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7 essential questions to ask during Product Manager interview

image via https://www.wrike.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/software-product-management.png

I am an Architect at a Startup called as Egnyte and my daily job involves working closely with Product managers and translating their vision into reality.  I had interviewed hundreds of engineering candidates during my tenure at Egnyte and sometimes I am asked to interview candidates outside my role. Recently I was asked to interview a Product Manager. I was like huh its been a long time I have interviewed a one and the Startup landscape has changed a lot these days.  A good Product Manager these days can really make your product stand out from the competition and drive growth.  How do I know he is the best candidate for the job?

I was one of the interviewers and was given 30 min. I usually want one hour but that day was packed with meetings.  A day before the interview I started preparing for it and landed on to this master piece written by Ken Norton(@kennethn) How to hire a product manager. What he wrote 10 years ago is still relevant. Ken's article is very detailed and I can't ask all the questions so I jotted down 7 essential questions that I need to ask inspired from the article. Here is the list and I hope it can help others who are in my situation:

  1. How do you decide what not to build?
  2. What was your biggest product mistake?
  3. How do you know when to cut corners to get a product out the door?
  4. How do you decide where to cull features? What do you do with existing users using it?
  5. How do you monitor and increase product engagement? 
  6. What is one key feature that you invented at your current job and are proud of?  and how it contributed to growth and how did you measured it?
  7. What is your number one concern about Egnyte product?  (replace Egnyte with your company)

Enjoy!!

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