📣 Announcing a new Lewis C. Lin book: The Product Manager Interview by Lewis Lin

My newest book, The Product Manager Interviewis now available!

It's an incredible book.

It reveals the newest, most advanced thinking on how to prepare for product management (PM) interviews including:

  • NEW! 30-Day Facebook PM Interview Preparation Plan including product sense, execution & leadership questions
  • 30-Day Google PM Interview Preparation Plan
  • 36-Day Amazon PM Interview Preparation Plan

Don't miss out.

This is perfect for PM candidates who are looking for step-by-step guidance on how to prepare for specific companies, complete with practice problems and sample answers.

    It also includes one of the most anticipated sections: a reference sheet of nearly 100 assumptions you should know for estimation and analytical questions including facts from the:

    • Smartphone Industry
    • Online Advertising
    • eCommerce
    • Enterprise Software
    • Social Networks

    Lastly, since it is the third edition (previously known as PM Interview Questions), I've made thousands of changes, including major overhauls, revisions, and in some cases complete rewrites of the 164 sample answers in the book.

    With all the time invested, I'm proud to say that you will not find a more detailed product management interview prep book on the market.

    Conquer those interviews,

    Lewis C. Lin 🦊

    P.S. I've also re-released my salary negotiation book under a new, more descriptive title, 71 Brilliant Salary Negotiation Email Samples. Check it out!

    Sample Answer from The Product Manager Interview

    Amazon Product Manager Interview Cheat Sheet by Lewis Lin


    Why? Amazon is hiring twice as many MBAs as any other tech firm.

    Aside from torrential job growth, there's another reason why MBAs should pay attention to Amazon; it's a phenomenal company to have on one's resume.

    This snippet, from my latest book, explains why hiring managers find Amazonians to be the most coveted, right after Google and Facebook:

    What are the best tech companies to have on a product manager’s resume?

    #3: Amazon
    More so than PMs at other companies, Amazon PMs are known to be absolute grinders. Amazon PMs, along with Amazon employees in general, are the only ones known to consistently work 60-hour work weeks. Many work more.

    Tough as nails, Amazon PMs will persist longer than others in impossible conditions.

    While Amazon is not as selective as lower-ranked companies (partly due to the fact they are on a hiring binge), an Amazonian’s grit is commendable and a big difference maker that edge Amazon PMs ahead of others.


    How to Download the Amazon PM Interview Cheat Sheet

    If I had an Amazon PM interview, and I could only bring one cheat sheet...this one would be it.

    Print out the high-resolution version of this cheat sheet, available in bothJPG and PDF.


    Lewis C. Lin

    Google Product Manager Interview Cheat Sheet (PM or APM) by Lewis Lin


    CIRCLES Method™ featured in Business Insider

    Let me start with good news. Decode and Conquer (D&C) sales have been scorching 🔥 this month!

    If you've been following who gets job offers from Facebook 👥  and Google, you know that candidates prefer D&C over other PM interview prep books

    Google's recruiters are also big fans of D&C.

    Business Insider revealed that Google's recruiters prescribe my CIRCLES Method™ as the #1 method when preparing for product design questions.

    Google recruiters also recommend my on-demand, coding interview prep materials too.

    Brand New Google Product Manager Interview Cheat Sheet

    Speaking of Google, I'm honored to share a brand new Google PM interview cheat sheet with all of you.

    It's fun, colorful, and Googley. More importantly, it covers all the different question types you'd encounter at the interview including product design, technical, analytical, and strategy. 

    This cheat sheet is based on my latest book, Secrets of the Product Manager Interview.

    The Biggest Mistake Google PM Candidates Make

    Google PM candidates erroneously believe that they the reason they didn't get a Google PM offer is because they failed the whiteboard coding interview.

    That's incorrect.

    #1 reason why candidates fail: poor responses to product design questions

    What are product design questions? Here are two examples from actual Google interviews:

    • How would you design a better smoke detector?
    • Design an new iPad app for Google spreadsheet.

    Product design questions aren't covered by the standard MBA curriculum nor consulting case interview prep.

    There are a few reasons why product design questions are so challenging:

    • Suffocating time pressure. Great products, such as the iPhone are not built in a day, let alone a 45-minute interview.
    • Limited domain knowledge. How can candidates suggest smoke detector innovations if they don't know how they work?
    • No support. Real-life innovation happens in teams; team members can build on each other's ideas. No such support system exists in a solitary closet-sized interview room.

    To do well requires lots of practice. And the best place to start is the CIRCLES Method™.


    How to Download the Google PM Interview Cheat Sheet

    If I had a Google PM interview, and I could only bring one cheat sheet...this would be it.

    Print out the high-resolution version of this cheat sheet, available in bothJPG and PDF.

    Conquer those interviews,

    Lewis C. Lin

    Facebook Product Manager Interview Cheat Sheet (PM or RPM) 👥 by Lewis Lin


    Some big news last week: Facebook (FB) announced that they're now accepting applications for their 2018 RPM program. There's a reason why aspiring PMs are buzzing about this: FB is one of the most coveted employers today. Here's more context from my latest book, Secrets of the Product Manager Interview

    Being a Facebook employee is like graduating from Harvard. That is,  joining Facebook will offer a network of movers and shakers that you’ll find valuable throughout your career, trailing Google’s by just a tad.

    How to Prepare for Facebook PM Interviews

    Whether you're interviewing for Facebook, as part of the RPM program or as an industry hire, we've created a beautiful cheat sheet that covers all three areas of the FB PM interview:

    1. Product Sense
    2. Execution
    3. Leadership

    How FB evaluates PM candidates is different from Google or Amazon. I suggest that candidates get familiar with these three areas, anticipate the appropriate case questions, and create a Facebook-specific preparation plan.

    Execution Questions are the Most Mysterious...and Hard to Prepare For 

    Execution questions are the most mysterious question type. It's not a surprise that failing the execution interview is the reason why many do not get the job offer.

    One may think "execution" refers to one's ability to get things done, like a project manager would. However, that's not FB's intent. 

    When assessing a candidate's "execution" skills, what FB really means is testing one's "executive decision making." And FB evaluates a candidate's executive decision making skills through six categories of rare and peculiar questions that revolve around metricsROI estimation, and root cause analysis.

    Lewis' Exclusive Teaching Note on FB Execution Questions

    A few months ago, I penned a teaching note that:

    • Details the six different "execution question" categories
    • Shares my secrets on how to approach each one
    • Recommends relevant practice problems

    A small group of former clients and students have seen this teaching note. 

    But I'm prepared to share it again.

    If you're interested in receiving my teaching note on FB execution and metric questions, sign up here before September 1st, and I'll send it to you shortly after.

    How to Download the Facebook PM Interview Cheat Sheet

    If I had a Facebook PM interview, and I could only bring one cheat sheet...this would be it.

    Print out the high-resolution version of this cheat sheet, available in both JPG and PDF.


    Lewis C. Lin

    ☕ 🥐 New Marketing Interview Cheat Sheet: 10 Frameworks You Need to Know by Lewis Lin

    I'm excited to announce a brand new marketing interview cheat sheet. It's based on my #1 selling marketing interview prep book on Amazon.com:Rise Above the Noise.  

    The cheat sheet covers indispensable frameworks for the most popular marketing case questions including:

    • Marketing plans
    • Go-to-market strategy
    • ROI calculations
    • Advertising critiques
    • Dealing with PR disasters

    It's ideal for both traditional CPG / brand management roles  (think: Starbucks ☕, General Mills 🥐, Hershey 🍬) as well as tech marketing interviews (think: Google, Amazon, Facebook).  It's also appropriate for general and product management candidates, who often get blind-sided with go-to-market questions.

    Why Marketing Case Interview Prep Should Not Be Overlooked

    Surprisingly, many candidates overlook marketing case interview prep. They assume that marketing interviews will not have case questions.  

    That's a dangerous assumption.  

    Product management candidates make a similar mistake: assuming that marketing questions will not appear during the PM interview.  

    Bad call.

    Here's why:

    Over the last year, many Google PM candidates have howled how interviewers have "invented a new question type." That supposedly new question type is nothing more than a go-to-market case interview question, covered in Rise Above the Noise.

    How to Download the Marketing Interview Cheat Sheet

    If I had a CPG or tech marketing interview, and I could only bring one cheat sheet...this one would be it.

    Print out the high-resolution version of this cheat sheet, available in bothJPG and PDF.


    Lewis C. Lin

    PS Good luck to those heading out to the Prospanica and National Black MBA conferences for CPG & marketing interviews in September!


    🍔 🍰🍦Amazon Prime Day Deal, a Delicious Interview Cheat Sheet, and New Interview Prep Software by Lewis Lin

    Amazon Prime Day is in full swing, and we've got a deal for you.

    But first, I wanted to share two new resources for aspiring management consultants.

    Practice Software for Case Interview Math

    Amazon.com named Interview Math the #1 selling case interview math prep book. To help our readers master case interview math further, Jack Hyder, along with Daanish Khazi, created Interview Math Practice Software. Now you can practice Interview Math questions on your own. You can time yourself and answer questions faster.

    It's FREE.

    Works for both desktop and mobile devices.

    Sketchnote for Market Sizing Numbers to Know

    Next, Interview Math readers have loved our market sizing numbers to know cheat sheet. Katie, on my team, created a beautiful sketchnote version.

    Pictures are better than words.

    Katie's unforgettable visual makes those numbers stick.

    Amazon Prime Day Deal

    Finally, Amazon is offering $5 off any of my books priced $15 or more for Prime Day. Use code: PRIMEBOOKS17. Expires at 11:59 p.m. (PT) July 12, 2017.

    Conquer those interviews,

    Lewis C. Lin

    10 Traits That Separate the Best Interview Candidates from Everyone Else 😇 by Lewis Lin

    Ben Horowitz is a venture capitalist and The New York Times bestselling author of The Hard Thing About Hard Things. Earlier in his career, Horowitz held leadership roles at Lotus, Netscape, AOL, and HP.

    At Netscape, he penned a legendary essay titled Good Product Manager/Bad Product ManagerThe essay was riveting. Not only have I referred to it repeatedly over the years, but also it inspired me to pen my own essay, using a similar format, about what good interview candidates do that bad ones don't.

    Read on for the entire essay. I hope it demystifies why some people get all the offers while others come up empty-handed.

    Conquer those interviews,

    Lewis C. Lin

    P.S. Thanks to everyone who bought copies of my new book, Secrets of the Product Manager Interview. I'm humbled by your support. Sales have far exceeded my estimates. 😁

     Photo Credit: Alex Gorzen

    Photo Credit: Alex Gorzen

    Good Interview Candidate, Bad Interview Candidate

    Good interview candidates apply to a small handful of jobs because they know what they want. Bad interview candidates apply to all jobs because they don't want to miss out.

    Good interview candidates write cover letters that are brief, relevant, and when appropriate, entertaining. Bad interview candidates cut-and-paste cover letters, leaving the reader to figure out how they are different from everyone else.

    Good interview candidates know the company, the customer, the products and the competition. Bad interview candidates tell themselves that they'll learn about the company, customer, and products during orientation week.

    Good candidates anticipate interview questions. Bad candidates don't know what to expect.

    Good candidates write interview responses in advance. Bad candidates don't see the value of clarifying their thoughts in writing before they speak.

    Good candidates verbally rehearse their written responses so they don't worry about what they're going to say. Verbal practice helps them appear casual, conversational, and relaxed. Bad candidates prepare for interviews by spending countless hours passively reading about the company.

    Good candidates know what the hiring manger is looking for. They redline the job description. They've circle all the important keywords including skills and experiences they're looking for. They ask the recruiter (or friends at the company) thoughtful tips and clues about the hiring manager and the position: What is he looking for? What are his pet peeves? What did he like or not like about other candidates or (if applicable) the candidate's predecessor?

    Good candidates promote themselves effectively. Good candidates think about the story they want interviewers to share at the water cooler. Bad candidates think about covering every single career moment. Good candidates use the right keywords, using vocabulary and concepts familiar to the interviewer. Bad candidates use language familiar to only themselves.

    Good candidates ask the interviewer questions. Bad candidates react to interview questions. Good candidates assume interviewers are really smart. Bad candidates assume that interviewers are dumb and can't tell if the candidate is "winging it."

    Good candidates are precise in the words that they use. Bad candidates use business jargon that everyone else uses. Good candidates can explain the meaning behind their words. Bad candidates need more than 10 seconds to do the same.

    Good candidates talk about their careers with passion, detail and conviction because they love what they've done, what they're currently doing, and what they will do. Bad candidates avoid talking about their careers. They make excuses for not speaking up, but the truth is that they either don't know what to say or are too afraid to say something that hurts their chances at getting the job.

    Good candidates have interview responses that are complete, logical and satisfying. Bad candidates have interview responses that are fragmented or illogical. Bad candidates shift the burden to the interviewer and let the interviewer do the hard work of figuring out what the candidate is saying.

    Good candidates explain their careers in a way that sounds fun. Bad candidates explain their careers in a boring way.

    Good candidates send thank you notes because they appreciate the interviewer for taking time out of his or her busy schedule. Bad candidates don't send thank you notes because they take the interviewer's time for granted. Or, they don't have the discipline to write a thank you note when they're busy.

    Good candidates demonstrate value to the prospective employer before, during, and after the interview. They redesign the company's web page, create a new marketing brochure, or propose a new product and share it — proactively and for free. Bad candidates wait until they are on the job to demonstrate their worth.

    Good candidates welcome job offers with excitement and gratitude because they know it's what they want. Bad candidates hem and haw when receiving a job offer because they don't know how a company fits into their life plan.

    Good candidates enjoy the new job because they are eager to learn, adapt and change. Bad candidates complain about the new job because it's not comfortable.

    Inspired by Ben Horowitz's article

    Lewis C. Lin's Newest Book for 2017 – Secrets of the Product Manager Interview by Lewis Lin

    I am excited to announce my newest book, Secrets of the Product Manager Interview.

    Here's what's new:

    I've collected over 10 years of questions from my readers, coaching clients, and workshop attendees. I've answered them and extracted the essence. Now, I'm revealing those secrets with you.

    Here's what I divulge in the new book:

    ▪ What to expect at Google, Facebook, Uber & Amazon interviews
    ▪ How to get your first product manager job
    ▪ The most efficient way to prepare
    ▪ What are the biggest interview mistakes and how to avoid them
    ▪ How to really impress the interviewers
    ▪ A Google insider's take on how to interpret interviewer feedback
    ▪ Which companies are the best for product managers who want to make it to the top
    ▪ The latest advice on how to deal with the dreaded take-home assignments

    This book is different from my other Amazon.com bestsellers, Decode and Conquer and PM Interview Questions. On the one hand, those books are focused on frameworks and practice questions. On the other hand, this new book, Secrets of the Product Manager Interview, is focused on my secrets, answers, and everything you need to know about the product manager interview process.

    And yes, this book is available in paperback and Kindle.

    Good luck with those interviews,

    Lewis C. Lin

    P.S. I'll be completing my last workshop for the 2016-2017 season on March 25th at the University of Texas! If you're attending, please introduce yourself and say hello!

    P.P.S. For those that I met in 2016-2017 at my half and full-day workshops, the honor was mine. Here are my favorite attendee quotes:

    Stanford University

    "Lewis, your interview workshop was a tremendous learning experience! I sense your passion for product management and your desire to help students like me prepare for PM interviews! I wish I had your workshop before my Google and Facebook PM interviews last year."

    Columbia University

    "I loved the interactive exercises. It was fun, and I learned. I only wish our regular professors would teach course material Lewis Lin's way."

    University of Chicago

    "Content-wise, the workshop yesterday was super helpful. Lewis Lin's presentation & training is very professional."

    University of Washington

    "I learned a lot from Lewis Lin's interview workshop. The best part of the talk, other than the tools and tactics, was the engagement model. You gave us an opportunity to not only exercise our brain muscles but also work in teams. It was a great learning experience."

    University of Utah

    "I cannot thank you enough for making the trip out to Salt Lake City. You completely blew it out of the water today, and I feel fortunate to have the opportunity to learn from you. The students got a lot out of the session, and they will surely be more prepared for interviews. You were incredibly inspiring and have a true gift presenting to groups."

    University of California, Berkeley

    "Having Lewis Lin lead a product management interview workshop is the most relevant and useful PM career prep I've received during my time at Haas."

    University of California, Irvine

    "It was a pleasure attending your workshop. I admire that your mother had the opportunity to attend. I can imagine how proud she must be seeing the great work you are doing to help others succeed in their career."

    "Today's workshop was amazing! The best part is to attend the author's workshop and to meet him in person. It makes my future preparation and reading more interesting. I now have a clearer picture, visualizing concepts described in the book and better connecting the dots better!"

     Tech Interview Workshop at UC Irvine. Nov. 5, 2016.

    Tech Interview Workshop at UC Irvine. Nov. 5, 2016.