PM Interview Series: Introduction

The PM Interview Series might be more suitable for peeps who have a little bit of a context understanding of Product Management.

Picture is taken from https://unsplash.com/photos/0GBxtiFvzXE

Hi! I am Theresa. I am eagerly learning how to “properly PM” and hence, this series was born.

Note: This article is written in a casual, inquisitive (as what my friend would say) way of mine.

In this series, I have a myriad (read: a lot) of PM-related questions for some experienced PMs who I have acquainted over the making of this series or who I have disturbingly annoyed before the making of this series. I would like to share the interview results with them over the course of this series. :)

The making of this series has definitely made me come out of my comfort zone. Remembering how jittery my speech was when asking questions, clenching my jaws and grinding my teeth to remain calm every so often (read: spasmodically!) and clenching my hands so that I won’t be freezing due to nervousness. It definitely took a lot of effort just to not do silly random things while interviewing. I really hope my series provide the different perspectives and empathy PMs should acquire. — Yours truly

Now, let’s start with how I came up with this crazy idea.

No university department nowadays covers Product Management and even people sometimes say project manager instead of product manager, thinking that they are the same thing! Very little resources to look at on how to “properly PM”.

Product Management (PM) is a very experience-based study field, at least it was to me. Even if there are resources out there on how to “properly PM”, PM theories are all ideal cases. The REAL problem kicks in when you are actually trying to implement those theories and then realised, “oh no, now what?”

It was very hard for me to learn how to “properly PM”, especially in this tragic time of COVID19. I cannot go out to mingle with fellow product enthusiasts in conferences and meetups. Henceforth, I strategised my “ PM Interview process” by writing up 25+ (Disclaimer: not exhaustive!) PM-related questions from Ideation to Metrics and Prioritisation.

Okay, questions. Then, what?

Somewhere deep inside my inkling mind tells me: “I needed to reach out to professionals to help me answer some (read: all) of my questions!”. I really wanna dub myself as Theresa the PM Explorer, but it might sound too corny.

And boy, I turn to Product School Slack Community. I am very lucky to be a part of such an eager community where passionate aspiring and professional PMs gather. My wildest thought at the time is to cold call in one of the channels. I waited for the responses. [Cold Call might not be the most appropriate word to write here, because, context (business), but it is definitely the most suitable way I can explicitly describe what I did to attract some of the very professional PMs in the slack community.] It was definitely the most nervous moment I have ever been stuck in.

Where can I reach out to other PMs? My lightbulb moment was LinkedIn. YES! I made several connections with and roll out another round of cold calls, but this time, personal messaging them one-by-one (read: the horror of being ignored!). My God, the anticipation for the responses is worse. I will either look like a crazy MLM stalker if they ghosted me, or a very amateur learner if they welcomingly receive my messages.

Now, let the PM Interview Process start.

I will be sharing my interview transcripts with product managers I have successfully arranged interview with. I will make a list of the respective links for each interview I have ever done. As this is an non-exhaustive series, I will be constantly adding to the list below:

  1. Product Management in a Nutshell with Clement Kao, Product Manager at Blend, USA
  2. From Ideation to Metrics and Prioritisation with Barry Matthew Meyer, Product Manager at DANA Indonesia (transcript is coming soon!)
  3. Validation and Roadmapping with Prasetyo Andy Wicaksono, Senior Product Manager at Bukalapak Indonesia (transcript is coming soon!)
  4. Product Management is a delicate art to master with Gohan Parningotan at Cicil.co.id Indonesia (transcript is coming soon!)
  5. Product Manager for Funnel Optimization with Samuel Widjaya at Tokopedia Indonesia (transcript is coming soon!)
  6. Interview with Bahni Mahariasha, Product Manager at GOJEK Indonesia (interview is coming soon!)
  7. Product Management through the lens of business with Jeremy Joseph Hanniel at Shopee Indonesia (transcript is coming soon!)
  8. Interview with Nigel Chrisman Santosa, Product Manager at Mekari Indonesia (interview is coming soon!)

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