My first 3 months at Monzo as a Product Manager

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Hey, I’m Tim 👋

I’m a senior product manager here at Monzo and I look after onboarding, which is a fancy way of saying that I help make signing up for a Monzo account as effortless and enjoyable an experience as possible. I work in part of Monzo called the Financial Crime ‘collective’ because a really important part of my role is to make sure we prevent people from signing up who intend to use Monzo accounts for criminal purposes.

I’ve been a product manager for over 10 years working for a variety of companies within financial services, but I wanted to join Monzo to help make money work for everyone. So, why this post? Lots of people ask me about what it’s like working at Monzo as a product manager so here are the answers to your most frequent questions.

Interview experience

The experience I had as a candidate interviewing for Monzo was second to none. The Talent Acquisition team gave me plenty of guidance on how to prepare for each stage of the interview process and the team scheduled things in a way that worked best for me. The process looked a little something like this:

  • Intro with the hiring manager

  • Leadership interview

  • Project walkthrough

  • Case study

  • Offer

In all stages, the interviewers were looking for structured thinking, customer centricity, active problem solving abilities, innovative thinking, and how I could apply my skills and knowledge to an unfamiliar situation. We’ve recently published some posts about Monzo interview processes in more detail, like this one for backend engineers. We plan to publish a post about the product interviewing experience soon.

Everyone that interviewed me was really engaging, put me at ease and asked challenging questions, but it made me confident that Monzo was a place where I would grow a lot in my role. Equally, I was given well-considered and constructive feedback after both phases of the interview process, which I really valued.

Interestingly, the role I applied for initially was not the role I went on to accept. Those interviewing me spent a lot of time trying to understand my strengths and what made me tick and asked if I’d like to consider a different role that I didn’t apply for as I was unsure my skills were the right fit.

My first week

I spent my first week at Monzo going through a well-structured onboarding with all my fellow new joiners. The onboarding process covered lots of useful things and really set us all up for success, from setting up our laptops to essential staff policies, from completing mandatory training (as a bank, this is super important) to learning about the tools and tech we’d be using day to day. So many times I’ve spent my first week in a new job wading through tech issues or struggling to get access to things I needed to do my job, but not here.

My personal highlight was the ‘Writing slightly betterly’ training from our writing team. We spend so much time writing for our customers and fellow Monzonauts, it makes sense to help people get better and be more confident at writing using things like the Monzo tone of voice.

I also very much appreciated the extensive collection of emojis and GIFs of our mascot, Hot Chip.

GIF of Hot Chip sailing a boat. Hot chip on a boat is still the OG in my humble opinion.

A couple of days after starting, a special delivery arrived. I spent the remainder of the week dripping in hot-chip merchandise 😎 

A ‘swag box’ for new starters containing branded t-shirts, stickers, and more merchandise for Monzonauts

I remember in my first week I was itching to dive right in and just get going. However, my manager and team really encouraged me to keep my diary free and dedicate it 100% to the onboarding process. I’m so glad they did, it really helped me to hit the ground running and do so with confidence and context!

Finally I got to meet my team… look at all of their lovely faces 😍

A screenshot of a Monzo meeting with 13 smiling Monzonauts!

Understanding customer needs and setting objectives

My first week after onboarding was focused on setting the objectives and key results (OKRs) the team would aim for over the next 6 months. Specifically, what we wanted to do for our customers and how we could make sure we were making progress.

That first week was filled with a lot of workshops looking at quantitative data to understand where in our sign-up journey were customers getting stuck and qualitative customer research to understand why that might be. It was also really helpful speaking with some of our Customer Operations specialists, known as ‘COps’ who know as well as anyone what problems those signing-up to Monzo sometimes encounter.

Equipped with these insights, we started to do some opportunity mapping to visualise what outcomes are we trying to drive, what customer problems we need to solve to achieve those outcomes and what solutions we could deliver to solve those problems for our customers.

Everything I’ve described above isn’t a ‘one time only’ activity. We practice continuous discovery to maintain a deep understanding of our customers and our opportunity maps are regular updated with new insights and solutions.

One of the first focuses the squad and I are working on is how we make our identification and verification experience as effortless as possible i.e. the ID document and selfie video part of our sign-up journey. We know people don’t always have their ID documents to hand, some find the selfie video a little awkward and that there’s an opportunity to give better guidance on how to capture the perfect picture of your ID document - these are all things we’re currently working on improving.

Ways of working

There’s a lot that we do here at Monzo that’s common across many organisations, for example we work in sprints, release value to our customers on a regular cadence, but there’s also things that we do that makes Monzo such a great place to work and our products and services as good as they are.

Missions & crews

In the sign-up squad we go on missions! 🚀

Instead of giving a team solutions, our squad leads give the team discrete and well-defined problems to solve, which we call missions. We have a lot of talented people in the team and we want them to have purpose and autonomy and we recognise that the best solutions are the ones that are a byproduct of a cross-functional group of people with different skills collaborating together, known as a ‘crew’.

A typical mission will see a crew take some initial insights around a problem, break the problem down, generate ideas on how to solve a problem, then quickly work to get a change in the hands of our customers.

Regular check-ins

One of the things I love about being a product manager here at Monzo is that we have regular check-ins with leadership and people from different wildly different areas of the business where we share what problems we’re trying to solve, how we’re thinking of going about it and where we’d value input/support.

I often leave these meetings with ideas for how we might want to do things differently, decisions on things we were at an impasse on and more. It’s great to have a forum where we can share what we’re working on and get input/support so readily.

Culture of experimentation

In the sign-up squad we have a culture of testing our hypothesise through experimentation. I’ve had my share of experiences building things that I assumed would be a hit only for it to not have the desired affect at all. We avoid this at Monzo by validating all of our assumptions and hypothesis. Sometimes this is through customer research and analysis and often times this is through experimentation.

What makes me keep falling in love with Monzo?

Customer obsession

I’ve genuinely never experienced such a deep connection to their customers as I have here at Monzo. It’s truly engrained into the culture.

If you raise an idea or spot something that could be better on LinkedIn or Twitter I can guarantee within an hour your message will be likely end up in a Slack channel where 3 or more people are discussing how to make that thing better.

Sometimes, it’s the simple little things like changing our messaging in response to customer feedback to be less alarming.

A screenshot showing a customer tweeting Monzo saying ‘Thanks for the reminder Monzo’ followed by a crying emoji in response to a notification that said ‘Your Monzo account is empty! Would you like to add some money?’. The next image is a tweet from Monzo in response explaining how we have changed the notification to read ‘Add some money if you can to avoid missing any upcoming payments and to continue spending’.


All internal communication at Monzo is super transparent more so than anywhere I’ve worked before. It’s refreshing and keeps everyone in the know, allows people to weigh in with thoughts, challenges or builds on things outside of their immediate domain and is just a generally more inclusive way of going about doing things.

At first, it took some getting used to. There’s 93 people in my squad’s Slack channel 😬  What if I post something silly? What if everyone shoots my idea down?! This doesn’t happen. At Monzo we’re tough on problems, not people, and so many times when I post things people comment to offer their help and build on my ideas.

Talented people on a mission we all believe in

What makes Monzo magical is that so many bright and talented people are all working on and fully behind our mission, which is to make money work for everyone. I’m looking forward to what the next 3 months has in store. We can’t do this alone though. If you like the sound of what we do and how we work, join us! We’re looking for even more product managers to join our crew: