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!
According to a recent study, anti-Asian hate crimes have risen 150% since the pandemic started. But these acts of violence are not new — they are part of a much larger history of anti-Asian racism and violence in the U.S.
That makes celebrating Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month (which was named a month-long celebration in May by Congress in 1992 "to coincide with two important milestones in Asian/Pacific American history: the arrival in the United States of the first Japanese immigrants on May 7, 1843 and contributions of Chinese workers to the building of the transcontinental railroad, completed May 10, 1869") this year all the more important.
As we reflect on recent events and how they fit into a much larger history of discrimination, we're also taking time to celebrate and acknowledge the many achievements of the AAPI community.
We asked several of our partner companies what they're doing to honor AAPI Heritage Month at work, and we were inspired by the range of responses, covering everything from campaigns to #StopAsianHate to educational events on AAPI history.
Here's what they're doing, in their own words:
Empowering authenticity - LogMeIn
"Our theme this year is AIM to Be Real. We are embracing our new company values and celebrating those who bring their authentic selves to work, who help create space to celebrate diversity of thought, and who give back to the API community. Our Asian ERG, Asians in Motion (AIM), is hosting several events: a discussion about bringing your authentic self to work with Jerry Won (Dear Asian Americans podcast); a refugee-led virtual cooking class; ERG Movie Club discussions featuring Bollywood films, and a virtual volunteer event where we will offer career development mentoring for young women across Asia."
Learn more about LogMeIn here.
Educating on current events — Raytheon Technologies
"Raytheon Technologies is honoring Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month with an enterprise-wide global town hall event – Real Talk: Building CommUNITY Together. Organized by the Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) employee resource groups across the company, employees will share their personal experiences and discuss ways to support Asian American Pacific Islander communities. The event will also feature prominent leading advocates from renowned civil rights organizations to provide insight into the national context surrounding recent events. We will also feature AAPI employees internally and on our social media channels."
Learn more about Raytheon Technologies here.
Encouraging awareness, growth, and learning — Moody's
"Moody's is encouraging awareness, growth, and learning during Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month with the following activities, led by our Multicultural Business Resource Group and DE&I team:
- Weekly newsletters featuring AAPI employee profiles and cultural resources
- Video screening and small-group discussions supporting #StopAsianHate
- Cultural panel discussion featuring employee stories
- Professional development activities
- External speakers speaking about Asian leadership"
Supporting professional development — Freddie Mac
"Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month at Freddie Mac – Together, We Are Stronger
Freddie Mac supports the professional development of Asian and Pacific Islander employees while promoting an increased awareness of the value they bring to the organization and our local communities. Our InspirASIAN Business Resource Group is hosting various activities throughout the month such as:
- Personal development session on empowerment led by a coach from our Employee Assistance Program.
- "Stop Asian Hate" lunch and learn geared toward discussing the hurdles facing the AAPI community.
- Fireside chat about racial injustice with leaders from our InspirASIAN and ARISE (employees of the African diaspora) BRGs."
Fostering inclusion, learning, and belonging – Nestlé USA
"At Nestlé USA, the Pan Asian Network (PAN), one of our many employee resource groups that support our Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion initiatives, will host a variety of events to honor and acknowledge Asian Pacific American Heritage Month. These activities will foster greater inclusion, enhanced learning, and belonging for the AAPI community. PAN will highlight women's development in Asian cultures, Asian leadership and what their culture means to them, culinary innovation of Asian cuisine, intersectionality of LGBTQ+ and Pan Asian community, as well as an enhanced learning watch party of the PBS movie 'Asian American.'"
Learn more about Nestlé USA here.
Promoting cultural literacy – Relativity
The Community Resource Group at Relativity
"For Relativity, Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month is an opportune time to not only celebrate the rich AAPI cultures represented within our company, but to also foster awareness and allyship amidst the current rise of AAPI hate. RelAsians, our internal community resource group, has organized a few activities for May: a book club focused on AAPI heritage—because we feel it's never too early to gain cultural literacy, a weekly spotlight on AAPI Relativians, and a virtual event that takes attendees on a tour through an Asian grocery store, introducing native vegetables and staple ingredients for traditional home-cooked Asian recipes."
- Contribution from Neha Pant, Sr. Performance Engineer & Angie Ocasek, Sr. Specialist, Partner Enablement – Co-Chairs of the RelAsians Community Resource Group at Relativity
Learn more about Relativity here.
Creating transformative experiences – Facebook
"At Facebook, our APIs employee resource group's mission is to create transformative experiences for all APIs at Facebook, Inc through key cultural awareness and engagement highlighting the API community. To kick off APIHM, we will host a series of events and conversations for the community and its allies designed to support the API community around the theme, The SUM of Us, including:
- Letting Others In: a mindful discussion series that privileges intersectional voices, storytelling, feedback, and vulnerability as tools for building empathy and inclusion amongst organizations.
- Racial Healing Learning Session: specific to the API Experience focused on naming of experiences and emotional responses, understanding the body's responses to racial trauma, what the audience can do in the moment for self-care, and long-term strategies to overcome the effect of the traumatic experience.
- Bystander Training/self Defense Workshop"
Learn more about Facebook here.
Extensive and exciting programming — 2U
"At 2U, Inc. we'll be honoring Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month with extensive and exciting programming coordinated by our employee-led Asian Pacific Islander Network (APIN). In a year marred by exceptional challenges APIN has centered activities around the ameliorating themes of joy, culture and wellness. Be it delighting in a ukulele mini concert, reading an interview highlighting an API coworker, winding down after too much screen time with a somatic healing session or engaging in a panel discussion with API tattoo artists, we have a packed month ahead with opportunities to support oneself and the API culture! Follow along @Lifeat2U on Instagram for more!"
Learn more about 2U here.
Amplifying voices and educating others – Smartsheet
"During APAHM, the API at Smartsheet community will be hosting several events and activities to educate others, amplify AAPI voices, and celebrate the AAPI community! We plan to kick off the month with a documentary viewing and discussion to learn about AAPI history, and hope to share personal stories from our AAPI employees throughout the month. We'll end with an opportunity for the community to celebrate itself by gathering together for fun and games, while eating food from local Asian-owned restaurants."
Learn more about Smartsheet here.
Rising together in sports and culture – NBA
"For Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, APEX is proud to present a multitude of celebratory activities, headlined by an NBA Family Virtual Town Hall and, with the NFL and MLB, an Asians in Sports & Culture Symposium themed "Together We Rise" featuring prominent Asian personalities from the sports world. We are also launching a PSA with an NBA star, honoring Eid-al-Fitr at the end of Ramadan, offering a bystander intervention training led by AAJC, and – because the celebration wouldn't be complete without food – hosting a sushi making class for our members."
Learn more about the NBA here.
Creating courageous conversations – Commvault
"This May, we are celebrating all our Asian/Pacific Islander employees, not just Asian Americans. We will spend the month learning about and celebrating the diverse cultures of Asia through weekly events and activities led by our Multi-Culture ERG. Vaulters and external guests will teach us the history of practices such as yoga, origami, and Asian cuisines. We will also discuss topics like the rise of hate crimes against Asian people and the recent spike in COVID-19 in India. These activities and courageous conversations will engage our workforce and create support for our Asian and Pacific Islander communities around the world."
Learn more about Commvault here.
Honoring history through virtual events – Collins Aerospace
"Collins Aerospace supports our AAPI colleagues not only in May, but all year. Our parent company Raytheon Technologies hosted a virtual Town Hall last month to provide a safe space for open dialogue about recent events targeting Asian Americans in the U.S. In addition to this entity-wide event, our Asia Pacific ERG at Collins is hosting events that educate and honor the importance of Asian Pacific American history such as virtual Lunch & Tours spotlighting South Korea, Vietnam, Singapore, and India; and Thoughts & Support sessions. Site-specific events include virtual cooking class, and viewing PBS docuseries Asian Americans."
Learn more about Collins Aerospace here.
Highlighting new perspectives – MongoDB
"MongoDB will share daily historical facts, highlights of Asian American pioneers, and perspectives from our AAPI employees in a dedicated Slack channel. We will also be providing access to an Asian Pacific American Heritage Month webinar, organizing a trivia night, and holding Processing Together sessions for our internal AAPI community due to recent hate crimes happening across the globe. These sessions are a safe space for employees to share their stories and sentiments of what it is like as an Asian American in America today. (Read MongoDB employee Monica Lu's story about being an Asian American woman in tech here.)"
Learn more about MongoDB here.
Spotlighting diverse communities – Bumble
"At Bumble, moments like heritage month celebrations are often our anchor to ensure we are spotlighting diverse communities. In alignment with AAPI Heritage Month in May, Bumble is rolling out a series of thoughtful programming to encourage internal education and around how to support the Stop Asian Hate movement and better serve the Asian community globally. The lineup of initiatives include:
- BuzzWord DEI Discussion Series with featured guest speakers: This conversation will focus on the Asian community within the context of larger cultural issues such as dating app experiences, fetishization, masculinity, and representation.
- Bumble will be inviting employees to join a virtual Vietnamese coffee-making class. Created in partnership with Phin Bar, an urban brew-bar that offers Vietnamese-style steeped coffee combined with house-made ingredients, Bumble hopes to facilitate a deeper cultural learning and community bonding experience for the team.
- Bumble will also be activating channels across social media and our product to educate our community about bystander intervention and raise awareness around the importance of supporting the Stop Asian Hate movement."
Engaging in daring conversations – Procore
"In celebration of Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month in May, Procore recently organized an internal event to recognize and support the AAPI community. The event was hosted as part of our ongoing internal speaker series, 'Daring Conversations & Allyship,' to create space for an open dialogue around diversity, inclusion, and belonging. All employees were invited to tune in as employees from our AAPI communities shared their unique experiences, addressed anti-Asian hate, and discussed actionable ways to support our AAPI community."
Learn more about Procore here.
Taking action to foster change – SeatGeek
"This month the POC ERG will be meeting and hosting different activities to celebrate Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month. This includes creating a safe space to discuss current events, and what actions our communities can take to foster change, sending out a newsletter which will highlight the Asian community in every aspect, and lastly, we will be hosting a guest speaker.
We hope with these planned activities and meetings, we can highlight, and uplift the Asian/Pacific American community, as well as bring awareness to the horrible ongoing attacks they are facing."
Learn more about SeatGeek here.
Uplifting and inspiring the community – Okta
"Okta's People of Color (POC@Okta) ERG is planning to commemorate AAPI Month with a series of fireside chats and iconographical facts posted internally in the #poc and #all diversity Slack channels! These chats will feature Dion Lim of ABC7 News and Comedian/Actor, Ronny Chieng. We will conclude the series with a partnership with Pride@Okta featuring supermodel, TED speaker, and transgender advocate Geena Rocero. The goal of this series is to educate, uplift, support, and inspire! The Okta leadership supports its AAPI employees, customers, and community."
Learn more about Okta here.
Empowering cultural diversity and leadership – Quip
"Salesforce will be celebrating through multiple virtual events, such as a leadership panel on the power of cultural diversity, a tea tasting, a tai chi class, a haka workshop, and more! Members of the Quip team have also compiled an extensive list of resources to support AAPI communities, including ways to donate, take action, and learn more."
Learn more about Quip here.
Focusing on lived experiences – Mindbody
"The Mindbody United ERG focuses on a different heritage or history each month, with May devoted to Asian & Pacific Islander Heritage Month. This ERG seeks to provide a platform to both celebrate and learn together. This will manifest in two ways: As a newsletter and a Zoom meeting. The newsletter will feature contributions directly from team members, while the meeting will feature Assembly member Evan Low as our speaker. It is our goal to focus on the lived experiences of the AAPI community, address discrimination, and how to chase after the part of the world we can make better."
Learn more about Mindbody here.
Promoting harmony and unity – T. Rowe Price
"T. Rowe Price is aware and appalled at the recent spike in hate crimes against the Asian community. In response, the firm will center Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month efforts around harmony and unity, in alignment with the Hawaiian value, Lōkahi – Forward as One. To share best practices, successes and areas of opportunities, T. Rowe Price will co-host a Leadership Panel on Asian Leadership Challenges with Baltimore Asian Connect, a consortium of Asian business resource group leaders at local corporations. The firm will also host a book club and restorative listening circles for Asian American associates and their allies."
Learn more about T. Rowe Price here.
Celebrating Asians globally
"May is Asian Pacific American (APA) Heritage Month. Although traditionally a US celebration, at Autodesk we are celebrating Asians globally. The Autodesk Asian Network is hosting Innovative Leaders, including Lori Mukoyama and Jonathan Zee. Lori Mukoyama is redefining experience-driven design globally at Gensler. Jonathan Zee has an extensive portfolio of buildings that are helping to shape cities around the world at Goettsch Partners. Lori and her husband Jonathan combine design, architecture and engineering in their work while simultaneously manage a family together during this pandemic. This event is hosted by AAN, as part of a monthlong series of APA Heritage Month events."
Learn more about AutoDesk here.
Insight from Rain Hu, RVP of Sales at Elastic
One of Rain Hu's favorite moments of the day is her early morning run. "I run six kilometers minimum daily, rain or shine," she says. "I enjoy the time alone because it allows me to have time for self-reflection and self-conversation."
The discipline that it takes to maintain a healthy lifestyle is carried throughout her life. As a wife, mother of two young boys, and sales leader, Rain optimizes her time so that she can show up fully and authentically in all aspects of her life.
We sat down with Rain, Regional Vice President of Sales (ASEAN and Hong Kong) for global tech company Elastic, to learn how she has built a career she loves. Read on to learn about how she grew her career in tech sales and what advice she has for others looking to do the same.
Launching a Career in Tech Sales
Shortly after graduating with her MBA, a headhunter contacted Rain about a position in sales. "When they pitched this sales job to me, I found it very interesting," she says. Although she didn't have any sales experience, she liked the idea of helping clients find solutions. "And at the same time they talked about the commission piece, and as a fresh grad, I also found that very attractive."
Over fifteen years later, Rain has earned her stripes in sales and team management. After holding executive positions at various well-known companies, Rain began to seek more opportunities for growth. "I wanted to join a growing company where I would be able to build and grow with the company," she says. And that's how she found Elastic.
Apart from the job description, Elastic's culture and values were what won her over when she decided to join three years ago. "Elastic's source code says we are not here to strive for perfection, so when I saw that, I immediately knew that this is the company that I would like to join, because we are not perfect — we are human."
As a salesperson, quality human connection at work is major for Rain. "[Sometimes] I see my colleagues more than I see my family, so liking the people I work with makes a big difference."
Equally important, however, is having the support required to maintain those connections at work and at home. "Elastic's culture gives us the flexibility to find that balance," says Rain.
Building and Growing Alongside Elastic
When Rain joined Elastic in 2018, there were only five employees in ASEAN and Hong Kong Singapore headquarters. In just three years, Rain has helped grow the team to 60 Singapore-based workers and more than 200 employees across Asia Pacific and Japan.
She now manages over 10 countries with more than 10 languages spoken in the APJ and ASEAN regions. "It has been an amazing journey," says Rain. "And the stats speak for themselves. In Singapore, we managed to have a double digit millions USD per transaction locally."
Rain attributes this success to learning from her fellow colleagues. "I would say the secret recipe is being able to connect the dots and learn from other Elasticians." She makes sure her team has the opportunity to connect and learn from one another to accelerate growth and ensure optimal business outcomes: "Together, we make the difference."
How to grow your career in tech sales
Whether you're new to tech sales or are looking for ways to advance even further in the industry, here's Rain's advice for growing your career in tech sales.
1. Enjoy what you do. Being passionate about your career will give you an extra boost of motivation that could help take your career to the next level. "Today is the youngest you will ever be again, so that's why you should enjoy it to the fullest."
2. Get a mentor. "With a mentor, you will be able to bounce ideas, know your shortcomings, develop your strengths, and learn something new." Rain has personally benefited from mentorship and always encourages others to do so as well. "You need to be able to speak transparently to this person so that he or she will be able to give you the advice [you most need to hear]."
4. Be a team player. "If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together." While sales may seem like an individual effort, success wouldn't be possible without the rest of the team. "People always say, 'Rain, you are number one', but to me this is just a name tag, because there is a full village behind the scenes and they are the heroes actually."
3. Get constructive feedback. Ask your supervisors, clients, and fellow team members to comment on your work. "Don't be afraid of asking for feedback," Rain says. "It might hurt sometimes, but that is what will help you to improve and become a better version of yourself."
5. Have resilience. Rain learned the value of resilience from her 7-year-old son who competes on Singapore's national chess team. "He started competing at a higher level and realized that he wouldn't always win," she explains. But he learns from his mistakes and that keeps him motivated to continue learning. "I see that [resilience] is very important when it comes to your career, because it's not always roses and rainbows, and you will hit roadblocks. But how do you overcome that? That's where resilience comes into the picture."
Want to be a part of the next phase of growth on Rain's team? Check out Elastic's open roles here.
Whether you've stayed in the same career field for years or dabbled in different industries, odds are you've developed your professional skill set. Some of these skills are job-specific, like mastering certain platforms or tools, but others are transferable, such as critical thinking or time management skills.
Transferable skills are very versatile and can be applied in any professional setting, regardless of position or industry, which is a HUGE value-add to future employers.
The best thing about transferable skills is that you probably already have several!
Keep reading for a list of transferable skills and discover which ones to leverage as you adapt and grow in your career.
Examples of Transferable Skills
Having examples of transferable skills can help you flesh out your resume and brainstorm specific examples for interviews. Here are 6 categories of transferable skills you can leverage on your resume.
- Office Suites (Microsoft Office, G Suite, etc.)
- Numeracy skills
- Information technology
- Data metrics
- Database management
- Web (HTML, CSS, CMSs, SEO, etc.)
- Social Media
- Written communication
- Editing and proofreading
- Negotiation skills
- Spoken communication
- Presentation skills
- Public speaking
- Listening skills
- Non-verbal communication
- Interpersonal skills
- Problem solving
- Goal setting
- Analyzing information
- Creative thinking
- Delegating responsibilities
- Managing groups
- Decision making
- Teaching and coaching
- Conflict management
- Strategic thinking
- Event planning
- Task coordination
- Time management
- Idea synthesis
- Attention to detail
How to highlight your transferable skills
Here are some tips on how to showcase your transferable skills on your resume.
- Tailor your skills. Don't paste a laundry list of all of your transferable skills on your resume. Analyze the description for the job you're applying for and select relevant transferable skills for that role.
- Distribute them throughout your resume. Include your transferable skills in your resume summary, employment history descriptions, and skills or qualifications list.
- Pick your top skill. In your resume summary consider including your most valuable and relevant transferable skill. This will hook the person reading your resume to keep reading.
- Don't forget about the cover letter! When writing your cover letter, focus on one or two transferable skills that the employer has included in the job description or that you find relevant. Write about examples of time when you've used those skills in the past in the body of your cover letter.
- Prepare examples for interviews. Use concrete examples of when you've used relevant transferable skills to answer your interviewer's questions. Try to "show" instead of "tell" by providing specific examples of when you used your skills successfully in a professional setting.
📼 The recap for our amazing Tech For Social Impact summit is here! Watch the video to get a quick look of some of the most insightful quotes from our brilliant speakers.
💾 The Tech for Social Impact Summit centered on inspiring stories - and some warning tales - showcasing companies that were founded to create positive social impact. From EdTech to Healthcare, we took a look at startups and established companies who properly aligned their values with their missions. This was a new opportunity to connect with your peers, share ideas, and network with company representatives from the most impactful organizations in tech.
📼 In this video, you'll hear super valuable tips from Thompson Khoo, Senior Recruitment Manager, Ashley Stewart, Senior Technical Recruiter, and Andrew Brancato, Human Resources Associate at JW Player—the leading platform for monetization of advertising in the video space.
📼 There's no magic trick for interviewing, but Andrew shares a keyword that'll help you: attitude! If you have great energy, are engaged and enthusiastic, show up as your authentic self, and are honest about your abilities and skills, you'll make a great impression on the recruitment team.
📼 Get ready: The last step of the interview process involves meeting with members of the team. Prepare for a half-day of getting to know your potential future teammates and familiarizing yourself with the role! Spoiler—JW Player is big on teamwork and offers an environment of support, transparency, and autonomy. Working on JW Player means wearing a lot of hats, which will give you the opportunity to participate in different projects, surrounded by a work culture that supports growth and development.
📼 One last key piece of advice before you go? Sending a timely "thank you" email after the interview will go a long way in helping you stand out.
🧑💼 Are you interested in joining JW Player? They have open roles! To learn more about them, click here.