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Cruise Product Manager Interview Guide

Interview Guide Oct 31

Detailed, specific guidance on the Cruise Product Manager interview process - with a breakdown of different stages and interview questions asked at each stage

The role of a Cruise Product Manager

Cruise actively seeks Product Managers to spearhead the product vision, strategy, and roadmap for their marketplace intelligence systems. This role is pivotal in managing external user experiences and commercial services. 

The Product team at Cruise takes the lead in defining the product vision and strategy, which is integral to the success of their autonomous vehicle driving and ride-hail/delivery services. Their work is instrumental in ensuring the smooth functioning of these services. Cruise is also dedicated to fostering a diverse and inclusive work environment. They are committed to advancing self-driving car technology to make a positive impact on the world.

As for compensation, Cruise offers an average total of $219,167 for Product Managers, which includes a base salary of $153,333, a stock grant of $35,000 per year, and a bonus of $30,833.

Cruise Product Manager Interview Guide

The interview process for Product Managers at Cruise comprises the following two rounds:

  • Phone Screen with HR
  • Onsite Interview
Relevant Guides

Cruise Product Manager - Phone Screen with HR

Overview

This is typically the first round of the interview process after the initial chat with a recruiter. The HR representative will likely start by introducing themselves and explaining the purpose of the interview. They may ask you to briefly introduce yourself, your background, and your relevant work experience—especially those that are relevant to the Cruise PM role. They may ask you to discuss specific projects, challenges you've faced, and how you've overcome them. Be prepared to discuss your career trajectory and how it aligns with the requirements of the PM role.

Cruise Product Manager - Onsite Round

Overview

The onsite interview process for a Product Manager position at Cruise is quite rigorous and comprehensive. It consists of five back-to-back interviews with cross-functional members, and the questions span a wide range of topics, including product design, technical knowledge, behavioral/leadership aspects, and product strategy. Each interview typically lasts about an hour, so be prepared for a long day.

  • The first set of interviews covers a wide range of topics to assess your skills, including product sense, craft and execution, estimation, strategy, and leadership. In these rounds, you can expect a set of questions that evaluate your analytical thinking and problem-solving skills. Estimation questions, which are typically open-ended and relate to market sizing, revenue projections, or resource allocation, are pretty common. They also aim to evaluate your ability to think strategically, understand user needs, and make informed product decisions. You might be presented with a real or hypothetical product or feature and asked to develop a launch strategy for it. This would involve how you would create a product roadmap, prioritizing features, and align product development with the company's goals.
  • One of the interviews is unique in that it includes a live case. It's a bit intense because you'll have two interviewers evaluating your thought process as you work through the case. You'll be presented with a real or hypothetical business problem—and asked to analyze the situation, identify key issues, and propose a structured solution. This is a great opportunity to showcase your problem-solving abilities in real time.
  • There's also a technical face-to-face interview where you'll tackle real-life problems related to data structures and algorithms. You'll be expected to write code on a whiteboard, which can be challenging as it tests your coding abilities under pressure.
  • Lastly, there may be a separate HR interview. It revolves around behavior and circumstance-based questions, where they want to gauge your decision-making skills and how you handle real-life situations. This interview mainly focuses on evaluating whether you are a cultural fit for the company. Expect questions related to your behavior, teamwork, and how well you align with Cruise's values and work environment.

Interview Questions

Interview Questions

  • How would you design an internal navigation system for Cruise servicing garages?
  • Describe the standout technical product from your career.
  • What would be your approach to launching Cruise in a new country?
  • Imagine you are the CEO of Cruise. What is your plan for the next 5 years?
  • If you were designing a minivan, what features would you include?
  • What's your favorite product and why?
  • How would you enable a car to autonomously make an unprotected left turn?
  • What key qualities do successful Product Managers possess?
  • How would you redesign Google Maps for Autonomous Vehicles?
  • Share a significant instance where you had a substantial impact in a previous role.
  • Describe a time when you had to prototype or define the scope for a new product.
  • Discuss an experience where you closely collaborated with an operations team.
  • How do you go about estimating the duration of a project?
  • How do you handle project delays?
  • How do you handle project delays?
  • How would you resolve discrepancies between the requirements of the operations team and the engineering team's perception?
  • Tell me about a situation when your product requirements changed during the course of a project.
  • What high-level product requirements do you anticipate within the first year of a project?
  • Calculate the total revenue generated by a popular online shopping platform during a major sales event.
  • Suppose you need to determine the number of active Instagram users in a specific country. What steps would you take to estimate this figure?
  • Explain the approach you would use to assess the causes of a sudden drop in a mobile app's user engagement metrics.
  • How many windows are in New York City?
  • How many iPads are sold in the USA every year?
  • How much money is spent in the USA per year on gas?
  • How would you go about finding out the number of red cars in China?

Cruise Product Manager Roles and Responsibilities

Following are the roles and responsibilities of a Cruise Product Manager:

  • You'll be responsible for shaping the vision of Cruise products. This means using your deep understanding of what users need, your industry knowledge, and creative thinking to guide the direction of the product.
  • You'll work closely with other teams like design and engineering to actually bring the product to life. This involves defining success metrics, writing detailed requirements, and creating feature documentation for projects in your roadmap.
  • It's essential to track and celebrate successes within your product area. You'll also be a champion for your product within the company, helping others learn from it.
  • You'll collaborate with various teams, including Business, Engineering, Design, Research, Program Management, and Operations, to make sure our products not only meet user needs but also align with Cruise's business goals.

Cruise Product Manager Skills and Qualifications

Here are the skills and qualifications that a Cruise Product Manager must have:

  • You should hold a Bachelor's degree in a relevant field.
  • You must possess a keen understanding of and passion for backend systems, especially when it comes to launching new products considering marketplace and logistics parameters.
  • You should have a solid track record of effectively overseeing all aspects of a software product's lifecycle, including the management of backend services.
  • It is imperative that you maintain an unwavering commitment to comprehending, prioritizing, and addressing user needs.
  • Your ability to leverage both quantitative and qualitative feedback to derive insights that drive decision-making is crucial.
  • You should excel in adapting to and thriving in situations marked by ambiguity.
  • Effective collaboration with teams and efficient cross-team communication is vital.
  • As a noteworthy advantage, prior experience in leading product management for systems that inform and predict routing and marketplace efficiency in live operations would be highly beneficial.

Frequently Asked Questions