Product Management at Monzo: The interview process

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We recently published some posts about what a typical week looks like for our product managers (PMs), and what it’s like to join Monzo as a PM. But we’ve also had questions about what our interviewing process looks like behind the scenes.

We know interviewing can be daunting for a lot of people, so we’re publishing this post to show you what you can expect if you apply. We also know different companies look for different things in their Product Managers so we also spoke to some of our colleagues for their thoughts on what makes our PMs different.

Your background

We’re lucky to have folks from a range of industries, from large consumer tech companies, the big incumbent banks, and also much smaller scale tech start-ups. There isn’t ‘one type’ of Product Manager we hire for, and we encourage diversity of thought within our product discipline so we love to hire people with varied industry experience and backgrounds. If you’ve got the core skills we’re looking for and share our goal of helping money work for everyone, we’d love to have you! 

We asked our new Chief Product Officer, Fernando Fanton, what drew him to Monzo: 

Chief Product Officer, Fernando Fanton

“I chose to join Monzo because it represents something different. It has a clear purpose to make money work for everyone and clear principles such as transparency. We truly care about our customers, it’s not just lip service. Having a healthy financial life is very important for most people and I wanted to be a part of that. What surprised me most was how well intertwined we are with regulatory aspects and product development allowing us to innovate at pace.”

If you’d like to apply for our Product roles, you can check what we have open using this link. Alternatively, we also hire through a Generalist pipeline approach. This means if there’s nothing that sounds like the right fit, you can send a prospective application to our Senior Product Manager, Generalist vacancy, where we review applications and will reach out if a suitable position opens. 

The hiring process

Send in your application 

When sending in your application, make sure to include what products you’ve worked on, and the impact of those products. We love to see quantifiable results that show the impact you’ve made in your role. 

Once you apply, the hiring team will review your application. If we proceed, your recruiter will be in touch to have a 30-minute introductory call with you. We typically discuss your experience, your interest in the role and Monzo, and we’ll tell you a bit more about us as well. 

Initial chat

If successful, the next stage is a 45-minute video call with one of our product team. They will gain an initial view of your product experience and product aptitude. They might do this by asking you to talk through a project you’ve recently worked on to understand how you think about building products. It’s also an opportunity for you to ask any questions about the product world at Monzo. 

In this interview, we’re looking for PMs to confidently discuss the impact of their work. For Product Managers at Monzo, you’ll be overseeing high visibility products, and have full autonomy to shape the vision and strategy. We want to hear about times you’ve done this previously. 

Product loop

This is one stage split into 3 separate components that tend to happen across one day (or a few, depending on both of our availability). 

  1. Project walkthrough: In this interview, you’ll spend 20 minutes presenting the most impactful product you’ve worked on. The key things to keep in mind for this interview is to include lots of data and examples of experimentation, practice your storytelling skills, and pick a project that you led and built a business case around. 

  2. Case study: This is a product sense and execution focused interview. You’ll be given a broad product problem, and will interactively work with the interviewers to break the problem apart and come up with creative solutions. For this interview, it’s important you have a clear structured approach, discuss who you would work with, and don’t be afraid to lean on the interviewers for guidance as this should be an interactive exercise.  

  3. Leadership interview: Your Leadership Interview is a people skills interview. It’s all about your personal approach as a PM. We’ll ask you questions around competencies so expect questions like “give me an example of a time when…”. In this stage, we love to see you demonstrate a collaborative approach, value the insights of engineering, design, research, and data, and how you help your teams aim higher.

Jonas, our Chief Technology Officer and Monzo co-founder, often talks about hiring folks who raise the standard so we asked him what that looks like for PMs:

Jonas Templestein

“A PM who raises the bar at Monzo should be able to work closely with technical teams to understand how much effort it takes to build products. They should be comfortable to hold their own in conversations with engineers whilst being able to challenge them appropriately.”

Decision and offer

All going well with your previous stages, your recruiter will contact you with your offer and next steps! It’s worth noting, if we’re considering you for more than one squad, you may have additional calls where the Hiring Managers will pitch their team to you. This is a collaborative process so you can also express which areas you’re most interested in 🥳

Financial Crime, known as FinCrime, is one of our core product areas. We spoke to Rachel, Product Director in FinCrime about how she pitches the area to potential new PMs: 

Rachel Walsh

“As a product team in FinCrime, we have a duty of care to ensure our offering provides a safe experience for our customers, and meets our regulatory commitments. This can often add a layer of extra challenge to product and customer-centric decisions, as we want to ensure that we create a controlled environment and really know our customers, but we also want to reduce unnecessary friction and create a delightful experience for genuine customers. We use innovative solutions, such as machine learning models, to ensure that we are always thinking about best possible outcomes and deterrents, and aim to respond to regulation through defining problem spaces and hypotheses, rather than approaching it as a static list of requirements.”

What we look for in a product manager

Whatever your experience, we generally look for a few core things in all interviews.  

📈 Experience with growth and experimentation

We love experimentation and place a lot of emphasis on this when hiring. You should be able to show how you take the lead when running growth experiments, handling data-driven customer segmentation (behavioural, demographic) A/B and multivariate testing, and do funnel analysis with a proven track record of success. 

👩🏽‍💼 Strategic & autonomous

You should be super autonomous and have experience taking a product from early planning through to putting it in the hands of customers with lots of experimentation. You should have experience identifying opportunities and prioritising solutions to meet user and business outcomes — there’s a lot of places we can take our teams, and we want to trust you to guide that direction with Monzo’s overall strategy. 

🧮 Analytical and data-driven

You can work with a large and undefined data set to identify trends and make recommendations. 

🧪 Scrappy and willing to test and iterate

You should be super comfortable with ambiguity and constantly test your assumptions and beliefs.

🙌 Be hard on problems, not people

This is one of our values but also applies here. You are trying to solve big problems for customers with multiple views on your teams, how you handle these obstacles is super important. 
For example, we work very closely with our product design team and it’s important we shape what we build together. We asked Heldiney Pereira, Senior Product Designer, how the collaboration works at Monzo:

Heldiney Pereira

“The relationship between product and design in any tech company greatly influences what ends up being shipped to customers. I feel really lucky to be able to shape product strategy and deliver roadmap goals in collaboration with the PM in my squad. It really does feel like a partnership! Collectively as a squad, we remain grounded in the same evidence from data, research, business goals - while leaning on each other’s strengths to keep shipping a magical Monzo experience to people.” 

If the above sounds like the type of environment you would love to work in, have a look through our open product roles.