25 Companies Where The Interview Process Is Brutal

For the third year in a row, consulting firm McKinsey & Company has been rated as having the most difficult interviewing process by employees.

Glassdoor’s ranking placed McKinsey 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 BlackRock, Microsoft Citrix, HubSpot, and Vistaprint.

Some companies still ask crazy brainteasers, despite Google’s claims that they have nothing to do with success, while others stand out for running candidates through lengthy tests and round after round of interviews.

25. Rackspace

Rackspace employees in San Antonio, Texas.

Interview difficulty rating: 3.3

Tough interview question: 'If your day was 20% performing job duties and 80% strategising then give us examples of what you would be doing with that 80%?' - Rackspace Acquisitions Representative III Interview (San Antonio, TX)

Recent job candidate commentary:'Hour three (of the interview) involved meeting the prospective actual team lead & manager to see how the fit might be. Questions like 'Do you get enjoyment out of completing 50 tasks in a shift or do you prefer to tackle very difficult projects that take many hours?' Resume was scrutinized, and questions about if hired, where I wanted to be within the company in 5 years type questions.' -- Rackspace Window Systems Administrator II Interview (Austin, TX)

Source: Glassdoor

24. Caterpillar

Caterpillar employees in Geneva, Switzerland.

Interview difficulty rating: 3.3

Tough interview question: 'Tell me of a situation when you had to work on safety incident, what was the incident and what was your involvement in providing solution and how it turned out.' -- Caterpillar Supply Chain Planning Engineer ( SAP IM WM ) Interview (East Peoria, IL)

Recent job candidate commentary: 'The interviewer was the hiring manager who is from technical background, so all the questions are purely technical, which were very different from the job description. You gotta be very knowledgeable to go to the next round.' -- Caterpillar Senior Engineer (Gearbox Analyst) Interview (location, n/a)

Source: Glassdoor

23. Guidewire

Interview difficulty rating: 3.3

Tough interview question: 'What is the difference between optimistic and pessimistic concurrency?' -- Guidewire Senior Implementation Consultant Interview (Toronto, ON)

Recent job candidate commentary: 'Overall it was a great experience and has undoubtedly developed my technical interview skills as well as understanding of some more obscure areas of Java.' -- Guidewire Solutions Consultant Interview (Dublin, Ireland)

Source: Glassdoor

21. Informatica

Interview difficulty rating: 3.4

Tough interview question: 'Describe yourself in 3 words.' -- Informatica Senior QA Interview (Bangalore, India)

Recent job candidate commentary: 'Most of the interview questions are related to algorithm, problem solving and critical thinking. Interviewers are very friendly and do make one feel comfortable. They focus less on coding and more on general design skills.' -- Informatica Principal Software Engineer Interview (Redwood City, CA)

Source: Glassdoor

19. Citrix Systems

Interview difficulty rating: 3.4

Tough interview question: 'What is the role of PDC emulator?' -- Citrix Systems Technical Support Engineer Interview (location, n/a)

Recent job candidate commentary: 'We discussed approaches to specific challenges, when asked for examples of providing solutions to a business group, I targeted both my tactical and strategic examples to demonstrate my range.' -- Citrix Systems Mobility Program Manager Interview (San Jose, CA)

Source: Glassdoor

18. Sapient

Interview difficulty rating: 3.4

Tough interview question: Write pseudo-code for a method and then create a full database schema for the proposed scenario.' -- Sapient Associate Consultant Interview (Arlington, VA)

Recent job candidate commentary: 'They will send you an interview package email before the 1:1 interview, so make sure you read all the links in there. There are some Harvard and Yale Business Cases I found in there and they were very helpful.' -- Sapient Senior Associate Interview (Boston, MA)

Source: Glassdoor

17. BlackRock

Interview difficulty rating: 3.4

Tough interview question: 'How would you invest $USN in, say, (insert tech giant like Google/Facebook/Apple/Yahoo/Microsoft) ? What options would you take - stocks, bonds, etc.' -- Blackrock Analyst Interview (New York, NY)

Recent job candidate commentary: 'Pretty robust, though I expect it varies depending on the team. Failed an interview the first time I applied, passed the second time. As a person with a non-finance and non-programming background, I had questions ranging from general knowledge to puzzles to project management to my extra-curricular interests in coding.' -- BlackRock Analyst Interview (New York, NY)

Source: Glassdoor

16. Microsoft

Interview difficulty rating: 3.4

Tough interview question: 'What do you do when there is no answer' -- Microsoft Software Development Engineer In Test (SDET) Interview (Redmond, WA)

Recent job candidate commentary: 'Process was driven very professionally by HR who took an active role thru out... Good balance of discussion between my experience, skills and my current and future interests.' -- Microsoft Engagement Manager Interview (location, n/a)

Source: Glassdoor

15. Avaya

Interview difficulty rating: 3.4

Tough interview question: 'What kind of car do you drive and why?' Follow up question, 'There are a lot of very affordable, high quality used cars, so why would you drive something that expensive?' -- Avaya Territory Account Manager Interview (Denver, CO)

Recent job candidate commentary: 'The on-site interview lasted 6 hours and was interviewed by 8 different people throughout that time. The people seemed 'normal' for the most part but there were areas with the nerdy and quiet stereotypes.' -- Avaya Systems Engineer III Interview Interview (Westminster, CO)

Source: Glassdoor

14. Procter & Gamble

Interview difficulty rating: 3.4

Tough interview question: 'Describe a time when you had to do something you didn't want to do.' -- Procter & Gamble Brand Manager Interview (location, n/a)

Recent job candidate commentary: 'Really it's a company with strong values and they are looking for people with good personalities and character. So their interview process is all about filtering people through to see who can drive results, who can have fun, and who is competent enough to compete within.' -- Procter & Gamble Process Engineer Interview (Iowa City, IA)

Source: Glassdoor

12. Vistaprint

Interview difficulty rating: 3.5

Tough interview question: 'How (would you) find the index and value of a missing element of an array of 5000 numbers?' -- VistaPrint Software Manager Interview (Lexington, MA)

Recent job candidate commentary: I was interview(ed) by 7 people for the job. A very lengthy interview process where one was technical interview, the other are normal HR and behavioural and another on QA process etc... Process was lengthy but wait time was short for a decision.' -- VistaPrint QA Test Lead Engineer-sap Interview (Lexington, MA)

Source: Glassdoor

11. Paycom

Interview difficulty rating: 3.5

Tough interview question: 'How do we know you're not going to give up when it gets tough?' -- Paycom Sales Representative Interview (location, n/a)

Recent job candidate commentary: Interview process is tough. It's a five step interview process and you need to be at your best every step of the way.' -- Paycom Sales Representative Interview (Denver, CO)

Source: Glassdoor

10. HubSpot

HubSpot employees

Interview difficulty rating: 3.5

Tough interview question: 'Teach me something.' -- Hubspot Inbound Marketing Consultant Interview (location, n/a)

Recent job candidate commentary: 'Initial phone screen with HR, phone screen with Sales Recruiter, followed by a VERY LENGTHY (took me two hours) test which included six parts (personality, vocabulary, situational questions, analogies, maths and word problems), followed by a phone screen with the Sales Manager.' -- Hubspot Account Manager Interview

Source: Glassdoor

9. Stryker

Interview difficulty rating: 3.5

Tough interview question: 'What kind of people do you dislike the most?' -- Stryker Sales Representative Interview (Orlando, FL)

Recent job candidate commentary: 'The interview process was intense, but it makes sense why the company is incredible successful and an industry leader. Be prepared to meet with several people and have your resume / background torn apart for accuracy.' -- Stryker Marketing Associate Interview (San Jose, CA)

Source: Glassdoor

7. ZS Associates

Interview difficulty rating: 3.6

Tough interview question: 'What is the total surface area of a Boeing 747?' -- ZS Associates Business Operations Associate Interview (Pune, India)

Recent job candidate commentary: 'The interview process consists of 1 written round, 1 GD round, 1 case study and multiple rounds of interviews. The interview process is one of the most rigorous that I have heard of.' -- ZS Associates Business Operations Associate Interview (Location n/a)

Source: Glassdoor

6. Rolls Royce

Interview difficulty rating: 3.6

Tough interview question: 'How would you build an engine from scratch?' -- Rolls-Royce Manufacturing Engineer Interview (location, n/a)

Recent job candidate commentary: 'It is VITAL that you know your stuff about the company; I was quizzed heavily about some very specific aspects of the business. The day was completed with the group exercise.' -- Rolls-Royce Graduate Scheme (Leadership) Interview (Derby, England)

Source: Glassdoor

5. Bain & Company

Interview difficulty rating: 3.7

Tough interview question: 'Try to estimate the revenue from the sale of tickets at the Olympics in 2012.' -- Bain & Company Business Analyst Interview (Gurgaon, Haryana (India))

Recent job candidate commentary: '3 rounds with progressively higher level managers, 2 interviews each round. One case each interview. They were tough but fair.' -- Bain & Company Associate Consultant Interview (New York, NY)

Source: Glassdoor

4. Gartner

Interview difficulty rating: 3.7

Tough interview question: 'You have 30 seconds; list as many uses for a baseball bat as you can think of...' -- Gartner Client Partner Interview (Fort Myers, FL)

Recent job candidate commentary: 'Very intensive interview process. They get very personal and spend a lot of time trying to understand your 'sense of purpose.' Essentially what they are getting at is, do you have something that drives you to make a lot of money' -- Gartner Account Manager Interview (Fort Myers, FL)

Source: Glassdoor

3. Boston Consulting Group

Interview difficulty rating: 3.8

Tough interview question: 'If I took your resume and removed the name at the top, what line on your resume would make your friends read it and recognise you?' -- Boston Consulting Group Consultant Interview (Philadelphia, PA)

Recent job candidate commentary: 'Overall relaxed, though it was tough to get a good read on the interviewer. Definitely brush up on basic maths, especially multiplication and division and practice in front of someone as it simulates the pressure you'll have. It seems like even a simple maths error can doom you, so practice.' -- Boston Consulting Group Consultant Interview (Boston, MA)

Source: Glassdoor

2. Thoughtworks

Interview difficulty rating: 3.9

Tough interview question: Tell us a story which the title is Green Hat.' -- ThoughtWorks Software Engineer Interview (Chicago, IL)

Recent job candidate commentary: 'The hiring process is really thorough at ThoughtWorks. Even for an operational role I had 7 interviews. 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. It seems to be as much about whether you want to work there, as whether they want you.' -- ThoughtWorks Marketing Interview (location, n/a)

Source: Glassdoor

1. McKinsey

Interview difficulty rating: 3.9

Tough interview question: 'How would you calculate the annual carbon emissions from electric versus gas vehicles in the EU?' -- McKinsey Business Analyst Interview (Boston, MA)

Recent job candidate commentary: 'All the way, I met very interesting and capable people, the process itself was gruelling - training for case studies in parallel to a full time executive job is not easy - but also very motivating.' -- McKinsey & Company Management Consultant Associate Interview (Chicago, IL)

Source: Glassdoor

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