Many product managers aspire to become Directors, VPs or CPOs. These roles require significant experience in product management, leading others and delivering impact.
The interview processes are robust and will require multiple rounds of discussions with the CEO, other executives, and often board members. Often, the process will culminate in one or more product management case studies requiring a presentation for senior leadership.
These usually last around 90 minutes and require you to analyze some internal information and then present back your findings. Whilst the task set will vary, these examples shed some light on what this process looks like. This article sets out how you can prepare to smash product management case studies. It includes real examples and advice to help you prepare.
General advice for producing strong product management case studies:
- There’s no “right” answer for these sorts of product management case studies – the ‘JTBD’ (job to be done) here is to demonstrate to CEOs that you can take some mental load off them. The problem that CEOs want solved is that they want to see a return on their investment in technology, so you need to lay out step-by-step how you can do that by showing you’re a strategic, practical thinker.
- Take whatever is set as a product management case study as a suggestion, rather than as a strict question that you can only answer within the guidelines. You are positioning yourself as the most experienced, capable person in the company at product. So if the task doesn’t let you demonstrate the experience and capabilities you bring to the table, bend it to cover the areas you need it to.
- Treat the slides and the learning points that you put together for product management case studies as opportunities for discussion, and not a presentation. Encourage questions throughout product management case studies, and get their minds going. The more that the interviewer talks and engages, the better impression they’ll have of you walking away.
- In the discussion you are role playing a colleague. It can be useful to (diplomatically) challenge the existing team to see how they respond. You’ll often pick up a lot about how they interact from who answers the question, and how. Product management case studies should be seen as a two-way street: it’s not only their opportunity to learn about you, it’s also your best opportunity to learn about them.
If you’re interested in product manager interview questions as opposed to case studies, check out questions from product leaders at Uber, Amazon, Meta and more here.
Real life product management case studies
JobandTalent | SVP Product
Jobandtalent is the world’s leading digital temp staffing agency. In December 2021 it raised a $500m Series E round led by Kinnevik and valuing the company at $2.4bn post-money.
Ed Biden presented this deck in the final round of the interview process for JobandTalent’s SVP Product role. Ed was offered the job and started in January 2022. At the time SVP Product was the most senior product role in the company, reporting direct to one of the co-CEOs, and responsible for the product and design functions.
Listen to more advice on how to nail a CPO interview in The Product Experience interview with Ed Biden.
Vonto | Chief Product & Growth Officer
Exited to Australia’s largest bank, Vonto is an insights engine for small business owners on their business performance. It connects via APIs into existing cloud-based applications, such as Xero, Google Analytics and Shopify, analyses the data using AI, and provides useful insights on what matters to improve their business.
Faith Forster developed this deck as a case study of the work she did there as Chief Product & Growth Officer. Her remit spanned Strategy, Product Management, UX/ UI Design, Growth Marketing, Product Analytics and Customer Support capabilities. Creating a detailed case study of a time you’ve delivered significant impact for an organisation is a great way to demonstrate your capability as a product leader.
Captify | VP Product
Captify is the leading Search Intelligence Platform for the open web and the largest independent holder of search data outside of the walled gardens, connecting the real-time searches from over 2 billion devices globally. Its technology powers omnichannel programmatic advertising and real-time insights for some of the world’s biggest brands—without reliance on third-party cookies.
Amelia Waddington presented this deck in the final round of the interview process for Captify’s VP Product role. Amelia was offered the job and started in January 2021. At the time VP Product was the most senior product role in the company, reporting direct to the COO, and responsible for the product and design functions. Amelia is now SVP Product with responsibility for Product, Design, Engineering and Insights.
Giraffe360 | VP Product
Giraffe360 creates HDR photography, virtual tours and floor plans with 98% accuracy for real estate agents. In December 2022 it raised a $16m Series A led by Peter Thiel’s Founders Found.
Ryan Al-Sharieh used this deck during the VP Product recruitment process. Ryan was successful, and started the role in November 2021.
- During the process Ryan spent $2k on shares in a rental property, and then included his notes on the entire experience in the hiring process for Giraffe 360. Part of the task was how he’d explore the potential future use cases of blockchain/crypto and real estate, and this gave him a solid answer.
- He thought it was a “wild risk”, but worth it, as even if other candidates were more experienced or qualified, none would be willing to put their wallet to the test.
Send us a product management case study
We’re always on the look out for product management case studies to include in our articles. If you’re keen to help the community, write to us with your presentation and story at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- These presentations were prepared for interviews based on publicly available information, and are not an accurate representations of any company’s current or past product strategy.
- Information that is not immediately obvious from public sources has been redacted.