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Why this matters:

Digital product managers can manage a project from inception to release, with an eye for detail, knack for organization, and the ability to get people to meet deadlines. Good candidates have a diverse skill set that includes solid business acumen and even a flair for marketing. While a software design or development background isn’t necessary, candidates should be familiar with key development processes and terminology.

What to listen for:

  • Digital product management experience in your sector
  • An educational background in management or business administration
  • A solid understanding of how the product development process in your industry works

Why this matters:

Agile has become a common project management method for product development, thanks to its iterative and user-centric approach. Ideal digital product management candidates have experience in key features of Agile project management, such as managing cross-functional teams, working in sprints, and being flexible and open to changes.

What to listen for:

  • A collaborative and adaptable mindset that prioritizes teamwork
  • Experience using iterative approaches for problem-solving
  • Solid knowledge of sector-specific Agile project management methodologies

Why this matters:

Defining clear and measurable goals is critical for ensuring productivity, staying on budget, and leading cross-functional teams. Digital product managers should understand the product’s positioning in the digital space and balance the organization’s goals with user needs. Ideal candidates should be data-driven decision-makers with a track record of meeting or exceeding success metrics.

What to listen for:

  • Ability to set clear, actionable goals for themselves and others
  • Understanding of key product success metrics
  • The ability to generate both short-term and long-term results

Why this matters:

Establishing a product vision is a digital product manager’s most essential task. Candidates should have the ability to clearly communicate that vision and develop a roadmap that guides the product team in bringing it to life. They should demonstrate the capacity to direct every aspect of the product life cycle — from ideation, design, prototyping, and technical development, to sales, marketing, and eventual launch.

What to listen for:

  • Experience developing successful product roadmaps
  • Ability to manage and align the efforts of multiple teams
  • Track record of successfully seeing products from ideation through launch

Why this matters:

Digital product managers will have a broad knowledge of the current trends and opportunities in the market — and the ability to build new products or features to capitalize on them. They should demonstrate a track record of deeply understanding a customer base and using that knowledge to discover new pain points and optimize product experiences.

What to listen for:

  • Up-to-date knowledge of trends in your sector
  • A track record of identifying new opportunities and developing strategies to capitalize on them
  • An innovative mindset with the ability to think creatively and strategically

Why this matters:

Digital product managers are responsible for a product’s overall experience. Candidates must be aware of the importance of good user experience as a key differentiator and determining factor for a product’s success. They should strive to balance addressing user needs with prioritizing organizations’ business goals.

What to listen for:

  • Solid understanding of the importance of UX in digital product design
  • A customer-centric approach
  • A track record of advocating for users’ needs

Why this matters:

Digital product managers work across industries, needs, and challenges. Great candidates will come to the interview with an impressive understanding of your organization’s products, customer base, and even the competitive landscape. It’s a bonus if they are familiar with industry trends and market context.

What to listen for:

  • Track record of success managing digital products for similar organizations
  • Knowledge of key industry trends, terms, and processes
  • A well-researched understanding of your market and customer base

Why this matters:

Successful digital product managers often need to persuade stakeholders to invest in new products or adopt new technologies. They do this by effectively communicating the return on investment. Candidates should be good at breaking down complex and highly technical information into crisp and straightforward benefits.

What to listen for:

  • Ability to communicate clearly and effectively
  • Excellent presentation and public speaking skills
  • Track record of success obtaining buy-ins from stakeholders

Why this matters:

Digital product managers need strong leadership and management skills to guide product teams through the ideation, research, development, launch, and support of new products. This requires managing cross-functional teams, influencing management and stakeholders, excellent communication and relationship-building skills, plus negotiating and coordinating action with other leaders in the organization.

What to listen for:

  • A bold attitude with a good tolerance for risk
  • A track record of overcoming organizational hurdles to achieve goals
  • Ability to leverage an organization’s people and resources to drive innovation
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