MECLABS Interview Questions & Reviews
Getting an Interview
- Popular Job Titles:
- Research Analyst (6)
- Marketing Writer (2)
- Copywriter (2)
- Data Scientist (2)
- Cog In the Machine (1)
- Clark Kent of Marketing Aka Marketing Copywriter (1)
- Database Administrator (1)
- Project Coordinator (1)
- Marketing Analyst (1)
- Lead Generation Specialist (1)
- Market Research Analyst (1)
- Administrative Assistant (1)
- Research Manager (1)
- Writer (1)
- Data Analyst (1)
Data Scientist Interview (Positive Experience; Difficult Interview)
I applied online and the process took 3 weeks - interviewed at MECLABS.
Interview Details – Applied online and two weeks later I was screened via phone. Days later I was contacted for an interview with the HR Director. Passed that and the following week had a skills assessment test, which was fairly easy. It involved two questions, a regression model and time analysis. After which i had a behavioral test. My agent called me to tell me i passed the behavioral test and will need to have a panel interview with potential supervisors. I though interview went well, however, they emailed me a week later to say I did not get the job because they did not think i will be a good fit.
Interview Question – You must be able to describe a situation where you disagreed or did not get along with a coworker. Answer Question
Research Analyst Interview (Positive Experience; Average Interview)
I applied online and the process took 4+ weeks - interviewed at MECLABS in February 2014.
Interview Details – The interview process began with a phone interview. Most of the questions were behavioral -- "Describe a time when you...", but there were skills related questions about experience using software and I was asked to rate my own knowledge of and experience using things like Excel on a scale of one to five.
At the end of the interview they told me I was moving on to the next step, which was an in-person interview and skills test. I was asked to prepare a PowerPoint presentation about myself to present at the interview and to review a website of my choice and be prepared to explain what I would change about it.
I was interviewed by three people from the research department. They were very casually dressed and most of their questions were behavioral as well. I'm considerably older than the people who were interviewing me and have senior-level experience and the interviewers wanted to know why I was applying for this particular job. My impression was that one of the main objectives of this interview was to determine how I would fit into their team.
Following the interview I took a skills test and was thanked for coming in. Two or three days later I received a call asking that I take a personality assessment, which I had to complete in one session online. A few days after that I was invited back for an interview with senior leadership.
That interview included more of the same type of behavioral questions and seemed designed to determine my ability to handle conflict and my leadership skills.
A few days later I received a call and was offered a position.
Now that I've worked for MECLABS for several weeks I understand the emphasis on my ability to fit in with their team. The work culture here is more collaborative and collegial than any I've encountered before. It's a great place to work and we doing great work.
Interview Question – What do you feel you most need to improve about your leadership skills? Answer Question
Research Analyst Interview (Neutral Experience)
I applied through an employee referral and the process took 4+ weeks - interviewed at MECLABS.
Interview Details – Very difficult and drawn out process, including a number of interviews and behavioral tests. Interviews are with groups of managers and consist mostly of behavioral and psychological questions, concerning your ability to work in a team and prior team experiences.
Interview Question – So many questions regarding teamwork and prior conflicts within a team were unexpected, especially considering the Research Analyst position is some what of an isolated and solo effort. Answer Question
Copywriter Interview (Neutral Experience; Easy Interview)
I applied online and the process took 5 days - interviewed at MECLABS in January 2014.
Interview Details – Their hiring process is a long one. First they have you complete a phone interview, then a skills test in your field. If you pass those two points you have a face-to-face meeting with them to determine if you'll be a culture fit for them and then they have you take a personality test. The last step (which I did not reach) is to meet with the actual hiring manager for the job you're being considered for.
Interview Question – None of their interview questions were difficult--they were 97% behavioral. If you're even moderately savvy you can answer them pretty easily. They said, "Tell me about a time when you failed to meet a deadline" or "Tell me about a time when you made a mistake at work." They proceeded to re-phrase these questions and ask them multiple times. Kind of funny. They were also very focused on asking questions with negative undertones and seemed very preoccupied with failure and missing deadlines--left me chuckling to myself thinking they must either be a little "green" with their interviewing process or that they've had a lot of issues with people failing to meet deadlines. Answer Question
Data Scientist Interview (Positive Experience; Average Interview)
I applied online and the process took 6 weeks - interviewed at MECLABS.
Interview Details – First I was offered a phone interview, general HR questions (regarding working with others, communication style, favorite features of excel).
I was then given a skills tell (3 questions, 2.5 hours to complete through excel).
I had a second interview, with two senior level individuals. Once again they asked general HR questions but additional questions regarding statistical tests, accuracy, validity, etc.
I was given two behavioral assessments, done online.
My last interview was in house, with three individuals. It was a very friendly interview that had a lot to do with computability of working with others. I was introduced to a lot of the employees. They were all very young but seemed very happy with the work atmosphere.
I was offered the job 6 days after my in house interview. But, due to my move and salary they were offering I had to decline.
Interview Question – How can you work on your communication skills? Answer Question
Reason for Declining – I had to move cities for this position, the salary was too low, and I wasn't too sure about the young atmosphere in the office.
Lead Generation Specialist Interview (Neutral Experience; Average Interview)
The process took 2 months - interviewed at MECLABS in July 2013.
Interview Details – I interviewed for a Lead Generation Specialist position at the Minnesota location. The office itself has nice grounds, but is not in a very metropolitan location and was quite dingy. The interview process consisted of a phone interview with HR, a team interview with current employees, a Skype interview with a manager from the Florida office, and two assessments.
Each of the interviews hard very similar questions and each interviewer had obviously not conversed with the previous interviewer about my qualifications. Their questions were almost all behavioral question types and large proportion of them were negative. In each interview they asked about a time when I had done something wrong, could not complete something on time, had a disagreement with a co-worker, or had a problem working on a team. In almost all of these instances I had to make something up, because I honestly have not had that many negative experiences in the workplace. I am hard working, I get things done on time, and I try to be as easy to work with as possible. In my opinion, that they assumed I would be able to answer all of those questions- and had truly had that many negative experiences- implies that they think having negative experiences in the workplace is typical, which was a big red flag for me.
The HR interviewer was not able to clearly describe the job itself, which was a little disconcerting and it took about a half an hour. The team interviewers were very polite and fun but certainly not very charismatic or professional, and they were dressed and communicated in a frumpy manner. The Skype interviewer was very harsh and did not seem happy to be talking to me. He made it quite clear that he was not impressed by my inability to give strong answers for all of the negative-workplace-experience questions. He also framed questions like personal attacks. For example, “your assessment shows that you are…which implies you would be hard to work with, how would you manage this?” He was easily the most charismatic and well dressed of the interviewers, but because he was so negative and combative he was the least professional.
The assessments that I completed were atypical, especially for a research company. The internal validity of one was clearly compromised by age. It asked basic questions that seemed to be targeting anxiety or preparedness in the work place. For example, “do you have emergency phone numbers written down near your phone?” Clearly, most people would say no, not because they are not anxious or prepared but rather because most people have cell phones.
They sent me a rejection email stating that I was over qualified for the position and that they sensed I would not enjoy the job. At the time I felt down, but in retrospect, they were correct, in that I certainly would not have enjoyed the job or work-culture. I was also very overqualified, as I had recently graduated with honors after completing my thesis on evolutionary cognition, whereas one of the interviewers had the job I was applying for and only had a high school diploma. They strongly stressed the importance of intellectualism in the interviews, but I am quite sure that I was more intellectually and academically-focused than any of the employees. I certainly cannot see myself competing with any of them for positions in PhD programs or even masters programs in market research for that matter, which should be their expertise.
If I had the chance to do it all over again I wouldn't try to impress them any differently- I just wouldn't apply.
Interview Question – Like I said above, many of the questions were negatively phrased behavioral questions pertaining to instances of conflict or error in the workplace. Be prepared to talk more about your negative work experiences than your positive work experiences. If you don't have an example of a time when you turned in something late, didn't finish a project, had an argument with a co-worker, or couldn't effectively work on a team, then make them up, because they probably won't believe that you are actually just a responsible, friendly, and calculated person. Answer Question
Cog In the Machine Interview (Negative Experience; Easy Interview)
I applied online and the process took 3 weeks - interviewed at MECLABS.
Interview Details – Basically, if you are over the age of 35 ............ Forget it!
I had been told that by a few people and it really bothered me, so then began my research on this apparently "ageist" company. As always I try to play the devils advocate and I set out to prove that no company (in this day and age) could possibly still get by while using discriminatory hiring practices. I was wrong!
I started by doing some research on positions available at the company. I applied for a position that was well below my qualifications and as expected received a call from HR the next day about another job for which my qualifications were better suited. (HR doing its job and doing it well)
Hurdle 1 - Complete!
Next, I was asked to have a phone interview with HR (the next day) that lasted approx. 1 hour. She was sweet, polite, gracious and professional. Her questions were 100 % STAR typical questions and we both agreed it went well. She asked me to take a behavioral test, I acquiesced, Then I received a call saying I would be moving on to phase 2! Yay!
Hurdle 2 - Complete!
About 2 business days later I received another call from HR , which in itself involved a brief interview and was asked to take a skills test. Now, the skills test was basically a writing sample that involved creating copy for an outline. Again, I acquiesced. I created a brief sample of my skills ( I even passed the sample on to dear friend who teaches Lit @ Brown) and he said it ruled and I smiled and then I submitted it to MECLABS for review, they must have thought it ruled too ( yes, I'm being cheeky here) because a few days later they called to set up an in-person interview.
Hurdle 3 - Complete!
The day of the interview I showed up 5 minutes early, which was not easy to do because I was on deadline at my real job but my research had come this far - so I had to make it happen. Besides, my boss is totally supportive of the article we will be printing about this, soooo....
The day of the interview I showed up 5 minutes early - The atmosphere was young, but not ENTIRELY young and for a busy office I thought the energy was pretty low. The dress code was very casual, which I prefer and every person who I made eye contact with was very friendly. There was a ping pong table (as mentioned in another review) and a bare foot dude (also mentioned in previous review) but, I'm a person who prefers a flexible culture - so that didn't phase me one bit.
When I met with the panel.......................... Things got interesting. See, I had this job before I walked in the door. They knew before I sat down that I was the perfect person for the job. I was clever when I sent in my Resume. I only listed the last three projects (out of 20-30) that I have worked on. I tailored my experience towards the jobs available at MECLABS and it painted an unclear picture of my actual experience and more importantly, it painted an unclear picture of my age. Then I walked in the door. The questions were, again, 100 % star type questions, none relevant to my ACTUAL experience and none related to my skills. The people I interviewed with were polite, and I believe, embarrassed to be asking such generic questions, but they were doing there jobs...............and hey! They will both be at a better company in 5 years (or at least I hope so, they seemed to deserve it.
So, the interview went well, aside from the fact that they knew I wouldn't get it, because I probably wouldn't be interested in going out with them on the weekends. (that was rude and pretty unfounded) The reality is I think a higher up is influencing the age game. But, more on that in a second.
A few days later I got a letter saying that though my qualifications were stellar, they didn't believe I would enjoy the "office dynamics". In other words - we're young, you're old - this won't work for us.
Jeunism is as discriminatory as sexism or racism. I believe the CEO is trying to create a CULTure of young people that can be easily influenced and molded. The compensation for the work these kids are doing is unfair. The CEO needs to wake up! These "kids" won't be your puppets forever.
I'll end with a quote from Flint McLaughlin "I am joined today by Gaby Paez and Adam Lapp, both are long time experts in our lab, some of our oldest employees in MECLABS, old in terms of tenure but not necessarily in terms of age. We are a fairly young group, let me say it
differently, they are a fairly young group. I am the old guy here"
Flint McLaughlin is only 48 years old
Interview Question – They honestly asked me what my 5 year plan was .... I'm not that old, but I felt like saying "I dunno, I'm try'na figure out how'da not get dimentia" Answer Question
Administrative Assistant Interview (Positive Experience; Average Interview)
I applied online - interviewed at MECLABS in September 2013.
Interview Details – 1) The HR Assistant and I coordinated a time for a pre-screening.
2) The HR Manager and I talked the following week for 30 minutes. She was nice. She wasn't too "HR", only asking the questions; it was more of a friendly/informative conversation - which I liked.
3) The HR Manager passed her notes and observations to the HR Director, who decided not to have me take the 45 minute personality test or do a second interview. I received an email with this information that same week. Process over : (
I'm not sure what they are looking for. I thought the talk went well. I am qualified, possibly overqualified for the position.
Interview Question – Tell me about a time when you had a conflict within a team. Answer Question
Market Research Analyst Interview (Negative Experience; Average Interview)
I applied through college or university and the process took 2 weeks - interviewed at MECLABS in August 2013.
Interview Details – I saw the posting on campus recruiting and applied for it. Within a week, I heard about scheduling a phone interview. The phone interview was about 30 minutes. It was not so much about MECLABS as it was about behavioral questions. She asked what type of work I like the most and what type of work I like the least? And about experiences working with groups, etc. typical behavioral questions. Well, within a week, I heard that they weren't moving forward with me. The email said they are either still looking or hiring something else. I guess it wasn't a good fit for me, but better to know that sooner rather than later. No reason given as to why I wasn't a good fit. I guess it must have been the way I answered something.
Also, if you move forward there is a 7-question Excel test and a PowerPoint presentation about yourself.
Interview Question – Rate your familiarity with MS Project. Answer Question
Research Analyst Interview (Neutral Experience)
Interviewed at MECLABS
Interview Details – I had initially applied for a HR Specialist position with MECLABS but when I received a call, three weeks after my application, I was told the HR Manager believed I would be a better fit for the Research Analyst position. I was hesitant but as I am is eager to find employment, I agreed. During my phone interview I was told about how the company operates and it honestly seemed like they were still trying to figure out how to work things out themselves.
Interview Question – How proficient are you with Excel? Answer Question