Atlassian builds some of the most widely used team collaboration tools in the industry. It's best known for its issue tracker Jira, and wiki documentation tool, Confluence. Product Managers at the company work to build products that facilitate growth and teamwork so teams can unleash their potential and do their best work.
To guide their business, product development, and brand, those at Atlassian center themselves around five core values.
Atlassian hires both college new grads (through its APM program), as well as experienced roles for specific positions.
Recruiter. Your first call will be with a recruiter. This will roughly be a 20-minute call to get to know you and to talk about the role. This call mostly focuses on your familiarity with Atlassian, interest in the role, and your past experiences. This call should not require any specialized preparation since you will mainly discuss your interest and fit.
After the recruiter call (as well as after the phone and on-site interviews), you can expect to hear back from the company within a week or two.
Phone. Next, you will have one or two phone interviews with Atlassian product managers. Each of these phone calls will be 45 minutes to an hour in length. You will be asked to complete either a product design, analytical, or strategy question.
The questions asked in these phone interviews are reflective of what you can expect in the on-site interview.
Take-Home Assignment. You may also receive a take-home assignment to complete. Typically, the assignment is in the product design or strategy space. It's recommended candidates spend no more than 3 hours on this assignment.
The deliverable can be completed in a number of ways, including a Powerpoint presentation or written document. The main goal is to assess analytical and strategy skills.
On-site. Finally, you will be invited on-site for up to 4 one-hour-long interviews. Here, you will meet face-to-face with product leaders at Atlassian. As with the phone round, your analytical, strategy, and design chops will be assessed.
Behavioral questions are most commonly asked in the initial phone screen with the recruiter, as he/she gets to know you and your motivations behind the PM role you're applying for. The purpose of behavioral questions is to get the context of your resume and past experiences. The interviewer wants to understand why and how you made the decisions you did.
It is important to show that you will work well with everyone: product managers, engineers, designers, sales, and legal. Focus on communicating well: enunciate, speak slowly, and speak with meaning.
Prepare a good talk through of your resume. Have a “60 seconds to wow” pitch and be prepared to provide clear and in-depth explanations of each of your experiences that you’d want to highlight. These experiences can include previous work experience, side projects, classes, or even hobbies. Think about not only what you’ve achieved, but also what you learned, the challenges you faced, and the strategies you used to succeed.
Prepare real anecdotes so you can use specific examples. Your interviewer already has your resume so those anecdotes will add a more human touch to your application, making you more memorable. Think about anecdotes that show off how you were customer-obsessed, dealt with ambiguity, and had a growth mindset in approaching the task at hand.
Why do you want to work here? Why this role and team? Think carefully about why you are applying for this role, and why this team specifically. It helps to know as much about the role and team that you’re applying for. Try to watch tech talks or conference keynote speeches from the team online. It will also leave a good impression if the candidate has used the feature previously, and can speak to it. At that point, the interviewer will likely probe you for feedback on the product. Use this opportunity to show how you would converse and work with your interviewer as if you are already a member of the team.
To put your best foot forward, record yourself speaking. Many people have weird quirks about the way they present themselves. Some may jiggle or shake their leg. Others may use excessive filler words (like uh or um). It is nearly impossible to catch these quirks on your own. So, recording and re-watching yourself is a good way to be more cognizant of how you are presenting yourself.
Examples of behavioral questions:
Product design questions test your ability to design a new product or improve an existing one. Be user-focused. The key is to ensure you're organized with your thoughts and have a clear goal in mind that will solve the user's problem(s).
You can explore some product questions from Exponent’s course below. Try them on your own and compare your answers to the solutions provided.
One of the best frameworks is to go "broad then deep". First, "go broad" by listing all the ideas and solutions that come to mind. Then, pick one to "go deep" on and explain why that is the solution you chose.
Another approach we see candidates have success with is The Triangle Method. This framework will help you articulate your thoughts and help nail your points into the interviewer's mind. To accomplish this, first list three points. Then, dive into each point. Finally, summarize your three points at the end. This will help you articulate your points and subpoints.
With analytical questions, you will be presented with a situation and asked to provide some analysis. Here, the interviewer wants to see how you reason with metrics and how you can think critically about user feedback and bugs.
Be prepared to face pushback on any assumptions you make. Don't immediately start answering. Have a structure. Successful candidates consider all variables and scenarios before diving into the nitty-gritty details.
Explore some analytical questions from Exponent's product management course. Try these on your own and compare your answers to the solutions provided:
Strategy questions assess your ability to reason about competitive landscapes and high-level product direction decisions. Depending on the Atlassian team you're interviewing for, it may be likely that strategy questions will be asked more frequently than product design questions.
Atlassian candidates will be evaluated on a scale from 1 to 4, where 1 is a "no hire" recommendation and 4 is a "strong hire" recommendation. After the candidates have been interviewed, the hiring manager will gather the scores of all the candidates and stack rank them on a whiteboard.
If you receive a score of 1 from any interviewer, you will be rejected automatically. If you get a score of 2, there must be another interviewer who provides a score of 4. On average, candidates who receive offers earn a score of 3 or higher.
At Atlassian, employees are very committed to the company values. You should demonstrate that you embody the company values in your interviews.
One way to do so is to bring back, full circle, your product management interview solutions to one of Atlassian's values.