Cheat Sheet, a regular series, gives you first-hand accounts from real managers, hiring for top jobs, of their recruitment and screening process. This week: If you want to help improve Uber rides, this product manager job might be perfect for you.
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Thirty- to 45-minute phone screening with a product manager (often Yamashita), on technical, analytical, or user-experience ability, typically including a product problem. “What I try to really understand is what their standout skill is and what their weakness is.”
Take-home assignment: Design a product or come up with a strategy to solve a real Uber problem. Create “a framework first before diving into all these different solutions,” showing the logic behind conclusions.
On-site interviews with a designer, engineer, and multiple product managers. Hourlong “jam session” on an Uber problem with a couple of people, typically senior-level product managers, one of whom is usually Yamashita.
Those who met with the candidate submit written assessments. They convene to vote and then talk until they reach a consensus. “Can [the candidate] really help identify a problem and … drive toward clarity?”
Do be familiar with your product. “I actually ask a lot of questions about what they’re currently working on, how it works, how they’re measuring success, how they made decisions on why it works the way it does.”
Do ask questions yourself. “I would encourage any kind of questions all throughout the process, in terms of clarifying questions, even challenging why the problem I’m presenting is even important.”
Do be curious. “Those are the candidates that really impress me, who are really just drawn to the problem around logistics and bridging the physical and digital worlds.”
Do take a lot of Ubers and contemplate the experience. “A lot of our interviews are actually about Uber, right. The problems we present are real Uber problems.”
Don’t leap to solutions without grasping the issue. “The best interviews actually spend more time defining the problem.”