Yelp recruiters answer your top 5 interview and job seeking questions

Job Tips Q & A: 8 Minute Interview with Yelp

yelp interview questions

Even though Yelp is not a 1st tier tech company comparing to Google, Facebook, it does have the best engineering culture. Hackathon, offsite, snacks and work from home policy, just name it (no dining hall though). Managers care a lot about your growth. Theyre normally patient and willing to help. They will try their best to help you promote instead of suppressing for higher productivity. Average age is young, great place for new grads and young engineers. People are always nice and willing to help.

4 . Describe a time when you had to overcome a significant obstacle on a job

This is a tough question because you’re forced to talk about a difficult time with a complete stranger. Fortunately, it’s also a great opportunity to turn a big challenge into a great accomplishment.

This question is designed to help the interviewer discover what type of problem-solver you are.

Why do employers ask this question?

It’s because they want to know that they’re hiring someone who can think on their feet and who is resilient when facing challenges.

  • About YourselfIt’s your chance to show that in tough times you turn to your inner strength and possess skills to find the right solutions. You probably had to solve many problems daily at work. It’s high time to remember them. If you do not prepare examples in advance, this question will get you off guard and you will find it difficult to remember all the details on the move. Start with recalling a few examples of real obstacles you coped with. For each of them, think about:
    • What was the project or task you were trying to accomplish?
    • What was the obstacle? This can be a specific problem related to your job or a higher-order issue across the organization.
    • What steps did you take to address the issue?
    • What decisions did you have to make?
    • How did the company benefit from your decisions?
    • How would you describe your approach, or what lessons have you learned?

    Be careful how you respond to this question. Make sure that you select a difficult work situation where you were not the cause.

  • About The CompanyWhen you research the company, try and find out what kind of challenges they are facing. Try to find out what they need in terms of problem resolution. Search for online reviews, complaints and any other useful resources. What problems and obstacles can the employees face with this position?
  • About The FitThis is your opportunity to showcase your problem-solving skills, resilience, and strength of character. Talk through your problem-solving process and show how you can think on your feet. Pick an example relevant to the position you are aiming for. Let’s say, you are applying for a blog writing job. The job description mentions that a successful candidate must have experience working “in a dynamic environment.” You could mention a situation in which you had to write an article on short notice because your coworker failed at the last moment to complete the assignment. You were short of time but worked extra hours to prepare the article successfully and on time. This answer would show your experience in blog writing, your sense of responsibility, ability to achieve results under stress, your willingness to go the extra mile, your problem-solving skills.
  • This question is not about your past, its how you deal with things that will happen in the future, so try to keep your answer short and focused.

    After all, the interviewer is really looking for what you took away from the situation and doesn’t need to know the full backstory of what happened.

    Use the STAR method to prepare your story and practice it so that you can stay within 1-2 minutes.

    Make sure to show that you remained positive when overcoming a hurdle at work. Positive attitudes lead to positive outcomes.

    This question is asked 3.9x more frequently at Yelp than at other companies.

    5 . Tell me about a stressful situation and how you dealt with it

    Nowadays, professional life is stressful everywhere and always. However, there are levels of stress that are so common that we consider them normal, and there are times when they really skyrocket.

    Your future employer wants to know how you will behave in such times, whether you will be a helping hand or a burden.

  • About YourselfRemember a time when you had to hit a tight timeline and to work long hours, hard and overtime; or when you found yourself in the middle of a conflict with someone, or with a group of people. If you had more than one such occasion, choose one that ended positively and successfully, and ideally, that can demonstrate some of your key skills – your Key Selling Points. Most likely, the situation was highly emotional.
    • What helped you persevere?
    • Was there an element that you enjoyed?

    For example, in one of our projects, my team and I had to hit a really tough timeline for a customer, which seemed almost impossible in the beginning. However, we knew that we owned the results and that a major decision by the customer depended on the outcome. This sense of ownership, meaning, and impact gave us energy and excitement. Those were the challenges that we loved and could deal with for a sustained period of time. Also, the pleasure of working with a highly qualified top manager on the customer’s side added to the enjoyment. Now, after a few years, we remember those times as some of the most exciting for our team.

  • About The Company
    • What do you know about the company, where you may encounter a stressful situation?
    • Are they working on a major project which is approaching a due date?
    • Are they going through a difficult time when cost-saving is a top priority, company culture is full of negativity and mistrust, they have gone through massive layoffs, customers are neglected, and everyone wears a long face?

    These are always stressful times, and you should try to know more about expectations in the company, and how realistic they are. Or, are they just a dynamic, highly agile company run by smart and creative folks, which may work excellently for some people and be confusing and mind-blowing for others? Do your research.

  • About The FitThink of your ideal workplace environment.
    • Does this company feel like it?
    • Do you feel excited and enthusiastic about the kinds of stress you may encounter here?

    If you feel compatible with this company culture and enthusiastic about the challenges you expect here, this is a good chance to mention it and to show your excitement. Explain your approach or rationale and give your example from the past.

  • If you cannot remember any stressful situation with a positive outcome, you can use one with a negative outcome accompanied by your lessons learned.

    However, this option should not be your first choice, as the failure to give an example of a successful outcome may portray you as an emotionally immature person.

    This question is asked 2.1x more frequently at Yelp than at other companies.

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