Verified by Engineering Manager at UBER

Uber Engineering Manager Interview Guide

Interview Guide Jan 25

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

The role of an UBER Engineering Manager

Uber is all about global impact, and as an EM, you're at the forefront of it. You're in the mix with world-class talent, surrounded by seasoned engineering pros, data scientists, and research scientists, all working on user-facing products that leave a global footprint.

As an EM, you will dive into the world of data and analytics to craft top-notch systems for Uber's delivery marketplace. This is your chance to be part of groundbreaking technology that shapes the future of transportation.

The average total compensation for an Uber EM is a sweet $599,852. Here's the breakdown:

  • Base Salary: $242,620
  • Stock Grant (Per Year): $314,232
  • Bonus: $43,000

UBER Engineering Manager Interview Guide

The Uber Engineering Manager Interview comprises 3 primary rounds:

  • Phone Screen
  • Technical Phone Screen
  • Onsite
Relevant Guides

Uber EM - Phone Screening


So, the first step in the Uber interview loop is a 30-minute screening with a recruiter. They're basically trying to get a feel for you and your fit within the Uber culture. 

Here are the key points they'll likely hit:

  • It often starts with the classic "Tell me about yourself." Make sure you have a short, snappy intro ready to roll with. Give them a quick tour of your technical journey—highlight the key roles you've played, projects you've tackled, and technologies you've leveraged. Keep it concise but compelling.
  • They'll inevitably pop the question – “Why the EM role, and why specifically Uber?” Have a crisp and genuine answer ready. Maybe it's the innovative tech, the impact on the world, or the unique challenges they throw your way. Whatever it is, sound enthusiastic about joining the company as well as why you think you'd succeed at Uber. 
  • And finally, be super familiar with your past work. Make sure to have a project you can talk about from each of your previous roles. Organise your thoughts in advance – talk about your contributions, how the project unfolded, and what you learnt.

Uber EM - Technical Phone Screen


Next is a one-hour phone chat with a Software Engineer or Engineering Manager. This will typically be a technical round revolving around data structures and algorithms.

Three key points for the technical screen:

  • To begin with, make sure you have a solid grasp of basic algorithms and data structures. Brush up on sorting and searching algorithms, and common data structures (arrays, linked lists, trees, and hash tables).
  • You can expect open-ended questions that don't have a straightforward answer. Basically, they want you to ask clarifying questions as well as challenge your assumptions to get a feel of your problem-solving process. Make sure you don't jump to solutions; Instead work collaboratively with the interviewer, ask questions, accurately define the problem statement and requirements, and work towards an optimum solution. 
  • Next, it is important to walk the interviewer through your thought process algorithmically. Once you've mapped out your approach, implement the code. Be meticulous – fix any bugs or mistakes. Optimise where you can. Test your solution rigorously, and be prepared to discuss it thoroughly, addressing any clarifying questions that come your way.
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Uber EM - Onsite Rounds


Finally, you will be called onsite where you will face up to 6 back-to-back interviews with senior staff engineers, Uber EMs, and directors.

Here's a breakdown of the rounds you'll face:

  • Up to 2 Coding Rounds
  • System Design Round
  • System Architecture Discussion
  • People Leadership Interview (including team building and management)
  • Behavioural Interview
1-2 Coding Rounds

The first in the onsite loop of Uber EMs is the coding rounds – usually 1-2 of them. Since it's a managerial role, the emphasis is on conceptual understanding rather than rote memorization of algorithms. You will be expected to demonstrate proficiency in at least one programming language, preferably C++, Java, Python, Go, or C.

You will have around 1 hour to solve 2 coding problems. You will need to either whiteboard your solutions or type code into a shared tool; there won't be syntactic support or autocomplete features, essentially mimicking real-world coding scenarios. You can leverage platforms like LeetCode, HackerRank for time-constrained practice.

In addition to coding, the interviewer may ask conceptual questions. For instance, “Explain the concept of Object-Oriented Programming (OOP) and how it enhances code modularity.”

System Design and Architecture

The most challenging and crucial of the onsite loop are the System Design and Architecture discussions, opposite a Senior Staff Engineer, where you are assessed on your ability to draw an end-to-end design for a large-scale system.

Your role is to take the lead in defining what the system should accomplish as your interviewer steers the conversation into the constraints and essential components they want to touch upon.

Here are 4 tips for this round:

  • Prioritise understanding the problem thoroughly before diving into solutions. Clarify details, define the scope, articulate your approach, and explain your goals. This not only showcases your problem-solving skills but also allows the interviewer to guide the discussion in their desired direction.
  • Pay close attention to feedback from your interviewer. They have an extensive list of themes to cover, and will provide hints like "let's assume xyz isn't a constraint." Use these cues to seamlessly transition to the next theme, aligning with the interviewer's expectations. For example, if asked about global usage, pivot to discussing geographical scaling through CDNs.  Having a solid grasp of modern distributed systems design is crucial – understand the critical black boxes and factor in considerations like memory, disk, and latency capabilities. If you bring deep expertise, especially in areas like kernels, file systems, networking systems, or JavaScript, be prepared for targeted questions in those domains as well. 
  • Generate multiple ideas for the presented constraints. Succinctly mention them, explain trade offs, and then make a deliberate decision. Practise this process well; you can seek help from friends or leverage professional platforms like Prepfully, where experienced Uber EMs can guide you through the unpredictable nature of this round.
  • Finally, if you're unsure of the interviewer's expectations, don't hesitate to admit it. Rather than attempting to bluff your way through, propose exploring solutions through guesswork with the interviewer's guidance.

    Example Questions:
  • Develop a global e-learning platform to handle video content delivery efficiently.
  • Create a messaging application for a virtual reality social platform.
  • Outline the design of a location-based augmented reality navigation app.
  • Engineer an API to support collaborative document editing in a cloud-based workspace.
  • Design a recommendation system API for a music streaming service.
  • Build Meta Chat.
  • Design a mobile image search client.
  • Build an API to power a crowd-sourced address book.
  • Design a restaurant listing API for Uber Eats.
  • What's your experience in developing native mobile apps?
People Leadership Interview/Behavioral Round

Finally, diving into the behavioural rounds, you'll face two kinds of interviews: People Management and Project Management

  • People Management Interview: Get ready for a mix of situational questions digging into your people leadership game. They'll pose real-world scenarios covering everything about leading people—from hiring and growing teams, juggling high and low performers, etc. Expect a mix of "how would you do this" and "tell us about a time when" scenarios—and have a framework ready to tackle them.
  • Project Management Interview: Here, you can expect a bunch of hypothetical and experiential questions. Think ahead and decide on end-to-end projects you've owned, especially if it's a tech-heavy one. Highlight the details of what project management methodologies you chose, the tradeoffs you made, handled technical dependencies, approached risk management, and kept teams collaborating efficiently. The aim is to highlight your knack for driving topics forward, getting results, and making sure your team is committed to broader business objectives.

In both scenarios, the end goal is to make sure you share concrete stories that showcase your people/project management and leadership prowess. Prepare a couple of detailed anecdotes that illustrate your journey in managing people—where you've excelled in coaching or mentorship, handled difficult project challenges, played a role in team-building, contributed to talent acquisition, and so on.

Interview Questions

  • Can you provide examples of projects where you demonstrated leadership, even without a formal managerial title?
  • How do you evaluate the success or failure of a project?
  • Where was your contribution most relevant?
  • Can you share a story of when you made a significant impact on someone's life?
  • Have you documented stories about yourself that you want the company to know?
  • How do you approach risks, deciding when to take them, and strategies for avoiding them?
  • What successful metrics/KPIs have you achieved, and how do you measure your team's success?
  • Reflect on instances where you faced failure. What did you learn from those situations?
  • What is your approach to strategic planning?
  • How much data does your team handle on a daily basis?
  • How did you ensure you addressed team challenges in a balanced way?
  • How would you take ownership and maintain creativity while moving quickly?
  • How do you handle a skills gap or personality conflict within the team?
  • How do you ensure your team is diverse and inclusive?
  • How do you recognize signs of burnout among your team members?
  • What is your approach to organising day-to-day work activities?
  • How would you persuade a team to adopt a new technology?
  • What’s your personal project management philosophy, and how do you apply it to the projects you manage?
  • How do you navigate projects without defined end dates, and how do you prioritise multiple projects of varying complexity?

Uber Engineering Manager Roles and Responsibilities

Following are the roles and responsibilities of a Uber Engineering Manager:

  • As an Uber Engineering Manager, the role involves leading a dedicated team of software engineers, requiring effective guidance to ensure the delivery of high-quality solutions.
  • Collaboration with stakeholders and cross-functional teams is integral, involving leadership in planning and executing through the entire product cycle.
  • Active engagement with engineering teams is crucial for identifying opportunities, gathering requirements, and contributing to the overarching technology roadmap and vision. 
  • Drawing on technical expertise, the manager plays a key role in facilitating technical decision-making, contributing to the team's engineering excellence.
  • Recruitment of top-tier engineering talent, leadership development, and fostering a collaborative team environment are key aspects of the role.

Uber Engineering Manager Skills and Qualifications

Here are the skills and qualifications that a Uber Engineering Manager must have:

  • You'll need a solid 8+ years of experience in software engineering. They're big on leadership, so 3+ years of direct people management experience is a must. You'll be the mentor, the guide, shaping engineers at different levels.
  • They want a track record of delivering results comfortably in a fast-paced, highly ambiguous environments. Also, excellent communication and analytical skills are non-negotiable.
  • You should have a strong background in developing robust, high-scale systems. You should have at least 2+ years managing and building engineering teams.
  • You should be able to partner across functions and organizational boundaries.

Frequently Asked Questions