Product Managers can very well be described as human Venn diagrams – working across different teams and with broad skill sets. The varied backgrounds of PMs bring unique insights to the role but it can also mean hiring a PM can be challenging.
In a recent event a Product Lead at Airbnb shared what she looks for when hiring a product manager.
Product Lead at Airbnb
Angeli Jain is the Product Lead for Trust & Safety at Airbnb, which includes responsibility for the following areas: Account Integrity, User Reputation, Content Moderation, Financial Fraud, Offline Risk, Infrastructure & Tools. She was previously at Google, PayPal & Booz Allen Hamilton. She’s a Carnegie Mellon University alumni for both undergraduate and graduate school.
What to Look for in a Product Manager?
What are companies looking for when hiring Product Managers? Companies may have different approaches as to what they place more emphasis on. However, there are some fundamental core values & skill sets that are clearly considered when talking to prospective candidates.
Angeli talked through some core skill sets a Product Manager is evaluated on and how to assess your own skill set to determine company fit.
In a nutshell:
- What are the fundamentals of a product manager?
- Structured thinking.
- Decision making.
- Analytic skills.
- Domain expertise.
- Example question: How do you decide between path A and path B?
- Leadership and collaboration.
- Workplace maturity.
- Example question: Tell me about a time when you disagreed with your manager or an executive.
- Execution and accountability.
- Organization skills.
- Stakeholder management.
- Example question: Tell me about your role in a recent product launch. How did you measure impact?
- Think about what kind of experience you are looking for.
- Small vs. large company.
- Risk vs. reward.
- Changing priorities.
- Decision making function.
- Engineering led.
- Product led.
- Design led.
- Business led.
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