Cambridge Associates, LLC
3.5 of 5 111 reviews
www.cambridgeassociates.com Boston, MA 1000 to 5000 Employees

Cambridge Associates, LLC Interview Questions & Reviews

Updated Apr 1, 2014

Getting the Interview 

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Interview Experience 

43%
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26%

Interview Difficulty 

103 candidate interviews Back to all interview questions
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No Offer

Positive Experience

Difficult Interview

Research Associate Interview

Anonymous Interview Candidate
Boston, MA

I applied through an employee referral and the process took 4 weeks - interviewed at Cambridge Associates, LLC.

Interview Details – Three rounds to the whole process. First round was initial phone screening with HR; second round was a thirty minute phone call with two research associates with emphasis on fit a well as broad financial knowledge; third and final round was a "super day" type interview at their Boston office where I interviewed with 6 different people. Needed to prepare a case study for the final round that was pretty technical.

Interview Question – Case study for final round. Needed to really know your stuff as far as financial and business analysis and   Answer Question

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No Offer

Neutral Experience

Difficult Interview

Investment Performance Analyst Interview

Investment Performance Analyst
Arlington, VA

I applied online and the process took 2 days - interviewed at Cambridge Associates, LLC in September 2013.

Interview Details – 1. Thirty minute phone interview with relatively basic questions about my background and desire to work with the company.
2. Flew out for an interview that consisted of a 30 minute presentation and three separate 30 minute interviews. The first interviewer quizzed me on the history of the company and their clients, and he also me the names of the two women who gave me the presentation to throw me off a little. The rest of the interview was pretty standard, as he tried to gather info about my background and if I would be a good fit for the role. The remaining two interviews were much the same, and the process got easier and more comfortable with each passing round.
3. I felt the interviews went well, and I was told that I would receive a decision on another round of interviews within one week. After nearly two weeks, I emailed the recruiter and she failed to answer a series of emails until nearly a month later. The reason she gave for me not advancing didn't seem very valid.

Interview Question – Why do you think you haven't been employed yet?   Answer Question

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1 person found this helpful

No Offer

Positive Experience

Difficult Interview

Summer Associate Interview

Summer Associate
Boston, MA

I applied through a recruiter and the process took 5 weeks - interviewed at Cambridge Associates, LLC in March 2013.

Interview Details – I was initially contacted by a recruiter at the end of January 2013. After submitting an application and two academic references I had a phone interview with a second-year associate who asked primarily personal/fit questions, nothing technical. The on-site interview in Boston was about a week later. That consisted of three 30-minute interviews, each with 1-2 current associates. The morning culminated with a lunch interview with a fourth CA associate.

Interview Question – None of the questions were particularly difficult. The crux of the interview centered around a case interview delivering a recommendation to a client about an asset allocation strategy giving a variety of asset classes with varying avg. annual returns and standard deviations given the client's risk/expected return requirements   Answer Question

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Negative Experience

Difficult Interview

Junior Research Associate Interview

Junior Research Associate
Arlington, VA

I applied through college or university and the process took 4 weeks - interviewed at Cambridge Associates, LLC in March 2013.

Interview Details – Multiple rounds of interviews

First round was an initial phone screening. Lasted less than half an hour with questions about resume and basic behavioral questions. A few days later, I got a call to come in for the Open House interview round.

Open house interview round with multiple candidates together for a round robbin interview. The round started off with a presentation given by current or former Junior Associates to give a background of the company and position. Lasted about 45 minutes. After that was a round of two interviews, one with a manager and one with HR. The manager interviewer didn't seem too personable, and it was a bit difficult getting good back and forth discussion with him. Both interviewers asked the "what is your weakness" question. The answer would be brought up in later interviews.

Round after that was about a two hour interview process. It began with additional overview of the position and showing the system that would be used to track information. After that was a round table discussion with three employees working in the position being interviewed for to give an "employee" view of what you would be doing. Then there was a "practical" component that required writing an email based on a list of information needed to be gathered. It ended with an in-person interview with the manager of the group they were considering you for. For me, it was the same manager from the Open House.

Did not enjoy the manager interview. The manager was abrasive and seemed over-confident in his abilities. He seemed to treat the position like grunt work but expected a high level of intelligence/capability, mostly trying to prod at any response that he didn't think was good enough. The majority of the time, it felt more like an inquisition than an interview. A few questions bordered on inappropriate, asking about my emotional state (because his abrasive personality got me a bit flustered) and questioning work ethic (I was essentially told I didn't have an appropriate work ethic because I wasn't a college athlete and didn't work two jobs in college to support myself).

Overall the interview process was good except for the time spent with the manager I would be working under. Had I not interviewed with him, I probably would have wanted the job. I accepted a job at another company before hearing back about the interview, although I would not have accepted had it been offered.

Interview Question – "What are you weaknesses" question from every person I interviewed with.   Answer Question

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Positive Experience

Difficult Interview

Research Associate Interview

Research Associate
Arlington, VA

I applied online and the process took 5 days - interviewed at Cambridge Associates, LLC in August 2013.

Interview Details – Went in to meet with recruiter, manager, and director. All were good people and very professional. Moving from question to question. Everything is written down. Choose words carefully and think. In the end, a test is given with investment performance summaries and need to find one or two mistakes.

Interview Question – Very nice and professional recruiter. Allows you to engage with her via phone regarding your resume and experiences. She asks typical questions, as any phone interview really. However, some questions like "What are two of your weaknesses?" and "Name one thing you like about this job and one thing you dislike the most?"   View Answer

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1 person found this helpful

No Offer

Negative Experience

Difficult Interview

Research Analyst Interview

Research Analyst
Arlington, VA

I applied online and the process took 1+ week - interviewed at Cambridge Associates, LLC.

Interview Details – I applied online, received a phone call to verify my resume, and then brought into the office for a presentation and in person interview. I. Met with one person alone and another team of 2 people. The only thing they care about is that you're going to work as hard as humanly possible for them. The interviewers were tough and definitely tried to throw you off. They ask you specific questions from the presentation trying to test you. They ultimately rubbed me the wrong way. Sometimes they seemed like they were mocking me and the day was a little disorganized.

Interview Question – What department do you want to work in and why   Answer Question

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No Offer

Positive Experience

Difficult Interview

Consulting Associate Interview

Consulting Associate
Boston, MA

I applied through college or university and the process took 3 weeks - interviewed at Cambridge Associates, LLC in October 2011.

Interview Details – On campus interview with one interviewer. Following that, had an informational session in the evening at the office. This was followed by an interview day with 5 interviews, the 3rd being a case interview (that is unlike most case interviews for consulting due to the uniqueness of investment consulting). Then they have a consulting associate take you to lunch, which I assume is informally part of the process as well.

Interview Question – The case. It is unlike other cases you would see, and involves picking the right set of investment managers based on the information you are given.   Answer Question

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Difficult Interview

Consulting Associate Interview

Consulting Associate
London, England (UK)

I applied online and the process took 1+ week - interviewed at Cambridge Associates, LLC in February 2012.

Interview Details – Fairly straightforward interview process. Starts with a phone interview with a current consulting associate who has a year or two's experience, it's a very relaxed conversation about your background, then some basic questions on investments.

Interview Question – How would you invest 1 million dollars?   Answer Question

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Positive Experience

Difficult Interview

Consulting Associate Interview

Anonymous Interview Candidate
Changping, Beijing (China)

I applied through a recruiter - interviewed at Cambridge Associates, LLC in January 2013.

Interview Details – Background:
The position is for their newly opened Beijing office

I send my resume through email. Three weeks later, I recieved a phone call to set me up for a phone interivew and to inform me the approximate length of the interview (30 mins).

1st round : The call came on time. The interviewer begins with "tell me something about youself" and then perceed to the usual resume runthrough, and then ask a few behavior questions like: what are your strength? Later switch to general questions about the company just to see if you have done any research on the company and investment consulting industry in general. "what are Cambridge Associates' competitors?", "why do you want a career in investment consulting?"
My general impression is that they want to see if you are serious enough about the a career in investment consulting. the entire process took about 17 mins. I was told the decition will take a week, but I got a call the next day informing me that I have advanced to the 2nd round.

2nd round: the 2nd round consists of a written test and a case study ( not the case study you see for management consulting firms) More behavior questions but this time it goes really deep. you have 20 mins for the written test. I was given two topics. One is to write some afterthought on the recent finance related news I read, and the other one is to write the steps you will take to communicate with institutional clients. I took choice number one.
The case study has lots of materials. One of the consultant walks me through the entire process. It was about how to pick stocks, managers for institutional clients. ( sharpe ratio, diversifcations, athrimatrical means, covarience, effiency porfolio frontier) There were many graphes to get you going, but i kept thinking afterward that it is almost impossible to keep saying the right answers if I did not major in Finance. Afterwards, I met the other two staff ( small operation) mostly they want to see if you are a good fit for the firm and if you want to stay in Investment Consulting for long. (behavior questions go deeper)

Again, I was told the decition will take a week, but I got a call the next day informing me that I have advanced to the next round.

3rd round: By this stage, I guess the job has come down to only a few candidates (3 or 4) and I know that I have to distinguish myself, but I really don't know how. I know everyone on the shortlist must have the same problem. Anyhow, I prepare the best I could. The first half of the interiew was with someone I think would be the direct supervisor of this position. The qustions are like the ones I encountered on the 2nd interiew, but some easy questions related to Finance as well. The other half of the interview was with the director of the consulting group. Again, More behavior questions like round 2.

Overall, the interviewers were very pleasant and respectful. Most questions are aimed to discover whether your goals and interests are in line with the company's.

Interview Question – why not going into investment management why investment consulting? why more spread money among more portfolio managers can achieve better diversification.   View Answer

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3 people found this helpful

No Offer

Positive Experience

Difficult Interview

Junior Associate Interview

Junior Associate
Arlington, VA

I applied online and the process took 2 weeks - interviewed at Cambridge Associates, LLC in January 2013.

Interview Details – Applied through the LinkedIn posting.

Started off with a phone interview which was pretty basic. They asked about my resume and basically just did a walk-through of my credentials. Making sure your resume is legitimate.

I was called back by HR to come to an extensive "open-house" where me and a couple other candidates were given a more extensive overview of the company, what group we were interviewing with, and what the job entailed, historically.

After the presentations, you go through a rotation of three 30-minute interviews. It was interesting, the order is random, each candidate rotated between the same three guys, who were upper management of the group the job was with. Each guy had different personalities, almost like a weird Good Cop/Bad Cop/Neutral Cop routine. One guy was pretty straight forward, asking about my career goals, some basic situations, as well as gauging how committed to the job I would be (see Most Unexpected question). Another guy was pretty tough, seeming to be purposely not as personable, asking in-depth questions about strengths and weaknesses, as well as how I felt my previous interview went on a scale of 1-10 and why it wasn't a 10 (again, see below). The third guy was very personable, lauding my resume and providing a really good back and forth while discussing my qualifications.

I felt this three-way dynamic was probably more pre-orchestrated than anything, as a means of gauging candidates from multiple angles, and was actually pretty creative, if true.

Sadly, despite what I thought was a really positive conversation all the way around, I got a "going in another direction" email a few days later.

Interview Questions

  • 1 interviewer: Would I have to worry about you leaving for another job in a couple of years after taking the time to train you? (paraphrased)   View Answer
  • 2nd Interviewer: On a scale of 1-10, how was your last interview? Why not a 10?   View Answer

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