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Cheryl Neoh
Director, Product Marketing - Core product & SMB Segments at Toast | Formerly ZendeskAugust 28

I would challenge candidates not just to think about what questions to ask, but how best to position / ask the questions.

  • Get specific: The more specific you can be with regards to questions about the role itself, the better you showcase your understanding of what the role entails. 
  • Answers-first; Demonstrate that you have a POV: This may seem counterintuitive but personally, I'm most impressed when candidates ground their questions with an answers-first approach. It shows they've done due diligence researching the role / company itself and are looking to understand how their POV aligns (or doesn't) with the hiring manager's expectations and/or realities of how the company's inner workings. At the earlier stages of your career, it isn't so much about showing you have the "right" way of thinking, but more that you are able to formulate a data/insight-backed POV to help navigate the world of PMM, which can be ambiguous.  

As examples:

  • As a twist on the "What are your expectations of performance in this role within the first 30/60/90 days", I recommend sharing your own proposal of how/what you plan to do in that timeframe, and asking how that jives with what the hiring manager envisions. This approach shows serious intent and an understanding of the top priorities of the role. 
  • Similarly, instead of simply asking "How is success measured in this role?", consider sharing your perspective along the lines of "Based on what I've gathered, XYZ metrics seem like important measures of success in this role. Are those the right metrics to prioritize and/or are there other important components to keep in mind?"

Taking the extra 5-10 mins to read up on and ask questions about recent press releases or earnings, demonstrate specific interest in the company/role. Ultimately, being prepared with lots of questions in itself is a good start to signaling excitement.