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Benefits Analyst Interview

Benefits Analyst
Columbia, MD

I applied through other source and the process took 6+ weeks - interviewed at Merkle in June 2011.

Interview Details – I'm not quite sure why this place is a "Best Place to Work".

I received a call from an internal recruiter who had found my resume online. He interviewed me on the phone for about 30 mins and gave a good explanation about the company and the position. He then recommended that I interview (on the phone again) with the person to whom I would report. I spoke with her for about 30 mins as well. Several days later, the recruiter called me back to let me know that I had made it to the final round of interviews and to come in for a day of interviews with about 5 or 6 people and then give a 20-45 minute presentation about a project I led.

For the day of interviews, they bought me lunch but there was no indication that that was going to happen - and I gave my presentation in the afternoon to everyone who I had met with earlier. When I got home after the interviews, I realized that I hadn't heard when I might hear something again so I sent an email to find out about the rest of the interview process - which nobody had bothered to explain. I received an email back that they wanted to speak with me further over the phone so we scheduled some time for later in the week.

At this point, I thought I had actually gotten the job - they would have had time to discuss my interview after I left and if I was not going to get the job, why would they need to schedule an appointment for that? Unfortunately, the next time we spoke, I was asked even more interview questions and then finally given a rundown of the interview process. Merkle apparently requires that they bring in at least 2 candidates for the group presentation interviews and I was the first (going first is always a huge negative - they never remember you when decision time comes). The decision is also based on a group vote, which is absurd. There were people who interviewed me who never would have worked with the person in this position and were in a different department entirely - so what in the world are they basing their decision on?

Two weeks after that 3rd phone interview, I got the screwiest voicemail from the Director of Talent Acquisition saying that my appointment the next day was canceled because the position had been filled. First, I didn't have an appointment. Second, thanks for letting me know I didn't get the job. The Talent Acquisition guy called me back to apologize for the mix-up and explained that he had called the wrong person but did tell me that they decided to offer the position to someone who was an employee referral. He also was surprised that I didn't know that I didn't get the job because he told me that he had asked the recruiter if he had called me to let me know and was told "yes".

What's so supremely aggravating is that I took a vacation day off of work so that Merkle could fulfill their strange requirement of having 2 candidates come in - when apparently, I wasn't even a contender. I have half a mind to send them a bill for my wasted vacation day - interviewing for a position I was never going to get (and putting quite a few hours into my presentation) isn't exactly how I like to spend my time off.

Also, in the interest of fairness, the person who was selected was not put through the same interview process that I was - there wouldn't have been time for the 3rd phone interview that I was subjected to. If I wanted to raise sand, I could throw out the discrimination card and considering that I interviewed for an HR-related position, I would have hoped they would have known better.

Overall, for a company with "no rules", they have a lot of rules that really don't make sense and probably waste a lot of people's time. I'm not a fan of working in a completely inefficient (and dishonest) work environment so maybe this isn't the place for me. I just wanted to bring my dog to work with me.

Interview Question – There weren't any questions that I hadn't been asked before so don't expect anything too "out there". The toughest part of the interview process was the presentation. While it is informal, the audience will stop to ask questions along the way.   Answer Question

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