Phelps Interview Questions & Reviews
Getting an Interview
Interactive Producer Interview (Positive Experience; Difficult Interview)
Interviewed at Phelps
Interview Details – It was the easiest, more laid back interview I've ever experienced.
I was first contacted by their HR recruiter. He was very straightforward, was willing to speak immediately to their very distinct environment and their benefits, and was very open about how it was a collection of strong personalities.
I then went into a large panel interview with their other interactive producers, their COO, art directors, and developers. What looked to be a panel of jurors became a very warm and direct bunch. Their questions all had merit and I appreciated their directness. Plus, the majority of them all had very good senses of humor.
One bit I would recommend is understanding their overall philosophy on "Pyramids are Tombs."
Interview Question – Can you type with large gloves? View Answer
Negotiation Details – Fairly easy. They made a very strong offer.
Corporate Recruiter Interview (Positive Experience; Difficult Interview)
I applied through other source and the process took 2 weeks - interviewed at Phelps in March 2010.
Interview Details – My 3rd and final interview was a bit of a surprise. After talking with the CEO on the phone (1st interview) then I met with the COO in person 1/1 at their office (2nd interview) I received a call from the COO that he would like me to come back in to meet a couple of more people, Team leaders. "Translation: a panel interview which consisted of 11 people, Team Leads, Art Directors, Creative Directors, CFO. Conference rm, oval table, me alone on one side, the panel of 11 on the other side of the table which just happen to be closest to the door. I initially was quite nervous as this wasn't, still isn't, my definition of a "couple of more people". Then I realized it was purposely designed this way to see how I handled myself when a curveball is thrown at me when I was expecting a fat one over the plate. I decided I can do my best by describing my experience. If it happens to work for them great. If not, this is fine as well. All was moving at a rapid pace with questions being thrown at me from their side with no continuity, consistency, all over the board, some not having anything to do with anything and most annoying was the next question sometimes would be asked before I finished answering the previous question. Then when I probably looked like I was about to be bold and say something like "do you people think you can have just a little more tack with this process or is that unthinkable? This is when they gave the nod to use their secret weapon. She walked in late, total attitude, I said hello, she never looked at me and mumbled yea as she sat down. She asked me a job related question with absolutely no emotion, feeling, passion, or even interest in what she was asking. I answered accordingly by my own experience. She said with said with some emotion even though it was frustration, "let me ask you the question another way" then asked me the question exactly, word for word, the same way she did the first time. I looked at her and thought for a second that this woman is nuts. She is totally messing with me. This is completely inappropriate and I am going to go with her game when right then she shot me that look of "well???" I said well since you asked that way I'll answer it completely different. I then went on to repeat exactly what I said the first time. I then was giving her her own look. She sighed deeply and now said"I'm going to put a spin on the same question and maybe you'll get it, she then asked it the same way as the first two times. I smiled and acted a bit surprised in a good way and said, ohhhh. Now I totally understand what you're asking. I feel a little foolish that I didn't quite get it the first two times and before the last word rolled of my tongue she snapped, "GOOD!" That's right, I answered the exact same way as the first two times. She became clearly and uncomfortably upset and barked at me that she just was not hearing what she wanted to hear (boy, that statement told me everything about her) I went into a firm mode and looked at her squarely in the eyes. I said, Listen. I have two options when you ask me the exact same question 3 times. I can lie to you. Make something up that sounds grande to you, puff out my chest and carry on like an arrogant SOB. Or my only other option was to tell you a truthful answer based on my experience. If it works for you that's great. If not, why waste your time and mine? She became so upset, she hurriedly grabbed her stuff and stormed out of the conference rm. For the next 4 - 6 seconds, which actually seemed like a very long time, you could hear a pin drop. I decided I would break the ice and I said, "I don't think it went that well with her. What do you guys think?" Laughter erupted and comments were semi defending her as a co-workers will =to an outside but they were also slanted with yea, she can really be a tough one. We had some small talk, ended the interview, shook hands, exchanged the courtesies of we'll be in touch and all that...I left. As I walked to my car, I wrote the company off. No way will I ever hear from them again. When I got home I wasn't there but 10 minutes when I got a call from the CEO. He went on and on about every negative thing he could come up with in regards to the panel interview. I cut him off and said listen, not necessary, let's call it an experience and wish each other well. He chimed in with, what are you talking about? We want to make you an offer." So the story goes and I walked into exactly what I thought I would be walking into...A House of Curveballs." My advise is always be prepared for anything, the worst case scenarios, the rude 10 minute interviews...because everything else will be a pleasant surprise.
- Can you tell us why you are the best candidate for this position? View Answer
- Tell us a weakness of yours that could affect your job performance. View Answer
Negotiation Details – I negotiated 1 additional week of vacation time, they initially offered only two.
SEM Specialist Interview (Neutral Experience; Average Interview)
I applied online and the process took a day - interviewed at Phelps in March 2009.
Interview Details – At first I was impressed by the office building. Nice location, and a mini stage with a drum set looked like it was my kind of place. Looked like a fun culture, but when I talked to a couple former colleagues who were current employees, it seemed like they were less than thrilled. I got the idea I was going to be buried in keyword spreadsheet hell and decided it wasn't for me.
Interview Question – How comfortable are you managing large volumes of keywords? Answer Question