Going through interviews and the entire hiring process can be exciting, but at times rather stressful. It can last for weeks, sometimes even months. Most of us have been through this. From odd unexpected questions to hard psychological tests, it’s all there on HR’s menu… Some of the companies have strict and complex interviewing processes and we’ll mention just a few of the leaders.

Google interviews

As expected, Google is a very desirable company to work for. They are well-known for their solid system, narrowing down applicant pools to choose the best talents. Tens of thousands of employees worldwide are working for this global giant. However, Google interviews begin not so differently from many other companies. Interviews are transitioning through four main stages. It all starts at the Google Careers website, a platform through which a candidate should apply. The second stage is interviewing, and it is typically done in two phases. First is a phone interview, done commonly by the Google Hangout interview. The second is the in-person interview.

Only the best candidates will make it to the second stage of their interview process. Google is clear in searching for candidates who are brilliant in four categories: general cognitive ability, leadership, role-related knowledge, and “Googleyness.” This is a synonym for a company’s culture fit and integration. Google is also known for its odd questions like “How many piano tuners are there in the world?”… They were asking these questions to assess creativity, reasoning, problem-solving skills, and others. This is followed by your background check-consisting of four primary checks. Criminal history, education verification, employment verification, and reference checks.

The final stage is the Employee Onboarding. Google sticks to its standard procedure called “just in time” alert system. This should remind and encourage managers to engage with their new colleagues. The company had success with it because it connects universal and personalized aspects. The system helps them to communicate with newcomers, but also provides each new employee a space to grow on their own.

Amazon procedure

Same as Google, Amazon is getting millions of job applications every year. Their interviewing process is very rigorous. First, you’ll get reached with their Recruiter via e-mail or LinkedIn. If reached, move fast and set the call as soon as possible. Usually, the first call doesn’t last for more than 30 minutes. The recruiter will be asking you logical questions about career path and your preferences, such as salary range or relocation.

More phone calls will follow, by Hiring Managers or your team’s supervisors. They will ask you general behavioral questions. In case you applied for technical positions, you might have to do some online tests. After succeeding in this you’ll go for an onsite interview in Amazon offices. Before that, the recruiter will provide you with an interview scheme. You should check each interviewer’s LinkedIn and prepare yourself. During the interview, you will talk to 4-6 people. One of them will take you to lunch, but don’t get too relaxed as questioning will continue while having lunch.

Amazon has come up with a unique role of “bar raiser”. This is a trained interviewer who’s making sure that Amazon’s leadership principals are being understood and followed. Their role is to make sure that the next new hire raises the average performance of Amazon employees.  Pay attention as a bar raiser has veto power on your hiring. The last step is sending you the offer or no feedback at all! Amazon has a policy of not sending the final feedback. In case you managed to build good relations with the recruiter, you might get some informal info. When rejected, it will take another six months for you to be eligible for a second try. If they don’t reach out within a week, just move on.

Rolls Royce assessments

Many are dreaming of working for this prestigious company. Rolls Royce is designing, developing, and manufacturing the power systems, using them in the air, land, and sea. The company is determined to attract the most talented individuals.

Depending on the position, the process usually doesn’t take more than a couple of weeks. After you apply online, you’ll be reached via e-mail and your first call will follow. If this passes well, you’ll be asked to come on-site for a face-to-face interview. The on-campus assessment might have 3 top 4 parts: a team assignment, an individual opportunity to convey technical knowledge, standard behavioral interview.  An online psychometric test will follow. Once you passed all this,  they will send you an offer via e-mail, typically within a week.

When you start working for them, they will encourage your skill development through world-class training. As well as encouraging your interests in both science and engineering.

Shell – “STAR” questioning method

This energy leader prefers immediately to proceed with face to face interviews. After receiving the first call, get ready for the “STAR” questioning method. STAR stands for – Situation, Task, Action, and Result. They will ask you to reveal a long list of life and work situations. Giving relevant answers will enable you to deliver a better response. Feel free to express yourself. Underline your skills and competences and why you think you’re a good fit for their vacant position. At times we do get excited or even a bit anxious during the interviews… Therefore, try to stay calm and focused.

What’s typical for Shell is that they will not be asking a lot about your technical skills. Rather prepare the most meaningful examples from your past experiences. They have underlined it clearly on their web. The same interviewing method goes for all applicants – from students and graduates to those coming with extensive experience.

Caterpillar Inc.

This world’s largest construction equipment manufacturer is among American Fortune 100.

It is not easy to join their team, so this is what applicants should expect. They are well-known as a corporation valuing openness and honesty. Come as you are, be honest and prepared for in-depth questioning about your previous experiences. Get ready to answer the questions like are you willing to work long hours, why should they hire you, why do you want to work them and similar.

Learn the company information, check the company’s web site and LinkedIn. Also, google Caterpillar’s media kits or press releases. You’ll be able to find out about the company’s activities and products from those. Learn about all the company’s details. Recruiting Managers will ask you about their products and services, how long the company exists, so prepare yourself accordingly. The entire process can last even up to a year. Once you passed the interviews, they will call you with a job offer. If you accept it, drug tests and background screening are following, with the final medical examination. Once your last interview is approved, you’re hired.

Microsoft – Alternative Interview Framework

Their interviews are famous as the most difficult among Silicon Valley developers. However, Microsoft is working on improving its hiring process. Recently they dropped odd questions they’ve been famous for, like “how many golf balls can fit into Boeing 747”. Since the beginning of 2019, they are improving their hiring procedure. New Alternative Interview Framework is consisting of 8 clear steps.

Sharing their interviews in advance is the first one. They expect you to come with a solution, before getting into questioning. This is mirroring the real-life situation. Candidates are given access to the same information Microsoft is working from. During the interview, you are free to search the internet or ask for more data from their database. It’s highly interactive as you’ll have to talk and solve the problems with interviewers. They have a policy of following a single day scenario and all the applicants will be leaded on the same path. One-on-one questioning is not a practice in Microsoft. At least two persons from their team will be present during your interviews, ensuring a highly interactive and dynamic process. In this way, they can also learn from interview interaction.

Microsoft holds its feedback till the end. So, interviewers will gather once the day is over to share their impressions about your performances. Lastly-at the end of each interview loop, the interview panel not only discuss what they learned in their time with the candidate, but what worked or didn’t work in the process. They are using the feedback to improve the interview process for all.

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