Working at Sotheby's | Glassdoor

Sotheby's Overview

New York, NY
1001 to 5000 employees
1744
Company - Public (BID)
Auctions & Galleries
$500 million to $1 billion (USD) per year
Whether you’re developing your career in fine art, or want to apply your skills at an innovative global company that reveres its history but is embracing its digital future, Sotheby’s is where those who stand out from the crowd make their ... Read more

Company Updates

  • Did you know that the first Sotheby’s auction, held in London on March 11, 1744, featured a collection of rare books? This June, our Fine Books and Manuscripts auction in New York will be highlighted by an original hand-written manuscript of the Bruce Springsteen anthem ‘Born to Run’!

    For $300K, you can own a piece of Bruce Springsteen's immaculate handwriting

    Calling all Bruce Springsteen fans. If you have an extra few hundred thousand dollars, then I recommend you boogaloo down Broadway to Sotheby's-or just visit the website. This June, the auction house will sell an original handwritten manuscript of The Boss's worshipped anthem "Born to Run."

  • Voting for The Webby Awards is open until April 19th. Sotheby’s is honored to be nominated for three awards in 2018… click the link below to watch our nominated videos!

    Sotheby's Has Been Nominated for 3 Webby Awards, Here's How to Vote

    View auction details, art exhibitions and online catalogues; bid, buy and collect contemporary, impressionist or modern art, old masters, jewellery, wine, watches, prints, rugs and books at sotheby's auction house

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Sotheby's – Why Work For Us?


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Since our establishment in 1744, Sotheby's has been uniting the most discerning collectors with the world's greatest treasures. Our sales have made history: from T-rex skeletons to David Bowie's personal art collection, nothing about Sotheby's is conventional. 

While we have a venerable history, today we are a dynamic, 21st century organization committed to innovation. Sotheby’s has long recognised that great works of art, as well as the collectors interested in consigning and acquiring them, inhabit the global sphere. We were the first international auction house to expand from London to New York in 1955, and the first to conduct sales in Hong Kong, Paris and Doha. Today we maintain 90 locations in 40 countries and conduct approximately 250 auctions each year. In addition to our auction business, we also have a growing division dedicated to gallery sales in New York, Hong Kong and London, as well as retail wine and jewellery departments.

If you hope to stretch yourself to new limits and thrive in an ever-changing organization, then we invite you to consider Sotheby's. 

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Trainees will complete 12 months of rotations in art specialist and business departments. They will attend regular lectures, workshops, and museum visits with senior executives and will work on projects with their fellow trainees. Upon completion of the programme, selected trainees will be placed in permanent positions. Applicants should be able to demonstrate:

  • A strong academic record in at least one of the following fields: Fine Arts, Business, Asian Studies, Liberal Arts, Languages
  • Leadership and teamwork experience
  • Curiosity and passion for learning

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A high emotional IQ and strong communication skills International experience and fluency in foreign languages are valuable, but not required. Similarly, an art history background is valuable, but not required. Applicants must have independent authorization to work in the US or the UK for a minimum of twelve months post graduation.

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Sotheby's offers exceptional students an opportunity to participate in a unique paid Summer Internship Programme at our worldwide headquarters in New York City. The mission of the programme is to offer internships exposing students to the best professional and educational experience possible. Interns will have the opportunity to learn about the inner workings of an auction house, great rarities and works of art, and potential industry careers.

Interns will be placed in either an art specialist or business department for 8 weeks, from Tuesday, June 12, 2018 to Friday, August 3, 2018. Additionally, interns will have the opportunity to attend weekly seminars with senior executives within the Company and field trips to museums and galleries.


Sotheby’s was founded in London on March 11, 1744, when Samuel Baker auctioned “several Hundred scarce and valuable books” from the library of the Rt Hon Sir John Stanley for a few hundred pounds. The story of Sotheby’s expansion beyond books to include the best in fine and decorative arts and jewellery is also the story of the global auction market, defined by extraordinary moments that continue to capture the world’s attention.

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Since 1744, Sotheby’s has distinguished itself as a leader in the auction world. Our auctions, conducted in the venerable salerooms in London and Paris, the museum-quality galleries of our headquarters in New York and the spirited environs of Hong Kong rivet audiences worldwide. Season after season, the depth and excellence of Sotheby’s offerings have produced watershed, record-breaking sales. Sotheby’s has been entrusted with the sale of many of the world's treasures, amongst them: Napoleon’s St Helena library, the Duchess of Windsor’s jewels, the Estate of Mrs Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, Rembrandt’sAristotle Contemplating the Bust of Homer, Rubens’ Massacre of the Innocents, Picasso’s Garçon à la Pipe, Bacon’s Triptych, 1976, The Grand Ducal Collections of Baden, the Qianlong Yellow-Ground Famille-Rose Double-Gourd Vase, the 5,000-year-old Guennol Lioness, Giacometti’s L’Homme Qui Marche I, the Magna Carta, the first printing of the Declaration of Independence and The Martin Luther King Jr Collection.


Sotheby’s has long recognised that great works of art, as well as the collectors interested in consigning and acquiring them, inhabit the global sphere. We were the first international auction house to expand from London to New York in 1955, and the first to conduct sales in Hong Kong and the then–Soviet Union. Today we maintain 90 locations in 40 countries and we conduct 250 auctions each year in over 70 categories. In addition to our four principal salerooms, the company, recognising the potential in new markets, also conducts auctions in six other salerooms around the world, further expanding our global reach. Through BIDnow, clients can also watch all Sotheby’s auctions live online and place bids in real time, from anywhere in the world. And through the ever-enriching content on Sothebys.com, the oldest publicly traded company on the New York Stock Exchange (BID) continues to be fresh and current, while always mindful of its historic roots.

An unwavering commitment to the very highest level of quality remains the goal of one of the most storied names on the global business stage. Be a part of our future. 



As a global organization, we operate in an environment without boundaries, creating a lively atmosphere of energy and excitement, career development and growth.  Although our fame orginated on the auction block, our people are truly our greatest asset. While we celebrate the individuality of our team members, our shared passion for artistry and remarkable experiences results in a collaborative and lively work environment. The one constant at Sotheby's is that nothing stays the same. Our company culture is dynamic and exhilirating, with an energy that is irresistible. 

Sotheby's Reviews

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Sotheby's President and Chief Executive Officer Tad Smith
Tad Smith
74 Ratings
  • "Great Agency"

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    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Contractor - Realtor
    Current Contractor - Realtor
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Sotheby's as a contractor (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Set your own schedule. Be creative

    Cons

    Too many agents in the business

See All 285 Reviews

Sotheby's Photos

Sotheby's photo of: Members of the Sotheby's Cycle and Run Team welcomed spring at the Transportation Alternatives annual Tour de Staten Island
Sotheby's photo of: Members of the Sotheby's Cycle and Run Team welcomed spring at the Transportation Alternatives annual Tour de Staten Island
Sotheby's photo of: The sale of David Bowie’s art collection drew a packed saleroom and over a thousand online bidders. A total of 59 new records for artists were set with an overall sale total of £32.9 million.
Sotheby's photo of: Auction
Sotheby's photo of: The building
Sotheby's photo of: auction
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Sotheby's Interviews

Experience

Experience
51%
24%
25%

Getting an Interview

Getting an Interview
65%
15%
8%
5
4
2
1

Difficulty

2.6
Average

Difficulty

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Average
Easy
  1. Featured Interview

     

    Temporary Property Handler Interview

    Anonymous Employee in New York, NY
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied through college or university. The process took 3 weeks. I interviewed at Sotheby's (New York, NY).

    Interview

    Was very smooth and relaxed, good environment and nice people. Felt like a conversation and prep talk to test knowledge and basic understanding. Did a lot of listening and was very understanding of what was being told to me

    Interview Questions

    • Are you okay with overtime work, what type of work did you previously do, do you know anything about the company   Answer Question
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Sotheby's Awards & Accolades

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