📖 [Now Available on Kindle] Decode and Conquer, 3rd Ed. 📣 by Lewis Lin

Now Available on Kindle: D&C 3rd Ed.

I'm happy to announce that the brand new Decode and Conquer 3rd edition, featuring the world-famous CIRCLES Method™, is now available on Kindle!

It features an expanded metrics and execution section with new techniques and examples. Furthermore, I've strengthened the strategy section and cleaned up the typos. All in all, about 15 to 20 percent of the new edition features new, rewritten content.

If you're still on the 2nd edition, this is the perfect time to upgrade your copy for only $9.99.

🍁 Fall Workshop Season

Fall is here. That means I'm hitting the road, visiting schools, and doing my half and full-day interview workshops. Here's what attendees are saying:

I am glad I went to your tech interview workshop! In those few hours, I learned more useful and relevant information than I have in the past quarter at Wharton!

Thank you for coming to Wharton and facilitating a wonderful workshop. I found it incredibly practical, clear, and easy to understand. And I was totally starstruck to meet you in-person. 

Thank you for conducting the PM workshop at Wharton yesterday. I enjoyed it a lot and learned many useful tips for the interviews. I also feel that attending the workshop helped me better appreciate Decode and Conquer.


Ask your tech club or career management center if I'm visiting your campus. If you attend, please introduce yourself. I'd love to say hello!

fall-wkshp-2019.JPG

💪Interview Motivation

I got this in my inbox last week:

Hi Lewis, I received the PM offer from Google yesterday. Your books were amazing and helped me ace the interview. Thank you very much!

Here's what makes this interesting: many believe that you have to attend Stanford or Wharton to get a job at Google or Facebook. This reader didn't attend either.

You have access to the knowledge and prep plans to interview well. All you need is practice.Others have succeeded, so why not you?

Wishing you the best and be the greatest ever,

Lewis C. Lin

📖 [Now Available] Lewis C. Lin's New Book, Be the Greatest Product Manager Ever 🎉 by Lewis Lin

My new book, Be the Greatest Product Manager Ever, is now available! I've been working on this book for the past three years, so I'm happy to now share the book and my new ESTEEM METHOD™ framework with you.

If you're a new product manager, don't miss out on Chapter 3: Execution. You'll want to digest every single section including:

  • How to Start Every New Job

  • How to Figure Out What to Do

  • How System 1 & 2 Affects Your Work

Also, flip through Chapter 4: Superior Communication Skills. Standout PMs have superior communication skills; it's a competency you'll want to start early.

If you're an experienced product manager, flip through Chapter 3: Execution, but devour Chapter 4: Superior Communication Skills. Experienced product managers are more likely to get their first management role if they're strong communicators. Learn essential communication frameworks such as Situation-Complication-Resolution, Rule of Three, and the 5Ws and the H.

Then look ahead to Chapter 5: Tactical Awareness for a hint of what you need to perform to reach the Director level.

If you're a group product manager, review Chapter 4: Superior Communication Skills, but focus on Chapter 5: Tactical Awareness. Tactical awareness is all about the small difference that explain peak performance. When people say, "work smarter, not harder," what they mean is tactical awareness. Chapter 5 is where I share 32 little-known, yet magical tactics. These are the tricks that PM legends do, but others do not.

If you're a product management director, quickly read Chapter 5: Tactical Awareness, but focus on Chapter 6: Extraordinary Mental Toughness. The best directors can lead org-wide change, but doing so requires exceptional mental toughness. Learn my tips on how to persist when others perish.

If you're a VP of product management, skim through Chapter 5: Tactical Awareness and Chapter 6: Extraordinary Mental Toughness. But focus on Chapter 7: Exceptional Team Builder. As a senior executive, the CEO will expect you to build and nurture teams, especially ones that are depleted or suffering from poor morale.

If you're a CEO, skim through the chapters on tactical awareness, mental toughness, and team building. But focus on Chapter 8: Moonshot Vision. Your board of directors will want your inner Steve Jobs to build the next iPhone. It's easier said than done. I share my tips that will increase your chances of doing so.

Want to take a peek? Here's one of the most favorited passages in the book, from the Tactical Awareness section: The One Question You Need to Ask.

Lewis C. Lin

PS Big thank you to all the incredible people who reviewed my book including Aqil Pasha, Arvin Dwarka, Bessie Chu, Bonny Lai, Declan Nishiyama, Eran Lewis, Jacky Liang, Kathy Paceley, and Maitrayee Goswami. I couldn't have done it without you.

PPS Yes, the book is available in eBook (PDF) format.

The Truth About Mentors by Lewis Lin

Photo Credit: Kapil Goyal/Nan Stothard

Photo Credit: Kapil Goyal/Nan Stothard

Greetings! I finished up an interview workshop in Southern California. In the coming weeks, I'm headed to Nashville and Chapel Hill for more workshops. If you're attending, please swing by and say hello!

When I'm not traveling, I've been working hard on a new book that I'm releasing in 2019. This time it's not about interview prep; instead, it'll be focused on managing your career after you've landed that offer.

Below, you'll find a sneak peek from one of my favorite chapters: finding a mentor. What you'll read will resonate deeply with mid-career professionals. Late-career professionals will appreciate the excerpt if they've partnered with the perfect mentor; other late careerists might regret not having a mentor at this stage of their career.

Finally, those who are just beginning their careers might find the topic too advanced. However, it's something to keep your eye on, so you don't accidentally let a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity slip through your fingers.

Enjoy the excerpt,

Lewis C. Lin

--


Excerpt from Lewis' New Book

Your typical mentoring relationship
Almost all mentoring relationships are one-sided: the mentee asks for advice, which the mentor provides.

Given this typical dynamic, in the best case, the mentee gains valuable insights and answers. In the worst case, the mentee merely glorifies the mentor’s ego. Since mentors are often unfamiliar with the mentee’s day-to-day work, mentors dispenses generic and usually irrelevant advice.

Although the mentor gets the mentee’s admiration, the mentor can get frustrated too. When the mentee discards the relationship, the mentor can feel used.

When people say, “I want a mentor,” what do they really want? A sponsor. The terms mentor and sponsor are often confused.

Sponsors and protégés
Having a sponsor is different. The sponsor and protégé relationship is a bilateral, mutually beneficial relationship. First, they are well-aware of each other’s work because they work in the same company and organization.

The sponsor needs junior employees to achieve their objectives. Maybe the sponsor needs technical skills. Or perhaps they just need a humble individual who’s willing to do grunt work. The protégé rises to the challenge.

In return, the sponsor rewards the protégé with promotions and political air cover. And because the protégé holds a special place in the sponsor’s heart, the sponsor is eager to mentor and counsel the protégé.

The sponsor and protégé relationship is strong and enduring because they need one another.

Qualifications of a sponsor
It’s easier to get promoted if your sponsor has sufficient influence and organizational control. Sponsors are rarely your immediate manager. There are a few reasons why:

  • Your immediate manager may not have enough influence or opportunities to accelerate your career.

  • Your immediate manager has limited incentive to promote you to be his or her peer. At best, the manager will have to replace your missing productivity. At worst, the manager just promoted you to be her new rival.

In the rare situation where your immediate manager has enough influence and is not threatened by your rise, that person could be your sponsor.

How does one find a sponsor?

  • The sponsor is likely to be in your chain of command. It’d be odd for a sponsor to assign projects and promote a protégé that’s not within their organization.

  • Sponsors typically select you, not the other way around. Sponsors have their eye out for capable individuals who can take on special projects. Sponsors do not choose unremarkable performers. Find opportunities to shine and demonstrate your worth.

  • When you get your shot, don’t pass it up. Sponsors are looking for protégés more often than you think. Sponsors are ambitious, and they need help realizing their grand vision. Many protégé candidates unknowingly pass, unaware of the mutually beneficial relationship that could occur. A sponsor and protégé relationship will never be formally proposed or documented on paper. It’ll start casually and small, like a request to help with an important project. When you’ve been beseeched, don’t hesitate. Plunge in and give the sponsor a chance.

One last thing: is a sponsor and protégé relationship declared publicly? No. A typical sponsor and protégé pair implicitly understand what each one needs to do and what they’ll get out of it.

Your Prototypical Sponsor & Protégé Relationship: Harvey & Mike from  The Suits    Photo Credit: USA Network

Your Prototypical Sponsor & Protégé Relationship: Harvey & Mike from The Suits

Photo Credit: USA Network

[October 2018] Product Manager Job Leads by Lewis Lin

We're into the fall 🍁, which means my half and full-day workshops are underway. Here's a photo from last week's visit to Philadelphia & St. Louis.

lewis-c-lin-workshop-wharton-washington-university.jpg

Check with your career development office if I'm headed to your school.

For those of you at Columbia and NYU, I'll be headed your way this week. If you're attending my workshop, please do swing by and say hello!

JOB LEADS
To help you find the perfect PM role, we've created an open source repository to share product manager job leads. Many of these have been sent to us by our recruiting and staffing friends.

To see the full list, or to add positions you'd like to share, go here: bit.ly/pm-jobs.

Experienced Hires
Product Manager | AngelList | New York City or San Francisco
Product Manager | Slack | San Francisco
Product Manager | Robinhood | Menlo Park
Sr. Product Manager | Amazon | Seattle

MBA
Product Manager | Google | Mountain View
Product Manager | Yelp | San Francisco
Product Manager | Walmart | San Bruno

MBA Intern
Product Manager MBA Intern (Fall)| Zendesk | San Francisco
MBA Intern | T-Mobile | Bellevue
Product Manager MBA Intern | PayPal | San Francisco

Undergrad
APM | Lyft | San Francisco
APM | LinkedIn | Sunnyvale
APM | Oath| Sunnyvale

Undergrad Intern
APM Intern | Yelp | San Francisco
PM Intern | Tableau | Sunnyvale
PM Intern | Cisco Meraki | San Francisco

ESTIMATION QUESTIONS: ADDITIONAL PRACTICE
I've created new estimation questions and answers, and I'm seeking reviewers.
It's a great opportunity to get more practice. Email me if you're interested in providing feedback.

--


Wishing you all the best with your interviews,

Lewis C. Lin

[Watermelon Edition 🍉] Lewis C. Lin's New Book: The Marketing Interview by Lewis Lin

I'm excited to announce a new book, The Marketing Interview. It's the brand new, retitled second edition of Rise Above the Noise, the world's #1 marketing interview prep book.

Updated for the digital age, The Marketing Interview includes two new chapters on digital marketing and marketing analytics questions. Here are the new questions covered in the new release:

Chapter 12 Marketing Analytics Questions

  • Let's say you run a display advertising campaign for an eCommerce website. What metrics would you track?
  • What metrics would you consider to understand your company's relationship with your target customers?
  • Which profitability metrics are most important?
  • You're evaluating a potential promotion, a $10 off coupon. What metrics would you track?

Chapter 15 Digital Marketing Questions

  • The number of shopping cart conversions has decreased seven percent week-over-week. What would you check?
  • Your boss wants you to A/B test your eCommerce site's product details page. What would you do?
  • Let's say you manage the website of an enterprise-focused company. Walk me through how you'd do lead scoring.

Finally, here's what one Amazon reviewer said about the new book:

After reading The Marketing Interview, I felt like I had been to several marketing interviews. The information in the beginning of each chapter is detailed but not overly complicated. The practice questions at the end let you put your new knowledge to the test. The examples also solidify the concepts of the chapter. Seeing how the information is translated into real-life business situations deepens your understanding. In addition to the answers, there are critiques of the answers. This gets you inside the interviewer's head, which does a great job at preparing readers to give the types of answers interviewers are looking for. It is clear that Lin has interviewed many, many people, and I found his insight very valuable. He knows what interviewers are looking for and relays that to the reader.

Have a great summer and wishing all of you the best with your career,

Lewis C. Lin 🦊

P.S. The sales results for May are in. Once again, The Product Manager Interview (TPMI) beat out Decode and Conquer as the top selling PM Interview book. If you're a PM and haven't checked out TPMI, you are missing out!

P.P.S. The Marketing Interview is available in an eBook edition too.

📣 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

    amazon-product-manager-interview-cheat-sheet
    amazon-mba-recruiting-growth

    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.

    Cheers,

    Lewis C. Lin

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

    google-pm-interview-cheat-sheet.jpeg

    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™.

    circles-method.png

    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 both JPG and PDF.

    Conquer those interviews,

    Lewis C. Lin