Recruiting Product Managers
Product managers should have the knowledge to do work in every field but must be smart enough not to do it.
This note is about recruiting product managers that keep your projects focused on what is important. Related to recruiting developers.
Product managers keep others on the road. Product managers are not required but can make a big difference if you have well established team with developers, marketers and designers.
The best product managers are just smart people. They should keep the product in front of the competition and be good in estimating costs-to-value ratios.
# Indicators of a good product manager: Says out loud some of your current concerns about your product. Turns you on to something new and interesting relating to your product. Teaches you something new about your product or problem domain. Have actually shipped something.
Techy product managers are better than artsy product managers. Make sure they understand that they are now ex-engineer and should not touch the code.
# Interview questions: Why did you move from engineering to product management? Do you consider technical background being a big advantage? What is the biggest disadvantage? How do you earn the respect of the engineering team? What do you wish you’d known when you were an engineer?
Product manager should know the problem domain the product is in.
# Interview questions: Tell me about great products you have encountered recently. Why? What problems do you think we might encounter in a few years? What do you think made _iPod/eBay_ successful? How do you know a product is well designed? What is one of the best ideas you have ever heard? What is one of the worst ideas you have ever heard? How do you decide what to build? How do you decide what not to build? Do you consider yourself creative?
Product manager leadership is earned. They are not strictly managers but they steer the product development process.
# Interview questions: What kind of people you like to work with? What kind of people you find difficult to work with? How do you get the team to commit to the schedule?