FOR THE THIRD year in a row, a US consultancy firm has been rated by employees as having the most difficult interviewing process.
Glassdoor’s ranking placed McKinsey & Company at a 3.9 difficulty rating out of 5.0, beating out tech giants like Google and Facebook, which were also in the top 25.
The average interview difficulty rating on Glassdoor is 2.8.
Newcomers to this year’s list include Microsoft Citrix and HubSpot.
Some companies still ask crazy brainteasers, despite Google’s claims that they have nothing to do with success and calling them a “complete waste of time”, while others stand out for running candidates through lengthy tests and round after round of interviews.
Here’s a selection of these questions which appeared on Glassdoor.
Describe yourself in 3 words.
This question was asked in an interview for data integration company Informatica. The rest of the interview was based on algorithm, problem solving and critical thinking, and was given a rating of 3.4.
Name as many uses for a brick as you can in one minute.
What use would graphic technology company Nvidia have for a brick? Regardless of the brilliance of your answer, you would still not be offered a full time job unless you had an internal reference.
You have 30 seconds. List as many uses for a baseball bat as you can think of.
Is a baseball bat more or less useful than a brick? Gartner, a technology advisory company, spent the rest of the interview apparently trying to find out “do you have something that drives you to make a lot of money“.
What do you do when there is no answer?
Do you have an answer for that? In another interview rated at 3.4, Microsoft threw this out at interviewees among a “good balance” of other questions relating to skills and interests.
What kind of car do you drive and why? There are a lot of very affordable, high quality used cars, so why would you drive something that expensive?
Avaya, as a business communications company, probably has little or not interest in your opinion on second-hand cars, but how you handle the question could be interesting. Their interview process can last up to six hours.
Describe a time when you had to do something you didn’t want to do.
Is “right now” a good answer? Not sure if that would have gone down well with consumer goods manufacturer Procter & Gamble (P&G).
How do we know you’re not going to give up when it gets tough?
Working with a payroll solutions company doesn’t sound like it would be the most stressful or high-pressured job out there, but Paycom still asked this ominous question.
Teach me something.
Hubspot wanted to turn the tables on the interviewee, as well as subject them to a two hour long test involving “personality, vocabulary, situational questions, analogies, math and word problems”.
What kind of people do you dislike the most?
“Those medically ill” probably would have been the worst answer to give Stryker, which produces surgical and medical equipment.
What is the total surface area of a Boeing 747?
Would you have covered that when preparing for an interview with a marketing and sales firm? ZS Associates might have expected you to, and answer it during one of your multiple interviews.
How would you build an engine from scratch?
It’s a tough and potentially confusing question, but if you’re going for an interview with Rolls Royce, you’re probably expected to know that sort of thing.
Tell us a story with the title of Green Hat.
Computer consultancy firm Thoughtworks offered one of the hardest interviews, with a rating of 3.9. Oh, and there were seven interviews.
Could you give a good answer to any of these? Have you ever been thrown by a difficult question in an interview?
- Max Nisen and Vivian Giang