Getting an Interview
Getting an Interview
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Research Analyst Interview
I applied through other source. The process took 3 weeks – interviewed at RiskMetrics in May 2009.
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.
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