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How do you vet candidates on their abilities to execute a PLG strategy? What do you look for in their past experiences? What are your favorite interview questions? Do you do any assignments?

Kevin Garcia
Kevin Garcia
Anthropic Product Marketing LeaderMarch 12

For any PMM role, I tend to evaluate the PMM on research mindset, storytelling, and ability to execute. Here's how I'd focus my search (and what I'd ask) for PLG PMMs:

  • Research mindset

    • What I'm looking for: PLG tends to be very focused on scaled channels (e.g. SEO/SEM, social) and product usage. As a result, much of the research these PMMs will do is scaled—running large-scale surveys, digging into product usage reports, etc. I'm looking for individuals with who can be self-sufficient in following the product funnel, running scaled research, and making calls on strategy when they aren't able to "call every customer" to connect the dots.

    • Question I've asked: Describe a time when you made a strategic recommendation for improving a product's adoption funnel or user journey based primarily on quantitative data sources rather than direct customer interactions. What types of data did you analyze (e.g. product usage metrics, survey results, website analytics)?

  • Storytelling

    • What I'm looking for: In PLG, you don't lean on a sales team nor field events for as much of your product storytelling as you do in SLG. Instead, you rely on digital channels like the blog, YouTube, review sites, newsletters, etc. Your website is also much more important in driving your overall revenue. So I look for PMMs with a strong background in launching and doing storytelling across digital channels. Think PMMs who know how to create killer video content. PMMs who can distill the entire buyer journey into the homepage and pricing page.

    • Question I've asked: Tell me about a successful digital marketing campaign or web experience you've executed to drive awareness and adoption of a product offering. What were the key channels and content formats you leveraged? How did you approach distilling the product's value proposition and buyer journey into compelling content?

  • Ability to execute

    • What I'm looking for: When it comes to the digital channels, the website, video, and in-product experiences—experimentation is critical. You simply can't reinvent each of these things each time you have to launch. I'm looking for someone who is able to ship iterative changes fast, has the follow through to apply what they learn from one channel to others, and has the taste to avoid creating a choppy experience for the sake of optimization.

    • Question I've asked: Describe a situation where you had to iterate on an in-product experience through rapid experimentation and iteration. What was your process for identifying opportunities, prioritizing tests, and shipping changes quickly? How did you ensure insights from one channel informed improvements across other touch points while maintaining a cohesive experience?


I think take home assignments are an excellent tool for both the candidate and the hiring manager. At their best, they are a way to signal to the candidate "this area of PMM is hugely important for this role" and a way for the candidate to showcase some of their skill. For every role, I tend to think hard with the associated product team on which of the above is the biggest gap, and then choose a take home assignment based on those needs.

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Madison Leonard
Madison Leonard
Marketing & GTM ConsultantDecember 7

Personally, I hate mini projects for strategic roles and think they should be abolished altogether. The only exception to this rule is internal transferring, esp if you have no prior experience in that type of role.

I prefer that prospective candidates put together a presentation on a previous strategy they've built. Presentations are a must-have skill for any product marketer, so this is a great test to see how well they tell the story and if the messaging sticks.

Presenting previous experience ensures that you're getting the best from your candidate. They should be experts on that industry, the users, the problem/solution, etc. You should be able to ask them any question, no matter how detailed, and they should be confident in providing a thorough answer.

If you were to ask those same detailed questions about a mini project for a product and industry that is likely foreign to them... you'll get either lies or "I don't know". This isn't an efficient use of anyone's time!

Some basic questions to that any PLG product marketer should have no problem answering:

  • What do you think is the difference between PLG product marketing and traditional product marketing?
  • How do you know if a company is successful at PLG strategy?

If you're looking for some green flags, I'd recommend folks with B2C experience and/or experience with other types of marketing rather than in sales.

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