Why this matters:

Feature prioritization is one of the most complex and important parts of a product manager’s job. An effective prioritization process is key for creating a product roadmap, ensuring end-to-end consistency, and staying within budget and schedule. Your candidate should be an excellent planner with the ability to exercise great judgment in choosing what to include in a product and what to eliminate.

What to listen for:

  • A description of how they integrate prioritization frameworks into their process
  • Mentions of how they capitalize on each framework’s advantages and control for their blind spots

Why this matters:

Agile approaches have become a mainstay of product development across industries thanks to their track record of generating innovative and user-centric products. Your candidate should have some experience working with Agile approaches and a good understanding of which variations are best suited to your sector and organization.

What to listen for:

  • Great candidates will demonstrate a thorough understanding of Agile methodologies and describe how they leverage their benefits and work around their constraints
  • Previous experience working in and managing cross-functional teams

Why this matters:

Product management is a data-driven process — from the ideation stages through post-launch evaluations. Metrics are extremely important for goal setting, forecasting, informing stakeholder decisions, and assessing results. Your candidates should be well-versed in sector-specific KPIs for measuring elements like product performance, product success, and customer satisfaction.

What to listen for:

  • An explanation that details how they integrate various qualitative and quantitative measures into their process
  • Examples that demonstrate data-driven decision-making
  • A discussion of the merits and potential blindspots of common KPIs

Why this matters:

Establishing a product vision and developing a roadmap for bringing it to life is a product manager’s most important job. Your candidate should be a creative visionary adept at effectively communicating their ideas and guiding teams through their execution. Their vision should take into consideration external variables such as your target market and competitors and internal factors such as their team’s composition and organizational goals.

What to listen for:

  • A detailed explanation of how they manage ideation, prototyping, research, development, launch, and post-launch stages
  • Examples that demonstrate how they align the work of cross-functional teams
  • A track record of successfully seeing products from ideation through execution

Why this matters:

Product development is rarely a straightforward process — priorities can change, budgets get cut, and new problems and pain points will arise during research. Product managers need to be flexible and quick to identify when it’s time to make changes and shift priorities. The best candidates will involve their team’s input in these decisions and encourage their feedback.

What to listen for:

  • Great examples will demonstrate flexibility and the capacity to adapt creative vision to organizational needs and unexpected changes
  • Standout candidates will highlight the steps they took to ensure that all teams and stakeholders were aligned with the new roadmap.

Why this matters:

While creating great product experiences is essential for standing out, putting too much weight on user input can often end up having a negative impact. Product managers need to exercise good judgment when integrating user feedback into a product and carefully assess whether it will add value or not. Ideal candidates will balance a customer-centric approach with meeting business goals.

What to listen for:

  • Great candidates will be able to thoroughly discuss the benefits and potential pitfalls of user research
  • Examples where they successfully integrated user feedback to improve a product
  • A clear understanding of the importance of customer satisfaction for competitiveness

Why this matters:

Staying ahead of the curve and keeping tabs on your competitors is key for ensuring a constant flow of ideas and gaining a competitive edge. Successful product managers will have a solid understanding of their market, customer base, and competitors. Your ideal candidates will have a track record of identifying emerging trends and opportunities and finding creative ways to capitalize on them.

What to listen for:

  • Answers that summarize the current state of your sector’s marketplace and demonstrate  knowledge of existing opportunities
  • Ability to discuss your organization’s business and products in depth
  • A good understanding of your competitors and their products

Why this matters:

To serve as effective liaisons between product teams and stakeholders, product managers must be able to clearly communicate the value, purpose, and return on investment of products and product features. The best candidates will be experienced in communicating with a variety of stakeholders and breaking down highly technical information into simple terms.

 

What to listen for:

  • Examples where they fielded difficult or skeptical stakeholders and convinced them on the value of a product or feature
  • Standout candidates will exhibit a clear and approachable communication style
  • An effort to balance complex terms with straightforward language

Why this matters:

Product managers need strong leadership and management skills to guide teams through the development cycle and beyond. This requires excellent project management, communication, and relationship-building skills. Your candidate should demonstrate flexibility, good risk tolerance, and a track record of overcoming internal and external challenges to achieve goals.

What to listen for:

  • A bold approach that combines creativity with technical know-how and business savvy
  • Past examples demonstrating how they leveraged people, resources, and technology to drive innovation
  • A servant leadership style that prioritizes team well-being
chatting over desk with laptops and coffee

Contact a sales specialist.

By submitting this form, you agree that we may use the data you provide to contact you with information related to your request/submission and LinkedIn's products and services. If you are a LinkedIn member, you can control the messages you receive from LinkedIn in your settings. If you are a guest, you can unsubscribe from LinkedIn marketing emails at any time by clicking the unsubscribe link in the email. Your data will be used subject to LinkedIn's Privacy Policy.