Product manager interviews at Lyft can be really challenging. The questions are difficult, specific to Lyft, and cover a wide range of topics.
The good news is that the right preparation can make a big difference and help you land a job offer. That's why we've put together this ultimate guide to the Lyft PM interview, complete with example questions, prep resources, and an overview of the process. Use this guide to maximize your chances of success.
Here's an overview of what we will cover:
- Interview process and timeline
- Example questions
- Preparation tips
Similar to the timeline at Uber, the interview process for Lyft PMs typically takes around three to five weeks to complete, although it could be a bit faster or a bit slower depending on the particular location and position for which you’re applying.
Here’s a quick overview of the steps you’ll face along the way:
- Resume, cover letter, referrals
- Recruiter phone screen (30-45 min)
- First round interviews (2 rounds, 45-60 min each)
- Onsite interviews (2-4 rounds, 45-60 min each)
Now let’s cover the above steps in more detail, so that you'll have a better idea of what to expect and what you'll need to prepare for.
1.1 Resume, cover letter, referrals
Step one is getting the interviews. For that, you’ll need a quality resume and cover letter that are tailored to PM positions, and Lyft more specifically. If you have yet to apply, you can optimize your documents using our PM resume and PM cover letter guides.
As with most companies, it can also be helpful to get an employee or contact at Lyft to refer you to the recruiting team.
1.2 Recruiter phone screen
Next, you'll usually start your interview process by talking to an HR recruiter on the phone. They are looking to confirm that you've got a chance of getting the job at all, so be prepared to explain your background and why you’re a good fit at Lyft. You should expect typical behavioral and resume questions like, "Tell me about yourself," "Why Lyft?" or "Tell me about a product you launched from start to finish."
This would also be a good time to ask for any clarifying information you need to know for the interviews moving forward. Your recruiter will be your point person for the rest of the process.
If you pass this phone screen, then the recruiter will advance you to the next round of interviews.
1.3 First round interviews
After the initial recruiter phone screen, you'll have two PM-focused interviews. They will take place over video conference, on the phone, or in Lyft’s physical offices. They usually last for 45-60 minutes.
You’ll be interviewed by a Lyft PM, and you should be prepared for one product sense question and one execution question. You’ll have to dive deep into the problem, explain your reasoning, and work through your thoughts out loud. We’ll give you more details on product sense and execution in section 2.
If you crack the first interviews, your recruiter will move you on to the final round of onsite interviews.
1.4 Onsite interviews
The last step in the process is the onsite portion, which consists of a loop of 2-4 separate interviews. This typically takes place in the Lyft offices, but may take place virtually depending on COVID-19 security measures.
Here, you can expect more product sense and execution interview rounds, as well as a leadership round, which will focus on behavioral and resume questions. We’ve also seen some reports of candidates being asked to give a presentation in one of their final rounds. This appears more frequently in senior PM roles.
As always, your recruiter should be able to provide more details on what you may need to prepare in advance for the onsite interviews.
If all goes well, the onsite interviews are your last step as a candidate, and from there you just have to wait to (hopefully) receive your offer.
Now that you have an idea of the interview process at Lyft, let’s dive into the three types of questions that you can expect. Their interview rounds are very similar to Facebook’s PM interview process, with questions grouped into the following categories:
- Product sense, where you'll be tested on your product design and strategy skills
- Execution, where you'll be tested on your data analysis and prioritization skills
- Leadership, where you'll be asked to demonstrate that you are an empathetic leader
We've analyzed questions reported by former Lyft PM candidates on Glassdoor.com and categorized the real questions asked for each interview type, listed below. Note that some questions have been edited for clarity or grammar.
Let’s get started.
Lyft PMs decide what problems their teams work on and help design solutions for these problems. It's therefore important that they have strong product design and product strategy skills.
This is the part of the interview process where you should show that you're obsessed with the user. Your interviewers will want to see that you can turn ambiguous problems into great products, build an MVP, and concentrate on user experience.
In your product sense interview, expect to play the role of a PM who is calling the shots for their team: deciding what to build and who should build it, determining a long-term vision, and anticipating setbacks. Explain your reasoning out loud so that your interviewer comes away with a clear understanding of your approach and working style.
Below, we’ve listed the real product sense questions that past candidates have reported on Glassdoor. These questions are a mix of product design, product improvement and product strategy questions. We recommend studying the articles we've written on each topic to learn how to answer these questions in a structured and impactful way.
Right, let’s get to some questions.
Example PM interview questions asked at Lyft: Product sense
- Design a dashboard for a food delivery service
- Design an advanced ticket purchase app for a commuter railroad
- Design the Caltrain mobile app
- How would you design the Lyft app for the blind?
- How would you design an efficient ETA system?
- Describe your process on developing an MVP for Lyft Kids.
- How would you improve Lyft?
- How would you improve the pin drop functionality for the Lyft app?
- How would you roll out an algorithm improvement for driver matching?
- How would you solve Lyft's commute problem?
- Tell me about a previous product you worked on and a feature you shipped
- How do we launch Lyft in a new city?
- If Lyft were to get into the parking business, what would you do?
- How could we get more drivers to come downtown during peak demand?
To look at the product sense interview in a bit more detail, check out our comprehensive guide. This guide focuses on Facebook, but it could apply to any company.
Once PMs have decided what problem to solve and what features to build, it's time to execute. Lyft is a data-driven organization, so it's essential that you show you’re data-driven as well.
This is the part of the interview to display that you have strong analytical and prioritization skills. Show that you can use data to pinpoint and solve problems, with the know-how to work well with engineers and analysts.
It’s unusual to do any coding or SQL querying at this step, but you should be prepared to do some back-of-the-envelope calculations to support your conclusions.
Below, we’ve listed the real execution questions that past candidates have reported on Glassdoor. You’ll notice a fair amount of product metric questions in the mix. The article we’ve written on this topic can help you learn how to answer these questions in a measured, effective way.
Example PM interview questions asked at Lyft: Execution
- Measure the success of a new product and develop a dashboard for it
- What analytics should Lyft consider important?
- What are the KPI's that you would keep in mind for Lyft?
- Triage a drop in a metric by 5% WoW
- How would you execute and assure supply for surge pricing?
- There is a spike in cancellations this week. Why could this be the case?
- If a large number of drivers are dropping out of a particular city, why would it be?
To look at the execution interview in a bit more detail, check out our comprehensive guide. This guide focuses on Facebook, but it could apply to any company.
PMs work with a range of different collaborators, such as engineers, designers, data analysts, etc. They need to be able to motivate their team, resolve conflicts, drive alignment, build relationships, and work with others.
This is the part of the interview where you really want to show that you've got drive and empathy. Interviewers want to know if you can build and support a team, deal with ambiguity, work through tough times, and learn from your mistakes.
This will be the least structured interview of the three, but no less important than product sense and execution. Use concrete examples from your past to demonstrate the qualities that Lyft is looking for, without rambling and taking up too much time.
Below, we’ve listed the real leadership questions that past candidates have reported on Glassdoor.
Example PM interview questions asked at Lyft: Leadership
- Why Lyft?
- Walk me through your previous work
- Tell me about a challenge you faced
- Tell me about a situation when you disagreed with your boss
- How do you manage projects?
- How do you manage competing priorities?
- How do you handle ambiguity?
Now that you know what questions to expect, let's focus on preparation. Here are the five most important things you can do to get an offer as a Lyft product manager.
3.1 Deep dive into the product / organization
As you've probably figured out from the example questions listed above, you can't become a PM at Lyft without being familiar with the company's products and its organization. You'll therefore need to do some homework before your interviews.
Here are some resources to help you get started with this:
- Lyft’s mission statement and values (by Lyft)
- Lyft's product-focused Medium page (by Lyft engineering, via Medium)
- What to expect when interviewing at Lyft (by Dan Barak, ex-interviewer and lead product manager at Lyft)
- Lyft's business model (by Jungleworks, from 2016)
3.2 Brush up on product fundamentals
If you're already an experienced PM, then this step doesn't apply to you. But if you're more junior, or if you're trying to break into product management, then it's worth spending some time refreshing your memory about basic product management concepts.
Here is a list of free resources to give you a starting point:
- Popular PM interview books reviewed (by IGotAnOffer)
- Product Management Guides (by Aha.io)
- Product Design (by Udacity)
- What distinguishes the top 1% of product managers from the top 10%? (by Ian McAllister on Quora)
- Product vs. Feature Teams (by Silicon Valley Product Group)
- What's something product managers know that others don't? (by Dan Schmidt on Quora)
- Product Requirements Document Example (by Product Hunt)
- Data-Driven Product Management: Choosing the Right Metrics for Your Product (by productcoalition.com)
- How Should Product Managers Say No? (by productcoalition.com)
3.3 Learn a consistent method for answering PM interview questions
As mentioned previously, Lyft will ask you questions that fall into certain categories: product sense, execution, and leadership. Each of these three broad categories contains subcategories that can be attacked with a predefined method. Nailing down a method for each question type will enable you to build strong interview habits.
Then, when it comes time for your interviews, these habits will reduce your stress and help you to make a great impression. Here is a list of our free guides on different types of PM interview questions to help you prepare:
- Product sense interview (Facebook guide that also applies to Lyft)
- Execution interview (Facebook guide that also applies to Lyft)
- Leadership interview (Facebook guide that also applies to Lyft)
- Prioritization questions (by Product Manager HQ)
However, having a method for solving PM interview questions isn’t enough by itself. You also need to be able to communicate your answers clearly, under the pressure of interview conditions. That’s where practice comes into play.
3.4 Practice by yourself or with peers
Practicing by yourself is a great way to prepare for Lyft's PM interviews. You can ask and answer questions out loud, to help get a feel for the different types of PM interview questions. Practicing by yourself will help you perfect your step-by-step approach for each question type. It also gives you time to correct your early mistakes.
If you have friends or peers who can do mock interviews with you, then that's a great option too. This can be especially helpful if your friend has experience with PM interviews, or is at least familiar with the process. You can also find peers to practice with on our PM mock interview platform.
3.5 Practice with experienced PM interviewers
Finally, you should also try to practice with experienced PM interviewers, as they’ll be able to give you much more accurate feedback than friends and peers. If you know a product manager who can help you, then that's perfect. But for most of us, it's tough to find the right connections to make this happen. And it might also be difficult to practice multiple hours with that person unless you know them really well.
Here's the good news. We've already made the connections for you. We’ve created a coaching service where you can practice 1-on-1 with ex-interviewers from leading tech companies. Learn more and start scheduling sessions today.