Sotheby's Career Overview | 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

Working at Sotheby's

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

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    The Value of Art | Episode 1: Authenticity | Sotheby's

    What makes some works of art so valuable? In a new ten-part video series, The Value of Art, we ask our experts to share their insights and experiences in setting prices for everything from paintings to jewels to wine. Authenticity is the soul of the object,” says Chinese works of art expert Nicolas Chow, adding “Anything that is worth something is worth being faked.” In Episode 1, see how Chow and other Sotheby’s specialists identify the true originals. Sometimes consulting an artist’s catalogue raisonné is enough to affirm authenticity, but other pieces require sleuthing for clues that only a seasoned expert would think to sniff out – sometimes quite literally.

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    Bowie Delivers a Record-Breaking Night for British Art

    Records fell at Sotheby's as bidders from around the world battled for David Bowie's private art collection. In total, eleven new records were set for works of 20th Century British Art, led by Frank Auerbach's 'Head of Gerda Boehm' which sold for £3.8m.

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Sotheby's – Why Work For Us?


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As a global organization, we operate in an environment without boundaries, creating a dynamic atmosphere of energy and excitement, career development and growth.  Our colleagues are passionate about their work, stimulated by both the art and objects around them and by the fast pace they experience daily.

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.

At Sotheby’s, we are always happy to welcome applications and enquiries. If you are interested in employment opportunities at any of our Sotheby’s offices, please explore the links on the left. 

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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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Interns will be placed in either an art specialist or business department for 8 weeks, from Tuesday, June 9, 2015 to Friday, July 31, 2015. Additionally, interns will have the opportunity to attend weekly seminars with senior executives within the Company and field trips to museums and galleries. Founded in 1744, Sotheby’s is one of the best known brand names in the world, with a rich history of selling extraordinary objects - from masterpieces such as Picasso’s Boy with a Pipe, to the fabled jewels of the Duchess of Windsor, to the archives of Martin Luther King Jr., to T-Rex skeletons. With regional hubs in New York, London, and Hong Kong, Sotheby’s operates in 87 offices spread over 40 countries. We emphasize global teamwork and ethical standards as we strive to achieve the highest quality customer experience for our clients around the world.


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. 


Sotheby's Reviews

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Sotheby's President and Chief Executive Officer Tad Smith
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34 Ratings
  • "Rewarding place to work"

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    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in New York, NY
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in New York, NY
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Sotheby's full-time

    Pros

    Great energy, supportive managers, friendly culture, caring thoughtful employees. People genuinely love to work here, it’s an exciting, fast paced organization with a strong upper management team.

    Cons

    Some processes in the company may take longer to complete due to lack of communication between departments. Having more communication between team members at all levels of the organization could make things run more smoothly.

    Advice to Management

    More cross-team/division interaction

See All 168 Reviews

Sotheby's Photos

Sotheby's photo of: Auction
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: The building
Sotheby's photo of: auction
Sotheby's photo of: View from the office
Sotheby's photo of: New York City Office, Sotheby's International Realty - East Side Manhattan Brokerage
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Sotheby's Interviews

Experience

Experience
50%
26%
24%

Getting an Interview

Getting an Interview
65%
20%
6%
3
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Difficulty

2.7
Average

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    Floater Interview

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

    Application

    I applied through an employee referral. The process took a week. I interviewed at Sotheby's (New York, NY) in October 2017.

    Interview

    Was contacted via email to set up an interview the same week. I was given the option to interview in person or on Skype, and I went into the office. Everyone was very welcoming, and the interview was conducted in a small conference room.

    The interviewer was friendly and interested in everything I discussed. We walked through my resume, and the interviewer asked questions about different situations and experiences I've had at past jobs.

    Interview Questions

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Sotheby's Awards & Accolades

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