Monday, February 25, 2013

Hiring a product manager



Source: cooper.com via Lumir on Pinterest





Without product management the organization would get along fine, at least for a while. On the other hand without engineers, sales people or designers nothing would get built, sold and the product would look like crap.

BUT in the long run a great product management usually makes the difference between winning and losing products and companies. Product management is a sort of mixture of engineering, design, marketing, sales, business development and much more.



Now the time has come to hire a product manager? But how to find the right one? What are the most important skills?

There is a basket of attributes, what is important for the company to evaluate any candidate:

  1. Business skills

  2. Domain expertise

  3. Communication skills

  4. Technical upbringing

  5. Hustle

Of course the assigned weight to the attributes can vary from company to company.

In reference to the listed attributes above the interview should contain these key sections, together with a few example questions:

Customer Leadership & Communication Skills: 15-20 minutes

Imagine you get this job and I am a prospective customer for the product you are now responsible for.
I know nothing about your product or your company.
Let’s role play how you would interview me about my “must have” problems and whether or not your product solves them for me.

Team (Engineering and Design) Leadership Skills: 15-20 minutes

How do you earn respect from the engineering team?
How do you get a team to commit to a schedule?

Cross-Functional Leadership and Management Skills: 15-20 minutes

Can you talk to me about the sales model of a product you have managed?
How did you find prospects for the product?
What did you do that made it easier for the sales team to sell the product?
Can you talk about a situation where you were instrumental in closing a sale? What did you do?

Sources:
http://iterativepath.wordpress.com/2013/02/15/how-do-you-hire-a-product-manager/

https://www.kennethnorton.com/essays/productmanager.html

http://www.venturegrit.com/dont-hire-a-product-manager-without-these-key-leadership-skills/