Does A Difficult Interview Mean A Less Enjoyable Workplace?

Your hands are clammy and your heart is racing as you progress through the the job interview gauntlet at a particular company. One interviewer blends into the next, and the questions vary from the ever-popular, “What are your strengths and weaknesses?” to “How many cups of coffee do people in London drink per day?”

It doesn’t help that recent job reports show fewer jobs being added to the economy, which means that companies are being more stringent than ever in the interview process, and that the competition for open positions will continue to be fierce.  And, let’s face it, some interviews are tougher than others. But, does a difficult interview directly correlate to a difficult job or an unpleasant work experience?

Glassdoor dug into the interview reviews shared by job candidates throughout the past year to find out what companies have the most difficult interview processes and what employees at those companies say it’s really like to work there. We’ve uncovered the top 20 most difficult companies for interviews, and how they rate for those who actually get the job.


  • Toughest Interview Process: McKinsey & Company (Interview Difficulty: 3.9), Jane Street Capital (Interview Difficulty: 3.7) and Cree (Interview Difficulty: 3.7) have the most difficult interview process according to recent job candidates. ¹
  • Difficult Interview, but High Employee Satisfaction: While the companies that make this list have reportedly difficult interview processes, there are several where employees are satisfied, including: McKinsey & Company (Interview Difficulty: 3.9; Company Rating: 3.9), Bain & Company (Interview Difficulty: 3.6; Company Rating: 4.2), Boston Consulting (Interview Difficulty: 3.6; Company Rating: 4.0) and Procter & Gamble (Interview Difficulty: 3.4; Company Rating: 3.7).
  • Difficult Interview, Positive Experience: Despite a tough interview, a majority of candidates at several of these companies report a positive interview experience; 72% of Oliver Wyman candidates report a positive experience, 69% of Procter & Gamble candidates, 64% of McKinsey & Company candidates and 64% of Teach for America candidates.
  • For most companies on this list, the positive interview experience ratings outweigh the negative. However eBay and Cree have higher negative interview experience ratings than positive; (eBay: 25% positive, 45% negative; Cree: 19% positive, 42% negative) – that said both companies receive ‘OK’ company ratings from employees.

What’s your take? Have you a tough interview that turned out to be a great job or vice versa? Share your interview review on Glassdoor and tell future job candidates what they would have seen and heard if they were a fly on the wall in your interview.

¹ Company and interview reviews are based on a 5-point scale; Company ratings: 5.0 = very satisfied, 1.0 = very dissatisfied; Interview difficulty ratings: 5.0 = very difficult, 1.0 = very easy.