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Top 25 Most Difficult Companies To Interview; Consulting Firms Lead The Way
Glassdoor ^ | 08/31/2012

Posted on 09/01/2012 7:39:17 AM PDT by SeekAndFind

Some companies are notorious for using interview processes that bring you back to the days of your college entrance exams wrought with riddles, written tests, bizarre questions, and multiple rounds of group or in-person interviews. So which companies have the toughest interview processes out there? Glassdoor dug through more than 80,000 interview reviews shared over the past year to uncover the Top 25 Most Difficult Companies to Interview.

Company Interview Difficulty Rating Interview Experience: Positive Interview Experience: Negative Company Rating Company Rating
3.9 62% 13% 4.1 Very Satisfied
Boston Consulting
3.8 70% 10% 4.1 Very Satisfied
Oliver Wyman
3.7 57% 9% 3.6 Satisfied
A. T. Kearney
3.7 64% 12% 3.4 OK
ZS Associates
3.7 65% 6% 3.4 OK
3.6 64% 16% 3.8 Satisfied
Bain & Company
3.6 73% 2% 4.2 Very Satisfied
Shell Oil
3.6 65% 4% 3.8 Satisfied
3.5 45% 18% 4.1 Very Satisfied
3.5 70% 5% 3.1 OK
3.4 72% 11% 3.9 Satisfied
Cypress Semiconductor
3.4 76% 10% 2.9 OK
Susquehanna International Group
3.4 58% 7% 3.7 Satisfied
3.4 38% 13% 3.2 OK
Procter & Gamble
3.4 63% 7% 3.8 Satisfied
Teach for America
3.4 65% 6% 3.7 Satisfied
L.E.K. Consulting
3.4 62% 5% 3.4 OK
Juniper Networks
3.4 67% 8% 3.3 OK
3.4 75% 6% 3.3 OK
3.4 31% 19% 3.2 OK
General Mills
3.3 49% 15% 3.8 Satisfied
3.3 52% 24% 3.6 Satisfied
3.3 60% 12% 2.9 OK
3.3 51% 19% 4.6 Very Satisfied
3.3 44% 18% 3.3 OK

Report based on companies with at least 20 interview and company reviews from 7/13/11-7/12/12. Interview and company ratings based on a 5-point scale. Interview difficulty ratings: 1.0=very easy, 5.0=very difficult. Company ratings: 1.0=very dissatisfied, 3.0=OK, 5.0=very satisfied. Reviews and ratings are based entirely on experiences from employees and recent job candidates.

Below are some highlights:

Toughest Interview Process: Consulting firms lead the way with McKinsey & Company (Interview difficulty: 3.9) taking top honors, followed by Boston Consulting Group (Interview difficulty: 3.8), and Oliver Wyman (Interview difficulty: 3.7) . Interestingly, almost half of the companies represent the tech industry with companies like Google (Interview difficulty: 3.5) and Facebook (Interview difficulty: 3.3), who are famous in Silicon Valley for their tough interview techniques.

Difficult Interviews Don’t Necessarily Mean Negative Experiences: Despite a tough interview, positive interview experiences outweigh negative interview experiences at all of the companies on the list. Cypress Semiconductor receives the highest rate of candidates experiencing a positive interview (76% positive, 10% negative), followed by Sapient (75% positive, 6% negative) and Bain & Company (73% positive, 2% negative).

Veterans and Newcomers: For the second year in a row, McKinsey & Company (Interview difficulty 2012: 3.9; 2011: 3.9) tops the list, and several other companies on last year’s report have made it into the top 25 again, including Oliver Wyman (Interview difficulty 2012: 3.7; 2011: 3.4) and Teach for America (Interview difficulty 2012: 3.4; 2011: 3.5). Newcomers to this list include Shell Oil (Interview difficulty: 3.6), Google (Interview difficulty: 3.5), Rackspace (Interview difficulty: 3.4), Facebook (Interview difficulty: 3.3) and Progressive Corporation (Interview difficulty: 3.3).

Some of the most daunting questions candidates have recently been asked include:

“There are 3 products: tomatoes, luxury cars, t-shirts. What value added tax is applied to each product type?” – McKinsey & Company Junior Consultant Candidate (location n/a)

“How many people would use a drug that prevents baldness?” – Boston Consulting Group Associate Candidate (Boston, MA)

“What is the marginal cost of a gigabyte in gmail?” – Google Associate Product Manager Candidate (Mountain View, CA)

Think one of your job interviews was tough? Share your interview review and tell future job candidates what to expect, and how to prepare.

TOPICS: Business/Economy; Society
KEYWORDS: companies; corporations; interview; jobinterview; jobs

1 posted on 09/01/2012 7:39:22 AM PDT by SeekAndFind
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To: SeekAndFind

Could I bring a teleprompter?

2 posted on 09/01/2012 7:44:28 AM PDT by ClearCase_guy (I'm not voting for Romney. The Grand Old Whig Party doesn't own my vote and failed to earn it.)
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To: ClearCase_guy

Why are manhole covers round?

3 posted on 09/01/2012 7:50:27 AM PDT by Gaffer
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To: SeekAndFind

Another toughie:

How much wood would a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood?

4 posted on 09/01/2012 7:52:52 AM PDT by ILS21R (The time is nigh.)
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To: Gaffer
1) So they don't fall into the hole.
2) Minimal surface area so minimal iron.
3) Structurally more stable than any other shape.
5 posted on 09/01/2012 7:54:35 AM PDT by IronJack (=)
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To: SeekAndFind

If ifs and whats were cherries and nuts we’d all have a... what?

True or false if you had a big enough bath tub, the planet Saturn would float?

True, but it would leave a ring.

6 posted on 09/01/2012 7:55:55 AM PDT by ILS21R (The time is nigh.)
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To: IronJack

Actually, these are just three answers. There are more. But it’s not the point of the question.

7 posted on 09/01/2012 8:04:56 AM PDT by Gaffer
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To: SeekAndFind

Last real job interview I was invited for had a stupid test. Committee style interview where they asked questions, but they weren’t normal job interview type questions. They were questions on things normally done sitting at your computer and just doing them. Things like “how do you set a shares user access control in Win7”. Things I know how to do but I have never verbalized with people staring and waiting on an answer. On a written test or a computer based one I do just fine but that one I flubbed pretty much everything.

8 posted on 09/01/2012 8:16:46 AM PDT by Domandred (Fdisk, format, and reinstall the entire .gov system.)
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To: ILS21R

Didn’t you see that GEICO commercial that proved woodchucks could chuck wood?

The farmer can distinctly be heard admonishing the woodchucks saying, “Hey you woodchucks, stop chucking my wood!”

Yes ILS21R, woodchucks can chuck wood.

9 posted on 09/01/2012 8:23:16 AM PDT by JohnG45
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To: JohnG45

It was a trick question.

Congratulations... you’re hired.

10 posted on 09/01/2012 8:39:51 AM PDT by ILS21R (The time is nigh.)
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To: Domandred

While I know how to do it... I would answer with:

I call the help desk to find out the proper procedure for requesting administrative access and/or the administrative rights to execute the change and then ask them for the official and approved process to execute the change.

11 posted on 09/01/2012 9:01:11 AM PDT by taxcontrol
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To: SeekAndFind

My former employer used both McKinsey and Boston Consulting to investigate big projects. The kids from these two companies were sharp, sharp.

12 posted on 09/01/2012 9:24:06 AM PDT by Eric in the Ozarks (I didn't post this. Someone else did.)
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To: Gaffer

It’s a trick question to see if you accept male centric naming conventions.

13 posted on 09/01/2012 9:35:14 AM PDT by USNBandit (sarcasm engaged at all times)
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To: USNBandit
Practical applications of "thinking inside the box" I used to ask this question (last) from a Masters or PhD job candidate to see if they had any damned practical sense.
14 posted on 09/01/2012 9:51:57 AM PDT by Gaffer
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To: taxcontrol

And that is probably the answer they were really looking for! :) Stupid SOX compliance

15 posted on 09/01/2012 10:31:44 AM PDT by Domandred (Fdisk, format, and reinstall the entire .gov system.)
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