I have been working at Rio Tinto full-time (More than 3 years)
Rio has a very strong safety culture and for the size of company they work very hard to take care of all of the employees
With a company this large it is almost impossible to avoid corporate politics. While it certainly exists, I think Rio makes an effort to avoid it or mitigate the negative consequences as much as possible.
I applied online. The process took 3+ months. I interviewed at Rio Tinto (Salt Lake City, UT).
They had an HR person follow me around all day and not say a word, but just watch me and how I interacted with their employees at the site where I was interviewing.