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How would you improve LinkedIn? | LinkedIn PM Interview
LinkedIn Product Manager Interview: Product Improvement - How would you improve LinkedIn?
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Why are Product Improvement Questions asked?
Product Improvement Interview Questions are frequently asked by interviewers during Product Management interviews to gauge your aptitude on whether you are able to properly,
Create a methodical thought process in an uncertain situation.
Explain the product and the issues that it addresses for the various user groups.
Identify the problems with the product that the users of different segments are having.
Think of innovative ways to enhance the product.
Assess your options and create a product roadmap with priorities.
How to Answer Product Improvement Questions?
Here is a step-by-step framework, you should follow while answering product improvement interview questions during your interview:
0. Pay close attention to the keywords in the question.
1. Describe the Product. (P)
2. Ask clarifying Questions to trim down the scope of the question. (Q)
3. Define the Goal you want to achieve. (G)
4. List the User Segments and select one segment to focus on. (U)
5. List and prioritize the Pain Points for that segment. (P)
6. List out your Solutions to solve those pain points. (S)
7. Evaluate all the solutions and prioritize them. (E)
8. Define Metrics to measure the performance of the solutions. (M)
9. At the end, Summarize your answer (S)
(PQ-GUP-SEMS) -> Mnemonic to help you remember the steps & their order.
Now, let’s go through each of the above points and understand them in detail,
Step 0: Pay close attention to keywords in the question
It’s crucial to pay close attention to the interviewer’s question and understand what the interviewer wants as the outcome.
Question asked: How would you improve LinkedIn?
Two things to keep in mind:
Define the product - LinkedIn.
Clarify & Define the term “Improvement”.
Step 1: Describe the Product
To get things moving in the right direction, it is important to make sure that you and the interviewer are on the same page when it comes to the understanding of the product, its features, offerings, users and competitors.
LinkedIn is a professional networking platform that is designed to help users connect with other professionals and find job opportunities. This platform allows users to build a professional network and find clients, as well as learn new career advancement skills.
Users can create a personal profile on LinkedIn that includes their work experience, education, and skills. This profile can be viewed by other users, who can then connect with the user and add them to their professional network. Users can also search for job opportunities on LinkedIn and apply for them directly on the platform.
In addition to job searching and networking, LinkedIn also provides a variety of other features that can help users advance their careers. For example, users can join groups on LinkedIn that are related to their industry or interests. These groups provide a forum for users to connect with others in their field, share information and resources, and discuss industry-related topics.
Users can also write articles and post photos and videos on LinkedIn. This feature is a great way for users to showcase their expertise and gain visibility among other professionals in their field.
LinkedIn also allows users to organize offline events, such as networking events and conferences, which can be a great way for users to connect with other professionals in their field.
In addition to its desktop web, LinkedIn is also available as a mobile web and mobile app for users on the go. This makes it easy for users to stay connected with their professional network and find job opportunities even when they're away from their computer.
LinkedIn is one of the most popular professional networking platforms in the world, with over 700 million users worldwide. However, there are many competitors in the market such as AngelList, Xing, Indeed, ZipRecruiter, Hired, CareerBuilder, Opportunity, Jobcase, etc.
In conclusion, LinkedIn is a powerful professional networking platform that allows users to connect with other professionals, find job opportunities, and advance their careers. The platform offers a variety of features, such as groups, articles, and offline events, which can help users build a professional network and gain visibility in their field. With its wide range of features, LinkedIn has become a valuable tool for professionals to connect and grow their careers.
If you get a question where you are not familiar with the product, you may ask the interviewer to give a brief idea about the product. They would usually help out.
Now that the product description is clear and the interviewer has also been brought on board,
It’s time to move on to the next step: Ask Clarifying Questions.
You: “Before we move on, I have a few clarifying questions I want to ask. Shall I proceed?”
Step 2: Ask clarifying Questions to trim down the scope of the question
Q) What do we mean by improvement here?
Improve user engagement?
Increase user retention?
Increase user base?
New features to compete with Instant Messaging tools?
A) It’s up to you. You are free to choose.
Q) Are we focussing on any particular platform like desktop web or mobile app?
Let’s consider the mobile app first.
Q) Are we focussing on any particular OS like, IOS or Android?
Let’s focus on both IOS & Android.
Q) For the improvement are we focusing on a particular region?
It’s up to you.
Step 3: Define the Goal you want to achieve.
The mission of LinkedIn is to “connect the world's professionals to make them more productive and successful”.
In my opinion, user engagement is something that closely relates to LinkedIn's mission statement. Additionally, if we can increase user engagement on LinkedIn, it will also see an increase in user retention and revenue. Hence, I think it makes sense to focus on improving user engagement for this question.
The Metrics I would focus on improving will be -
Time spent on the website.
Stickiness on the platform - WAU/MAU.
Mention your approach -
“Now that we have defined the goals for this problem, I will go ahead and list down the user segments for this product, followed by the pain points these users are facing, prioritize them, and come up with a prioritized list of solutions and metrics that we will track to identify its success.”
Step 4: List the User Segments
Users can be divided into the following types,
Uses LinkedIn to find jobs and connect with employment opportunities.
Usually browses through companies, different job listings, and applies for a lot of jobs.
Uses LinkedIn to search and connect with top talents on LinkedIn.
Usually browses through candidate profiles and manages job postings.
Uses LinkedIn to find and connect with potential leads for their business.
Usually sends a lot of connection requests and direct messages to potential leads.
Now, Select your user group and state your reason for the same. -
“For the scope of this question, we plan to go ahead with the Job Seeker segment, as this segment of users are very large in the number who are looking for the right opportunity that could help them achieve their career goals.
If we can solve the pain points of these users, and help them engage more then that would increase the user engagement, which in turn can lead to an increase in retention and revenue as well.”
(Since LinkedIn’s Talent Solution brings in > 65% of the revenue for LinkedIn and Job Seekers plays an important role in that.)
Step 5: List the Pain Points for that segment
Pain-Points of Job Seekers,
Job seekers don’t have any clarity regarding the status of their applications.
They are unsure about the format and structure of their resumes.
They are not aware of the shortcomings in their profile that are leading to the rejection of most of their job applications.
Job seekers while browsing through job listings find it difficult to distinguish between a startup and a big corporation.
They have difficulty in finding reviews and feedback about the companies & their work culture on LinkedIn.
Next, I would prioritize the user-pain points based on criteria like,
Impact on the User & Business
Pain Point #1 - Impact: Medium
Pain Point #2 - Impact: High
Pain Point #3 - Impact: High
Pain Point #4 - Impact: Medium
Pain Point #5 - Impact: Medium
Based on the above criteria I have prioritized pain points 2, and 3.
Step 6: List out your Solutions to solve those pain points.
1) They are unsure about the format and structure of their resumes.
A) Resume Reviewer: An automated system that takes in users’ resume & job category to which the user will apply (finance, product, tech roles etc.) as input, and proposes the necessary corrections (spelling, grammar, etc.) & suggestions (choice of words, format, structure, best practices based on job profile, etc.) to the users as output. Using this feature, users can quickly get their resume verified and thus increasing their chances of getting shortlisted.
This feature will keep bringing them back to the platform every time, there is a change in their resume or they are applying for jobs that are not suitable for their profile. Thus increasing stickiness & session time per user.
B) Mock Interviews: In addition to that we can have another step to book 1-1 mock interview session with one of LinkedIn verified coaches who specialized and has enough experience in that domain. This will be a paid feature that users can use (max once a month) and can come under LinkedIn premium with a higher price.
Coaches will guide users and provide feedback to the users that would help users perform better on their actual 1-1 interview round.
2) They are not aware of the shortcomings in their profile that are leading to the rejection of most of their job applications.
A) Profile Strengthening Recommendations: If a user’s profile is rejected for a job, we will show the user a summarized view of the profiles that were shortlisted for the job and a quantitative and qualitative difference between his profile and shortlisted profiles. (e.g. Skills, Experience, Education, Industry, Certifications, Keywords match)
This would help users identify the key shortcoming of their profile on which they can work and improve.
Other Solutions -
Pain Points 1 - This is entirely in the hands of the HR manager. What we can do is mark all applications as Rejected once the HR manager closes the Job opening.
Pain Point 4 - This can be solved by the addition of a new filter option on the Job search page that helps users differentiate between startups and big corporations.
Pain Point 5 - This can be solved via integration with glassdoor as we have with Crunchbase for the funding information.
Step 7: Evaluate the solutions and prioritize them
Your next step is to present your evaluation and execution skills by evaluating your solutions with different sets of criteria such as,
Impact on customer & business
Implementation costs & effort
Solution #1 (Resume Reviewer) - Impact: High, Effort: Medium
Solution #2 (Mock Interviews) - Impact: High, Effort: High
Solution #3 (Profile Strengthening Recommendations) - Impact: Medium, Effort:Medium
Based on the above criteria I have prioritized the solutions in the following order,
Mock Interviews (even though the effort is high, the ROI will be much more)
Profile Strengthening Recommendations
Some Trade-offs -
Getting the list of vetted LinkedIn coaches for each job segment and in vernacular languages at scale might be a point of concern.
Step 8: Define Metrics for measuring performance
Resume Reviewer -
# of resumes reviewed on a WoW and MoM basis.
# of corrections suggested on a daily and weekly basis.
% change in profile shortlists of users before and after using the feature.
Mock Interviews -
The ratio of the # of Mock Interviews Taken vs Requested.
Revenue generated from subscription post-launch.
# of repeat interviews requested. (to understand if users are finding value in this feature and are booking it again and again in the future)
Profile Strengthening Recommendations -
# of recommendations viewed in MoM.
# of jobs application submitted (total & average per user)
DAU of the jobs listing page.
Other metrics -
WAU/MAU (stickiness) of LinkedIn.
Average session time per user of the Job Seeker segment.
Step 9: Summarize your answer
Provide a quick summary of what you have accomplished during the interview. First, highlight the goal of the improvement. Then briefly mention what user group and use cases you are focusing on. Then discuss the solutions you are proposing to achieve your goal and finally, explain the metrics you will use to measure the impact of your suggested improvements.
“To summarize, we decide on the goal to increase engagement on LinkedIn for the job seeker segment. I would choose to solve the pain points where users are unsure about their resumes and don’t get qualitative feedback on job applications.
To address these pain points, I would build a Resume Reviewer system where users can get their resume verified depending on the job role they are applying for, next, I would build a 1-1 mock interview scheduler where premium users can schedule a live session with vetted LinkedIn experts for each job roles. And lastly, help users with proper qualitative and quantitative feedback on their job applications which would help them improve their application. I would measure the success of these features by the metrics defined above.”