Don’t underestimate the Stripe product manager interviews. The questions are difficult, specific to Stripe, and cover a wide range of topics.
The good news is that the right preparation can make a big difference and can help you land a job offer.
We’ve put together the below ultimate guide to Stripe PM interviews to help you prepare strategically, gain confidence, and maximize your chances of success. Here's an overview of what we'll cover:
The interview process for Stripe PMs typically takes around 4 weeks to complete, although it could be a bit faster or a bit slower depending on the particular location and position for which you’re applying.
Here’s a quick overview of the steps you’ll face along the way:
- Resume, cover letter, and referrals
- Recruiter phone screen
- PM phone/video interview
- Take-home exercise
- Onsite interviews
Now let’s cover the above steps in more detail, so that you'll have a better idea of what to expect and what you'll need to prepare for. For extra help, take a look at our list of 15 top PM interview tips.
Note: if you are interviewing for a product leadership position (VP, Director, Group PM), learn more about the process and how to prepare here.
1.1 Resume, cover letter, and referrals
First, recruiters will look at your resume and assess if your experience matches the open position. This is the most competitive step in the process, as millions of candidates do not make it past this stage.
You can use this free guide to help tailor your resume to the position you’re targeting.
And if you’re looking for expert feedback, you can also get input from our team of ex-FAANG recruiters, who will cover what achievements to focus on (or ignore), how to fine tune your bullet points, and more.
1.2 Recruiter phone screen
Once you’ve been invited to interview with Stripe, you’ll first speak with a recruiter on a phone screen.
During this call, you should expect the recruiter to ask you some typical resume and behavioral questions. They'll be looking to evaluate your fit with Stripe's culture, your overall qualifications for the role, and whether you have a chance of succeeding in future interview rounds.
Stripe's recruitment team also has a reputation for being transparent with the steps in their interview process, and the recruiter will likely give you an outline of what to expect during the interview process.
If you pass this phone screen, then the recruiter will advance you to the next round of interviews.
1.3 PM phone/video interview
After the initial recruiter phone screen, you'll have your first PM-focused interview. It will be over video conference or on the phone and usually lasts for 45-60 minutes.
This interview will be with a Stripe PM or manager, and you should be prepared to answer common PM interview questions. There are more details on the types of questions to expect, and how to prepare for them, later in this guide.
1.4 Take-home exercise
After you've passed the first PM-focused interview, you'll probably be asked to complete a written take-home exercise. The intent of this exercise is to see how you approach the types of problems you might encounter on the job.
If you're well prepared for the PM interview questions that are outlined in section 2 below, then that will go a long way in preparing you for the written exercise.
1.5 Onsite interviews
The final round is the onsite, which is a loop of ~5 separate interviews.
You'll have at least one PM interview (though you could have more than one), and you'll also have interviews with people from a variety of other functions/levels. For example, you might meet with someone from engineering, design, data science, or even senior leadership.
During your onsite interviews you may also encounter a presentation interview, where you'll be expected to deliver a 15min presentation, followed by some discussion.
You'll use either a whiteboard or PPT slides as visual aids for the presentation, and if you've been invited to Stripe's onsite interviews your recruiter should be able to provide more details on what (if anything) you need to prepare in advance for the presentation interview.
If all goes well, the onsite interviews are your last step as a candidate, and from there you just have to wait to (hopefully) receive your offer.
2. Example questions
Below, we have compiled a set of example PM interview questions to help you practice for your Stripe interviews. But, before we get into the practice questions, let's look at a high-level view of the types of questions that are typically asked in PM interviews:
The above break-down is based on an analysis of Glassdoor data from Google, Facebook, Amazon, and Microsoft interview reports. There is not enough available Stripe data at this time, and it has not been included in the above percentages. However, since Stripe uses typical PM interview questions, you can still use this overview for directional guidance during your preparation.
Now that you have a feel for the broad categories of PM interview questions, below are some examples for each question type (note: these questions are also drawn from Glassdoor and some of them are adapted to Stripe products or scenarios):
2.1 Strategy questions (24%)
Here are a few PM strategy questions to get started with (the first 3 are product strategy questions, and the last 3 are estimation questions).
- If you were the CEO of Stripe, what new product would you come up with to increase revenue?
- Imagine you’re a PM at a startup that works with big data from the NHL — what’s the first product you would ship?
- If you were a VC, would you be more bullish on AR or VR?
- How much money is spent on gas in the US every year?
- How many millennials own homes in the US?
- What is the weight of the Empire State building?
2.2 Design questions (24%)
Here are a few PM design questions to get started with (the first 3 are product design questions, the second set of 3 are product improvement questions, and the last 3 are favorite product questions).
- Design a dictionary lookup for scrabble
- Design an app for the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV)
- Design a washer and dryer
- How would you improve Stripe?
- How would you improve the NYC transit system?
- Pick your favorite website. How would you improve it?
- Tell me about a product you love. How would you make it better?
- What’s your favorite Stripe feature?
- Tell me about a product you use often
2.3 Technical questions (9%)
Here are a few PM technical questions to get started with (the first 3 are technical explanation questions, and the last 3 are algorithm questions).
If you'd like to learn more about answering this kind of question, then check out our separate guide on technical questions.
- How would you get authentication to work across domains
- Explain the concept of "protocol" to a 4-year-old child
- Explain recursion to my grandmother
- Design a method that removes every other node from a linked list
- Write a program to randomly shuffle an array of numbers
- Write a function that returns how many digits are in a number
2.4 Analysis questions (12%)
Here are a few PM analysis questions to get started with (the first 3 are metric definition questions and the last 3 metric change questions).
If you'd like to learn more about answering this kind of question, then check out our separate guide on metric questions.
- What are the things that Stripe should measure and analyze on a daily basis?
- What metrics did you use to measure the successful launch of your product?
- What analysis would you use to understand if we should increase the price of Stripe?
- The usage of Stripe’s POS system dropped 30% overnight — what data would you look at to try to isolate the issue?
- You are looking at Stripe's daily transaction data worldwide and notice a 10% jump compared to yesterday in Egypt — what happened?
- Stripe's website traffic went down 5% — how would you report this issue to the executive team?
2.5 Behavioral questions (31%)
Here are a few behavioral questions to get started with.
You can learn a step-by-step process for answering behavioral questions, and find many additional examples, by visiting our article on how to answer behavioral questions at tech companies. This guide focuses primarily on Facebook, but can be applied to any company.
- Tell me about yourself
- Why do you want to work at Stripe? (sample answer from Amazon interviews)
- Why product management?
- Tell me about your most significant accomplishment. Why was it significant?
- Describe a project that you wish you had done better and how you would do it differently today
- Tell me about a time you applied judgment to a decision when data was not available
- Tell me about a product you led from idea to launch
- Describe the last time you had to make a challenging decision when prioritizing
Next, let's walk-through a few preparation tips to help you get ready for your PM interviews at Stripe.
Now that you know what questions to expect, let's focus on preparation.
Below, you’ll find links to free resources and four introductory steps to help you prepare for your Stripe PM interviews.
3.1 Deep dive into the product / organization
As you've probably figured out from some of the example questions listed above, you can't become a PM at Stripe without being familiar with the company's products and it's organization. As a result, you'll need to do some homework before your interviews.
Here are some resources to help you get started with this:
- Stripe's culture guide (by Stripe)
- "Life at Stripe" guide (by Stripe)
- Stripe business teardown (by CB Insights)
- Stories from Stripe's work and history (by Wired)
3.2 Learn a consistent method for answering PM interview questions
As mentioned previously, Stripe will ask you questions that fall into certain categories like behavioral, design, strategy, estimation, and metric questions. Approaching each question with a predefined method will enable you to build strong interview habits.
Then, when it comes time for your interviews, these habits will reduce your stress and help you to make a great impression.
If you’re just looking for a jumping-off point, you can start learning about the different question types you’ll need to master in the following blog articles:
- Facebook behavioral questions (can apply to any company)
- Product design questions
- Product improvement questions
- Strategy questions
- Metric questions
- Technical questions
- Estimation questions
- Prioritization questions
Once you understand how to answer each question type, you also need to be able to communicate your answers clearly, under the pressure of interview conditions. That’s where practice comes into play.
3.3 Practice by yourself or with peers
In our experience, practicing by yourself is a great way to prepare for PM interviews. You can start practicing alone, asking and answering questions out loud, to help you get a feel for the different types of PM interview questions. It will help you perfect your step-by-step approach for each question type. And it also gives you time to correct your early mistakes.
You can find free practice questions on articles like this one or on YouTube.
If you have friends or peers who can do mock interviews with you, that's a great option too. This can be especially helpful if your friend has experience with PM interviews, or is at least familiar with the process.
3.4 Practice with experienced PM interviewers
Finally, you should also try to practice product manager mock interviews with expert ex-interviewers, as they’ll be able to give you much more accurate feedback than friends and peers.
If you know a Product Manager who can help you, that's fantastic! But for most of us, it's tough to find the right connections to make this happen. And it might also be difficult to practice multiple hours with that person unless you know them really well.
Here's the good news. We've already made the connections for you. We’ve created a coaching service where you can practice 1-on-1 with ex-interviewers from leading tech companies. Learn more and start scheduling sessions today.
Keep reading: product manager interview articles