A Look Inside Uber’s Interview Process

Uber’s growth trajectory has been described as “staggering,” and with good reason. As the first ride-sharing company, Uber identified an untapped market by meeting a need many of us didn’t consciously realize.

Originally a start-up, the tech giant has now evolved into a megacorp in the transportation services industry. While its business model may be the driving factor behind its success, the company’s ambitions were realized through an advanced technological infrastructure.

As you might expect, Uber’s growth is powered by a strong tech team that leverages data and visualization. For these reasons, many industry leaders look towards the Uber interview process for hiring inspiration.

Uber’s tech team is in charge of the famous algorithm that manages critical operations from connecting customers with nearby riders, to calculating fares and surcharges. The surge pricing model even garnered enough attention to get its own nickname – Geosurge.

In this article, we’ll explore the key components of Uber’s interview process and the company’s best technical hiring practices.

What is Uber’s work culture?

As a megacorp operating on a global scale, Uber’s work culture is product-focused and forward. The company faces many novel challenges that require innovative solutions. So, software engineers at Uber must tackle problems that have never been solved before.

Gina Stefanovic, a senior program manager for compliance at Uber, shared her insights on the challenges that Uber engineers face:

"There are not many companies at Uber's scale, so our team is often solving compliance problems that have never been solved before." – Gina Stefanovic Click To Tweet

Thus, to guarantee operational efficiency, software engineers at Uber excel at problem-solving, possess robust creative thinking skills, and respond to new challenges with high velocity. Of course, building such a productive, reliable, and progressive tech team isn’t easy. But Uber has successfully optimized their technical hiring process, helping the tech giant secure the best of the talent market.

So let’s take a closer look at how Uber does it.

What is Uber’s interview process?

Uber’s hiring managers leverage a multi-stage interview process to assess applicants on critical fronts, including problem-solving skills, knowledge of computer science fundamentals, and more. The interview process starts with a phone call and concludes with skill assessments and a final on-site interview.

Here’s a breakdown of how the tech company vets candidates at each stage.

Phone screening

Approximate duration: 1 hour

Unlike your typical 30-minute phone screening, Uber’s phone interviews typically span a whole hour. During the phone call, an Uber hiring manager evaluates the applicants:

  • Work experience
  • Interest in the role
  • Career ambitions
  • Technical skills

Uber’s Engineering Blog encourages applicants to discuss their meaningful contributions in previous roles. Additionally, it advises candidates to be upfront about their career goals, because this helps Uber match applicants with the right role and position.

Technical phone interview

Approximate duration: 1 hour

The technical phone interview is broken down as follows:

Breakdown (engineering): 30-40 minute coding challenge, 5-10 minute discussion of work experience, 5-10 minutes for questions.

Additionally, non-engineers are either quizzed on their expertise or fast-tracked to Uber’s assessments. Now, let’s take a closer look at the coding assessment.

Coding assessment test

The coding exercise evaluates candidates on their programming and problem-solving skills, which may include data structures and algorithms, string manipulation, arrays, and more. The coding challenges are conducted using a collaborative tech assessment software like WeCP, so interviewers can objectively evaluate the applicant’s code.

Coding assessments are reliable for skill evaluation because they vet candidates using measurable metrics; the tech assessment platforms typically include objective scoring systems to grade each candidate.

Questions and other assessments

Uber prefers to test candidates on real-world problem-solving skills; thus, they conduct hands-on skill assessments even for non-engineering roles. While software engineering applicants face coding challenges, candidates applying for non-tech roles may have to submit creative writing assessments or other practical work.

How should applicants prepare for Uber Coding Interviews?

If your organization follows a similar technical interview process to Uber’s, it’s important to let candidates know how to prepare for the assessment. So, you might want to let them know which type of questions to expect, and how to prepare for each.

As an example, let’s take a look at Uber’s interview questions for software engineers.

Examples of uber’s interview questions (and how to prepare for them)

Uber’s engineering blog addresses different FAQs and advises candidates about how to prepare. For example,

Question: “How well does your solution scale?”

How to prepare: Uber advises applicants to be prepared to discuss their solutions’ runtime and memory requirements, concerning their Big O complexity.

Similarly, technical candidates are advised to prepare for coding problems by reviewing computer science fundamentals and practising real-world programming challenges. The exact questions vary for each applicant (to mitigate plagiarism), but the framework of the assessment questions is similar. For each question, candidates should:

  • Understand the nature of the problem.
  • Devise a relevant solution.
  • Succeed in translating their proposed solution into code that runs successfully.

Additionally, because of the time constraints, candidates should be quick on their feet.

Key takeaways – What’s unique about Uber’s interview process?

Most established, tech-driven organizations like Uber leverage comprehensive, multi-stage recruitment processes for evaluating applicants. This is because, as industry leaders, these tech companies have to identify the top performers.

However, Uber’s interview process has its own unique touch, and we can learn a lot from it. Here are some important takeaways:

  • Uber’s hiring managers prioritize candidates’ career goals, right from the initial phone screen. While recruiters also have their organizations’ best interests in mind, they realize the importance of finding the right fit for applicants too. Sorting applicants into positions that align with their career goals establishes a mutually beneficial arrangement.
  • Uber values practical problem-solving skills, which is reflected in their skill assessments.
  • The interview process is very comprehensive. Applicants may go through multiple rounds of interviews, conducted by different Uber recruiters and hiring managers.

How does WeCP facilitate the Uber-like tech interview process?

Uber’s tech stack plays a vital role in its tech hiring process. Uber leverages coding assessment platforms to conduct skills tests, vetting applicants for problem-solving skills.

WeCP (We Create Problems) is an all-in-one tech hiring solution that you can use to evaluate applicants’ hands-on skills. Our robust recruitment platform includes integrated video interviewing software and a custom IDE for conducting coding challenges.

WeCP’s repository of over 0.2 million questions lets employers design custom skills tests for over 2000 tech roles. Additionally, candidates are objectively evaluated on 12+ performance metrics using Skill Maps.

So if you’re looking to conduct an Uber-like tech interview, schedule a demo with WeCP today.

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