6 Questions to Ask when Hiring a PM

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:

  1. Can you show me a history of generous, talented, extraordinary side projects?
  2. Have you ever been so passionate about your work that you’ve gone in through the side door?
  3. Are you an expert at something that actually generates value?
  4. Have you connected with leaders in the field in moments when you weren’t actually looking for a job?
  5. Does your reputation speak for itself?
  6. 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.

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Zain Abiddin is an Entrepreneur & Product Manager. He is the founder and Product Manager of Chillik Media, a design led software agency based in San Francisco.

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