While product management has taken one form or another throughout decades, the term “product manager” has only forged ahead in the past 20 years. If you’re interviewing for product manager soon, today’s article will clear the path for you.

What Is A Product Manager? 

Product managers (PM) regulate the production, design, implementation, and release of products throughout the product life cycle. 

Interviewing For Product Manager: 4 Best Tips To Pass Effortlessly

What is a project manager? – Source: PinClipart

They collaborate with different individuals and units to ensure that a product has what it takes to rock the market. In other words, they are leaders who use information and analytics to come up with strategic product decisions.

For instance, they account for essential process management like identifying the product and planning a roadmap to customer satisfaction. Also, they’re in charge of discussing with stakeholders, surveying investors, and locating potential customers.

Product Manager’s Requirements

Harvard Business Review said that an influential product manager needs to polish their core competencies constantly. Yet, that’s only the tip of the iceberg:

The technical eligibility criteria

  • A product manager should acquire a relevant bachelor or master’s degree in Business Administration, Computer Science, Finance, Engineering, Economics, or Marketing. 
  • In addition, a minimum of 3-5 years of work experience in product development, strategy development, quality assurance, or any other level of product design is a must in most cases.
  • Moreover, a product manager should also be familiar with reporting and cooking data in Microsoft Excel, Google Sheets, and other related software. 
  • A qualified product manager should also possess excellent time management skills to work effectively under tremendous pressure while meeting deadlines.

The creativity

Although most applicants think of the position as a rigid one, creativity is a necessary factor. In other words, excellent product managers should possess an idea-rich creative mind and great determination to execute. In detail, a product manager usually confronts 2 frequent tasks below: 

  • Create accurate and competitive reports from scratch and adapt your marketing strategy based on different scenarios.
  • Frame and give product insights for each phase of the product development.

Although the job requires much fieldwork and methodological knowledge, you can still learn them voluntarily in a modern workspace environment. Try to research, collect results, and learn from previous projects as much as you can.

The soft skills

Most of the time, people take client relationship management lightly when it comes to product management. However, things might be the opposite. Great product managers should:

  • Have a deep understanding of practical interpersonal skills to help them direct product distribution and marketing.
  • Have confidence in building relationships with clients/entrepreneurs through great active listening, observation, and right question raise.
  • Solve complex problems while motivating their team effectively.
  • Communicate effectively across all channels, overcome obstacles Effectively, And Find New Approaches.

Product Manager’s Duties

The specific responsibilities depend on the size of the organization. In large ones, for instance, product managers usually work in a team of experts, in which each individual accounts for specific tasks. 

While researchers, analysts, and marketers assist in gathering information, developers and designers support day-to-day management, create designs, do prototype testing, and fix bugs. Although these product managers provide great system support, their main task is to align the stakeholders with common goals.

Product Manager's Duties

Project Managers are in charge of a handful of tasks – Source: Slideshare

On the other hand, product managers in smaller organizations spend less time coordinating with everyone and more time doing the actual work of defining and implementing a vision.

In detail, good product managers generally spend a lot of time on plenty of tasks like

  • Developing a product vision. 
  • Aligning the product vision with stakeholders.
  • Conducting market monitoring and competitor analysis.
  • Understanding and expressing user needs. 
  • Prioritizing product features. 

Product Manager’s Income

As surveyed, the salary of a product manager is average $103,074 a year. Of course, there would be an income gap between larger organizations’ employees and smaller ones’. 

Product Manager's Income

The salary of a product manager is high.- Source: Inc. Magazine

For instance, a product manager’s Facebook salary could be up to $252,000 per year, while an employee at the same position at a smaller organization could only earn about $100,000 annually.

Also, they will receive an average annual bonus of $8,000. They usually work full-time, sometimes, even over the weekends.

Interviewing For Product Manager Vacancy: 4 Best tips

Interviews, the determining factor of any job application process, are a real challenge to job applicants, especially inexperienced ones. If you’re having an interview soon but don’t know how to handle it gracefully, we’re here to help.

Below are our 4 utmost tips to help you conquer the interviews for product managers with ease.  

Dig Into The Job’s Requirements And Duties Thoroughly

In most cases, you need to prove yourself as a qualified candidate in both expertise and personality tests. Only when the recruiters consider you as a suitable candidate could your chance of passing be higher.

Thus, nothing assists you better than knowing for sure what the recruiters are looking for. You can easily spot the vacancy’s requirements and duties explicitly stated in the job description. 

Spend a good time digging into the documents and list out your strengths accordingly. This preparation will help you a lot in framing the interview answers. 

Prepare Interview Questions For The Manager Role

Now when you’ve noted down specific traits, skills, and qualifications, it’s time to get to know the most common questions in an interview

Similar to interviews for any other position, the fundamental questions like “Tell me about yourself” or “What is your strength?” would still appear in your interview. However, there’s more to come. Thus, you’ll need to do more research and draft basic answers to better prepare yourself.

Once you know all the common types of interview questions, it’s time to focus on professional-related ones. These questions will profoundly tackle your knowledge and experience regarding the position and help the recruiters understand how well you fit the vacancy. 

In other words, they are deal-breakers. Thus, it’s a must that you handle these questions with grace. Check this video to see how to nail these product manager interview questions now: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0LKUJm-H8Ls

Show Up Professionally

It’s all about the first impression. Showing up professionally at your interview is far beyond impressing your interviewers visually. Your image in front of the recruiters could depict your personality and how you could appear in front of future clients and stakeholders.

Thus, nicely prepare yourself before heading to the interview, and by that, we mean dress formally, choose a neat and simple hairstyle and bring all essential papers like your resume with you. Make sure to be there on time, too. No one likes an interviewee who is late. It could appear like you don’t take the position seriously.  

See how to dress up for an interview here:

Be Confident

Being confident in an interview is very important. If you want to achieve your dream job, you have to believe in it. 

Determine who you are, what you can do, and what you can add to your business. Most probably, you impress your recruiters strongly. However, don’t be arrogant. Moreover, being confident also means you have what it takes to be a natural-born leader. 

interviewing for product manager

Believing in yourself is vital in an interview. – Source: Vocal

Yet, don’t brag and talk a lot of hot air, as the interviewers could quickly assess your honesty by giving follow-up questions. And it properly wouldn’t be an excellent scenario to be in if your recruiters find out your dishonesty. 

In other words, you should avoid being over-confident or incompetent in an interview. While there is no standard for how much confidence is enough, we recommend being honest with your strengths and positive.

P/s: Make sure to also write a thank-you letter after your interview. It helps to express your courtesy and respect, summarize the main points of your interview, and make you stand out. Also, personalize your message by calling interviewers’ names  (if possible). Any robotic greeting like “To whom it may concern” can sound a bit passive. 

Conclusion

Interviewing for a product manager is nerve-racking, yet it isn’t that hard if you know how to do it properly. We hope you’ve grasped a sense of what a product manager is all about and how you can impress your interviewers with our detailed guide today. 

If you’re into the job but don’t know where to search for an open position, check out the best job-searching sites of 2021 here. 

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By Adele Donna

Adele Donna decided to become a full-time freelancer and quit her corporate job. In her writing career, Donna uses her years of experience in education and financial institution to write about work-related content from job interviews' tips, work, and business strategies. She is a professional who just taken on writing as her new passion. She hopes her personal experience in navigating career choices, transitions, adapting to the work environment challenges that all she is dealing with will bring a practical, vicarious experience to her readers.

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