Interviews can be hard for anyone, but several companies tend to make the interview process difficult in order to separate the wheat from the chaff. Technology companies are particularly notorious for making the interviews tough, posing difficult questions to assess how applicants fare on various criteria.
Professional networking website Glassdoor has released the list of companies with the most difficult interview processes. We bring to you the technology with the toughest interviews, as well as details like average span of the interview process and the kind of experience that the interviewees have. Click to find out the 10 tech companies with the most difficult interviews:
ThoughtWorks grabbed the top spot among technology companies when it came to the most difficult interview process, with an average difficulty rating of 3.9. Seventy three percent of the interviewees surveyed by Glassdoor reported a positive experience, while 14% had a bad experience.
The typical interview process at ThoughtWorks lasts 43 days, with interviewees giving it an employee satisfaction rating of 4.1 out of 5.
Google has an average difficulty rating of 3.6 out of 5, with a typical interview lasting 37 days. Sixty four percent interviewees had a pleasant experience, while 23% had a negative experience, with the company getting an average employee satisfaction rating of 3.3.
Software maker HubSpot has an average difficulty rating of 3.5 and employee satisfaction rating of 4.1 out of 5. The interview process takes 20 days on an average and 62% people had a good interview experience, while 27% had a bad one.
Avaya takes the fourth spot in the list, with average difficulty rating of 3.4 and employee satisfaction score of 2.9. Eighty six percent interviewees had a good experience, while 10% experienced a bad time, with the average process time being 30 days.
Software titan Microsoft secured an average difficulty rating of 3.4, while its employee satisfaction score is 3.7. The average interview process lasts 29 days, with 70% respondents having a positive experience and 14% reporting a negative time.
With an average difficulty rating of 3.4 and employee satisfaction score of 3.8, Sapient takes the sixth spot in the list. Average interview process at Sapient takes 12 days, with 76% respondents having a good experience and 13% having a negative time.
Citrix grabs the seventh position in the ranking, with an average difficulty score of 3.4 and employee satisfaction rating of 3.8. The overall interview process on an average takes 29 days at the company, and 56% people report a positive experience and 26% have a negative time.
Nvidia gets an average difficulty rating of 3.4 and employee satisfaction score of 3.8. The company on an average takes 22 days to complete an interview; 81% people in the survey had a positive experience, while 7% had a bad one.
Informatica scores 3.4 in terms of average difficulty of the interview and 3.9 in employee satisfaction. In the survey, 83% of the respondents said they had a positive experience, while 11% had a negative time; average length of interviews at the company is 19 days.
Software giant Microsoft was ranked fourth by human resources consultancy ‘Great Place to Work Institute’, which has compiled a list of 25 such companies.
There is no India-based company in this list and all 25 firms are either American or European.
Others in the top 10 include W L Gore & Associates, which was ranked 5th on the list, followed by personal and household goods maker Kimberly-Clark (6th), hospitality giant Marriott (7th), consumer goods firm Diageo (8th), National Instruments (9th) and IT company Cisco (10th).
While there are no Asian companies in the list, and 9 out of the top 10 positions have been occupied by US firms. London-based Diageo was the only firm in the top 10 which did not belong to the United States.
This year, more than 6,000 companies participated in national Best Companies list competitions in more than 45 countries across the world. The organisations featured in this list represent the 25 Best Multinational Workplaces in the world.
“The 25 companies on the 2013 World’s Best Multinational Workplaces list set a high standard for us all. Their outstanding achievement builds a better society by creating great workplaces,” it said.
The list also includes Autodesk ranked at the 11th place, followed by Monsanto (12th), BBVA (13th), American Express (14th), Hilti (15th), Telefonica (16th), Accor (17th), Quintiles (18th), SC Johnson (19th), FedEx Express (20th), Atento (21st), Mars (22nd), McDonald’s (23rd), The Coca-Cola Company (24th) and Novartis (25th).
Together, these companies employ more than 11.9 million employees.
These companies were selected from more than 1,000 corporations, they have appeared on at least 5 national Best Workplaces lists, have at least 5,000 employees worldwide, have at least 40% (or 5,000 employees) of their workforce based outside their home country.
Apple and Google used to be pretty good partners. But ever since Google started working on its own smartphone operating system Android, the relationship between the two companies has been rocky at best.
Now, Google and Apple are bitter rivals in just about everything. But while Apple often sets the tone for what’s big in tech, Google can do a lot better.
1. Google’s voice assistant for Android, Google Now, is more useful and accurate than Apple’s Siri.
2. Google Maps is better than Apple maps. It has more accurate data and includes public transportation directions.
3. Google sells its Nexus smartphones unlocked for much cheaper than Apple does. You can get a Nexus 4 for as low as $199 without a contract. An unlocked iPhone 5S starts at $649.
4. Google gives you more online storage space for free. You get 15 GB with Google Drive and just 5 GB with iCloud.
5. If you use Google services like Gmail, Google Calendar, and Google Talk, Google’s Chrome browser is a better option than Apple’s Safari browser. That’s because Chrome makes it easy to sync your stuff across all devices using your Google login.
6. Google handles photos better than Apple does if you use Google+. Google gives you more space and can automatically edit the photos you upload to make them look better.
7. Google does email better than Apple. If you’re a Gmail user, the Gmail app for iPhone/iPad is better than Apple’s regular mail app. Plus, the overall Gmail experience is better than the one from Apple if you use iCloud.
8. Google’s new Nexus 7 is better (and cheaper!) than Apple’s iPad Mini.
9. Google’s Chromecast lets you stream Netflix, YouTube, other content you own for just $35. The Apple TV costs $99
10. Google was able to get more people using its Android operating system for smartphones than Apple’s iOS.
According to IDC, about 80% of smartphones are powered by Android. iOS is on 13% of all smartphones.
11. Android also powers more tablets than iOS. 62% of tablets run Android and 33% run iOS, according to IDC
The internet is fast eroding people’s memories of world-changing events in history, making them more forgetful as they increasingly bank upon Google to provide the information, a new UK study has found.
The study of 2,000 adults found less than half of people surveyed could name the year when Princess Diana died, even though it happened as recently as 1997.
Many respondents did not even know the year in which the terror attacks on the World Trade Center took place while many others were clueless about when the Berlin Wall fell, the ‘Metro’ reported.
The important dates of world-changing events in history are fast disappearing from the memories of the internet generation, researchers said.
Majority of the adults who took part in the survey said they made less of an effort to remember things “because we can look them up” on the internet.
“The internet could be changing the traditional way we remember and process things – certainly compared to older generations,” spokesman for Grant’s Whisky, which commissioned the survey, said.
The most common date people remembered was the Battle of Hastings, while the dates of the two world wars and England’s World Cup win were also ingrained in their memory.
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Google’s new program to lock and locate your phone.
Google will now permit you to remotely lock your Android, lest that cabbie whose vehicle you left your phone in sees all those duckface pictures you took last night.
But this sort of move from Google could start to spell trouble for a number of mobile security apps, such as Lookout Mobile, aimed at helping you manage your phone data and deal with “loss” situations.
“We’ve long expected that Google would add ‘Lock’ and ‘Find my Phone’ functionality, and we’re surprised it didn’t come sooner!” said a Lookout Mobile spokesperson.
Google’s new feature is a very useful one for those who don’t have a lock on their phone and want to make sure their data is safe. It can be found in your Android Device Manager, according to Android Police, which will remotely tell your phone to go into lock mode when triggered. If you already have a password, it will ask you to create a new one and will instantly update your phone.
It will also turn your screen off and lock the phone if it’s currently in use. Should you be in airplane mode, the phone will execute these commands once connected to a signal.
If Google continues to release these “baked in” security features for Android, it could leave these apps obsolete as third-party protectors. You can also wipe the phone and make it ring from the Android Device Manager. But companies like Lookout Mobile often offer much more than just GPS capabilities and remote lock. Lookout, for example, scans apps for sketchy activity and can warn you about malicious links.
“Solving the missing device problem has been a core piece of the Lookout mission since 2009, and we’ve lead the pack for more than five years, but we haven’t stopped there,” the spokesperson said. “Device loss is a difficult problem to solve, and not every phone lock or missing device situation is the same, so we have consistently developed new functionality to help people have the best possible chance of protecting and recovering a lost or stolen device.”
Google launches digital wallet app for iPhones
Google is bringing its digital wallet to the iPhone in its latest attempt to upstage Apple on its own popular device.
Thursday’s release of the Google Wallet app represents a challenge to the Passbook program that Apple has built into the iPhone’s operating system.
Both Google Wallet and Passbook allow iPhone users to store loyalty cards from some merchants and scan coupons offering discounts.
Google Wallet also allows its users to send money and make purchases on some mobile websites by storing a debit or credit card account on the app. Payment information can also be stored in Passbook.
The arrival of Google Wallet on the iPhone comes a few days after a similar version was released to smartphones running on Google’s Android software.
Google gives away Android for free, a factor that has helped siphon sales away from the iPhone by enabling other smartphone makers to sell their devices at cheaper prices. About three out of every four smartphones sold during the first half of this year ran on Android software, according to the research firm Gartner. In comparison, the iPhone had a 16% share of the worldwide market.
The higher-priced iPhones tend to attract more affluent consumers who are more likely to spend money through their devices, one of the reasons that Google is eager to connect with Apple customers.
Google has previously sought to outshine Apple’s built-in iPhone apps with its digital maps and a mobile version of its Chrome browser.
By getting people to use its services on as many devices as possible, Google hopes to make more money by selling more digital advertising.
Google re-enters healthcare market with Calico, to tackle ageing issues
Google Inc said it plans to set up a new company called Calico, headed by Apple Inc and Genentech Chairman Art Levinson, to develop technologies to tackle health issues related to ageing.
The new company will be run separately from Google, the world’s largest Internet search company, with a focus on issues including life-threatening diseases and problems affecting mental and physical agility due to ageing.
“While this is clearly a longer-term bet, we believe we can make good progress within reasonable timescales with the right goals and the right people,” Google Chief Executive Larry Page said in a Net posting on Wednesday.
Google did not provide any other details about the new company, including where it will be based, how many employees it will have or whether Page would have a direct role in its operations.
Google’s investment in Calico is “significant” and designed to allow the organization to invest in different projects.
Google, which makes more than 90 percent of its revenue from advertising, has invested in numerous so-called moonshots since co-founder Page reassumed the role of CEO in 2011. The company is working on self-driving cars, wearable computers, and air balloons that beam wireless Internet access to remote regions of the world.
Page acknowledged in his post that the new company appeared to diverge from “what Google does today.”
“Don’t be surprised if we invest in projects that seem strange or speculative compared with our existing Internet businesses,” he wrote on his Google+ profile. “And please remember that new investments like this are very small by comparison to our core business.” Google generated $50 billion in revenue last year
Wall Street has generally been tolerant of Google’s side projects, which do not appear to have distracted the company from succeeding otherwise or caused an alarming increase in spending.
Shares of Google, which has $54 billion in cash and securities, were roughly unchanged at $887.84 on in midday trading on Wednesday.
Health issues are an area of personal interest for Google co-founders Page and Sergey Brin. In May, Page announced that he had a rare nerve disease that limited the movement of his vocal cords and briefly sidelined him from public speaking. He also said he had been diagnosed with Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, a thyroid inflammatory condition he said gives him no trouble.
Brin has said that he has a higher-than-average chance of being diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, which his mother had. He believes he can lower his chances of getting Parkinson’s from 50 percent to 13 percent through a strict regimen of diet and physical exercise.
Brin learned of his increased chance of Parkinson’s through tests he took with 23andMe, a biotech firm founded by his wife, in which Google has invested.
Google previously tried to get involved in the healthcare business with limited success. Google Health, which provided consumers with a way to store their medical records online, was shuttered in 2011 after three years. Page said at the time that the service had failed to catch on with the general public.
Smartphone makers looking at personalisation as the key differentiator.
Bright colors, funky textures and personalization are coming to a smartphone near you as mobile phone makers turn to fashion to buoy sales in a crowded market.
Apple Inc and Google Inc’s Motorola are among those trying to score style points as game-changing technological innovation becomes harder to achieve in the maturing business.
Since the first touch-screen iPhone hit the market in 2007, software features have become easier to replicate and improvements in speed, weight, display size and resolution have become routine. The explosion of me-too products is already hurting profit margins and nibbling at Apple and Samsung Electronic Co Ltd’s market share.
Time to bring out the paintbrush.
Apple expected to introduce new iPhones in a much broader palette of colors, perhaps even gold.
One-time leader Motorola, now owned by Google, is trying to win back consumers with the Moto X, relying partly on customized colors and, soon to come, engravings and unusual casing materials such as wood.
Robert Brunner, founder of design consultancy Ammunition and a former Apple industrial design chief, said personalization is a well-worn tactic employed when a product’s uniqueness fades.
“As something becomes embedded in lifestyle and as it starts to become commoditized, people look toward more superficial design things to differentiate or at least reach more people,” said Brunner, whose clients have included Amazon.com Inc, Dell Inc and Nike Inc.
“And colors are the classic. If you do it at the right time, it will create a significant increase in sales every time.”
Much of the speculation around new iPhones this year has focused on colors and material, in marked contrast to previous years when hopes ran high for a breakthrough feature.
Personalization is key
The consumer electronics industry lives and dies by innovation, and resorting to aesthetics is at best a stop-gap measure until frequently talked about new technologies such as fingerprint identification, holographics or flexible displays become reality.
Smartphone shipments grew 52 percent the second quarter, according to research firm IDC. But the market is getting crowded, with everyone from Alcatel Lucent to China’s Huawei producing an abundance of look-alike phones based on Google’s Android software.
Consumers face a sea of “rectangles that are black and white” that all use similar software and capabilities, said Carolina Milanesi, an analyst with research firm Gartner. “So you need that instant hook in the store to get people to pay attention, and that comes from the fashion and style.”
Nokia’s phone business, soon to be part of Microsoft Corp, was one of the first to try color. Nokia’s Windows-powered Lumias came in a variety of shades from blue and red to yellow, helping boost shipments by 76 percent in the second quarter and outpacing the overall market’s growth rate.
“We have always believed technology is highly personal, highly individual,” said Yves Behar, the chief creative officer at Jawbone, who has designed a successful line of customizable gadgets including the Up wristband and Jambox wireless speakers. “We get more people wanting to customize their Jambox than we get people not wanting to.”
Making more stylish phones, however, can increase production costs and make inventory management and demand forecasting more challenging. Also, taste varies from region to region. So success in the fashion game requires mastering new supply chain and manufacturing skills.
“If you try to predict in advance precise numbers, it is a sure way to over stock or under stock,” Behar warned.
Built to order
In 2010, Apple had to delay the launch of the white iPhone 4 twice, citing manufacturing challenges. While the company did not provide details, speculation ranged from color-matching difficulties to an issue with the device’s back light.
More recently, Motorola delayed offering the personalized engravings it promised for the Moto X, and the special wood panels that consumers can choose for their phones will not be available until later this year.
To help with logistics, Motorola is using a Flextronics International Ltd contract facility near Dallas that can custom-build phones and ship within 6 days. Its long-term target is 4 days.
That kind of customization requires a completely different supply chain system, said Massachusetts Institute of Technology professor David Simchi-Levi.
Instead of optimizing for the lowest cost components, a build-to-order model needs to focus on speed, said Simchi-Levi, who has previously consulted for computer maker Dell, which popularized the model in the 1990s.
Done right, the build-to-order model can generate richer margins and provide flexibility to respond to demand: maintaining stockpiles of components means lower cost and less risk than keeping inventory of finished goods, Simchi-Levi said.
Analysts have said the impact of Motorola’s new strategy on its profit margins is unclear. Mark Randall, the company’s senior vice president of supply chain and operations, said it knows a build-to-order model will not be easy but is convinced that is the right approach for today’s market.
“We decided on this approach ourselves, relying on some market research but also our own instincts. We thought it was time to get away from just having a white or black phone.”
Tried and tested
In the 1990s, cellphone makers relied on aesthetics to stand out. Phone makers pumped slider phones, flip phones and “candy bars” in the hope of getting a hit like the sleek Motorola Razr.
Some compared the industry’s evolution to watches, which rely on 50-year-old quartz or centuries-old mechanical technology and are the epitome of a business that hinges on fashion.
“Mobile phone makers are going to some of the watch suppliers to get the kinds of finishes and the quality feel that have been in the luxury watch business,” said Gregor Berkowitz, a consultant who specializes in consumer electronics design.
Swatch Group, one of the world’s largest watchmakers, shows how lucrative fashion can be, analysts said.
“The company benefits from being vertically integrated,” Morningstar analyst Peter Wahlstrom said. “They have the designers in-house. They own the manufacturing, the distribution, they control the brands and pricing very well.”
Swatch, which owns Breguet, Omega, Flick Flack as well as its namesake brand, boasts operating profit margins of 25 percent. While that is below Apple’s 35 percent-range on mobile devices, it is above those of Samsung and many other phone makers.
But while fashion can provide a nice way for phone-makers to buoy sales for now, smartphone companies ultimately need unique technology to maintain a long-term advantage.
“The way we think about technology companies is in terms of sustainable competitive advantages, or economic moats,” said Wahlstrom. “It’s not sustainable unless you have the intellectual property or patent support behind it that really creates a barrier to entry.”
10 things that make Google hot at 15
Internet giant Google has turned 15. Though long past its startup days, the company still retains its innovative zeal. Unlike companies that often turn rudderless when they grow too big, the number of years only seem to be adding to the company’s zest for next gen technology. With projects like Google Glass and driverless cars, Google now appears to be breaching barriers of sci-fi.
Here are 10 innovative or path-breaking ideas and products that Google has unveiled in the past few years (or is set to unveil in coming months) that
Google unveiled its first wearable computing device Glass in 2012, bringing a product that had been relegated only to science fiction till now. This gadget is an extension of Android smartphones and tablets and can be used to capture photos and videos, make phone calls, check out maps, read emails and text messages and perform various other tasks with just voice commands.
First of its kind, Google Glass has captured the imagination of not just the tech community but also the fashion fraternity.
Google’s thinktank has created an innovative solution to the problem of low web penetration in developing countries – balloons that beam down internet. As part of its Project Loon, Google sent out balloons that float in the stratosphere at a height of 20km and relay the internet to houses via a special antenna that captures the necessary signals.
The internet search titan aims to provide 3G-like speed via these internet balloons, which cover an area of 1,256 sq m each. Seeing an innovative and eco-friendly means to solve the problem of poor internet connectivity, several nations (including India) have shown keen interest in Google balloons.
Being an internet company, Google has envisioned laptops that are meant for the ‘connected generation,’ called Chromebooks. These laptops run on Google’s Chrome OS and do not support applications made for Windows and Mac operating systems. Instead, Chromebooks just have a built-in media player and internet browser. The web browser can be used to access the internet, write documents (via Google Docs) and perform common tasks.
With prices starting at $250, Chromebooks are cheaper than most tablets and laptops. However, presently Chromebooks are not available in many countries across the world. Recently, Google launched a $1,399 Chromebook Pixel that has features similar to that of a high-end Macbook.
Google driverless cars
Driverless cars are said to be the next big thing in the world of automobiles and Google is taking this big idea out to the real world. An idea from Google’s X Lab, driverless cars are currently being tested by the company in Nevada, Florida and California in the US. While Google has not announced any plans to commercialize these driverless cars, reports have said that the company may roll out the unmanned Robo-Taxi to ferry people.
Moto X’s voice recognition
The Moto X smartphone by Google’s Motorola division consists of the X8 mobile chip that helps give an enhanced user experience. This chipset consists of a 1.7GHz dual-core CPU, a quad-core Adreno GPU, which are standard features of any smartphone chipset. However, what sets this chip apart are its natural language processor and contextual awareness processor.
Moto X is said to be the phone that is always listening, meaning that if you say Okay Google even if the handset is sleeping, it will wake up and perform the required task. The natural language processor enables the phone to understand what the user means and the contextual awareness processor helps it know when to turn it to silent mode or which app to open when the phone is held in a certain way etc.
Google Street View
Google’s Street View project started in 2007 and has gone in full swing over the past few years, with several innovative features. Under this project, the internet search company shows panoramic imagery of various places around the world right on their desktop. You can even view the Street View images in 3D, provided you have the requisite red/cyan glasses.
Not only are the Street View photos available from desktops and mobile devices, but also on the Nintendo Wii U.
Google launched its Fibre internet service in 2011, under which it will provide web speed of 1Gbps. This service was first rolled out in Kansas and subsequently reached Missouri, Texas and Utah in the US. While the basic service comes with 1TB cloud storage and costs $70, the subscription with TV service offers free 1TB data on Google drive, 2TB digital video recording and a free Nexus 7 tablet.
The company also offers a free internet option, where users get 5Mbps speed, but comes with a $25 charge for 12 months.
The Android mobile operating system has taken the world by storm and approximately 80% of smartphones today are powered by it. Though it is not an original product (Google has acquired the company that made the OS), it did add its own twist to the software. Android was meant to be an operating system for digital cameras, but Google decided to turn it into a mobile software even before Apple came out with the first iPhone.
Android has grown in popularity on the back of its easy-to-use interface, open source nature and wide range of free apps. Google offers the OS to manufacturers for free, giving them the option to update Android versions on their devices as and when they like. This free-to-use nature of Android has propelled the rise of several mobile companies, such as Samsung, Huawei, ZTE, Micromax and Xiaomi.
Just like every electronics company today, Google is in the rat race of making smartwatches. The internet company recently acquired WIMM, a pioneer in making smartwatches. Expected to launch next year, this smartwatch is said to be quite similar to Google Glass. The product reportedly has been shown at three Google meetings – Moutainview, Manchester and Berlin, though its global unveiling is still awaited.
Google’s smartwatch is important for the tech world because it may be different from similar products by companies like Samsung, Sony, Pebble etc, considering the lukewarm response they have got till now.
Facebook is a known productivity killer. However, it has one advantage over other apps: everyone uses it. You can use it for more than just cat memes and baby pictures. Here are some of the most useful things you can do.
As a side note, many of the features we’ll talk about are available on different versions of Facebook, but we’ll be looking at them in the newest layout featured here. If we discuss something that isn’t available to you, sign up for the wait list and the redesign should roll out to you before long.
Get more personalized search results
By using Interest Lists, you can create custom feeds that combine notable people, sites, and Pages for a more specialized feeds. You can use these just like Twitter Lists to organize your browsing.
With Facebook, anyone that’s on your chat list is eligible for an audio or video chat with almost no problem.
When you get past the usual Facebook tropes, it turns out there is a lot you can do with the site that is actually useful and helpful. Not only that, but it’s possible to limit or even eliminate all the junk. As with many other sites, the value you get out of Facebook is what you make of it.