What kind of things do you look for when interviewing a candidate for prioritization?

What kind of things do you look for when interviewing a candidate for prioritization? additionally, what are some red/green flags?


Whether they can deviate from the framework to incorporate new inputs quickly. For example, a framework may rank two efforts as 1-2 after the other, but you may go with 2 ahead of 1 due to a large customer need, or the quick time to market even though value might be lower, etc. I talk to so many PM candidates who cannot work without following a strict framework, it gives the impression that they cannot handle lots of inputs.


@Yuri, You sound like you would be my dream boss to work :grin:. Almost daily, it’s drilled into our heads. Follow the framework!! MVP or KPI. I feel like they don’t comprehend that it is excellent pre-work and measurable, but sometimes you got to execute the work.


Agreed! Like Elon Musk said: Process and frameworks should not be a substitute for thinking!


I always treat the framework as a foundation because not everything I have dealt with from the supply chain fits into those situations. Sometimes I have to react and understand product fixes, so I do not have the time to metric out features or put a strategy against certain things. I would love to learn more about the road mapping and planning portion of product management. Thank you for sharing that quote!!


Applying generic frameworks. Impact vs effort? What is the impact exactly? How do you know how much impact your initiative will have?


Is this a green or red flag?


I think generic frameworks are great for learning about ways that you can prioritize and factors that can be used. But often they do not capture the nuance or gray space that exists in some of the prioritization decisions. Blanket applying a generic framework would be a red flag for me.

Green flag. Aligning priorities to your company /product vision and the metrics that have been identified as important which you are trying to move. Using some sort of structured decision making/ logical process to prioritize. Able to think critically about tradeoffs and evaluate factors a generic framework wouldn’t capture.


I think it’s a green flag lol. Generally i’d like to see a candidate be able to talk through their thought process and explain the why behind the what.


The ability to learn quickly and the ability to have an opinion or vision about something, then know how to measure that, in any way, to figure out if that is the way to keep going.

I want my PM to be action oriented, not just let people tell them what to do, and be balanced on customer, business, and risk needs.


Having a decision-making (aka prioritization) framework is a good first order indicator.

But then I’d say the most important thing PMs do is then compare the output of the framework to their (hopefully educated) intuition. Where do the framework and intuition diverge? Why? Can you figure it out?

Remember that the human brain is the most powerful computer we have, it’s great at detecting meaningful patterns (and unfortunately sometimes sees patterns that aren’t there).

Whereas data from analytics and tools is always only a thin slice through reality. But usually more “accurate” by some definition.

So good decision-making has to incorporate both analytics (computer brain) and intuition (human brain).

Finally, dependencies always throw frameworks off, because often the thing you depend on is only important because it gates something that’s valuable.

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A red flag would be only using one dimension of value, like “How much money will we make from this feature?”

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I could go on and on about this topic. How do you assess the “value” of a feature? What does “alignment with corporate objectives” mean in practice?

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A good leader. I want them to be relentlessly positive and take ownership–while not micromanaging. Too many PMs get into the weeds with architecture, engineering, design etc and don’t delegate well enough.

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