IMVU Interview Questions & Reviews
Getting an Interview
Copywriter Interview (Negative Experience; Average Interview)
I applied online and the process took 2+ weeks - interviewed at IMVU in February 2012.
Interview Details – I interviewed with 9 people during the course of a morning. Afterwards, they said I was the first candidate and they wanted to interview a few others before deciding. Apparently, they decided to put the position on hold and only told me about it when I contacted them. Very unprofessional. A couple of months later, I was contacted and told the position was open again and asked to take a writing test. Funny, then the position went away again with no explanation. They really don't seem to know what they want or what they're doing except to waste applicant's time.
Interview Question – There wasn't anything that stood out. Answer Question
Junior User Experience Researcher Interview (Neutral Experience; Average Interview)
I applied online and the process took 3 weeks - interviewed at IMVU in October 2012.
Interview Details – I received an e-mail invitation from the Human Resources Coordinator to a telephone interview within a week after I applied. I scheduled a time to talk with the Vice President of People and Talent (for 20 minutes).
The VP asked me very vague questions (about myself, my experiences, etc...), so sometimes it was ti know what know what kind of answers he was looking for. In some instances, I thought I talked enough - only to hear "Is that it?" on the other line. He then asked if I had any questions before we ended the conversation. The phone interview completed in a little over 20 minutes.
The Human Resources Coordinator later scheduled to another phone interview with someone else (the Senior User Experience Manager). The second conversation was more technical; he asked me very specific questions on research. The interview lasted for about 20 minutes with questions and answers.
I got a rejection e-mail about 2 weeks later. They noted that they reviewed my "background" and will not be moving forward with my resume. Unfortunately, I don't think they even checked my background... It was probably just a "polite" rejection.
Interview Question – Is that it? Answer Question
Very Easy Interview
Senior Interaction Designer Interview (Positive Experience; Very Easy Interview)
I applied through other source and the process took 1+ week - interviewed at IMVU in February 2009.
Interview Details – I was referred to IMVU by a contact at a company where I'd worked recently as a contractor. I hadn't sent out any resumes, nor done any 'real' job searching -- I was pinging my primary contact list and mentioning that I was considering a full-time position with the right company, instead of continuing as a contractor.
First contact from IMVU was by email from their VP of Product. We had several rounds of email, and it because clear that our needs and goals were very similar, so we scheduled a 1:1 phone interview for a few days later.
In the phone interview I learned more about the company goals, the product and roadmap, and the responsibilities of the role. It was increasingly clear to both sides that this was probably a really good fit, so an on-site interview day was scheduled for a few days later. Usually I don't come across that great in phone interviews, but this one was smooth.
My on-site interview day, held at the IMVU office in Palo Alto, consisted of 7 half-hour 1:1 interviews, plus a 45 minute presentation by me for 8, including most of those I'd interviewed with individually.
During the individual interviews, I was mostly asked about my experience working with teams and how I would best ensure my best ideas get visibility. Another common theme were questions about how I think about solving problems, both generally and specifically. All the sessions felt rushed, I believe because it was clear I was a real option and everyone wanted to envision exactly how I'd work within the team.
In the presentation session, I showed a PPT of very specific case studies I had worked out over the weekend. I made some reasonable guesses about what their specific product needs were, both for the website and the desktop client, and tried to show how I approach specific challenges. I'm very comfortable talking in front of others, and especially when it comes to product design for startups, so I felt like it went very well.
It's always a good sign when the CEO is suddenly included in your agenda for interviews, so I took it as a good sign when I had an unscheduled 1:1 with the CEO.
Apparently so did the IMVU team. I got a call from the VP of product the next day and they wanted to make an offer. I thought it over, and it was very clear to me that this position and company actually fit my rather specific requirements very closely.
Overall a very organized process, very professional, with great communication. Everyone I spoke with was prepared for the 1:1 interviews and asked questions that felt right. The process itself was good enough to be a checkmark in the 'pros' column.
I'm marking this interview as 'Easy' from a process perspective.
Of note: I spent 2 full days on my presentation. It was a very useful exercise for me, and seemed to make a big impact, so I'm very glad I gave it a lot of careful thought. But I didn't stroll in and kick my feet up -- I researched their market, product, and team beforehand and made sure I knew exactly what stories about my experience I wanted to tell, with carefully prepared visual examples. So it was easy for me, but I can also imagine someone bombing it if they didn't do plenty of homework in advance.
- Do you want to go on a walk and talk for our session instead of stay cooped up in this little office? View Answer
- How do you ensure you have a voice at the table, in terms of product design? Answer Question
Negotiation Details – Interestingly, there was no real negotiation, per se.
We never discussed specific dollar figured before the offer itself -- compensation for a contractor is very different than for a full-time employee, and comparisons are apples:oranges.
But I did broadly discuss my compensation goals. Their offer was within my tolerance level and was a blend of cash, equity, and benefits. I took the offer and am currently an employee.
Marketing Program Manager Interview (Neutral Experience; Average Interview)
I applied online and the process took 2 weeks - interviewed at IMVU in March 2012.
Interview Details – Interview with HR & arranged a call with marketing (she rescheduled minutes before the scheduled time). Marketing exec didn't know I spoke w HR. She asked for writing samples. I sent two, but never heard back. Email tagged HR, with no luck.
Interview Question – Basic questions about my background Answer Question
User Experience Interview (Neutral Experience; Average Interview)
I applied through a recruiter and the process took 1 week - interviewed at IMVU in March 2012.
Interview Details – A recruiter contacted me through LinkedIn by email. Since her email was unclear on the position and seemed "odd" - I researched the company myself and applied directly online. I also sent a resume through the recruiter in the off-chance that she actually represented the company and wasn't just "fishing" for clients. Surprisingly, the recruiter was legit.
I had a phone call with the recruiter that started poorly as she didn't introduce herself and it took us a while to figure out why she was calling me. Again, she didn't seem to know a lot about the position, but kept telling me how profitable the company would be.
Next, the recruiter called to say I would have a phone interview with the hiring manager - that very evening!
I prepared and waited. Then I contacted the company HR. Turns out, they just wanted to contact me to SET UP an interview at a later date.After that I tried as much as possible to deal directly with the company and not the recruiter.
I spoke with the hiring manager in an interview that was rushed and started late. I learned we were nearing the end of the interview when the hiring manger told me there were only 5 minutes left. I hadn't covered my prepared material and was VERY surprised to get a call back.
My on-site interview lasted from 11:30 to 3:30 - no schedule, no interview list, no breaks, no lunch; back-to-back interviews. I never knew who was coming through the door and was generally only offered first names and no titles or roles. No-one explained how the interviewers related to me or my potential role. Each interview started with my trying to figure out who the interviewer was. Most offered a "bio' break, but it was clear that would eat into our interview time, so I declined.
I realized I was interviewing the hiring manager only because I recognized his name.
The interviews were all over the map - it was clear they hadn't coordinated and each interviewer had an idiosyncratic set of questions (often, none planned in advance that I could tell). Later, the internal recruiter told me that it was practice not to discuss an on-going interview - so everyone would be "fresh".
For me, it just meant a lot of repeating basics. Often, we would just get started on an interesting topic and someone new would knock on the door, and we'd frantically try to finish while the interviewer stood with their hand on the door knob, the next person waiting outside the door. In spite of the rush, I really enjoyed talking with each of the interviewers - each had something interesting to add, asked thoughtful questions and seemed like they'd be great to work with. It felt like I made good connections.
One of the hiring manager's last questions to me was: what is your management approach? - while he was on his way out the door. This is not the kind of question that can be answered in 15 seconds or less. There was no time to present examples or past experiences, just a couple of tag lines. It was very hard to know what he was looking for, apart from "fast".
I really regret not being allowed to do a presentation (I had asked) - it would have saved a LOT of time and also allowed us to get more in-depth faster in the 30-minute slots.
Before the interview, I was told, several times, to be sure to have an avatar - as there would be questions on my avatar. No-one asked about my avatar.
Clearly, they are growing quickly and their processes aren't quite in sync.
Overall, I got the impression that people really enjoy working for IMVU. They all seemed engaged, interested and passionate about their work. In many ways, it seemed mature for a start-up; profitable, goals, coordinated management.
They are also clearly transitioning from an engineering-driven, agile, anything goes, try it live... to one with more planning and organization and guidelines (still fast, but a little more coordinated, with some rules). I was taught to "make haste slowly" and to create long-range plans to better guide short-term decisions - but I think I lost the position by mentioning these things.
I wasn't surprised I didn't get the position, in spite of the good connections I made during the interview - I think the hiring manager felt I wasn't going to be "fast" enough.
The interview wasn't hard, questions were predictable and reasonable, and focused on the daily aspects of the job. I enjoyed the people.
Interview Question – None of the questions were difficult or unexpected. There just wasn't time to provide complete answers or answer all of the questions. Answer Question
Software Engineer Interview (Negative Experience; Average Interview)
I applied through other source and the process took 2 months - interviewed at IMVU in August 2011.
Interview Details – Easily the most unprofessional and worst interview process ever.
1. Set up a phone interview with recruiter and recruiter simply didn't call at all.
2. Rescheduled and the recruiter called at a random time because he "didn't know what time to call."
3. Scheduled a phone interview with hiring manager and then he postponed.
4. Scheduled the phone interview with the hiring manager and never heard from them again.
Interview Question – None Answer Question