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Decoding the PM Interviewer's Mind | Astika Gupta, Product and Career Coach | Meta, Microsoft, E-Bay

Welcome to Product Unfiltered, where we bring you exclusive insights from industry leaders. In this episode, we sit down with Astika Gupta, a Product and Career Coach. Her journey from software development to product leadership and coach offers a wealth of experience and knowledge that is sure to inspire and enlighten.

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Product Unfiltered: A Discussion with Astika Gupta, Product and Career Coach

Product management is a collaborative effort, and Astika stresses the importance of showcasing skills beyond individual product leadership during interviews. The interview process should reflect the teamwork aspect, and candidates must highlight their ability to contribute effectively to a team.

Breaking Down the Interview

Product Sense:

  • Astika breaks down the interview into three segments: product sense, product metrics, and behavioral questions.

  • While high-product metrics are crucial, the interviewer is equally interested in understanding the thought process, customer segmentation, pain points, and alignment with company goals.

Behavioral Questions

  • Emphasis on individual contribution: Astika underscores the importance of not only highlighting the team's achievements but also focusing on the individual's role and impact.

  • Signals to look out for include product vision, building from scratch, scaling products, creating roadmaps, and collaboration with cross-functional teams.

Product Metrics

  • Prioritizing Effectively: Astika emphasizes the importance of effective prioritization in product management, balancing customer needs with company business goals.

  • Candidates should connect responses back to the company's mission and goals.

Strategies for Success

Confidence in Making Assumptions

  • Astika advises candidates to be confident in making assumptions during interviews.

  • Interviewers are keen on understanding the candidate's thought process, customer segmentation, and how the product aligns with the company's mission.

Seeking Clarification

  • Candidates should be comfortable seeking clarification and recommendations from the interviewer.

  • Being comfortable in one's delivery is crucial, and Astika shares insights from her experience as a mentor and interviewer.

Personalized Framework for Preparation

  • Astika recommends developing a personalized framework for interview preparation.

  • Candidates should focus on design execution, behavioral aspects, and have a depth of understanding when answering behavioral questions.

Practice with a Mentor or Coach

  • Practice is essential, and Astika discusses the importance of practicing with a mentor or coach.

  • Quality practice cases are more valuable than focusing on a specific number of mock interviews.

Personal Stories and Subjective Observation

  • Astika highlights the importance of having personal stories and subjective observations in preparation.

  • Candidates should differentiate their answers with a unique perspective, incorporating depth and subjective points.

Crafting Effective Behavioral Questions

  • Astika provides guidance on ensuring behavioral questions are accurate and concise.

  • Candidates should start with the longest version of the story and gradually cut unnecessary details while maintaining accuracy.

  • Creating an Excel sheet with columns for headline, situation, action, and result can aid in crafting concise versions of behavioral stories.

Astika Gupta's insights on Product Unfiltered provide a roadmap for navigating the intricacies of product management interviews, offering a holistic view of the process and empowering aspiring product managers with strategies for success. Stay tuned for more episodes that unravel the mysteries of the product management realm.


Product Unfiltered is a platform dedicated to fostering insightful conversations with industry experts, thought leaders, and innovators in the realm of product management. Our podcast aims to provide a space for sharing diverse perspectives, best practices, and emerging trends that shape the ever-evolving field of product management. Join us as we delve into the minds of those driving innovation and creating impactful products across industries.



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