ProcessProduct ManagementRecruitingSaeed

A test when hiring Product Managers?

A quick question here, hope some of you out there can help.

What kind of tests or test questions do you give to Product Managers when hiring them?

When hiring, many departments have tests for their potential hires. I’ve seen this most notably in technical positions such as software development where candidates are asked to either write, debug or explain some code that is presented to them. Another common test is a writing test that is given to candidates, such as in marketing or technical writing, to see if they can actually put a few coherent paragraphs together.

The Value of Testing Candidates

Testing has it’s merits. Aside from all the individual, face-to-face questions that are asked at an interview, having someone spend 30-60 minutes (typically) writing a test can provide some interesting data.

First of all, can the person answer the questions correctly? Do they have the requisite domain knowledge you are looking for? If the test is a long one — in fact one that is intended to take more time than you allot to the candidate — it becomes quite interesting to see how the candidates manage their time.

I’ve both heard and read about companies like Google and Microsoft who give tests to potential candidates. There’s even a Wikipedia entry related to Microsoft interviews that describes some of the questions someone might be asked.

Having said all this, I’m interested in seeing if there are any specific tests that you give to product managers during the interview process, analogous to the kinds of technical tests that are routinely given to technical candidates such as software developers.

I look forward to hearing from you.