Which Chicago companies keep job candidates on the hook the longest

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The hardest part of an interview isn’t making sure not to let a curse word fly, it’s the panicky days after spent willing the telephone to ring. So Glassdoor, a job posting and research site, attempted to minimize job seekers’ torture by finding the 25 most difficult companies to interview for in Chicago.

ThoughtWorks wins the (horrible) prize for longest wait, with an interview process that takes a whopping 64 days. That’s more than two months of lying to your current boss about how work’s going.

“We want people to be their authentic selves. Our interview process is designed to look at people from multidimensions,” says Yewande Ige, North America recruiter at the company.

Before applicants are granted an interview at ThoughtWorks, they must answer questions such as, “If you could come to a fancy dress party wearing something from technology, what would you be?” If the answers pass muster, candidates are called in for one of the company’s periodic interview open houses. From there, interviewees are brought in for a full workday, including team activities and discussions with employees. Once through (and worn out from) the process, a final face-to-face interview with a superior seals the decisions.

All the waiting pays off for ThoughtWorks, according to Ige, who says the lengthy process plays a role in keeping turnover low.

“The objective is to make sure we’re a fit for them and they’re a fit for us,” she says.

Investment firm Morningstar was on the shorter end of the spectrum, with a process lasting just two weeks. Shawn Malayter, director of media relations says in an emailed statement that the rush isn’t a strategy on Morningstar’s part. “Our goal is to find the right candidate for each opening, rather than complete our process in a specific amount of time.”

Malayter said the interview process includes behavioral interview questions that provide insight into candidates’ problem-solving skills. “When a candidate gives us specific examples of past experiences, it allows us to determine more effectively if they have the knowledge, skills, and abilities required for a role. It also helps us evaluate if this person is a match with our corporate values and mission,” Malayter says.

Though most wait times didn’t seem to affect interviewee satisfaction, Ernst and Young’s relatively quick turnaround of 23 days helped it win 81 percent satisfaction from people who’ve interviewed with the business services firm. Even ThoughtWorks’ extended nail-biting period couldn’t totally damage the company’s reputation: 65 percent of job candidates had a positive experience applying to work for the software company.

Here’s the full list of Chicago’s most difficult interviewers:

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