Or am I too sensitive? A software company has very mixed Glassdoor reviews and several specifically call out narcisisstic behavior by the CEO. One review even used the term "grooming" behavior, i.e., subtly training the employees to accept being treated like sh*t.

I just discovered an interview preparation page on their site. Some excerpts:

Our success depends on hiring people who are truly A-players. ...we've built a proprietary interview process that is very different from what you may be used to.

...our process is designed to very quickly separate the highest caliber candidates from the folks who are simply average...

Interviews are recorded and additional staff often participate. The interviewer will dive straight into a set of challenging questions... The interview is very fast paced; you'll be expected to supply answers off the top of your head, without pausing to look anything up.

Our standards for this process are extremely high and only about 10% of interviewees will make it to the end of the phone interview. We end interviews as soon as it becomes clear that the decision will be a no-hire. If this happens to you, please don't take it personally; it's not necessarily a judgment about you, but rather of how well you fit with our current needs. You are welcome to re-apply at a later date.

...We also enjoy role-playing questions where we give you an issue to troubleshoot and see how you would go about solving it. For these, we will continually change the circumstances to challenge you...

...use this rule of thumb: if you're still on the phone with us, it's going well...

...If you make it through to the end, you will then have the opportunity to ask all the questions you'd like...

[emphasis in original]

To me, it looks like the grooming starts right here, at the first contact. Because: I see interviews as a two-way street. I'm looking to see if there's a meeting of the minds, so to speak. What do you all think?

closed as primarily opinion-based by gnat, Jim G., BigMadAndy, Twyxz, virolino Mar 13 at 12:35

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I don't think you can really call it an abusive interview process: they're very upfront about what the process involves, and nobody's forcing you to do the interview. If nothing else, they're not going to waste your time doing interviews when they've already decided to reject you.

That said, the combination of the interview process description and the Glassdoor comments are indicative of a very aggressive company culture. I wouldn't want to work there. Some people might, and I guess their interview process is pretty good at finding that kind of person.


I actually think it's a very frank description. You know what you will get.

What they describe is not surprising. Most telephone interviews I participated in finished the moment it was clear you didn't get the job. Even at the most prestigious companies. The difference was, they never explained this possibility in advance.

I've participated in stress interviews too. I don't accept stress interviews, find them to be abusive unless the interviewers told you what to expect and you know it's role-playing and they aren't bastards IRL.

Situational interview questions aren't anything special either.

They do sound quite arrogant and unfriendly though. They seem like one of those companies that believe you should be proud to even be offered an interview with them. If I can choose to be choosy I avoid such companies.

Of course, we can't know what the process really looks like. Maybe candidates are shouted at and treated like dirt. But the description itself is only conceited, not aggressive or surprising.


Stop questioning your sensibilities, your innate survival mechanisms is telling you based on the combination of the interview process description and the Glassdoor comments that its an aggressive company culture.

If you are like me and you find no reasonable explanation why a good tech company needs to be dismissive, aggressive, argumentative, gatekeepers and other inappropriate behaviors both in the interview process and on the job, then move on.

Just keep in mind that this toxicity is more prevalent in our field than I care to admit, so best of luck.


Having done my share of phone screens, I understand the sentiment: In the majority of interviews, after a certain point you'd really just be continuing the interview to be polite. Interviews with promising candidates are, as a rule, much longer than interviews with unpromising candidates.

Nevertheless, from that small slice, the interviewing culture (if nothing else) comes off as arrogant and conceited. Some of the information on that "interview prep" page doesn't, you know, prep someone for an interview. Oh, so you end most interviews early? Okay, but as a candidate, what am I supposed to do about that? It really sounds more like bragging about how choosy they are (and, they hope to imply, how choosy they get to be). You can and should consider your feelings about that page when determining whether to apply for a position there. But the literal process described is not far out of step with how most interviews work.

As for an interview being a "meeting of minds": absolutely. But you have to get there first. If they're not gonna hire you, does it really matter if you get to meet their minds before they say goodbye?


Not necessarily. I personally think they should skip the part

Our success depends on hiring people who are truly A-players. ...we've built a proprietary interview process that is very different from what you may be used to.

...our process is designed to very quickly separate the highest caliber candidates from the folks who are simply average...

because this

  • orders people linearly (A-level....)
  • somehow brags about how great their process is (Which may or may not be true)

About ending the phone interview earlier than the schedule time:

  • I do not find that abusive or unfair, even if I personally do not do it (see below), especially if they explicitly write about it before.
  • Unless you are looking for a very, very specific people who need to respond in an very well defined way
  • It is only viable if the questions/problems posed are actually all pretty basic.
  • It is my opinion that the likeliness of removing candidates from the process who potentially would perform well is high with this method.
  • It could also be that it is a lie, and they only write this to become more interesting, in order to attract more narcissists and egocentric people - either by a conscious choice or because of their own self-image.

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