Cracking the PM Interview: How to Land a Product Manager Job in Technology

Author: Gayle Laakmann McDowell, Jackie Bavaro
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by allthecoffeesDP   2019-11-17

You might want to check out this book- Cracking the PM Interview .It's a little dated now, but talks about what it's like to interview at a number of companies, including Facebook. Can I ask a question in return? I'm looking to pivot into the PM role. However - I lack a technical background. Any recommendations on how to address that in general or in the interview? Can I ask what small/medium sized companies you worked at? All people talk about are the big 4-5 :)

by CSMastermind   2019-11-17

Program Manager can mean different things at different companies but I'd highly recommend checking out Cracking the PM Interview. Even though it's interview themed it will teach you all the basics of product management (which may or may not align with what you're doing in your day job but will certainly be related and good to know).

Depending on what your current job entails I can also recommend some books on project management, user experience, soft skills, etc.

by Yithar   2019-11-17

https://www.reddit.com/r/cscareerquestions/comments/caarub/swes_or_data_scientists_who_became_product/

This book might prove useful:
https://www.amazon.com/Cracking-PM-Interview-Product-Technology/dp/0984782818

by TalentedRickyBobby   2019-07-21

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.

by ConsultingtoPM   2019-07-21

Nope! I just had to frame my consulting experience for how it could be leveraged in a PM environment. What helped me do that was Cracking the PM Interview. It provided a nice overview of what a PM does and what attributes/skills interviewers may be looking for in candidates.

Honestly I'd be a little wary of those courses. Coding bootcamps work because you obtain a certificate, a network of people who have also attended the bootcamp, get experience in a language, and have an end-product that you can show on GitHub. From what I can tell PM courses only have the certificate and are severely lacking in the other portions. I'm sure there are some excellent courses out there, but there is no substitute for PM-like experiences you have as a consultant (e.g. clearing roadblocks, managing expectations, data analysis)!

by ConsultingtoPM   2019-07-21

If I was running an 'Interviewing for PM roles 101' first and foremost I'd go over this article by Ken Norton. It runs the gamut of questions I've had over the course of many interviews and sets expectations around a possible interviewers frame of mind.

For books I have three: Cracking the PM Interview, Swipe to Unlock, and Decode and Conquer. Cracking the PM Interview is a general overview of what PMs do, how to prepare for interviews, and general interview questions. Swipe to Unlock give reasons for why certain PM decisions were made and the strategy behind it. Decode and Conquer has more interview questions, but also sample answers to them and is a bit more technically-focused.

My recommendation is to come up with something you want to build and explore what it would take to do that. For example, what if I was interested in who would win the Oscars? I might use Twitter's Search API and explore which movies come up the most with the hashtag Oscars. What would that take? Well, I would have to integrate with Twitter security so they know it's a valid request, use Twitter's documentation to figure out how to search for terms, and then import that into a data analysis tool to do sentiment analysis. In an interview I discussed what I would build, worked through what features I would want to add, and a roadmap for deployment, which was a fun exercise!

by crazygringo   2018-03-07
My $0.02, having been a PM for many years:

Read Cracking the PM Interview [1] (for an overview of the job, not the actual interview tips) and The Lean Startup [2] (for general philosophy).

35 is a great age for a PM, especially since PM's often start elsewhere -- maturity is a plus here. I'd say there are 3 main ways into it -- as an engineer, who starts to do PM-type stuff on a team where there's no PM. As a designer, who starts to do PM-type stuff on a team where there's no PM. Or as an MBA who has a good sense for engineering and design. Certifications generally don't mean anything -- communication and leadership skills, good judgment, experience and a proven track record are what matter. But all those things can be demonstrated in previous non-PM roles, in order to make the initial switch.

Also, if you want to be a PM then you'd better enjoy meetings, slides, people, and communicating & convincing all day long, day-in day-out. If those make you say an enthusiastic "yes that's me!" then jump right in. If not... you're gonna have a bad time...

[1] https://www.amazon.com/Cracking-PM-Interview-Product-Technol...

[2] https://www.amazon.com/Lean-Startup-Entrepreneurs-Continuous...