Ab Initio

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Ab Initio Reviews

4 Reviews
4 Reviews

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Sheryl Handler
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  • 1 person found this helpful  

    Amazing people, environment, customers and products.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Ab Initio


    You'll work with brilliant people, management focused more on results than posturing, very cool products, top-tier customers. You will receive excellent training and be treated compassionately. If you hold yourself to a high standard, you will find many opportunities to grow and excel. If you like variety of work with consistency of environment, you will love it here. It's the best team I've ever been part of in both capability and likability. I respected and admired my coach (manager) greatly. Though I rated individual attributes as 4 star, that's because I'm comparing against the best I can imagine. I rated the company overall as 5 star because I'm comparing against what I've experienced.


    Outsiders may perceive you as being part of a cultish organization because of the company's devotion to protecting its privacy and business "secret sauce." If you're looking for a place to learn transferable strategies for intra-office warfare, this is not the place for you. If you crave non-stop excitement, look elsewhere. The work is profoundly important but hard to describe to others as sexy. That wasn't important to me but may be to you. Many customers are very "large company" in culture so the contrast between the people you work with and the people you serve can be jarring.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    The office gossip about the many ways you can get fired for what seem like idiosyncrasies or accidents is not conducive to a sense of belonging. It's a great company with wonderful people and I believe it's possible to retain the sense of exceptionality without representing yourselves as pathologically bizarre.

    No opinion of CEO

Ab Initio Interviews

Interview Experience

Interview Experience


Getting an Interview

Getting an Interview


Interview Difficulty


Interview Difficulty




    Internal Consultant Interview

    Anonymous Employee
    Anonymous Employee
    Application Details

    I applied through other source. The process took 2+ monthsinterviewed at Ab Initio.

    Interview Details

    I inquired with a very general cover letter and my resume (they do not post job opening announcements), asking if my skills might be of interest. They got back to me within a week or two saying I would have a phone interview, then (assuming that went well) a one-day in-person interview, then (assuming that went well) a second one-day in-person interview, before they would consider making me an offer.

    The process went as planned, over a period of about 1.5 months, and they were generally professional and prompt throughout, and good about communication along the way. I went through the second in-person interview, a few days after which they told me my candicacy would not go further.

    During the in-person interview days I met probably 10 or 11 different employees and had the chance to talk for typically an hour with each of them one on one. Almost without exception they are very smart, personable, professional people. Their product is very powerful and unique, and they are creative in using it and adapting it to include new components and features as the industry evolves.

    Overall the process was clear and fair and I have few complaints. However, I will say that it was highly inefficient and circuitous. Much of the time spent in the one on one interviews involved me listening to them go on and on about all the great things they have done and how they beat their competitors all the time. I guess that's part of their culture but at times it is pure and simple arrogance, which I found very off-putting. Amazingly the conversations were fairly rarely really about me and my skills, and what I would do for them from a technical or business standpoint, which struck me as strange. The exception was one person who showed me some code to troubleshoot, which based on his reaction and the fact that I found and understood the bug pretty quickly, I handled very well. And yet it was after that interview that they told me not to come back.

    They have an unusual "flat" management style and strive for culture that is collegial and somewhat university-like. When I brought up questions about how that works, in practice, they generally just answered with "it's great; what a special kind of organic environment this is; we all get along somehow". They clearly want to hire people who are comfortable with that so I didn't push harder on it because I figured it would send the message to them that I didn't understand it or might not like it. I think this vagueness of their management approach, together with how inefficient their interviewing process is, says a lot about the place. It seems to work pretty well, based on the longevity and success of the company, but because of their extreme secrecy, unless you are on the inside you won't ever be able to tell what the real story is.

    Interview Questions
    • I am currently a mid-career academic so the most common question was why would I want to jump to the private sector at this stage. My reasons are unique to me so I won't spell them out here, but I had to be ready at all times to stop and make a convincing case that my rationale was sound.   Answer Question
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview

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Additional Info

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Website www.abinitio.com
Headquarters Lexington, MA
Size 1 to 5 Employees
Founded Unknown
Type Company - Private
Industry Information Technology
Revenue Unknown / Non-Applicable
Competitors Unknown

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