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What Does an Amazon Product Manager Do?

Posted on 
August 11, 2021
|
by 
Team Interview Kickstart

Amazon is one of the biggest technology firms in the world, with its services and products disrupting several industries. Its services are vastly diverse and span e-commerce, digital streaming, cloud services, AI, and aerospace. Amazon hires all through the year for product manager roles to help manage product life cycles and ensure that the end product is delivered at the highest quality. Amazon hires both Product Managers and Technical Product Managers, depending on the requirement of the product. 

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In this article, we’ll discuss in detail what the product manager role at Amazon entails so that you can structure your prep accordingly. We will cover:

  • Product Managers vs. Program Managers
  • Educational Requirements for Product Managers
  • What Does Amazon Look for in a Product Manager?
  • Roles and Responsibilities: What Does an Amazon Product Manager Do?
  • How to Nail Your Next Product Manager Interview Like a Boss

Product Managers vs. Program Managers

Product Managers typically plan the design and strategy roadmap for a product. They decide how best to make a product perform in the market, drive ideation and delivery, and account for contingencies. The product manager role also involves stakeholder management and designating resources to ensure seamless product delivery. 

Program Managers are typically involved with the execution after the ideation and planning phase. Essentially, program managers set goals set by product managers, track metrics, and ensure that processes are functioning optimally to enable excellent delivery.  

As mentioned, Product and Program Managers who deal with technical products, namely the Amazon AWS, for instance, are called Technical Program/Product Managers. However, Technical Product Managers aren’t expected to possess incredibly good programming or coding skills. They do need to have exceptional design and analytical skills. 

Educational Requirements for Product Managers

The most essential requirement for product managers is having a bachelor’s degree in Computer Science or a related field. However, in order to present a strong profile at the interview, here’s what your educational qualifications should look like:

  • A Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science or IT
  • A Master’s degree in Computer Science or IT
  • A Master’s degree in Business Administration
  • Relevant certifications in product lifecycle management
  • 7+ years of experience in product

What Does Amazon Look for in a Product Manager?

If you’re planning to apply for a product management role at Amazon, here’s what Amazon looks for:

  • 7+ years of experience in product life-cycle management
  • Be extremely good with accounting, resource management, logistics, and operations
  • Proven experience in collaborating with external as well as internal stakeholders
  • Proven experience in ensuring seamlessness in product delivery
  • Strong analytical skills to reason out product development challenges
  • Understand core needs of customers and businesses, and develop strategies gained through insights into consumer and business behavior
  • Proven experience in conducting market research and strategizing product development based on gathered insights.

Roles and Responsibilities: What Does an Amazon Product Manager Typically Do? 

Product Managers at Amazon typically have multiple responsibilities pertaining to product lifecycle management. Product managers actively work with Technical Product Managers, Senior Product Managers, Product Marketing Managers, and a bunch of Program Managers to ensure that the product’s quality is supreme by the time it hits the market.

Product Managers set the core requirements for a product, plan the roadmap right from ideation to delivery, and work to tide over any hitches along the way. Their ability to think analytically and optimally identify problem areas is extremely crucial, perhaps a major reason why their role is super-important. 

The roles and responsibilities of a product manager role cannot be adequately specified in words, as it involves bringing multiple skills to the table in order to achieve the required results. But to give you a basic idea, here are some responsibilities of the role:

  • Planning the roadmap for products: This is the most fundamental requirement of a product manager role. Planning the entire product roadmap and making sure things go according to plan is a social responsibility of product managers. 
  • Understanding market dynamics: An in-depth understanding of how the market is positioned and functioning is key to strategizing correctly. Product managers are expected to know the functioning of market research tools and employ their analytical skills to create a functional process that ensures seamless product delivery. 
  • Collaborating with multiple teams: Another fundamental responsibility of product managers is to collaborate strongly with internal and external teams to ensure that the product/service performs optimally. 
  • Bring strong and creative ideas to the table: Product managers need to be instinctive to succeed in their roles. Having ideas isn’t everything there is to it. What’s important is to have ideas that can solve real-world problems — that’s what makes a successful product manager. 
  • Strategize with the customer at the center: Amazon is a customer-centric company. Product managers at Amazon are expected to design and strategize, keeping the customer at the center. Understanding how customer behavior can change with changing market dynamics, leveraging marketing and predictive analytics, and devising strategies around consumer behavior are key to being a successful product manager at Amazon. 
  • Bridging gaps in domain knowledge: Domain knowledge is key to building insightful and successful strategies. Product managers are expected to quickly acquire domain skills to collaborate with program managers and cross-functional teams. If they don’t possess specific domain skills, they’re expected to bridge the gap quickly. 

How to Nail Your Next Product Manager Interview Like a Boss

Now that you know what the Program Manager does at Amazon, the next step is to start your interview preparation. To get the best results, you’ll need a strategic plan and lots of hard work. 

If you need help, enroll for Interview Kickstart’s Technical Interview Masterclass. You will be trained by Hiring Managers and Technical Leads from FAANG and tier-1 tech companies. Our comprehensive program has a super-high success rate as it adopts an exhaustive curriculum that addresses every aspect of technical interviews.

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