National Geographic Interview Questions & Reviews
Getting an Interview
Production Assistant Interview (Positive Experience; Easy Interview)
I applied online and the process took 2 weeks - interviewed at National Geographic.
Interview Details – One phone interview was held. It was enjoyable and very relaxed. I guess I might have been a little too relaxed. I was declined about a week later.
Interview Question – Of course the dreaded "what are your faults" question Answer Question
Very Easy Interview
Pre-Press Technician Interview (Positive Experience; Very Easy Interview)
I applied online and the process took 6 months - interviewed at National Geographic in March 2010.
Interview Details – Interview process was very thorough. Benefit package was very impressive
Interview Question – Would you have difficulty commuting to the job? Answer Question
Reason for Declining – Offer was not acceptable
Producer Interview (Neutral Experience)
Interviewed at National Geographic
Interview Details – Standard HR process, then production executives
Interview Question – none of the questions were difficult Answer Question
Negotiation Details – took initial offer - this was years ago....
Web Producer Interview (Neutral Experience; Easy Interview)
I applied through a recruiter and the process took 2+ weeks - interviewed at National Geographic in December 2013.
Interview Details – The interviews, while numerous, were pretty standard. Typical questions about experience, interests, etc. I spoke with 10 people over the course of 3 in person meetings and 3 phone calls.
They save the HR interview (which is supposed to assess whether you are a good cultural fit for the organization overall) for last. Like the other interviews, it was cookie cutter and not difficult.
One frustrating aspect of this process was NG's unwillingness to discuss salary range openly. In fact, even though I mentioned my requirements several times throughout the interview process, they never gave me a salary range for the position, not even after they decided to offer me the job. Very strange and totally backwards, if you ask me.
Turns out the max salary was way below (around -20k) my requirements. I had a feeling that was going to be the case, and it would have saved a lot of people a lot of time if they just been up front about this.
In fact, they even went so far as to downplay compensation, in general. While HR was happy to spend 20 minutes explaining their benefits package in detail, they never mentioned one number when it came to salary. Further, we only discussed it because, in his words, it was "very important to me" and "I seemed concerned about it."
Well, yeah. I am concerned about making a living. Isn't everyone?
Bottom line: I think Nat Geo is a great company, and they're doing awesome things. Perhaps their reluctance to discuss compensation in an open way is a by product of tight budgets.
I ended up turning down the job because: First, it didn't pay nearly enough. Second, the whole process rubbed me the wrong way, especially the disconnect between the hiring manager and HR.
Interview Question – Nothing too difficult or unexpected. Answer Question
Reason for Declining – Low pay; unwillingness on HR's part to discuss compensation. Also, more than one of my interviewees was late...not a deal breaker, but indicative of culture.
Very Easy Interview
Marketing Director Interview (Negative Experience; Very Easy Interview)
I applied online and the process took 5 months - interviewed at National Geographic in May 2012.
Interview Details – I had applied online and within 1 week I got an email from a marketing co-ordinator/ associate confirming my interview at their DC-HQ. I was interviewed by the SVP who was extremely excited about my candidacy. I was told that my final interview date with the CMO will emailed to me by the end of June (since both the SVP and CMO were busy and the position was for a senior management role so they wanted to go slow). For 5 months no one got back to me. I did follow up but no one replied back to me. After 5 months, I was offered a junior level position.
Interview Question – My past experiences and how is it working with NGC were discussed. No interview-like questions asked. Answer Question
Reason for Declining – During the interview, I was told about their recent senior management change. I was continuously receiving negative feedbacks about how partial and biased the new CMO is (specifically mentioning that the new CMO's would like to hire from his/her previous company). I was also forewarned that I have to work in conjunction with new CMO's philosophy which is more creatively inclined than any scientific approach for developing marketing strategies. My interviewer seemed very demotivated with his/her own job.
I was interviewed in May and was told that my final interview date with the CMO will be confirmed via email/call by the end of June. However no one got back to me. Much later I learnt that the interviewer had moved into a different role before he/she quit the job. The position I was interviewed for was filled by someone from the CMO's previous company (much expected!). 5 months later I was offered a junior level position (Asst Manager, Media Strategy) and I found that very insulting. I declined it because I found the management very unstable and the work environment unhealthy.
Intern Interview (Positive Experience; Average Interview)
The process took 2 days - interviewed at National Geographic in April 2011.
Interview Details – I lived out of state, so the Project Manager from the department arranged a phone interview via e-mail and then called me precisely at the time he stated. National Geographic is a laid back culture, but the people are incredibly driven and from the ranks of top tier schools (georgetown, yale, penn...etc) However, if your niche (like mine) hails from an obscure university--have no fear--they are interested in your skillset and ability to pick up the slack in their department without instruction.
It is unclear to me whether it was my combination of unique skills or my open mindedness about where my career might go that led me to NatGeo, but it was extra fun and rewarding every day!
Words of advice, be yourself (if that self is humble, ambitious, smart and concerned about human interaction with geography.) Don't over-analyze, but be very prepared for questions pertaining to your exact skills--don't give vague answers, tell them how each skill will match what they've posted.
Interview Question – How familiar are you with Adobe CS5 integration with ArcGIS? View Answer
Marketing Intern Interview (Positive Experience; Average Interview)
The process took 4 weeks - interviewed at National Geographic in March 2012.
Interview Details – I took three interviews. Both consisted of conversation with the interviewer about myself, my skills, and my expectations for the internship. We also spoke of the expectations of the intern.
Interview Question – What do you expect to gain from this particular intern position? View Answer
Negotiation Details – I did not need to negotiate, but instead, I just communicated and worked along with the interviewer to benefit both parties.
Manager Interview (Neutral Experience; Average Interview)
The process took 2+ months - interviewed at National Geographic in May 2010.
Interview Details – was casual, not much technical details.
Market Research Intern Interview (Positive Experience; Average Interview)
I applied through an employee referral and the process took a day - interviewed at National Geographic in December 2010.
Interview Details – First got in contact with the company after seeing a presentation about National Geographic during one of my college classes in Washington, DC. I followed up with her and coincidentally, she was the hiring manager for a recent internship application they posted online. Interview was quick and easy.
Interview Question – Why do you want to pursue a career in market research? Answer Question
Manager of Customer Service Interview (Neutral Experience; Average Interview)
I applied through a recruiter and the process took 6 weeks - interviewed at National Geographic in July 2008.
Interview Details – Recruiter contact, then emailed current issues the company was experiencing for me to describe how I would handle. Then a series of 1:1 interviews with 5-6 people. After waiting 6 weeks to go through the process, the offer was made on a Friday night and job was to be started Monday. Not truly a professional situation all the way around.
Interview Question – Are you able to travel a day or two in a week every so often. View Answer
Negotiation Details – I was able to negotiate a higher salary.