I’ve been through a ton of product management interviews recently to find my next opportunity. They are a gauntlet of uncomfortable questions that dredge the depths of your soul — not always fun. It’s never the same question twice, but many of them seek the same answer in different ways.
Right after an interview, I would write down all the questions they asked and analyze them and my answers so I could improve on my performance for the next round; or failing that, the next company.
Here’s 17 of the most common questions I got, why the interviewers asked them…
Hands down, the hardest part of Product Management is dealing with unreasonable executives who expect you to deliver the sun and the moon at the snap of their manicured fingers.
In my time, I’ve had all sorts. Worst ever was a company full of execs that expected me to build an incredibly complicated software product without giving me a single designer or even a developer — and they wanted the project done and earning money from 4 months before I’d even started working for them.
I’m not kidding.
I want to tell you a true story about evil. How it can thrive. How it’s supported by the higher-ups in a company. How it operates. And, most importantly, how it can drive you to do your very best work and at the same time destroy you.
Evil bosses are a part of everybody’s working life. There is no escaping them. The only thing you can do is recognize them, understand them, and either keep the hell away from them or use them to enhance yourself.
Yes, that’s what I said: you can use evil to enhance yourself.
Recap: Much too late, Flavia discovers that Cicero is behind the death of her husband. Cicero realizes this and seizes her and orders two Jovians to slice her in-two. Meanwhile, Cicero and Tacitus have their hands full with an avalanche of murderous cultists who have suicidally leaped from the city’s walls in an effort to kill our two heroes.
Flavia’s white hands, slicked with nervous sweat, slipped from Cicero’s grip as she abruptly twisted.
The Jovians’ gold swords missed their mark and slashed down into the bedframe.
She backed away from the three of them. …
You are not too unintelligent to learn to code!
Let’s get that excuse right out of the way.
Yes, it’s hard. Yes, you’ve been working at it for some time and not progressing. And, Yes, your peers that started at the same time as you are further along.
But that does not mean you are too unintelligent to learn to code. If you can read this article, you are smart enough to learn how to code. Trust me. 😉
What’s hindering you are likely these nine common (non-technical) stumbling blocks.
Here they are and how to overcome them.
I’m sick and tired of ‘computer’ people lording over others their knowledge of technology, like they’re the only ones that can make fire.
There isn’t a secret handshake or super-intelligence required to understand the basics of this stuff. Trust me, I know. I’ve been a developer technical writer for more than a decade, writing for such companies as Schneider Electric, Elastic Path, and Atlassian. And I know for a fact that the basics are just never explained well enough for non-hardcore technology people to understand them.
And that’s done intentionally — makes the writer feel like they’re one of the…
Truly it’s a mad bit of business, but there’s an opportunity to learn something about yourself from the people that you hate.
Here’s my story.
I hated this guy at work. He was arrogant, a know-it-all, and he would belittle people if they didn’t agree with him. A red-haired office-bully, he was.
One day I’m talking to my manager (a manager I had an outstanding relationship with), and I mention this ginger-haired office-bully. I explain how all his irritations make me want to drop-kick him in his freckled face.
Then my manager says something absolutely devastating to me.
I can’t believe I set out on this journey a whole year ago and I’ve stuck with it — through thick and thin.
It is an accomplishment. It is a miracle. It is something to be deeply proud of. I’ve learned a hell of a lot in 2020 and I can’t wait for what 2021 will teach me.
Here is all that I’ve learned and everything I can think of that newish writers will find of value: top articles, stats, earnings, tips, and more.
Hope it helps.
You’re not going to believe this, but it never really hit me…
I never worked from home before, then I started a product management job in the thick of the pandemic and my entire world was suddenly online.
Everything — how I interacted with developers, how I planned, how I interfaced with overly-demanding stakeholders, how I aligned the team on the little things while still driving us towards the vision, how I managed my people, how I inspired, and so on — had to be relearned and done differently online.
And, meanwhile, our new puppy chomped away at my toes as I sat at my desk in a video meeting.
I product manage enterprise systems, which means the audience for my features is internal.
Classic frameworks like RICE, ICE, Value vs Effort, Kano, etc, are designed to weigh the value of a feature based on the impact it makes on the external customer. For example, the R in RICE is reach: how many users will your feature reach? Kano: how happy will this feature make your users? Value vs Effort: what feature will have the most positive impact for users?
The trick to good prioritization is finding the right question to determine what’s the most important thing for your team…