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What are your top questions to ensure you are hiring the right PMM candidates and why?

4 Answers
Amanda Groves
Amanda Groves
Enable VP of Product MarketingSeptember 7

Why product marketing?

- Tells me their motivations. If they have a drive to serve customers and a discipline for storytelling, it'll shine through. If not, I'll know it's not a good fit.

How do you define and measure success of product marketing?

- It's important to suss out if your philosophical belief/metrics in PMM aligns with your candidates' view. They can often be different, and in some cases that's okay! But this question is a great level-setter to establish domain expertise, perspective on the craft and trajectory.

What is your superpower?

- This question tells me a lot about their percieved strenghts. I love when a candidate lands on "storytelling" or "nailing a process". "Curiosity". The attributes here should ladder-up into the dimensions you need in a PMM candidate, and I find this authentically teases those out a bit more v. a resume or "walk me through.." type question.

756 Views
Arianna Schatzki-Mcclain
Arianna Schatzki-Mcclain
Virta Health Director of Product MarketingNovember 30

Top questions depend a bit on the role since I always try to make sure each question is evaluating a specific competency tied to that job. (More on this below). That being said - here are a few questions I find useful a lot of time when hiring PMMs. 

  •  What can product marketing contribute to an organization? of What's the role of product marketing? Tells me about how they view product marketing's role and value and their general understanding of the role. I'm listening to see if them talk about GTM strategy, roadmap, and storytelling. This is particularly helpful for candidates that might be newer to the PMM role. 
  •  If I asked you to put together Messaging and Positioning for a new product today, what would your process look like? Messaging and positioning is a core PMM function. I can generally learn more about their level of experience, how structured or unstructured they are, and how data and research-oriented they tend to be based on their answer. 
  •  What kind of teams and managers enable you to do your best work and can you share an example? I want to make sure that the candidate we choose is going to thrive, so understanding what type of teams and managers enable them to be successful is important to me.
  • I tend to look for candidates that have a learning mindset and can self-reflect. To evaluate this, I might actually ask them to reflect on how the interview went or a how the presentation went towards the end of the interview time block. This way I can see if they are aware of certain gaps and how they "show their cards", which is a company value. 

In my opinion, the most useful and "top" questions are the ones that not only tell you more about the candidate but also whether or not they have the skills required for the particular role you are hiring. In order to do this, you need to have a clear idea of what the most important competencies are and where there is room for the candidate to learn on the job. I recommend putting together a matrix on what is required or nice to have for the role. Then define what "good" looks like so you are consistent, and identify a question that will help you evaluate that element. It sounds like extra work, but it's pretty quick, will probably save you time later, and will help enable a more consistent candidate experience.

1013 Views
Jennifer Kay Corridon
Jennifer Kay Corridon
Yelp Product Marketing Expert & MentorNovember 9

I think a universal experience among product marketers is that the role and contribution of product marketing is highly dependent on the company or organization that you are working for/ applying to- size, focus, where the pmm's sit in the organization, all are influencing factors. To that end, before the hiring process even begins, I spend a lot of time getting clarity on the purpose + goals + focus of the role and the outcomes that need to be achieved. It's from there that I start to create a framework of interview questions that will align and assess to the top needs and then I'll develop a pretty robust conversation and interview track from there. That said, here are the big three that I always come back to:

 

- How do you as a candidate define the role of product marketing? When you think about your last couple of roles, what has product marketing been responsible for owning, and why do you think that was the same or different in the organizations you worked for?

-Tell me about your current customers. What do I need to know about them in order to successfully market to them? 

-What are you wanting to learn or unlock for yourself in your next role.

782 Views
John Hurley
John Hurley
Notion Head of Product MarketingMay 4

I like to frame questions in two parts.

1) Walk me through (WMT) an example of...XYZ. I do several of these that each map to the key responsibilities I'm looking for. I want to hear real-life stories – both for experience and ability to articulate. This was inspired by my product partner at Amplitude. Great article here: https://runthebusiness.substack.com/p/wmt-interview-questions

2) Follow the WMT question with some form of why, what did you learn, what would you have done differently? Somethings they answer this in #1. But I want to get into the first principles thinking, self-awareness, and ability to iterate on thinking on the fly.

Finally, a fun one. I always ask for "What are your PMM brand crushes?" Who do they look to for inspiration? If they dont have any, they're not engaged enough in their work for the types of highly engaged teams Iike to build.

2621 Views
Rachel Cheyfitz
Rachel Cheyfitz
Coro Head of Product Marketing and DocumentationNovember 12

These are my questions - aiming to understand that even the most junior of candidates has an overall understanding of what the job really is all about. 

  1. What does GTM strategy mean to you?
  2. Can you give me a detailed example of a product launch tier/bucket?
  3. What stakeholders does the product marketer primarily support in any company and how?
  4. Describe a successful relationship between the product manager and the product marketer.
  5. What are the top 3 skills that you believe every product marketer should have?
340 Views
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