Seth Godin talks a lot about becoming a indispensable in his book: Linchpin. A linchpin is a team member who is hard to replace and is the driving force of your product. The product manager role is most entrepreneurial role in a technology company and needs to be a linchpin. Ben Horowitz and Ken Norton have written the specifics on hiring good product managers but what are the questions that help you filter the right candidates?
Following questions are a great guide for aspiring product managers to ask themselves looking to find their next role as well as hiring managers to use as a filter:
- Can you show me a history of generous, talented, extraordinary side projects?
- Have you ever been so passionate about your work that you’ve gone in through the side door?
- Are you an expert at something that actually generates value?
- Have you connected with leaders in the field in moments when you weren’t actually looking for a job?
- Does your reputation speak for itself?
- Where online can I see the trail of magic you regularly create?
In addition to using the above questions to filter candidates I recommend reading Ken Norton’s How to Hire a Product Manager and Ben Horowitz & David Weiden’s Good Product Managers & Bad Product Managers.