My senior year, I interviewed for a consulting position at a large bank. They had what sounded like a great rotational training program. They flew me to New York for a second round of interviews at their HQ.
Then I actually got there. As I sat in a conference room with a dozen dark-suited fellow candidates from various schools, several employees talked about working for the company. The exemplar employees said they loved being in New York, but they didn’t seem particularly enthusiastic about their actual job. I wondered why they weren’t handpicked cheerleaders.
One of the employees couldn’t stop yawning. Perhaps he’d been out socializing the night before, but it was enough to make me wonder about the hours they expected from people.
After the presentations, they divided us up to meet with three interviewers on a vacant floor of the skyscraper. They were using manager-level offices with a nice view. But I was thinking about the center of the floor. The department was filled with low-wall cubicles, with rolling chairs and the usual mess of office supplies. But the computers were all gone. It looked like they’d fired the entire floor.
I didn’t get an offer…but in retrospect, it was probably for the best.
Glassdoor.com has a great article about evaluating company culture during your interviews. What culture clues should people look for when they interview at a company?