I worked at Ziba Design full-time (More than 3 years)
Ziba is simply an amazing place to work. The focus of the company consistently changes, and yet it has a strong institutional memory. That memory is what enables Ziba to continue to create exceptional work. You will also be exceptional, and have access to exceptional clients.
My interview process involved meeting with members of the studio, business development, operations, and with members of the team I would be leading. The process gave me insight into the organization, and allowed the members of my team to have input into my hiring process.
Whether it's a function of recruiting or self-selection, Ziba is composed of deliberate, thoughtful professionals who often are capable of performing at a high level across multiple disciplines.
The office is comfortable, efficient, and serene: arguably the best office and building in Portland. It offers unexpected resources including a machine shop, woodworking tools, paint booth, laser burner, and three-dimensional printer that are available for (limited) personal use.
Today's Ziba is not the difficult place that older reviews describe. There are times when it feels like a family ... and times when that family feels the Royal Tenenbaums.
Ziba cycles between 75 and 125 employees. At the lower end of that range, it struggles with overhead and outsources its operations; and at the higher end, it reverses course but doesn't have the management necessary to take advantage of its opportunities. The result is high turnover, high transition costs, and an inability to escape that cycle. The most recent decisions appear to be made without measurement of true cost or need.
Advice to Management
Advise to Board of Directors: form direct relationships with the studio and ask difficult questions.
Note that Sohrab Vossoughi is not the CEO (he is an owner)
I applied online. The process took 3 weeks. I interviewed at Ziba Design (Portland, OR).
Fantastic interview process. 3 stages. Skype / phone with senior interaction designers, Skype / phone call with head of the IxD dept, and finally an onsite interview that lasts all day. The onsite was the best part of the interview because you get to speak with as many people in the IxD department and any other person that works at Ziba. Even though you might have to present your work, the interactions were more conversations about your process instead of a formal critique / presentations.
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