APT Interviews: Product Management
What to expect
You've been invited to interview with APT — now what? Clearly we think you have an interesting background, or you wouldn't have made it this far. But resumes, GPAs and test scores don't tell us how your mind works or what kind of colleague you'll be. Getting to meet you personally is the most important part of our process.
We use interviews as a tool to get to know you better and to see if you are a good fit with APT. In order to succeed here, you need the ability to think through tough problems and come up with solutions that are creative, analytically sound, practical, and sensible. These interviews will give us a better sense of how you think and allow us to explore your problem-solving skills. We know you can tackle a rigorous academic curriculum — now we want to see how you handle rigorous real-world challenges.
After screening cover letters, resumes, and transcripts, APT interviews all qualified applicants. Interviews take place both on-campus and in our offices. For the universities where APT is recruiting on-campus, we conduct 30- or 45-minute interviews in two rounds on campus. The best of those candidates are then invited to our Arlington, VA headquarters for an all-day final round interview session. During the final round, you'll also get a chance to meet most of us and see more of what it's like to work here.
For undergraduates attending universities where we are not pursuing on-campus recruiting efforts this year and for experienced hires, we conduct interviews in our Arlington, VA headquarters.
An ideal APM candidate possesses a diverse set of skills: a deep understanding of business issues, strong analytic problem solving skills, and a passion for technology. APT evaluates these dimensions through an equally diverse set of interviews. Specifically, candidates can expect any combination of the following: case interviews, logic / quantitative puzzles, algorithm problems, and product design questions:
Case Questions: APT’s case interview questions tend to be highly quantitative in nature, reflecting the typical type of business problem we tackle. Candidates are not just evaluated on business intuition, but also on quantitative ability and creativity. There are numerous online resources offering a wealth of information about the standard "case interview" and advice on how to prepare. Click here to learn more.
Logic/Quantitative Puzzles: "How many gas stations can a town support?" "How many degrees separate the hour and minute hands at 3:15?" Some folks may be tempted to call these types of questions "brainteasers". We think that is an inaccurate description. Our logic / quantitative puzzles are not dependent on individuals stumbling upon a lucky observation to find the correct answer. Rather, we focus on those questions that require a good degree of math, structured problem solving, and some thinking outside the box. These problems test how well a candidate is able to break a problem down and come up with a simple and elegant solution. Candidates should be ready to start drawing things out on paper or working through the problem on a white board.
Algorithm Problems: Our algorithm questions simulate another common type of problem solving done at APT. In addition to gauging your ability to break a complex problem into its most basic components, we use these questions to evaluate how well you can articulate your ideas and respond to feedback. Be prepared to discuss why one approach may be more efficient than another and potential trade-offs between simplicity and efficiency.
Product Design Questions: APT’s products wrap complex analytics in easy to use packages focused first on driving business value. APMs are responsible for ensuring that new enhancements are true to this goal. They are skilled at simplifying the delivery of high powered mathematical concepts in a form that is easy to understand with clearly articulated value. Consequently, you can expect to find a few questions during the interview process that test your ability to distill complicated analytic findings into a simple, easy to understand format.
General guidelines for interviewing at APT
The two most important guidelines for interviewing at APT are to relax and have fun. Come into your interview with the mindset that you are engaging in a fascinating problem-solving exercise — one that will require all the creativity you can muster — and you will put your best foot forward.
Know every detail on your resume in depth
Be prepared for a variety of complex questions
Be able answer the question, "Why APT?"
Ask us questions — interviewing is a two-way street
Most importantly, have fun!