Can You Answer These Product Manager Interview Questions?
If you're interviewing for Product Manager roles, you should be ready to answer some product-management-specific interview questions in addition to the more generic ones we've all come to know and love.
These more specific questions will give you an opportunity to highlight your experience with user testing, data-driven decision making, and stakeholder management, as well as any other skills that allow you to excel as a product manager.
To help you prepare, we asked Product Managers at 9 of our partner companies to share their must-ask product manager interview questions, and what they look for in candidates' answers. Here are their responses:
1) How would you describe a healthy relationship between a PM, an engineer, and a designer?
Respect is the primary ingredient that lays the foundation for a healthy PM/Engineer/Designer relationship. Each role brings a unique perspective and set of skills, so respect and trust in one another creates a constructive tension that builds better products. - Irena Lam, Product Manager at Karat
2) Tell me about a time when you had to educate yourself on a new type of user/customer. What did you learn and how did you learn it?
I'm looking for thoughtfulness, strategy, and rigor in the answer. I want to see that understanding users was valued and that the candidate took complete ownership of that challenge. And, that they are willing to walk through walls to understand those customers' goals and needs. A red flag answer would be something like: "We have user personas so I just used those" or "We have a research department and they talk to the users." - Jeffrey Domke, Head of Growth at Blockstack
3) What motivates you for work day to day? What motivates you when you think about the next 5 to 10 years?
This is an open-ended question that can provide many insights into a candidate. Do they have something driving them? Are they ambitious? Are they pragmatic? Are they thoughtful? How do they think about balancing the near vs. long term? Is their motivation in line with our motivation as a company? Do they structure their answer well? This isn't the type of question you can study to answer well (like how many golf balls can you fit in a 747?).I look for:
- Genuine answers
- Structured, non-rambling answers
- Examples of how their past experience influences them today
- Ambition balanced with pragmatism
- A sense of purpose
- A lifelong learner mentality
- A sense of ownership
- Alignment with the role
4) Walk me through a complicated new feature or product that they've recently worked on, taking me through the process from initial idea through launch.
The answer to this question can go in all sorts of interesting directions but I look for a number of different things in the candidate's response. First, can the candidate explain a complicated subject in a structured way that's easy to understand. Effective communication is a key skill for a product manager. What part of the process do they focus on – the business objectives, getting feedback from customers, working with engineering, the launch, etc.?
This often reveals not only their experience but which of the many different product management responsibilities they really enjoy doing. Last, I look for how they talk about their role and accomplishments within the context of the team. Did they have unique contributions but also give credit to their teammates. - Andrea Beckman, Director, Product Management at Relativity
5) What are two to three pain points of traditional linear TV?
We like to give candidates a new problem space and ask them to identify problems and build solutions.
We look for candidates to set a framework that helps them structure their thinking and response. A good candidate should explain how they would research and understand the problem. The candidate should should identify clear objectives and the main stakeholders. Finally, the candidate should speak to how they would balance tradeoffs and prioritize. - Joshua Lee, CTO and Head of Product at EDO
6) Tell me about a specific time you were working with a colleague or customer and they weren't communicating the reasoning behind their request, just the end feature. What tactics did you employ to dig deeper to uncover the real meaning of their request? What was the eventual outcome?
This is an important question because being problem-focused (vs. solution-focused) is really really important for a Product Manager. I also like the phrasing of this question because it allows people to highlight transferrable skills: this is an experience a lot of people can have, and how they respond to it can say a lot about how they think through problems.
What we look for in an answer: We like to see that candidates are communicating with the requestor to dig into the root of the challenge and how they came to make the request. It's also great to hear that candidates are actively collaborating to come to a compromise or solution rather than rejecting a challenging original request as-is. A good answer might sound like:
"I sat down with them and talked through what the challenge was they were facing and why they wanted that specific request. We went through it and it turned out that what they really wanted wasn't X, but to help them do Y. They didn't think Z was possible so they asked for X because they figured we would say yes to that. After talking through it through, we settled on how something we were already working on could address this same need."
7) Tell me about a time that you had to make a trade off or prioritization decisions. How did you decide on your course of action? Who was the most negatively impacted by your decision? What might have happened if you did the next thing on the list instead?
This question helps me understand how they make prioritization decisions which is one of the most important aspects of PM, but also the empathy they have for who and what those decisions impact. The last part digs into how well they understood the problem they were solving. Generally if they can't talk about the next option, it wasn't that hard of a prioritization decision. - Sergi Isasi, Product Manager at Cloudflare
8) Tell me about a hobby of yours. Give me a product idea that would fit in that area and explain how it could disrupt or assist the current products in the landscape.
I like this question because it helps me learn a lot about the person as well as how they think. One of the most important things I look for is a person's ability to empathize with their user. If the candidate can truly put themselves in the shoes of the person they are serving, and prioritize those needs, I'm pretty impressed.
Also, I always pay attention to how the candidate speaks about other people in general—whether stakeholders or teammates. This helps me assess leadership skills. Oftentimes, candidates can focus so much on the abstract problem (competition, design, etc), that they forget to factor in the most challenging part—getting the rest of the team bought in. - Fontaine Foxworth, Product Manager at Google
9) Imagine I'm calling an engineer who you worked closely with at your last job. What three words or phrases would they use to describe what you're like as a product manager?
The redirection to asking colleagues makes them think more objectively about their strengths/weaknesses.The candidate almost always provides 3 positive qualities, or strengths, such as "curious" or "dedicated to understanding customer needs."
I will then ask them to dive deeper into one of the 3 answers they've provided, usually focusing on the most vague response. Such as, "tell me a way in which you demonstrated dedication to understanding customer needs."
Then I say to them, "Let's pretend I'm calling that same colleague above. What is one area they'd say you could be better at or need improvement on." I then ask them to explain that one a bit more with a real example.
10) Explain a time that you met opposition in your approach or prioritization to a project. How did you navigate through it?
Here I'm looking for a couple things. 1) what tools/approaches do you leverage to help make your argument and 2) how do you handle confrontation.
Do you use data to drive alignment with stakeholders or are you a storyteller who is a customer centric decision maker? Do you adapt your argument based on the stakeholder you're engaging with, knowing what will help lead them to align with your prioritization? This is one of the most common challenges a product manager faces and each situation may be different, but I'm confident you have faced some version of this and can speak to it from your own experience.
Have a story that didn't turn out so hot in the end? Great! Use it. Tell us what didn't go well about it and what you'd change if you could go back! Being vulnerable and sharing examples of failures you've learned from is almost a sure fire way to get a hiring manager bought in on you. It tells us that you're mature, self-reflective and can take constructive feedback well. All key characteristics we look for in product leaders.The gem in this question is really how you approach confrontation. As product leaders, we are constantly challenged by engineers, stakeholders and other product managers, as such, we have to be comfortable dealing with confrontation.Crucial Conversations is my secret weapon and I highly encourage every single person to read it multiple times in their lives. I usually have a copy on my desk as a constant reminder. The ability to be comfortable navigating through an uncomfortable discussion not only builds relationships, helps to resolve issues quickly and promotes self-esteem and confidence, but it is a great reflection of one's maturity. When an applicant can tackle a difficult conversation with differing opinions successfully, it instills confidence that they can self manage. - Amory Borromeo, Senior Technical Product Manager at Carvana
11) How do you empathize with your stakeholders?
In addition to being incessantly curious and comfortable dealing with uncomfortable situations, I want to make sure that my product leaders know how to empathize. Can you get to the root of a problem and really help craft a solution that will delight the end user? A favorite quote of mine is Henry Ford's, "If I asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses." Product managers are often presented with solutions and we have to take the time to peel back the onion layers to truly understand the issue. I'll almost always ask this question in an interview, although I'll often word it differently with the hope of getting a story or two out of it:
This is a great opportunity to pull in some experience examples, where you were able to really understand the need your end user or stakeholder was asking for and craft a thoughtful solution that met their needs more than their ask for faster horses. A great product manager will be able to speak for the stakeholder and/or end users when working with their engineering teams because they are so fully aware of the issue, workflows, process, product, etc.
Take the time to shadow the end user, sit with the stakeholder and ask deeper investigating questions until you are so fully entrenched in the ask, that you could answer questions the same way a stakeholder would. You'll be surprised how often you find that the users have come up with workarounds or have completely overlooked alternative solutions because of their own biases based on their day to day interactions. This amount of empathy can also directly impact your ability to align with stakeholders because it builds a stronger relationship and proves your genuine interest in creating a better world for your end users. - Amory Borromeo, Senior Technical Product Manager at Carvana
12) Which two adjectives would you use to best describe your ideal work environment?
How you answer will help us understand what your values are. What matters most to you and what drives you? Do you need a collaborative environment? Do you like the autonomy to figure things out on your own? Does being surrounded by curious or ambitious people help push you to be a better version of yourself? So much can be pulled from these two simple words, but there is also something to be said about how you answer.
Do you simply say the two words and leave it at that, or do you elaborate to explain? Do you ask if we'd like you to explain your reasoning and create an opportunity to have further discussion? One of my favorite responses was when someone said the two words. Paused to say she could explain more if I'd like, but would be curious what my answers would be. This indicated that she could follow direction, was comfortable with a bit of ambiguity, knew how to navigate through the awkwardness I had laid out for her and cared about connecting and building relationships! - Amory Borromeo, Senior Technical Product Manager at Carvana
Now get practicing and get ready to nail your next interview!
10 Full-Time Roles You Can Do Remotely! [Updated Sept 2021]
[This article was updated September 20, 2021]
Work-from-home jobs sometimes get a bad reputation: low pay, repetitive work, micromanagement... the list goes on. But if one good thing has come out of 2020, it's that it's redefined working from home. Remote work has come a long way, and the opportunities to work from home in 2021 are more promising than ever before.
If you're like me, and freelance, task-oriented remote jobs like article writing, data entry, transcription, or professional survey taking (yep, that exists), aren't your thing - don't worry. There are more full-time remote opportunities than ever before that offer you the freedom to manage your own time, the security of consistent monthly income, the support of a team, and the promise of growth. In fact, we've got close to 5,000 on PowerToFly.
So, if you're looking for a remote opportunity in 2021 that will push you to develop professionally, look no further than our list of the 10 best work-from-home jobs. And by best, we mean fun, challenging roles that will help you grow, while making a respectable income.
All the jobs listed have average salaries between 45 and 119k, and have average or higher-than-average growth potential (based off of the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics' predictions for growth from 2018 to 2028 and/or LinkedIn's 2020 Emerging Jobs Report).
10 Best Work-From-Home (Remote) Jobs for 2021
Jobs sorted from highest to lowest average salary. (Salary data taken from ZipRecruiter, Glassdoor, LinkedIn, and/or the U.S. BLS depending on availability and specificity to remote roles.)
Who It's Good For: Detail-oriented stats masters skilled at identifying and understanding trends.
Why You Can Do It Remotely: With more data than ever before at our fingertips, companies know the value of hiring folks who know "big data" as more than just a buzzword. True stats buffs are hard to come by, so expertise often outweighs location.
Growth 2018-2028: 30.7%
Average Annual Salary: $119,000
Who It's Good For: Self-directed (and disciplined) coding enthusiasts who love problem solving and having the freedom to work whenever they feel most focused.
Sound Like You? Check Out: 4,000+ Software Developer/Engineer jobs on PowerToFly and be sure to check out this Q&A with software engineer, Kasey Champion to learn about her experience working at a fully remote company and get her tips for acing technical interviews!)
Why It Can Be Done Remotely: Arguably, not only can programming be done remotely - it should be! Why? Writing code requires undisturbed blocks of time rarely found in traditional workplaces.
As computer scientist and entrepreneur Paul Graham observed in his essay on makers' vs. managers' schedules:
" Most powerful people are on the manager's schedule...But there's another way of using time that's common among people who make things, like programmers and writers. They generally prefer to use time in units of half a day at least. You can't write or program well in units of an hour. That's barely enough time to get started."
Office culture was designed with managers' schedules in mind, and thus makes adhering to a maker's schedule extremely difficult. Remote work, alternatively, is much more conducive to this. After all, it's a lot easier to snooze your Slack notifications than it is to ignore your boss literally hovering over your shoulder.
Growth for 2018-2028: 21%
Average Annual Salary: $111,781
3.Designer (Web, Graphic, Product, or UI/UX)
Who It's Good For: Designers who do their best work independently or from the comfort of their own home.
Sound Like You? Check Out: Remote Design Roles
Why You Can Do It Remotely: No doubt there's value in brainstorming with your team, but once you know the needs of a project, most design work can be done independently and then shared. With tools like Zoom, Jira, and Slack, it's easier than ever before to share your work, get feedback, and hit deadlines. (And, like programmers/developers, designers are also more likely to benefit from a maker's schedule!)
Average Annual Salary (for UX Design): $98,816 according to data from ZipRecruiters
Average Median Salary (for Graphic Design): $50,370 in 2018, according to the U.S. BLS (not specific to remote roles)
Who It's Good For: Anyone who loves big-picture strategy and building products that users will love.
(If you enjoy more nitty-gritty task oversight, consider project management instead — both roles can be done remotely! You can learn more about the differences between the two PM roles here.)
Why You Can Do It Remotely: As more and more software engineers and other tech professionals work remotely, it only makes sense that the PMs coordinating with them work remotely. If you're a virtual communication wiz comfortable communicating online and using tools like Zoom, GitHub, Jyra, Slack, and Asana (the list goes on...), then you're all set!
Annual Growth: 24%*
*Based on expected growth for Product Owner from LinkedIn's emerging jobs report. The BLS doesn't currently track growth specifically for Product Manager positions.
Average Annual Salary: $81,149
5.P.A., Nurse, or Nurse Practitioner
Who It's Good For: An experienced medical practitioner ready to swap 12 hour shifts for a more flexible schedule.
Why You Can Do It Remotely: New technology is changing the way healthcare is delivered. You can provide wellness and medical education, patient-centered care, and treatment virtually, all while collaborating with a multi-disciplinary team of engineers, physicians, and medical assistants.
Growth for 2018-2028 (Nurse Practitioner): 26%
Average Annual Salary (Remote Nurse): $73,374
Who It's Good For: Top-notch communicators (writers) who can explain complex topics succinctly and clearly. (It's helpful if you have expertise in at least one technical subject.)
Sound Like You? Check Out: Remote Technical Writer Jobs
Why It Can Be Done Remotely: Like programmers, technical writers are makers - they need large, undisturbed blocks of time to create content. Technology and the nature of remote work can help ensure writers are able to communicate efficiently with their teams and organize meetings when they'll be constructive, not distracting.
Growth for 2018-2028: 8%
Average Annual Salary: $68,,454
7.Customer Success Manager
Who It's Good For: Good communicators who love helping others and problem-solving.
Sound Like You? Check Out: Remote Customer Success Roles
Why It Can Be Done Remotely: Most customer service needs can be met over the phone and online. With a computer and good internet connection (and enough patience), you can handle all your customers' needs from wherever you are.
Growth for 2020: 34% annual growth rate (The BLS doesn't share data specific to customer success, but thanks to the growth of SaaS, Customer Success Specialist made LinkedIn's 2020 list of the top 15 emerging jobs)
Average Annual Salary: $67,371
Who It's Good For: Folks who are equal parts creative and analytical.
Sound Like You? Check Out: Remote Marketing Manager Jobs on PowerToFly
Why You Can Do It Remotely: Analyzing industry trends and crafting strategy can be done from anywhere. And with teams becoming more and more spread out, you can coordinate cross-functionally with sales people, engineers, and more using Zoom, Slack, and other online tools.
Growth for 2018-2028: 8%
Average Annual Salary: $62,788 (according to data for remote professionals from ZipRecruiters)
Average Median Salary: $134,290 in 2018, according to the U.S. BLS (not specific to remote roles)
Who It's Good For: A people-person skilled in market research, project/time management, and negotiation.
Sound Like You? Check Out: Remote Recruiting Roles
Why You Can Do It Remotely: As remote work takes off and fully remote teams become more common, it only makes sense that recruiters at these companies would be remote as well. Although recruiting saw a dip at the start of the pandemic, the number of remote recruiting roles is steadily increasing as companies ramp back up their hiring goals—we have hundreds of open remote recruiter roles on PowerToFly!
Growth for 2018-2028: 5%
Average Annual Salary: $59,474
10.Sales Development Representative
Who It's Good For: A self-starter with previous experience or an interest in Sales, or anyone who's just starting out and eager to prove themselves!
Sound Like You? Check Out: Remote SDR Roles
Why You Can Do It Remotely: You don't need to be in a particular location to make sales calls, deliver pitches, send follow-up emails, or manage your sales team. And if you have to fly from an office to meet a client, you can just as easily fly from your hometown.
Growth for 2018-2028: 5%
Median Annual Salary (not specific to remote) for SDRs: $45,937
Interested in one of the roles above? Check out these resources for landing your dream remote job and get ready to reap the full benefits of remote work in 2021 - doing what you like, where you like. Good luck!
[A version of this article was originally published on Dec. 19, 2018]
💎 Get ready to master your technical interview! Tune in to catch three top tips to prepare before applying for a position at Raytheon Technologies.
📼 These tips from Elisabeth Hosmer, Associate Director of Program Management at Raytheon Intelligence and Space will help you master your technical interview when applying for a position at the company.
📼 Tip #1: Slow Down - The first of Elisabeth's top tips to master a technical interview is to really give each question you're asked, enough time for you to formulate the answer you want to share. Don't feel rushed. And if you feel like you need some time to collect your thoughts, let the interviewers know that. The team at Raytheon respects the fact that you want to give some consideration to your answer before jumping in!
📼 Tip #2: Come Prepared - In order to master your technical interview, it's important to remember that not only is Raytheon interviewing you for a potential role, but you're interviewing the company as well. So show up with questions about not only the role, but the company culture too, and what you hope to gain from joining the organization. In Elisabeth's words, so often they have candidates who, when offered the opportunity for them to ask questions, come up blank. It's very important for Raytheon to see you are as invested in the interview, as they are, by coming with some prepared questions!
One Last Key Tip To Master Your Technical Interview With Raytheon
The third tip is simply to OWN IT: what does Elisabeth mean by that? Show up knowing what you can bring to the organization, and be confident in what you've learned in your prior roles and education, and in what you can do that makes you a difference maker for the company. Everybody has a unique story and skill set. And when you show confidence in what you are capable of doing, as well as humility and where you know you need to continue to grow, you appear as a candidate excited to join the organization who in the future can be just so effective in their new role.
📨 Are you interested in joining Raytheon Technologies? They have open positions! To learn more, click here.
Get to Know Elisabeth
Elisabeth Hosmer is a senior program manager for Secure Sensor Solutions at Raytheon Space and Airborne Systems in El Segundo, Calif. Hosmer works closely with the mission area leadership team on business initiatives including leading employee retention programs for Secure Sensor Solutions. Elisabeth also serves as Program Manager of the Modernized GPS User Equipment Increment1 Program (MGUE) in the Resilient Navigation product line.
More About Raytheon Technologies
Raytheon Technologies (NYSE: RTX) is an aerospace and defense company that provides advanced systems and services for commercial, military and government customers worldwide. The company was formed in 2020 through the combination of Raytheon Company and the United Technologies Corporation aerospace businesses, and is headquartered in Waltham, Massachusetts.
Presented in partnership with 15five
If you are in talent acquisition or you are a hiring manager, you probably already know that it's a candidate's market for the foreseeable future. The world has changed forever over the last two years and that includes the talent acquisition space.
PowerToFly has partnered with 15five, a human-centered performance management platform, to present a free webinar on the practices and pitfalls of talent acquisition and retention through a diverse lens. This is a great opportunity to start setting clear goals for 2022.
Join us Thursday, November 4th at 1pm Eastern (10am Pacific)? RSVP HERE (It's free!)
PowerToFly's Sienna Brown, Global Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, will be joined by Mike Fitzsimmons, CEO & Co-Founder at Crosschq; Shweta Jacob, Recruiting Team Lead at Lever and moderator Polly Stocks, Human Resources Business Partner at 15Five for an honest and interactive discussion on all things talent acquisition and inclusive hiring.
Can't attend our webinar on November 4th? 15five also has upcoming talks on goal clarity, employee recognition and performance reviews with such speakers as Chris Timol, President & COO at PuzzleHR. Your free registration works for all talks!
Insight from Elastic's Stacey King Poling
Stacey King Poling knows that tornadoes don't really sneak up on you.
Growing up in Texas and living around the west, including in Oklahoma, Stacey knew what to look and listen for regarding the powerful storms: the National Weather Service warnings, the emergency sirens, the regular instructions on where to go and how to protect yourself. All that preparation and advanced warning helped Stacey and her family live through the 2013 El Reno tornado, the widest tornado ever recorded, and escape unscathed.
If only burnout had the same warning system.
With a 25-year career in engineering, Stacey, who is currently the Director of Engineering for Cloud Productivity at Elastic, has worked on her fair share of high-stress projects. She loves solving hard problems and always found herself energized by them, even when they required long hours of intense effort. A few years ago, though, she started to realize that her energy and motivation were dropping.
A perfect storm of tons of work, a lack of personal boundaries, and a neglectful boss had been brewing, but Stacey didn't see it coming. She burnt out right into a layoff, and only recovered when her next job forced her into an office with clear start and stop times. When COVID hit and sent everyone back to their home offices, where work and life balances blurred, she was back where she'd started.
We sat down with Stacey to hear more about her experience, including why she decided to join the Elastic team and what she's doing there to ensure her engineers don't have the same experience she did.
Finding Her Passion—and a Way in the Door
Stacey knew she wanted to work in technology the day she saw the movie Tron. "From that moment I was like, 'Oh, that is my life. I need to be part of this. I don't even know what it is, but it's awesome,'" she remembers.
She learned how to program in BASIC on her parents' Commodore 64, eventually winning an award for her first video game, which she coded when she was in the seventh grade. She went to school to become a mathematician, but didn't have the money to finish her degree, so she started taking database and tech support jobs as she could find them.
"Not a lot of people wanted to give me a shot," says Stacey. "I had to push really, really hard, above and beyond anyone else in my peer group, just to get in the door."
After a string of temp jobs, she applied for a contractor position at IBM. She thought the interview went terribly, but when she got home, she had a voicemail informing her she'd gotten the job.
"It opened a whole new world for me," says Stacey, who got down to work and says that she automated herself out of a job within the first few weeks. IBM was impressed, and had her move over to their web team, which is when she got the infrastructure bug.
"I thought I was going to go into software engineering, because that's where all the glamour is, but I liked the infrastructure side much better. It is so challenging and hard. There's so many areas you have to understand, all different types of systems work," she explains.
She loved her manager at IBM and loved the chance to learn about automation and to push technology forward. Until, eight years into her career there—with not a day of burnout in sight—she was laid off.
Entering the job market was different this time around. With IBM on her resume, she had an offer in two weeks, and began exploring different roles. She did a bit of software engineering and confirmed she didn't like it, then did some systems and integration engineering where she got very into application performance monitoring. "I found a memory leak that was eating up enormous amounts of resources, and it was like, 'Holy crap, I'm good at this.' It's kind of like being a detective, and I really liked it," says Stacey.
She basically created a dev ops function before that function existed, going so far as to speak at tech conferences about it and winning an industry award—her first since the certificate she'd earned for her seventh-grade video game—for her contributions.
As her career grew and advanced, so did her responsibilities. Though Stacey had long been committed to staying an individual contributor, she started to absorb management responsibilities, too, taking on one team, then another.
She kept herself sane by rationalizing that the people she was managing didn't report to her in Workday. "I didn't have official responsibility over them. And there's something about the officialness of that responsibility that changes the game," says Stacey.
But that was just a formality: she was still in charge of hiring, firing, performance reviews, and capacity management. She also had a full plate of technical lead responsibilities to juggle alongside it.
It was just a matter of time until she burned out trying to do it all.
Backing Her Way Into a Burnout Diagnosis
"I'm a super workaholic, right? I'm passionate about what I do. I love it. I could do this all day and all night and be super happy," says Stacey. "That's why I didn't know I was getting burned out."
She paints the picture: Stacey was working her regular hours, which started when she woke up and ended when she went to sleep, which was never for long. She hadn't taken vacation in years, even when her mother was dying. If she woke up during her few hours of sleep, she'd decide to log on and get a little more work done, to push her team a little further along.
"I started getting really uninspired. My motivation levels were dropping. I know everybody has their off days or even weeks, but I wasn't picking up; this was going on for weeks," she says. "I knew the work was important, I thought the work was interesting, but I couldn't get excited about it."
When there was a round of layoffs at that company and Stacey's next role required her to be in the office, everything changed. After years of working from home and having little to no division between her personal life and the demands of her work, having to be in the office—and to leave the office—at a certain time each day shrunk her work day to a manageable eight hours.
"It really gave me the rest that I needed. I got a good routine going, doing workouts and getting my weekends back and seeing friends and family. It really refreshed me, and I didn't realize how important that was until hindsight," says Stacey.
Then the pandemic hit.
Back in her home office, Stacey found herself slipping into old patterns. But this time it was even worse, because she had just taken on teams and projects distributed between the U.S. and Shenzhen, so she'd stay up until late at night to talk to her team in Shenzhen, then hand things off to her counterpart there so she could sleep for a few hours before logging back on and picking it up again.
"I was so tired. I started seeing other people dropping like flies, and I was like, 'There's got to be a connection to why I feel the way I do and why I don't wake up and get excited about my work anymore,'" she says. "It's amazing how those old habits will come right back if you don't protect your time."
Why Elastic—and Stacey's 2-Step Guide for Creating a Healthy Culture There
Even knowing she was prone to burnout, Stacey couldn't stop herself from sliding back into it. Looking back on it now, she attributes some of that to the toxic management culture she had there.
"The CIO was the type of person that said sleep was for the weak and really was extremely demanding," she explains. "It would have been nice to have somebody who would set the example for me. So I wouldn't feel guilty [for not being online], you know?"
She knew that no amount of personal boundaries could change a toxic culture, and that it was time to change companies. She'd used Elastic's products before and liked them, and after seeing they had a role open on LinkedIn, she started to investigate their culture.
Their Glassdoor reviews were "outstanding," says Stacey, and she loved how their recruiting process gives applicants a chance to schedule time to chat with someone of a similar background at Elastic. She ended up talking to a guy named Dan, who had also spent time at IBM.
"I was like, 'Give me the real juice, you know?' And he was like, 'Seriously, I'd tell you if it wasn't, but it's a great place,'" remembers Stacey.
The cherry on top? Elastic's tech-first leadership. Part of why she burned out at her old company was because they didn't recognize the weight of being a combined people manager and technical lead—they usually divided those responsibilities, and Stacey was the odd one out for having both.
"But Elastic is a technical company first. They have demands and expectations that all of their leadership are very technical," says Stacey. In other words? "You have to know your shit."
That was "game-changing" to Stacey, and she decided to apply. She'd gone from being curious about another role to being sure that the role at Elastic was the one for her. Luckily for her, they agreed.
Six months in, she's quite happy with the move. And she's quite committed to making sure she creates an environment where her engineers can succeed—without burning out.
It's a two-step process, explains Stacey. First, there's setting an example of stepping away and taking rest. That looks like visibly being offline herself, as a director.
"You have to be really, really careful because you can get bored of playing any game if that's all you do," says Stacey. "I sign out and step away so that people don't see me online."
It looks like encouraging people to take vacations and breathers when they need them.
"If they want to push through and do a twenty-four hour push, that's awesome. But I better not see them for two days, either," says Stacey.
And it looks like respecting people's time off and not bothering them during it.
"I have a lot of regrets about the time that I spent with my mom and didn't get to spend with my mom, and I never want anybody to go through that. There's no single thing at work, big picture, small picture, that will ever be more important than that," says Stacey.
The second thing is all about giving her team the credit for their own wins.
"I try to make sure that they have ownership of the work that they're doing, that they own the success of it, that they get acknowledgement, because a lot of times in engineering, people don't get the credit for it," she says.
The combination—a healthy approach to time off, and healthy appreciation of the effort put in during working hours—is allowing Stacey to create the kind of place she wishes she'd worked in before.
"I want every single person on my team to know that I know who they are, I know the work that they're doing, and I appreciate their work, because I want them to be proud of their work and love what they do."
Learn more about the amazing speakers and sponsors from our October 2021 virtual summit Diversity Reboot: Lifting Latin Voices All Over The World; 4 days of fireside chats, panel discussions, networking sessions, and our 2-day virtual job fair featuring 16 companies.
From discussions on what it means to be a member of the Latinx community to the correct terminology to refer to this diverse community - we covered it all! If you tuned in, thank you! If you didn't, you can relive the entire experience on our PowerToFly website.
We want to extend a HUGE thanks to our Gold sponsors Pluralsight, UnitedHealth Group, Autodesk, Smartsheet, PwC, NGA, and American Express plus our Silver sponsor dv01. (All of those companies are hiring, by the way) This summit would not have been possible without the contributions of our Influencer sponsors Techqueria, Latinas in Tech, and APCO Worldwide.
Also, don't forget to visit our Merch Store and grab yourself some PowerToFly apparel, we donate 100% of the proceeds from our sales to TransTech Social, supporting transgender people in tech.
Registration for our last Diversity Reboot 2021 summit: Supporting Military and Veteran Spouses is now open! If you're a veteran or a military official looking for a civilian role that will leverage your prior skills and experience, or a spouse looking for a job that can accommodate your mobile lifestyle, we hope you'll join us to hear directly from companies committed to supporting military members and their families!
Special Moments from the Summit
Rep. Ritchie Torres: "If We Don't Care Enough to Fight, No One Else Will"
"If We Don't Care Enough To Fight, No One Else Will" www.youtube.com
Fostering a DEI Community as a Latin Leader
Fostering a DEI Community As A Latin Leader www.youtube.com
Claudia Romo Edelman: Creating Support Networks in the Latin Community
Creating Support Networks In The Latin Community www.youtube.com
When You're Aligned with Your Passion, "Magic" is Not Enough To Describe It!
When You're Aligned With You Passion, "Magic" Is Not Enough To Describe It! www.youtube.com
Dr. Anthony Ocampo's Take on Queer+Immigrant Identity
Dr. Anthony Ocampo's Take On Queer+Inmigrant Identity www.youtube.com
Our Gold Sponsors
Founded in 2004 and trusted by Fortune 500 companies, Pluralsight is the technology skills platform organizations and individuals in 150+ countries count on to innovate faster and create progress for the world.With assessments, learning paths and courses authored by industry experts, our platform helps businesses and individuals close skills gaps in critical areas, innovate faster and deliver on key objectives.Our technology skills platform helps companies create life-changing products that better the lives of their customers. It empowers technologists to dream big and do big. And this is what motivates us every day.
UnitedHealth Group is on a mission to help people live healthier lives and to help make the health system work better for everyone. A Fortune 6 company, they're focused on helping people live healthier lives while making the health system work better for everyone. Here, they seek to empower people with the information, guidance and tools to make personal health choices.They work harder and they aim higher. They expect more from themselves and each other.
And, at the end of the day, they're doing a lot of good for more than 142 million people worldwide.
Their biggest point of differentiation is their people - and the collective talent, energy, intelligence and drive their force of 305,000 individuals around the world bring to our mission every single day.
UnitedHealth Group logo
They make software for people who make things. From the greenest buildings to the cleanest cars, from the smartest factories to the biggest stories, amazing things are created every day with Autodesk. Over four decades they've worked together with their customers to transform how things are made, and in doing so, they've also transformed what can be made. A car's performance now inspires the method of its manufacture, a city's infrastructure helps predict the unpredictable, and the creation of ever-bigger universes shapes ever-bigger stories.
Today their solutions span countless industries empowering innovators everywhere. But they're restless to do more. They don't believe in waiting for progress, they believe in making it. By combining and recombining technologies. By blurring boundaries, reinventing rules, and merging fields. By unleashing talent and unlocking insights across industries. By helping their customers converge on solutions to the challenges they all face today. At Autodesk, they believe that when they have the right tools to work and think flexibly you have the power to transform what actually needs making. The power to design and make a better world for all.
In 2005, Smartsheet was founded on the idea that teams and millions of people worldwide deserve a better way to deliver their very best work. Today, the company delivers a leading cloud-based platform for work execution, empowering organizations to plan, capture, track, automate, and report on work at scale, resulting in more efficient processes and better business outcomes.Smartsheet went public on the New York Stock Exchange in April 2018 and currently enables collaboration, better decision making, and accelerated innovation for over 76,000 domain-based customers in 190 countries, including 96 of the Fortune 100.Smartsheet is a passionate team of 1500+ employees spanning offices in Seattle, Boston, London, Edinburgh and Sydney.
Join their community of solvers. They're inspiring and empowering their people to change the world. Here, you'll learn with purpose, lead with heart and put your skills to work to make a meaningful difference in the world. As part of a diverse team, you'll build trust and create innovative client solutions in unexpected ways. Their purpose, vision and values are what connects the more than 284,000+ people across the PwC global network of firms and helps distinguish us in the marketplace and with our clients. Discover more about the firm including our impact on society, our commitment to creating a culture of belonging, and how we are investing in technology and our people.Discover their new ways of working at PwC. Their hybrid work model includes three ways of working: virtual, flex and in-person. They're expanding the availability of the virtual option to eligible client service staff and new hires. Now, you can live anywhere in the continental US and work for PwC.NGA
The National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) delivers world-class geospatial intelligence that provides a decisive advantage to policymakers, warfighters, intelligence professionals and first responders.Anyone who sails a U.S. ship, flies a U.S. aircraft, makes national policy decisions, fights wars, locates targets, responds to natural disasters, or even navigates with a cellphone relies on NGA.NGA delivers world-class geospatial intelligence, or GEOINT, that provides a decisive advantage to warfighters, policymakers, intelligence professionals and first responders. Both an intelligence agency and a combat support agency, NGA fulfills the president's national security priorities in partnership with the intelligence community and Department of Defense. For information about the NGA's mission, vision, and goals, click here.NGA is headquartered in Springfield, Virginia and has two major locations in St. Louis and Arnold, Missouri. Hundreds of NGA employees serve on support teams at U.S. military, diplomatic and allied locations around the world.
As a global company, it is vital to our success that our employees are as diverse as the customers and communities we serve. American Express has built a diverse workforce and an inclusive workplace— a culture we are committed to continuing.Through our Global Diversity & Inclusion strategy, we're able to channel our efforts in specific ways. We aspire to continue to develop a talent pool that brings together unique perspectives, backgrounds and experiences. We foster a workplace culture where differences are valued and expressed freely and all employees have the support they need to take risks, learn, and collaborate.
American Express logo
Our Silver Sponsor
They are dv01, the leading capital markets fintech driving technological innovation and transparency in structured finance. They built the world's first data management, reporting, and analytics platform tailor-made for lending markets to help prevent a repeat of the 2008 global financial crisis.
On their engineering team, they'll collaborate closely to create and develop products that promote accountability, data reliability, and transparency. They're looking for dreamers, thinkers, and doers to help us modernize Wall Street's tech stack.
For your next bookclub:
Hispanics are 100% Hispanic and 100% American. They believe in the American dream and are incredible contributors to this country. US Hispanics represent 60 million people, 18% of the population, 12% of the country's GDP, $1.7 trillion of purchasing power, the youth population - and the list goes on! Yet, they are often invisible, negatively portrayed, seen as takers. Hispanics contribute so much to America, and now it is time for others to see just how beautiful and resilient they can be. Hispanic Stars Rising: The New Face of Power shares the stories about the experiences, challenges, and successes of Hispanic Stars nationwide. It showcases the diverse backgrounds, obstacles and contributions made by this strong and resilient population nationwide and shines a light on the beauty of this fundamental American community.
This compilation of stories includes some of the most important names in aviation and space exploration. From the Wright brothers, who invented the airplane, to Sally Ride, the first American woman in space and the first to flyin the space shuttle, these stories will offer the readers the chance to understand how curiosity and hard work (and a little bit of fearlessness), allowed ordinary individuals to become extraordinary. Learn about how their actions contributed to the progress of humankind and how they became an inspiration for every person that has had an impossible dream.
Is race only about the color of your skin? In The Latinos of Asia, Anthony Christian Ocampo shows that what "color" you are depends largely on your social context. Filipino Americans, for example, helped establish the Asian American movement and are classified by the U.S. Census as Asian. But the legacy of Spanish colonialism in the Philippines means that they share many cultural characteristics with Latinos, such as last names, religion, and language. Thus, Filipinos' "color"―their sense of connection with other racial groups―changes depending on their social context.
The Filipino story demonstrates how immigration is changing the way people negotiate race, particularly in cities like Los Angeles where Latinos and Asians now constitute a collective majority. Amplifying their voices, Ocampo illustrates how second-generation Filipino Americans' racial identities change depending on the communities they grow up in, the schools they attend, and the people they befriend. Ultimately, The Latinos of Asia offers a window into both the racial consciousness of everyday people and the changing racial landscape of American society.
Disney Encanto tells the tale of an extraordinary family, the Madrigals, who live hidden in the mountains of Colombia, in a magical house, in a vibrant town, in a wondrous, charmed place called an Encanto. The magic of the Encanto has blessed every child in the family with a unique gift from super strength to the power to heal—every child except one, Mirabel. But when she discovers that the magic surrounding the Encanto is in danger, Mirabel decides that she, the only ordinary Madrigal, might just be her exceptional family's last hope. Girls and boys ages 4 to 6 will love this Step 2 Step into Reading leveled reader based on the animated feature film. Step 2 readers use basic vocabulary and short sentences to tell simple stories. For children who recognize familiar words and can sound out new words with help.
B.R.A.N.D. Before Your Resumé: Your Marketing Guide for Veterans & Military Service Members Entering Civilian Life by Graciela Tiscareño-Sato
Student veterans, military spouses, veterans in their first, second, or third career transitions will all learn valuable self-marketing skills, guided by a veteran who knows the transition chaos (and success!) firsthand. This book is essential if you're joining the ranks of veterans choosing the entrepreneurship track, if seeking your first career after leaving the active-duty force, or pursuing your first internship or full-time job after completing your degree as a student veteran.
Readers will complete the "extracting product attributes" exercise, see ample examples of great branding created by veterans Graciela has personally coached, and be able to write their own authentic personal branding to influence their intended target audience. Graciela teaches the reader a repeatable marketing messaging process that will be useful for years to come.
Those who wish to collaborate live with Graciela who will coach them to perfecting their branding and/or discussing their business startup idea will be offered the option to do so.In this marketing guidebook, Graciela guides you in becoming an epic storyteller of your unique value, long before you write your resumé which she reminds us all is a marketing deliverable. Taking this approach as she did during her career transitions means that your audience for your new forward-looking branding will be so intrigued by your value that they'll ASK for your resumé!
You'll be empowered to confidently communicate your value to make things happen, as Graciela did during her transformation from military aviator to technology marketing manager. Graciela freely shares the communication process she followed during her highly successful military-to-civilian transition, in which she was mentored by women veterans every step of the way.
Stop going at it alone.
And most importantly, stop listening to those pushing you into writing your resumé (or worse yet your LinkedIn profile) before you've done the essential work to understand your personal values and interests, your value to civilian organizations and the target audience you need to attract.
Learn to B.R.A.N.D. Before Your Resumé with a marketing-savvy fellow veteran at your side.