20 Companies With Tough (But Fair) Interview Processes

For many job seekers, the interview process is the most stressful aspect of the job search. It can be even more intimidating to prepare if you know you’re applying to a company that’s notoriously tough on interviewing. How hard really will the interview be? Will it last for hours? How many stages are there? Don’t panic! We’ve compiled 20 companies with challenging interview processes along with accounts and advice from job seekers who went through the interview stages and received an offer, so you can know how to anticipate and nail the interview. It’s true, these interviews may be difficult for the uninformed job seeker; but by the end of the list, you’ll be prepared to walk into the interview with an edge on the competition.
Interview Difficulty: 4.13/5 Job Seekers
Interview Duration: 40.75 Days
Roles Hiring For: Administrative Assistant to the Director of the Innovation Office, Human Resources Representative, YouVersion Copywriter, Financial Reporting Director, LeadershipXP Coordinator & more.
What Job Seekers Say: I had a brief initial phone interview. After that I was requested to have an in-person panel interview. After being selected for a final panel interview, I was also asked to complete extensive testing prior to that interview. This whole process took about 3 weeks.”
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Interview Difficulty: 3.77/5
Interview Duration: 26.27 Days
Roles Hiring For: Staff Accountant, Software Engineer, Helpdesk Support Engineer
What Job Seekers Say: Overall, positive and reasonable interview experience. First, there’s online test. The test is quite interesting and challenging and consists of questions (mostly multiple choice) about intricacies of specific programming language. Then, there was an in-person interview with 2 engineers (panel-style), which lasted a couple of hours. Interview questions were very reasonable, such as design an algorithm that had to do with file system and actually only pseudo-code was required. General questions about your technical interests, etc. Language-specific and data structure questions, but nothing hard. Then, 1 hour conversation with their CEO, mostly about your professional background and about what company is doing/its direction. Employees/managers were friendly, nice and positive. Company culture seemed to be relaxed/casual and welcoming diversity.”
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Interview Difficulty: 3.7/5
Interview Duration: 23.81 Days
Roles Hiring For: Business Development Representative, Product Marketer, Corporate Account Executive, Sales Operation Manager, Marketing Operations Manager & more.
What Job Seekers Say: The interview process was very well thought out. I felt like it was a fair evaluation of my abilities meanwhile allowing me to get to know the people, vision, and work.
1. Algorithmic phone screen with an engineer. 2. Timed take home coding exercise. 3. On-site interview: The night before, I had a casual conversation over dinner with the CEO and two engineers. The day-long interview involved design and implementation of a feature. Afterwards, I had dinner with the CEO and other employees.”
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Interview Difficulty: 3.68/5
Interview Duration: 36.32 Days
Roles Hiring For: Director, Venture for America Class of 2019 Fellow, Marketing Associate, Marketing Manager & more.
What Job Seekers Say: As many have said here: first, you fill out an application with basic information about yourself and a few essay questions. Then, there is a 30-minute Skype interview that’s very straightforward and features a number situational and behavioral questions as well as why you’re interested in VFA. Finally, there is Selection Day, which is a day-long process of individual activities, group tasks, and an individual interview. The group interview is intense; candidates are asked to work together for a limited number of time to solve problems and puzzles, create pitches, come to a consensus about a business or ethical issue, etc. The judges are harsh and grill each candidate about his/her decisions and ask candidates to rank the other. In the individual interview, the judges loosen up and just want to know about your interest in VFA and other things about yourself. (Afterward, there is a happy hour for candidates!)”
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Congratulations, you've got the job!
Interview Difficulty: 3.57/5
Interview Duration: 33.17 Days
Roles Hiring For: Turnaround and Restructuring Director, Talent Recruitment Associate Enterprise Improvement, Recruiting Manager – Enterprise Improvement, Digital – CIO Advisory, IT Transformations, Security Assessment Analyst & more.
What Job Seekers Say: After submitting the online application one week, I got the first HR screen interview, and then they arranged me to talk with Director, finished assessments, and phone interviewed with a psychologist. The last round was in their office with two interviews and lunch with the team. The whole process is very smooth and quick. I usually got their feedback right after the interviews and knew what’s the next steps. The interviewers are very nice and professional.”
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Interview Difficulty: 3.56/5 Interviewers
Interview Duration: 9.49 Days
Roles Hiring For: Lead Product Designer, Head of Growth, Demand Generation Manager, Account Executive, Quiz Master & more.
What Job Seekers Say: I had a fantastic experience with Triplebyte and highly recommend it if you’re looking for an engineering job with a startup. It was a 3 step process for me: a quick online quiz, a 1-hour coding session and a final 2-hour coding session. The coding sessions could be done over video chat or in-person at the SF office. After the process, Triplebyte worked with me to create a list of startups that I found interesting and reached out to them on my behalf – taking care of things like scheduling and flights. They also helped me understand how the companies are doing and compare offers.”
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Interview Difficulty: 3.54/5
Interview Duration: 36.7 Days
Roles Hiring For: French-Proficient Research Analyst, Russian-Proficient Research Analyst Intern, Farsi-Proficient Research Analyst, Spanish-Proficient Research Analyst, Japanese-Proficient Research Analyst & more.
What Job Seekers Say: I had three different interviews. The first interview was in Los Angeles with a senior research analyst, the second was over the phone with a managing director, and the third took place in Los Angeles at the request of the company with a panel of three interviewers (the first two and the CEO). Each interview lasted between 1-2 hours and I completed a language proficiency test at the end of the first interview. I was very impressed by the thorough nature of the interviews and the questions that were asked. It was obvious that the company is very demanding of its employees, but in a very positive manner that produces an exciting work environment.”
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Interview Difficulty: 3.51/5
Interview Duration: 47.77 Days
Roles Hiring For: Contract Buyer, Modeling and Simulation Engineer, Deputy Director of New Shepard Design, Cleaning, Passivation and Verification Technician (Lead), Sr. Director, Program Management & more.
What Job Seekers Say: It is a grind. Don’t walk into this interview without studying. You will be tested with everything from Bernoulli’s principle to spaceflight history. The interview is with 5-6 engineers and managers who will each be given time to speak with you and evaluate different skills you are expected to have for the job. you will have to give a presentation and will go to lunch with a small group of people from the team you are interviewing for. They are evaluating you for your technical knowledge, as well as your cultural fit in the company.”
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Interview Difficulty: 3.5/5
Interview Duration: 37.52 Days
Roles Hiring For: Affiliate Marketing Account Manager – Arabic Speaking, Account Manager, Affiliate Marketing / Senior Manager, Talent Acquisition Specialist / Recruiter, Senior Associate, Affiliate Marketing, Partner Manager/Director & more.
What Job Seekers Say: The interview process was pretty standard. I had a phone interview with their HR department, followed by an assignment that I needed to complete to confirm if the team wanted to move forward with interviewing me. Next I had a video interview with two folks from the team. Following that I had to put together a presentation that I shared with the three team members that I’d previously met. “
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Interview Difficulty: 3.48/5
Interview Duration: 47.93 Days
Roles Hiring For: Certified Recovery Specialist, Physical Therapist, Controller, Billing Communication Specialist, Chiropractor & more.
What Job Seekers Say: The interview process at Airrosti was rigorous, thorough and fun. Very interesting, meet a lot of people, all of them very enthusiastic and passionate about Airrosti. For my position it was a 6 steps interview process: 1 – Phone interview with Recruiter. 2 – Appointment in one of the clinics, for complementary treatment and to get to know more about Airrosti. 3 – Phone interview with Hiring Manager. 4 – In person interview with Hiring Manager and VP. 5 – Assessment. 6- D-Day, interview with VP of HR, President & COO, CEO, CFO and breakfast with the Finance team. It was a very long process, but the recruiter kept me informed and updated all the time during the process. Even though there were a lot of interview and time spent during the process, it is all worth it. The experience you get and the people you meet through the process are amazing.”
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Interview Difficulty: 3.48/5
Interview Duration: 16.5 Days
Roles Hiring For: Trainee Recruitment Consultant, Marketing Automation Specialist, Events and Communities Marketing Lead, Compliance Coordinator, IT Recruitment Consultant & more.
What Job Seekers Say: The recruiter reached out to me on LinkedIn, then we scheduled a phone interview that lasted about an hour. The next step was a skype interview with two different managers that lasted close to three hours. The skype interview consisted of get to know you questions, and a sales role play activity. The final step in the interview process was an in person interview in the office that lasted about 6 hours. During this interview there was a work sample, lunch with someone who works at the company, a presentation to a few managers, and an intense interview. Overall this was the best and most in depth interview process I have ever gone through. By the time I was offered the position I felt sure SThree would be a good fit because of how much I knew about the company and how much they knew about me.”
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Young candidate nervous at job interview
Interview Difficulty: 3.47/5
Interview Duration: 18.06 Days
Roles Hiring For: Quantitative Researcher, Software Developer, Quantitative Research Intern, Quantitative Trader, Linux Engineer & more.
What Job Seekers Say: 2 phone rounds + onsite (5 interviews of about 1 hour each); fit was only measured implicitly, most of the time was spent doing math questions. Two of the five onsite interviews were collaborative with the other person applying for the internship that day. Problems generally speaking had some sort of tricky edge/corner case to take into account; interviewers look for your ability to identify such cases and to be critical of your own first intuitions. Although there was no explicit fit portion of my interview, personality seems to be evaluated at least implicitly. Also key is keeping cool / staying calm yet not overconfident.”\
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Interview Difficulty: 3.46/5
Interview Duration: 25.41 Days
Roles Hiring For: IT Intern, Office Services Assistant, ATI Practice – Senior Business Analyst & Associate, Recruiting Administrative Assistant Intern, Manager, Digital Transformation & more.
What Job Seekers Say: The process consisted of two phone interviews (each with a fairly basic case study) and an all-day interview in Chicago that included 5-7 face to face interview, case studies and lunch with the other interviewees and members of the interviewing team. The interviewers tended to focus on past experiences, the ability to communicate and 3-4 case studies.”
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Interview Difficulty: 3.45/5
Interview Duration: 37.63 Days
Roles Hiring For: Medical Director, Clinical Products – Healthcare Analytics, New Ventures, Executive Support Assistant, Senior Software Architect – Communications, Digital Content Manager, Expert – Transformation Management Office & more.
What Job Seekers Say: Two stage process: (1) Paper-based problem-solving test. Can’t really prepare for it – just show up and do the paper test. (2) Had a power round of 4 x 1hr interviews at the local McKinsey office – was with 2 partners and 2 engagement managers. (Typically, there are two rounds of interviews — but they decided to collapse it into a single interview. Standard interview format – personal / behavioral interview and then a standard McKinsey case (command and control structure). One of the partner interviews threw me a curveball – the partner decided to do away with the case and just asked me about the latest periodical that I had read. And then we had a deep conversation about that.”
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Interview Difficulty: 3.43
Interview Duration: 20.71 Days
Roles Hiring For: Product Manager – Content Distribution,
Engineering Manager – Machine Learning Infrastructure, Product Manager – Ads, Site Reliability Engineer – Machine Learning Systems, Technical Sourcer & more.
What Job Seekers Say: A phone screen with the recruiter. Another phone screen with one data engineer. Chatted about research, stats and engineering. Onsite interviews: 1 whiteboard coding interview. 1 data practical with iPython notebook. 2 project experience and culture fit. The whole process is very pleasant and timely. I really enjoyed it. I got the offer a couple of days after the interview.”
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Interview Difficulty: 3.42
Interview Duration: 35.5 Days
Roles Hiring For: Happiness Engineer, Marketing Data Analyst, Search Wrangler, Data Engineer, Controller & more.
What Job Seekers Say: After submitting an application, it took about two weeks to hear back (which I understand is pretty quick). Then we had a Skype interview which went well. I was put on a paid trial period where I got to work on a project, after which it was reviewed. Then I had a final interview with the CEO and got the nod to get hired. Bit of a strange process, but it went well!”
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It's not easy to find the right people for the job
Interview Difficulty: 3.42/5
Interview Duration: 21.64 Days
Roles Hiring For: Executive Assistant, Manager Assistant, Knowledge Management Specialist (Energy & Natural Resources), Senior Specialist – Primary Research, Global Recruiting Associate & more.
What Job Seekers Say: The process began with a resume drop. I was then invited for a first round interview on campus. Prior to the interview there was a case workshop and a current Associate Consultant gave me a practice case. The first round consisted of 2 30 minute interviews. Nearly all the time was spent on the cases, with only a few minutes to ask questions. Was invited to the office for a second round interview, which consisted of 4 30 minute interviews. 3 of these interviews were cases similar to those in the first round, and the 4th interview was behavioral.”
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Interview Difficulty: 3.41/5
Interview Duration: 25.38 Days
Roles Hiring For: Senior Sales Engineer, Enterprise Account Executive, Sales Development Representative
What Job Seekers Say: I was first sent an automated coding test on Codility. After a 100% on that, a recruiter e-mailed me and asked me to submit a 5-minute screencast on a “side project” done outside of a university or a bootcamp. A few days later, I had a 30-minute technical phone interview which covered topics on web applications. I was invited for an on-site about two weeks later, which consisted of a pair programming session followed by three non-technical culture fit interviews. The next day, I had a meeting with the CEO and received a verbal offer before leaving the office.”
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Interview Difficulty: 3.41/5
Interview Duration: 34 Days
Roles Hiring For: Agile Coach, Senior Linux Database Administrator, Agile / Scrum Program Manager, Senior Linux Systems Administrator
What Job Seekers Say First round interview was on-campus. After that, I was invited to the office for the second round interview with various members of the management team and former Operations Associates. Questions were largely behavioral but there were also case-style questions and basic technical discussions about prior classes. After the interviews, I was asked for references and then was made the offer. It was one of the slower interview timelines compared to other companies but also the most thorough.”
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Interview Difficulty: 3.4/5
Interview Duration: 35.36 Days
Roles Hiring For: Lead Scrum Master, Lead Software Engineer, Big Data Engineer, Senior QA Engineer, Product Manager & more.
What Job Seekers Say: The interview process was a full day agenda: check-in, breakfast, a tour, and multiple interviews (3 for mine). From the beginning to the end you feel welcomed and you receive a gracious glimpse of the everyday culture. The interviews with the three employees of the department for which you are applying lasted around 45 minutes. Each interviewer had a different theme or purpose to their interview. One would just analyze your resume and get to know your background and experiences. Another would test your skills with a few on paper coding tests. The last would ask interesting questions just to understand your thought process.”
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