Hiring Product Managers
Introduction to Hiring Product ManagersHiring a product manager is a crucial decision for any organization. This section highlights the importance of hiring the right candidate for the role and the impact it can have on the success of the product. It also discusses the challenges that come with hiring product managers and provides an overview of the hiring process.
- How to Hire Great Product ManagersJackie walks you through how to identify what kind of PM you want, which skills are easier vs. hard to teach, how to structure an interview process, and how to create a great candidate experience.
- The Non-PM’s Guide to Hiring A Product ManagerMerci goes through an end-to-end process for hiring PMs, which includes a phone screen, an in-person interview with the hiring manager, interviews with PMs and/or designers, a take-home, and a group presentation.
How to Build a PM Job ProfileBuilding a job profile for a product manager requires a thorough understanding of the role and its responsibilities. This section highlights the key skills and qualities that are essential for a product manager and provides tips on how to create a job profile that attracts the right candidates. It also emphasizes the importance of aligning the job profile with the company's goals and values.
- How to Hire a Product ManagerThis is a classic article on hiring product managers from 2005. Because product management was so new at the time, the article provides an introduction on product management and the backgrounds of candidates that may be a fit for it.
- So You’re Hiring a Product Manager?John provides a list of 20 possible (and sometimes controversial) goals of a product manager, and asks you to force-rank them in order to develop a job profile for the product manager you want to hire.
How to Interview Product ManagersConducting effective interviews is critical to hiring the right product manager. This section provides insights into the best practices for interviewing product managers, including the types of questions to ask and the skills to assess. It also highlights the importance of conducting a structured interview process and involving multiple stakeholders in the hiring decision.
- Interviewing Product ManagersBrent provides suggestions for Interview Questions mapped to product manager skills, including: • Evaluating Will: “Tell me what the job is you’re applying for, and why it’s a great fit for your career.” • Evaluating Skill: “Walk me through a successful major project you were heavily involved in, and tell me about your role throughout the project.” • Evaluating Conflict: “How do you make decisions when Disagreeing with exec team members or key stakeholders? How do you manage conflict in these situations?”
- 5 Interview Questions for Hiring the Best Product ManagersRadhika begins by explaining the flaws with Asking Questions that focus on hypotheticals around popular apps. Then, she explains how asking about Product Strategy and prioritization related to products the candidate has worked on gives you a more accurate view of their abilities. Her questions include: 1. What was the Product Vision for your team? 2. How would you describe your Product Strategy? 3. How did you validate your assumptions and separate your biases as you were figuring out what to build? 4. How did you prioritize features? 5. In hindsight what was a product mistake and what did you learn from it? What would you do differently?
- How to Tell (or Show) If Someone Is Data Literate?Juan breaks down questions you can ask to assess data literacy for product managers across 3 categories: 1. Ability to resolve data-driven questions 2. Ability to access data 3. Ability to solve complex data problems 4. Ability to share & communicate data-driven insights
Take-Home Assignments for PMsTake-home assignments are a valuable tool for assessing a product manager's skills and abilities. This section provides guidance on how to design effective take-home assignments that test the candidate's problem-solving skills, strategic thinking, and ability to communicate effectively. It also emphasizes the importance of providing clear instructions and feedback to candidates.
- your pm interview take-home is measuring all the wrong thingsErin argues that it's really, really, really hard to evaluate a PM candidate based on a take-home. She provides a framework for how to make one if you really want to make one, but recommends that reviewing past work is more important than a take-home.
- Take-home assignments for product management candidates: The pros and cons of requiring written homeworkJens-Fabian covers: • The drawbacks of take-home assignments • The benefits of take-home assignments • Alternatives and mitigation • What we ended up deciding at RevenueCat
Hiring Product Managers Cheat Sheet
Here is a quick reference for the top 5 things you need to know about Hiring Product Managers.
- Step 1: Define Hiring Criteria
- Determine the necessary skills, experience, and qualifications for the product management role.
- Identify the specific traits and characteristics that align with your company's culture and values.
- Define the key responsibilities and expectations for the product manager position.
- Step 2: Source and Attract Candidates
- Leverage multiple channels to source a diverse pool of candidates, including job boards, social media, and professional networks.
- Craft a compelling job description that highlights the unique opportunities and challenges of the role.
- Promote your company's mission, culture, and growth opportunities to attract top talent.
- Step 3: Conduct Effective Interviews
- Prepare a structured interview process with a mix of behavioral, situational, and technical questions.
- Evaluate candidates based on their product management skills, strategic thinking, problem-solving ability, and collaboration skills.
- Involve key stakeholders, such as engineering and design teams, in the interview process to assess cross-functional fit.
- Step 4: Assess Culture and Values Alignment
- Evaluate candidates' alignment with your company's culture, values, and vision.
- Assess their ability to collaborate, adapt to change, and drive innovation within a team.
- Use behavioral-based questions and reference checks to gain insights into their past behavior and cultural fit.
- Step 5: Make the Offer and Onboard
- Present a competitive and compelling offer that includes salary, benefits, and growth opportunities.
- Communicate the expectations, goals, and responsibilities of the role to the selected candidate.
- Provide a comprehensive onboarding plan to ensure a smooth transition and set the new product manager up for success.
- Step 1: Define Hiring Criteria
Frequently asked questions
How can I assess a candidate's product management skills during the interview process?
Use a combination of behavioral, situational, and technical questions. Ask about their past experiences managing products, collaborating with cross-functional teams, and making data-driven decisions. Present hypothetical product scenarios or challenges and ask how they would approach them. You can also consider giving a take-home assignment or case study to evaluate their ability to analyze data, prioritize features, and create product roadmaps.
How important is industry experience when hiring a product manager?
Industry experience can be valuable when hiring a product manager, as it provides a deeper understanding of the market, customers, and competitors. However, it's not always a requirement, as strong product management skills can often be transferred across industries. Focus on the candidate's ability to learn quickly, adapt to new environments, and apply their product management skills to your specific industry.
How can I ensure a good cultural fit when hiring a product manager?
To ensure a good cultural fit when hiring a product manager, involve multiple team members in the interview process to get diverse perspectives on the candidate's fit within the team and company culture. Ask questions about the candidate's preferred working style, communication preferences, and approach to collaboration. Share your company's values and mission, and assess whether the candidate's personal values align with those of your organization.