How to Become Product Manager

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Become a Product Manager

Product management course with real life case studies with JIRA & Confluence, interview preparation.

If you are preparing for product manager’s job with any tech company like Google, Meta, Apple, Amazon. You need to prepare well.

If you are wondering how to become a product manager especially with no product management experience, you are at right place.

To become product manager with a good company, you need to focus on following factors.

  • Company
  • Profile
  • Domain or nature of the product company
  • Position of the product manager’s role -
  • Job market
  • Interview practice and preparation


First let’s start with the company. Big companies like adobe, google, Microsoft, apple, Netflix or any other large national or multi-national group hire product managers in bulk. As a result of that, if you focus on interview practice and preparation, you have higher chances of cracking product management interviews.

I know it is contrarian to popular opinion, but I think it is easier to become product manager with bigger and established companies instead of startups or smaller companies.

Bigger companies have liberal hiring policies, even if your interview performance is not perfect, but if you show right attitude and show sign of being hands on with product management, you will be selected.

Reason is;

  • These companies have a diverse set of product managers and number of product managers are usually high.
  • A lot of these product managers comes from diverse set of background like sales, operations, engineering etc. Very high probability that the person who is interviewing is, started with some other team and then moved towards product management. Its gives them high level of confidence. They believe that, just as they could do it, you too can do it if your profile is coming across as good profile. For example, if you are a aspiring product manager with 10 years of experience but most or all of 10 years were in some domain like programming, marketing or sales, you might still get the chance, provided you do well in interview.
  • You should be above average in interviews, which means that, you should be able to answer all or most of the questions on product management like product design, strategy or root cause analysis types of questions.
  • Smaller companies or startups doesn’t have that diversity. Founder is involved in hiring and they will be looking for very specific set of skills like domain, data, digital or blockchain. Even if your profile is good but if you lack that specific skill, you won’t be hired because they don’t have high budget or time. They can’t afford to train you for 6 months. They want you to start immediately. 
  • Bigger companies have higher appetite for training, and they are looking for someone who is more of a cultural fit or have good attitude to be in on team. It doesn’t mean that you perform badly in interviews, but it means that if your performance is average but if you are able to engage interviewer well and show good attitude, you could still make it.

So, when you are applying for product manager role, you should carefully pay attention to the company and team.

Bigger companies mean higher level of red tape and bureaucracy. It means that bigger decisions are taken by senior people.

So they will ask product design or strategy question in interviews like;

  • Should company X launch product Y in Z country
  • How would you launch a smartphone in US market for Google
  • Should Google enter streaming services

But you are not expected to make these decisions when you join them. Because larger companies engage consultant, principal product managers and bunch of others to decide if they should a new nation or not.

A senior product manager at Tesla is not going to decide if Tesla should sell their cars in India or any other market. These decisions will come from higher ups.

It means that, though larger companies might ask such questions in interview, they don’t plan to use it for these strategic activities.

Now off course, different companies have different ways of working, so actual roles and responsibility will vary but largely.

  • You will be writing product requirements
  • Working with different stakeholders to present the requirements and sign off
  • Sprint planning, show and tell/demo
  • Working with engineering team and testers
  • With training team or updating training manuals.
  • Usability testing
  • Root cause analysis
  • Working on feature enhancements
  • And off course, attending and running lot of calls

Level of responsibility comes with the size of the company.

Smaller companies will have higher level of exposure and responsibilities.

Bigger companies will have lower level of exposure and responsibilities.


Key is cultural fit.

Your experience and profile fit with the company. Bigger companies tend to focus more on it.

Honestly it is quite generic, but it simply means, you should come across as

You should possess

  • Good communication skills
  • Should have leadership skills
  • Higher level of emotional intelligence
  • Empathy towards user

Last but not the least, keep smiling during interview.

Domain or Nature of the Product

For certain profiles at amazon, they will prefer to pick product managers with similar background and experience. So, to put it simply, your probability of getting hired could go up, if you have worked for Target, Flipkart or any other ecommerce player.

For certain product manager roles, Apple might prioritize people with supply chain experience. So even if you check all the boxes, chances are, you might not get interview call or rejected in interviews.

So, when applying for product manager jobs, ALWAYS plan according to your experience/profile and domain/nature of the position.

I don’t want to discourage from applying for roles at amazon or apple. They hire tons of product managers, and your experience & profile will be suitable for some other team.

In fact, lot of us wonder why we don’t get calls despite applying everywhere for every position. This is the reason behind that. They are looking for specific domain or product skill and you don’t have them.

Level of the position

Senior positions need more skills and relevant experience. Relevant experience is a keyword. If you have 10 years of experience in sales or programming but no product management experience, you shouldn’t even apply there.

Start with your own company where you could change roles easily or start with lower levels like associate product manager or product management positions.

I must reiterate that switching roles within your organization is the best way. Because you could work there and learn product management while using some product management course to upskill yourself and then you can apply for senior product manager positions.

Job market

Job market is one big external factor which you can’t control. But you can survive poor job market by upskilling yourself. Learn product management, practice case studies and interview questions.

For example, right now there is wave of tech layoffs. All major tech companies are laying off people. Whether its Google, Meta, Goldman Sachs, Salesforce, or any other big tech company, they are laying off people in thousands.

Product managers are still better because skill is in high demand and once you have name like Google on your CV, even if you are laid off, you would easily get product manager role at other companies.

Product Management Interview practice and preparation

Practice makes a person perfect. There is no end to it. keep practicing till you get your desired job.

But interview practice won’t help in isolation. Especially if you don’t have product management skills.

You might think that you might fake answers in interviews by practicing but unless you understand the concepts, you can’t do well at the jobs. And all good companies will have enough skills to drill candidate to expose their true nature.

Interview practice will only help if you have learned product management, either at job or by studies.

So if you are aspirational product manager with no real job experience, you should first focus on studying product management and then focus on interview practice.

You can use this to test your product management knowledge. It has real product management interview questions, it could be useful to you. Click here to access product management test 

If you need any help, you can connect with me through Linkedin and send your questions. And don’t forget to check out the product management course, it will be great asset for you if you are just starting out your product management journey.

This product management course will help you with

And much more, check out the course. You can also subscribe to my Youtube channel to get content on product management, click here.

And if you have any question, leave your comments.

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About akhilendra

Hi, I’m Akhilendra and I write about Product management, Business Analysis, Data Science, IT & Web. Join me on Twitter, Facebook & Linkedin

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