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Airbnb Interview
Questions

30 Questions and Answers by Rachelle Enns

Published September 16th, 2018 | Rachelle is a job search expert, career coach, and headhunter
who helps everyone from students to fortune executives find success in their career.
Job Interviews     Companies     Technology     Software And Technology    
Question 1 of 30
Culture fit is important to us at Airbnb. How would you describe your personality?
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How to Answer
Named 'Company of the Year' among other prestigious awards, Airbnb bucks the system when it comes to typical corporate workplace culture. The more you read, the more you will see that their model is for people who ask for excellence from themselves, their employer, and their colleagues. According to Brian Chesky, the founder of Airbnb, 'Culture is simply a shared way of doing something with passion.

Discuss with the interviewer how you would describe your personality, keeping these core needs and values in mind.
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Answer Examples
1.
Culture fit is important to us at Airbnb. How would you describe your personality?
Named 'Company of the Year' among other prestigious awards, Airbnb bucks the system when it comes to typical corporate workplace culture. The more you read, the more you will see that their model is for people who ask for excellence from themselves, their employer, and their colleagues. According to Brian Chesky, the founder of Airbnb, 'Culture is simply a shared way of doing something with passion.

Discuss with the interviewer how you would describe your personality, keeping these core needs and values in mind.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"I would describe myself as a passionate do-er. I like to give and receive feedback, which I implement immediately. I am adaptable and not stuck on particular rules. I believe in flexibility and creativity while remaining considerate to my employer and my coworkers."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"I believe that my personality will fit well with the Airbnb award-winning culture since I am an independent decision maker who widely accepts, and implements feedback."
Anonymous Answer
"I would describe myself as a passionate and disciplined do-er. I'm hungry to learn more and be challenged by a team of positive, hard-working individuals. I'm adaptable and a quick learner, and above all, I believe in kindness and am considerate of my coworkers."
Rachelle's Answer
This is a very nice overview of your personality! Be sure to tie this into how your personality will be a strong fit for the culture at Airbnb.
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2.
At Airbnb, we seek to hire leaders. Tell me about a time when you took the initiative to improve work related procedures.
Airbnb wants to engage leaders who will often ask what they can be doing better, ones who will implement feedback, and pivot quickly during times of change. Airbnb values leaders who accomplish what they set out to do, no matter how hard it becomes. Remember - they pride themselves on being disruptors in the hotel and travel industry, but they also admire educated decisions and smart moves. Talk to the hiring manager about a time when you took the initiative in the workplace.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"I recently made suggestions to my manager about the team messaging application we were using. I found a team based app that offered a lower monthly cost, with added features. He took the suggestion, and it has worked well for our team! The company was happy with the cost savings as well. I enjoy demonstrating leadership by presenting new ideas that can save money or simplify the process."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"Just last week my boss had a personal emergency and could not make it in time for our monthly staff meeting. Everyone gathered, and so he called to ask me to take control of the meeting. I feel that I did a great job relaying the information and my boss was thankful for the way that I was able to step in."
3.
How do you define success?
What does success mean to you? Tell the interviewer how you see success and be sure to tie your answer into the success that you plan to bring to this particular position, should you be offered the role.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"I define success by my ability to reach the goals that are set out for me. On a personal level, the things I wish to achieve in my life. On a work level, the targets that are set out for me as well as the professional development that I seek."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"I consider a project a success only when I have produced work that I can be proud of."
4.
Airbnb likes to host Tech Talks for employees. What topic would you be most interested in?
A few times per year, Airbnb will host Tech Talks for their employees to attend. The speakers are usually subject matter experts within various Airbnb departments; however, they have also been known to bring in speakers from Facebook, Lyft, and Dropbox.

Tech Talk topics have included:

- Data-Driven Collaborations in Hyper-Growth Companies
- Machine Learning in Matching & Marketplaces
- Native Product Development

Share with the interviewer a topic or two that would be of interest to you.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"If I could learn anything from a Tech Talk, I would love to learn from industry experts more about native product development. It's a skill and topic that is continually changing. I love learning and appreciate professional development opportunities."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"I have heard a great deal about Airbnb's Tech Talks and greatly appreciate that you invest in your employees so much through professional development opportunities. If I could choose any Tech Talk topic, I would pick anything surrounding Machine Learning and AI. Those topics are fascinating to me."
5.
Do you prefer to use Apple or PC equipment?
At Airbnb, one of the perks they list is that they provide all employees with Apple equipment. Be sure to let the interviewer know that you can work with any types of tech. Discuss what you use at home, and at work. You can keep your reply brief.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"I use all Apple products at home and work, although I have used PC equipment in the past. My preference is Apple; however, I am capable of being productive with either type of equipment."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"I use Apple at work and have both PC and Apple at home. For my tech-related work, I prefer Apple, hands down. PC I do not mind for creating documents and simpler tasks."
6.
How would you explain Airbnb to someone who has never heard of our concept?
The Airbnb concept is not an overly complicated one but, for someone like your elderly grandmother, it may seem unusual. How well you can explain the Airbnb concept will show the interviewer how well you understand it yourself. Keep your answer brief and straightforward.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"I would explain Airbnb as a broker of properties. They do not own any but help owners to rent out their homes, cottages, and condos as a more affordable choice to a hotel. The Airbnb service allows travelers to save money and stay in a homier place while giving people a way to make a second income safely and conveniently."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"I would say that Airbnb offers homeowners the chance to rent out their properties for short-term stays, allowing people to make money renting while also allowing travelers an alternate choice to a hotel. The service is great for large groups who want to rent a whole house or for single business travelers who have grown tired of hotels and desire a home away from home."
7.
If you could choose one celebrity or influencer, who is most like-minded to you, whom would you choose?
The interviewer would like to see which type of celebrity or influencer you most identify. This question may seem like a lot of fun to answer but also keep in mind; there is solid reasoning behind it. Imagine the difference of opinion the interviewer may have of you if you say you are most like Kanye West versus someone like Barack Obama! Give your reply, keeping it to the point. Support your answer with a genuine reason as to why you chose the person that you did.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"If I could choose one influencer, who is most like-minded to me, I would choose Ed Mylett. He is a major voice when it comes to peak performance strategies, possessing an entrepreneurial mindset in everything that you do, and doing good things with life's blessings. His podcast is a big encouragement to me, and I appreciate that he never waivers from his values."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"I greatly admire, and most want to be like Arianna Huffington. In addition to being one of the worlds' largest female influencers in the business world, she is also a generous and intelligent human being. I appreciate people who remain down to earth and interested in helping others despite soaring to fame and wealth."
8.
When have you worked with a diverse group of people?
Airbnb spends a considerable amount of time focused on diversity and social issues. They have always been an active voice in the corporate world for acceptance and marriage equality. Discuss with the interviewer how you plan to contribute to their diverse workplace culture and assure them that you can handle an environment that offers diversity.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"I have worked with diverse groups of people most of my career, including my time at university. I am most comfortable, and happy, in this type of environment because it offers a great learning opportunity."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"I have worked in a diverse environment my entire marketing career. A successful tech company should embrace diversity of all kinds. It's what spurs creative and innovative ideas!"
Anonymous Answer
"At a Homeless Shelter, I worked with adults from various socio-economic groups, also GBLTQ orientation, I never judge people by their orientation, skin color, or the clothes they wear. I treat everyone with respect, no matter what."
Alexandra's Answer
Great answer!
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9.
How do you deal with conflict on your team?
The interviewer is looking to hear about your ability to communicate with your team and professionally handle issues when they arise. Think of an example where you worked closely with your team to resolve a conflict. You could also offer a scenario where you mediated an issue between two coworkers. Show that you can keep your head on your shoulders when dealing with conflict.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"I have strong conflict management skills and in my current position, have had to exercise those skills from time to time. We are in a high-stress work environment which can cause a lot of unnecessary conflict among the team. When a conflict arises, I like to deal with it swiftly, openly, and with poise. Transparency and openness are how I lead my team, so I will call a group meeting where we express concerns and get it all out on the table."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"When there is conflict, I will address the issue head-on, with expediency, and open communication. Hearing the problem before deciding on a solution, and perhaps most importantly, hearing the parties out is most important. I believe in allowing the stakeholders to have a say in what they think will work best for them, and then work together to create a solution that will work best for everyone."
Anonymous Answer
"Allow time to vent and clear up misunderstandings, listen to what is causing the conflict, not allow the tension to linger, bring it out in the open."
Alexandra's Answer
Great answer! This answer displays your openness and your willingness to communicate.
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10.
Which parts of your current position bring you the most stress?
Stress can often be a regular part of the day to day work experience. Talk to the interviewer about which areas of your career are the most stressful. Ensure that your answer does not include a factor that would make you appear unfit for the position. (IE: a bus driver should not find driving to be the most stressful part of the job).

Rachelle's Answer #1
"The part of my career that brings me the most stress is when the schedule is running behind due to lack of hustle on my teams part. I like to be on time with my schedule to ensure that my clients are taken care of."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"I currently have a couple of delinquent team members who are on the brink of termination. I have tried to save them a few times, but now the HR department has become involved. I never like to see people leave, but you cannot force others to have a strong work ethic. The turnover in our department is currently my biggest stressor."
Anonymous Answer
"Being micro-managed by more than one person."
Alexandra's Answer
Great answer! If I were the interviewer I would probably ask follow-up questions to try to understand what specifically is stressful about this. Is it because it's multiple people, or do you do better when you're given responsibility/autonomy?
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11.
Do you feel performance should be rewarded over experience?
The interviewer would like to know your thoughts on being paid based on your work performance, versus being compensated solely on your years of experience. As millennial employees continue to dominate the work scene, more and more employees are requesting compensation based on delivered results. Do you feel that you should be paid based on tenure, or results? Discuss this with the interviewer and back your answer with an example, if possible.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"I feel that employees should be paid, and rewarded, based on their performance. A new employee will find motivation in being rewarded for performance, and it encourages a healthy competition with tenured employees."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"As a high performer myself, I know it feels great to be compensated based on my performance. It's motivating and, in my opinion, a more modern approach to keeping employees happy and engaged."
Anonymous Answer
"Yes, if you are more productive, you should be rewarded, it brings competition from everyone to be more productive."
Alexandra's Answer
Good answer!
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12.
How would you rate your performance in this interview so far?
The interviewer would like to know if you are satisfied with your interview performance. If your interview were a flop, you would know, and it's much better to address outright your performance than try to sweep it under the rug.

If you feel that your performance in the interview is going well: 'I believe that this interview has been quite informative and I am happy with my performance. Is there anything that I can clarify for you from this conversation?'

If you feel that your performance in the interview is not going well: "I am not sure if I have been able to portray myself 100% accurately in this interview; although, I am trying my best. If there is anything more I can clarify for you, I would be happy to do so."
Rachelle's Answer #1
"I am not sure if I have been able to portray myself 100% accurately in this interview; although, I am trying my best. If there is anything more I can clarify for you, I would be happy to do so."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"I would rate my performance as an 8/10. I am happy how I answered most of the questions; however, I feel that I stumbled a bit when you asked me about my expertise with Java and Python. Could I further clarify for you?"
Anonymous Answer
"I feel that I have given great examples to the answers 90 percent, but I am open to clarify any answer more."
Alexandra's Answer
This is an interesting question! If I were the interviewer I would want to know what the 10% is that you felt you could have done better. I think the interviewer is probably looking for critical thinking/assessment along with a mix of confidence and humility. It's great that you end with a willingness to clarify if needed.
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13.
What was one question you didn't want me to ask today?
This question can stand in for the common 'What is your greatest weakness' question. The interviewer is expecting you to be unprepared because it's an uncommon way of asking a question. You may be less scripted than other points in your interview, and the interviewer wants to see how you deal with that.

Two scenarios commonly play out: either a candidate blurts out a weakness, or they pause and respond with something thoughtful. This question gives the interviewer information about you but also a good sense of if you can think on your feet and answer a tough question. Use this as an opportunity to show how weakness can be a strength, or explain something they have not yet asked, but may be an objection to you getting the job. It is then up to you to overcome the opposition.

Remember: it is okay to pause and be thoughtful about your response rather than blurting something out or seeming too rehearsed. Be prepared, but be sincere in your replies.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"I suppose I did not want you to dig into why I applied three years ago and rescinded my application. I feel embarrassed about it because I thought I was ready to leave my current organization and decided that, to be the superstar I want to be at Airbnb, I needed a bit more time and experience. I know that in these past three years I have learned everything I could need to know to shine here and I can't wait to put those last three years of learning and growth into action."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"I didn't want to discuss why it took five years to graduate college. I was working full time while attending college and double majoring. Initially, I was taking the full course load and working full time, then eventually I also switched my major, which added a semester. At that time, I hunkered down and upped the course load while working full time. So, while it may have taken me longer, I learned a lot both in and outside of the classroom, including time management and upping productivity. I know these are important skills that I bring with me to any position, and look forward to leveraging them here at Airbnb."
Anonymous Answer
"What is my weakness"
Alexandra's Answer
If I were the interviewer I would ask you why you were hoping this question wouldn't be asked.
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14.
We seek to hire highly ambitious people. Where would you like your career with Airbnb to take you?
Airbnb has a significant range of available positions within a few departments including Engineering, Data Science and Analytics, Customer Experience, Design, and many more. Have you researched Airbnb enough to know which departments suit you the best? Talk to the interviewer about your career ambitions related to the offerings at Airbnb.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"One of the reasons I was so excited to interview with Airbnb is because of the endless growth opportunities you appear to offer your high performing employees. My biggest ambition is to be awarded a Senior UI Engineer position in the next 3-5 years."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"What interests me most about your company is that there are so many options when it comes to career growth. Ideally, I would like to earn my way into a team lead role, then a Product Manager position in the Data Science and Analytics Department. I have a significant interest in the Data Science Manager position. Of course, I understand that this will take many years of dedication and hard work."
Anonymous Answer
"I want to fine-tune my customer service and problem-solving skills with the safety team and apply for a manager or leadership position."
Alexandra's Answer
Great answer! Here, the interviewer is inquiring whether you have a long-term interest in the company and developing yourself here. By clearly stating goals you have within your potential career at Airbnb, you are demonstrating that you have goals for personal growth and you can be motivated to achieve those at Airbnb.
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15.
In your opinion, what is the most significant impact the internet has made on the world?
This question is an open-ended one, and you are not expected to give a specific response. This answer opinion based. Keep your answer to the point, and avoid rambling, since it is open-ended. How has the internet impacted you, your work, or the businesses in which you are involved? Think too about how the internet has made it possible for companies like Airbnb even to exist, and thrive.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"The internet has impacted the world in immeasurable ways. First, it has allowed businesses like Airbnb to even exist in a way where you can reach and connect people around the world. On a more personal level, the internet has allowed us to see a much broader view of the world and how other people live, work, and play."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"I don't know what we would do without the internet. It's hard to imagine life without it now! I think the most significant impact the internet has made, is giving us helpful information at our fingertips. It's so simple to educate ourselves quickly, on complex and important topics. The internet has made our world faster, smarter, and better - in so many ways."
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30 Airbnb Interview Questions
Win your next job by practicing from our question bank. We have thousands of questions and answers created by interview experts.
Interview Questions
  1. Culture fit is important to us at Airbnb. How would you describe your personality?
  2. At Airbnb, we seek to hire leaders. Tell me about a time when you took the initiative to improve work related procedures.
  3. How do you define success?
  4. Airbnb likes to host Tech Talks for employees. What topic would you be most interested in?
  5. Do you prefer to use Apple or PC equipment?
  6. How would you explain Airbnb to someone who has never heard of our concept?
  7. If you could choose one celebrity or influencer, who is most like-minded to you, whom would you choose?
  8. When have you worked with a diverse group of people?
  9. How do you deal with conflict on your team?
  10. Which parts of your current position bring you the most stress?
  11. Do you feel performance should be rewarded over experience?
  12. How would you rate your performance in this interview so far?
  13. What was one question you didn't want me to ask today?
  14. We seek to hire highly ambitious people. Where would you like your career with Airbnb to take you?
  15. In your opinion, what is the most significant impact the internet has made on the world?
  16. If you had to give a TED Talk tomorrow, what topic would you choose?
  17. Airbnb is considering launching an airline. Are you for, or against, this idea?
  18. Airbnb is unafraid to become involved in social causes. What are your thoughts on this?
  19. What would you consider your technical specialty?
  20. Tell me which organizational tools are your favorite?
  21. Tell me about your experience using Airbnb.
  22. We want to hire people at Airbnb who have the desire to lead others. How many people did you supervise at your last position?
  23. Have you ever broken a confidentiality agreement?
  24. What do you think you will like about this role with Airbnb?
  25. We encourage innovation at Airbnb. What does innovation mean to you?
  26. What experience do you have using team-based messaging applications?
  27. Tell me about your greatest work related accomplishment.
  28. At Airbnb, we take privacy and confidentiality very seriously. Are you willing to sign a non-disclosure agreement, if hired?
  29. Looking at our services, what do you think we do better at Airbnb than any of our competitors?
  30. At Airbnb, we take pride in our ability to stay one step ahead of our competitors. How will you contribute to this trend?
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