Merkle Interview Questions & Reviews
Getting an Interview
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Learning and Development Specialist Interview (Neutral Experience)
I applied online and the process took 2 weeks - interviewed at Merkle.
Interview Details About a week after I submitted my resume, a Merkle HR representative contacted me. We set up a 30 minute interview for the following day. Nothing was really unexpected about this first call, although she did say she did not have any details about the day-to-day duties of the job and that if we moved onto the next phone interview, that particular person would have more details. She just asked questions about my resume and experience, as well as more specific questions about what elearning tools I had experience with. She said that she would like to set me up for the second interview and would contact me the next day. I waited, but no email or phone call came, so another day later I emailed her. She said that they had decided to fill the position internally and that she meant to send me a message sooner.
Interview Question – Nothing very difficult or unexpected for the first round of phone interviews. Answer Question
Associate Account Director Interview (Neutral Experience; Average Interview)
I applied through another source and the process took 2 weeks - interviewed at Merkle in December 2011.
Interview Details Extensive, had to give a presentation at the end of it. Talked to 5-6 people on the phone, then met with 4-5 in person, gave a presentation to a room of about 10 people.
Interview Question – I do not recall a difficult or unexpected question. Answer Question
Negotiation Details – They would not negotiate.
Lead Recruiter Interview (Negative Experience; Average Interview)
I applied through another source and the process took 2 days - interviewed at Merkle in May 2014.
Interview Details Seven 1:1 interviews and a 45-min presentation to the group. Interviews were confirmed several days in advance, but changed on the day. First interviewer was a no-show, others swapped in last minute and I wasn't given an updated schedule with names / titles. They said this is common practice.
Interview Question – None. Questions were all expected. Interviewers didn't appear to have questions prepared; a stream-of-consciousness approach. Answer Question
Reason for Declining – Unethical behaviors by HR and line manager (i.e. back-door references). After pursuing me for several months, and after I "passed" their interviewing process with at least 6 people endorsing my hire, they called to tell me they were doing "back-door references" on me.
The irony is that my presentation to them earlier in the day included points on ensuring candidate confidentiality AND delivering a positive candidate experience. No bueno. No thanks.
Account Manager Interview (Positive Experience)
I applied through an employee referral and the process took 2+ weeks - interviewed at Merkle in August 2010.
Interview Details Merkle does tw phone screens and then a full day onsite interview. it is a stringent process but ensures both fit for skills and culture. Be prepared for all types of questions and interviewing with lots of levels of individuals (both peer and supervisor). Merkle hires very limited entry level and it is best if you know someone within the organization to clear a path for you.
Interview Question – You will have to give a presentation View Answer
Director IT Engineering Interview (Neutral Experience; Difficult Interview)
I applied through an employee referral and the process took 3 months - interviewed at Merkle in February 2012.
Interview Details Very long process often resulting in loss of candidate to competitor.
1. Phone Screen - 30 minutes
2. Face to face "Coffee Talk" with 1 -3 managers - 30-60 minutes
3. Group interview - you will be interviewed by a group of 8-12 people (peers, managers, subordinates, etc.) - 90-120 minutes. You must present on a project that demonstrates a significant accomplishment (8-12 slides).
The time between these 3 steps is days to weeks. Staff is stretched and deal with constant issues. The group interview is difficult to schedule (it's hard to find a time when 8-10 people have a 2 hour window).
Depending on who shows for the group interview, they can be very thorough. If you listed something on your resume, you better be able to speak to it.
Interview Question – It would not be fair to the company to reveal their most difficult or unexpected question. This question is asked to gauge a reaction and assess several apects of the candidate (creative thinking, engineering mindset, quick on your feet, etc.). Answer Question
Negotiation Details – Not very negotiable, the VP of IT usually handles this and he is very focused on value and potential.
Director Interview (Neutral Experience; Easy Interview)
I applied through a recruiter and the process took 1+ week - interviewed at Merkle in September 2012.
Interview Details The interview process is very precise - multiple phone interviews followed by an in person interview during which you will meet at least 5 individuals and you will also be expected to give a presentation. After the interview the group meets to discuss their experience with you - they decide 1) if you're a good fit for Merkle, and 2) if you're a good fit for the actual position. If they decide that the answer to 1 is yes, but the answer to 2 is no, then they may offer you a different job.
Interview Question – I honestly didn't think any of their question were difficult, or unexpected. Answer Question
Negotiation Details – They offered me a job other than the one I was interested in; the "new" job did not have the same benefits as the original. The end result was that I accepted the job, with a lower salary than I was looking for, with no bonus potential (first time in 10 years for me) and ended up a fairly unhappy employee. Don't settle - when they tell you that you will have an opportunity to grow quickly they are not being truthful.
Digital Interview (Negative Experience; Difficult Interview)
I applied through a recruiter and the process took 3 weeks - interviewed at Merkle.
Interview Details Was approached by a recruiter, who forgot our first phone appointment. After a brief conversation, a phoner with the hiring manager was set up. Hiring manager couldn't make that call, so hiring manager's boss ran the phone interview, which was cursory and somewhat uninformative due to lack of familiarity with the day-to-day of the role.
Was brought in for an in-person interview with 5 people, complete with presentation as others have mentioned. Of the 5, the hiring manager was 15 minutes late for my interview and left after 5 minutes, and promised to return for my presentation but never did. Another interviewer had no idea what position I was interviewing for. All made multiple references to being "a start-up culture", despite working for a company that is decidedly not a start-up. I believe they believe "start-up culture" means "overworked, understaffed, and miserable but we have SNACKS".
Another phone interview was set up for another position. That hiring manager blew off that phoner.
Another recruiter reached out to explain there has been a lot of confusion about what position I was there for, but all agreed I was a good company fit and they would contact me in a few weeks.
Total chaos and a barely apologetic waste of time.
Interview Question – What position are you here for? View Answer
Senior Project Manager Interview (Neutral Experience)
Interviewed at Merkle
Interview Details Before the interview, I was asked to prepare a presentation in which I walked through a challenging project I had managed. During the presentation there was open discussion about the details of th eproject and how I handled certain situations.
Interview Question – Choosing a project to present. Answer Question
Manager Interview (Positive Experience; Average Interview)
I applied online and the process took 5 weeks - interviewed at Merkle in February 2014.
Interview Details I applied for a position posted on Merkle's website in late December and was contacted via email to setup a phone screen in January.
Phone screen was with the supervisor of the position and went well. She told me that HR would email me to setup an interview. At the end of the call, she mentioned the presentation that is required during the interview process.
HR contacted me asking for dates I was available. They setup the interview for late February due to month end close and the on-going year end audit.
I interviewed with 2 employees who would be direct reports to the position, a peer and the supervisor who was a Director. I was to interview with the VP/Controller but she was travelling on business. They allotted a 1/2 hour with each person. We were able to go over since the VP would not be interviewing me. I found that even with 40-45 minutes I did not have as much time as I would have liked with each person. Everyone seemed thoroughly enthusiastic and praised Merkle. The Director conducted her interview over lunch and then I gave my presentation.
HR emailed me that day to come back the following week for an interview with the VP during lunch. She escorted me to the Director afterwards where I could ask additional questions. The Director stated she would get back to me either that day or the next.
She called the next day to offer me the job and I accepted.
Overall, the process was very organized and they made the decision quickly.
Interview Question – I did not have any difficult questions. They asked a lot of questions so you really need to know yourself and what you bring to the table. I understood the position and what I would be doing so I could focus on those aspects of my experience when discussing the benefits of hiring me.
The hardest part for me was the presentation. As an Accountant, I am used to presenting numbers to people who have a vested interest in the company. I did not think these people would be interested in numbers for another company. I chose a leadership topic involving mentoring employees and managing the project. It seemed to do the trick. Answer Question
Negotiation Details – Negotiation was not necessary. The offer was well worth the transition.
Director Interview (Negative Experience; Average Interview)
I applied through a recruiter and the process took 3 months - interviewed at Merkle in December 2012.
Interview Details Ebullient phone screen followed by several telephone interviews, an onsite session of face to face interviews over one day, a business case presentation and a follow up caucus of interviewers regarding the candidate. A fair amount of disinformation is shared during this process to get you excited about the "special culture" Merkle offers to its employees.
Interview Question – Curve ball questions are typically thrown at you regarding how you dealt with a difficult client, etc. Answer Question
Negotiation Details – Zero flexibility (and a fair amount of misrepresentation).
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