how to answer interview questions tiktok

COMPILATION | TikTok Job Interview Tips & Examples | @erinmcgoff

Interviews for Top Jobs at TikTok

Data Scientist Interview


I applied through a recruiter. I interviewed at TikTok


Had one recruiter call and one technical round (SQL). SQL round had 3 questions and they were easy. I was waiting for the next two interview rounds, but they cancelled on my interviews because I requested reschedules too many times. I rescheduled the interviews only 3 times and they were due to Covid and work conflicts. Could be that they had another candidate who got the offer so they didn’t want to keep me in the pipeline or could be really due to my frequent interview reschedule requests. Very disappointed.

Interview Questions

  • Joins, Window functions. Fairy simple.

Brand Partnerships Interview


I applied through a recruiter. I interviewed at TikTok


HR reached out to ME on LinkedIn (I did not apply), had an intro screening call, then a second video interview with someone on the actual Brand Partnerships team. Both interviews went extremely well and the person on the Brand team even told me that he expected me to move forward. Had to reach out to HR a week or two later on my own accord to find out that they were removing me from the process because “someone else in the process was further along”. Zero feedback despite the fact that they reached out to me first after looking at my profile, and months later I still see the same posting up for hire. Left a bad taste in my mouth about the company.

Interview Questions

  • What do you know about TikTok? Tell me how you would pitch in 30 seconds.

Operations Manager Interview


I applied through a recruiter. The process took 2 weeks. I interviewed at TikTok


Quickly during 2nd interview, it became clear that I was being mined for information about internal processes at my current company. Had to pivot and answer vaguely which was extremely uncomfortable.

Interview Questions

  • Multiple questions not about myself or my contributions, but about the specific mechanics of internal processes at my current company.

The application process at TikTok

how to answer interview questions tiktok

Photo credit: Office Snapshots

The application process varies depending on whether the role is technical or non-technical.

Applying to a job at TikTok using a TikTok video is unusual, but not entirely unorthodox. According to Business Insider, one applicant, Jenna Palek, applied for a sales planner position through the company’s standard job portal and then posted a video on TikTok highlighting her professional background and interest in the role. Her video ended up on the “For You” page—the apps content discovery section—of a TikTok HR employee in Chicago, and the employee sent the video over to the recruiting team and eventually the hiring manager at TikToks Austin office where Palek had applied. If you’re feeling inspired to go above and beyond, here’s an example of a TikTok resume.Uploading a TikTok resume carries more weight for marketing applicants versus technical hires.

While the focus of the interview is on skills and experience, applicants should be prepared to talk about cultural trends on TikTok.

Interview process and timeline

The interview process for TikTok PMs typically takes about one to three months to complete.

Here’s a quick overview of the steps you may face along the way:

  • Resume, cover letter, and referrals
  • Recruiter phone screen (30-45 min)
  • Hiring manager phone screen (45-60 min)
  • PM interviews (2-3 rounds, 45-60 min each)
  • [In some cases] Engineering interview (1 round, 45-60 min)
  • Final HR interview (1 round, 45-60 min)
  • TikTok’s interview process is very different from other major tech companies like Facebook, Amazon, or Google. Firstly, TikTok’s interviews do not typically culminate with an in-person or virtual onsite loop. Instead, candidates have a series of progressive interviews, which are usually conducted over video call.

    Additionally, each of TikTok’s interview rounds are eliminatory, meaning that you have to pass each individual round to move on to the next. At other companies, you may be able to make up for one “just ok” round with a stellar performance at the others, but at TikTok you’ll need to ace every interview in order to continue.

    Finally, one or multiple of your rounds may take place with a member of the team in China. This means that you’ll have to be flexible with your schedule to accommodate a Chinese time zone, and your interviewer may not be a native English speaker.

    Now, let’s get into each step of the TikTok interview process. There is some variation in past candidates’ experiences, so we’ll cover the most frequently mentioned steps that have been reported on Glassdoor, Blind, and Rooftop Slushie.

    Note: if you are interviewing for a product leadership position (VP, Director, Group PM), learn more about the process and how to prepare here.

    The interview process at TikTok

    how to answer interview questions tiktok

    Photo credit: Office Snapshots

    The interview process varies between teams and technical vs. non-technical roles. Usually, you can expect:

  • Take an online assessment followed by 3-5 rounds of interviews
  • Interviews are typically done with potential teammates, cross-functional colleagues, and your hiring manager
  • Each interview is 30 minutes to an hour
  • According to the ByteDance website: “Be prepared for behavioral, hypothetical, and case-based questions related to the role you are applying for”
  • Considering that TikTok is a high-growth startup, the interview process is purportedly disorganized, and interviewers don’t always communicate with each other, so you may find yourself repeating information.

    Due to the hiring spree at TikTok, recruiters are extremely busy and may not have had time to review your resume before the interview, so always give a thorough rundown of your professional history, interview coach Dan Croitor advised in a YouTube video.

    TikTok uses its own list of company values dubbed “ByteStyle” to screen for certain qualities when hiring. Passion for the TikTok product is essential:

    After each interview round, TikTok gathers feedback from the interviewers to determine the next steps.


  • Think about how the position contributes to the organization and to your personal growth.
  • TikTok looks for candidates with a strong desire to achieve excellence, a “spirit for collaboration,” and an ‘Always Day 1’ attitude.
  • Use the STAR (Situation, Task, Action, Response) method when answering questions related to your prior experience.
  • The interview is meant to be a conversation rather than a Q&A session. You are expected to build rapport with your interviewer.
  • TikTok hosts three interview rounds for all software engineering seniorities—a coding interview, a behavioral interview, and a hiring manager interview—and the final round is the same for all candidates. Interviewers are looking for evidence of problem-solving skills, analytical thinking, and grasp of computer science fundamentals.

    According to the ByteDance website, “We want to understand your coding, algorithm, and design skills (including tools, programming languages, and technologies specific to your team).” The company encourages technical candidates to practice coding questions on HackerRank and Nowcoder.

    Tip: Use your recruiter as a resource

    In large companies like TikTok, recruiting and HR are separate functions. Recruiters source candidates and schedule interviews to build new teams, while HR oversees compensation, retention, and benefits for current employees.

    Recruiters at TikTok advocate for their candidates and help them prepare for the interview process, Farah Sharghi-Dolatabadi, global talent acquisition partner at TikTok, said in an interview on The Final Round podcast. She advised engineering candidates to practice a minimum of 25-30 hard questions on Leetcode.

    While coding challenge questions rarely have a single right answer, candidates should select the most optimal response given the constraints of the interview environment.

    She also advised candidates to use behavioral interview questions as an opportunity to explain how you rebounded from a failure or repaired a professional relationship. So don’t get hung up if you must discuss a personal weakness or prior failure as long as you can demonstrate what you learned from it.

    how to answer interview questions tiktok

    Photo credit: Office Snapshots

    Culture at TikTok is defined by the five tenets of “ByteStyle” descended from parent company ByteDance:

  • Aim for the highest.
  • Be grounded and courageous.
  • Be open and humble.
  • Be candid and clear.
  • Always day 1.
  • Although TikTok is no longer a startup due to its massive scale, they still want entrepreneurial people with an ownership mindset. “This means that we move with speed, were not afraid to try new things, and we believe everyone is a valuable contributor,” TikTok wrote in a post on Facebook in 2018.

    Read more about TikToks culture: TikTok: A Look Into the Culture and Practices of the Newest Social Media Disruptor


    How do you ace an interview TikTok?

    Practice with ex-FAANG interviewers. PM interviews at TikTok can be really challenging.

    3. Preparation tips
    1. 3.1 Deep dive into the product / organization. …
    2. 3.2 Learn a consistent method for answering PM interview questions. …
    3. 3.3 Practice by yourself or with peers. …
    4. 3.4 Practice with experienced PM interviewers.

    How many stages does TikTok interview have?

    In your interviews, you will usually speak with your potential teammates, cross-functional colleagues, and your hiring manager. Each interview will typically last between 30 minutes to an hour. Be prepared for behavioral, hypothetical, and case-based questions related to the role you are interviewing for.

    Why would you want to work at TikTok?

    The interview process varies depending on the team and the role. It is common for an assessment, test, or task (usually for technical roles) to be part of the process as well as 3-5 rounds of interviews. Your recruiter will inform you of the specific process for the role you have applied for.

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