IDEO Interview Questions

Updated Aug 17, 2015
29 Interview Reviews

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Candidate Interview Reviews

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  1.  

    Accepted Offer
    Neutral Experience

    Interview

    The interview process took a long time, nearly six months. This was due to simultaneous interviews with multiple candidates. The internal recruiter had to organize waves of interviews and was struggling to also work around people's incredibly busy travel schedules. I was interviewed by about 14 people total, every team member.

    Interview Questions

    • They gave me an example of a business development conversation and asked how I would approach the conversation and think about designing a proposal for the client.   1 Answer
  2. Helpful (3)  

    Recruiter Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in San Francisco, CA
    No Offer
    Negative Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied through other source. The process took 6 weeks. I interviewed at IDEO (San Francisco, CA) in July 2015.

    Interview

    n the heart of Silicon Valley, a young designer named David Kelley once wrote a letter to a friend that included these words: "I want to start a company with all my best friends as employees." I have to assume that David Kelley has never met or interacted with the current Recruiting department. I should mention that I have been an IDEO fan for a very long time. I think their projects and ideas are fascinating and life changing and they had long been on my short list of "dream companies to work for". Unfortunately my entire interview experience with IDEO was unorganized, unprofessional and in all seriousness, one of the worst experiences of my professional career. I was first contacted by a recruiter who saw my profile. I received an email about how perfect my background is; it was obviously a template email. Despite saying how she couldn't wait to speak with me, it was extremely difficult to set up phone calls because of the recruiter's limited availability. After two phone screens I was asked to do complete a recruiting assignment. It was a lengthy project and I didn't ever receive feedback but I was eventually invited to Palo Alto to meet the team. I'm not sure why, as the team and the job were both in San Francisco. I assume this is yet another example of how disorganized they are about their process. I asked for the names and titles of the people I would be meeting but never got a response from anyone. I arrived in Palo Alto and it seemed no one was expecting me or ready to greet me. Eventually I was put in a tiny windowless room and had a Skype call with the San Francisco office. It was a panel of five interviewers in SF and me alone in Palo Alto. There were first name introductions, but no last names or title/function, so I really did not know who I was speaking to or their relationship to this open role. Other than mentioning very positive feedback about my assignment, no one seemed familiar with my resume or background. It turned out to be a moot point because the interview was over in less than ten minutes. I managed through a lot of time and effort to find out the names of who I met with. I sent everyone a personal note and not one of them acknowledged it. I sent three follow up emails to the recruiter who had originally contacted me and she never responded. And that was the last I heard from IDEO. The only thing I can think of, and this is so petty I hope it wasn't a deciding factor, but when I was on the Skype interview they didn't realize I could hear them and I heard some snickering about my interview attire. Yes, I know you are casual environment but it was an interview situation so I put on a dress! Six months later I got another email from another recruiter. It was very similar to the first email; you have a perfect background, can't wait to speak with you. Two more phone screens and once again, the entire team went MIA. Two weeks ago I got YET another email from the IDEO team. I responded back and guess what? I've heard nothing. Overall my experience with IDEO has been disillusioning, unprofessional and depressing, It stuns me that this alleged world class recruiting team does not have the basic courtesy to respond to candidates. They must not utilize their ATS system either because I can not explain why they continue to contact me directly (I am not applying to their jobs) and not follow through. They make a big deal that they don't need to recruit because talent comes to them (unless they are contacting me) so it's a matter of finding "culture fit" and "creme de la creme" but it comes across as elitist and entitled. I found everyone I spoke to was distracted, late for the call or meeting, not prepared for me and a few were curt with me. I understand if you have a busy schedule and didn't see an interview on your calendar but why take it out on the candidate? Every experience with this company has been discouraging and disrespectful.

    Interview Questions

  3. Helpful (1)  

    Associate Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Palo Alto, CA
    No Offer
    Negative Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 4+ weeks. I interviewed at IDEO (Palo Alto, CA) in June 2015.

    Interview

    The interview process was not handled smoothly and left me feeling very disappointed. The recruiter initially suggested a Friday and then, after I agreed, emailed again to offer a Monday slot. I agreed a second time and then the confirmation email included a time that was 30 minutes later than we had agreed upon in the email, so I had to email back again to confirm the correct time. After the in-person interview, I sent a "Thank You" email and then never heard from IDEO again for ONE MONTH! I emailed the recruiter after 30 days had passed to check in and jog her memory and only then did the recruiter respond with a "Thank you for your interest" email - but she also got my name wrong in that email! I cannot say enough how the lack of attention to detail and careless treatment can make a candidate feel unvalued and does not line up with what I had expected from a company like IDEO.

    Interview Questions

    • What experience do you have in previous jobs that matches up with the job description?   Answer Question
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  5.  

    Designer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 2 weeks. I interviewed at IDEO in May 2015.

    Interview

    Applied online and recruiter emailed me. Then a recruiter followed up with an email for phone interview. (Phone Interview - In person Interview process) It took 3weeks. It was very friendly. But after a few week, I got a rejection email from a recruiter.

    Interview Questions

  6.  

    Senior Leadership Coordinator Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in New York, NY
    No Offer
    Neutral Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 2 weeks. I interviewed at IDEO (New York, NY) in May 2015.

    Interview

    Interviewed with 4 different people- mostly good conversation. One manager was a little on the aggressive side asking the tougher questions. They want you to to go into detail about everything you say and they ask for examples too.

    Interview Questions

    • How is this position a stepping stone for you/how does it fit into your larger picture of life goals?   Answer Question
    • What is your vision for this role?   Answer Question
    • How do you feel about a work life balance? We send emails in the middle of the night and on weekends, that's ok with you, right?   Answer Question
  7. Helpful (10)  

    Business Designer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    No Offer
    Negative Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied through an employee referral. I interviewed at IDEO.

    Interview

    Phone interview with another Business Designer for 30 minutes. Pretty straightforward Q&A with limited outside dialogue. Did not get any word in response post the call until 2 months later or more only after I had followed up multiple times.

    Interview Questions

    • A company wants their main product to be more innovative, how would you figure out a solution, who would you talk to, and what are some proposed solutions?   Answer Question
    • What business models do you follow?   Answer Question
  8. Helpful (1)  

    OpenIDEO Community Manager Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in San Francisco, CA
    No Offer
    Negative Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 6+ weeks. I interviewed at IDEO (San Francisco, CA) in January 2015.

    Interview

    I was told right before Xmas that I was one of the candidates and should go on OpenIDEO to participate so they could evaluate us better about whether we are a good fit. Then I did, despite the fact that it was Xmas. After three weeks, after our intense contribution on OI, we finally got the phone interview. Yet not a single word for the coming over three weeks, before they told me that I was not considered. Why would it take them so long to get back to us? Well lots of companies do not bother to, yet considering IDEO is a HUMAN-CENTERED company, and we were contributing very actively online, I felt I at least I deserved a timely reply. OpenIDEO for sure is doing good things, yet its recruitment should be consistent with its philosophy for the website.

    Interview Questions

  9. Helpful (2)  

    Storyteller Interview

    Anonymous Employee
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied online. I interviewed at IDEO.

    Interview

    It is very intensive, expect to meet lots of people. Some of whom you will work with, others not. They are looking for a cultural fit. Expect a creative task of some sort as part of the hiring process.

    Interview Questions

    • Nothing too hard. But very direct: What are you like to sit next to? What are you really like to work with?   Answer Question

    Negotiation

    Little negotiation (re: salary), but a very nice group of people.

  10. Helpful (1)  

    Talent Lead Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 2 weeks. I interviewed at IDEO.

    Interview

    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 Questions

    • 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
  11.  

    Accepted Offer

    Interview

    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 Questions

    • How much of this project was your work?   1 Answer
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