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Crush the Big Tech Program Manager Interview

teacher avatar Rion Angeles, Purveyor of solutions!

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

9 Lessons (1h 20m)
    • 1. Getting Started

    • 2. General Interview Process and Structure

    • 3. What Big Tech Look For

    • 4. Create an Experience Log to Beat Interviews

    • 5. Experience Log Requirements

    • 6. Elevator Pitch for the Best 1st Impression

    • 7. Behavioral Questions

    • 8. Domain Expertise Questions

    • 9. Landing the Role and Next Steps

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About This Class

Looking to switch careers into program management at a big tech or FAANG (Facebook, Apple, Amazon, Netflix, Google, etc...) company? Or perhaps you're looking to start interviewing soon for a program manager role. Do you need a structured crash course and to get you through the grueling interview process? Then this course is for you.

Program managers have become ubiquitous at many FAANG and other tech companies and are quickly growing in more conventional industries and verticals as well. They drive progress across organizations, operate cross-functionally with different teams, and pivot on a dime to adapt to quickly changing market conditions and customer-centric needs. They also transcend beyond your typical project manager and come with domain expertise, design, and product sense.

I made this course for those looking to land a role as a program manager, both technical and non-technical. By the end of the course, you will have a high-level understanding of the program manager role and be sufficiently prepared to interview for program manager roles at various tech companies.

The ideal student for this course is someone who is hoping to land a role as a program manager or preparing to switch roles and wants a structured method to prepare for the interview process. There are no requirements necessary to enroll, I only ask that you engage in the class project and stay open-minded.

Meet Your Teacher

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Rion Angeles

Purveyor of solutions!


Hello, I'm Rion. I'm a technologist and work in the Bay Area at a large tech company. I have years of startup experience and focus on bringing fast prototypes to market. I have a passion for teaching and mentoring others. 

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1. Getting Started: Hello everyone and welcome to crush the Big Tech Program Management Interview course, where you will learn the ins and outs of interviewing for program manager roles at big tech companies. In this video, we'll go over a brief introduction and what to expect in this course. All right, let's jump right in. If you search the job boards at any of these high-profile tech companies today, you'll come across the position that spans each of them. That position is not limited to just the tech companies you see on this slide. In fact, you'll find this role across nearly all tech companies and it's slowly making its way more into conventional industries and verticals as well. That role is the program manager. You might also see variants of this role, like the technical program manager or the prod OPS manager as well. In this course, I'm going to teach you how to successfully interview for the role of program manager so that you might be able to land your own program manager role at a big tech company. But first, a really fast intro about me. I'm Ryan. I'm currently a technical program manager at a large bay Area tech company. There I focus working with different teams to find creative ways for engineers to train faster, smarter, and harder, all without them ever realizing it. Previously, I spent 10 years acting as a TPM and icy at various startups, hardware and software companies as well. I made this course because I genuinely enjoy my job in my experience as a TPM, it's one of the most interesting and challenging and satisfying positions at many companies. Also, I figured now would be a good time to impart my observations when becoming a program manager. Recently, I myself went through over 62 technical program manager interviews, but we'll talk more about that some other time. In addition, I also run a newsletter and blog that provides curated content for the skill generalist and program manager called the on blockers. Feel free to check it out and subscribe if you want to learn more about program management and explore other awesome generalist roles and continue to refine your skills as an unblock her. Okay. That's enough about me. Let's talk about the fun stuff. Program managers. Ultimately, program managers are the generalist. They are individuals who identify, develop, and drive multiple strategic projects, initiatives, and programs. These aren't your typical project managers who handle one project at a time. They loved to talk. They build alliances and partnerships, but they're not limited to a single team, but work across multiple teams, groups, and organizations. They love the unknown. Unknowns, thrive and ambiguous environments, solving any problem, obstacle challenges. They have either technical or non-technical expertise. In addition, they tend to provide domain expertise, such as a program manager that specializes in supply chain, marketing, human resources, operations, robotics, et cetera, et cetera. They typically don't have direct reports and instead get things done a different way. They exert influence instead of authority. And in addition, the title of program manager can be a catchall title for other positions as well, or perhaps for responsibilities that are a little bit more nebulous are unclear. Okay. Let's go over numbers. As of mid-March, 2021, the average base salary of a Program Manager in the Bay Area in California at a Fang company, which stands for Facebook, Amazon, Apple, and Netflix, Google, or any other Fang tangential company ranges right around a 125 thousand US dollars. That's just the base. This doesn't include any other bonuses and fringe benefits. In addition, also a click quick Glassdoor search. Also, a quick Glassdoor search for just the title of program manager yields over 169 thousand open positions alone. This doesn't include TPM, product ops, or other related titles. So there's no shortage of these types of positions. And finally, the best part, because of the somewhat skilled generalist role this position typically holds, it's very possible for these positions to change and develop into other advanced roles. And that, in my opinion, is one of the most powerful aspects of being a program manager. It's that to some degree, you get to dictate how you develop your career ladder. You don't have to be limited in your scope. So who is this course for? Well, it's for anyone who wants to become a program manager. Those that are interested in a dynamic role where priorities can turn on a dime. It's for individuals who want a role where a building partnerships and relationships with other colleagues is of particular importance. It's for individuals who loved to solve problems, sometimes with incomplete data. And finally, I want to note this course isn't just for program managers. It's anyone else can easily apply or adapt. Anyone else can easily adapt or apply this interview guide for interviewing in other positions as well that are similar. Let's quickly go over what we'll cover in this course. First and foremost, this is a course that serves as an interview guide for program managers or any role tangential to this, we will quickly review the job requirements and the role itself. Then, during the preparation and practice phase, we'll go over the interview process and the structure and tooling that will need to get through this part. Finally, we'll review what ramping up means and how to continue on your path as a program manager. So that leads us to the end of this section. However, before we continue on, if you're interested in more Program Manager content, I also happen to run the UN blockers, a blog and newsletters specifically for program managers, both technical and non-technical and other skill generalists as well. You've already heard me say this, but program managers are on blockers, which is exactly what I consider myself. And I hope that that is something that you can probably call yourself as well. So if you're open to learning more or perhaps even contributing, then feel free to visit the Thanks again. And with that, I'd like to welcome you to the crush, the Big Tech Program Management Interview course. I hope you enjoy it. 2. General Interview Process and Structure: Hey guys, and welcome back to crush the Big Tech Program Management Interview course. In this section, we'll go over the general interview process. Please note that this process may vary per company and industry. Okay, So in this section, it's fairly short, so let's jump right into it. For those of you not familiar, PGM interviews follow the similar or same formats as other textile interviews. First, you'll have to do the legwork yourself and search for these positions and obviously apply. There's a few places you can do this like Glassdoor, LinkedIn, AngelList, corporate websites of the company, and so forth. Your application gets filtered either by an automated filter or by the recruiter. They are matching for the skill-set along with the job description. If the recruiter likes what they see and they think that you're a good fit. They'll either reach out or send you or resume first to the hiring manager for further vetting. Then they'll send you a request to schedule the screening call. The screening call is fairly basic introductions, pleasantries, and basic screening questions that are usually provided by the hiring manager. You get past screening and then you're on to the hiring manager. Here at the hiring manager will vet you further, go into detail about the position and the expectations. This is the step you get vetted for an on-site. If you pass through the hiring manager, a couple of things may happen. If they like you. You might get invited to an on-site and you might have an interview with an additional person for more vetting because well, that's just their process or maybe they're unsure. If you get through that, then you move on to an on-site where you'll go through a number of consecutive interviews. I call this the gauntlet. And finally, we get to the stage where they will present you with a compensation package and usually go through some level of negotiation. Okay, and up next is in terms of interview structure. Let's talk about that a little bit. The interview itself can be effectively demarcated into five different parts. The introduction is fairly straightforward. The recruiter is going to call you, or typically the person that's designed to interview you is going to call and they're going to ask you, hey, this is yadda, yadda yadda from XYZ company. I just wanted to know is now still a good time to chat. Of course now is still a good time to chat. They scheduled the interview in the first place and you agreed. Anyway, this entire part of the introduction is just about niceties and pleasantries. So say Hello, be friendly and watch your cadence and tone. Next, the first question that they are going to ask you is always almost without fail the elevator pitch. It's usually going to be along the lines of something like, hey, tell me a little bit about yourself. Every single interview, 99% of the time. We'll start off with this question. So we have to practice the elevator pitch and we'll talk about that later in the course. Okay, After you finish up the elevator pitch, they're going to jump into behavioral and domain expertise questions. We will go over behavioral questions later on. But typically, these are a combination of tell me about a time when you did XYZ or tell me about a time when XYZ happened and so forth and so forth. And typically what happens is they will ask you to sprinkle in some level of domain expertise or the stories that you give in these behavioral questions will already be integrated with the domain expertise that you already specializing. Okay, Up next is the additional clarification section. That's typically right around 5% of the entire interview. It's the point where you get to ask questions. So make sure to come prepared with questions that you are interested in. Generally good questions seemed to be along the lines of, why is this role open? How long has this role been open for and who was in this role Prior? And tell me a little bit about their accomplishments are what they did. Another one I like to ask is tell me about the expectations within the first 90 days if this candidate and finally the outro, this is the part where they typically described to you with the next steps are going to be, it usually involves a line from the interviewer like I'm going to compile my review notes. I'm going to talk to the recruiter or the hiring manager, other interviewers, and then we will reach out to you for next steps. At this point, it's a good idea to try and get them to commit to some type of a timeline of which when they will respond, like, Hey, when can I expect to receive a response? Because I'm in the process of interviewing at other companies as well. And usually you want to drop outline to try and make sure that they're in some type of a rush, especially if they really like you as a candidate. And with that, we've gone over the general interview process and structure. We'll see you in the next section. 3. What Big Tech Look For: Hey everyone, welcome back to the crush, the Big Tech Program Management Interview course. In this section, we'll take a look at what Big Tech look for. Now, this is big tech. And when people say big tech, they typically think of Fang companies, also known as f, a, and G. And that typically stands for Facebook, Amazon, Netflix, and Google. And so up here on the screen are, I guess is just a small subset or a sample of the types of companies that do higher or are looking for program managers, technical program managers and products as well. So what I wanted to go over in this particular section was review some of the requirements and skills and PR views and experiences that many of these tech companies look for. After all, these are the types of bigger companies that will be shooting for to get hired in. So right out of the gates, they are going to be looking for a project and program manager experience. What that typically means is that they want to see examples and stories of how you took down requirements, right? Identified scope, planning and executed on the problem. They want to see that you have organized and motivated cross-functional team. You remember program managers don't just function with a single group. They function across multiple groups, teams and organizations. And then they want to see how you executed the tasks associated with all the planning involved. Then they would also want to be able to see you demonstrate how you track these tasks and how you reported their completion and their progress. They also want to see what types of trade-offs you made. Because as you know, when it comes to handling multiple teams and organizations and different and multiple projects at the same time, there will be competing priorities, especially as things within the company change. They also want to see that there was a focus on outcome, not just delivery. This is very different from the traditional style of project management and PMI emphasis where there's a lot of due diligence on having a plan and delivering these deliverables on what's stated in your work breakdown structure. That's not the case. Program managers and these these types of organizations that are much more fast pace and are much more agile base would rather you focus on outcome. So make sure to come with stories that outline the, the value that was delivered and not just the actual product at the end. In addition, you should be able to explain and justify your own brand or your own approach of project and program management. And what I mean by that is it's just the style or your viewpoints in your perspectives on how you manage all of these multiple projects and programs should also be able to ask yourself, how do you balance process versus execution? While it might be rudimentary and straightforward that you would execute on a project. There's always these competing priorities between doing what is road and what's expected versus actually doing the actual project itself. Also, as a program manager, it's very different in the sense that you typically tend to handle projects without defined and dates. And this is very indicative in an cultures and organizations that are heavily innovation-based. Similar to what these Fang company is when big tech would, would expect. And finally, we'll dive into further detail in the following slides. But leadership, they do want to show that you were capable individual, capable of rallying people, teams, organizations, and companies, the whole. So be prepared to provide examples of how you focused on the communication dynamics and focused on rapport building. We'll go over a few more things in the slides afterward. All right, Next up is technical or domain expertise and judgment. So no matter what domain you come from, whether you'd be technical or not. Maybe you come from a marketing background, maybe you come from a supply chain, HR, legal, whatever it is, they're going to want to see that you have high-level technical industry knowledge. They want to see that you've been exposed to and executed common standards methodologies. They want you to be able to judge the aspects of the technical aspects of a design, of a solution, of a proposal, and carry on a discussion with the various cross-functional teams that these solutions or proposals intertwined with. They also want to see that you understand the issues and the trade-offs and the costs of selecting one option or one methodology or one standard over the other. So be prepared with examples of which you did that. They also want to see that you are able to challenge assumptions or push back as I like to say, they wanted that you've been able to make discussions or sorry, decisions based on their your technical or domain merits. So they want to see that you were able to tactfully defend or push back on someone's idea of groups initiative or a group's program or project. And then if you are a technical program manager and you come from a developer background, they're going to want to see programming knowledge and expertise. So be prepared to summon up any previous expertise or exposure you have for distributed or system design questions, scaling latency, classic trade off between speed, quality and cost from a technical perspective and the technical fundamentals, anything that you list on your CV, on your resume, be prepared to talk about that. Technical expertise and programming knowledge is beyond the scope and purview of this course. I will list out lots of other resources later on in the course that you can use to brush up on those as well. Next up, they want to see your analytical ability. They want to know that you can solve problems and work out what is important. So some of the ways that there'll be able to do that is you have to be able to demonstrate the ability to reason from an initial set of information to logical conclusions, including the use of reasonable assumption. So let's say somebody comes up with you with a solution or a proposal. They want to see that you can break down that solution or proposal and point and pick out all of the shortcomings that weaknesses, the fallacies of the risks, all of the downstream effects of that. So be prepared with examples of that. Next day. Want to see you work through a hypothetical scenario as if it were your first project or assignment in a new role. Because this is what's going to happen to a Program Manager day in and day out. And we'll go through examples of that later. But it is essentially, again, another team coming up to you with a problem. And then you have to assume or make assumptions and be able to push back in order to defend their solution or to refine or distill their solution further. And then be able to demonstrate how you would apply your previous work experience on a problem and develop a plan on how you would execute that, how you would recruit for resources, the kinds of risks and obstacles that you may run into, and then kinds of due diligence that you are that you would perform in order to ensure a problems, a problem solutions success. They also want to see that you can demonstrate your ability to handle, handle ambiguity. Again, as I mentioned, as a Program Manager in these fast-moving, innovative tech companies, you will not have necessarily the luxury of having a plan in place. These plans tend to change and so you have to be very flexible and really focus on a level of nimbleness and agility that typically project managers don't have the luxury of being able to do. Also, be ready to elaborate on examples of where you are metrics driven and where you made decisions and trade-offs based on the metrics and the data that was given to you or the data that you collected. Finally, we want to be able to demonstrate extraordinary levels of leadership. And leadership can come in the form of presence and direction, meaning people know who you are, people refer to you when it comes to unblocking or removing obstacles and direction from that standpoint. Being able to set a course, being able to make recommendations and drive teams to that alignment, Be prepared with examples of that. I also want to see that you are capable of building alliances and partnerships. Meaning, you know who to talk to your team understands what the synergies are between organizations, between Teams, and how you are the glue that refines that relationship. You are the glue that helps drive that partnership, right? We, they also want to see a striking balanced between strategic and tactical decisions. So a tactical decision would be something that you would do yourself that that's fairly minute versus something making a decision that's more strategic, that would affect more teams or more groups or more organizations. And so the scope of responsibility between a strategic and tactical decision is very different. It's very extreme dichotomy where one is, It's something that you could probably execute yourself. Where's the strategic end is, I guess affects more of the business and requires a multiple teams or individuals or organizations. Also, from a leadership perspective, you have to be able to communicate how you defend your ideas, how you support initiatives, and how you talk about these as well. And that comes with the presence, right? Being able to sell your ideas, being able to push it up the chain, being able to gather the individuals that you need approval and stakeholders, stakeholders sponsorship or executive sponsorship from. That's very important to be able to illustrate that. And then you also want to be able to demonstrate situations are examples of where you were able to tactfully align teams and priorities with other priorities or with other teams or more in the change of, in the face of a changing business, right? Or external economic factors. You want to be able to have stories around how you were able to get alignment from different teams to change very quickly. Again, this is, these are, these are things that your typical project manager would not necessarily have the luxury of being able to do records there. They're usually very rigid on a plan. Whereas as a program manager, you're supposed to be very flexible along the changing conditions that are happening in the company, um, and the surrounding competitive workplace. And finally, be able to demonstrate value add decisions and actions that span across various teams and various organizations. What that means is the decisions that you make, the value that you add, the delivery of outcome that you bring should not just affect your organization or your team, but other organizations and other teams as well. Because as a program manager, you span across different teams, you work through different organizations, kind of work into the spaces and help align all of those. So with that, that is a breakdown of what these big Fang, fast-moving, innovative tech companies are looking for is somewhat intrinsically different from the traditional, conventional perspective of what you would expect a Program Manager to look for. Yeah, and we will see you in the next section. 4. Create an Experience Log to Beat Interviews: Hey everyone, and welcome back to the crush, the Big Tech Program Management Interview course. So we're finally here. We're in the preparation phase. In this section, we'll go over the experience log in how to create one. So first off, you're probably wondering what is an experienced and why are we not working on a resume first, we'll simply put, I like to describe it as a resume on steroids. The experience log helps create our resume later and makes it a lot easier as well. So that's why we're making the experience log first. To go into more detail. It's basically a curated selection of stories that outline specific obstacles or challenges and what you did to overcome these obstacles and challenges. In addition, most people seem to think that they should start off with the resume. I disagree. And with that, I think the experience log actually helps create the resume and it's much more concise and put together a resume as well. It ends up elaborating on the details of your actions taken. And finally shows the interviewer the positive or negative results of your actions. And finally, the experience log also follows either parade or star style formats of answering questions, which in turn handles behavioral questions, which is a bulk of the interview questions anyway. And we'll go into star or Parade in the following slides and in the following sections we'll go into behavioral questions. Okay? So isn't actually creating our experience log, it's just the first thing we have to do. And to do that, we have to dig back and think about our experiences and our stories. So when you're thinking about the stories for your log, we wanna do is think about events that highlight the accomplishments for success and what you did right, to become our act as a leader, whether quasi or officially, perhaps you gave guidance on a level of mentor ship that was not expected. Or in your job requirements, perhaps you were given the opportunity to grow a team. Or I guess from the problem-solving perspective, you deflected and the escalated a difficult situation. Maybe from a humility perspective, you made a mistake or maybe you didn't do things correctly because you didn't perform due diligence. And you know, how did you recover from that? And then really any generally challenging decision that you had to have made in your previous experiences. When you're selecting these experiences, be sure that there's enough depth that are in breadth for you to be able to create a compelling story. And so we're going to be following the parade or star format. So if you feel that there isn't enough content to fill out either the star or Powerade format. Perhaps it's not the best story to use after all. And the lessons learned from that story aren't as impactful as you want them to be. So just prefer to choose stories that have significant impact and depth to them. Okay, so how do we actually form are experienced log and their stories? First of all, our experiences are going to be formatted in either parade or star. I personally prefer parade on the left here because it has the ability to elaborate on your particular role in your particular effects on the problem when star tends to combine the two. So there's the possibility that star might get, it, might get your accomplishments or your role a little muddled. But again, you know, Google search each one of them, whether you prefer to use parade or star, you can't go wrong. Just know that parade is a little bit more concise, but they are effectively the same as long as you practice either whichever one you choose. So these two are actually the constructs that you use to answer questions in a consistent manner, right? And sticking to practicing parade or star, whether you describe or write down your experience log and when you answer questions during your interviews is going to be a sure-fire way to ensure that you don't stumble around your words. You don't trip on your words. He end that you have a consistent format or talk track. Or I should say, that makes answering questions significantly easier than if you were trying to just reach into your head and think of a story on the spot. So it's absolutely critical that you use either start or parade method. Again, you can't go wrong with either if you do a quick Google search for parade or star, they'll go into more detail and give you more examples. In this particular section, we'll just go over parade, because if we know parade, we technically no star. So to go into detail around parade, it starts off with six different sections, as you can see on the left here, starting off with a problem, it is exactly what it sounds like. You have to describe the situation where there was a challenge or obstacle in the way and it was your duty to be able to overcome that problem. Next up is the anticipated consequence where if you did nothing, what was going to happen from a repercussion? They're consequential standpoint. If you decided to do nothing, right, and let it run a muck and go free. The next part is the role, which is why I like profit parade, is because it's specifically and explicitly states what your role was at the time and what you did. So in this case, it could be something like I was an operations manager or I was a technical program manager and so forth and so forth. And next was the action. So this would be the sequence of things that you did to try and solve or alleviate or prevent the anticipated consequences so that it might be a few bullet points. And, but we'll go through an example in the next slide. And next up is the decision-making rationale, also known as the d, m, r. So this is the kind of star skips out on where the decision-making rationale goes and elaborates on why you made those actions the first place. Why you did the things that you did to ensure that their success. And then finally, the end result, right, where you are quantifiable results and other words value created from your actions. All right, and then in the next slide we'll actually go over a personal example of what was one of my own at a previous startup that I was working at. All right, so let's hop right into an example using the parade format, like I mentioned earlier, if you know parade you effectively no star. You're welcome to use parade or star. The following example is just really something to gain some level of better understanding around how these behavioral questions work and how to answer using this format. The problem was we were constantly running into issues where we would be short on inventory. The anticipated consequence is that if this continued to happen, the company would lose around $50 thousand a quarter of assets or the form of delayed orders are missing inventory or something like that. So you can see how if we didn't fix this, the company would continue to suffer losses. So next up is my role. And my role in the company at the time was a technical program manager or a program manager in this case, at a manufacturing team, right? So clearly states what you are doing. And you can also put what your typical responsibilities were or unexpected work and they're kind of play that off here as well if you wish. In terms of actions, I did a couple of things. I identify the processes and behaviors that lead to resulted in missing or lack of visibility. I created a spreadsheet to track the inventory. And then also had people update the spreadsheet whenever they took inventory from the storage area. So there were a couple of things that they're effectively that effectively solve this, right? And there's a couple of bullet points. Okay? Decision-making rationale, also abbreviated as DMR. In this particular example, I did this because creating a spreadsheet was the fastest way to alleviate the behavior without introducing a large or expensive inventory system. So in this particular DMR, you state why you did things that you did in, in case there's this there's this competition of balance around how much effort we want to put in versus how much money do we want to put in and what kind of results do we want? So that is expressed here finally, with the end results. So within the end result, we ended up saving right around $40 thousand per quarter and set the stage for an amateur inventory management system later on, right? So that really brings together how your decision-making rationale made sense or whether it was the same approach, the same time. So this is an example of a simple parade style format and that will be located inside your experience log. Okay, so the takeaways from the experience log is that quite frankly, it's there more detail there. They're better than the resume. And if you don't have, you have to go through the trouble of answering these behavioral style questions. You might as well create an experience law because it helps you answer them more consistently, right? And the stories and the answers that you have a personalized towards your experiences. Also, they're easier to remember. It's much easier to remember a story that you experienced firsthand. Then it was to actually try and create an answer out of thin air. Finally, they help create your resume. Like I mentioned earlier, if you have the stories already, you simply pick and choose the one liners from your experience, log and inject that into your resume and shorten it up a bit. Also, it ends up, you end up with better results during your interviews because you have a consistent way to answer almost every single question better recruiter can throw out You. Okay with that. That pretty much sums up the section of how the experience log works. We will see you in the next section. Let's actually go over a sample experienced log. So this is unexperienced log that I provide on the UN blockers on personal. A website and blog that curates content for program managers as well. I'll also be including a link to this within the course and attaching this as well. So here in this I simply go over an introduction of Parade and what do you think about when you create your experience log? So use this as a template, copy, paste this into each different section within the experience log, and then just simply replace what you don't need, right? So if we go over here to the left and we go to the actual experience log space this out so we can see it a little better. Okay, So we start the experience log here is a sample question or a sample story, I should say. This one is called building the supply chain. This is actually very close or was basically adopted from one of my personal experiences and stories as well. We start off with the problem and the anticipated consequence, right? You'll notice that this was a personal story of myself. My role was I was the newest employee. In addition to being a program manager. These were my actions, bullet form here so that they're easier to digest. Obviously, it's much more intimidating to look at a wall of text. My decision-making rationale to justify why I made those actions, again in bullet form. And each one corresponding to each action. My end result, right? Which basically shows the consequences or the ramifications of my actions. And then finally some more, some more information on parade in case interview. So very important to format your experience log in this way. Again, this is the parade style format, is you can see here the parade method. So feel free to try the parade or try the star format, very similar, but much more condensed. And then last thing to mention is you'll notice here that right below the story title actually put a number of tags. And the reason why I do this is because if I need to it previously, I mentioned that your experience logs and we'll go into this later as well. The stories have to end up aligning with the behavioral questions that are asked in the interview process. And to help facilitate the alignment of the question, I place these tags as a one phrase or 11 noun or adjective summary of what happened in this story, right? So if the gist of this story was a supply chain, there was cross-functional work here, this regard, this involved hardware, that's involved vendor management, forecasting and so forth and so forth. Quite frankly, if I'm not mistaken, this also brings into play initiative and yeah, I would say initiative and also project management. So you can see how when you are creating your resume, when you are trying to internalize and recollect on stories when you're answering your behavioral interviews, it's very easy to identify which story can easily be aligned to their questions. And also, you might have six to seven stories as well. So keeping track of six to seven stories is a little easier when you use tags. Okay, with that, I will be including this sample experienced log in the course. And if you have any questions, feel free to leave in the comments. 5. Experience Log Requirements: Hey everyone, and welcome back to the crush, the Big Tech Program Management Interview course. In this section, we'll go over the experience log of requirements and what to put inside your experience log. So these big tech companies or anywhere else you're applying for that matter will expect stories. So in this section, we'll go over what to actually include inside your experience log and what to look for when selecting your stories. So to quickly recap, we will prepare five to six experienced log entries from your previous experience and will also format them in star or Parade format which we went over previously. And finally, when we actually write these experienced log entries, Let's make sure to focus on outcome. So in these next few slides, let's go over what to select, what to think of when you're selecting these stories. So starting off, we want to make sure that you're experienced log has examples of at least one or two examples of decision-making. So you will want to prepare an example of a time when you had to make a difficult decision. In particular, to scribe that specific challenge and how you solve that challenge for your team, for your organization, and how did you approach it? Things to take note of. What were the questions that you asked yourself? What were the things that you did to finally arrive to this decision? What about the role that other people played and what was the outcome of your decision. Also, be prepared with examples of when taking your time to make a decision and how that paid off. This is the classic tradeoff between performing due diligence versus straight execution. Next, you'll also want to have a story around planning and organization. So make sure to have a story that describes a situation in which you had many competing projects or priorities that were due at the same time, or perhaps on competing timelines. What did you do to what were the steps that you took to ensure that you could get all of them done or completed in a timely manner. How did you determine the priorities and scheduling or perhaps even the D prioritization of tasks, projects, or programs. Be sure that you are experienced. Log has an example of being metrics driven. How did you use metrics to drive your planning, your organization, your decision-making, your time management, and ultimately the outcome. Up next is you will want a story or an example of how you took the initiative or exemplified leadership. So be prepared to have an entry in your experience log that details a project or a program that could not have been successfully completed without you being there. So think of things. When you are selecting a story is how did you, or when did you influence the outcome of a project or a program by taking the initiative or taking a leadership role, or by providing a level of presence that otherwise would have contributed to the failure if you were not there. Also, make sure your story outlines how you involve others in making a decision. Remember that your program manager, not a project manager. So you work cross-functionally across teams, across departments, across organizations. So it's important to highlight how you bridge the gap between those organizations and act as a leader. Next is flexibility. So in this particular story, you'll want to describe a time when you were faced with stresses or factors that tested your copy your coping skills, your management skill is your leadership skills and your, perhaps you're tactful in PR, interpersonal rapport and how you solve problems. Being flexible. How do you deal with ambiguous situations or unknown requirements or working on a moving target or goal. Describe a time when you put your needs aside to help a co-worker or a team or a customer, how did you help them get to that result? And this is a very important again, because as a program manager, you're functioning in a very ambiguous role. You don't have the luxury of having a plan necessarily that you work off of. You. You only know what you know off of the current state of things. You work in a very agile environment and form. Very unlike what you would observe from your conventional project manager. They work off of a plan and it stays fairly rigid. So it's not the case for program managers. You are meant to be flexible. You are meant to drive cross-functional progress, knowing that everyone's priorities changes on a whim. Okay, and finally we've come to time management. So when it comes to including a story around time management, this is a good time to try and introduce some type of failure, some type of shortcoming. So think of the times when you fail to meet a deadline. What were the things that you did that lead to this? What were the repercussions and what did you learn? How did you ensure that this was a coachable moment, not just something to fix? Given example of when competing priorities, when multiple teams were managed. And this is important because again, as a program manager, you're working across functional teams, across multiple teams. So with competing priorities, how did you align those priorities, those values, those incentives within their delivery timelines. How did you ensure that everyone's projects or programs were delivered not on time per se, but aligned with the organization. So let's quickly recap what we went over today when creating your experience log, you want to have around five to six stories that encompass everything that we just talked about. These stories can involve a combination of themes or aspects that we already went over previously. So decision-making, planning and organization initiative, leadership flexibility, time management. Your stories can flip flop or include each of these individually or combinations of, I would recommend having combinations of perhaps one of your story actually encompasses decision-making and flexibility. And perhaps another one can have time management and initiative and leadership, right? Maybe you are on a really short schedule, so you had to take the leadership role. Again, you can see how these start to mix together. Included in the resources is a, an example Experience log. Actually it's my personal experience log from my previous experience. So feel free to use that as a template. And we will see you in the next section. 6. Elevator Pitch for the Best 1st Impression: Hey everyone, and welcome back to the crush, the Big Tech Program Management Interview course. In this section, we're really going to start getting into the midi parts of the interview preparation. This particular section is all about perfecting the elevator pitch. Okay? So the elevator pitch, this is interesting because when somebody thinks of a pitch, they typically think of a salesperson trying to sell something. And in essence, that's exactly what's happening here. You're effectively trying to sell your qualifications and the fact that your candidacy makes you a fantastic fit for the position. Most likely the first question that's going to come out of that interviewers mouth is going to be, why don't you tell me a little bit about yourself? And one of the best ways we can answer that is of course, through the use of an elevator pitch. The elevator pitch is going to allow you to set the tone, cadence, and general overall flow for the interviewer. So let's quickly go over the parts of the pitch. And finally, remember, you're a program manager and PGMs are really good at introducing themselves, selling themselves, and building those interpersonal relationships. So to some degree, this is just what you do normally in your everyday task as a PGM in the first place. All right, So real quick, what makes a good elevator pitch? Right off the bat? I would strongly recommend introducing yourself. Sounds a little redundant, but think of it this way. If the recruiter pronounces your name and correctly, now is your chance to tactfully suggest what the correct pronunciation of your name is right? Next is going over what you do currently, whether you're unemployed, are currently working. The point is to give a really high level overview of what you do. Put a spin on it, make it a little Somewhat entertaining. For example, my personal elevator pitch starts off with my current role. I tried to find ways for engineers to train smarter, faster and harder than before, all without them ever realizing it. And in my opinion, that's a pretty exciting role statement, right? That's how my elevator pitch starts off and it never fails to put a smirk on the interviewer's face. Next up, when you, when you get a chance to go over what you did in your previous positions, quickly go over what your history was. I would strongly recommend just touching on the high points. And this would be things like I served as a consultant here, I served as an operations manager there and so forth and so forth. It gives a little bit of history to the recruiter without boring them with too much detail. You ideally don't want to take too long to answer this question because they'll want to jump right into the next part of the interview. Next up, we go into values. This is important because it sets the stage very early on for the recruiter of what your expectations are. It's always good to be transparent with the recruiter about what you're looking for. For example, a value could be something along the lines of say, mentor-ship leading a team or more flexible work dynamics. And finally, why you're here is more along the lines of something that you want to learn. Or if there's something particularly interesting about their company. An example could be something like a specific technology that you specialize in. Or maybe your undergrad is very relevant to the position where maybe your experiences super niche and fits very well with their needs or problems. So let's actually go over two examples of an elevator pitch. The first one is actually my personal elevator pitch that I used previously in the 62 interviews that I recently underwent. My name is radon. So right off the bat, we introduced my name so that I can correct their pronunciation because they always pronounce my name wrong. It's a tactful way of letting them know that I prefer my name to be pronounced like that without having to embarrass them. Next, I told them what I do. I've been a TPM for the past two years. Next, I told them what I did. I was an employee number three and scale that up to a 100. And as a TPM, I did this, I did this, I did this. The point is is that I go a little bit into my history. I touch very briefly on the high points, not too much on the nuances, very high level details, or even just the name or the title of the position is sufficient. Most of these recruiters are going to know what those positions are and what they entail in the first place. So it's somewhat redundant to try and explain that again all to them. Finally, the last part of my values I state right off the bat that I'm looking to foster mentor-ship. And then finally I'm here because I want to apply my startup experience to their early stage challenges. So in this particular case, I've crafted this elevator pitch to be catered towards a startup recruiter. It's possible that many of the challenges and obstacles are facing today are very similar. My experiences and I wouldn't be able to empathize and relate to their growth. The second elevator pitch here, the second one is shorter, much more succinct than the previous one. And it starts off with, hi, I'm Jesse. I helped my company by other companies. So they introduced their name, they introduce what they do. And it's a very bold statement and it's very short and succinct and direct. And it skips right into the why I'm here. They are here because they want to continue exactly what they're doing. You'll notice that this particular elevator pitch, the second one, it skips over the values entirely. And they did this because they usually anticipate the recruiter actually asking what the candidate is looking for anyway. So for this candidate, they deemed it much more genuine to talk about a value that you particularly like and not something about the company. So instead of saying, I value mentor-ship and I heard from the grapevine that your company is really good at giving mentor-ship. I want somebody that I can learn from. And in addition, I want to be able to give mentor-ship as well to other colleagues that comes off as much more tactful and empathetic than saying something like, I love the snacks and the free food that your company serves, right? That's a completely different set of values. Okay. With that, we've gone over why the elevator pitch matters. We've gone over the important parts of the pitch. We've gone over other examples of what a quality elevator pitches. You've got enough to go ahead and create your own. Feel free to take my elevator pitch or the second example here, or perhaps one that you find online and make that work for you. Practice it in front of a mirror, ingest it, internalize it. Remember, this is your chance to set the tone for how the rest of the interview is gonna go with the interviewer. And with that, we'll see you in the next section. 7. Behavioral Questions: Hey everyone, and welcome back to the crush, the Big Tech Program Management Interview course. In this particular section, we'll go over behavioral questions, what they are, and how to answer them. Behavioral questions make up a majority of your interview process. And a lot of what they do is to just give you a format for a long form answer where the interviewers and the interview panel tried to gauge your particular qualities as a candidate that go beyond the technical or domain expertise. Okay? So what exactly is a behavioral question and what do they do? First off, it tries to predict your behavior once you actually have the job. Because remember interviewers in the interview panel and the hiring manager have no way to determine how you will truly perform, except by how you performed during these behavioral questions and also how your resume looks as well. In addition, these questions tend to try and frame a level of culture fit as whether or not you are, your cultural views and values will fit well within what they embody as their values and culture. So, for example, you may have a different perspective around work-life balance, where they may not necessarily allow work from home. Or maybe they tend to adhere to radical candor principles. Whereas another company may try to do things in a more subtle and political fashion. Asking behavioral questions also has the nuance of being able to highlight how well you do under stress and workload. Remember, these questions that ask you to highlight your previous work, elaborate on previous experiences that were definitely stressful on New and how you handled it. And finally, because these employers have no idea who you are in the first place, typically, they're not going to have much to go off of. And they're not going to be able to gauge very well with the exception of your interview quality. Okay, so let's go over some of the key points on how to answer or a behavioral question. First of all, the first thing we wanna do is identify when a behavioral question is even being asked. A behavioral question is not going to be something like to find a supplier or to build a supply chain for me, or to build a web application. And it'll usually start off with something like, tell me about a time when you blah, blah, blah, blah. Or an example of when you did this, this, this to this, right? So it really relies on you to draw back from your previous experience. Then in the moments after you've identified it is in fact a behavioral question. In case you haven't already thought of a story, you want to elaborate on from your experience log, it's okay to pause. It's okay to take a moment to yourself to take that breath and actually put into words, it's reasonable to tell the recruiter or to ask the recruiter, Hey, can you just give me a moment while I collect my thoughts about a good story or example for you. It's very impactful to show that you are preparing yourself to be able to answer this than to just have like a haphazard fumbled answer when it finally comes out of your mouth. Then when you're taking that moment to yourself, recollect on a story from your experience log. Think about what they're asking for. Think back to your log if there's something that applies to that. And usually you can tell by what they're asking for in the question in the first place is if they ask something, you know, it'll literally be very explicit. It'll be something like give me about a time regarding critical feedback, managing or balancing priorities or stakeholder expectations. How did you handle that? And very, fairly obvious and exactly what they're asking for. So there are many stories that can apply to this. Tell me about a time when you had to solve a particularly difficult problem. Perhaps a technical solution, or perhaps a leadership solution, or maybe even a de-escalation solution. If you'll recall from our experience log we actually tagged are experienced logs with specific key terms like leadership, problem-solving, marketing, and so forth and so forth. If you've already internalized your experience law, recollecting a story to be able to answer this question shouldn't be too big of a problem. And if you still are having trouble, you might want to spend more time internalizing your experience log or perhaps consider re-watching the section on the experience log. Okay. It's definitely possible as well. The behavioral questions that they ask may be unclear. In these cases. It's okay to ask them to clarify. It's okay to ask them for more detail. It's also okay to tell them. I don't know. Don't feel afraid to say I don't know. It's not ideal, but it's definitely better than you trying to lie. A better approach where to be if you're unable to answer a question, simply select a story and say something like, you know, I don't have a story that matches a one-to-one, but I have a story that's somewhat similar and has similar challenges. Do you mind if I tell you that anecdote instead? That's a much more acceptable answer to the recruiter. So feel free to ask them to clarify and try to use a different story as well. If you don't have exact one-to-one match. And speaking of one-to-one match, when you're telling a story, it's very, very likely that your story is not going to match one-to-one. In that case, I like to practice what I call alignment. It's the situation where you have to spin the story in a way that caters to their question. An example of this could be something like, Hey, tell me about a time in which you had to go above and beyond for something. And perhaps a story you had in your own log was something like this was a technical solution that I have no idea how to do. You had to do all the research yourself. You had to grab additional stakeholders to try and help you. So instead, maybe you view that story as a technical exercise. You can flip that around and use that as an example of overcoming a crazy challenge, right? So you can say something along the lines of like, because this was a technical challenge, I had no idea how to do. I had to do this, I had to do this, how to do this? And that was my most recent, um, challenge, incredible challenge that I had to overcome. So you can see that already just by, by kind of swinging how you say it, it already starts to align with what they're looking for. And at the end of the day, the recruiter isn't necessarily looking for a one-to-one match. They're looking for a story that you were able to tactfully tell. And then the last point when you do answer, when you do talk about your story is to use the perspective of, I remember most of these behavioral questions are asking about what you did, what your role was in this. And again, this touches upon why I prefer the parade method over the star of actually answering and organizing your experience logs. Okay, So let's actually go over an example of how to answer one of these. So in this particular experienced log question, it's an actual entry I have in my own log. So it is a little embarrassing. I did in fact use this particular answer in many, many, many of my reasons 62 somewhat interviews. So I hope you like it. Okay, jumping right in. The recruiter will ask me a question. Hey, Riana, tell me about a time in which you handled handled a particularly challenging situation. So right off the bat, it's very obvious and clear that this is a behavioral question. So the next step, the next thing I have to do is pause. Take a moment to myself, right? I don't want to just spit out an answer right away. And I have to think of a way to answer. So I buy myself some time with the interviewer by saying something. Yeah, it's a great question. You know what? Give me a moment to myself so I can collect my thoughts and come up with, with an anecdote that I think really fits with this. And the interviewer will always be a comfortable with that. They will always say, yeah, yeah, sure go for it. And if they don't, that's probably an indication that you are not going to fit in very well or they're not a very good company in the first place. So as a program manager, I'm looking for stories that align with the role and what the requirements are. Eyes, I really want to highlight my skill as a program manager. And that's going to be talking about taking the initiative, focusing on execution, building interpersonal reporting relationships very quickly, and also just driving things, making things happen. So this story in particular was, in my opinion, very indicative of how elaborates on establishing those relationships early, focusing on project management, on deliverables, and just everything about unblocking. So this is just the normal stuff that a normal program manager would do. And you can, as I'm already doing, I'm already aligning this with their question of a particularly challenging situation. In my opinion, this was a particularly challenging situation. And so I recollected on a story that I feel fits with the question. So if you recall back, we create our experienced logs with tags or themes or perhaps a key word that's specific to your inventory or your industry, I should say. I come in with all of these. And let's hear. The story that I've selected is a situation in which I was new employee and I had to take the initiative, right? I had to come in with all of these new processes and had all of these tasks that I had to do. Fairly challenging situation, right? In my opinion, I feel I didn't need to try and clarify this particular question. I felt I had enough information. Notice also that this is a pretty broad stroke question. A quote, unquote, challenging situation is one you could literally used for almost anything you have in your experience log whether that be a leadership, an escalation, a constructive or critical feedback. Question, our entry, almost any of those can be easily aligned to this challenging situation question. Speaking of alignment, you know, whatever story you select for your experience longer, as I mentioned earlier, might not fit a 100 percent. So for me, the story personifies my onboarding Leadership Initiative and technical domain expertise. And so I've brought it all the way around and aligned it back to them asking for a challenging situation. And you'll see here in the next slide with the end result of that was so very quickly I go over what my role was, right? It was the newest employee. These are the actions that I took. And then here next I engaged with mechanical with the mechanical engineering firm because, you know, yada, yada, yada, I created the skeleton documentation because et cetera, et cetera. So this section going over the DMR, if you'll recall, the decision-making rationale is why you did those things in the first place. I'd like to list these things in bullet point form because it's easier to memorize if you recall from the experience log section. And then finally. Here in the end results section, you can see that because of my actions, this was in fact a challenging situation. I literally had to build the supply chain by hand. There were many requirements and many business problems that were addressed from the actions and the DMR. So in my opinion, yes, this does in fact, elegantly answer their question of handling a challenging situation. Okay. A couple of notes regarding answering behavioral questions, and I'm sure that this is something you've already run into during your interview practice. But I do want you to pay attention again to your tone and delivery. Watch your inflections, pay attention to your arms and legs. Extra movement can sometimes make it kinda challenging to form a cohesive story when you're telling your answers. One technique I like to use when working with my hand gestures is to set the bottoms of my hand on the table. And I like to actually fold my hands together. When I answer a question, I bring them apart. And I like to direct the story while my hands are still touching the table. Assuming you keep your hands on the table or near the surface at forces you to not make overly bombastic or exaggerated movements. It also forces you to pay attention to them. Because if you lift your hands off the table, you know that you need to bring it back down and tone back down your inflections and your gestures. You definitely want to try and not slouch, tried to get into a comfortable position and try to match the interviewers energy. You're a delivery and body language just gives off a lot about how you engage at work professionally and interpersonally. If you're on a phone interview, the same still applies because your body language tends to change your inflections and how you actually talk. And finally, as a program manager, you're an individual that has to build these relationships and the first place. And if you're not doing that during an interview, that in general already isn't sign. It doesn't give the best impression of how you'll perform on the job itself. Okay, in this slide, I've listed a couple of examples of behavioral questions that you might encounter. Feel free to pause the video at any time. Take a look at the sample questions that I've listed out here and try to have your experienced log cover most, if not all of these different aspects of these questions. Remember, a single entry in your log can cover multiple of these questions. So remember it's the fact that most of these questions may not fit a one-to-one in your log. So answering all these gives you a pretty good opportunity to be well-rounded and should be able to handle, handle all manners and permutations of their behavioral questions that a recruiter can throw at you. Finally, let's go over real quick how to actually practice for these questions. One exercise I like to do when practicing is to actually ask, ask myself in front of the mirror. I like to do that because it allows me to focus on controlling my hand gestures. I can visibly see my tone and delivery and cadence and allows me to work through the areas of my experience log I'm likely to fumble through. Another way I like to practice just to walk and actually ask myself and answer the question myself while I walk. The benefit of this is that my body is distracted by the actual act of walking and allows me instead to just kind of focus through the thoughts of how you answer and how it comes out when you're actually speaking. Next one is to record yourself and you can just download a quick app recorder on your phone or your computer. Record yourself actually answering the question and just talking through the story. This gives you a pretty good one-on-one actual experience with yourself where you are your own harshest. Judge. So you get to be as tough as you need to be on yourself. And finally, I stressed this earlier, but your best practice is going to be from the other interviews that you've already gone through and reviewed the things that worked well and the things that didn't work well. This is why I stressed so much that it's important to interview at multiple places. To use the aspect of throwaway interviews to strategically scheduled lower value interviews so that you can practice these questions with a minimal risk. And with that, this sums up the behavioral questions section. We'll see you in the next section. 8. Domain Expertise Questions: Hey everyone, and welcome back to the crush, the Big Tech Program Management Interview course. In this section, we'll be going over domain expertise questions, which are questions that pertain specifically to your background and industry vertical. Alright, so we've gotten into a particularly difficult section, in my opinion, aside from the general behavioral interview questions, these are domain expertise questions. And sometimes there could be hybrid level questions as well. Combines the two. These types of questions are, and in particular, focus specifically on your industry vertical and can come in either technical or non-technical forms. The point is that it will cater to your specific domain. An example of this would be your approach around a specific marketing strategy versus say, the technical back-end architecture of a marketing platform system. You can see how they're both similarly related, but one is obviously more engineering oriented, while the other is not. These domain expertise questions tend to span both the breadth and depth meaning that we're looking for in terms of like broad concepts in addition to more specific nuances and specificities. Also, these questions Center range in difficulty and size. For example, you might get a simple factual question like, you know, what is a robot or what is a supply chain? What are the parts of a project management plan? Or how would you build an app for a device that's four years old? You can see that that last question is much more broad. And then on the more difficult side, you get explorative hypothetical questions. A lot of these from a software development standpoint may come in the form of a system design question, or perhaps a question like design a whole marketing strategy around this product. Or how would you work with a brand identity of a product like this? Common themes for these types of questions is that they are long-form questions. They make where they force you to make many assumptions. And also they are meant to stretch and elaborate your design and thought process. They are meant for you to use, to use a white board as well if possible. Okay, let's dive right into how to actually answer these. You're probably not going to be surprised, but it's very similar to how we answer behavioral interview questions. So first off, identify it's the format of these questions are typically going to be along the lines of, so tell me how you would do this. Explained to me how this works or design for me this thing. So take some time to check out Glassdoor and see some of their examples of their domain expertise questions. It's found in the interview section of any company that you view. In general though they're fairly easy to identify. Okay, Next, as per usual, take a moment to yourself, breathe. It's just like answering behavioral questions. Tell the interviewer something along the lines of, hey, that's really interesting. Give me a moment to collect my thoughts or perhaps give me a minute to myself here while I organize how I want to answer. The interviewer will always be okay with you taking a pause. And if they're not, that's probably an indication you don't want to be working at that place anyway. Next, we reach the recollect step. So while you're pausing, think back through your experience log to see if you can find a relevant and appropriate answer that may be able to help you with the domain expertise question. Fairly standard, fairly similar to what we did for the behavioral interview questions as well. If you feel like you're having trouble with a question or with the recollection part, then it's possible that the question may not be clear enough. There may not be enough information, it might be too broad, it might be too obscure. In that case, make sure to clarify with the recruiter by saying something like, Hey, do you mean this? Are you talking about this? Or even better? Make assumptions and put boundaries. From there, you can get into the details. So it by clarifying, you end up placing boundaries on the question that make it easier to answer. So, and then next, now more than ever, the whiteboard is going to be absolutely critical. Most of the time, you might be able to get away without a whiteboard. But in general, it's just so much more helpful to the interviewer. The reason why is because they want to know, not only have you arrived to the right answer, but the journey to actually get there is more important and indicative of not just your technical school, but your problem-solving skill as well. So definitely use the white board. Practice with the whiteboard. Talk them through your process. Don't just keep your thoughts in your mind. Make sure you illustrate on the whiteboard drawing arrows, diagrams to guide your thoughts. And also if you're on a phone interview, I understand that you're not going to be able to use a white board and you're likely not going to run into too many questions. Well, you might, but the point is, is that when a white board is available to you, do try to use it. And finally, when you do answer or while you're answering these, make sure to always answer from your point of view. Remember, the interviewer wants to see what you did, what your role was, what your actions and results were. Okay? I mentioned earlier that domain expertise questions are no joke and definitely need to be taken seriously. Everyone's questions are going to be different. And the questions for every vertical is going to be different from each other as well. And one of the best things that you can do is to check Glassdoor and check the section where you actually get to see the interview questions that had been posted by previous users might seem a little unfair, but I mean, we're here to take advantage of this feature, so don't feel too guilty. Next, I encourage you to reach out to LinkedIn in your internal network. Look for someone that's already in the position in that company. Ask them for inside information regarding how the interview process works. Perhaps the kind of interview questions that they, that you are expected to receive or perhaps even go through a mock interview session. In most, in most of my previous experiences, they've been very open and amenable to actually engaging in a conversation. So just be honest, don't, don't try to beat around the bush. And next step is to use that experience. Lori, I think it's fairly obvious at this point, you should have already completed one. And this is a chance for you to go back to your log and actually fill in any technical details that perhaps you may have missed. Finally, more than likely, you're not going to get a chance to use a whiteboard. Um, if you finally, more than likely, if possible, use the whiteboard, use it. I can't stress this enough for you. If you don't know the answer, then it's okay to use the whiteboard to try and define how you would go about finding the answer. Sometimes it's much more useful to show the interviewer how you arrive to an answer even if it's incorrect. In fact, some interviewers would rather see that over actually getting the answer correct. Okay, this ends this section of the course. We'll see you in the next section. 9. Landing the Role and Next Steps: Hey everyone, and welcome back to the crush, the Big Tech Program Management Interview course. In this section, we'll talk about ramping up in your new gig as a program manager and the next steps. All right, So you finished up all the interviews. You've gone through so many interviewers and on-site and everything else. You've received multiple offers. You have negotiated multiple times across all the offers and finally settled on the one you want. You have set up logistically your start date and understand who your manager is and who your team is going to be. It's the first few weeks on the job. What do you do? Simple, you on board, follow their lead or perhaps make your own. Making your own path is usually only available when you're at an early stage startup or perhaps if you have maybe an eccentric manager that lets you kind of craft or create your own journey of sorts. He either way, you will usually have an onboarding process similar to like a 30, 60, 90 day plan. Work with your manager and definitely sanity check with them on whether the on-boarding plan is unachievable. Goal. Next up is to explore and identify resources and assets and opportunities. And by that I mean, listen to what they have to say from the onboarding. They usually list out a whole bunch of resources and assets for you to ingest and consume and learn and know by heart. In addition, when I start to identify opportunities on how you can improve and optimize their onboarding. And it's truly the first exercise is a brand new program manager in that organization. And one of the, the things that you can do with the very least, is to be able to provide feedback to their onboarding team. They're usually always on the lookout for feed back to how they can improve. Next step is to talk, schedule meetings with whoever your team or manager recommends you to talk to. Schedule those one-on-ones with them. Begin to dive, drive in and dive in and develop those relationships and connections early on. The reason why is because they can guide you to additional resources and assets and most importantly, opportunities. Opportunities for you as a program manager to unblock, drive progress, create new projects out of that. Ultimately, it allows you to build your own sense of brand identity in the company has someone that they can turn to to solve problems, to just get things done. Next up, learn their culture, learn how they work together, the terminology they use, the processes they adhere to. This is important because if you want to be able to drive their projects and programs forward, you need to understand how they get things done and how they have unblocked in the past, and how they have navigated through their own obstacles and challenges and growing pains. Next up, show some humility. Humility goes a long way in learning. You don't know the whole story. This is a company that has hired you on to solve a problem. Perhaps you come with your own background, but before you ever arrived, they got to a point they are at now without you. And that means they were probably doing something right before you arrived. So it's good to learn from their progress and their accomplishments, not just their mistakes. Next is to course-correct. You're not always right. You're not always going to have the right answers. You're still learning and you're still understanding how this new company works, and you're still developing as a professional as well. So whatever you learn, definitely write that down, internalize what you did wrong, what you did right, and the results of those as well. Okay. I've said everything I need to say that I think is interesting about the interview process of program managers, my personal experiences around this. A couple of things to keep in mind as you continue your journey as a program manager. Keep your experience log updated. You know, you never know when you're going to be ready to move on to the next gig in the next position. So the more you keep it up-to-date, the easier it's going to be to collect and get started on another interview process. Keep identifying opportunities internally. You never know when something new or an awesome brand new challenge is located right around the corner and you never know what, you know what you couldn't not have encountered if you didn't talk to someone or if you didn't have coffee with that person and that you'd haven't caught up with in a while, you know. Next up, consider future certifications like the PMP or perhaps the PGM. P stands for the Project Management Professional and the program management professional certifications. It's very likely that in your new company, they will probably reimburse you or tried to pay for the classes and test required to acquire these certifications. Now, I think most people still think, most of my friends anyway, I still think I'm crazy for doing this every now and then. But I keep interview just to stay sharp, just to stay relevant, right? You don't want to be surprised when you finally enter the job market again and you're looking for a new gig in, you're kinda caught off guard. Well, if you haven't already found a mentor, it's really important that you have somebody that you can strive to emulate, or perhaps somebody you admire and perhaps somebody who can just sanity check your decisions and bounce your ideas off of, you know. And finally, keep reading. There's always a lot of good content out there to help you stay relevant and keep you on your toes and stay sharp as a program manager. So definitely find those favorite tech blogs that are all industry-specific or find nice technical books that are specific to your vertical and relevant to your industry and just, just consume that knowledge. So that leads us to the end of this section and the end of this course. Thank you so much. I hope you enjoy it. I hope there was a lot of interesting and I'm using takeaways for you. I wish you the best of luck in your interview process and also hope that you land that offer and they gig that you really like. I hope that you ramp up super fast and get lots of enjoyment and fulfillment out of it as well. Again, my name is Rian Angeles, and if you're interested, I also happen to run the n blockers, a blog and newsletter specifically for a program managers, both technical and non-technical and other skill generalists as well. You've already heard me say this. The program managers are on blockers, which is exactly what I consider myself. And I hope that is something that you can call yourself as well. So if you're open to learning more or perhaps even contributing, then feel free to visit the on Thank you again.