4 Ways to Master the Product Manager Phone Screen Call

Have You Lined Up An Interview With Your Dream Company Only To Develop Major Jitters Before The First Call? In The Typical Product Manager Interview Process, There Are 4 Rounds: The First-Round Product Manager Phone Screen Interview, The Second-Round Meeting With The Hiring Manager (Usually A Product Manager At The Company), The Third-Round Onsite Interview With Company Stakeholders, And Finally The Fourth And Final Interview Where You’ll Need To Close An Offer.

Product Gym — My First Week at Product Gym

Listen Along With An Interview Between Product Gym Co-Founder Rich Chen And A PG Member Preparing For Their First-Round Product Manager Phone Screen.

Nerves Are An Expected Component Of The Interviewing Process At Every Stage, But Are Especially Common Going Into The Phone Screen Round, As It’s The First Contact You’ll Have. The Only Way To Calm Your Anxiety About The Product Manager Phone Screen Is To Practice.

How Do You Go About Doing This? Practicing Mock Interviews And Getting Up To Speed With Common Interview Questions Are Just A Few Key Starting Points. You Need To Make Sure You’re Working On Your Confidence Leading Up To The Phone Screen. Here Are Four Ways To Steel Your Nerves And Prepare For The First-Round.

Do Your Research

Being Well-Prepared Will Help To Reduce Anxiety And Ensure You Ace The Product Manager Phone Screen Call. Prepare Responses To Frequently Used Interview Questions Ahead Of Time By Researching Your Possible Job. Any Preparation You Can Do Will Help You Feel More At Ease And Capable During The Interview.

However, The Time You Commit Towards Research Needs To Be Tempered. It’s Easy To Fall Into The Trap Of Conducting So Much Research That You Procrastinate Submitting An Application. Even If You Have An Interview Lined Up, You Need To Keep Applying: Landing The PM Job Is A Numbers Game, After All.

One Common Pre-Interview Activity To Be Wary Of Is Mock Interviews. Done Right, They Can Be A Helpful Tool To Set You Up For The Real Thing. But You Need To Make Sure You’re Actually Practicing Effectively.

While There’s Definitely A Time And Place For Mock Interviews, All Too Often People Fall Into The Habit Of Performing Them Without Moving On To The Next Stage: Actually Having An Interview.

Similar To Learning How To Swim, Eventually, You’ll Have To Jump Into The Water. You Are Not Going To Learn How To Swim Outside The Pool Measuring Its Depth Or Looking Up The History Of Swimming On Wikipedia. The Only Way To Really Learn To Interview Is By Interviewing. If You Tend To Stumble Over Your Words When You’re Nervous Or Fumble For Answers, The Only Way To Improve Is To Keep Doing It.

Reframe The Scenario

Interviews Are Also An Opportunity For You To Assess A Possible Employer. You Are Determining Whether Or Not You Want To Work For Them In The Same Way They Decide Whether Or Not They Want You To Work For Them. Put Yourself In This Frame Of Mind And Observe Whether It Shifts Your Focus.

To Demonstrate Your Interest In How The Business Might Fit Your Career Goals And Ambitions, Ask Questions That Reveal Your Curiosity. Job Interviews Allow You And Your Future Employer To Assess How Well Your Skills Match The Firm’s Needs. The Product Manager Phone Screen Will Enable You To Get Your First Look At The Company And Gather Some Information To Decide If The Job Is Suited For You.

The Easiest Way To Reframe Your Mindset And Calm Your Nerves Is To Go In With The Understanding That Both Parties Are Trying To Solve A Problem. You Are Looking For Employment, And They Are Looking For The Right Candidate To Grow Their Company.

Enthusiasm Is Key

Job Interviewers Aren’t Known For Being Pleasant For Anyone Involved. However, People Tend To Hire Candidates They Like, And Beginning A Conversation With A Gloomy Demeanor Isn’t Going To Win Anyone Over.

While There Is Some Truth To “Fake It Till You Make It,” You Don’t Need To Come Off As Overbearing In Your Enthusiasm. On That Note, When Something Sounds Interesting, Say Something About It. Be Genuine.

Simply Being Vocal And Enthusiastic Is Easy Advice, Yet It Is Quite Vital. Let The Recruiting Manager Know If They Describe The Work Duties And Hear Something You’d Like To Do More Of. If They Ask Why You Want To Work For The Company, Let Them Know With Some Excitement. Even If This Is The Twentieth Interview You Did That Day, You Don’t Want Them To Sense It.

Treat The Job Hunt Like A Product

Companies Regularly Fail To Streamline Their Hiring Process. It’s A Regular Occurrence That A Company Will Encounter An Issue That Needs A Specialist, But They Don’t Honestly Know What They’re Looking For In A New Hire. This Is Why You’ll Frequently Find Job Boards With Open Positions With Broad Descriptions Of The Objectives, Roles, And Obligations They Are Looking To Fill.

To Help Everyone Involved In This Process, You Can Treat The Scenario Like You Would Any Other Product You’re Trying To Bring To Launch. However, In This Instance, You’re The Product, The Interviewers Are The Stakeholders, And The Company Is The Target Market.

You Can Build A Roadmap, Create A Timeline, And Use Data To Successfully Find A Job That You Not Only Want But That Also Wants You. One Of The Best Ways To Incorporate Your Product Management Prowess Is By Collecting Data And Improving Your Weak Areas. Since The Talent Pool Is Vast, And There Are Only So Many Positions Available, You’ll Want To Cast As Wide A Net As Possible And Secure As Many Interviews As You Can.

During This Process, Don’t Be Afraid To Perform Some A/B Testing. You Can Apply This Methodology To Your Resume, Cover Letter, Or Even The Words You Choose To Use During The Product Manager Phone Screening Round. Go Into An Phone Screen Interview With A Plan On How You Want To Approach It. Then Measure How Successful It Is And Try A Different Tactic For The Next Interview.

Once You Have Enough Data, You’ll Start To See A Pattern That Can Reduce Any Anxiety You Have Toward The Interview You Really Want To Ace.

Ace The Product Manager Phone Screen

Need A Bit More Guidance In Preparing For The First-Round Product Manager Phone Screen? We’re Here To Help You Bullet Proof Your Interview Prep And Boost Your Confidence During Your Next Product Manager Job Interview. Our Team Of Career Coaches Are Offering Free 30-Minute Career Coaching Sessions. Schedule Your One-On-One Time Slot Today And Let Us Answer Any Questions You May Still Have.

Want to be a Product Manager? Product Gym teaches you how to act like a PM, think like a PM, talk like a PM, and most importantly, how to interview like a PM.