10 Companies With the Toughest Interview Questions

In the Hot Seat

Some companies ask candidates to describe their strengths and weaknesses during a job interview, while others like global consulting firm Bain & Company, ask applicants to figure out how many ping pong balls can fit into the overhead compartment of a 747 plane. In recent years, tech companies like Google (Stock Quote: GOOG) have developed a reputation for conducting tough interviews, but according to a recent survey by Glassdoor.com, a job search engine, it’s really consulting groups like Bain & Company that ask candidates the most difficult questions. Glassdoor analyzed employee reviews for dozens of companies on its site to pinpoint the organizations with the most daunting interviews and found consulting firms dominated the very top of the list, while Google ranked down at number 21, just behind fellow tech giants eBay (Stock Quote: EBAY) and Amazon (Stock Quote: AMZN). So what is it that makes interviewing at a consulting company so difficult? “With consulting companies, the questions aren’t just about your resume. It’s also situational problems that job candidates have to reason through to find a solution,” said Samantha Zupan, a spokesperson for Glassdoor. “And we all know it’s really stressful to have to go deep into those questions and try to shine while coming up with an answer.” Just because these companies have tough interviews doesn’t make them bad places to work. In fact, just the opposite seems to be true. Glassdoor’s reviews found that employees were generally satisfied with most of the companies on this list, despite the difficult interview process. As Zupan points out, these tough interview questions arguably help companies find the most suitable workers, and help workers determine if the company is right for them so that both are more satisfied in the long run. Here are the 10 companies with the hardest interview questions, ranked on a scale of one to five, with five being the hardest, along with some sample questions from each company, as provided to Glassdoor by their employees. Start preparing for the interview now. Photo Credit: Alex France