How to Get a Job at Airbnb
Remote Work: Yes
Benefit Rating: 8/10
Entry Level Jobs: Yes
Airbnb Details & History
Airbnb is headquartered in San Francisco and was founded in 2008 by Brian Chesky, Joe Gebbia, and Nathan Blecharczyk. As you probably already know, Airbnb is a marketplace for people to list and book unique lodging for short and long-term periods.
Airbnb had humble beginnings: it started as a way for the founders to make extra cash by renting out space in their house during a popular design conference. Now it's the most popular online booking platform, and doesn't have to run any online advertising due to it's large brand recognition. Airbnb has grown significantly over the years and was a super unicorn-- meaning it was the most valuable private company in the world-- and had an IPO in 2020. It's still one of the most well-known companies in the sharing economy.
Airbnb launched its second biggest feature, "Experiences" in 2016 to allow users to book unique experiences directly from locals.
Airbnb Office Locations
Airbnb has a great policy for remote work, coined by CEO Brian Chesky. Airbnb encourages its employees to Live and Work Anywhere without a pay change. He himself spent months moving around the country and staying in (you guessed it) Airbnbs. Airbnb employees gather for collaborative onsites and team bonding about once a quarter to foster community in the workplace.
This announcement was revolutionary, because many companies conduct cost-of-living adjustments based on your location.
Airbnb Primary Competitors
Airbnb has several competitors in the sharing economy space, but their largest real competitors are probably hotel chains.
Other notable online booking peer-to-peer platforms are VRBO and Expedia.
Airbnb Hiring Details
Top Airbnb Departments for Entry-Level Roles
Diversity at Airbnb
Airbnb regularly reports on their diversity data in raw numbers, which we love. In addition to setting goals (as most companies do), they actually report on them periodically. Airbnb also had some of the best diversity stats we've seen so far.
Currently women make up 48.3% of their workforce and hold 43.6% of their leadership positions. They also self report their ethnicity statistics to keep themselves accountable-- you can see the full breakdowns here.
Is remote work allowed at Airbnb?
As mentioned before, YES. Remote work is a cornerstone of Airbnb's culture. If you're in SF you're welcome to go to the office, otherwise, we recommend living somewhere outside the country!
Is it hard to get a job with Airbnb?
Yes, absolutely. Even seasoned tech employees have issues getting interviews at Airbnb due to their competitive nature.
A few things you should know about Airbnb-- for starters, they drastically under-title. What do we mean by that? If you're going out for a job that seems "entry-level," it's probably not. You're probably competing with people who have been doing a similar job for at least a few years.
For example, normally companies require around 2-3 years of experience for a mid-level product management role. Airbnb usually requires 8+. This is mimicked in all departments.
Second thing: They're also one of the highest paying companies in tech. This somewhat has to do with the under-titling, but if you're lucky enough to land at Airbnb, you'll be paid extremely high for your title. Back to the product management example: a normal mid-level PM will be paid somewhere between 115k-140k, where at Airbnb that same role has a starting BASE PAY of 180k-230k. They also have been known to give generous bonuses and stock.
We want you to be aware of what you're getting into if you're trying to land a role at Airbnb. Be extremely skeptical of companies that offer bootcamps above $3,000 and promise a role here-- that is highly unlikely.
Does Airbnb have good benefits?
Airbnb does have great benefits, but their #1 benefit in our opinion is their stance on remote work. Very few companies offer such flexibility with no COL adjustments, and this is a great target company for the digital nomad dreamers out there. In addition to normal benefits like 401k match, PTO and health insurance, Airbnb offers:
- Free breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks/drinks at the office (very 2000s tech)
- $2,000 annual travel stipend
- 22 weeks of maternity (the highest we've seen) and 10 weeks of paternity leave
Airbnb Interview Process
Who is Airbnb looking to hire?
Airbnb values people of all backgrounds to create community in their workforce. They especially seek out those who demonstrate their company values.
- Champion the mission
- Be a Host
- Embrace the Adventure
- Be a Cereal Entrepreneur
Airbnb Interview Process
The interview process for Airbnb heavily depends on what position you're going out for, but one thing they all have in common: they're tough. Expect 3 rounds, including both a 5-hour onsite and a take-home assessment.
Round 1 Interview at Airbnb: Basic Phone Screen
A recruiter screen is extremely normal for larger companies to vet you for the role you're applying for. They will ask some "screener questions," often written by the hiring team, to try and weed out the applicants who are not qualified to save everyone time. Expect to talk about previous experiences that mimic the wording in the job description. If you get contacted by a recruiter, that's already a huge win. Airbnb deals with hundreds, if not thousands, of applicants every day.
Round 2 Interview at Airbnb: Hiring Manager/Peer or Code Screen Interview
For a non-technical role like a product manager, round 2 at Airbnb is split into 2 parts. The first is a hiring manager interview (often the most important) and peer interview. The hiring manager is looking for domain knowledge, and will be a mix of functional and behavioral questions to weed out if you're a good fit for the particular role. The second is a peer interview in the same role to sus out how you handle yourself on a team.
If you're going out for a technical role, the next round is a 45 minute code screen. The rumor is, they're HARD. You'll be given a question, and expected to have a working solution that passes several test-cases after only 45 minutes. This is one of the more difficult coding screens we've come across.
Round 3 Interview at Airbnb: 5-Hour Marathon
If you pass the coding challenge or functional interviews, you'll be invited onsite to Airbnb's office to meet potential team members in a structured, 5-hour interview process split into 5 1-hour chunks. These are not walks in the park either. Expect to be grilled about critical thinking, team dynamics, and (if applicable) more software problems.
Airbnb Internships & APMs
Airbnb Internship Program
Airbnb offers a 12-week summer internship program for their selected Airturns in most of their corporate departments, including engineering, design, marketing, and sales. Interns work on real business problems and are given opportunities to network with Airbnb employees.
Learn more about the Airturn program here.
Airbnb Associate Product Manager (APM) Program
Airbnb is a participating company in the Kleiner-Perkins (KP) Fellows program. KP is a prestigious venture capital firm that selects several high-achieving graduates and assigns them to a high-growth tech company for one year to get experience as a product manager. Some other KP participants: Pinterest, Stripe, and Doordash.
How You Can Work for Airbnb
We have a tried-and-true process to help our Bridged readers get hired. It's 5 primary steps, but the meatiest is finding ways to get specific experience. Read on for recommendations.
Identify Your Target Role
Do your research, through Bridged or another company, to identify roles that may align well with your interests and core competencies. You can start here with our review of Best Entry-Level Tech Jobs to explore some options.
Airbnb is incredibly competitive, so your target career might be a role you see yourself holding in a few years. For example, if you'd like to be a product manager at Airbnb, that's not usually an entry-level role-- so you'll be competing with other folks who have product management experience.
Explore Ways to Get Experience
There are lots of ways to gain job experience without being on the job. Bridged gives several recommendations in our Job Guides for each job, but you can start by exploring programs like Coursera or Udemy to get valuable, resume-ready certifications from reputable sources.
For Airbnb specifically, some certifications will be great building blocks towards a role-- but not the entire piece. Don't let a bootcamp fool you into thinking you can immediately land a competitive role at Airbnb after completion of their $3,000 program. Employers like Airbnb look for demonstrated experience in the given field at real companies, and the best way to achieve this is by working at a less-competitive tech company in a similar role first. We also mentioned the under-titling before, but feels relevant to bring it up again here.
Use Jobscan to Optimize Your Resume
Even if you're the most impressive person Airbnb has ever seen, we're sad to report it's part pure luck if you get picked for an interview.
We've written a whole article about this, but you'd be surprised how many impressive resumes NEVER see the eyes of a human! That's because of a pesky-little thing called an Applicant Tracking System (or ATS for short) that scans and ranks resumes based on their matchability to the job descriptions.
For a company like Airbnb that's getting hundreds of candidates DAILY, it's extremely important to match their ATS. Airbnb is one of the most prominent users of Greenhouse, which is a finicky software for a bunch of reasons-- but a big one is that it doesn't recognize verb tenses or abbreviations. For example, if you write Product Management Leader instead of Product Manager, when the description says "Product Manager" it will not give you a match point! Read more examples and our full review writeup here.
Use Linkedin Premium to Find and Reach out to Airbnb Employees & Recruiters
If you think you have what it takes to work at Airbnb, it never hurts to reach out to an employee for a referral or a recruiter to get noticed. This is especially relevant if you're looking for an internship and can find the person in charge of recruiting interns.
We recommend a premium subscription because it allows you to view more profiles and send more Inmails. This way you can locate and reach out to the exact recruiter that works on an area that hosts your target roles. Be funny, and emphasize the work you've done to match with your target role, and take feedback gracefully. Mention Airbnb's values, and how you'd relate. A little human connection works wonders.
And Finally: Be Patient
It's a weird world out there in the job market. Everyone is getting rejections. Don't let it get to you, and keep upskilling in the process. Someday you'll see you're exactly where you need to be, and on the right path. Good luck!
Because of it's extremely competitive nature, it may be hard to get an entry-level tech role at Airbnb. It's a great target company for an end-game tech role, but may require some other tech experience first. Be persistent, and be sure to spread your applications around to other similar roles to your target Airbnb role. You've got this.
Here at Bridged we are huge fans of stacking micro-certifications to achieve desired career results. We're building a product to make your career planning fun and affordable, and we'd love to talk to YOU! Was this article helpful? Did you land an interview at Airbnb?
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