Product Management

February 10, 2023

Landing a Product Management Job

AMA with Douglas Franklin


More career tips on our YouTube
Register now to attend
Subscribe now

About This Event

A Product Manager builds meaningful products that solve user needs. But how exactly do you break into this high-demand industry?

Whether you’re new to the workforce or looking for a career switch, becoming a product manager is definitely possible —as long as you’re willing to put in the hard work.

In this event with seasoned product manager Douglas Franklin, we will cover:

  • The current landscape of product management and available opportunities
  • Possible career paths
  • Skills required to land a job in PM
  • Useful resources and materials for aspiring product managers

Key insights from the event

What is the job of a PM?

Discover user problems, define problem (team effort). Then solving the problem.

Solve user’s problem.

Product vs project manager?

Project manager: ensure stuff being built the right way, on time

Product manager: ensure building right thing, solving right problem

Most people who are PMs do both - solving the right problem AND building the right way.

What makes a good PM?

Empathy. Build it by talking to users.

High agency.

Influence and humility.

What you learn job hunting

Companies want experienced folks

The process is as difficult as the job

Not a lot of companies need PMs

  • Be careful when applying
  • You should work at a company with enough engineers to build stuff
  • If only 1 engineer or stuff - you might not do anything in the job
  • Very early-stage companies might have founders act as PMs
  • Senior companies with very senior engineers - more difficult to gain respect

Companies want experience, but you have none. What is the solution?

Best place to be PM is in current company.

Develop skills necessary for the role.

These skills can be developed in other roles too (even your current role).

PMs are very busy people - you can help them out with minor tasks.

Tip 1: offer to help out with task

Ask for:

  • What the goal is
  • How long it should take
  • Why it is important

Tip 2: ask them to allow you to listen in their meetings

Resist the urge to say anything - wait until after the meeting to share it with the PM

Tip 3: find problems

Talk to users, play with data, share insights with your product team

High agency = create own opportunities instead of just wishing

What if I don’t work in tech?

Attend a good quality PM class

Helps you understand PM, basic knowledge on tasks

Talk to PMs

Ask about job, what they do.

Have confidence after that.

Freelance, read, apply knowledge → project

Where to look for PM jobs?


Company profiles

Spend time on LinkedIn running queries for job roles

Always apply, even if you don’t feel you meet all requirements.

Tip 1: use jobs alert:

Tip 2: apply to companies who have raised recent funding on TechCrunch and TechCabal (Africa)

How to optimize resume?

Have clear summary of resume. Keep it short, no jargon.

Delete buzzwords (cross-functional, web3 PM, AI, strategic, team player)

Show highlights and impact of your work. Pique interest under each job role

Don’t lie in resume - showcase skills (stakeholder management, data analysis, design)

What’s one mistake people make when job searching?

You don’t evaluate the company or person managing you, and pick one where you won’t grow.

So always choose the manager over the company. A good manager will act as a mentor and coach.

Manager > Company > other factors

How to prepare for the interview?

Most companies have 2-3 stages for the interview.

First part is about you - who you are, your experience.

Think back to what you did in your life that led to this point. How your fascination with X led you to apply to this job.

Questions about basics

  • Product Requirements Documents (PRDs)
  • Write PRDs
  • Critique designs
  • RICE prioritization

Read Cracking the PM interview book

Questions about processes (most people struggle here)

  • How to manage a release
  • Step-by-step process on launch
  • How to do user research
  • QA testing

Questions about past roles

  • Tell me about this or that, why you made this tradeoff
  • Assume you got the job, and work backwards from there to identify what steps you should take
  • Tell them about the most important stuff - not enough time to say everything so prioritize what’s most important

Questions about problem-solving

  • They want to understand how you think
  • Ask clarifying questions!!!
  • Ex) how many users to Nigerian banks have?

Questions about understanding technology

  • “What stack did your last company use?”
  • If you’ve had a job before
  • You can ask people at your current company what they use (if you’re transitioning from a current job into PM)
  • You don’t need to know it very well, just the basics - language, how it works
  • If you haven’t had a job before
  • Understand basics, like front-end and back-end
  • Client-side vs Server-side

Article to read:

Is it possible for a good idea to become a bad product?

Yes. Sometimes good ideas have bad business models.

Good idea might not solve a problem, or not have enough users who have that problem

Connect with Douglas

Twitter: @idamezhim

LinkedIn: Franklin Douglas


Resources shared

EntryLevel Product Management program (you work on a portfolio project)

Previous event with Douglas Franklin

Free mentorship:

Cracking the PM interview (book)

Understanding front- vs back-end and client- vs server-side article

Follow us for more tech tips + resources








Douglas Franklin

Product Lead at OkHi

​Douglas Franklin is currently the product lead at OkHi.

​In the past, he was formerly a product manager at PerDiem and spent time at OurEdenLife, Deimos, Crisp, and more.

Related events

What is EntryLevel?
EntryLevel helps you learn and get experience so you can get hired in tech. Beginner-friendly 6 week programs guide you to create a portfolio you can show off to employers.
Browse tech programs