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+1 for this. "I'm not a programmer, but I work well with them and can translate for them to non-technical people." is exactly what a PM is. You might find this book valuable.
Have you been through the hiring process at Google?
My comments about Google were from direct experience interviewing as a product manager in 2018.
cracking the PM interview was written by one of the early hires at Google and details the interview process across the FAANG/top tier software companies (she also has a book for software engineering) and it covers the complete process, including the fermi estimates portion.
Having been through the process myself at several high tech companies, I feel confident determining if it’s still in use.
But from that same interview, he goes on to say
> One of my own frustrations when I was in college and grad school is that you knew the professor was looking for a specific answer. You could figure that out, but it’s much more interesting to solve problems where there isn’t an obvious answer. You want people who like figuring out stuff where there is no obvious answer.
Which contradicts the idea that fermi estimate questions are useless, since the point of those questions are to figure out ways to solve problems with no obvious answers.
In the end, it’s one part of a 5 or 6 round interview process. When I did the interview day it was 6 different sessions ranging from assessing the broad technical landscape, the estimates and then leading into product strategy, then leadership of teams, engineering design, and finishing with product strategy.
So the interview process itself is quite detailed and this is not the be all and end all of picking candidates. (And that’s not including the phone based stuff as well).
I highly recommend the Cracking the PM interview book. They thoroughly explain how to answer all these interview questions, and the book is tailored to Big Tech. It’s project/program management focused but the behavioral portion is applicable to engineers. And the advice isn’t overly brief or generic- it’s step by step exactly how you need to answer the question and also includes very thorough examples. I was Googling how to interview for Big N and found other folks who recommended this book. I read it and it’s helped me focus my interview prep sessions (still waiting to hear about offers!). If you answer questions the way they tell you to in this book, you will set yourself apart from all the mediocre people who just wing interviews.
Can’t recommend this book enough (300 pages):
Cracking the PM Interview: How to Land a Product Manager Job in Technology https://www.amazon.com/dp/0984782818/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_i_kWKyCb3XHZKFX
“This is Product Management” Podcast: Great material that’s pretty dense with little bullshit. Could easily snag some great management theories and jot them down.
YouTube Nir Eyal. Wrote the book “Hooked: How to Build Habit-forming Products.” He’s a great speaker. Beyond him there are a ton of great YouTube videos of people in product, ProductCon videos might be a start.
Eric Reis blog.
I transitioned internally. I just fell into it after one of the Senior Director recognized that I had a good eye for UX, have a decent understanding of the underlying technology in our product, and I’m customer focused. I think he was right because I feel like this new role comes more naturally to me. I’m loving it so far.
For resume writing, this is a must-read: https://www.amazon.com/dp/0984782818/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_vLgzBbA274E54
I recommend checking out Cracking the PM Interview if you haven't already. There are specific sections of the book that talk about Microsoft's PM history/culture, their interview format, and some practice questions. I used the format of the book as a general outline for my preparation for the interview.
Hi SpaceTaco - happy to be here!
There are a lot of resources out there but I think fundamentally you should understand what a product manager is and what a product manager isn't. I have interviewed quite a bit for junior product manager roles and whether it is a role for someone straight out of university or someone with a year or two of product management experience, I like to see intellectually curious individuals who can work well together in a team environment (i.e., communicate effectively), are empathetic to the end customer, and can start to think about how to invest time and resources.
Tactically for interviews, two resources I found pretty helpful when I was doing PM interviews was Cracking the PM Interview and Inspired but there are plenty of other online resources out there that can help! If more is needed i am happy to link to some online resources I found useful.
Cracking the PM Interview here: https://www.amazon.com/Cracking-PM-Interview-Product-Technology/dp/0984782818/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1535773043&sr=8-1&keywords=cracking+the+pm+interview would be a good place to start :)
Like /u/the-incredible-ape mentioned, Cracking the PM Interview is great!
The most important thing, which is similar to eng interviews, is that you need to practice the "technical" questions as much as you can. That's the main thing that's used to evaluate you during an interview.
I don't think there are any company that exclusively hires MBAs for PMs. Some, like Amazon, prefer it, but it doesn't really matter. Source: have interviewed at Amazon.
Also check out Daily Product Prep for daily product management interview prep questions. Full disclosure I help run it!
Buy the book "Cracking the PM Interview". This is the holy bible for product management interviews.
This book: Cracking the PM Interview
This playbook: Comprehensive Interview Playbook
Saving you a whole lot of pain here: https://www.amazon.com/Cracking-PM-Interview-Product-Technology/dp/0984782818
That book covers like 85% of questions you're likely to get through the whole of the PM interview process and is a fast read.
Very likely this resource is already on your radar, but I'm a big fan of this book:
And if you're looking for another great PM book, I really like this one:
I am graduating in Spring 2022 with a degree in History and actually just landed an APM role for after grad with practically no formal technical experience (I only had retail banking experience on my resume as I really struggled to land an internship anywhere!). I interviewed with 3 firms in total and they were all essentially the same process - a PM at one of those firms recommended I read this book cover to cover and it really helped me prepare for the interviews but also figure out how to go about landing a career in tech in general :) book: https://www.amazon.com/Cracking-PM-Interview-Product-Technology/dp/0984782818
Personally, I think one of the things that all three firms really valued was diversity of thought so I don't think you will necessarily be tied down to your technical skills learned in class - they seemed to like that I didn't have a technical background. Instead, I would focus more on projects that offer you the opportunity to experience new things: I personally worked on digital research projects at my university that involved learning basic python. I don't necessarily think you need to extend your time in school to land a role as a PM. However, I haven't actually started working yet so this is all to be taken lightly and was just my personal experience.
I definitely think you can land a role after graduation without having to compromise more time but I also see your rationale!
I would be happy to chat more if you'd like! :) good luck! You got this.
Case studies vary by role and company I think. Some of them are business or product focused while others are machine learning or algorithm focused. The ML ones are called ML System Design and there's a great course on them: Grokking the ML Interview.
Business or product focused case studies are not my forte, but one thing I would research is the types of challenges the company is focused on and the relevant metrics. Common metrics are monthly average users (MAU), revenue, and click through rate.
If you interview at a company like DoorDash, you may try to diagnose why there's an increase in cancelled orders. So you might be interested specifically in the cancellation rate, (number of orders cancelled)/(number of orders placed). It's a 2-sided marketplace, so the consumer and the driver can both cancel. For more on that kind of problem, I thought this video about cancels at Lyft was helpful. I also liked the book Cracking the Product Manager Interview.
Get this book Cracking the PM Interview: How to Land a Product Manager Job in Technology (Cracking the Interview & Career) https://www.amazon.com/dp/0984782818/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_glt_fabc_S3756RFZTVJ2SFCE51Q2
I'm probably not the best person to ask since I didnt get to PM via a traditional route. For context, I've been with my company for over 23yrs now. I actually started as an admin assistant (as in, someone's secretary) and then progressed through support and into product teams. I've been a technical PM now for a little over 10yrs of that total time and worked on everything from small projects to projects which impact millions of people every day. I dropped out of college, so no degree on my end, I just learn quickly and got lucky at the time I joined that tech smarts was all that was needed. I've had teams in the past actually remove educational requirements so they could hire me onto their team, so apparently that isnt super important if you can prove you can do the job.
The main thing with PM is that it's a very loaded title based on company. There's an excellent book called Cracking the PM interview which can give you some scope for the role at some of the larger software companies. I happen to work for one of these companies and can confirm that most of what the author says about our interview style for PM candidates is accurate. Some things have changed over time but the foundation is covered there. Once you know the differences, you can then seek out what type of opportunity you'd like to have.
If I saw a resume with BS in software development but then an MBA, my assumption would be that you dont want to be a technical program manager but more of a business program manager who eventually wants to do lead work. May not be what you're looking for, just giving you some snap feedback on how I'd review such a resume.
So my main advice is to figure out what type of PM you want to be and for whom you'd like to work. Review a copy of the book I linked above and see what skills you have that are either missing, or weak and lock those down and then apply away.
Hope that helps in some way. If you have other questions, just let me know.
Or “product manager”. This is a well respected book about getting into the industry: https://www.amazon.com/Cracking-PM-Interview-Product-Technology/dp/0984782818
Cracking the PM Interview is fantastic. I also found that many of the management consulting sites (BCP, Bain, McKinsey) have helpful practice interviews that tend to be a bit more intense. I collected a small bank when I was interviewing a few months ago as well that may help.
This is a great start! I'm going through a similar process of resume refinement right now, so I understand how much work is involved. I'm including a bunch of feedback based on what I've learned so far and had success with. I've also hired a couple of PMs as a part of my current role, which has helped with seeing what "clicked" for me when on the hiring-side of things. Apologies for the length in advance, hopefully this is useful.
Emphasize the tech aspects of your current work instead of mentioning construction. Was there any software involved, maybe the marketing website? If so, include how you optimized the site (A/B tests, Analytics, heatmaps, whatever). If you mention construction, tie it back to general product management.
As a PM, I can see that you contributed significantly to growth. 60% YoY growth is awesome! Your skill set potentially aligns with the role of a Growth PM at a SaaS company. Look into the metrics those type of PMs use and see if you can structure your resume around them. Note: Growth is a very specific skill set and a potential selling point. It might also pigeonhole you, so consider having a growth focused version of your resume and a general PM version.
Adapt phrasing of your accomplishments. Instead of "contributed to 60% YoY growth", consider phrasing like "generating 60% YoY growth". I know that normally you want to emphasize that your product's success is a team effort. With a resume, however, you need to set aside that humility and realistically look at the outcomes that you made happen. This will feel weird at first if you're not used to taking credit as a leader. That's a good trait to have most of the time, but your resume is one of the places where it's 100% okay to brag about the great work you've done.
Continuing the previous point, adapt each line of your resume to be focused on the outcomes you've delivered to your company as a PM. What were the results of your different responsibilities? How did you move the needle on key performance indicators? You might need to do some additional research to discover this, particularly if your company is less data informed. You're already doing this for a number of points in your resume, which is awesome.
I would check on this with a couple other people, but you should use present tense verbs for your current role and past tense verbs for previous roles. Both should have an active voice, not a passive one.
"aggressive timelines and multiple roadblocks" sounds really negative. I can tell that was a stressful project for you, but also something you take pride in. Restructure this line so it focuses on what you're proud about instead of what stressed you out. It will show you're resilient and don't hold grudges.
Revamp your background section, it reads a lot like an old school objective field. Optional: Consider bullet points.
Consider taking a scrum certification course for Product Owners. It will show you have a strong grasp of agile concepts regardless of your industry. Your existing certs for Google and Facebook Ads are great. Make sure to use the exact names of each product if you aren't already. (eg Google Adwords)
If you haven't already, read "Cracking the PM Interview" by Gayle McDowell and Jackie Bavaro. It will help structure how you think about your accomplishments as a PM and also prep you for interviews. Here's a non-referral link to it on Amazon.
Remove the blue hyperlinks from URLs and your email.
As a final note, you've only been a PM for about a year and a half. This might make things more challenging since you're still fairly early in your career. It's not a deal-breaker, you just need to show you've learned quickly and rapidly grown into the role. Focus on applying to roles that don't require too many years of experience. Most entry PM positions say 2-3 years, but companies are often flexible. APM roles tend to focus on recent graduates as a sort of apprenticeship. With your skillset, it seems like you should be able to get into a standard PM role somewhere.
Keep at it and don't get discouraged! Your next opportunity is out there.
This book might prove useful:
I'm a product manager at a "large, well known, tech company" that I joined pre-IPO. Prior to that I was engineering manager and an engineer. I never graduated from college, my boss never graduated from college, and the other product managers I work with have myriad backgrounds. Product Management is an interesting career with different ways to get into it and varying responsibilities depending on the company you sign up with. I recommend reading this if you've not already: https://www.amazon.com/Cracking-PM-Interview-Product-Technology/dp/0984782818
I've heard Cracking the PM Interview is very helpful
Cracking the PM Interview
Check out Cracking the PM Interview.
Check out Cracking the PM Interview.
I'm doing EE/CS at a top uni. as well, and I was able to land a PM job after some hard work. Some tips I'd give:
Make sure you really want to be a PM, really research what it's about, and imagine yourself working everyday as one, will this make you happier?
Dedicate a technical class worth of time to do applications, interviews, emailing, and interview prepping. PM jobs are harder to find, particularly for new grads. You want to maximize your chances. I was spending nearly 3 hours each day on recruiting-related stuff during my peak month, going to at most 3 on-site interviews per week.
Taking business/entrepreneurship classes definitely helps, but make sure to not waste too much time learning the wrong things. For most new-grad PM jobs, you don't need to learn complicated economic mathematics or MBA-level management methods. You'd rather spend that time studying for interviews and analyzing the market.
Framework, market knowledge, and interview prep can only get you so far. You really need to like thinking about this stuff and have a good product intuition. My friend wrote a great blog post about new grad PM and she has some great tips. I'll paste her "why PM" here:
> - If you have a creative vision
> - If you love to talk about or review products
> - If you like wearing many hats
> - If you like shaping the big picture
> - If you have a keen eye for design, but also the technical chops to run with the engineers
> - If you are a technical person who doesn’t see yourself simply coding all your life
> - If you are double majoring in computer science and [business, psychology, economics, etc]
> - If you enjoy getting messy with data
> - If you don’t shy away from problems but instead actively look for solutions
> - If you can explain ideas well
> - If you are interested in what the users have to say
> - If you enjoy people
> - If you send well-written, actionable emails
> - If you are the master of your inbox
> - If you like to move around and not sit at your desk all day
> - If you can stay organized and on top of deadlines
> - If you are passionate about what you do
If this list doesn't sound like you at all, then no amount of interview prepping will come through as passion, good vision, and intuition.
Lastly, get the book called Cracking The PM Interview. I won't try to parrot some great interview and company specific knowledge in this book, it helped me a lot.
TL;DR: Make sure you actually want to be a PM, spend a lot of time writing emails/applications and studying for interviews, only take classes useful to PMing, and read that book.
You might be interested in <em>Cracking the PM Interview</em>.
Read Cracking The PM Interview http://www.amazon.com/Cracking-PM-Interview-Product-Technology/dp/0984782818
Hey, I'm looking for two books. Will pay if you can find them for me. I can pay via payapal or get you an amazon gift card. Or buy you something on steam, etc. I do not have bitcoin though.
<em>Cracking the PM Interview</em> is a great resource.
Check out my Udemy course: https://www.udemy.com/course/become-a-product-manager/?referralCode=99E48755CE7F4EA16B35
In terms of books: