Welcome back to the Product Unfiltered podcast series! In a recent episode of Product Unfiltered, we had the privilege of hosting Bijan, the founder of PM Exercises and Product Monkey AI.
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Product Unfiltered: A Discussion with Bijan, Founder of PMExercises & Product Monkey AI.
With over a decade of experience in product management and a passion for helping others succeed in the field, Bijan shared invaluable insights on "How to Crack PM Interviews." Here are the key takeaways from our enlightening discussion:
1. The Evolution of PM Exercises:
Bijan shared the journey of PM Exercises, initially a personal project to prepare for interviews, which has now evolved into a platform where aspiring product managers can practice interview questions and receive constructive feedback.
2. Standing Out in the Pre-Interview Phase:
Bijan stressed the importance of showcasing product management skills and industry expertise in your application. Research companies thoroughly and align your interests with their goals.
Highlight the value of domain expertise, as companies increasingly seek candidates with deep industry knowledge.
3. The Role of Practice in Interview Preparation:
Practice is paramount in interview preparation. Bijan shared that top candidates at tech giants invest significant time in interview practice.
Balance is key; focus initially on deep, "Siloed" preparation and gradually shift towards mock interviews.
4. Navigating the Interview Process:
Be adaptable with frameworks; they're valuable tools but should not be treated as rigid templates. Tailor your approach based on the specific question and context.
For virtual interviews, have cheat sheets and frameworks ready for reference, but also practice answering questions in front of others to prepare for in-person interviews.
5. Interviewing at Startups vs. Large Companies:
Understanding the nuances of the industry, competitors, and the product is crucial for startups. Demonstrating insights and value can set you apart.
Larger organizations may prioritize assessing core PM skills over domain expertise. Tailor your approach accordingly.
6. The Interview Process in Detail:
Bijan explained the typical stages in the interview process, from recruiter calls to cross-functional interviews with various teams within the organization.
Some companies, like Google, evaluate candidates on multiple dimensions throughout the day.
7. Post-Interview Considerations:
Ask thoughtful questions about the company's vision and product development process during your interview. Understanding the team's dynamics is essential.
Send a thank-you note after the interview to express your interest and professionalism.
8. Salary Negotiations and Handling Differences:
Approach salary negotiations collaboratively, asking if there's room for discussion and providing reasons for your request based on market value or your passion for the company.
Be patient during post-interview processes, but also clearly communicate any competing offers or deadlines.
Bijan encouraged candidates not to shy away from negotiation discussions, as it can lead to a more favorable outcome.
9. A Final Piece of Advice:
Fill your free time by engaging with products to gain experience and determine if a career in product management aligns with your goals.
Bijan's insights offer a comprehensive roadmap for excelling in product management interviews. Whether you're a seasoned professional or just starting your journey, these tips are invaluable for your career growth.
Bijan also introduced his latest endeavor, Product Monkey, aimed at solving the problem of unclear project scopes in product management. This tool leverages generative AI to assist product managers in drafting PRDs and Engineering task tickets, ultimately fostering clarity and enhancing productivity within teams.
Stay tuned for more captivating episodes on Product Unfiltered, where we bring you industry experts to explore the diverse facets of product management.
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.