Category Archives: Business

If your direct manager was instructing you to do something you disagreed with, how would you handle it?

ethic

Note: as I’m currently evaluating and interviewing for product manager opportunities, I’m publishing many answers to the product, behavioral, business, and life questions I’m researching/practicing publicly rather than keep them private in a Google doc. If your direct manager was instructing you to do something you disagreed with, how would you handle it? I believe you can break this down into two categories: Ethical: If it’s an ethics issue, then I believe it’s in the employees right to refuse to follow a managers instructions. For example, say your manager asks you to illegally steal trade secrets from your competitor or to outright lie about the timeline to a client/customer. Strategy / Execution: If instructions are related to execution of a business or product strategy you don’t … Continue reading

Tell me about your most difficult customer

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Note: as I’m currently evaluating and interviewing for product manager opportunities, I’m publishing many answers to the product, behavioral, business, and life questions I’m researching/practicing publicly rather than keep them private in a Google doc. Tell me about your most difficult customer I’ve dealt with many difficult “users”, customers, and clients. At Zillow, we placed Zestimates on 40 million homes — it was inevitable some owners would disagree with those estimates of value. They did, and we heard from those users (they weren’t customers or clients since they weren’t paying anything for goods/services) via email and phone calls. Several were very irrational with their expectations, though the majority simply needed to be listened to & educated about how the service (and algorithm) worked. Occasionally, I’d … Continue reading

Tell me when you made a judgment call since you didn’t have any data

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Note: as I’m currently evaluating and interviewing for product manager opportunities, I’m publishing many answers to the product, behavioral, business, and life questions I’m researching/practicing publicly rather than keep them private in a Google doc. Tell me when you made a judgment call since you didn’t have any data. A few examples… When considering the “mobile, social email newsletter reader” concept (one of many potential pivots for Oh Hey World) — I didn’t have enough hard data to make a decision about putting money toward building the product. I interviewed numerous additional publishers, as well as readers. What I heard was (most) readers didn’t have a real problem in need of a solution — even though publishers would love to have more … Continue reading

Tell me About a Time you Disagreed with your Manager

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Note: as I’m currently evaluating and interviewing for product manager opportunities, I’m publishing many answers to the product, behavioral, business, and life questions I’m researching/practicing publicly rather than keep them private in a Google doc. Tell me about a time you disagreed with your manager David G was my manager for the majority of my time at Zillow. He and I disagreed on a range of issues. One specific time I remember was about the Local Market Explorer wordpress plugin. I’m not going to get into the super specifics here, but the disagreement was around strategy of accepting data integration of data providers in other verticals. What did we do to resolve the disagreement? Talked. We talked the issue through, each explaining … Continue reading

Describe what Human Resource means to you.

Note: as I’m currently evaluating and interviewing for product manager opportunities, I’m publishing many answers to the product, behavioral, business, and life questions I’m researching/practicing publicly rather than keep them private in a Google doc. Describe what Human Resources means to you. Human resources means everything related to satisfying and growing your business’ largest resource/asset — humans. Without a happy, motivated, and passionate pool of employees, no business will thrive.

Which Amazon leadership principle do you resonate most with?

amazon

Note: as I’m currently evaluating and interviewing for product manager opportunities, I’m publishing many answers to the product, behavioral, business, and life questions I’m researching/practicing publicly rather than keep them private in a Google doc. Which Amazon leadership principle do you resonate most with? If I had to narrow them down, I’d say the four that resonate most strongly are: Customer Obsession — on a long enough time span, the customer always wins when it comes to technology. Winning the customer is how you win in business. Learn and Be Curious — life is dull and boring if you’re not learning. I constantly strive to surround myself with those who prioritize curiosity (and satisfying that curiosity with learning). Ownership — I believe strongly ownership … Continue reading

What is the worst idea you have ever had?

Note: as I’m currently evaluating and interviewing for product manager opportunities, I’m publishing many answers to the product, behavioral, business, and life questions I’m researching/practicing publicly rather than keep them private in a Google doc. What is the worst idea you have ever had? Buy My Wheels is my most creative (aka best) idea. What’s the worst? Besides some of my ideas for fun as a kid, I’d say my worst business idea was a WordPress platform to power websites for small, local businesses. There were numerous weaknesses in the idea — among them lack of distribution, creativity, and innovation. Bottom line: there were literally thousands of website competitors in every vertical.