Burson-Marsteller

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Burson-Marsteller Interview Questions & Reviews

Updated Jul 9, 2014
All Interviews Received Offers

Getting an Interview  

48%
23%
10%

Interview Experience  

72%
17%
10%

Interview Difficulty  

Average Difficulty
40 candidate interviews
Relevance Date Difficulty
in

Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Easy Interview

, Healthcare Interview

, Healthcare

Interviewed at Burson-Marsteller

Interview Details – I applied online through the summer internship job posting and was contacted to do a phone interview. The questions were friendly and focused on my resume, my interests, and what I knew about the company and public relations in general. I also completed an in-person interview during which I met with an HR staffer who was very nice and enthusiastic.

Interview Question – Standard interview questions; nothing surprising.   Answer Question


No Offer

Negative Experience

Average Interview

Harold Burson Summer Intern Interview

Harold Burson Summer Intern

I applied online and the process took 4+ weeks - interviewed at Burson-Marsteller.

Interview Details – Submitted application on website- required two writing samples: 1) Analyze a recent faced by a company and how it was handled. What would you have done differently? 2) Create a press release announcing your hire.

Interview Question – Please explain a difficult communications situation.   Answer Question


Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Average Interview

Harold Burson Summer Intern Interview

Harold Burson Summer Intern
Washington, DC

I applied through an employee referral and the process took 3 months - interviewed at Burson-Marsteller in March 2014.

Interview Details – Applied in January 2014 and got an e-mail from HR in Feburary reqesting an initial interview by phone. The interview with HR was very easy-going and the woman was very nice. About two weeks later I got another e-mail saying that my application, along with a handful of others, had been submitted to a practice for consideration. I got an e-mail from the practice to schedule a phone interview, which was with a few members of the practice. They were very easy-going and friendly as well. No cureballs. We spent a lot of time discussing my previous internship experiences and how this would relate to my work at BM. After anxiouls waiting for a few weeks, I got a phone call from HR in early April telling me that I had been accepted into the program.

Interview Question – From HR, "How do you express your creativity?"   View Answer

Negotiation Details – None, because it is an internship.


Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Average Interview

Harold Burson Summer Intern Interview

Harold Burson Summer Intern

I applied through an employee referral and the process took 3 months - interviewed at Burson-Marsteller.

Interview Details – A standard HR screen was followed by another set of phone interviews, each with two mid to senior level client-facing teams. Standard questions included experience, problem solving, why this agency in particular, etc. Enthusiasm and genuine interest in the specific team is encouraged. Showing how you can be a problem solver is a plus.

Interview Question – What brand do you most identify with?   View Answer

Negotiation Details – None, due to the nature of the position.


No Offer

Positive Experience

Easy Interview

Associate Interview

Associate

I applied through a recruiter and the process took a day - interviewed at Burson-Marsteller in September 2012.

Interview Details – HR called me after she saw me looking at them on LinkedIn. Call went well, she said she wanted me to come in for an in-person, but that she was going on vacation. She never confirmed time / place, etc. and when she returned from vacation 10 days later, she said they were no longer in need of that role, but to keep in touch. I did and we scheduled another interview. That was cancelled last minute as well. By the time we actually scheduled interview three, I had signed an offer. Overall - found them to be super disorganized and a waste of my time.

Interview Question – So….tell me a little bit about yourself.   Answer Question


Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Difficult Interview

Senior Associate Interview

Senior Associate
Chicago, IL

I applied through an employee referral and the process took 2 months - interviewed at Burson-Marsteller in November 2012.

Interview Details – Great hiring process, vet you carefully and make offers as needed (for new clients, etc.); must justify your salary

Interview Question – There are no difficult questions if you're qualified to work here   Answer Question

Negotiation Details – No comment for this section


Accepted Offer

Neutral Experience

Average Interview

Harold Burson Summer Internship Program - Consumer and Brand Marketing Intern Interview

Harold Burson Summer Internship Program - Consumer and Brand Marketing Intern

I applied online - interviewed at Burson-Marsteller in March 2013.

Interview Details – Went through two rounds of phone interviews. First round was with a recruiter in the NY office at an unscheduled time. The questions were challenging, but fair. Second round was with a person from my office of choice. The questions were more simple and personable. Both interviewers were very friendly. Received a phone call telling me of my acceptance to the program.

Interview Question – How do you personally define "strategy?"   Answer Question


Declined Offer

Negative Experience

Easy Interview

Senior Associate Interview

Senior Associate
San Francisco, CA

I applied through a recruiter and the process took 2 months - interviewed at Burson-Marsteller in November 2013.

Interview Details – A recruiter reached out for a relevant position in the corporate/financial practice and after an initial screening call where we agreed to move forward, didn't hear back for several weeks...was later told that someone else had been chosen for the position after I took the lead on following up. Just days after that, the recruiter reached out again because the other candidate had fallen through.

I had several brief phone calls with the account team members I would work with and the account lead, as well as one in-person interview with another SA that lasted no more than 10 minutes. After the interviews, I took a timed (1 hr 15 mins) skills test that consisted of a brief launch plan for a consumer product, a press release and a client memo. The skills test was simple enough, but seemed completely irrelevant to the position.

The recruiter informed me that the firm was moving forward with an offer it would take 1-2 weeks to get a written offer approved. However, it took 4 weeks to get a written offer because the global CFO was in meetings, and apparently, the global CFO deals with this kind of minutiae on a daily basis.

Interview Question – Why are you looking to leave [competitor firm] for Burson-Marsteller?   View Answer

Reason for Declining – The interview process left something to be desired. No one could really articulate why I should be interested in the firm over my current agency, which is much larger and, arguably, better in many respects. The month I waited between getting a verbal offer and the actual written offer made me question their efficiency as a public company, and gave me time to do some more digging on the company. A number of high profile departures had been reported, many going so far as to mention they "hated working for a public company in an earnings-focused environment," its own parent company publicly commenting on how disappointing the firm's performance had been while all the other independent firms continue to grow tremendously. I got the impression Burson-Marsteller is a sinking ship, and no was able to convince me otherwise. When I declined the offer, the recruiter did not ask for any feedback on what prompted my decision, so I anticipate they will always struggle to recruit from their superior competitors.


Accepted Offer

Neutral Experience

Senior Associate Interview

Senior Associate

Interviewed at Burson-Marsteller

Interview Details – Contacted by recruiter. Had a phone interview with recruiter, then called in for first round of meetings with different levels, then a second round, followed by a writing test.

Interview Question – All typical questions   Answer Question


Accepted Offer

Neutral Experience

Average Interview

Associate Interview

Associate
Chicago, IL

I applied through other source and the process took 3 weeks - interviewed at Burson-Marsteller.

Interview Details – Expect the typical HR screener before they pass you on to the team. Conversations with the team were conducted in person and via phone, since B-M teams tend to collaborate virtually across the country. The writing test is thorough but nothing to be afraid of: a grammar check and a hypothetical press release.

Interview Question – They had me interview with the client, which was unusual, who asked, "I don't want to hear 'we can't turn this content into media coverage.' How are you going to take what we give you and run with it?"   Answer Question

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