My Answers to Uber’s Creative Writing Test

Job hunting is hard. And job hunting can be mind boggling when recruiters are vague upon rejecting your application.

I recently did a phone interview with Uber. I was extremely excited when the recruiter told me that she liked my ideas and hell, Uber would be an awesome place to work at. Following the phone interview, I was asked to take their creative writing test (which was supposed to take several hours).

After 5 hours of tears and sweat, I submitted my creative writing test only to be informed that my test results weren’t “quite where we needed them to be”. When I asked for a copy of acceptable answers, I was told that they couldn’t “pass along other candidate’s work”.

It is unfortunate and frustrating when companies sweep candidates under the rug without blinking an eye. Is it so hard to ask for a little feedback? It seems to be the case.

With that said, I would like to share my answers to Uber’s creative writing test. I’m quite proud of my work and I hope you enjoy it too:

Section 1: Marketing

“Category 1: A promotion focused on acquiring users for our low-cost option, UberX”

UberX Marks the Spot

Aloha from UberX! We love hearing from our fans so we want you to send us an online postcard of your favorite getaway spot. Through our Facebook event page, upload a photo of you and your Uber X and tell us why this destination holds a place in your heart. The top 5 postcards with the most likes will win awesome prizes. Good luck and bon voyage!

“Category 2: An on-demand promotion similar to Uber Ice Cream our Uber Chopper.”

Uber Presents Its First Blood Drive

Uber is partnering with the American Red Cross and Kara’s Cupcakes this week! Support this great cause by donating blood. If you donate, we’ll give you awesome Uber swag and a cupcake. Let’s make this the gift that keeps on giving.

“B) Laundry List: Create a laundry list of marketing ideas, whether an event/promo/etc. Include a 1-2 sentence description for each, topped off with a creative & catchy blog post title for that idea.”

Life in the Uber Lane
We’re offering a once in a lifetime ride in our sexy sports car. Sit back as our world renowned sports car driver speeds through the hills of San Francisco. Buckle your seat belt, it’s going to be a bumpy ride!

Treat Yourself to an Uber Shopping Spree
Retweet this post and the person with the most RTs will be our lucky winner! We’ll pick you up in our UberSUV and take you to the Stonestown Galleria where you can spend $500 on whatever your heart desires. You deserve it to be pampered.

Fall in Love with Uber
Share your love story and you could win a getaway for two to Napa. We’ll send you in style with UberLux and you’ll be whisked away on a romantic hot air balloon ride. Love is in the air.

Uber Bus Double Decker Fun
The xth user will win a sponsored party on a double decker bus. Invite 10 of your friends for a fun night on the town, Uber style!

“C) Practical: Find a bar or restaurant in your city that you believe would make a good partner for Uber. Talk with the owners and managers of that bar. How would they want to partner with Uber? What do they want in return? How would you structure this partnership to be most beneficial for Uber?”

Based on previous research experience, I would need at least a week or two to correspond with the owners and managers of the bar/restaurant (especially if the correspondence is done over email). My prospective locations included:

I called each location and was either told to send the manager an email or that the manager would get back to me. Here are the questions I have written up:

1. Are you familiar with Uber? (Any restaurants that were familiar with Uber would be given first priority).
2. If you could partner with them, what would your bar/restaurant be able to offer?
3. What would you like in return?

Section 2: Support

“Driver turned a two mile trip into an 8 mile trip. No way I’m paying this. Expect a chargeback and some posts through my social media channels.”

Hi (customer_name),

We apologize for any inconveniences this may have caused.

Our team will look into this issue and if we have any additional questions, we will contact you directly.

Thank you for using Uber.

Sincerely,

Your Uber Team

“Hey Uber, I had a really strange interaction with my driver yesterday. First, he was a bit terse and distracted when trying to figure out my pickup location. Then, when I finally got in the car, he got into an accident. I know these things happen. But the reason he got into an accident was that he was insisting on passing a water bottle to me in the backseat. I didn’t even ask for one.

The worst part was that he wouldn’t let me out of the car after the accident. The child locks were on. I asked to be let out but he said “No. It will only take a minute.” I asked one more time to open the doors, but again he said that he would be done in a minute. I felt uncomfortable at this point, so did not ask again. Could you explain how this behavior could come from one of your employees?”

Hi (customer_name),

We sincerely apologize for the recent accident.

If you are unhappy with your recent Uber trip, please contact the Transportation Provider as they handle official complaints and are able to take appropriate actions.

As stated on our Legal page:

“The quality of the transportation services requested through the use of the Application or the Service is entirely the responsibility of the Transportation Provider who ultimately provides such transportation services to you. Uber under no circumstance accepts liability in connection with and/or arising from the transportation services provided by the Transportation Provider or any acts, action, behaviour, conduct, and/or negligence on the part of the Transportation Provider. Any complaints about the transportation services provided by the Transportation Provider should therefore be submitted to the Transportation Provider.”

For further information, please visit:

https://www.uber.com/legal

We apologize for any inconveniences this may cause and thank you for contacting Uber.

Sincerely,

Your Uber Team

“Uber made my engagement last night! I was proposing to my longtime girlfriend, and I knew I needed that special touch. I ordered an UberBLACK for the occasion. I could not have asked for a better driver. He really made the event feel special. Thanks Uber!”

Hi (customer_name),

We are ecstatic that we could help you with your engagement! Congratulations to you and your fiancé. If you are happy with your recent Uber experience, please feel free to mention us on Twitter or Facebook.

Thank you again for sharing your story with us and we hope you continue to use Uber.

Sincerely,

Your Uber Team

Section 3: Analytics

“Which promo should we use and why?”

Option 1 –
1000 attendees
$10 off trip
1% redeeming promo
$20 average trip
10 rides/year
25% margin for Uber

10 people are redeeming the coupon * ($20 average trip – $10 off trip) = $100 for promo * 25% for Uber = $25 profit
10 people * ($20 average trip * 9 remaining trips) = $1800 * 25% for Uber = $450 profit
Total profit: $475

Option 2 –
1000 attendees
$15 off trip
2% redeeming promo
$20 average trip
10 rides/year
25% margin for Uber

20 people are redeeming the coupon * ($20 average trip – $15 off trip) = $100 for promo * 25% for Uber = $25 profit
20 people * ($20 average trip * 9 remaining trips) = $3600 * 25% for Uber = $900 profit
Total profit: $925

Option 3 –
1000 attendees
$20 off trip
5% redeeming promo
$20 average trip
10 rides/year
25% margin for Uber

50 people are redeeming the coupon * ($20 average trip – $20 off trip) = $0 profit
50 people * ($20 average trip * 9 remaining trips) = $9000 * 25% for Uber = $2250 profit
Total profit: $2250

Option 3 is the best promotion.

“If we want to return a profit on each rider within 6 months, what is the max amount that we would give on a promo?”

6 months = 5 trips per person
5 trips * $20 average trip = $100 total

Uber can create a promotion of up to $100 but they will not make any profit during this period.

“How would you think about increasing conversion? [“promo conversion”?]”

If a user spends x amount on a ride, Uber will match the amount in credit.

“Unrelated to the above table and questions:

Youʼve noticed that average trips/signup has gone down:

What could be causing this?”

Decrease in advertising spend or everyone already knows about Uber. Other possible causes: holidays or weather.

“How might you increase it?”

Increase advertising spend.

Holidays: Promotions for people staying in SF for the holidays/visitors

Weather: Appeal to people’s likes (e.g. if it’s hot out, air conditioned vehicles; if it’s cold out, heated vehicles, etc).

To view Uber’s creative writing questions, click here: CM Marketing Focused

To view my answers, click here: Uber Creative Answers

Thanks for reading!


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15 thoughts on “My Answers to Uber’s Creative Writing Test

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  5. Here’s a bit of insight on why I believe you weren’t hired: First off, I LOVE some of your promo ideas- super cute, and AWESOME wording (ie; love is in the air for the hot air balloon ride).

    The issues you ran into were the part about contacting bars- you just didn’t go out of your way to touch base with anyone, and though your excuse may be valid (no one got back to you), they want to see that you have drive. If you couldn’t touch base with two bar owners, you should have gone to more. Not just via email/phone, but bang down the doors- go the bars themselves. Seriously, every bar until you speak to someone. This conveyed laziness to me.

    Also, the customer response emails weren’t acceptable- Uber is known for being SUPER friendly and relatable. These sound like really generic, canned answers. That’s not who uber is. Especially the one about the accident. If I received an email back like that, I’d be REALLY annoyed, as I would get the impression I was brushed off and not cared about.

  6. I love the ideas! I agree with Melissa, though, that you didn’t do enough work on this. I also think that you didn’t fully complete the first portion per Uber’s instructions. For each of the first two categories (a promotion for UberX and Uber Chopper, respectively) you were supposed to write a full project plan with a LOT of detail. You only wrote a couple of sentences for each:
    For each project plan, include:
    ●What are your goals? What are you looking to accomplish?
    ●What is your audience for this promotion?
    ●A comprehensive outline of how a potential rider would interact with your promotion
    ●How you will you message this promotion? Social media? Email? Third party?
    ●What will be messaged to the public? Write a paragraph or two of copy that explains the promotion and engages your audience
    ●What possible pitfalls do you see in organizing this promotion? How you will get around those pitfalls?
    ●How will you measure the efficacy of these promotions?

  7. You lost the opportunity to grow an awesome relationship with someone who loves Uber more than anyone.

    You could use his testimonial everywhere and ask him to do lots of things with you… also, you could do something with the driver, lots of opportunities there.

    I also agree, you’d really get me Infuriated with that “none of my business response”

  8. Great work Cristina, Thanks to you I finally have an insight on how the pattern looks like and I can surely say, this post is helping thousands of Uber aspirants to prepare better. ♥♫♪

    -A fellow uberite ☻

    • “You learnt about recently?”
      One comment above, you are the CEO of Coursetake.com and a comment below you are referring to an Udemy course Instructed by “Coursetake Course Marketplace”.!
      What a coincidence and such a great credibility! No, thanks…

  9. @Christina – super useful, many thanks! I cannot reach to your link “To view my answers, click here: Uber Creative Answers” The link gives 404 error. Could you look into that and let us know when this is fixed?
    P.S. Kudos for your time and energy spent on creating this! You are helping a lot to those of us who are still trying their chance with them! xx

  10. Great post. I learned about Uber Analytics Test, while developing a complete training system for it.
    I have looked at numerous tests and questions, I have been reading material on UBER for weeks and consider myself an expert user of Microsoft Excel. And I still believe it will be a hard test to ace, if I ever decide to take it.
    All of us that worked for this training system, put a lot of effort in it, and are really proud for the outcome.
    During my research for UBER I have found numerous pages and posts on the test and from people looking on some help and advice on it. Among them yours as well.
    The company I work for, decided to offer this training system, COMPETELY FREE, at least for now.
    I never post anything that I consider to be spam or advertisement. I don’t believe this is either, since the product is offered for free from TEST4U and I only post it in places who have shown interest on the UBER Analytics Test.
    In case any of your readers are interested and if you approve I pridefully present to you:

    TEST4U UBER Analytics Test v.3.1 & v.6.16

    http://www.test4u.eu/en/e-tests/uber-analytics-test-preparation-training-en
    It offers:
    Variety in exercises for UBER Analytics Test with incorporated Video-lessons
    Unlimited Tests with immediate evaluation of answers
    A presentation explaining the interview process
    A presentation with a glossary for all UBER services and Vocabulary
    A Presentation with 20 sample Essay Questions.

  11. Hey Cristina,

    Thanks so much for posting this, I was uber-interested in checking out the test even though I haven’t applied for any of the roles!

    I’ll give you some feedback on where you fell short:

    1) The answers you provided to the analytics questions were wrong. The drivers don’t work free, so you have to factor in and absorb the costs of fulfilling the initial offer.

    Check out this: http://i68.tinypic.com/209rjhz.png

    You approach it in 2 parts and then explain it in your answer so even if you (or I) get it wrong they see your methodology. In maths exams at school you get points for the answer + the method.

    a) The free promo, factoring in the cost to Uber is the driver costs
    b) The 9 remaining trips of the year
    c) The P&L based on estimated redemptions

    2) The answers you gave to the customer questions were incredibly corporate and unhelpful, showing no signs of thinking outside of the box or going the extra mile:

    1) We’re so sorry, I’ve ALREADY investigated this for you and refunded your trip, and here is $10 off your next trip and I will speak to the driver to ensure them such instances are not how we do things at Uber, please continue to have faith in our service!

    2) [Not really sure, express how sorry I am for it and how I will work to identify what happened myself and get back to them by X date with our resolution]. Throwing legal terms and conditions at them is absolutely unacceptable response to give to such a situation – the customer was locked in the car by an Uber driver, come on!

    3) Congrats on getting married! Would you like to refer all your friends with a special voucher code so they can all get to your wedding day
    or maybe even ‘can we come and do a video about your great experience for our youtube?’
    or maybe even send them an engagement card in the post

    4) NEVER EVER EVER in an interview for a marketing role, when faced with a scenario of falling acquisition, offer a solution of ‘increasing spend’. No no no! If falling acquisition AND retention, it’ll likely signal arrival of competitors into the market place that weren’t there before (example Lyft, Gett, etc) so you would need to benchmark their marketing activities (see what new customer promotions they are offering, compare prices and services) and optimise your existing campaigns accordingly BEFORE you increase spend.

    Hope that helps,

    Stuart

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