Stripe Product Manager Interview (questions, process, prep)

Stripe PM interview

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 Product Manager interviews to help you prepare strategically, gain confidence, and maximize your chances of success. Here's an overview of what we'll cover:

Click here to practice 1-to-1 with PM ex-interviewers

Let’s get started.

1. Stripe Product Manager Role and Salary

Before we cover your PM interviews at Stripe, let's take a quick look at the role itself.

1.1 What does a Stripe Product Manager do?

A product manager at Stripe is responsible for building products for Stripe’s different sets of users. 

As a company that provides internet-based financial services, Stripe caters to a diverse range of users, from big enterprises that need secure payment processing; freelancers and small business owners who use Stripe to invoice and receive payment from clients; to online retail customers looking for a trusted payment platform.

Product managers at Stripe are spread out across different teams and domains, including Payments, Platform, Banking as a Service, Revenue and Financial Automation, Infrastructure, Risk, and New Financial Products, etc. 

When developing products and creating product strategies, Stripe PMs are expected to work with engineers, design teams, finance, customer-facing teams, risk and fraud management teams, and even legal.

What skills are required to be a Stripe Product Manager?

To be a successful product manager at Stripe, you typically need a combination of technical, business, and interpersonal skills. You'll need to demonstrate that you are strategic and analytical, with a strong user-centric focus, market awareness, problem-solving skills, and leadership skills. You’ll need to show that you’re adept at cross-functional collaboration, as Stripe PMs are expected to work with technical and non-technical teams alike across Stripe’s product ecosystem.

As a company that values deep meticulous thinking and a sense of urgency, Stripe is looking for PMs that think fast and act fast. The ability to thrive in ambiguity and listen and learn well from feedback are also desirable traits in Stripe PM candidates.

“We want technical PMs [with] strong product instincts, [who] lead by influence and channel multiple points of view. We look for not just smart people but quick people. You will do well if you’re very, very agile. Being able to ingest a lot of complexity and then find a path of clarity through that. Quick-thinking, quick-acting people do really well here.” Michael Siliski, former Product Management & Business Lead at Stripe.

Taste is also a huge factor. One of Stripe’s operating principles is “being meticulous in your craft.” As Michael Siliski explains: “If you spend the time and you put a lot of thought into appreciating something, teasing apart what makes it great, and building a thoughtful, opinionated perspective, that’s taste.”

1.2 How much does a Stripe Product Manager make?

Based on the computations from Glassdoor data, the average total pay for a Stripe product manager is $317k per year, 50% higher than the estimated average total pay for a US product manager. The average base pay per year amounts to $186k on average, with additional pay (bonus or stocks) at $131k on average. 

Location also plays a part in the difference in salary based on Glassdoor data. To compare:

  • Stripe India PM: est. average of $58k/year
  • Stripe Spain PM: est. average of $96k/year
  • Stripe US PM: est. average of $317/year

Below you can see the average salary and compensation of the different product manager positions at Stripe US, as of early 2024, based on data:

Stripe PM salary

Ultimately, how you do in your interviews will help determine what you’ll be offered. That’s why hiring one of our ex-FAANG PM interview coaches can provide such a significant return on investment.

And remember, compensation packages are always negotiable, even at Stripe. So, if you do get an offer, don’t be afraid to ask for more. If you need help negotiating, consider booking one of our salary negotiation coaches to get expert advice.

2. Interview process and timeline

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

According to CTO David Singleton, Stripe has structured hiring loops for everyone who applies for a role at Stripe. Aside from evaluating whether you’re a good fit for the company, the interviews are also structured in a way that hiring managers themselves could help the candidate assess whether Stripe is a good company for them. 

During the interviews, you’re not expected to know everything–asking your interviewer questions as you work on your written exercise, for example, is highly recommended. It shows your curiosity about the work and how you would collaborate on real work challenges.

Now let’s cover the above steps in 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 top 10 product manager 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 with our product leader interview guide.

2.1 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 product manager resume guide to help tailor your resume to the position you’re targeting. 

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.

2.2 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 is known for being transparent with the steps in their interview process. The recruiter will likely give you an outline of what to expect during the interview process, but if they don’t, don’t hesitate to ask.

If you pass this phone screen, then the recruiter will advance you to the next round of interviews. 

2.3 Hiring manager 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. 

2.4 Take-home exercise

Stripe is known for having a strong writing culture, so after you've passed the first PM-focused interview, expect to get 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.

As a result, the exercise will likely focus on a typical PM question. For example, you may be asked to address a metric or technical PM problem. 

You can prepare for take-home exercises by practicing with our PM interview questions below, or book a coach to get expert take-home exercise feedback.

2.5 Onsite interviews

The final round is the onsite, 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 15-minute presentation, followed by some discussion.

According to Stripe CTO David Singleton, interviews at Stripe always involve real-life simulations of work challenges. This is not just to test the candidate’s abilities and how they will approach the work, but also to discern whether the candidate will want to do the work “in a way that is curious, digging into the details, and collaborative”. Many former Stripe PM candidates report that indeed, most interviews are case-style interviews that involve some role-playing. 

You can also expect to work on written exercises during your onsite interviews, which you’ll be encouraged to discuss and ask questions about with your interviewer as you go along.

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. 

3. Example Questions

Below, we've compiled lists of real questions from Stripe product manager interviews based on reviews on Glassdoor. We’ve also included a few common questions you can expect at most FAANG PM interviews. 

To help you structure your preparation, we've organized them into four categories:

Stripe PM questions category

3.1 Product sense questions (design, improvement, strategy)

Stripe PMs must be able to identify the most important problems facing their team and help come up with solutions for them. To do this well, they must have strong product sense.

During your product sense interviews, show off your understanding of and enthusiasm for Stripe’s product, your focus on its users, and your ability to tackle ambiguous problems.

Some of these questions will be presented in the form of case studies, where you will be playing the role of a PM making decisions for a team. You’ll need to consider who the user is and what their needs are, how you’ll create value, how to design the product, and what setbacks may come your way. 

We’ve divided this interview question category into three subcategories: design, improvement, and strategy, based on Glassdoor interview reports. Along with interview questions reported by former Stripe candidates, we’ve also included other product sense questions typically asked in FAANG PM interviews.

Example Stripe product sense interview questions

Product design

  • How would you build a Spotify for children?
  • Describe a past project in detail.
  • Describe a product you like.
  • Build a platform to teach people about a sport you like.
  • Design an API for a restaurant delivery service.

Product improvement

  • How will you improve product XYZ?
  • Given $10 million, how would you improve the public's perception of air travel?
  • What is your favorite product? Why is it a favorite? How would you improve it?

Product strategy

  • If you were the CEO of Stripe, what are the top three things you would do? 
  • You have been hired by an airline consortium and given a budget of $1 million to change the perception that air travel is not enjoyable - what would you do?

If you'd like to learn more about answering different product sense questions, then check out our separate guides on product design questions, product improvement questions, product strategy questions, how to demonstrate product sense, and how to answer 'what's your favorite product?'.

3.2 Behavioral questions

You can expect behavioral questions throughout the Stripe interview process. Your interviewers will use them to get to know you better, based on your past and most recent professional experiences, your motivations, and how you react to particular situations.

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 primarily focuses on Meta but can be applied to any company.

Example Stripe behavioral interview questions

  • Have you ever made a mistake while leading a big project before? How did you rectify it and what did you learn from the experience?
  • How do you manage ambiguity?
  • Tell me about a product that you are proud of delivering.
  • Tell me why you are leaving your current company.
  • Tell me about a time you were faced with a challenge and how you overcame it.
  • What is your biggest strength as a Product Manager?
  • When did you say no to something recently?
  • What was a difficult moment you had to deal with?

3.3 Product execution questions (analysis and prioritization)

Once the product strategy and design are set, PMs must decide how to measure the success of the product and troubleshoot any unforeseen issues. For this, interviewers test PM candidates’ execution skills.

When asked product execution questions, you’ll have to demonstrate your analytical and prioritization skills, which are crucial skills for PM candidates.

Stripe will want to see how you pinpoint the most relevant goals for a product and pick the right metrics to measure them. They’re looking for how you debug metric changes and set up a plan to address them. Highlight your use of data to solve these problems in a targeted and systematic way.

Example Stripe product strategy questions

  • Walk me through how you’ll launch a product and measure key metrics.
  • You have been hired as a CPO of a small brick-and-mortar supermarket chain that has no online presence and has seen declining revenue over the last 5-10 years. What would you do?
  • How do you prioritize product features?
  • What are the things that Stripe should measure and analyze on a daily basis?

You’ll notice that most product strategy questions will involve product metrics. You can learn more about how to answer this type of interview question in our how to crack product metrics questions guide.

3.4 Technical questions

Finally, PMs must work with teams of engineers to achieve project goals. Stripe will test your ability to do this during the technical interview. Technical questions typically involve explaining a technical concept or solving a simple technical problem.

The goal of this interview is to show that you have the technical knowledge and the ability to build relationships and work through technical problems with teams of engineers.

“It is not just the ability to work with engineers but also empathy for how the developers are using our infrastructure to build their systems.” Michael Siliski, former Product Management & Business Lead at Stripe.

Here are a few PM technical questions to get started with. If you'd like to learn more about answering this kind of question, then check out our separate guide on technical questions.

Example Stripe technical interview questions

  • What makes a good API?
  • 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.

4. Stripe Product Manager Interviewing Tips

You might be a fantastic product manager, but unfortunately, that’s not necessarily enough to ace your interviews at Stripe. Interviewing is a skill in itself that you need to learn.

Let’s look at some key tips to make sure you approach your interviews in the right way.

4.1 Ask clarifying questions

Some of the questions you will be asked will be quite ambiguous. In those cases, you’ll need to ask clarifying questions to get more information about the problem and to reduce its scope.

Jumping straight in without asking questions first will be a red flag to the interviewer and will hinder your answer.

For instance, if you were asked, “What would be your 10-year strategy if you were CEO?” you can respond by asking some questions about the company’s current situation and any business objectives the interviewer may have in mind. This way, you’ll have a better understanding of what the company needs in the coming years and have more information from which to build a strategy.

4.2 Justify your choices

Stripe wants to see the reasoning behind your answer so make sure to justify each decision you make. You'll need to make plenty of trade-offs as you arrive at a solution, so be sure to call them out.

When demonstrating your decision-making skills, be sure to highlight your meticulous attention to detail and sense of urgency, two of Stripe’s valued operating principles.

4.3 Be data-driven

Stripe is looking for product managers who can make decisions based on data and can judge everything they do by relevant metrics.

In an interview situation, it's okay to make assumptions because you might not have access to the facts and data. But you need to make it clear that in real life, you would seek out that data and that your approach would be highly data-driven.

4.4 Demonstrate user empathy

Stripe wants product managers who can empathize with its users. After all, its primary operating principle is “Users first”.

When answering a PM interview question, your first instinct should be to focus on the user: Identify who uses the product, why, and what the use cases are. Avoid designing a product based solely on personal preferences.

When prepping for your Stripe PM interview, it might be helpful to review how Stripe uses friction logs with highly specific user personas to improve product and user experience. 

4.5 Check in with your interviewer

Interviewers differ in their willingness to provide hints. Some may wait for you to ask about customer or product details, while others expect you to make assumptions on your own.

Gauge this by asking a direct question or specifying your assumptions. If the interviewer tends to offer specifics, they’ll engage. If not, limit additional questions to demonstrate your ability to make decisions independently.

At Stripe, candidates are encouraged to ask interviewers questions as they work through their answers. Through the questions you ask, interviewers can gauge how curious you are about the work and how well you collaborate.

4.6 Answer methodically by using a framework

Like other tech companies, Stripe wants you to solve a problem methodically. You can use the STAR (Situation, Task, Action, Result) framework when answering behavioral questions.

We also recommend the BUS (Business objective - User problems - Solutions) framework for answering product insight questions and the SPSIL (Situation - Problem - Solution - Impact - Lessons) framework for behavioral questions.

4.7 Don’t get stuck in a framework

As we just said above, frameworks are extremely helpful. However, some of our successful candidates have mentioned that excessive reliance on frameworks may hinder your performance.

During the interview, trust your instinct, and don’t be afraid to deviate from the framework if needed. A framework is there to help you craft a better answer, not make you twist your answer to fit the framework.

4.8 Center on the company’s core values

Before coming into a Stripe phone screen or interview, it’s important to study the company’s culture. When answering behavioral questions, share stories from past experiences that align with Stripe’s core values. When designing a product or a strategy, consider how your answer aligns with their values and product principles.

4.9 Treat the interview like a conversation

Keep in mind that the interview is a two-way discovery process. While the interviewer assesses if you’re a good fit for Stripe, you’re also evaluating if the company aligns with your aspirations and preferences.

4.10 Save questions and feedback for your interviewer

You’ll have a few minutes to ask your interviewer questions as the interview wraps up. Arriving without questions may suggest a lack of interest in the company or the role.

Prepare thoughtful questions that go beyond what you could have found out online. You can ask about career growth opportunities or specific ways of working in the company. It's your chance to showcase genuine curiosity and investment in the conversation

5. Preparation Plan

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.

5.1 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:

5.2 Learn a consistent method for answering PM interview questions

As mentioned previously, Stripe will ask you questions that fall into certain categories like product sense, behavioral, product execution, and technical 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:

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.

5.3 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.

Use the example questions in section 3 above to practice with. You might also want to watch our product manager mock interviews and compare your answers to those of former PMs from FAANG and other companies.

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.

5.4 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