrates you’re organized and can devise a plan to your goal ● DETAIL ○ Include specific metrics to show you are clear with directions and also data driven ● FEEDBACK ○ Continue to gather info as you iterate ○ Ask interviewer if they need any clarifications
  24. 24. MASTERING THE PRODUCT INTERVIEW ESTIMATION QUESTIONS
  25. 25. ESTIMATION QUESTIONS Sample Questions Include: ● How many bottles of shampoo are produced in the world a year? ● How much should you charge to wash all the windows in Seattle? ● How many square feet of pizza are eaten everyday in the US?
  26. 26. ESTIMATION QUESTIONS THREE TIPS FOR ANSWERING ESTIMATION QUESTIONS: ● ASK CLARIFYING QUESTIONS ○ Demonstrates you’re organized and can devise a plan to your goal ● ESTIMATION ○ Write down assumptions and variables ○ Then create your formula ● OPTIMIZATION ○ Brainstorm edge cases and adjust formula accordingly
  27. 27. MASTERING THE PRODUCT INTERVIEW INTERVIEW PREPARATION
  28. 28. Step 1: Interview Prep ● Understand the product ● Review the full product suite of the company ● Know the competitors ● Customers and Market ● Revenue ● Love and Hate ● Metrics
  29. 29. RECOMMENDED READING
  30. 30. RECOMMENDED TRAINING Master the Product Manager Interview by Charles Du
  31. 31. ADDITIONAL RESOURCES Interview Prep Checklist: Prepare for the Product Manager Interview Answering The Metrics Interview Question How To Ace Your Product Management Interview The Ultimate Product Manager Interview Cheat Sheet How to Hire a Product Manager Sample Questions The PM Interview Ultimate List of PM Interview Questions 70 Product Manager Interview Questions 10 Of The Hardest Product Management Question Microsoft Will Ask In A Job Interview 4 Common Questions Asked in a Product Management Interview Five Stellar Questions for an Interviewee to Ask in a Product Management Interview The Ultimate Guide to PM Interview Questions Strategies and Advice for Landing the Interview How I got my first Valley-based Product Management job in 5 Weeks What kind of side projects could I do to become a product manager? Find, Vet and Close the Best Product Managers Looking for a Product Management Job? Start Here Where to find Product Manager Jobs ● Indeed ● ZipRecruiter ● LinkedIn ● The Ladders ● Careerbuilder ● ProductHired ● The Product Jobs ● Austin Product Manager Startup Jobs ● Remote PM Jobs ● Monster.com
  32. 32. SUMMARY ● Do your research and be prepared ● Understand the different types of questions you’ll be asked ● PRACTICE ● PRACTICE ●PRACTICE!
  33. 33. www.productschool.com

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