The PM Guide

Next steps on the path to becoming a PM

Kenton Kivestu, ex-Google, ex-BCG, Founder at RocketBlocks
Published: May 7, 2018 | Last updated: May 29, 2019

Thanks for reading our Getting Started Guide!

In the meantime, we wanted to leave you with three tips for your product management job search.

  1. Stay positive: finding PM / role fit
  2. Read up: your knowledge will compound
  3. Skill build: hone your PM skills daily

Stay positive

Product management is a notoriously hard career to break into.

Finding a PM / role fit, even for great candidates, takes time and hard work. And sometimes, great companies make hiring mistakes:

  • Brian Acton, co-founder of WhatsApp (acq. by Facebook for $19B), was turned down for PM roles at both Facebook and Twitter
  • Ryan Hoover, founder of ProductHunt (acq. by Angellist), was turned down a PM position at Medium

Bottom line: don't get discouraged! Landing a PM job is a mix of three things: 1) demonstrating the right skill set 2) demonstrating a true understanding of the product (see product deep dive) and 3) gelling with the hiring team and there is always some subjectivity in each (particularly the third).

Read up

Reading up is, quite simply, the cheapest, easiest way to learn more about the art of product management.

With the wealth of content available though, figuring out what to read can be a big challenge. To help, we've curated a list of the 10 "must-read" posts on product management, plus a list of bonus "I've got more time" posts for those really looking to do a deep dive.

Skill build

As discussed in the guide, PM interviews are all about testing a candidate's skills: from analytics to product strategy to design sense. Don't be the candidate that finally lands the PM dream interview but only has one day to prepare... the solution is start preparing early.

There are many different ways to prepare, from working on side projects to debating the merits of your favorite products with friends. However, you go about it, the key thing to remember is this: always be building your PM skill set. You're learning will compound over time.

Finally, if you're ramping up on PM interviews, check out our core RocketBlocks PM product which provides skill building drills with sample answers from former Google, Facebook and Amazon PMs.

P.S. Are you preparing for PM interviews?

Real interview questions. Sample answers from PM leaders at Google, Amazon and Facebook. Plus study sheets on key concepts.