IDEO Interview Questions & Reviews
Getting an Interview
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Talent Lead Interview (Positive Experience; Average Interview)
I applied online and the process took 2 weeks - interviewed at IDEO.
Interview Details – The recruiter was very pleasant and timely in her responses. They provided specific instructions in preparation for the interview including who I would be meeting with and what to bring. I was given a task to teach the interviewers something that would give them insight into who I was. I believe I got my foot in the door as a result of my cover letter. Tailor the cover letter not only to job description, but make it personal. They really want to grasp who you are and how that will fit into their organization. The company FAQ page on hiring was very helpful.
Interview Question – They asked both personal and professional questions. They asked how I would handle working with someone who was in a slump in their career and were considering other options. Most of the questions were in context with the job description. Answer Question
Principal Interaction Designer Interview (Neutral Experience)
Interviewed at IDEO
Interview Details – The interview process is not a fast one, but it still went quicker than I expected. A couple of phone interviews, followed by being flown out for a full day of interviews in person across both the Palo Alto and San Francisco offices as their driver shares stories about company employees over the years. Everyone was very friendly and direct. Make sure you emphasize collaboration and confidence.
Interview Question – How much of this project was your work? View Answer
Experience, Learning and Development Specialist Interview (Positive Experience; Easy Interview)
I applied online and the process took 1 week - interviewed at IDEO.
Interview Details – Very efficient with responses, scheduling and overall management of interview process. Culture feels trendy, and laid back, but very unique. I was told not to worry about dressing up and to be myself. Importance was fit with culture and life outside work. No attention given to graduate degrees.
Interview Question – "What would you do if you are running late to a meeting and you are asked to tend to one of your coachees due to an emergency?" View Answer
Business Community Coordinator Interview (Positive Experience; Average Interview)
I applied online and the process took 2 weeks - interviewed at IDEO in September 2010.
Interview Details – Responded to job posting on IDEO website, which received an initial form letter email response. IDEO recruiter reached out separately to set up a phone interview in the following few days. This was followed by two rounds of in-person interviews with a variety of current employees of proposed team, other teams, as well as senior management.
Interview Question – Who else are you interviewing with? Answer Question
Interaction Design Interview (Neutral Experience; Average Interview)
I applied online and the process took 4+ weeks - interviewed at IDEO in October 2013.
Interview Details – I had a video cam screener and an in-person interview. The process spanned about a month. Everyone I talked with was polite, organized and professional. The first interview was mostly general questions. The second was more detailed and centered around a portfolio review. Since they appear to favor advance degrees there wasn't the interest in education that I would have expected. Not much info on why I didn't receive an offer. I'm assuming two things: 1) they are probably looking for some kind of Fortune 100 experience. They work with big clients and need to see an proven ability to think on that level, and 2) because the internal structure is flat-ish I'm guessing if one interviewee vetoes then you're out. I have nothing to validate these two assumptions other than intuition. I recommend you do all the things you should to prepare. But it's difficult to gauge during the interview where the bar is set.
Interview Question – What is your opinion on (insert latest interaction trend here)? Answer Question
Lead Interaction Designer Interview (Neutral Experience; Average Interview)
I applied through an employee referral and the process took 5 months - interviewed at IDEO in April 2013.
Interview Details – I spoke with 2 HR people two separate times, then spoke with a designer and then spoke with two directors designers. The process was very casual. I had to go through a couple of projects- show process, results, and next stages. The interviews were very spaced out. It was very difficult to tell what they were thinking. Everything seemed to go well but in the end didn't land the job. Got a nice letter telling me to apply in the future 6 months to year.
Interview Question – Describe your research methods. View Answer
Interaction Design Lead Interview (Neutral Experience; Average Interview)
I applied online and the process took 3 months - interviewed at IDEO in June 2013.
Interview Details – I had an initial phone interview with HR, then a Google Hangout interview that went well and lasted about 1.5 hours. Shortly after, I was notified they wanted to fly me out for in-person interviews. This lasted about half a day, and ranged from discussions with senior management to an ideation session with a team of designers. I was told a decision would be made hopefully within a week. Within a couple days, HR told me that my interviews "went really well". Over 2 months went by. Eventually I received a very nice letter stating they weren't going to move forward with my application, that the applications had been extremely competitive with many qualified candidates and the selection had been difficult. Two weeks later I saw the posting listed again on a job board.
Interview Question – The ideation session was probably the most difficult part of the interviews, only because you are working with a team of people, none of whom you know. But it was not a problem. Answer Question
Interaction Designer Interview (Positive Experience; Average Interview)
I applied through an employee referral and the process took 4+ weeks - interviewed at IDEO in June 2013.
Interview Details – I was referred by an an employee and contacted by HR after some people at the company had taken a look at my online portfolio. There was a video interview with three people about a week later. It took about 45 minutes and the goal was to see whether there was a favorable interaction and mutual interest about working together. Later I had a series of on-site interviews. They ranged from technical questions (what tools do you use, how to you approach a problem) to design-oriented (what inspires you, show and explain examples of good design) and always included a portfolio presentation. Questions were quite benign and I think the main goal was to find out whether you have an opinion on things, and how you eloquently you can discuss it. There was also an actual brainstorm session with potential team members, obviously to find out whether you'd fit in the team. Overall I found the interview with management members the hardest, as they were clearly prepared to scrutinize applicants and find out about their motivations. I had a pretty good feeling after the interviews, but did not receive an offer.
Interview Question – Define good leadership. View Answer
Industrial Designer Interview (Neutral Experience; Average Interview)
I applied online and the process took 3 months - interviewed at IDEO.
Interview Details – total 3 interviews with different group of people in similar discipline, one with director level, 2-3 people at the time, very casual. 3 months total to complete process
Interview Question – overall very casual conversational interview Answer Question
Negotiation Details – no negotiation
Mechanical Engineering Intern Interview (Neutral Experience)
Interviewed at IDEO
Interview Details – I was interviewed first by someone in HR. I then had an interview with the mechanical engineering team. The whole process was pretty short. They contacted me a few days after I submitted my application.
Interview Question – Tell us about your engineering passion. What do you do in your free time. Answer Question