Lyft Careers: What You Need to Know

Lyft careers span a wide range of different roles: engineering, marketing, product, people, legal, business, driver operations, finance, regulatory, risk solutions and more. The company was started partially to solve the shared ride problem of not knowing the driver or passenger if you used a website like Craigslist to find rides.

It also was inspired when one of the co-founders was traveling in Zimbabwe and witnessed local ride-sharing in mini-taxis. Initially, Lyft was called Zimride and focused more on college students; later it became Lyft with an emphasis on transportation in cities. Eventually, it became the no.2 ride-sharing company in the US behind Uber, although as of 2018 it had not become profitable. The number of Lyft drivers in the US and Toronto is 1.4 million according to CNET.

Drivers are considered independent contractors so driving is not a career in the sense that people typically expect. A permanent, full-time position with benefits that also lasts is what one is probably seeking in terms of Lyft careers. Several thousand employees work at Lyft in this kind of role.

How can I get a job at Lyft?

The first place to start is the Lyft careers page, either on the Lyft site or on LinkedIn. Many Lyft employees are based in the San Francisco headquarters but there are other locations. One advantage of not living in SF is that you can avoid the very high cost of living; some tech workers in the Bay Area can’t afford to buy their own homes.

Lyft also has offices in cities like Atlanta and Nashville where homes are much affordable.

 Once you have spotted a role and a location, you could reach out to your personal and professional networks to try to get a referral. LinkedIn is another option — if you don’t have many connections there it would be a good idea to build them up. You could also try to get a referral on Blind like this user did.

Another approach, if it applies to your situation, is to apply for a position outside of California because the competition might be the fiercest there. If you could get a job at Lyft in Atlanta, Detroit or Chicago and build up some experience you could then apply for a position in California.

 It would probably help to know why you want to work for Lyft because if you have a personal connection to the company you can mention that in your interview.

For example, if you are a transportation enthusiast or if you have used Lyft and have ideas about how to improve the service it will help your chances. Lyft values authenticity in its employees so if you get an interview be yourself throughout the experience. 

Fortunately, about 2,300 Lyft employees are on Blind so we can share some inside information with you about working there.

Insights from Blind

“Know your presentation well and, if you have time, understand next steps. This is the part of the interview you can control. Expect a couple of business cases. Expect questions about previous experience. Ask good questions. Also, do some background. Make sure this is a fit for you. SQL, either R or Python (you need to be ok, not necessarily great), excel. That’s about it.” Jan 4, 2018 (read more here)

“I had one coding round – standard leetcode(not so hard “hard”), 2 system design rounds, and one round with the hm. I think there is a lot of emphasis on the sys design round.” Oct 16, 2018

“I have a phone interview with Lyft for Data Engineer role, recruiter said 2 questions on SQL and 2 Python needs be solved in 1hr time frame.” Mar. 18, 2018 (read more here)

“Understand marketplace dynamics of supply and demand. Be ready to discuss Lyft for X. How would you reimagine a flow, like scheduling a ride or ranking a driver.” Jan. 7, 2018 (read more here)

“Be ready to talk about analytics.. esp KPIs that drive the business both on user as well as driver side.” Jan. 7, 2018 (read more here)

“Lyft’s front end interviews are highly hands on and front end focused where you can code on your own laptop and will be asked to write JS functions, a game or a UI component.” Oct. 6, 2018 (read more here)

“It’s been a week since she sent me the invite for the onsite interview. I replied to her email the next day asking if we could set up a quick call as I had a few questions and sent my availability after another 2 days. She usually responds very quickly, but I haven’t heard back from her yet and now I’m getting concerned.” Jun. 29, 2018 (read more here)

“You don’t need to have heard the questions. Just grind leetcode easy and mid and you should be fine.” Aug 5, 2018 (read more here)

These just some of the Blind user comments on Lyft interviews so you could find many more on the platform.

How is the compensation?

The average Lyft salary is about $86,154 according to Paysa and the average software engineering salary is $262,836.

Insights from Blind

“For senior SWE, expect 200ish base with 200ish equity per year. More likely, you’ll get 160ish base with 120ish per year as an L4 equivalent.” Jun. 12, 2018

For a data science role, “Don’t know what the range is but should blow your existing offer of 170k out the water. TC for entry level for that role is 190K+ not counting sign on bonus.” Nov. 12, 2018 (read more here)

“At least 500k tc for m1.” Aug. 5, 2018 (read more here)

“Just got an offer from Lyft for new grad swe. They said it’s “non negotiable” but I just wanted to make sure I’m not leaving anything on the table.

Base: 130k
Bonus: 50k
Relocation: 10K
Equity: 280k over 4 years (5880 shares).” Sep. 7, 2018 (read more here)

“Intern for both, 8k + corp housing for linkedin and 8.5k+3k for lyft.” Oct 17, 2018

How is the culture?

Lyft’s company culture has three core values: be yourself, uplift others, and make it happen. The expectation with them is that employees will embody the values with their actions. When employees follow core values work organizations tend to function better and can scale more effectively.

Insights from Blind

“Regarding culture, it’s really nice and it’s nice for real. Lyft takes the woke thing very seriously and anyone slightly not woke is promptly beheaded. A bro was talking shit. fired. A manager didn’t listen to women. fired. Some dude had a tantrum and scared another employee. fired. They don’t fuck around with that stuff. be nice.” Jul. 28, 2018 (read more here)

“No one is overtly cutthroat, everyone is extremely nice on the surface. But there’s constant politicking and claiming ownership for minor victories. Everyone wants to be an “advisor” or “architect” without ever doing grunt work.” Jul 28, 2018 (read more here)

“WLB is great. 10-6 for SDE.” Jul. 28, 2018 (read more here)

“Very open to WFH.” April 14, 2018 (read more here)

“Lyft is wonderful. I’ve been here for a long time, and generally speaking things are great. The benefits rock, the people are the nicest, and the environment is the best place I’ve ever worked.” Jan. 26, 2018 (read more here)

How are the perks?

Lyft provides a number of employee perks — not at the level of Google or Facebook but not as skimpy as at other companies. Luckily, some users on Blind who work there shared some tips about the perks.

Insights from Blind

“Free lunch and dinner, stocked kitchens, monthly Lyft credit drop, unlimited vacation. Wfh is usually fine when you need to, but not all the time. And if you live in SF or the peninsula near Caltrain, great office location.” Apr. 23, 2018 (read more here)

“Free dinner starts at 7:30 which is pretty unfortunate. $200 monthly lyft credit but its taxable to you as income if you use it. Marginal rates are pretty high so def not free. Unlimited vacation – people do actually take like 4 weeks but sometimes a bit of a negotiation on when you can take it.” Apr. 23, 2018 (read more here)

“Lyft gets $200 in ride credits/month. You get taxed on any credits you use, which gets deducted from your paycheck.” Aug. 11, 2018  (read more here)

“Apart from ride credits there are many other benefits: free food, $130 commuter benefits, unlimited vacation and sick, 4 months paternity/maternity.” Aug 12, 2018 (read more here)

“There’s cereal, fruit, packaged toast/bagels everyday. On Wednesdays there are fresh bagels from a deli.” Aug. 14, 2018

“You can bring your dog everyday if leashed and with you.” Jul. 11, 2018

What are some of the advantages/disadvantages with Lyft careers?

Working at Lyft could be an advantage if you want to work in a younger company that is changing the way transportation in cities operates. If you are highly enthusiastic about transportation and technology you might enjoy Lyft very much.

This small and maturing company is establishing itself in a very competitive space so if long-term stability appeals to you then you might want to seek employment at tech company like Microsoft or Cisco.

How diverse is Lyft?

Lyft does well with women overall — about 40% of its employees are female. For female tech roles this percentage is just 21%. African-american employees make up 10% of the company and Hispanics are 9%. Asians are nearly 23% and Caucasians are 52%.

How much is housing in San Francisco?

San Francisco, and the Bay Area in general, is one of the most expensive housing markets in the US. The average rent in San Francisco is about $3,700 per month according to RentJungle. Because it’s so expensive, many workers live outside of San Francisco in Oakland, Berkeley, Fremont, El Cerrito, Hercules or Pinole to name just several of the options.

The median home price is $1.6 million, which is high enough that even some very well-paid tech workers can’t afford to buy their own homes. Some tech workers live in San Francisco but choose shared living like renting rooms in houses, apartments or condos to have lower rents. They also sometimes live in group tech homes.

How is commuting to the headquarters?

Commuting is typically done by BART, ferry or bus and the HQ is located between China Basin and Mission Bay. Lyft employees get discounts on rides which is helpful because the nearest BART station is a little over 2 miles away. San Francisco traffic can very dense at times and hours can be consumed trying to move in it. Some tech companies allow their employees to keep a daily schedule with the hours 10am-6pm so they can avoid the worst morning traffic.

What are some of the issues at Lyft?

Lyft may not have many issues related to its company culture. Uber is the rides company with a fair share of negative news reports. Lyft, though a smaller company, appears to have had fewer internal problems. One issue is how to compete with Uber, another is the Lyft IPO.

Insights from Blind

“Lyft is playing the long game well on ride sharing but if they aren’t progressing in Autonomous Vehicles, I wonder how impactful that is. Having the two sided network is everything, and in a future where one side will be robots, id better feel good about my robot strategy. Maybe their plan is to license through Auora, who knows if AV is a build or buy/license play yet.” Mar. 2, 2018

“A slightly unrelated question from the above. What’s the current estimated stock price for Lyft (after latest rounds of funding)? I got an offer around June-July timeframe and at that time the stock price was estimated around $40.” Oct. 22, 2018

How is the work-life balance?

How you balance your professional and personal life depends on which department you work in and the workload. On TechCrunch a woman who was described as a Lyft engineering head had her remarks on Blind included in an article about Lyft, “I struggle with my own work/life balance, anxiety around compensation, and the conflict between feeling grateful for the many privileges.” She wrote the post on Blind to ask her engineering colleagues to reach out to her to speak about issues they were having.

“Wlb is a joke across eng organization. I joined about 2 months ago and I already need to work at least 50-60 hours a week. Other folks are pretty much doing the same thing. Much worse than many of the tier 1 companies.” May 22, 2018 (read more here)

“Most teams follow agile. So work is budgeted in such a way that you have your hands full all the time. WFH discouraged except for Thursdays.” Sep. 28, 2018 (read more here)

“Not very flexible on WFH but flexible on hours (ie leaving early). WLB very much depends on team.” Sep. 18, 2018 (read more here)

“Wfh and wlb depends on team. Lots of parents now.” Sep. 30, 2018 (read more here)

Lyft careers may have more appeal to young or more risk-tolerant professionals who want more of a startup environment.

Image Credit: Pkg203, cropped slightly, Wikipedia, CC BY-SA 3.0

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