Product managers drive businesses forward by overseeing the development and launch of successful products. They work with cross-functional teams throughout the product lifecycle to ensure products align with business goals and meet customer needs.
Skilled product managers not only take a product to market—they use data, trends, and customer feedback to improve it. The position requires technical or product knowledge, business strategy, and customer insight.
If you’re in the business of hiring a product manager, we’ll go through the details to create a compelling product manager job description, offer sample interview questions, and more—all to help make hiring easy!
What Does a Product Manager Do?
Before we get into a job description, let’s briefly cover what product managers do for a business.
They oversee product development from ideation past the launch. Product development can be complex and uncertain since success relies on coordinating engineers, designers, marketers, and other stakeholders. Product managers mitigate this complexity with clear plans and timelines, constantly measuring and tracking success.
Between ideation and launch, a product may go through many iterations of improvement. Product managers oversee this process by working closely with customers to gather feedback and then translating their input into product requirements for the team, all while ensuring the updates remain aligned with the business’s goals.
We Know There’s a Difference: Product Manager vs. Project Manager: What’s the Difference?
Writing a Product Manager Job Description
The best skills and experience to target when you hire a product manager will depend on your industry and the types of products your company creates. As you write your job description, consult current and past top performers. Ask them which skills and experience helped them excel at the job—and which ones may have previously been advertised that weren’t really needed.
Here are typical skills, responsibilities, and requirements a company might post to hire a product manager. Customize them to your exact position and company for a job description that gets you the most specific candidates.
Top Skills for a Product Manager
Product management is a complex, layered role that requires multiple skill sets, from technical knowledge and interpersonal communication to management skills and business strategy.
Here are some top skills for candidates to succeed when you hire a project manager:
- Understanding the software (or other product) development process
- Prioritization of tasks
- Data analysis and research
- Technical writing (to communicate specs to engineers)
- Strategic thinking
- User experience (how to develop products with a user-centered approach)
- Communication skills, including active listening and negotiation
Responsibilities of a Product Manager
When you hire a product manager, include a clear picture of the job’s duties in your posting.
Here are some typical project manager responsibilities:
- Lead product development and strategy from ideation through market launch.
- Determine product specifications, production timelines, and pricing.
- Specify market research to determine customers’ needs and preferences.
- Assess market competition.
- Prepare short- and long-term sales forecasts and special reports for management.
- Establish timelines and schedules with engineering and manufacturing.
- Introduce and market new products by working with sales, marketing, and production.
- Oversee employees to complete operational requirements and meet development deadlines, including testing and QC.
- Communicate with high-level stakeholders the progress on the development of products and general strategy.
Product Manager Requirements and Qualifications
Generally, you will want to hire a product manager with some experience in successfully bringing products to market.
While experience in your precise industry may not be necessary, technical knowledge of the types of products you create is essential.
- Bachelor’s degree (MBA preferred)
- Minimum of X years experience as a Product Manager with demonstrated success, including X years in the target industry
- Remember: Product managers need to get their start somewhere. If you are hiring for an entry-level product manager, you can hire someone with little experience—especially if you have a system or senior members who can help the candidate get up to speed.
- Technical background with experience in the target industry
- Proven ability to influence cross-functional teams
- Experience in delivering detailed product marketing strategies
- Exceptional communication skills, including public speaking
Product Manager Interview Questions
The best product manager interview questions will delve into their strategy and thought process when tackling realistic problems.
Here are a couple of examples to ask specific to product managers.
- If you were working for a company that wanted to produce a product like ours for $25 less, how would you outline it?
- What defines great product design?
- We are considering producing a more advanced version of our most popular product. What would you do to keep sales for the original product strong as the new one is released?
- What is your approach to prioritizing tasks?
- What is one of your greatest strengths as a product manager?
- How do you incorporate customer feedback into your product development process?
Insight Global Makes Hiring Product Managers Easy
When you’re ready to hire a product manager, Insight Global can make hiring easy.
We have specialized insight into the soft and hard skills required to excel as a product manager and can streamline the hiring process to connect you with top talent. Connect with our team today to get started.
Looking to hire a product manager?
We can connect you with qualified candidates that fit your needs. Questions? Call us toll-free: 855-485-8853