Job interviews induce reactions similar to horror movies — a pounding heart, clammy hands, and extreme levels of anxiety. Fortunately most job interviews don’t involve chainsaws. However some companies put their applicants through more intense interviews than others.
Careers site Glassdoor conducted a report titled the Top 25 Most Difficult Companies to Interview. Tech companies make up almost half the list, with Thoughtworks, Google, and Hubspot ranking as the top 3 most difficult tech companies. Microsoft, it turns out, has a more difficult interview than Facebook, and Teach for America is more challenging than both.
Positions at the top tech companies are coveted for their high salaries, company perks, and prestige, and the recruiting process is highly competitive. They often involve strict screening processes, multiple rounds of interviews, case studies or tough technical questions about algorithms, problem solving and data structures. Google is well-known for presenting candidates with challenging brainteasers, although Google’s senior vice president of people operations Laszlo Bock recently said these brainteasers are “a complete waste of time.” He said that Google shifted to an emphasis on “behavioral interviews” which look at how people respond to a various situations. Other companies take the “stress interview” approach to see how people react under pressure.
Interviews are also useful for candidates who want to become acquainted with potential coworkers and get a sense for company culture, before accepting a position. An employee at Thoughtworks, an elite software design studio, said he went through 7 interviews for an operational role.
“While this is exhausting it’s also really helpful because I got to meet lots of people I would be working with, and ask questions – and get really honest answers” he said. “It seems to be as much about whether you want to work there, as whether they want you.”
As they like to stay in the startup world, “it’s all about fit.”
Check out this infographic from Glassdoor that rates interview difficulty, experience, length, and employee satisfaction rating: