Top 25 Companies for Tough Interviews

'Can you describe yourself in just three words?' 'How many ways of using a brick can you come up with in a minute?' 'How would you work out the annual carbon emissions from electric vehicles vis-a-vis gas/fuel vehicles in the EU?' 'What sort of people do you dislike the most?' 'What'd you do when you can't seem to find an answer to a question?'

Well, these are just a few samples of the toughest posers that job applications had to grapple with during the interview process in some of the world's most renowned companies. Nowadays, the telephonic or face-to-face interview even in a run-off-the-mill organization can be quite harrowing and nerve-wracking.

So you well imagine how demanding and backbreaking the entire interview process could be in a company like Google, Proctor & Gamble, Rolls Royce, BCG (Boston Consulting Group) or McKinsey & Company. Consider yourself fortunate if you're selected for the final round of interview in a multinational corporation like Google that gives job offers to only about 0.4%-0.5% of the nearly million candidates who apply annually.

You'd need more than just basic intelligence and wit to answer most of the behavioural or situational questions that are asked during the whole interview procedure that could stretch over weeks. Following is a list of the top 25 organizations where answering most of the questions (to the interviewer's or employer's satisfaction) can indeed be a tall order for a majority of the interviewees.

  • 1.Rackspace (a cloud computing company in San Antonio, Texas)
  • 2.Guidewire Systems (Farmington Hills, MI)
  • 3.Caterpillar Inc. (Peoria, IL)
  • 4.Informatica (Data Informatics Company, Redwood City, CA) 
  • 5.Facebook (online automated social networking organization based in Menlo Park, CA)
  • 6.Citrix Systems (transnational software company based in Fort Lauderdale, FL)
  • 7.Sapient (outsourcing firm based in Boston, Massachusetts)
  • 8.BlackRock (transnational investment management firm based in New York City)
  • 9.Microsoft (multinational software company based in Redmond, Washington)
  • 10.Proctor & Gamble (multinational consumer goods corporation based in Cincinnati, Ohio)
  • 11.Avaya (business communications firm based in Basking Ridge, New Jersey)
  • 12.Teach for America (a not for profit organization based in New York City)
  • 13.VistaPrint (online provider of promotional and printed material based in Limburg, Netherlands
  • 14.Stryker (manufacturer of medical equipment based in Kalamazoo, Michigan)
  • 15.Google (an American transnational establishment headquartered in Mountain View, California)
  • 16.Rolls Royce Holdings plc (a company specializing in manufacturing aerospace and defence equipment with head office in City of Westminster, London, UK)
  • 17.Gartner (an American conglomerate specializing in IT research and consulting with headquarters in Stamford, Connecticut)
  • 18.Thoughtworks (a software products and delivery company based in Chicago, Illinois)
  • 19.Boston Consulting Group (Management Consulting Firm based in Boston, Mass)
  • 20.Bain & Company (an international management consulting entity based in Boston, Massachusetts)
  • 21.HubSpot (promotional SAAS {software as a service} company with headoffice in Cambridge, Massachusetts)
  • 22.ZS Associates (a firm offering specialized sales & marketing services with offices and branches in the continents of North and South America, Asia and Europe)
  • 23.Paycom (a SaaS company specializing in developing client-specific payroll software with headquarters in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma)
  • 24.Nvidia (a graphic processing unit {GPU} manufacturing enterprise with headoffice in Santa Clara, California)
  • 25.McKinsey & Company (a management consulting establishment with headoffice in New York City)

Some more samples of tough questions

How can you create an engine from scratch? (Rolls Royce)
Differentiate between pessimistic and optimistic concurrency? (Guidewire)
How do you rate (or measure) success? (Teach For America)
How many ping pong balls can go inside a Boeing 747? (ZS associates)
Estimate the total revenue from ticket sales in the 2012 Olympics. (Bain & Company) 

Last Updated On: 12/10/2013

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