Uber's products span a wide range of verticals: ride-sharing, food delivery, and even freight and logistics. The product management team at Uber brings ideas in the vertical they work in from ideation to launch.
This is a very data-driven company. While you do not need a computer science degree or engineering background, it will be helpful to have an intuition about data and how to understand metrics. If you come from a non-technical background and are unsure as to how to work with technical folks, check out our blog post on how technical product managers should be and how those with a non-technical background can ramp up and work with more technical folks.
In this guide, we will get an insider's look into how Uber's product management interview process looks like, as well as a perspective from the interviewer's side of the table.
The first interview will be with a recruiter or the hiring manager. This is a 30-minute phone screen to get to know you and your expectations for the role. Be prepared to talk about your past experiences (both from work and side projects) and practice communicating clearly.
Most candidates hear back within a week.
Next, you will encounter a 45-minute phone interview with an Uber product manager. This is typically a product sense question, but could also be an analytical question.
Examples of product sense and analytical questions specifically asked at Uber can be found in the next section.
Most candidates get results for this round within a week.
Finally, in the on-site interview, you will have four 45-minute interviews (including a jam session). Here, you will be tested on PM fundamentals including product sense, analytical, and strategy questions. You may also face some behavioral questions where you're asked to talk about how you navigated through product launches and tradeoffs you made. The interviews are very casual and conversational in nature.
In the four interviews, you will interview with not only product managers, but also data scientists, marketers, and engineers.
With data scientists, you may chat about metrics and how you work with data scientists to make data-driven decisions. This round is similar to Facebook's execution round (metrics, ROI estimation, and root cause analysis).
With marketers, you will talk about how you make go-to-market strategies. This includes talking about how you would launch a product to the market and resolve any launch issues. Think about how you can re-engage users if they are dropping off and not using the product (eg. emails and push notifications). You may also be asked to talk about how you worked with marketing in your previous role and anything you would do differently.
With engineers, you will not face any coding questions. However, engineers would want to get a sense of how you solve technical problems. This includes technical challenges you look out for, how you prioritize tasks, and how you troubleshoot problems with engineers.
You will also have a jam session in the on-site interview. You will be provided with a prompt 24-hours in advance of the on-site. However, this is not a presentation (note that for group product manager and higher roles, the prompt will be provided up to a week in advance with the expectation of a presentation being given at the on-site). Rather, you will be given an opportunity to have a brainstorming session with 2-3 other Uber employees about a problem. You can expect to ping pong ideas back and forth. You will be evaluated holistically on how you work with others, how to receive critical feedback in a work setting, and how you think. Jam sessions typically revolve around a real problem that Uber faces.
Some examples of prompts you may see in the jam session:
Most candidates hear back within a week after the on-site.
With behavioral questions, it is important to show that you will work well with everyone: product managers, engineers, designers, sales, and legal. Focus on communicating well: enunciate, speak slowly, and speak with meaning.
Prepare a good talk through of your resume. Have a “60 seconds to wow” pitch and be prepared to provide clear and in-depth explanations of each of your experiences that you’d want to highlight. These experiences can include previous work experience, side projects, classes, or even hobbies. Think about not only what you’ve achieved, but also what you learned, the challenges you faced, and the strategies you used to succeed.
Prepare real anecdotes so you can use specific examples. Your interviewer already has your resume so those anecdotes will add a more human touch to your application, making you more memorable. Think about anecdotes that show off how you were customer-obsessed, dealt with ambiguity, and had a growth mindset in approaching the task at hand.
Why do you want to work here? Why this role and team? Think carefully about why you are applying for this role, and why this team specifically. It helps to know as much about the role and team that you’re applying for. Try to watch tech talks or conference keynote speeches from the team online. It will also leave a good impression if you have previously used a feature of the team and can speak to it. At that point, the interviewer will likely probe you for feedback on the product. Use this opportunity to show how you would converse and work with your interviewer as if you are already a member of the team.
To put your best foot forward, record yourself speaking. Many people have weird quirks about the way they present themselves. Some may jiggle or shake their leg. Others may use excessive filler words (like uh or um). It is nearly impossible to catch these quirks on your own. So, recording and re-watching yourself is a good way to be more cognizant of how you are presenting yourself.
Product sense questions test your ability to design a new product or improve an existing one. Be user-focused. The key is to ensure you're organized with your thoughts and have a clear goal in mind that will solve the user's problem(s).
One of the best frameworks is to go "broad then deep". First, "go broad" by listing all the ideas and solutions that come to mind. Then, pick one to "go deep" on and explain why that is the solution you chose.
Another approach we see candidates have success with is The Triangle Method. This framework will help you articulate your thoughts and help nail your points into the interviewer's mind. To accomplish this, first list three points. Then, dive into each point. Finally, summarize your three points at the end. This will help you articulate your points and subpoints.
You may encounter questions of the following format: how would you build x for Uber. For example, you may be asked how to build a marketplace for goods for Uber. Be sure 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.
Strategy questions assess your ability to reason about competitive landscapes and high-level product direction decisions. 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.
With regards to metrics, we recommend employing the GAME framework, as demonstrated in this PM lesson.
Be methodical and show that you make data-driven decisions. You may be presented with a case and asked what you think about the problem, use cases, the market, as well as how you would launch it in a new market. Cases could include surge pricing, uber pool, and cash-heavy emerging markets. Uber is all about moving fast and expanding to new markets so they want to see how you pivot accordingly.
Some examples of questions asked at Uber:
With analytical questions, you will be presented with a situation and asked to provide some analysis. Here, the interviewer wants to see how you reason with metrics and how you can think critically about user feedback and bugs.
Be prepared to face pushback on any assumptions you make. Don't immediately start answering. Have a structure. Successful candidates consider all variables and scenarios before diving into the nitty-gritty details.
After the on-site interview, your interviewers will debrief together and talk about your performance. They will spend 30-45 minutes analyzing how you did, things you asked, and ideas you shared that stood out. Each interviewer will give a yes or no to the candidate and if there is disagreement, there will be further discussions until everyone comes to a consensus.
Candidates at Uber are broadly evaluated around four PM competencies:
Some sample questions that may be asked to test your competency in the aforementioned areas:
The jam session sets Uber's PM interview process apart from many other interviews. This brainstorming session feels like a real day in the life of a PM where you bounce ideas back and forth off of your counterparts from other roles. In your jam session, think about the problem holistically. Oftentimes, there is more than one party involved (such as drivers and riders for Uber rides and restaurants, couriers, and consumers for Uber Eats). Think about the problem from all perspectives. Any changes you make could potentially impact another party. Also, think about the safety of the users. Consider all risks, both technical as well as those that affect the real lives of the users (eg. drivers holding on to too much cash and driving around with large sums of money). If there are short term, low-hanging fruit that you can quickly tackle, call them out. But do not lose sight of the bigger picture and the long-term solutions.
Uber is a data-driven company. Learn to understand metrics and how different metrics can be tied together. How can you work with metrics to make certain tradeoffs? This is important, as Uber PMs work with data to make decisions on a regular basis using internal dashboards and tools.
Uber also likes to move fast. Not all solutions take years to plan. Have a plan around moving fast and shipping fast. With that in mind, solutions should also scale easily.
Finally, think about some current problems in the general space of transportation and food delivery. It is helpful to be up to date with trends in the space where Uber operates.