Don't interview at Stripe for product without reading this guide.
Stripe is rebuilding the economic infrastructure of the internet. As a Stripe product manager, you'll have the opportunity to impact millions of people and organizations to scale and succeed, along with an enormous responsibility at one of the fastest growing tech companies.
Stripe's product team is particularly stellar, with people at the helm like Shreyas Doshi, who wrote a post with Exponent on how to develop product sense.
Read our guide to interviewing at Stripe as a product manager to understand their evaluation criteria, the types of questions asked, and how to succeed in the interview.
Typically, there are 3 rounds of interviews for Stripe PM roles: recruiter, phone screen, and onsite.
A recruiter will first call you to understand your motivations behind the role. Why do you want to work at Stripe as a PM? Be prepared to talk about your past experiences. This call will be used to ensure you're good at communicating. The recruiter will also be looking for culture-fit.
Next, you'll have a screen call with your potential future manager. This call is mostly behavioral in nature, and will include questions like areas of improvement and why you like product management. To prepare, review some of our behavioral interview prep materials and watch Stripe's latest keynote.
Keep in mind - this call is one where the manager will assess your level and recommend compensation amounts, so don't take this interview lightly!
Next, you'll go through 3-5 on-site interviews where you'll be asked technical, execution, analytical, product sense, design sense and behavioral questions. You'll also be asked to give a presentation on a product concept, after being given preparation. Exponent members have mentioned a fair amount of variety in the interviews, where interviewers may go "off-script" and ask different types of interview questions than the specific categories. This on-site generally includes a lunch chat with a current Stripe PM which is less evaluative in nature and more an opportunity to connect and ask questions.
Stripe interviews fall into the following different categories. Expect to be grilled on each one during your interview.
Execution interviews ask you to think through how to launch products and measure key metrics. They often involve role plays, where you'll ask the interviewer questions to diagnose an issue.
Here, Stripe is looking to assess your ability to diagnose problems, evaluate long-term vs. short-term tradeoffs, and develop goals for products.
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.
Stripe's product sense PM interview presents you with an ambiguous problem, where, throughout the course of the interview, you'll design a product solution to.
Stripe is looking for your ability to handle uncertainty, have arguable opinions about product vision and design, and handle discussions around product strategy.
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!
The technical interview at Stripe is conducted by the engineering manager for the product you'll be working on, and is not meant to be a coding interview. Instead, the interview is broken up into two main parts:
Technical product experience In this part of the interview, you'll be asked to discuss a technical product in detail. The interviewer wants to hear your ability to discuss technical problems and go deep in technical issues. Pick a product you know very well, and review some of the technical decisions made when you were working on the problem. While you're not required to have as much detail as an engineer, be prepared to deeply discuss the engineering of the product.
Engineering collaboration This part of the interview tests your ability to work with other engineers and engineering managers. Again, this interview question is more of a retrospective, asking about a previous relationship with an engineer, and focuses on questions like how you worked together and prioritized features.
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.
Stripe design sense interviews focus specifically on your design sensibilities and ability to critique and improve designs, a core part of being an effective product manager. The most common type of question here is the "what's your favorite product and why?" question, with a strong focus on the design aspects of that product.
To prepare, review some of your favorite apps and products - what do you love about their design? What don't you love? Now, do this for Stripe products. This will help you build up the design "muscle" to successfully answer interview questions.
As a product manager at Stripe, you will be expected to make decisions that will impact the business. Analytical questions test your ability to understand the product strategy and the data. You will want to demonstrate competency in defining metrics as well as understanding what to do when metrics change. Be methodical and show that you make data-driven decisions.
Some simple tips here:
In this section of the interview, you'll be asked to lead a discussion about a project where you worked with engineering. The total presentation is 30 minutes, with 15 minutes for presenting and 15 minutes for Q&A. You can prepare by bringing slides or using the whiteboard.
This part of the interview is the most comprehensive, analyzing your communication, technical, and product capabilities. The key to preparing is to practice, which you can do with a practice partner in Exponent's Slack Channel.
Ultimately, this part of the interview is highly dependent on your background, but our one most important tip is to pick a project you're both passionate and knowledgeable about. Displaying passion and enthusiasm will help you shine in this part of the interview process, and your communication will naturally follow.
At Stripe, you're evaluated on the following criteria on a four point scale. The four point scale maps to:
Occassionally, interviewers can also award 5 points for an exceptional answer that goes above and beyond expectations for the interview. Generally, it's better to do exceptional/great on some interviews than it is to be okay/good on all of them.