As an aspiring PM, how do I prove I'm fit for the PM's position?

Hello,

I’m currently a PO, former Service Designer who managed his digital service design and consultancy company for a few years. I’m PSPO1 and ITIL 4 foundation certified, I have a masters degree in digital project management, 15+ years experience in various IT positions (BA, PMO, PO, etc.) at international firms. I’m user centric, business aware, fluent in SQL, and have a good understanding of statistics, web programming and sysadmin.

So, if I was to apply to PM positions, what would make my resume land me a first interview? I was thinking of getting additional certifications. What would you recommend? Is a MBA really necessary? What other things should I do in order to land an interview?

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It sounds to me that you already have everything you need. Are you having issues getting interview calls?

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@Nathan, Not yet. I’m just considering moving forward with my career.

Also, I heard people talking about tests during PM interviews (especially when applying for a position at a FAANG) and I wanted to know how to prepare them.

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@Karan, Can’t help you there. Working for those companies goes against my principles. Especially Facebook and Google.

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Thanks. FAANG is not a career goal for me but I thought PM tests could be usual during PM interviews. Is that the case from your experience?

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Depends a lot of startups who aspire to have like big techs do those tests. – in my experience it varies a lot. If they have to mention agile and dev ops and scrum 3x on a job listening they’ll probably do a test.

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@Marco, Yes. With just a few exceptions, all companies I worked for or interviewed with had a test. Some were good, some were really bad. A few were insane. One company asked me to detail an entire solution, backend and frontend, for a rival to Slack. Passed on that one. Both the test and the company. :laughing:

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@Nathan, Do you know a good resource to prepare for those tests?

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@Karan, Sorry but no. I do these tests with no extra preparation, just my accumulated experience and nothing more. I’m fine if I can’t pass a test, that means that I probably wouldn’t be able to do the work.

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Perhaps unrelated, but I’m curious about why it goes against your principles. I do notice a certain anti-FAANG sentiment on this sub and always assumed it was because they were overrated, but didn’t think people actively disliked working at those companies.

As someone currently eyeing a role at FAANG, I was wondering if you could elaborate on your preference!

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@RobMartin, I am a strong believer in and an advocate for privacy. I know, I know. Screaming ‘privacy’ now is like screaming ‘save the planet’ in the 90s. I actually believe that the privacy crisis will overshadow the climate crisis in the next years.

But principles aside, it would be impossible for me to work for companies whose products I stopped using years ago.

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@Nathan, I see, that’s absolutely a good reason to avoid them. I have to admit that it hasn’t put me off using many of those free services (except Facebook). I guess I agree with you on principle, but belong in the group that hasn’t acted on it because I’m addicted to the convenience

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You sound qualified enough to get some interviews (would need to see full resume to see what tier of companies would consider you or not). I recently started working at a big company and am happy to provide a few resources for studying for the entry tests. Each company is very different, and has their specific types of questions.

  • TryExponent is a pretty solid new interview training website.
  • Decode and Conquer
  • Cracking the PM interview
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You sound highly qualified. Just out of curiosity, what motivates you to transition to product management?

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@Rohit, I started my IT career taking care of the “how” but I’m more interested in the “why” (I was a social scientist before working in IT) so I took every opportunity to get closer to the business side of the work. Plus being a former social scientist, I found UX, Service Design and Design Thinking very interesting and incorporated it into my approach but it makes no sense if you’re doing it only for the sake of it. So I think moving one step closer to the business is the next logical step in my career.

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I just landed my first PM job, and it was a very rough process. While searching, I volunteered remotely as an unpaid Product Manager, which got me a few months of experience that I could use for my resume and interview. My MBA was expensive, and hasn’t been necessary. Save your money and teach yourself online.