Shopify is one of the fastest growing companies in tech right now, and its no wonder they're actively hiring product managers, particularly in growth roles. Shopify makes commerce better for over 800K merchants in 175 countries, and by the time you're reading this, likely many more.
Shopify is focused on shipping impactful products, and relies on heavy ownership from its product managers - something you'll want to demonstrate in the interview process. Focus on growth-based interview questions for preparation, as Shopify claims its in "growth mode."
In this guide, we'll break down the Shopify Product Manager (PM) interview process so that you can land your dream job at Shopify - don't interivew at Shopify without reading this guide!
Shopify cares deeply about hiring, which is why they've carefully devised a multi-step product manager interview process.
The first stage is a quick call with a Shopify recruiter. These calls are less evaluative in nature and more motivational & level-setting. The recruiter will ask about your product management experience, as well as why you want to work at Shopify.
No need to prepare much for this one! Review your resume to speak off it, and be sure to research a bit more about Shopify.
In this one hour conversational interview, you'll have an informal chat about your experience and how you got to where you are. Shopify recommends preparing by reflecting on your experiences beforehand. We recommend creating your personal story bank so that you can come in the interview with clear examples you can speak from. Specifically, focus on brainstorming stories with the following traits that Shopify emphasizes:
Also, be sure to tell the narrative of your experience as it weaves into the company's goals. How does your background naturally lead you to want to work at Shopify? Read our behavioral interview blog post for more tips on how to ace this part of the interview.
In this stage, you'll meet 3-5 team members for up to an hour each. You'll experience a variety of interview types, as discussed in the next section. Shopify leans heavily into conversational interviews and getting a better sense of fit at the company. Be comfortable, confident, and enjoy the day - interviewing at Shopify is about connecting with the team! Generally, there are three formats within the on-site interview.
In this interview, Shopify asks you to think about the big picture. What's your take on the market? What's your proposed product vision for some products.
In this interview, you'll be presented with a 1-paragraph challenge and asked to use a whiteboard to work through solving the problem. This interview is highly conversational.
You'll meet with two individuals - one from engineering and one from UX - to have a conversation about your background and ideas.
In the next section, we'll discuss specific attributes Shopify is looking for in interviews and how to prepare for them.
Shopify believes in the five core competencies for product managers, and thus tests all PM candidates on the following five interview types.
Product strategy is all about high-level thinking. Shopify product managers are dealing with a large amount of growth and uncertainty - how can you use analytics and product sensibilities to devise a strategy for the product moving forward?
Analysis based questions at Shopify involve reasoning with data. Can you think about KPIs? Understand the tradeoffs of certain metrics? Measure the success of KPIs? Run A/B tests?
The key to success in these interviews is starting at a high-level with the goals of the product, and then drilling deeper into actions and metrics. We recommend employing the GAME framework for key metrics questions, as demonstrated in this PM lesson.
Design Thinking questions start with an ambiguous problem, and ask you as a candidate to devise a solution by using skills like user empathy, product vision, and design sensibilities.
The best way to prepare for these questions is to practice them. While we have a full guide to product design questions in our course, one tip for these questions is to always mention tradeoffs.
Be sure to use a whiteboard for this type of problem, and get plenty of practice - the ambiguity seems scary at first, but can end up making for a very fun interview!
While coding is not expected as a product manager at Shopify, experience and comfort with technical skills and concepts is critical to your success in the job and in the interview. Here, Shopify will ask you to reason about technical constraints and how you'd think about engineering tradeoffs.
To prepare for the technical interviews, review our TPM interview course and software engineering interview course at a high-level. Are there areas you're weaker in? Focus more prep to review technical concepts and prepare for the interview.
Lastly, working with a team is core to being a Shopify product manager. After all, they designed the entire interview process to be highly conversational and interactive - Shopify strongly values the ability to work cross-functionally and with others.
These interviews are behavioral in nature, so be sure to have stories to speak from by building a story bank. Specifically, focus on brainstorming stories with the following traits that Shopify emphasizes:
Shopify product managers recommend a few helpful tips and tricks to acing your interview with Shopify.
Don't focus on the solution to the interview questions - focus on the process to getting there. It doesn't matter if you get to the wrong answer sometimes, as long as you demonstrate the process and your thoughtful approach to the problem. The biggest tip here is to pause before jumping into the answer.
As per the above point, if the interviewers can't hear your thoughts in your brain, they have no way of knowing how you got to a problem. Be sure to display your problem solving skills by solving out loud, or, as we recommend, always use a whiteboard in your interviews.
Don't start answering a PM interview question immediately. First, always ask a clarifying question or two. This builds rapport with the interviewer and ensures you're both on the same page. Asking questions is a skill for both interviewing as well as being an effective product manager.
It's ok if you mess up in your interview - in fact, it's encouraged! Brainstorming is a messy, complicated process, with lots of bumps along the way. Be confident and adapt as you go through the interview, don't get stuck just because you've reached a dead-end.
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