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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Crackweaselenespanol == deleted

I am a budding writer. Blogging takes a great deal of mental energy let alone trying to keep up with two new blogs.

I wanted to write a spanish version of crackweasel.wordpress.com but there are minor translating complications, many involving tech terms. It also seems that it would be easier to write up entirely new spanish posts rather than translate old english ones. I am expending far more energy than I would like to on crackweaselenespanol.wordpress.com right now so I am getting rid of that blog and keeping this one instead.

I am sorry and I hope you enjoy the rest of my blogs.

My method of blogging: weird or awesome?

I was encouraged to write about how I blog because it is an odd concept. Most people, when they want to write a blog either 1) pick up a pen and paper and start jotting ideas or 2) they grab their laptop and type furiously while trying to keep up with their overflowing thoughts. And if they are lucky enough, they blast out page after page of amazing stories that are then ready to be shared with the world. I, on the other hand, employ a completely different method. If you sit me in front of a computer or give me physical writing materials, I will probably only produce a couple lines of ideas and that is it. I thought I was abnormally lazy or had a lifetime’s worth of writer’s block but I never had trouble telling friends my awesome adventures. A couple days ago, I was thinking about how much I text and how twitter helps me compile my ideas together so I figured I would try texting out my blog. Oddly enough, it worked. I type about 130-140 characters per text, send it to my email and then paste the content to my blog. This process seems a bit roundabout and is not very RESTful. It also sucks that my phone will not let me send larger texts to my phone but hell, it gets the job done. This new found ingenious outlet has made me extremely giddy and I hope to be blasting out plenty awesomeness. I hope you enjoy my absurd stories. Also, Happy Square Root Day!