RiskMetrics Interview Questions & Reviews
Getting an Interview
ESG Analyst Interview (Positive Experience; Easy Interview)
The process took 3 days - interviewed at RiskMetrics in January 2008.
Interview Details – Multiple interviews and informal lunches with future colleagues. I initially reached them by meeting someone who worked them at a networking event. We then went for lunch. That led to a series of informal chats, which eventually led to a job offer.
The culture was jeans, t-shirts and a palpable intellectual curiosity and excitement about the work.
I loved it. The salary was pathetic and I didn't care because the culture was so unique.
- How would you analyze Lehman Brothers? View Answer
- You background is bizarre, in a cool way. Tell me about how you got to where you are. View Answer
Negotiation Details – Don;t make the mistake I made and get drawn in by the culture at the expense of the money. They will see your enchantment and pounce upon it.
Proxy Solicitor Interview (Neutral Experience; Average Interview)
The process took a day - interviewed at RiskMetrics in October 2009.
Interview Details – 1:1 interview along with another person on the other side of the phone line
Interview Question – whats your biggest strength? Answer Question
Sales Interview (Positive Experience; Average Interview)
I applied online and the process took 2+ months - interviewed at RiskMetrics in April 2008.
Interview Details – The hiring/interview was rather lengthy due to changes in the structure and composition of the team I was interviewing for. Initial phone interview led to a series of in person interviews. All told I met with 11 people before an offer was extended. Scheduling was difficult as I needed to meet with senior managers based overseas.
I was interviewed by a range of people at multiple levels (peer, middle manager, senior manager). It gave me a good idea of the team composition and the people I would be working with. Most interviews were casual and informational but all had some technical content questions. HR took me on a tour of the office and introduced me to people from other teams I did not interview with.
Interview Question – What are the risk factors for an interest rate swap? Answer Question
Research Analyst Interview (Negative Experience; Difficult Interview)
I applied through other source and the process took 3 weeks - interviewed at RiskMetrics in May 2009.
Interview Details – I secured the initial interview through a personal referral. It was relatively brief, about 45 minutes, and essentially was a get-to-know-you session. The interviewer asked me basic questions about my background and experience and I was able to ask questions about RiskMetrics. It seemed to go well, and after an initial awkwardness (the interview was handled by a manager who wasn't a natural interviewer) we had a good back-and-forth. At the end, my interviewer indicated that he needed to talk to some people and show them my resume, but I would likely be invited back for a second round.
The second round took place at an office in another location (RiskMetrics paid for my travel expenses). This was an all-day session with six or seven different people from the business unit I'd be working with. It was certainly less relaxed than my first interview; a couple of interviewers clearly were just going through the motions and one person's interview technique was to just contradict everything I said. One thing I did notice is that each interviewer exited, they seemed to brief the following ones. Things that came up in early interviews would be revisited, as they tried to clear up questions or probe deeper.
The people I interviewed with were definitely intelligent, but with a couple of exceptions, they were somewhat humorless and more than a little prickly. I could see them as the kind of folks that would do their job well, but that you probably wouldn't go out for a drink after work with. However, everyone made it a point to give me their card and say to call or email if I had any questions.
RiskMetrics has an unusual corporate culture (no offices, everyone works in an open-plan office, limited titles and hierarchy, etc.). The HR person made it a point to walk me through the emphasis the company puts on mutual respect, teamwork and employee ownership. The company has grown rapidly through acquisitions, and I got the sense that some of the acquired operations are put off by or chafe under RiskMetrics' culture and management. I know the group I interviewed with had a great deal of turnover in management and staff since their acquisition, and a couple of people I interviewed with were somewhat dismissive of the culture when discussing it.
At the end of my day there, the HR person indicated that I should hear something within a couple of weeks, and I should call if I had any questions. When I didn't hear back from them after three weeks, I tried contacting them and got no reply. I'm still waiting...but I'm obviously not expecting to hear back at this point.
That was the most disconcerting thing...RiskMetrics is a company that makes its living by holding other firms to expectations of proper conduct and transparency, and they made a point of stressing how their culture makes them different and better than other firms. Yet, after I spent the whole day with them, they didn't feel the need to call or email and say that they weren't interested, or to return my call when they made it a point to tell me I should feel free to contact them. Corporate culture platitudes are easy to post in the elevator lobby, but it's through actions that you can tell how deeply they are really held in the organization.
Interview Question – What new business line would you suggest we go into, in light of the disrupted financial markets? Answer Question