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6 Tips for Recruiting a Product Manager

Product managers are a relatively new role in both large and small businesses. Job descriptions frequently identify someone having “huge vision and the ability to make it a reality” in order to explain the role’s very high expectations. So, how do you tell whether someone can see a large picture while working small? Trupath has some great tips to help you in your recruiting.

There are hundreds of product manager applications and only so much time to make the right hiring selection. Unfortunately, excellent applicants are passed over, and companies settle for someone who is only adequate. 

Here are seven factors to consider while assessing resumes and conducting interviews; when combined, these guidelines will help you find an effective product manager: 


Begin here. This is an important characteristic to look for in a prospective product manager since you need your leaders to embrace and properly express product vision. While it is unlikely to find the next Steve Jobs by skimming resumes, a product manager who lacks vision is not a strategic product manager. 


Product managers are rarely supported by a team of direct reports. They instead collaborate with other teams, customers, and internal or external resources. That means that successful managers must, by definition, be able to lead by example. 


Many product managers emphasize the importance of data in determining what to build next. However, there is a significant gap between what people say and what they actually do. The use of data and an analytical mind are important to the overall success of a project. Inquire about how they measure business objectives, use data to make choices, and what data they wish they had access to. 


Great product managers understand their customers’ anguish — and the relief they feel when impediments are removed and the product works. There is a distinction between a person who considers a product to be a source of revenue (a job) and a product manager who considers a product to be precious (a calling). Investigate their motivation and how they sympathize with clients. 


Many aspects of the job of a product manager are simply not glamorous. Their mission is to reach concessions, communicate opposing viewpoints, and frequently deliver bad news. Product managers who excel at their jobs are rarely popular. As a result, communication skills are vital to a product manager’s effectiveness. A good applicant should be able to provide examples of how they communicated in both good and bad circumstances. 


Priorities frequently alter from one sprint to the next. A strong product manager establishes, follows, and enforces processes that maximize product development with hundreds of feature requests coming in every month. Great product managers, on the other hand, learn how to adapt or tweak those processes based on the demands of the team. Candidates should discuss an experience when they had to pivot to fit team dynamics. 

Then look into these six categories to determine how your applicant compares. You’ll be able to get a good sense of their work style and talents — and ideally locate the expert product managers buried in that CV pile.