Baker & Taylor
Baker & Taylor Interview Questions & Reviews
Getting an Interview
Very Difficult Interview
Field Merchandiser Interview (Negative Experience; Very Difficult Interview)
I applied through an employee referral and interviewed at Baker & Taylor.
Interview Details – Beginning interview was positive until the District Manager mentally turned it into a negative interview when you asked a question. Followup with Recruiter would not return my calls. Very unprofessional!
Interview Question – Insecure District Manager felt I was trying to take her job after I asked "Are there any advancement opportunities?" View Answer
Systems Support Specialist Interview (Positive Experience)
I applied online and the process took 4+ weeks - interviewed at Baker & Taylor in April 2012.
Interview Details – The interview process went very smoothly. I was called by the Human Resource Manager, and she was very professional. I came in for my interview with Human Resources and the department Supervisor. The interview lasted about an hour. It was moreso handled by HR that the Supervisor, which was unexpected in my opinion. I was offered the position a week later.
Interview Question – The most unexpected was the HR lady conducting most of the interview, with little input from the supervisor. I had a lot of questions directed towards to the position. Answer Question
Software Engineer Interview (Neutral Experience; Easy Interview)
I interviewed at Baker & Taylor in February 2009.
Interview Details – Pretty straight-forward. 2 Interviews total. First interview was with VP Of Process Improvement and with Business Analyst. Just a casual conversation with both at the same time. Some questions about my (then) current job, functions, challenges, projects. No difficult technical questions. 2nd interview a week later.
Interview Question – No difficult or unexpected questions Answer Question
Very Easy Interview
Returns Clerk Interview (Neutral Experience; Very Easy Interview)
I applied through a staffing agency and the process took 5 days - interviewed at Baker & Taylor in June 2009.
Interview Details – The job started as a temporary position. I worked for a staffing agency (within Baker & Taylor) for eight months. I was issued an application to become a full-time Baker & Taylor employee at this point. There was no interview for this position. There was no negotiation in the hourly wage. The salary was set and the options for upward mobility were vaguely discussed. The rate was a minimal increase from what was offered by the staffing agency. I guess what one would consider a hiring bonus of sorts.
Interview Question – There were no unexpected or difficult questions to answer. There was not a formal interview process associated with this job. Temporary employees are selected for full time positions based on their work ethics and attendance record. Answer Question
Senior Financial Analyst Interview (Negative Experience; Average Interview)
I applied through a recruiter and the process took a day - interviewed at Baker & Taylor in November 2009.
Interview Details – I first learned of this position through a recruiter in the Charlotte area. I went in to interview with my recruiter so he could get a general idea of me, etc. I asked him a couple questions about this company, how he was linked to them. He said he knew the director (boss of the hiring manager for this position) as a friend and they went to the gym together. I also asked him how long they have been hiring for this position, and he told me for about 6 months now. He said he has sent nearly 10 applicants himself and they've all been declined. Nearly all of them were declined as they 'were all very qualified but not a good fit with the company.' This recruiter was not the only one who had this job, either. I've seen this position posted with may other recruiters and on your regular job sites. So a lot of applicants must have gone in over the 6 months it has been open. I asked the recruiter how serious the company was hiring for this position seeing as it has been left open for so long, he said very serious. Then I asked him if it was a business critical position because it may not be if it was allowed to be open for this long. He repeated they were seriously looking for someone. These were all red flags to me to begin with, but i knew I had the requirements down pat. They were looking for a financial analyst, advanced excel skills. Someone at the beginning of their career looking to move forward beyond this position. I fit all of these. I remained positive and went in for the interview with the company.
I was greeted at the entrance by a perfectly nice receptionist and she took me to a small conference room to fill out some paperwork. My first impression of the office was not good. It was dead quiet, old, poor quality furniture dirty carpets, etc. Not that I cant look past something like that. I mean it is an awful economy and what company needs to spend money on these things now, but it certainly didn't look like the HQ of the leader of the books and media distribution industry. Whatever, I thought. And i got over it.
After I was done with my paperwork, I was left sitting for 15 mins. And the receptionist came in and apologized as their HR was out and I would have to speak directly to the hiring manager for my interview.
So I went into his office. He started by saying that this should be treated as a casual get to know you session. He was nice, smiled and seemed genuinely friendly. He asked standard interview questions, walk me through your CV, why do you want to work here. Yada yada. And then we got to chatting about the industry, where he came from, etc. It was kind of cool because we were both products of corporate management training programs. We had a lot in common and we started joking towards the end. This lasted about 30 min and then the hiring manager introduced me to his boss (the director I mentioned earlier) for another one on one.
He was even easier to talk to than the hiring manager. I did largely the same with him and walked through my CV again. We had some casual chit chat and i found out he used to work for the company i currently work for about 15 years ago. Again, it was good. The feeling was friendly and it was over in another 20 mins.
I left feeling like they would certainly call me back for a second round. I hit all the requirements to a T, and was able to casually get along with everyone. I felt like I nailed it. So I sent my thank you emails to the director and the manager. What was weird was I never got a response.
The next day my recruiter called saying they would not be asking me back saying 'they thought you were great, but they could not get a read on your personality.' Seemed kind of bogus to me so I pressed him for more info, but I didn't get any.
I let it sit for a couple of days, but I really thought if I nailed every technical point, was able to get along with the guys, then why not sit me down again to get a better read on my personality if that was indeed the problem. So I sent another email to the hiring manager, saying thanks again for his time, but respectfully disagreeing with him. I asked him to sit down again, but I never got any response.
I never got any response or feedback at all from either the director or the manager, and that just didn't sit right with me. I can't put my finger as to really what went on, but c'est la vie.
If anyone else has any feedback regarding this, I would love to hear for curiosity's sake.
Director, Merchandising Planning & Allocation Interview (Positive Experience; Average Interview)
I applied through other source and the process took 2 days - interviewed at Baker & Taylor in October 2009.
Interview Details – Was contacted by phone. The VP of Sales and Merchandising called me to discuss if I was still interested in the position, and skills required to perform the job. We then discussed my skill sets and their strengths and weaknesses as they related to the job. I was strong in planning, production and inventory with direct report experience. I was weak however in the core of the business which is print and digital media, having never worked in this field before. After about a 30 minute conversation I was told that he would get back to me with a time to conduct a 1:1 interview. When I arrived I waited for 30 minutes (meeting was 20 minutes late to start). Before we started he put my resume out across his desk, with every page visible (it was 3 pages) and then commented " before we start, I have to tell you, this is the best resume I have ever seen, I would know that this is a resume even if it were in another language." So I would suggest that your resume be at its best before sending it for consideration. The interview was pretty standard stuff and lasted about 40 minutes when I think he had another interview as he said he needed to end the meeting. I would suggest that you be as knowledgeable about the media business as you can before an interview.
Interview Question – How have you in the past handled a situation where a direct report was not performing their duties as required. View Answer
Buyer Interview (Neutral Experience; Average Interview)
The process took 2 weeks - interviewed at Baker & Taylor in June 2010.
Interview Details – Sent in my application. 2 people I know well who worked with them called and emailed them giving me high praise and asked they meet with me. Heard from HR to set up an appointment. Met with 3 people. I had the experience, the contacts and the industry knowledge they kept saying they needed. I got along well with all 3. The entire interview lasted about an hour and a half. I was able to answer all their questions easily, had references in hand, had all the experience they asked for. They all kept saying they needed someone with strong book knowledge, that they didn't have time to teach that. With over 20 years in books I figured I was a shoe in. About a week or so later I got a form letter from the HR person saying they'd chosen someone else. Found out later they hired someone with no book experience. I don't know if my salary was the problem. I was disappointed, I thought we'd make a great team.
Interview Question – What do you think would be the most difficult part of this job for you? Answer Question