Never undermine yourself on a job interview (and what to do instead!)
⚠️ Let’s talk about very specific advice today: Never undermine yourself on a job interview. Keep reading to understand more:)
🌏 As we all probably know, the world of job interviews is different from the world of actual work. There are Product Management skills that are in demand. It’s a totally separate matter of whether those skills will be actually used in your day-to-day duties.
The Product Manager position is not unified between companies. A different set of responsibilities will be assigned to product managers even in different teams.
🚀 Some of those will be junior positions, some will be more like vice president of product. You may have product management skills that you may never need to use on your specific assignment.
💎 Product managers are expected to be transparent, truthful, and have integrity. Thus you may be tempted to say upfront about your lack of experience in certain areas of product management during a job interview. While this is recommended and commendable in a work environment, in the interview setting try not to undermine yourself. It’s not about lying or disclosing facts, it’s about not putting the spotlight on your obvious disadvantage(s). Therefore it’s best not to mention it unless asked point-blank about it. Even then, it’s a better idea to look for aspects in your experience that prove you have the requested skill even if you don’t get to use it in your current day-to-day responsibilities.
For example, in my first Product Management position, the product wasn’t data-driven. The roadmap was driven by client requests and new contract opportunities. At the same time, being data-driven is a feature of a PM that is in high demand. For a time. I would come out with this information proactively, but seeing how it landed me 0 new jobs, I adjusted. I started giving examples of how I utilized data-drivenness on specific projects and my academic career, despite the company not being data-driven. That was way more successful.
To close, let me just summarize; on the job interview, you are there to convince the other parties in the room that you are the best possible candidate for the open position. People on the other side of the table are actually looking for arguments against that hypothesis. Make sure not to sit at your current place and also on the opposite side of the table and undermine yourself. Moreover, knowing your disadvantages, make sure to have arguments to show you actually have demanded skills, despite not having a direct need to utilize them.
P.S. Credit to Ankit Shukla https://www.linkedin.com/in/ankythshukla/ for a great meme I used in this article :)
Become a (better) Product Manager! For a limited time, I’m offering my Product Management course with an 87% discount (from 99$ to 12.99$) with the coupon link below:
Attend the free, weekly bonus classes to my YouTube channel:
and also read daily Product Management resource links on Twitter:
If you have any questions or you need my help, be sure to connect on LinkedIn today! https://www.linkedin.com/in/bart-jaworski/