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Jacopo Martolini

The interview is for both

product ownership1 min read

There are a lot of resources on how to tackle a product interview, how to crack these logic questions, how to perfectly answer the question "what are your weaknesses" so that they turn out to be a strength.

The tendency to live this experience as an interrogation in which the interviewee is at a disadvantage and must do everything to impress the interviewer. I like to think of the job interview as an equal situation in which both parties have a way to evaluate each other.

When I interview a candidate I use standard questions as a canvas for the conversation like:

  • Tell me a little bit about your career path, how did you move into Product Ownership
  • How have your Product ownership responsibilities developed?
  • Who were your mentors as you entered Product Ownership? What did you learn from them?
  • How do you prioritise your backlog?
  • What has been your most challenging project to date and why?
  • How do you update stakeholders and how do you communicate those updates?
  • How do you hold a team accountable for quality, not quantity?

The goal is to put the candidate at ease and get to know their story. There's no need to create awkward situations where you put stress on the person. Through this conversation, the interviewer should also give his point of view on the question, tell how he would have behaved in that situation or how the company culture would have influenced a certain decision.

These open questions have no absolute right or wrong answer. They provide a perspective on the candidate's past experiences. Even completely contrary to academic knowledge answers can be a starting point to understand if, in the context from which the candidate comes, they have been found to be effective.

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