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With plans to hire over 1,000 employees this year, Uber is looking for the best and the brightest. And they're backing that up with a intimidating interview process that could include:
- Writing assignments
- Excel Analytics tests
- Challenging case interview questions
To help you succeed, Joe Watabe, the author of How to Ace the Uber Interview, and I have put together our thoughts on what you can expect for the interview process and some tips in how to prepare:
What to Expect with the Uber Interview Process
According to our research and discussions with Uber candidates, Uber's interview process has five steps:
- Phone interview
- Timed Analytic Test or Creative Writing Test
- Happy Hour
- In-Person Panel Interview
- Final Presentation
Uber's Phone interview
Scheduled normally with the Uber recruiter, the recruiter assesses the candidate's interest in and knowledge of Uber. The recruiter also assesses the candidate's experience, skills, and communication ability.
Example questions include:
- Tell me about yourself?
- Why do you want to join Uber?
Uber's Timed Analytics Test or Creative Writing Test
If are applying for the following roles, Uber will likely give you their Excel analytics test:
- Operations and Logistics
- General Manager
- Associate General Manager
- Marketing Manager
If you are applying for the following roles, Uber will likely give you their creative writing test:
- Marketing Manager
- Community Manager
Candidates receiving the Excel analytics test will get an email with 2 .CSV files to download and given a 2 hour timed online test to take using Microsoft Excel.
Example questions for the Excel test include:
- What hour of the day had the most completed trips?
- What is the percentage of all of the eyeballs that occurred on Fridays?
- Use the data to determine when the best end-of-day is for drivers?
For those who are assigned the creative writing test, you might be asked to draft a blog post that addresses a real-world Uber scenario such as "How would you write a blog post that communicates a new Uber driver commission schedule?"
Other examples for the creative writing test include:
- My Uber driver turned a 1 mile trip into a 10 mile trip. Uber sucks. I want a full refund or else I will blog about this experience.
- I was leaving Sydney and a hostage crisis situation. I got SURGED. Are you kidding me?
- I ordered an UberBLACK for a special engagement proposal. The driver never showed up. I will never use UBER again.
Uber's Happy Hour
Some candidates report that they've been invited to a happy hour. At the happy hour, there are approximately 100 candidates and 25 and 30 Uber employees. It's an opportunity for Uber employees to know candidates better and evaluate fit.
Alternatively, some candidates report that, instead of a happy hour, they were invited to a second phone interview with similar questions and objectives as the first one.
In-Person Panel Interview
The in-person interview can last for 2 to 5 hours. They're also usually in panel format, ranging from 2 to 4 people per panel.
Numerous candidates have shared that they rarely have an opportunity to make personal connections before tackling challenging case or technical questions.
At the last panel interview, candidates are often asked to:
- Choose a topic
- Create a PowerPoint presentation
- Email it to the panel within 24 hours
Uber Interview Question Types to Expect
Many open Uber roles have general manager-type responsibilities; that is, the candidate has to wear several different hats including:
- Public Relations
- Data Analysis
As a result, the case interview questions can span all of these domains, making Uber's interview process one of the more challenging and feared processes around.
Uber probes for marketing aptitude by looking for candidates with tactical creativity and strategic thinking. Example questions include:
- An Uber competitor opens with unlimited cash capital. If you were them, how would you steal Uber’s customers? If you were Uber, how would you convince drivers not to leave?
- If we ask you to find us 100 new drivers this month, describe what steps you would take?
Uber test candidates' ability to handle tricky PR situations by evaluating communication skills and ability to propose plans that minimize negative consumer reactions. Example questions include:
- If there is a hostage crisis and Uber surge pricing kicks-in, users are angry as they are charged extra - what would you do?
- How should you respond to the city official claiming that Uber disadvantages older drivers unfamiliar with technology?
Uber is looking for candidates ability to identify vital metrics, calculate numbers, explain results, and have suitable recommendations. An example question:
- An Uber driver makes $20/ride with a 20% commission. How do you convince him to upgrade to a new made-up service with a 25% commission? What costs will the driver incur in upgrading? How much more will he have to make each week?
Uber wants candidates who can understand the success of a product, interpret test results and make decisions. Example questions include:
- Which of the following metrics would be most valuable for determining demand?
- What are the most important metrics for determining supply?
Uber is looking for candidates who have the ability to make proposals backed by evidence, use specifics and details that stay factual. Example questions include:
- What would you do if a competitor undercut Uber’s pay split with the drivers? Hypothetically, Uber’s is 80/20 and theirs is 90/10.
- What obstacles do you expect to experience if you bring Uber to your city? What are your proposed solutions?
These types of questions are the best predictors for employee success. Uber is looking for candidates credibility, likeability and their ability communicate clearly An example question:
- Provide an example of when you processed data via Excel and what the outcome was? What data were you processing?
By asking these types of questions, Uber is looking for how candidates knowledge of how to deal with a certain situation, have they dealt with it before, and how well do they deal with it. Example questions include:
- What would you do on your first day?
- How do you handle working with people who are extremely upset or not happy with you or your company?
Uber is looking for the candidates ability to successfully answer product design questions and come with with creative and insightful solutions. I recommend using the CIRCLES Method™ to answer product design questions. Here's an example question:
- Tell us about an app feature you’d like fixed?
Uber is testing the candidate’s ability to create a plan and communicate that plan effectively. For instance, Uber might ask you the following:
- Uber drops you in a new market (i.e. Oklahoma City) and you have two weeks until you open - go! What do you do?
Some questions may seem to out of left-field, but really uber is looking for the candidates ability to communicate effectively, think quickly on their feet, and develop creative and interesting answers. Here's an example question:
- How would you find the words that become obsolete in the English language between the 16th and 17th Century?
Uber is testing the candidates knowledge of company and the products. Here's an example Question:
- What is the difference between UberX and UberPop?
How to Prepare for the Uber Interview
To prepare the the Uber Interview, I would recommend you use the following frameworks:
For the marketing case interview, I'd recommend developing a marketing plan using The Big Picture Framework. It has nine different parts, but to simplify, we can condense the Big Picture Framework into three main categories.
This framework works, whether it's for Uber, or as one of the question's listed here denotes, for Uber's competitor.
- Goals (I). What are the business and marketing goals? Is it to increase profits or more likely, to drive market share? How much time do you have to achieve the goal, and what are the core competencies to emphasize? Thinking in terms of the marketing funnel, should the marketing plan focus on awareness? Or is it to drive trial?
- Customer Strategy (II). What are the possible customer segments? Which segment is ideally suited for us? And what value proposition will resonate with them?
- Marketing Tactics (III). What are optimal channels to target the customer? Online or offline? What advertising and promotional ideas should we consider? Do we have any say in the product pricing or product offering?
If you're looking for more marketing case practice questions or more information about the Big Picture marketing framework, I'd recommend this book, The Marketing Interview.
PR Interview Questions
- What is the new product or policy change?
- How is it going to affect the reader? How do you use the product?
- Why is this beneficial?
- Who will the affect?
- When will this product or change go live?
- Quickly apologize for the mistake
- Contact everyone who is affected by the issue
- Investigate what is happening
- Implement long-term remedies
- Communicate throughout the process
For analytical ROI questions, they revolve around breakeven analysis. We've included the breakeven formula here. If you're looking for more breakeven practice problems, check out Interview Math: Over 50 Problems and Solutions for Quant Case Interview Questions.
- Profits = Revenue - Costs
- Revenue = Price * Quantity
- Costs = Fixed Costs + Variable Costs
- Variable Costs = Cost per unit * Quantity
Lastly, for behavioral interview questions, you can use the popular STAR method.
Photo credit: Dave H