The Hardest and Easiest Interview Questions by Company

The Hardest and Easiest Interview Questions by Company

Before an interview most of us get at least a little nervous as it’s hard to know exactly what to expect. And we’ve all come out of an interview and sighed with relief, and thought thank goodness that is over!  Knowing what to expect when going into an interview – not only the types of questions but also the general difficulty – can be incredibly valuable.  Our recently launched Interview Reviews and Questions feature does just that.

To date, here’s the run down of the top five companies with the most difficult interviews and the top five companies with the easiest interviews as well as some of the questions job candidates were asked that made for the respective level of difficulty. As you’ll see below, the types of questions stemming from those who have interviewed vary significantly.  Let’s start with those companies with the hardest interviews:

Glassdoor Report: Companies with Most Difficult Interviews*

Company Name

Interview Difficulty
Rating

Company Rating

McKinsey & Company

4.4

4.1

Google

3.7

4.0

Teach for America

3.7

3.0

Amazon.com

3.7

3.3

Intel Corporation

3.7

3.5

McKinsey & Company comes out on top by a landslide with an interview difficulty rating of 4.4 (very difficult), however despite the challenging interview, the employees company show that it may be worth the struggle as they give a 4.1 (very satisfied) company rating.  Perhaps if you make it through the tough interview, it ends up that you get to work in a great working environment?

Here are some of the tough questions asked during the interviews for these organizations:

If a newspaper wrote an article about your leadership style, what would the headline be? – Management Consultant, McKinsey & Company

You’re the captain of a pirate ship, and your crew gets to vote on how the gold is divided up. If fewer than half of the pirates agree with you, you die. How do you recommend apportioning the gold in such a way that you get a good share of the booty, but still survive?- Engineering Manager, Google

What would you do if a principal forced you to cut science from your elementary curriculum because the state only tested English and Math?- Corps Member, Teach for America

Design a vending machine.- Technical Program Manager, Amazon.com

Pretty tough, right?  Let’s take a look at those with the easiest interview ratings:

Glassdoor Report: Companies with Easiest Interviews*

Company Name

Interview Difficulty
Rating

Company Rating

Wal-Mart

2.3

2.9

Bank of America

2.4

3.2

Northwestern Mutual

2.4

4.1

Best Buy

2.6

3.5

JPMorgan Chase

2.6

3.2

Just as we saw in the most difficult, the company with the lowest difficulty rate is also the lowest in terms of company satisfaction based on this list of five companies; Wal-Mart comes in with an interview difficulty rating of 2.3 and a neutral satisfaction rating of 2.9.  Another connection?  If the bar is low to get into a company, perhaps there aren’t too many people eager to work there?

Compare the interview questions from the companies with the easiest interview process to those you read above:

Before your current position it appears that you have moved around quite a bit. Can you explain why? – Loss Prevention, Best Buy

How have you handled a difficult client/situation?- Customer Service Representative, Bank of America

What are your weakest attributes?- Financial Representative, Northwestern Mutual

Why do you want to work for us?- Cashier, Wal-Mart

As you can see there is a pretty stark contrast when you get a close look at the questions someone has been asked when interviewing at these companies.  The latter questions are much more open ended, vague and general.  However, would you rather make your way through a tough interview and work somewhere great, or nail an easy one but perhaps not enjoy the job quite as much?

Do you have suggested answers to any of the interview questions. Leave a comment on any of the Glassdoor interview questions and tell how and why you think it should be answered.

*Based on companies with at least 10 interview reviews; Data collected as of 5/13/09

Categories: Interviews

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