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Sep 9, 2016
by James

How Does Your Interview Process Compare To Your Peers – Food & Beverage Edition

Posted in Interview Process Excellence

HireBar - Glassdoor Food, Beverage, Tobacco Data Image


We obsess over helping companies improve their job interview process.


In order to be good at this type of work, we have to study the companies who do it well — as well as the companies who do it poorly.


But how do you know which companies excel at delivering a great interview experience and which companies can’t seem to get it right?


Well, the best source of this information is to ask candidates.


And when it comes to obtaining public, real-time feedback from candidates, there’s no better place to look than


Get the full data from this research project here:




In case you’re not aware, Glassdoor is a website aimed at “helping candidates find jobs at companies they love”.   And while this tagline sounds like it describes any generic job site, Glassdoor adds a layer of data to their site that makes it different than the Monsters or Careerbuilders of the world.


This additional layer of information comes in the form of crowdsourced candidate and employee reviews.


Look up any company that you’re interested in and you can find a corporate overview, CEO ratings, candidate comments and employee salary data — all provided through the lens of someone who has experienced it first hand.


The great thing about this (for us anyway) is that the information is publicly available.   So companies who treat employees or candidates poorly can no longer hide!   It’s all there for the world to see.




Taking the information that is publicly available on the site, we embarked on data collection project aimed at obtaining a couple different pieces of information.


We wanted to know, for Food, Beverage & Tobacco companies, when it comes to interview ratings…

  1. Who were the highest and lowest rated companies in the Fortune 1000?


  1. What are the candidate comments that emerged as themes in support of the high or low ratings?


Get the full data from this research project here:




Our study was fairly simple.  We took 3 key interview data points that were publicly available on the site and we plugged them into a spreadsheet.    This information is available in the header of a company’s profile and looks something like this:

Glassdoor Ratings HireBar


We focused only on Fortune 1000 companies because they had a larger number of ratings, which made it easier to identify patterns and themes.   Also, we filtered out companies with fewer than 30 ratings.


In terms of numerical data, we looked at…


  1. Feedback Volume:# of interview feedback comments collected on the company.
  2. Interview Experience Rating:did candidates rate it positive, negative or neutral?
  3. Interview Difficulty Rating:did the candidates rate it hard, average or easy on a 5 point scale?


We also poured over the comments to uncover themes that correlated back to the ratings.


If you want to see how your company compares or if you want to compare yourself to the entire Fortune 1000 list, you can download a copy of the spreadsheet here and sort the data however you please.




The summaries below show some high level themes related to positive ratings, negative ratings and interview difficulty.




After reviewing thousands of data points, we learned that the interview ratings for Fortune 1000 companies were positive about 62% of the time — as an average.


Average Percentage of Positive Ratings For All Companies = 62%


Companies with the Highest Percentage of Positive Ratings:

  1. Brown-Forman (75%)
  2. Coca-Cola Bottling Co (75%)
  3. Hormel (73%)


Companies with the Lowest Percentage of Negative Ratings:*

  1. Hormel (7%)
  2. Kellogg Company (8%)
  3. Tyson Foods (8%)

*Having a low % of negative ratings is a positive signal.


Want to see how your company compares?   Look up your own Glassdoor profile here and access the spreadsheet containing all the data here:




Not all data on GlassDoor is positive.   Candidates often go to the site to vent their frustrations with employers who don’t have a buttoned up interview process.     In fact, the average percentage of negative ratings is about 16%.   In addition, Glassdoor allows candidates to select “Neutral” as a rating for their interview experience.   The average percentage of neutral ratings is 21%.


Average Percentage of Negative Ratings For All Companies = 15.5%


If you would like to see which of your peer companies had the highest percentage of negative ratings, please download the full data set here:




Candidates can also rate how difficult a company’s interviews are.   While this is totally subjective, it represents another data point worth paying attention to.


Overall Average Interview Difficulty = 2.68 out of 5.0


The 3 companies rated as having the most difficult interviews:

  1. Altria (3.4)
  2. General Mills (3.2)
  3. The Hershey Company & Kellogg (3.0)


To see the companies rated as having the least difficult interviews, access the full spreadsheet which contains all 1,000 companies from the Fortune 1000 and their individual interview ratings:




While “data” is always a great way to analyze an interview process, it’s equally as important to review the anecdotes behind the numbers.   That’s why the comments on Glassdoor can be so powerful for a company looking to improve their process.   Below are the top 5 themes that we uncovered while reviewing tens of thousands of comments.


Top 5 comment themes for the LOWEST RATED companies:


–  COMMUNICATION:  I never heard back from the company about my status.  I was told I would be moving to the next step, but it never happened.


–  TIMING:  I was told that I would hear back within a certain time frame, but it was not accurate.


–  CANDIDATE EXPERIENCE:  Interviewers were rude. Process was impersonal. Intimidation tactics used.


–  INTERVIEWER QUALITY:  Interviewers were not on the same page about the requirements of the role.  Interviewers not engaged. Outdated interview questions.


–  PROCESS – There were too many rounds of interviews with too many people over too long a period of time.


Top 5 comment themes for the HIGHEST RATED companies:


–  INTERVIEWER QUALITY:  Interviewers were engaged, open and honest about the demands of the job.


–  CANDIDATE EXPERIENCE:  Everyone was nice and took time to make me feel comfortable.


–  INTERVIEW COORDINATION:  The process was well organized.  They worked around my schedule.


–  INTERVIEW QUESTIONS:  Interviewers asked a variety of technical, experiential and behavioral questions.


–  COMMUNICATION:  They followed up with me quickly.  I was informed of my status in a timely fashion.




We thought about doing some further number crunching to find correlations between different sets of data.


Perhaps certain industries naturally had higher difficulty scores.   Or perhaps companies that primarily hire University students naturally have a higher percentage of positive ratings.    Or maybe, companies in big cities have more negative ratings and more aggressive comments.


But then we realized…none of that really matters to the candidate!


Candidates don’t look at your low ratings on Glassdoor and say to themselves, “You know, that rating is probably correlated with the level of candidates they hire and on par with the industry average.”


All they see are the numbers.


And, sometimes, they make their decision to apply, interview or accept a job offer – or not to do those things — based on what they see.


Finding correlations that soften harsh ratings might help some Talent Acquisition leaders tell themselves a better story about why they have low scores, but at the end of the day, CANDIDATES ONLY CARE ABOUT THE VANITY METRICS.





Knowing that candidates don’t care about what drives your interview ratings leads to a very simple call to action for companies who aren’t happy with how they’ve been rated…


If you don’t like your ratings, do something to improve your interview process.


Train your hiring teams how to interview, start using interview guides, get back to your candidates in a timely fashion, respond to comments on Glassdoor, or audit your entire hiring experience.


While Glassdoor metrics won’t make-or-break your employment brand, the data is relevant and should not be ignored because candidates are using it in record numbers.




As with any ratings and reviews site, you have to take the information with a grain of salt.   It’s more common for a disgruntled candidate to leave feedback than a happy candidate.   This can cause ratings and reviews to skew towards the negative.    This is compounded by the fact that the reviewers can choose to be anonymous.


All that said…every company is subject to the same rules on Glassdoor, so overall, it’s safe to analyze the data and compare companies against each other because they’re all using the same scorecard.


If you like recruiting data, Glassdoor has done some excellent in-depth research on other topics related to hiring and talent.  If you’d like to see more, you can find additional studies on their blog.

Get the full data from this research study here:


HireBar - Blog Author Profile - James Colino