How to Become an Airbnb Product Manager

How to Become an Airbnb Product Manager. Even two decades ago, travelers had a choice of accommodations: hotels, motels, or staying with friends or family. Now, however, there is another option: Airbnb. Through this online marketplace, tourists can book accommodation in private homes, rental spaces, holiday homes and other locations. Millions of Airbnb hosts around the world have opened their homes to travelers, helping them discover new places and experiences.

Do you want to be a product manager for this unique company? This guide can help! We cover everything you need to know to win an Airbnb interview:

How to Become an Airbnb Product Manager
airbnb product manager interview

Company Profile

Airbnb is an online platform that connects travelers with hosts who offer accommodation in dorms or other private properties (apartments, cottages, condos, lofts, etc.). Users can search, select and book accommodations through the Airbnb website or mobile app. Compared to hotel rooms, Airbnb is cheaper and can provide a more “intimate”, personal and authentic vacation experience.

Airbnb: A Brief History of the Company

In 2007, roommates Brian Chesky and ​​Joe Gebbia fought over the rent of their San Francisco apartment. They met among Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) students and were talking about an upcoming design conference in town.

Gebbia came up with the idea to convert her loft into a makeshift bed and breakfast for attendees who had trouble finding a hotel room. So they bought some air mattresses and created a simple website: Her first guests were three design conference attendees who spent $80 each to spend the night on Gebbia and Chesky’s floors.

The two founders thought they might have a great idea and set about building the website. However, they didn’t see any real traction until the 2008 Democratic National Convention received 80 reservations. This success caught the attention of Paul Graham of Y Combinator, which participated in the prestigious accelerator in early 2009.

They also shortened their names on Airbnb and started expanding to entire apartments, houses, etc., not just rooms. By 2011, they had booked 1 million nights, expanded their international reach, and launched a mobile booking platform.

Seeing Success Means Meeting Challenges

However, the second year presented some major hurdles for the company. Landlords began complaining about guests damaging their homes and throwing wild parties, prompting the company to roll out a $1 million landlord-guarantee insurance policy.

In addition, landlords began to oppose local tenancy regulations; in some cases, landlords were evicted or fined. Cities such as New York and San Francisco have begun protesting the impact of short-term Airbnb rentals on the real estate market, even threatening to ban the company from operating within city limits.

Despite these challenges, Airbnb continues to grow. In 2015, the Rio Olympic Committee announced that Airbnb would be their official alternative accommodation provider. A year later, the company launched its Experiences product, which offers paid events run by local hosts. In 2017, they announced the launch of their Chinese brand Audemars Piguet and the acquisition of vacation rental site Luxury Retreats. Airbnb managed to go public in December 2020 (NASDAQ: ABNB) despite the severe blow to the company and its hosts by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Today, Airbnb is headquartered in San Francisco, with branches in New York, Dublin and Singapore. It is led by co-founder and CEO Brian Chesky and has more than 5,500 employees. To date, more than 1 billion guests have checked into Airbnb listings, and there are more than 4 million hosts worldwide. Since the company’s inception, more than 100,000 cities have active Airbnb listings, and hosts have earned more than $110 billion in revenue.

How to Become an Airbnb Product Manager
airbnb product manager interview

Airbnb’s Product Culture

Airbnb’s flagship product is an online accommodation booking platform that connects travelers with hosts and allows them to book accommodations directly from the website or app. Hosts can create their own profile on the platform and add details about their property, community and any rules and/or policies. Additionally, users can search and book experiences (online and in person) on Airbnb from the homepage.

The company also offers Airbnb Plus and Airbnb Luxe versions of its booking product. Airbnb verifies the quality of its Airbnb Plus listings: they are rented by experienced hosts and have excellent reviews. As the name suggests, Airbnb Luxe rentals are of a very high quality, including amenities and personal service.

Another product is HotelTonight, which Airbnb acquired in 2019. The site allows travelers to book hotel rooms at last-minute discounts. Airbnb for Work serves business travelers and those who manage bookings for employers.

Airbnb's Product Culture

General Corporate Culture

Airbnb centers its corporate culture on belonging. Their mission is to “create a world where everyone belongs, everywhere”, for which they have established four core values ​​(the last being a callback to one of their earliest marketing campaigns):

Commitment to Mission: We stand in solidarity with our communities to create a world where everyone, everywhere can belong.

Hosting: We are caring, open and encouraging to everyone we work with.

Embrace adventure: We are driven by curiosity, optimism and the belief that everyone can grow.

Be a Grain Entrepreneur: We have the determination and creativity to turn our ambitions into reality.

As an employer, Airbnb is committed to creating a positive work environment conducive to travel, leisure and education. Employee benefits include paid volunteer work, education and training opportunities, generous parental leave, and travel and experience credits.

How to Become an Airbnb Product Manager
airbnb product manager interview

Airbnb’s Product Team Culture

At Airbnb, product managers must put the company’s attribution mission first when making product-related decisions. You must be willing to roll up your sleeves and experience collaboration and strategy firsthand. PMs should also be able to challenge assumptions and reiterate the guest and host experience with the product.

What Does a Classic Airbnb Product Manager Job Posting Look Like?

A typical product management job posting at Airbnb begins with a short introductory section about Airbnb and how it became a mission-driven company. This is followed by one or more “about” sections that describe the different parts of the character. For example, the job title “Product Manager – Relevance and Personalization” contains sections “About Homes,” “About Relevance,” and “About Roles.”

After the “About” section is the “Duties” section, which is essentially a list of job duties and a list of qualifications. Generally, product management positions at Airbnb require at least five years of product manager experience, with some positions requiring more than seven years of experience. Airbnb product managers should also have:

Technical background

Learn how to develop custom solutions

Strong analytical skills and experience working with large-scale data

Excellent prioritization skills and ability to work in ambiguous environments

Excellent communication and presentation skills

Willing to lead the team to find creative solutions

Excellent collaboration skills, especially across team boundaries

Aggressive and ambitious attitude

Familiarize yourself with A/B testing and experiments

Bachelor’s title

Some Airbnb product manager job postings also include a “preferred skills” section, which may include experience with a specific tool.

What Does a Classic Airbnb Product Manager Job Posting Look Like?

How Do I Get an Interview at Airbnb?

Start by browsing Airbnb’s current job openings to find the one that best matches your qualifications, skills, expertise, experience, and career goals. Once you’ve found one (or more) applications that look promising, you now need to create a standout application — starting with a compelling resume.

Write a Great Product Manager Resume

Airbnb hiring managers will likely look at your resume first. Be sure to highlight your relevant work experience and product manager skills, as well as any qualifications related to the specific responsibilities and tasks detailed in the job posting. If you can demonstrate previous quantitative results for these parts of the character, now is the time to do so.

Before writing your resume, watch our free resume writing webinar. We’ll walk you through the process of creating a resume that can be used for multiple product manager positions.

How to Become an Airbnb Product Manager
airbnb product manager interview

Design Your Pitch and Position Yourself as a Strong Product Distributor

Your next step is to demonstrate your product management skills by writing a pitch outlining the key responsibilities of the product manager position.


It’s time to submit your application. But don’t stop there—if you know Airbnb employees, see if they’d like to recommend you. According to Glassdoor, 17% of respondents entered the ranks through employee referrals. Plus, our step-by-step recruiting networking approach can help you secure that all-important first interview.

What Is The Interview Process and Timeline For Interviewing an Airbnb Product Manager?

The Airbnb recruiting process typically follows these steps:

Introductory meeting with the hiring manager

Conduct technical and behavioral rounds with team members and stakeholders


This process usually takes two to four weeks from start to finish. According to Glassdoor, 47% of respondents had a positive experience. Contestants rated the average difficulty as 3.1 out of 5.

How to Win an Interview with a Hiring Manager

In the first round, your goal is to clearly demonstrate that you are qualified enough to advance to the next level. According to Glassdoor, at this stage, you should be ready to answer the following questions:

Why choose Airbnb?

Have you ever been an Airbnb host?

Do you consider yourself a good host?

In your current role, what is your greatest achievement?

tell me about yourself.

When you are faced with a challenging situation or project, explain your time in the role.

Describe your day-to-day job as a product manager in plain language.

Some of Glassdoor’s responses mentioned several first-round interviews, including meetings with fellow PMs. Be prepared to have some conversations before getting into the technical and behavioral stages.

How to Win Technical and Behavioral Rounds with Team Members and Stakeholders

This round includes a day of interviews with several members of the product team. Before the actual interview part, you will be asked to prepare a presentation on a specific topic. During the interview, you will be asked questions about your presentation and the following:

Let me explain how to prioritize the Product Backlog.

How would you design a bike rental app for tourists?

Take an example of a poorly designed product.

What A/B tests will you run to increase bookings from Airbnb guests?

Evaluate the pros and cons of creating a super app – an app with all the basic B2C functions including entertainment, e-commerce, food ordering, hotel booking, taxi booking, chat, vacation planning, gaming, medicine ordering, service booking, and more.

How would you design furniture for Airbnb?

How will you improve the checkout experience at Airbnb?

Should Airbnb get into furniture retailing?

Should Airbnb offer free experiences/tours?

How would you improve a travel agency app like TripCase or TripIt?

After this round, the hiring decision rests with the Airbnb team. very lucky!

How Has COVID-19 Changed Airbnb’s Attitude?

Airbnb’s revenue is starting to drop as the COVID-19 pandemic forces travelers to cancel their plans. The crisis hit the company hard, forcing it to take on $1 billion in debt to offset those losses. Additionally, the company was forced to transform its product strategy and overall operations. The experience became an “online experience,” and Airbnb began offering long-term rentals for essential workers and isolated housing for healthcare professionals.

However, the company continues to hire and currently has more than 250 open positions, including several on the product team. Like most companies, Airbnb transitioned to fully virtual interviews during the pandemic, and many of today’s applicants will likely be interviewing remotely. Airbnb recently announced that all employees will be able to continue working from home until September 2022. When employees return, they can work remotely a few days a week.

Win the Airbnb Product Manager Interview

Want to learn more about how to win an Airbnb product manager interview or get hired by a reputed company? Our career coaches now offer free classes: schedule your class today. We are happy to answer your questions.

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