Questions a Chief Growth Officer Can Ask a VP or Director of Product Growth
In today’s hyper-competitive landscape, a company’s growth is often tied to the talent of its leadership. As a Chief Growth Officer, one of the most critical hires you can make is the Vice President of Product Growth. This role requires a rare blend of skills—creativity, analytical prowess, team management, and an intuitive understanding of market dynamics. So how do you find this unicorn?
When the Chief Growth Officer interviews candidates for this role, specific questions are asked to gauge whether the candidates have what it takes to drive the company’s product growth strategy. These questions are designed to assess not just technical skills, but also creativity, ethical stance, and adaptability. Here are the questions posed, accompanied by the ideal responses one would hope to hear. These answers can serve as benchmarks for what to look for in a potential VP of Product Growth.
Here some possible questions
What’s the most innovative growth strategy you’ve ever implemented? Walk me through it. I introduced a referral system that wasn’t just about giving people discounts. Instead, we created an ecosystem where referring friends would unlock special features in the app, effectively ‘leveling up’ the user experience. Both parties would benefit: new users got a fast track to features that would take time to unlock, and existing users got exclusive content. Within the first three months, we saw user acquisition spike by 30%, and user engagement was up by 25%.
How do you prioritize growth initiatives? I prioritize based on a mix of impact, speed, and resources required. I’m a fan of the RICE scoring system, which combines Reach, Impact, Confidence, and Effort. This gives me a quantitative framework to compare diverse projects on the same scale, allowing us to allocate our resources most effectively.
Explain your approach to managing and reducing churn. First, I deep-dive into analytics to understand who is churning and why. Then, I work on targeted campaigns aimed at these segments. I’ve also set up an automated feedback loop for churned customers, which feeds into our product backlog. This proactive approach has not only reduced churn by 15% but also significantly improved our product based on real user feedback.
How do you foster a culture of growth within your team? I set clear KPIs, but also emphasize that failing fast and learning is better than not trying. I encourage open brainstorming sessions where all ideas are welcomed. Additionally, I make sure that every team member has access to the training or tools they need to understand data. This combination of clear goals and a safe space for creativity ensures everyone is aligned and motivated to grow.
How do you navigate the balance between acquisition and retention? I’ve always adhered to the principle that a balanced portfolio is strongest. I align resources toward acquisition and retention based on the stage and needs of the product. For instance, in the launch phase, acquisition might take up 70% of the resources, but as the product matures, retention gains prominence.
Can you give an example of how you used data to make a pivotal growth decision? Absolutely. I once discovered that our mobile users were far more engaged than our desktop users. They were not only spending more time in-app but also contributing to more word-of-mouth referrals. Based on this insight, we shifted our development resources to focus more on mobile experience, and as a result, saw a 20% uptick in overall user engagement.
What role do ethics play in your growth hacking strategies? I think growth hacking without ethics is a shortcut to failure. That’s why I make sure that our tactics are always transparent and that we never play fast and loose with user data. Transparency isn’t just an ethical necessity; it also fosters long-term trust and engagement among users.
Describe a situation where you had to pivot your strategy due to unexpected market changes. During the adpocalypse, when several big advertisers pulled from YouTube, our primary acquisition channel took a hit. We quickly shifted to influencer partnerships, which turned out to be more effective and yielded a higher ROI than our previous strategies.
How do you ensure cross-functional alignment when working on growth initiatives? I establish OKRs that are not just limited to my team but tie into the broader objectives of the company. I also set up bi-weekly cross-functional meetings with key stakeholders to ensure that everyone understands not just the ‘what’ but also the ‘why’ behind each initiative.
Where do you see the future of product growth, especially with advancements in AI and machine learning? I believe AI and ML will revolutionize how we personalize user experiences. Imagine a product that adapts in real-time to how a user interacts with it, maximizing value at each touchpoint. That’s the direction I see product growth moving towards, and it’s incredibly exciting.