The PM Interview at Wayfair consists of a combination of computational cases, product design cases and behavioral rounds. Product Managers at Wayfair are expected to demonstrate good business sense, customer-centric product sense and data-informed decision making. In this blog, we will dive into the interview process and discuss some tips to ace the different parts of the PM interview.
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Broadly speaking, there are two product orgs which requires very different skillset and follows slightly different interview process.
Interview consists of mostly a combination of computational cases, product design case and behavioral rounds.
Standard recruiter screening to see fit based on past experiences and interest. Recruiters also give an overview of the company, org and answer any questions you may have about the role of the company.
If the recruiter finds you a good fit for one or more of open roles, a senior person from the org sets up a phone call. This round usually tests your ability to think like a PM. Your approach to an open ended problem is more important than getting to the right solution. The case will usually be related to wayfair’s current problems. Having past ecommerce experience is helpful but not necessary to succeed. You can always draw inferences from your personal life using an ecommerce product or service.
This round tests your ability to understand the problem, break down ambiguous problems and design an elegant solution. My advice would be to focus on customer needs or pain as the starting point and think critically about the business problem at hand next. Once you have zeroed in on the exact problem to solve within the problem space is when you start thinking of solutions. Feel free to get creative with your solutions and think long-term when recommending a solution you would implement. Absolutely no expectation to draw out hi-fi wireframe even a basic illustration of user journey should suffice. Always remember to summarize the case.
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Wayfair puts data central to decision making, so naturally PMs are expected to dive deep into numbers and make data-informed decisions. My advice here would be to not get overwhelmed with all the numbers throw at you and instead focus on metrics that matter. Ignore everything else. Also clearly callout any assumptions you’re making to simplify the analysis. The math will be basic math and approximate range is all the interview looks for. For experimentation related case studies, a stat 101 would be helpful but not a prerequisite as the interview will test your critical thinking ‘around’ framing the experiment and not the design itself.
This round focuses on diving into your past experience (if any) in building products. Interviewer will ask you about a project your PMed and will dive into the whole process from ideation till post launch. Be ready for this project teardown discussion. My advice would be to be prepared with a refresher of your past experience. I found the SAR (Situation, Action, Result) framework very helpful to craft concise stories to walk through for the various situations. Always helpful to pick projects that best tell the story to the interviewer’s question. Just remember to not get lost in all the details and always provide context upfront since the interviewer maynot be familiar with your product area or domain.
As a PM, you work with various stakeholders across different functions like design, marketing, Operations, Finance etc. The goal of this round is to get a signal on your working style, relationship management tactics and conflict handling style.
This round will be an informal conversation with one or more Hiring Manager who would be interested in hiring you. Hiring managers will try to gauge your areas of interest and would want to know if you are interested in the work they’re doing.
Real interview questions. Sample answers from PM leaders at Google, Amazon and Facebook. Plus study sheets on key concepts.