I applied online and the process took 2 weeks - interviewed at Lafarge North America in April 2009.
Interview Details – started with a telephone screening, which was basically just an elaboration of what was on my resume. They followed up with a second telephone interview by a senior HR manager. Nothing too difficult, she seemed nice, and thought I was a good fit for the job.
The third round was in-person interviews at the Herndon offices. I met with four different executives, including the one who I would be replacing.
First impressions - this ain't a warm a fuzzy place. Perhaps it's the nature of the product the sell - cement - but the first manager I interviewed with seemed very dour, a little pompous, and not at all happy that he had to start his day earlier than usual to meet with me (interview was at 7:30).
The second person I met with was even worse. At one point, he said something along the lines of "I can't stand f***ing idiots!" (in his thick French accent, no less). He was talking about a bad experience with a former subordinate, but his tone and tenor spoke volumes about what he'd be like to work with.
The third manager was the exception - genuinely friendly, very easy to talk to, and clearly eager to see me succeed in the interviews. We spent nearly twice as long chatting than I did with any of the others.
The last interview was with the person I was replacing. He seemed nice enough (*very* French), but ten minutes of listening to him describe his day to day and I knew I wouldn't apply for the job.
Interview Question – How can we - Lafarge - increase our sales? View Answer
Reason for Declining – I couldn't see myself fitting into their environment. There seemed to be a bad mix of pomp, arrogance, and testostorone in the air, and that was the complete opposite of what I was looking for.
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