Philosophy of [your role]

How crisply can you answer the surprise, seemingly big-picture question: “what’s your philosophy of [insert your role]?” Or, similarly, “what makes a good [your role]?”

When you’re at an entry level, you speculate or say you don’t know.

When you’re intermediate (or sophomoric), you likely gush a huge paragraph.

When you’re a professional, it’s crisp and short.

Here are my best two:

  • What makes a great product manager? Being CEO of the product instead of a ticket pusher.
  • What’s your philosophy of startup CEO-ness? Three things: Set direction, get the right people on/off the bus, and make sure the company never runs out of money.

Don’t ask me my design philosophy. “Uhh… see what’s needed and do it?”


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