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

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

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

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

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

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.