The job interview is typically the first in-depth experience a worker has a with a potential employer, and it's a process where some companies are excelling while others are stumbling.
Most employees have a horror story or two about awkward job interviews, ranging from hostile interviewees to bizarre questions, but employment site Glassdoor wanted to examine what makes a good interview. Since it's a screening process that aims to match workers with their ideal job, the interview is important for conveying something about a company's culture while finding talented staff.
The companies that are killing it when it comes to job interviews are those that provide a positive first look for would-be hires by hitting on a number of key attributes. Candidates give high ratings to companies that provide a welcoming atmosphere, as well as those that are open to questions and provide transparent answers. Interviews that are relatively difficult -- but not too tough -- help target the right hires, while efficiency is also important, the survey found.
"Information is power, and this list basically gives [job seekers] further insight into what companies are like in an interview," said Lisa Holden, employer engagement manager at Glassdoor. "It points to companies getting it right. Here are the expectations you should hold any company to."
Interestingly, most of the companies on Glassdoor's list aren't technology companies, which are often considered among the hottest places to work thanks to high pay and perks like massage rooms and catered lunches.
Google (GOOG) didn't make the cut because other companies scored better for difficulty level and duration of the interview process, Holden noted. Facebook (FB) wasn't included because it had a below-average percentage of positive interview experiences.
Companies that would like to improve their hiring process should focus on several areas, such as eliminating layered interviews that lengthen the process without helping to find better candidates, and to test specific job skills during interviews, Glassdoor said.
Many of the top companies with good interview experiences are in older industries, such as banking and financial services or retail.
Read on to learn the top nine companies for excellent interview experiences.
9. Walt Disney Co.
Candidates said Walt Disney Co. (DIS) provided a professional and organized interview experience. That helped the media company achieve an interview score of 83 percent, which is the calculation Glassdoor creates based on positive interview ratings, interview difficulty and the length of the interview.
Current job listings at Disney range from openings at its theme parks around the world to corporate roles at its Burbank, California, headquarters.
The common theme among EY job candidates is that the tax firm, better known as Ernst & Young, is genuine about trying to get to know them. With an interview score of 84 percent, EY earned points for "relaxed" interviews that helped candidates get to know the firm, and vice versa.
Current jobs at EY include roles ranging from proposal writers to tax services managers.
7. Southwest Airlines
Interviewing at Southwest Airlines (LUV) is the "opposite of uptight," Glassdoor said. One candidate said they were flown to the job interviews, which not all airlines do, while another praised a fun interview that included selfies.
Current openings at Southwest include roles ranging from baggage handlers to pilots.
6. H&R Block
Tax firm H&R Block (HRB) earned high marks for what candidates described as "interactive" interviews. The company's interview score was 84 percent, according to Glassdoor.
The company currently is hiring for roles including auditors and content strategists.
5. J. Crew
Retailer J. Crew earned a Glassdoor interview score of 85 percent, with candidates describing the hiring managers as friendly.
Job openings at the clothing company include many retail roles, such as sales associates at its different locations.
4. BNY Mellon
The financial services firm has an interview score of 85 percent, with candidates describing the process as transparent and comfortable.
Current job openings include roles ranging from senior wealth manager to business analyst.
The equipment manufacturer achieved an interview score of 86 percent, with Glassdoor finding that candidates said the process is "more than just an interview." One candidate said their flight, rental car, hotel and meals were paid for, while they were taken on a tour and to dinner the night before the interview.
Job openings at Caterpillar (CAT) include material handlers and manufacturing engineers.
2. Grant Thornton
Tax firm Grant Thornton received an interview score of 87 percent, with candidates praising the firm's desire to find the right fit. Candidates said they were hosted at a reception the night before the interview, which helped establish a rapport with the company's executives.
Openings at Grant Thornton include partnership tax manager and project manager.
The top marks for the job interview experience goes to paint company Sherwin-Williams (SHW), which was praised by candidates for being honest and friendly. Glassdoor gave the company an interview score of 88 percent.
Current job postings at Sherwin-Williams range from sales associates to a Web and e-commerce development manager.