Hiring the right product marketing manager can be the difference between a successful and failed product.
Why? Amongst other things, a product marketing manager is fundamental to keeping up with market trends and customer behaviour to help position and sell your B2B tech products.
In fact, it’s the reason the majority (67%) of C-suite professionals consider product marketing to be a strategic role and the cause for a major spike in demand for these roles within B2B tech companies.
To help you find the best candidate that can create the right value proposition and craft marketing strategies that really move the needle, there are several key interview questions to ask a Product Marketing Manager during the recruitment process.
Let’s check them out 👇
*this blog is written for employers but it can also help you prepare for your product marketing manager interview
|Not sure if you need a product marketing manager?
Take a look at: Why should B2B tech companies create a dedicated product marketing function?
Because product marketing responsibilities vary, this opening question helps gauge the candidates’ perception of the important factors of product marketing and their experience early on.
This is key if you have a particular growth objective or if there are areas your product management and sales teams need support with.
There are several core responsibilities that a Product Marketing Manager has, so you would expect them to cover:
Product marketing skills checklist 👇
⬜ Research – The best product marketers regularly talk to customers to understand what they think of the sales process and the product. They also keep on top of competitor analysis.
⬜ Persona development – Experienced product marketers will be competent with persona development.
⬜ Positioning and messaging – They should also use those personas to help refine product propositions and to really hone in on solving key challenges using your product/service.
⬜ Go-to-market – They then use everything so far to build three key areas of a go-to-market plan: target audience, marketing plan, and sales strategy.
⬜ Sales enablement – To help sales succeed, they’ll be proficient in creating assets to articulate the features and benefits of the product (including product sheets, case studies, product demos).
⬜ Objectives and key results (OKRs) – They will ensure a series of objectives and measures are set for each activity – from lead generation to product adoption – and define how that supports the overall business goals.
⬜ Pricing* – *This isn’t always a responsibility for a product marketer. But if it’s something you need them to have experience in, then they should mention Cost Plus Pricing, Competitor Based Pricing, Value Based Pricing and Dynamic Pricing.
📕You can read more on the core product marketing skills here: The complete hiring guide for product marketing
Further Reading; B2B Marketing Interview Questions – The Comprehensive Guide
Here, you’re encouraging a Product Marketing Manager to describe their strengths so that you can see how they fit with the role you’re recruiting for.
While we would expect some of the responsibilities from the question above to pop up, this one focuses more on soft skills and personal characteristics.
You’re looking for people that show passion and energy, resilience, business acumen, and are natural storytellers and collaborators.
Above all else, you want to hear passion about your business and how they can help, so you’re looking for:
🎥Take a look at this video for more on desirable soft skills:
Ideally, you want your Product Marketing Manager to talk about being led by metrics and shared business goals. For instance, how do they go about organising and prioritising?
Delve into what tools they might use to track and communicate progress and resolve challenges? And how do they leverage the strengths of other team members in sales, marketing, and product to achieve goals?
📕For more on this, check out our recent podcast for key takeaways on how product marketers optimise working relationships.
This question is an opportunity to gauge levels of passion – a soft skill we mentioned earlier – and to understand the impact of success on the individual.
Through their storytelling, a Product Marketing Manager should share how they creatively solved a problem, the impact they made on their target audience or the metric improvements.
You want to hear how they worked as part of a team, but also their own stand-out contributions.
Bragging is totally acceptable here.
In short, the “why” this is important to them gives the most powerful insight.
📕For more on this, read: What it takes to succeed with product marketing today
Metrics are key for you to make sure you’re proving the value of your latest recruit to the leadership team, stakeholders, and other team members.
With the product marketing team supporting both the sales and the marketing departments, you’d expect to see an overlap on KPIs. For product marketing, outputs in terms of volumes of sales decks, case studies, and training can also be quantified.
But going beyond qualitative measures, a more valuable method to assess impact is the verbal feedback from clients, prospects, and internal teams. An experienced Product Marketing Manager will likely have been measured against this in a previous role.
You can find out more about measuring the impact in this podcast recording and write-up 👇
Product Marketing Manager’s are the glue bonding multiple teams.
They manage lots of relationships and so, to be effective, being a team player and having great communication is key.
Essentially, you want to know – how do they do this? Plus, how do they manage expectations – particularly with sales who are driven by commission?
For more on this, take a look at this podcast and key takeaways: What it takes to succeed with product marketing today 👇
Win/loss interviews are a key part of research for a product marketing manager – whether this is managed in-house or through a third-party.
In fact, teams that do this analysis see a 17%+ increase in sales.
To give a flavour for win/loss interviews, typical questions would include:
We recommend quizzing them on what they would want to find out and, more importantly, how would they store and use that information?
📕You can find out more about win/loss interviews here.
This is an opportunity to understand a Product Marketing Manager’s thought process. In particular, how well they manage when things aren’t going well.
The first step you would expect them to cover is analysis.
For example, working with other teams to understand key insights like: where sales drop-off during the sales cycle, who is buying, and whether targeting is correct.
They should then suggest tactics to maximise engagement, like driving demand through search engine content marketing or paid social media or re-targeting and nurturing leads.
📕Find out more about pipeline marketing here.
Here, you want to understand the main steps a Product Marketing Manager would go through before and after a product launch (more on the steps involved here).
You want to hear details on who the target audience was, the marketing techniques they used, and how they worked with other teams and external stakeholders (like media publications and agencies).
And most importantly, the results.
How they capture results and present that back to the company will be of particular interest, as communication is vital to this role.
Hopefully, this list of product marketing interview questions is helpful for your interview prep, whether you’re hiring for a product marketing role or interviewing for a new product marketing job.
You’ll probably have additional questions to add to these.
One thing to remember is product marketers are more marketer than product manager – they are responsible for taking products to market (and not creating them) – so bear this in mind with their responses.
Need more help? Take a look at our complete hiring guide for product marketing jobs.
Ready to hire? Dive straight in and book a call with our specialist product marketing recruiters – we focus on supporting B2B tech companies.
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