Want to land your dream job as a Spotify product manager (PM)? Don't interview for Spotify until you finish reading our guide to Spotify PM interviewing. Spotify's interview process is known to be highly competitive, given its prominent position in the tech ecosystem.
In this guide, we'll examine frequently asked questions about Spotify's interview process, including common questions asked and tips to succeed in the interview.
Product management at Spotify is incredibly rewarding, with its huge scale and mission to inspire hundreds of millions of users across the world.
To interview for a Spotify product manager role, you'll go through three stages: a recruiter call, a phone screen with your hiring manager, and an on-site interview (currently virtual).
The first stage is a quick call with a Spotify 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 Spotify.
No need to prepare much for this one! Review your resume to speak off it, and be sure to research a bit more about Spotify.
In this one hour conversational interview, you'll speak with the hiring manager for the position you selected. Unlike larger companies, at Spotify you'll apply directly for the role you'd like, which means you'll have the opportunity to speak with the hiring manager you'd work with. This is both an opportunity to demonstrate your skill as a product manager while also getting to know the position much better.
Some typical questions in this stage involve behavioral questions (E.g. "Tell me about a time when...") and potentially some domain-specific questions depending on the role you're applying to. Be sure to have answers to common questions prepared, like "Why product management?"
In this stage, you'll meet 4-5 team members for up to an hour each. You'll experience a variety of interview types, as discussed in the next section. Spotify may ask you questions related to the specific domain of expertise you're applying for, so it's helpful to review your past experiences and background and researching the team you're interviewing with to be fully prepared.
Spotify also emphasizes its values throughout the interview - research these and be sure to speak off of them throughout the interview day.
In the next section, we'll discuss specific attributes Spotify is looking for in interviews and how to prepare for them.
In general, Spotify's interviews fall into the following categories: domain-specific, leadership & values, Analytics/Design, Product Strategy, and Execution.
These domain-specific interviews at Spotify will vary widely depending on the role you're applying for. They'll often be conducted with engineers that you'd be working with on the team if you were to be hired.
Generally, when you apply for a role with Spotify you'll apply to work in a specific area. For example, if you're a pro in backend infrastructure, you'll be interviewing with backend infrastructure software engineers who will ask you questions about your previous experience and how you might handle some scenarios on the job.
Our top tips for preparing for this one are to review your past experience in the domain you've selected, and research the Spotify team ahead of time. What sorts of challenges might this team be facing? What technical difficulties are similar in your background? How might you go about solving some of these challenges?
Spotify's leadership and values interview is often conducted by an engineering manager and is focused on behavioral-style questions.
Being relaxed, calm, and confident is the key to success in these interviews. However, there are definitely parts of this interview you can prepare for. For instance, create a story bank of experiences that you can use in the interviews, and practice some of these questions with a practice partner in our Slack Channel to get more confident and comfortable.
As you answer your interviewer’s questions, ask yourself if your responses include examples that show how you:
Our most important tip? Don't interview without deeply understanding Spotify's values - Spotify cares deeply about their values, e.g. "playfulness" so it's important to come across in your interviews as natural and playful. Keep in mind: Spotify wants you to succeed in the interview just as much as you do!
Try practicing with our question bank of behavioral PM interview questions.
This interview is more of a typical case-based product management interview where you'll answer questions about analytics and product design. These interviews are often split into two chunks - one with questions focused on your analytical ability and another with questions focused on your product sensibilities.
Commonly, the questions asked regarding product design will guide you to design a product in an open-ended space and brainstorming relevant solutions, while analytical questions focus on your understanding of quantitative reasoning around metrics.
Here is a list of product sense questions recently asked.
While we have a full guide to product design questions in our course, one tip for these questions is to always mention tradeoffs.
Product strategy is all about high-level thinking. Spotify 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?
Here is a list of product questions recently asked at Spotify.
To prepare for this question, it's critical to review Spotify's current strategy. You can start by watching the Spotify CEO's interviews and talks and Stratechery's article on Spotify.
This is a very analytical, metric- and KPI-focused interview. Spotify is a deeply data-driven company with hundreds of millions of users. Given the large amount of data Spotify has available, they expect product managers to be able to look at data to make decisions.
In your execution interview, Spotify will ask questions about how you identify and prioritize opportunities, and execute against them to build products. This interview will focus on how you analyze a set of constraints and problems to come up with the right set of metrics to measure success. Spotify will also ask how you adapt your plans and troubleshoot problems with new information and changing circumstances.
Here is a list of interview questions recently asked at Spotify.
Here, Spotify is looking for:
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.
For role-play execution-style questions, we recommend getting a mock interview partner in our Slack Channel and testing yourself. Generally, the biggest tips here are to structure your thinking aloud, and state all assumptions you make as you go through the problem. Check out a sample role play execution mock interview video to get a sense of how they work.