Uber PM interview: the only post you'll need to read

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Don’t underestimate the Uber product manager interviews. The questions are challenging, they cover a wide variety of PM topics, and Uber also uses a unique assessment called a “jam session” that isn’t used by any other tech company.  

But here’s the good news: the right preparation will help you demonstrate the skills that Uber wants to see in their PM candidates and can help you land a job offer.

We’ve put together the below ultimate guide to Uber PM interviews to help you prepare strategically, gain confidence, and maximize your chances of success. Here's an overview of what we'll cover:

  1. Interview process and timeline
  2. The jam session
  3. Example questions
  4. Preparation tips
  5. Q&A

1. Interview process and timeline

1.1 Overview

The interview process for Uber PMs can take as long as 2-3 months from your initial application to receiving an offer. 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, and referrals
  • A recruiter phone screen (30 min)
  • A PM phone interview (45 min)
  • Onsite interviews
    • A “jam session” (45 min)
    • 3-4 “loop” interviews (45 min each)

1.2 What to expect in the interviews

Now let’s cover the above steps in more detail.

Step one is getting the interviews. For that, you’ll need a quality resume and cover letter that are tailored to PM positions, and Uber 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 Uber to refer you to the recruiting team.

Once you’ve been invited to interview with Uber, you’ll first speak with a recruiter for a 30-min phone screen. During this initial conversation, you should expect the recruiter to cover typical resume and behavioral questions. For example, they’ll likely ask you about your past experiences and how you’ve handled specific situations (i.e. “tell me about a time you…”). If you pass this phone screen, then the recruiter will advance you to the next round of interviews. 

Next, you’ll have a 45-min phone (or video conference) call that focuses more on PM questions. Your interviewer for this call will usually be the Hiring Manager for the team you’re applying for, or it’ll be another Uber PM. When you get to this interview, you should be prepared to answer common PM interview questions, but more on those later.

The final round is the onsite, which has two parts. First, you’ll encounter Uber’s famous “jam session”, which we’ll cover in more detail in the next section. If you do well in the jam session, you’ll then encounter the loop interviews.

The loop interviews are a series of three to four interviews. During the loop interviews, you’ll meet interviewers from a variety of roles within Uber. You’ll usually meet PMs, engineers, and data scientists. You MAY also meet people from UX and marketing. See the example questions section below to learn more about the types of questions to expect during your loop interviews. Although it's rare, Uber also occasionally uses case study 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. 

1.3 How Uber evaluates PM candidates

As you prepare for your Uber interviews, you may wonder how Uber evaluates their PM candidates.

Uber has four key areas that they look for during the interviews. These areas, which we'll cover below, are the same criteria that Uber uses to evaluate internal promotions. As a result, there is a nice level of continuity between the interview process at Uber, and the way candidates are evaluated later within the company.

Now let's dig into the criteria that Uber is looking for in their applicants.

1.3.1 Product insight / vision

At a high-level, this refers to your customer obsession, strategic vision, and your ability to innovate.

Are you able to put yourself in the shoes of customers and think deeply about what they care about and how they can be served better? Are you able to look ahead and come up with creative solutions to solve problems?

1.3.2 Impact and execution

This area considers your bias for action, as well as your business impact, and the quality of your work.

Do you take ownership and move things forward? What tangible results have you delivered? Do you build good solutions? How do you use experimentation and processes to deliver better results?

1.3.3 Leadership and scope

This boils down to how effectively you lead and work with other people. 

Are you a team player? Do you make your team better? Are you able to organize your colleagues to tackle complex challenges?

1.3.4 Technical depth

This area evaluates your knowledge in technical subjects like engineering, data analysis, and design.

How deep is your understanding of algorithms, data visualization tools, etc? Note that the particular technical topics that are considered would be those that are relevant to your role.

Hopefully, that gives you some extra insight into what Uber's interviewers are going to be looking for during your interviews. If you'd like to learn more about the way people within Uber think, then we'd encourage you to also read Uber's cultural norms. This is essentially Uber's internal list of values.

1.4 How offer decisions are made

Once you've completed all of your interviews, then the people at Uber will hold a "debrief" to discuss your application. 

A "debrief" is a meeting where your recruiter and all of your onsite interviewers come together to decide if you'll be given an offer. More specifically, this meeting includes all of the people you met during your jam session and your loop interviews, in addition to your recruiter. 

During the meeting, all of these people work together to make the decision collectively. And by the end, they will come to a "hire" or "no hire" decision. Sometimes, the candidate's level is also decided during this conversation.

Now that we've covered Uber's interview process, let's dig into more details on the jam session interview.

2. Uber’s jam session interview

The jam session is probably the most unique part of Uber’s PM interviews. If you've already been preparing for PM interviews at other companies, then those skills will help you during your loop interviews and your phone screens for Uber. But, for the jam session, you'll need to prepare a bit differently.

As we mentioned above, the jam session is typically the FIRST interview you'll face during your onsite visit. And what you'll encounter during the jam session is different, depending on your level. 

Let's first cover how jam sessions operate for candidates who are under the Group Product Manager level, then we'll talk about jam sessions for applicants at (or above) GPM, and then we'll get a bit more tactical and discuss some tips for how to perform well during your jam session. 

2.1 For candidates under Group Product Manager

If you are applying for a position that is below Uber's Group Product Manager level, which is likely the case for most candidates, then your jam session will be a bit like a brainstorming session.

You'll typically be given the "prompt" for your jam session 24-48 hours in advance of your onsite visit. The "prompt" is essentially just the topic or problem that you're looking to solve. Having this advance notice will allow you to prepare some ideas, which is good because you will be expected to lead the discussion.

Here's an example of a prompt that you might encounter for your jam session: How would you make UberEats more usable during the Covid-19 lockdown?

During your jam session, you'll be discussing ideas with 1-2 Uber PMs as well as a cross-functional person from Uber (e.g. a data scientist, software engineer, etc.). However, there will not be any other candidates included in your jam session, just you.

Okay, let's stop there for a moment and look at the jam session for candidates who are at or above the Group Product Manager level. If that doesn't apply to you, then skip down to section 2.3 below.

    2.2 For candidates at or above Group Product Manager

    If you're applying for a Group Product Manager role, or something even higher up the ladder, then the jam session will look a little different for you.

    Instead of getting your prompt 24-48 hours in advance, you'll typically get it a week in advance. And this is good news because you will need to prepare a presentation that addresses the question/problem in your prompt. 

    The fact that you need to prepare and deliver a presentation is the primary difference between jam sessions for GPMs (and up) and other candidates. You can expect most other elements of the jam session to be the same. 

      2.3 Tips for acing the jam session

      Now let's run through a few important tips that you'll want to keep in mind as you prepare for your jam session. All of the tips below are relevant to both the brainstorming and presentation style jam sessions, the way they come into play may just look a little different. Let's dive in!

      2.3.1 Be data-centric

      Uber is a very data-driven company. This is something that is evident in the company's operations, but it's also a part of Uber's culture.

      The company likes to hire people who have a knack for understanding and using data to identify and solve problems. So, you should make it a priority to tie your analysis and ideas back to data during your jam session. 

      2.3.2 Consider a 2-3 sided market 

      Uber's products serve multiple sides of a single market. Just think of Uber's ridesharing app. They are serving drivers AND riders. Or, if you think about UberEats, Uber is serving customers, restaurants, and couriers. 

      So, when you're in a jam session, don't just focus on one side of the market (i.e. riders/customers). Instead, be intentional about analyzing how potential solutions will impact all relevant sides of a given market.

      2.3.3 Demonstrate that you can move fast

      Uber values speed and they want to hire candidates that are able to synthesize information and form actionable next steps, without getting too bogged down by the available (or unavailable) details. 

      During your jam session, there will likely be a lot of ideas and considerations brought up. You'll need to demonstrate that you are able to take those inputs and turn them into next steps by prioritizing what should be done first. There are several good ways to prioritize, but it can work particularly well to prioritize the actions which will have the biggest impact on a metric that's relevant to your topic. 

      2.3.4 Stick to your guns, in a nice way

      Within Uber, "don't be a renter, be an owner" is a common saying. In other words, when people at Uber see a problem or have an idea, there is an expectation that they're going to do something about it!

      In your jam session, one way you can demonstrate ownership is by sticking up for an idea that you think is good, even if one of your interviewers disagrees or questions the approach. Obviously don't be rude or abrasive, but if you have an idea (or disagree with an idea), then say so and articulate your reasons. 

      If you can follow the above tips during your jam session, it will go a long way towards making a strong impression on your interviewers.

        3. Example questions

        Below, we have compiled a set of example PM interview questions to help you practice for your Uber interviews. But, before we get into the practice questions, let's look at a high-level view of the types of questions that are typically asked in PM interviews:

        Product manager interview question types

        The above break-down is based on an analysis of Glassdoor data from Google, Facebook, Amazon, and Microsoft interview reports. Uber data was not included in the analysis. However, we have validated that Uber uses typical PM interview questions, so you can still use this overview for directional guidance during your preparation.

        Now that you have a feel for the broad categories of PM interview questions, below are some examples for each question type (note: these questions are also drawn from Glassdoor interview reports and some of them are adapted to Uber products or scenarios): 

        3.1 Strategy questions (24%)

        Here are a few PM strategy questions to get started with (the first 3 are product strategy questions, and the last 3 are estimation questions).

        If you'd like to learn more about answering this kind of question, then check out our separate guides on product strategy questions and estimation questions.

        Example questions: Strategy
        • How would you bootstrap a product that helps people find apartments?
        • If you were a VC, would you be more bullish on AR or VR?
        • If you were the CEO of Uber, what new product would you come up with to increase revenue?
        • What is the market size for driverless cars in 2025?
        • How would you estimate the number of riders who are potentially in one place during peak traffic?
        • How many golf balls can you fit into a Boeing 777?

        Exercise: Pick one of the questions above and answer it in the comments section below, without looking at other people's answers. This is a great opportunity to gain some practice for your PM interviews.

        3.2 Design questions (24%)

        Here are a few PM design questions to get started with (the first 3 are product design questions, the second set of 3 are product improvement questions, and the last 3 are favorite product questions).

        If you'd like to learn more about answering this kind of question, then check out our separate guides on product design questionsproduct improvement questions, and favorite product questions.  

        Example questions: Design
        • Design a pen for an astronaut
        • Design an umbrella for kids
        • Design a phone for deaf people
        • How would you improve Uber?
        • How would you improve coffee machines used in offices?
        • Pick your favorite app. How would you improve it?
        • Tell me about your favorite product that’s not an app or website
        • Tell me about a free service you like and how would you monetize it
        • What’s your favorite Uber feature? 

        Exercise: Pick one of the questions above and answer it in the comments section below, without looking at other people's answers. This is a great opportunity to gain some practice for your PM interviews.

        3.3 Technical questions (9%)

        Here are a few PM technical questions to get started with (the first 3 are technical explanation questions, and the last 3 are algorithm questions).

        If you'd like to learn more about answering this kind of question, then check out our separate guide on technical questions.

        Example questions: Technical
        • Explain recursion to my grandmother
        • What is the difference between C++ and Java?
        • Explain what happens when executing mergesort
        • Design a method that removes every other node from a linked list
        • Write a program to randomly shuffle an array of numbers
        • How would you output a tree in column sequence from left to right

        Exercise: Pick one of the questions above and answer it in the comments section below, without looking at other people's answers. This is a great opportunity to gain some practice for your PM interviews.

        3.4 Analysis questions (12%)

        Here are a few PM analysis questions to get started with (the first 3 are metric definition questions and the last 3 metric change questions).

        If you'd like to learn more about answering this kind of question, then check out our separate guide on metric questions.

        Example questions: Analysis
        • What metrics did you use to measure the successful launch of your product?
        • What metrics would you use to measure the success of Uber’s “Split Fares” feature?
        • What analysis would you use to understand if we should increase the price of an UberEats delivery?
        • There's been a 15% drop in usage of UberEats — how do you fix it?
        • You are looking at Uber's ridesharing data and notice a 10% jump compared to yesterday in New Zealand — what happened?
        • Users are no longer signing up for our email list — what would you do?

        Exercise: Pick one of the questions above and answer it in the comments section below, without looking at other people's answers. This is a great opportunity to gain some practice for your PM interviews.

        3.5 Behavioral questions (31%)

        Here are a few behavioral questions to get started with.

        You can learn a step-by-step process for answering behavioral questions, and find many additional examples, by visiting our article on how to answer behavioral questions at tech companies.

        Example questions: Behavioral
        • Tell me about yourself
        • Why do you want to work at Uber
        • Why product management?
        • Tell me about your most significant accomplishment. Why was it significant?
        • Describe a project that you wish you had done better and how you would do it differently today
        • Tell me about a time you applied judgment to a decision when data was not available
        • Tell me about a product you led from idea to launch
        • Describe the last time you had to make a challenging decision when prioritizing

        Exercise: Pick one of the questions above and answer it in the comments section below, without looking at other people's answers. This is a great opportunity to gain some practice for your PM interviews.

        Next, let's walk-through a few preparation tips to help you get ready for your PM interviews at Uber. 

        4. Preparation tips

        Now that you know what types of questions to expect, let's focus on preparing. Here are the five most important things you can do to crush your Uber PM interviews!

        4.1 Deep dive into the product / organization

        As you've probably figured out from some of the example questions listed above, you can't become a PM at Uber without being familiar with the company's products and its organization. As a result, you'll need to do some homework before your interviews.

        Here are some resources to help you get started with this:

        4.2 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 on refreshing your memory about basic product management concepts.

        Here is a list of free resources to give you a starting point:

        4.3 Learn a consistent method for answering PM interview questions

        As mentioned previously, Uber will ask you questions that fall into certain categories: design, strategy, behavioral, technical, and analysis. Approaching each question with a predefined method 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: 

        BUT, 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. 

        4.4 Practice by yourself or with peers

        Practicing by yourself is a great way to prepare for Uber's PM interviews. You can ask and answer questions out loud, to help you 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, 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 new PM mock interview platform.

        4.5 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, that's fantastic! 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. 

        PM Interview Coaching

        Any questions about Uber PM interviews?

        If you have any questions about Uber PM interviews, do not hesitate to ask them below and we will be more than happy to answer them. All questions are good questions, so go ahead!

        Keep reading: product manager interview articles