As an office worker I’m sure you know the drill for the interview process. Walk up to the huge office block, ask at ground floor reception for the company office, take the lift to the correct floor and follow the giant signs to the correct office. Inside is the familiar site of cubicle farms or open-plan desks and computers. Everyone in suits doing their stuff. You are led into a meeting room with desk and whiteboard and the interview takes place. You might be even be shown round the office to meet your potential workmates and also shown the cafeteria before being taken back to reception.

I’ve had enough interviews to work out the drill by now. There’s nothing wrong with this process, its just standard corporate hospitality. But over the years I’ve interviewed at some unique places that really left an impression. Here’s my top 3 most amazing places I ever interviewed at.

3. On the top floor next to Tokyo station.

Imagine it, the top of one of the largest skyscrapers in Tokyo, right next to one of the busiest train stations in the world. And an interview with one of the most well-known financial companies! Could this be the height of corporate success? Aside from the amazing views, the free breakfast buffet, the Apple-store-style glass staircase, the glass-walled meeting rooms with giant cinema-screen sized TV screens, drawing on the walls was allowed. You could draw on the walls. It turns out they just had huge glass-panelled white boards, but there was a few moments where I was just in awe. I love drawing on walls. Finally, in the main lobby, they had a financial stats ticker running straight underneath the floor! Who could possibly need this information under their feet that you couldn’t get from a TV screen or mobile phone?


2. A world leading computer company with 4000 employees in one building.

A 2 storey lobby with their product range on display, each one of them is a useable demonstration. There is no geek in the world who can resist. Add to that a huge mosaic of the Mona Lisa, made entirely out of PC motherboards (This is the only one I could actually find google images for). For the interview, we got Starbucks, and went to the 2nd floor of the cafeteria. I was shown the Mos-Burger, the buffet restaurant and the waffle-stand. Later on I was shown the Gym, the Swimming pool, Basketball court, Massage shop and Dancing classroom. There was more variety of services in this single building than in my home town of 145,000 people.


1. In a Naval Shipyard

This place was the only one on this list where I actually got the job! I needed 3 ID’s to get in. First was in to the Shipyard complex, the Second to show to the guard of our particular building site and the third to open door to the office. It took a 15 minute drive inside the complex to get to the office building, passing giant ship docks, factories and production bays. Occasionally I’d pass a submarine or a naval ship that came in to dock. These were all very impressive, giant structures and were changing all the time. Inside, the company offices were also amazing. The site was built for over 200, but only 40 worked there. Huge empty factories were there that I would sometimes take a walk around. It was eerie to say the least. The site has since been closed, but for a software job it was the most interesting place I’d ever seen.

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