Hiring a product manager in India

I got promoted in December 2014 and started building my team post Christmas. This involved hiring two associate product managers and one product manager.

I started hiring for a these roles in the first week of January and got the last person to join on the 27th of April 2015. It look almost 4 months from start to finish when sourcing resumes was not a problem because I work at Adobe in Noida and that other PMs referred almost 90% of all candidates. I looked at about 60 resumes.

The resumes seemed remarkably consistent on the surface. All of the candidates were engineers and had an MBA. Very few of them had any entrepreneurial experience or had a background in design. This is typical.

The candidates were rejected for the following reasons:

  1. Attitude and fitment – this mostly happened in the interview stage
  2. Claiming more than they actually knew – rejected during phone screening by me
  3. Lack of fluency in English – rejected during phone screening by me
  4. Lack of understanding of software analytics – rejected during phone screen

The candidates that were hired had the following characteristics:

  1. Hunger to learn
  2. Excitement about the job
  3. Basic analytical skills or sharpness to converse on various topics in the software industry
  4. Strong communication skills –written and oral
  5. Honest!

What did I learn from this experience:

  1. Do not trust resumes
  2. Talk to every candidate on the phone or skype before bringing them in for an interview
  3. Ask them to present the plans for the product they are interviewing for before interviewing them to ensure they can really build a POV on the product and communicate it well
  4. Ask for a writing sample where the candidate explains why they will be good for this job

I will post a follow up with more details on the demographics and educational qualifications of the candidates soon.

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