Product management recruitment and hiring the best talent for your business is a hard task at the best of times – it’s timely, costly, and sometimes frustrating – and at the end of the process, you could lose your top candidate to a competitor.

As expert product management recruiters, we’ve complied a series of guides to pass on some best practise techniques for employers to use when hiring for product management positions. Within these guides, we’ve also included some areas you’ll need to consider more consciously than before, considering the current market.

Read the first instalment of this best practise guide – Before the hiring process: product management recruitment.

We are always here to support you with your recruitment needs, whether you’re looking for help to fill permanent, contract or executive search positions. Tell us about your hiring needs today.

Develop the product management hiring process

This blog focuses on things you’ll need to proactively think about during the interview process that can help make the product management recruitment process more effective and efficient.

How do you spot the top talent quickly? What interview questions should I ask to access competencies? How do I structure an interview and who needs to be involved?

Purposefully designing your product management recruitment process, taking into account the below areas, will help you achieve a quick, streamlined and effective process, securing the talent that you need for the business.

Shortlisting CV’s

There are many different processes in which to shortlist CV’s. Our recommendation is to:

  • Define the role

Return to the clear definition of the role, that you considered in stage 1 of this process

Use this to make a list of ‘essential’ experience, skills and competencies and those that are ‘desirable’

  • First glance

Have an initial first glance at the CV’s

Use this as an opportunity to discard any inappropriate CVs (those that do not list any of your ‘essential’ skills and experience)

  • Create a tracking list

Create a list of essential v desirable skills in separate columns, and create a consistent scoring metric to mark each CV against

This allows you to compare against CVs for your strongest, final shortlist and removes any personal bias that may creep into your decision making.

  • Look for data reference points

We encourage all our candidates to evidence the results of their work. ‘I grew app downloads by 20%, I created £100K more revenue, I created 100% uplift on sales’

Ensure the CVs you are shortlisting don’t just include a list of tasks. Instead make sure the CV clearly evidences the candidates’ results, skill set and value to your business.

Product management recruitment interview structure

With the highly competitive market, we encourage our employers to move quickly through interviews, making decisions quickly in order to secure the right talent for your business.

How do you do this without affecting the quality of the candidate you hire? Answer? Design a thorough, well thought out interview process.

The things to consider within an interview process are:

Who needs to be involved in interviews?

It can be tricky to secure a time where all the relevant stakeholders can attend each interview stage. Instead, decide who does what, and when you need to get senior stakeholders involved. Discuss this with those senior stakeholders so they feel involved in the interview process from day one.

It’s best practise to book placeholder appointment in diary’s ahead of schedule so that you have free time to work with.

What does the assessment process look like?

Does your product management recruitment assessment process meet the needs of the business? Are the timescales realistic?

Things to consider within the assessment process are:

  • How many stages will you have to your process?
  • Is each stage necessary? What is the objective of each interview stage?
  • What competencies are you assessing at each stage?
  • If a task is involved, how much time will you allow for candidates to complete the pre work?
  • Will interviews be completed via video or must they be in-person?
  • How will you measure the success of an interview?
  • How do you quickly gather feedback from other stakeholders?
  • Does your hiring process meet the needs of the business? Is it quick enough?

What product management interview questions should I ask?

We advise our employers to match the questions asked in interviews to the ‘essential’ competencies and skills that you mapped out when shortlisting your CVs. What are you trying to find out from a candidate? What are you trying to assess? How are you going to assess specific domain experience and skills?

In general, we split the interview questions into 4 main areas relating to product management:

  • General
  • Stakeholder / relationship management
  • Failure / self-awareness / criticism
  • Roadmap, prioritisation, decision making.

Find out more about product management interview questions.

Stay tuned for the next and final instalment of this series – Offer stage: product management recruitment or watch the full webinar on this topic.

Product Management Recruitment Interview