Interview Guide Jun 15
Jun 153-4 rounds
A PM at DoorDash is responsible for owning end to end product strategy, delivery, and impact for a component or product within the DoorDash ecosystem. You'd own a key aspect of the ecosystem which directly ties back into a key metric for the company; and it could be across any part of the 3-way marketplace (dashers/riders, restaurants and bookers).
From a day-to-day point of view - Product at DoorDash will involve staying on top of the market landscape (i.e. keeping track of both macro trends and competition); identifying customer needs; building out a product vision & strategy - and then executing on it, all the way from working with UX for designing a great customer experience, with Engineering for high performance and reliability, to Data for extracting insight from experimentation and identifying iterations.
DoorDash interviews can get pretty challenging -the company pays well - but also aggressively filters out candidates who miss a trick. Broadly speaking, you'd have to index well on being able to strategize and think big while solving real customer problems (tested via Product Sense interviews), execute reliably and pragmatically (tested via Product Prioritization and Product Analytics), and being a good "working fit" for DoorDash' culture (tested via "Values" interviews).
This guide is going to deepdive through the process and provide recent interview questions for you to mull over when you're preparing for the interview. When you're ready you can also book mock interviews with DoorDash PM coaches to "sense check" your readiness level.
The interview process is divided into several stages:
- Phone screen with a recruiter
- Take home assessments - occurring at decreasing frequency; roughly 25% of all candidates reporting a take-home in the last 12 months.
- Phone screen with hiring manager and/or current PM
- (Virtual) On-site interviews - 3-4 rounds covering Product Sense, Product Analytics, Product Prioritization and Values
The process typically takes 4-6 weeks.
Apply online on the DoorDash website; or if you can pull it off - get a referral. You might also be approached by a recruiter. Regardless of the channel - make sure to customize your resume a bit to make it relevant for the role you've applied. This might not have been needed in 2021 and 2022 with the hot job market - in these times, you absolutely need to stand out given the super high number of candidates applying for a role.
The first interview will be conducted over the phone with a product management recruiter. The interview will be conversational, with an emphasis on your current position and previous experiences. This interview is an excellent chance to discuss any questions you might have about the role or interview process. Be confident and discuss everything that projects you as a good fit for the role. The interview will last up to 30 mins.
What the interviewer will assess
- Your past experiences & their relevance to the role
- Your interest & motivation in applying to DoorDash
- Your ability to fit in with DoorDash' culture
- Be prepared with a short brief intro to get the "Tell me about yourself" question out of the way.
- Be super "on top" of every line item on your resume. The recruiter can cherry pick stuff relevant to the role and they'd want to dig into this.
- Use the opportunity to find out more about the role, what the hiring manager is looking for, how the org is structured, what the recruiter thinks will be key challenges etc. This is a great opportunity to customize your answers further down.
- *Don't share salary expectations upfront - you won't be doing yourself a favour. We'll be writing a separate article on how to field this question in a couple of weeks and will link this in here at that point.
- What do you know about DoorDash?
- Why are you looking for a new role?
- Are you familiar with DoorDash' business model?
- Why do you feel the DoorDash Product Manager role is a good fit for you?
- Tell me about yourself
- What do you think is your most relevant past experience for this role?
- Are you interviewing anywhere else in parallel?
- What are your salary expectations?
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This is an Analytical exercise. You're given a set of hypothetical data usually in excel worksheets and either have to extract insights from them; or answer specific questions.
Not all candidates have to do this step; some skip it entirely. Depends on a combination of what the hiring manager and recruiter decide; whether you're going in via referral; and how good your perceived fit for the role is. Based on candidate reporting (could be inaccurate, but is a decent proxy) - only 25% of all candidates reported receiving this in the last 12 months.
For those who do receive this assignment - they reported it took roughly 3h to complete.
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The second interview is another phone screen, except this time it is arranged by a Hiring Manager who may be accompanied by a currently working PM. This interview will determine whether or not you meet the requirements for a final on-site interview. Note that:
- The interview will be about 40 mins long.
- The PM interview at DoorDash is divided into two parts: product prioritization and product sense.
What the interviewer will assess
- Can you handle a broad problem statement (often unrelated to DoorDash) all the way from understanding the problem, clarifying relevant constraints, thinking of market landscape and user challenges, to a proposed set of solutions - all within a super short 20-25min?
- Can you make pragmatic but relevant tradeoffs when it comes to narrowing down your answer at different stages. Eg the customer segment to focus on; a particular problem or pain point to dig into; or a solution to start exploring in more depth.
- Can you isolate key metrics which give are a good proxy for directionality and impact?
- Can you communicate your thought process succinctly yet effectively?
- If you're interviewing for a senior role - can you drive the conversation alongside your interviewer rather than purely reacting - in a logical way that flows rather than rigidly adheres to a theoretical framework.
- If you're interviewing for a Principal or Group role - can you call out the opportunities to leverage your space/org; the complexity you'll encounter therein; and the ways in which you would approach these.
- Ultimately - nearly all your core PM competencies (product strategy, ideation, brainstorming, prioritization, MVP thinking, execution, metrics and iteration skills), are tested albeit slightly superficially in this round.
- There's a tremendous amount of area being covered in this interview. You want to be super concise - you don't want your interviewer noting "didn't have a chance to explore xyz" in their interview feedback.
- Make sure to leverage opportunities to flag fit. Eg. "I've actually built a product for a similar customer segment at xyz; and my insight was that they often struggle with abc" both shows an appreciation for customer problem while driving home your unique fit for a role.
- Practice. Extensively. Can't stress this enough. We're a mock interviews platform so we have a biased take on this - but honestly; this isn't something you want to go unprepared into since interviews have a habit of going down tangents you can't anticipate beforehand; and it's less the "content" part of the practice and more the "mindset" that practicing with coaches can hep you get into, that is the most valuable part of working with a coach. For DoorDash specifically, Prepfully has 2 excellent Product Managers from DoorDash here who provide 1-1 interview coaching.
- If you were a Product Manager at DoorDash, which space would you aim to explore expanding into for the company?
- Suppose you are a PM at DoorDash. What steps will you take to improve engagement?
- You own six pizza shops in town and want to increase your sales. Would you create a smartphone app or use Uber Eats?
- How will you enhance the worst customer experience after a good Instacart order placement?
- DoorDash wants to expand to a new market - what would you think about before taking action?
- How can you boost DoorDash's post-booking experience after the user has placed their order?
The final stage of the DoorDash Product Manager interview process is a series of conversations - previously onsite; but post-covid virtually. These will be with a range of PMs and Senior PMs - depending on the seniority you're interviewing for there will also be Directors or Group PMs involved.
There are 4 broad interviews, and an extra one for People manager roles
- Product Sense
- Product Analytics
- Product Prioritization
- People Management & Leadership - only for Group Product Manager roles.
Some roles will also involve
- Take home assignment presentation
- Technical interview
What the interviewer will assess
- Product Sense: Can you handle a broad problem statement (often unrelated to DoorDash) all the way from understanding the problem, clarifying relevant constraints, thinking of market landscape and user challenges, to a proposed set of solutions? Can you think strategically, but also pragmatically; and in a way that allows you to demonstrate your skills across a wide range of topics in roughly 45min?
- Product Prioritization: Can you make relevant tradeoffs? Remember - it isn't prioritization if it's obvious and doesn't hurt. Your interviewers are seeing if you are aware of how difficult some decisions can be; and your approach to navigating problems you might create when you accept these tradeoffs. Ultimately you want to be able to smartly narrow down your answer at different stages (I gave a few examples above) - but also should be able to think of how you would approach prioritization in theoretical scenarios your interviewer might present.
- Product Analytics: The goal here is to see if you can leverage data to drive insights and actions. Three types of questions that typically come up here. 1) What metrics would you use to track success; why; what tradeoffs are involved in choosing them etc. 2) How would you react to a metric going a certain way in - either in an experiment (eg. you rolled out a new change and clicks went up but bookings went down - what do you do next), or to a metric going negative without a directly associated event (eg. you come in and see Dasher delivery timings are up by 25%; what could be happening) - so troubleshooting equivalent questions. 3) How would you come up with a hypothesis to drive some specific sort of impact, what proxy metrics would you track to (in)validate it - what secondary metrics could provide more insight etc. Finally there's a 4th which is nearly never asked now - opportunity sizing. How many Dashers do you need to cover New York? sort of question. Your interviewers are trying to get an idea of how comfortable you are with numbers and using them within your decision making framework.
- Values: This one is the most straightforward. Motivational and behavioral fit with DoorDash. Will you succeed in Doordash' ecosystem, way of working, involving stakeholders in the right way etc.
- People Management and Leadership: Mostly only needed for Group PM and Director roles; but topics span from building/growing your team; managing performance - both high performers and low performers; helping your directs grow their career and craft; challenges and opportunities you've identified and leveraged etc.
- Product Sense: Practice thinking day to day about products you use (both tech and non-tech). And once you feel you're ready - practice with peers or coaches to make sure you're approaching these questions the right way.
- Product Prioritization: Think in advance of difficult tradeoffs you've had to make. Obvious ones are tech debt vs features. Harder ones could be small step iterations & wins vs long term bets. The truly insightful ones that reveal your approach to the craft will be more meta-level such as "catching up to a competitor" vs "building a differentiator". Try to then apply this previous experience and knowledge in the context of an interview. Frame it in a way that shows that you've had to deal with this sort of thing before.
- Values: 1) Ready up on DoorDash' values; make sure to embed themes within your answers *in the context of a Product Manager at DoorDash* since this is effectively a shortcut to the checkboxes your interviewer will inevitably need to tick in their interview rubrik. 2) Prepare your stories beforehand optimizing for the key takeaway you want your interviewers to have. Too many candidates treat this interview like a fireside chat. That's a mistake - your interviewer is trying to understand if you can handle really difficult, tricky situations. Getting to know you and your past situations is the "pleasant side effect" - the real question they are trying to answer is going to be something like "Hey, I know this team's PM is going to have a hard time with the UX person given the really difficult tradeoffs that need to be made between user experience and revenue. Let me maybe ask a question that helps me suss out how they'll react", and the question is innocently going to be framed as "Tell me about a time you couldn't reach an agreement with a peer". You want to make sure you deliver your takeaways, learning and competence extremely clearly rather than leaving it for the interviewer to "extract" from your answer.
- People Management: Don't prepare only for the happy path - most interviewers will ask you about the challenges since this is where the biggest existential issues to a team's success can occur. Make sure to have some honest examples of difficult conversations you've had to have, as well as of times where you didn't manage to make things work out. Everyone fails sometimes - they want to see you having learnt from the failure in a direct and tangible way; and you need to have these examples ready.
- What would you prioritize next if you were in charge of LinkedIn?
- How would you develop the AirBnB recommendation algorithm for guests?
- How do you define success when it comes to Yelp reviews?
- You work as a PM for a food delivery app. Over the last week, restaurant supply has decreased by 10%. What are you going to do about it?
- At Instacart, you work as a PM. What do you believe can go wrong after the customer places an order?
- What are the most common issues that arise during the delivery process after a customer has placed an order?
- As a PM at DoorDash, what improvements would you want to make first?
- Create a product that assists teenagers in finding new places to eat.
- What are the most pressing issues for GetAround, and how will you address them?
- Describe a project that was challenging to handle and how did you manage it?
- What is your communication and leadership style?
- When do you realize a project has gotten off track?
- How can you get a project back on track if it is falling behind schedule?
- Do you have budgeting experience?
- Have you worked with remote teams or outsourced resources?
- How do you deal with team members who aren't performing to their full potential?
- How do you cope with being overburdened or underperforming?
- What's your approach to collaborating with your stakeholders?
- What is the most serious misstep you've taken on a project?
Practice with a DoorDash PM. Get specific, granular, targeted advice on your performance.→ Book a Session
Responsibilities of a Product Manager at DoorDash
The responsibilities of a PM at DoorDash across roles can broadly be seen as-
- End to end ownership of key product areas, from strategy to execution. For instance, conduct market research, analyze customer insights, and identify opportunities for product improvements and innovations.
- Own the product strategy and vision, define the product roadmap and alignment, and help drive your team through the execution. You will be monitoring KPIs and metrics to assess the effectiveness of product initiatives and drive data-informed decision-making.
- Create direct relationships with merchants, consumers and Dashers to deeply understand their perspectives and pain points as you develop your strategy. It’s crucial to be able to incorporate customer insight into your product planning.
- Grow and scale a business line within DoorDash. Identify growth opportunities and develop strategies to expand and scale a specific business line within the DoorDash platform.
Skills and Qualifications needed for Product Managers at DoorDash
Here are some of the skills and qualifications that we’ve seen DoorDash Hiring Managers typically filter for, in PM candidates.
- For most roles, you’ll be expected to have at least 5+ years of industry experience in PM roles.
- Having prior experience in user-facing roles within industries like eCommerce, technology, or multi-sided marketplaces can be really helpful since you have a lot of context relevant to DoorDash on your hands.
- Showcase your ability to drive product strategy, align product vision with business objectives, and execute on product roadmaps.
- Demonstrate your experience in presenting business reviews and insights to senior executives. Effective communication with stakeholders at all levels is crucial in Product Management, as it helps build alignment, gain buy-in, and drive decision-making.
- Prior user-facing experience in industries such as eCommerce, technology or multi-sided marketplaces will be essential.
- Emphasize your ability to thrive in a cross-functional environment. PMs work closely with operations, engineering, design, and other teams to bring products to market.
The salary range for a product manager at DoorDash can vary depending on several factors such as experience, location, and level of responsibility. It's important to note that salary ranges can also change over time due to market conditions and other factors. The salary range for a product manager at DoorDash is generally between $100,000 to $180,000 per year.
That's basically it. tl;dr the DoorDash PM interview process will consist of
1. A phone screen with a recruiter
2. (Sometimes) a take home assessments
3. Phone screen with hiring manager and/or current PM
3. (Virtual) On-site interviews - 3-4 rounds covering Product Sense, Product Analytics, Product Prioritization and Values
The process typically takes 4-6 weeks.
As I mentioned above - once you're ready with your prep and either want good quality practice with a DoorDash PM - or just a sense check of your "readiness level" on one of the interview types - book a 1-1 coaching session with a DoorDash Product Manager here.