Some companies are notorious for using interview processes that bring you back to the days of your college entrance exams wrought with riddles, written tests, bizarre questions, and multiple rounds of group or in-person interviews. So which companies have the toughest interview processes out there? Glassdoor dug through more than 80,000 interview reviews shared over the past year to uncover the Top 25 Most Difficult Companies to Interview.
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Report based on companies with at least 20 interview and company reviews from 7/13/11-7/12/12. Interview and company ratings based on a 5-point scale. Interview difficulty ratings: 1.0=very easy, 5.0=very difficult. Company ratings: 1.0=very dissatisfied, 3.0=OK, 5.0=very satisfied. Reviews and ratings are based entirely on experiences from employees and recent job candidates.
Below are some highlights:
- Toughest Interview Process: Consulting firms lead the way with McKinsey & Company (Interview difficulty: 3.9) taking top honors, followed by Boston Consulting Group (Interview difficulty: 3.8), and Oliver Wyman (Interview difficulty: 3.7) . Interestingly, almost half of the companies represent the tech industry with companies like Google (Interview difficulty: 3.5) and Facebook (Interview difficulty: 3.3), who are famous in Silicon Valley for their tough interview techniques.
- Difficult Interviews Don’t Necessarily Mean Negative Experiences: Despite a tough interview, positive interview experiences outweigh negative interview experiences at all of the companies on the list. Cypress Semiconductor receives the highest rate of candidates experiencing a positive interview (76% positive, 10% negative), followed by Sapient (75% positive, 6% negative) and Bain & Company (73% positive, 2% negative).
- Veterans and Newcomers: For the second year in a row, McKinsey & Company (Interview difficulty 2012: 3.9; 2011: 3.9) tops the list, and several other companies on last year’s report have made it into the top 25 again, including Oliver Wyman (Interview difficulty 2012: 3.7; 2011: 3.4) and Teach for America (Interview difficulty 2012: 3.4; 2011: 3.5). Newcomers to this list include Shell Oil (Interview difficulty: 3.6), Google (Interview difficulty: 3.5), Rackspace (Interview difficulty: 3.4), Facebook (Interview difficulty: 3.3) and Progressive Corporation (Interview difficulty: 3.3).
Some of the most daunting questions candidates have recently been asked include:
“There are 3 products: tomatoes, luxury cars, t-shirts. What value added tax is applied to each product type?” – McKinsey & Company Junior Consultant Candidate (location n/a)
“How many people would use a drug that prevents baldness?” – Boston Consulting Group Associate Candidate (Boston, MA)
“What is the marginal cost of a gigabyte in gmail?” – Google Associate Product Manager Candidate (Mountain View, CA)
Think one of your job interviews was tough? Share your interview review and tell future job candidates what to expect, and how to prepare.