Why Job Seekers Should Consider Preparing With Mock Interviews
It’s no secret that women in the workforce, especially in tech, face a lot of challenges both in their day-to-day responsibilities and in their climbs up the leadership ladder. In competitive positions like product management, this rings especially true. The competition has created a demand for new tools and resources for job seeking product managers to practice for interviews to increase their chances of success.
Interviews require a lot of thinking on your feet, answering unpredictable questions, all while “selling yourself” as the best option for the position. It’s essential to start practicing and preparing for a job interview as soon as possible, taking advantage of all the time available to get ready.
Pramp is a platform that is providing this, through mock interviews, helping hundreds of job seekers prepare and find success in their technical and product management interviews. It’s a bi-directional exchange, where users perform both the role of the interviewer and the job candidate. And, it doesn’t cost anything but your time!
Interviewing is intense
With positions that receive hundreds of applicants and the oversaturation of talent in the job market, the interview process has become far more intense for all positions in tech and product management. Tech companies, start-ups, and those hiring product managers want to know that they are choosing the best talent available, which is why many interviews have several rounds of elimination before the final decision.
You might have to spend hours proving yourself as the best possible choice, so getting a chance to rehearse your answers with a peer in the same industry is going to give yourself a competitive edge and help to make you stand out against the rest. Sure, it takes time to get ready for the interview, not to mention the homework you might ask to do, but the stakes are high, and the competition is fierce.
Practice makes perfect
Recent graduates who are new to the professional job market, or job seekers who have been in the same career for decades and haven’t had to interview, often forget that interviewing require a different skill set than the one needed for the actual job. Like a muscle that needs exercising, interviewing skills need to be worked on to strengthen. Brainstorming your answers to commonly asked interview questions, rehearsing and refining your responses, and checking your body language are all things you should do several times before meeting with the hiring manager.
Many tend to forget that you are not only being tested on your knowledge, and your ability to solve challenged and answer questions; you are also being tested on the way you perform in an interview and your cultural fit. You will be surprised to find out that even those aspects of the interview can be practiced.
Interviews now are much more than just an analysis of your personality and past work experience like in a behavioral interview. If you only practice your answers to questions like “why do you want to work here?” you’re going to be massively caught off guard when you sit down in the interview room with the hiring manager.
In tech in general and product management interviews in particular, you could encounter:
Case study interviews.
These are highly involved and require a lot of planning and organizational skills. Getting a chance to rehearse how you approach and solve a problem that relates to a company product or the feature of a product is going to be a massive help for acing this part of the interaction when you’re meeting with the hiring manager. After all, even if the question is not the exact same one you practiced, you are already trained in this type of thinking.
Analytical and cognitive skills interviews.
From using results of A/B testing, analyzing user acquisition funnels, and other tasks that are going to test your cognitive skills, these interviews can be difficult if you haven’t had much practice or work experience. As a product manager, you are required to be highly analytical, and extremely data-driven. Make sure you are familiar with the professional terminology, and that you know how to “talk the talk.” Analyzing data sets, and practicing extraction of important data, would be a good place to start.
Coding & technical interviews.
The role of a product manager varies from one company to another, based on the product, the company size, and the type of customers – B2B or B2C. There’s a good chance the PM interview will include a technical phase, in which you will be asked to demonstrate your coding skills, for example. If you know that’s the case, consider practicing mock coding interviews as well. With that said, not all PM roles require technological skills, but they will necessarily require technological understanding and familiarity.
While women have been entering tech and learning coding and other technical skills now more than ever, they still lag behind male counterparts. With new resources like Pramp for practicing coding for interviews, there are more ways to prepare and work on these skills in a realistic interview environment, helping women gain a foothold in the industry to be on the same level as male job seekers. Objectively, there is no good reason to maintain this gap, and the way to overcome the existing state is by providing women with the best possible tools to land the job they want.
Reduce stress and increase your confidence
While studies show that women are better at interviewing than men, it’s a type of conversation that can stress anyone out. With practice rounds, the experience becomes more familiar. Simulating it in a realistic environment is the best way to make sure you are fully prepared – when you take it seriously, the real interaction is going to be much less stressful. You’ll have opportunities to get feedback on your current responses so you can improve them, as well as see the exchange from the other perspective, learning from the strengths and weaknesses of your partner.
Have a female friend looking for a job in tech or product management? Tell them about Pramp for practicing for their interviews.