All related (64)
Ryan Van Wagoner
Head of Product Marketing, ForethoughtSeptember 16

I'd have to go with this classic: "Describe your process for launching a new product."

Why? A product launch is the quintessential act of product marketing. It places the product marketer as the orchestrator between product, sales, customer success, and core marketing. If you understand how to successfully launch a product, you understand how to be a successful product marketer. 

The best answers to this question don't start with a laundry list of channels and assets--they start with the "why". Why are we launching the product? What do we hope to gain? Is the goal primarily to generate leads? Drive revenue? Gain awareness? How will we measure success?

Once the purpose and goals of the launch are made clear, the next steps are typically as follows:

1: Nail the messaging and positioning (get this into a doc as a single source of truth, and ensure every single deliverable and piece of content ladders up to it)

2: Make a list of the deliverables (internal and external content that needs to be created, the customers who need to be involved, approvals and buy-in, etc.)

3: Build your launch plan (specific activities that need to be completed by certain dates by specific owners)

4: Establish a regular check-in cadence to execute on the plan and ensure everyone is aligned

Leandro Margulis
Head of Product Marketing, ProveSeptember 6

Well, the question of "What is Product Marketing" Could mean different things at different companies, but my answer is that we provide the voice of the market and the voice of the customer internally to the product manager so we can build products that resonate with our audience, and we are the voice of the product externally providing the appropriate messaging and positioning to go to market.

Susan "Spark" Park
Head of Product Marketing, VR Work Experiences, Oculus, MetaMay 26

I have started to ask "What is the biggest trade-off decision you had to make?" 

Most people go straight to themselves and a trade-off that they've had to make about a job or career path, not a company decision. One interviewee floored me when he talked about hard decisions on needing to lay-off members of his team, but then described how he worked through his network to get every person on that team a job at another company. Not only did he show he could make tough calls, but he was trying to be a good person too in a rough situation. 

Kavya Nath
Product Marketing, Reality Labs, Meta | Formerly Sprinklr, YuMeMarch 24

What is your superpower?!

This one is great because it gives you insight into how a candidate perceives themselves. There's a self-awareness that comes through with the responses that allows for you to getting a sense of who they are an individuals and how they work in a team. The best example of this was someone who told me their super power was being able to make silos disappear. 

Teresa Haun
Senior Director, Technology Marketing and Communications, ZendeskFebruary 4

I often like to ask, “What accomplishment are you most proud of?” as well as, “In your last performance review, what were your opportunities to improve and how have you worked to address them?” I like the question “What accomplishment are you most proud of?” because it often helps me understand what really motivates a candidate and what type of worker they are. The best answer I’ve heard to that question was a candidate who talked about overcoming some very challenging obstacles for a new product launch and the launch actually turning out to not be nearly as successful as they or the company hoped; however, the candidate walked through how the team had really given it their all and worked very collaboratively across the org, learning a tremendous amount along the way that they were actively applying to the next launch. That answer was a great example to me of someone who didn’t just associate success with hitting metrics or getting praise, but instead taking on an incredible challenge and delivering their best work.

I also like to ask, “In your last performance review, what were your opportunities to improve and how have you worked to address them?” because it tells me how open a candidate is to improving in their work and whether they take feedback seriously. I sometimes find candidates give very surface-level answers with the classic weaknesses that are actually strengths like we’ve all heard about (e.g. “I work too hard”), which I usually interpret as a candidate not being comfortable enough to admit their true opportunities. Obviously in an interview, candidates want to impress their interviewers so I definitely don’t write someone off if they can’t discuss a true weakness, but it is something I’m mindful of.

For me to be an effective manager and help my team members grow, I want to be able to openly discuss opportunities for improvement, knowing that we all have skills we’re working on and should be able to get help on. The best answer I’ve heard to this question was a candidate honestly talking about how they lacked direct experience with certain elements of a product launch. Given the role I was hiring for involved a huge immediate product launch, I could tell they were hesitant to admit this, but it was exactly what I wanted to hear. Throughout the interview they had proven they had enough other experience and general product marketing chops, that I wasn’t at all concerned about that weakness and instead was just very excited to work closely with them on those launch elements to help them improve.

Ryan Goldman
Global VP Marketing, MOLOCOMay 5

My favorite question to ask is something along the lines of "Here's a big initiative we're planning to roll out, and whoever gets this job will own at least part of the planning and execution. How would you go about making the initiative successful?"

A great answer always includes something like "Before I get into the tactical details, let me just first check that I understand why this initiative is so important. Please tell me where I'm mistaken, but I assume the objectives are..."

And the best answer also includes something that sounds like "Wow, this is really interesting. We faced a similar objective in one of my past roles. Here's how we approached it then, and here's how this sounds a little different..."

Kristen Brophy
Senior Director, Marketing, National Basketball Association | Formerly Uber, Square, 1stdibsMarch 23

It's hard to pick a favorite because most of my interviews look different from candidate to candidate. Often, my questions are focused on deeply understanding their past experience and asking for relevant examples that demonstrate the skills and compentencies that will be unqiue to the role and business need. Or, we unpack a case study together.

I also go beyond the resume when I'm interviewing. One question that I typically ask is where the candidates want to learn and grow. The best answers to those also demonstrate steps they've taken recently and proactively to grow in a specific area.

Vidya Drego
VP of Product and Solutions Marketing, HubspotJanuary 14

I like to ask PMM candidates to deliver their company's pitch. I'm not grading their pitch but rather the empathy and insight they display for and about their customers' challenges, the way they deliver it, and the storytelling ability of the candidate. There's no one answer to this that's stood out but it's the delivery that makes the difference. People who can clearly explain what pain point their customer feels and succintly how their company solves it (and can throw in some proof) are always the stand outs. The best answers are from the few people who aren't afraid to role play and pretend i'm a customer that they're pitching.

Hila Segal
VP of Product Marketing, Observe.AI | Formerly Clari, Vendavo, AmdocsJanuary 27

What is the role of product marketing, and why do you want to do the job. I care about not just what the answer is but also how candidates deliver it. Are they giving me a textbook answer or telling me a story about their proudest PMM experience or a project that significantly impacted the business or a day in their life as a PMM.

Jenna Crane
Senior Director of Product Marketing, Klaviyo | Formerly Drift, Dropbox, UpworkNovember 17

My favorite question is "What would be your positioning statement for yourself as a product marketer?" 

I love that question because it shows me how comfortable they are with the basics of positioning, and it tells me a lot about the aspects of product marketing that they care most about. For example, they may highlight their strength in messaging and positioning, or their customer-centricity, or their ability to partner with teams across the company. It's also another opportunity to see how they communciate complex concepts in a clear, concise, and compelling way.

I've heard a lot of great responses, and there is no right answer. But I always come away with a deeper understanding of how they view their strengths, as well as the type of work they like to do.

Abdul Rastagar
GTM Leader | Marketing Author | Career Coach, June 7

I am going to provide a highly opinionated answer. Please forgive the strong tone, but I hope it will be more helpful for you than a generic response: 


For any question I ask, I want a short, succinct, and direct answer that tells me within the first 3-5 sentences what outcomes you achieved. If you can do that, you’ve already impressed me so just stop right there. Any additional info I need, I will follow up with more questions and then we can dig into the details.

If I’m interviewing you, I want to know - what was your goal, and how did you make progress to that goal? I am not looking for a lot of background info or stories. What I am really asking is, can you deliver? If the answer is a long and rambling response, you’re inadvertently communicating that you are not focused on outcomes.

I’ve come across very few marketers who actually give outcomes-focused responses during interviews. If you can train yourself to do that, you’ve instantly set yourself apart from the competition.

Carrie Zhang
Product Lead (fmr Head of Product Marketing), SquareJune 30

Any interviews with me will involve a case - real world, but sanitized case questions like "you are the PMM for xyz product and your subscriber growth has slowed down [insert whatever metrics, scenarios] in the last 2 quarters. You need to get it back on track. What would you do to tackle this?" I look for ability to break down a problem, identify hypotheses, look for right data/ fact base to validate hypotheses and creative ideas to solve a problem. My best tip is to not jump into answering the question right away. Take 30-60s to structure your thinking first.

RJ Gazarek
Group Product Marketing Manager, AmplitudeJanuary 17

Let me give you the one interview question, out of every interview I've ever been to, that literally stumped me. "Give me a time that you were the most creative".   

It stumped me at the time because I approach my role in PMM from a very systematic, repeatable, scalable, and data driven approach. There have been plenty of times where I've had to be creative, but at the time all I could think about were things like "ad messages" and "campaigns" and "graphic design" and I don't participate in much of that. And in terms of my messaging, I don't pull it out of thin air. All of my messaging and narrative for the product is backed by the needs of the market and the customer, literal data that I can point to, that says the messaging we have is accurate and correct. So that was one that REALLY caught me off guard at the time - but I know how to answer it now :) 

Tim Johnson
Product Marketing, CloudBeesFebruary 5

I have product marketing candidates give me the Who Cares and Why Is That Important pitch for their current product. Walk me through the positioning and messaging development, what resonates and why, stuff like that. Another key question I ask all candidates is what kind of non-profit or volunteer things they do outside of work. That gives me a gauge of how team/other they are oriented. Great PMMers have a strong element of empathy and their volunteer work lets me know how well developed that empathy is.

Max A.
Director of Product Marketing, PandaDocJuly 11

Here are some of my favorites:

  • Open-ended / ice-breaker: "Can you tell me about yourself / your experience?"
  • Motivation / Research: "Why are you interested in the company and this position?" If the answer is too generic / short, follow-up with "What do you know about the company?"
  • Behavioral / Change management and initiative: "Can you tell me about a time when you realized that your company or team needed to change something in the way you did things? How did you come to that conclusion and how did you convince others?"
  • Behavioral / Data analysis and technical skills: "Can you tell me about a time when you analyzed data to make a decision or a recommendation? How did you choose what data to look at, what tools did you use, and what conclusions did you make?"
  • Awareness / Culture: "Is there anything you consider your relative weakness or area where you'd like to improve?" Follow up if they respond with something that's not actually a weakness, e.g. "I think this is more of a positive thing! Is there anything that your boss or your peers would say you need to work on?"
Meghan Keaney Anderson
CMO, thewanderlustgroup | Formerly HubSpotApril 11

Walk me through a product launch of yours that went really well and one that may not have done as well. What were the differences in retrospect?

Now that you've had a chance to review our website and other marketing materials, what's something you think we could be doing better or an opportunity we may have missed that you'd love to dive into in this role?

Emily Rugaber
VP of Marketing (previously Head of Product Marketing), ThanxJuly 5

Here are a few of the questions that I like to ask: 

- Tell me about a time that you influenced the product direction.

- How do you define the role of product marketing?

- What is the one thing that we can help you with, that you can take away from working here?

I also agree with Carrie that case studies are the best. I like to ask about a specific project from the resume and then go into great deal about that particular experience. I look for self-awareness and ability for the individual to describe success in terms of results as well as acknowledge learnings and areas to improve.

Daniel Kuperman
Head of Product Marketing, ITSM, Atlassian
I believe that adding more people to your team needs to follow the needs of the business. This means making sure you can break down the goals or OKRs that you, as a PMM leader, is responsible for and outlining the key initiatives that will help you achieve them. Part of this exercise is to also identify what you can and what you cannot do with the current team. For example, you may list out things such as "create competitor battle cards, conduct win/loss analysis, write 3 new whitepapers, implement a new campaign strategy". Great, you have all of these key initiatives that you have connecte...
Carrie Zhang
Product Lead (fmr Head of Product Marketing), Square
Covered this a bit in another question. PMM can bring a very strong customer perspective when it comes to product development. To have a seat at the table though, you have to do the work. This is what we do to bring customers perspective to our product teams: * Visit, shadow, do work at our customers. No research can compare to the insights you get by actually being in the shoes of our customers - in our case, small businesses * Talk to customer facing teams (Sales, Account Management, Support) and synthesize feedback. They are on the frontline all the time. You will be surpr...
Christy Roach
Head of Portfolio & Engagement Product Marketing, Airtable
The most important thing to keep in mind is this: having the product marketing title doesn’t automatically mean you get to influence the roadmap. You have to put in the work and show your value to get a seat at the table. There are three big levers to pull here to help you shift the way product marketing works from a team that’s just responsible for the launch of a product to one that’s involved in the entire product process. 1. Create a partnership with your PM: When you’re thinking about how to influence, you’re probably thinking about managing up and influencing people who are more se...
LeTisha Shaw
Director, Product Marketing, UserTesting
Yes, this is a pretty standard PMM interview question. When I ask, I am typically looking to see if the candidate understands product launch and go-to-market fundamentals. I'm also interested in which parts of the launch they led (i.e. was it a specific marketing channel or soup-to-nuts?).  I also like to ask different variations of this question, like "tell me about a product launch that did not go well and you had to get back on track" because let's be honest, not every launch goes exactly the way we plan :)
Patrick Cuttica
Senior Product Marketing Manager, Square
I'm running out of time! See the answer above to the question "I wanna make the case to hire some more product marketers - we're a team of 2 for a company of 400. Whats the ratio where you are? Have you seen any external data on this?" -- I think I mostly covered this in that answer.  In short, we have a Go-to-Market team focused on the commercialization of our product straetgy and a Sales Readiness team focused on competitve/market intel, analyst relations and sales content developmenet. And our key partners are Solutions Engineers and Sales Enablement. 
Ross Overline
Senior Manager, Product Marketing, Fivestars
Asking for a raise is tricky. Ultimately, you need to be driving value, right? That can be broken down quantitatively, but also qualitatively.   Quant: What impact are you having on funnels? Run A/B tests to prove that your strategies are driving impact. How have NPS and sentiment changed?   Qual: Do you have strong relationships with stakeholders? Are you driving value through strategy, creative, and channel partnerships?   I would also recommend using your companies job ladder as a tool, or if you don't have one, job descriptions for other similar roles. If you're a PMM and the expe...
Leandro Margulis
Head of Product Marketing, Prove
This is an iterative process, and always better to over-communicate than under-communicate, so we can get everyone's feedback and input and people feel they have been heard and their input taken into consideration. Even if you do not end up going in a certain way, be able to explain why not and why that input was still helpful.
Sara Rosso
Director of Product Marketing, HubSpot | Formerly Early hire @ Automattic (WordPress.com, WordPress VIP)
See this answer for how we work as a 100% distributed company. We work a lot in "public." As for updates, the entire company publishes bi-weekly updates on a special p2/site that's meant to aggregate the most important updates from each team or division across the company. This is the opportunity for the team to highlight wins, lessons learned, or changes the rest of the company shouldn't miss. And it's great to be able to link to specific project, research, or test results for more details without overwhelming the person reading.
Lindsay Bayuk
CMO, Pluralsight
Great question! This is so important. Because product marketing is often the "glue", it’s easy to miss how critical it is to driving company alignment and growth. Make sure that you have a regular cadence of updates and clear/measurable metrics reported to your CMO and Executive team. Being proactive about advocating for your function is part of being a great marketer!
Robin Pam
Product Marketing Lead, Stripe
In an enterprise B2B business, you’ll often be working closely with customer success and product management on driving adoption post-launch. Marketing can provide air cover in the form of email nurture programs, relevant content, regular product update communications, and internal trainings. But often customer success and product will need to take the lead in getting customers to successful usage of the product.    The answer to the second part of your question depends on the business model, number of customers, and the way your company is set up. At Practice Fusion, a free product with m...
Sarah Din
VP of Marketing, Builder.io
Internal comms is sometimes undervalued, but in my opinion, it is one of the most important parts of a PMM's role, especially because product marketing is one of the very few roles that are extremely cross-functional and sits between multiple teams. Here are few ways I've seen it work best: * For major XF projects, have regular update emails so that you can make sure you are bringing everyone along the journey and it does not feel like you are working in a black box. * Internal newsletters (whatever cadence works for your org). We partner with the product team on a monthly newsl...
Naman Khan
Chief Marketing Officer, Zeplin
I approach competenices in 2 areas: Functional and Core. * Functional competenices are specific to the role, so for PMM these would include messaging, pricing, content etc. I actually did a session on these last year * Core competenices are applicable across roles and are usually defined at the company level, like collaboation, managing ambiguity, decision making etc. For PMM, there are a handful of competenices I think are "foundational" in nature across both areas: Functional: * Target Market & Audience Definition: A building block of PMM is identifying the market and t...
Indy Sen
VP Marketing, PopSQL | Formerly Matterport, WeWork, Google, Mulesoft, Box, Salesforce
Such a great question. I think the best thing you can do invest in yourself and "sharpen the saw". This is especially critical earlier in your career. A couple of approaches:  1.) Read - My mom has this saying: Books are like software updates for your brain. Yes, not all business books are spell-binding page turners, but you'll quickly see that your brain will free associate and you'll draw on differents nuggets, often at opportune times. I've stumbled on frameworks for example that helped chart the course for a GTM, or quotes that set the entire tone for a keynote. And it's not just busin...