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122 Product Management
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122.10.02 PM Interview - Give the interviewer the table of contents for your answer

Give the interviewer the table of contents for your answer

Two sources, both using almost exactly the same language.

David W. says:

If interviewer asks a question, walk them through a table of contents about how you're going to answer the question. I fucking love it when a candidate does that.
Don't just buy time.
Say "here are the different components I'm going to have to address in order to answer your questions. Audience, constraints, difficult parts in creating and validating. Taking it to market. Make a good business around it. Those are the parts. Now we're going to get into the first part."
This shows structure, there is a road map for a good answer and now we're going to walk through it. It gives him confidence that I'll have something sane coming out.
Some people just start wildly rambling. But when you preempt with structure the interviewers job of understanding is much easier.

And this article says:

First, an easy way to set yourself apart from other candidates is to tell your interviewer how you will answer their question upfront. Knowing what your answer will cover makes your interviewer's job easier. It's a little bit like a table of contents at the beginning of a book - it's helpful to have an overview before diving into details.
We therefore encourage you to preface your answer by saying something like, "First, I’ll explain what the product does at high level and its business objective. Second, I’ll outline the target users and their problems. And finally, I’ll explain how the product solves those problems better than competitors and why that makes it my favorite product."


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