CAST Management Consultants
CAST Management Consultants Interview Questions & Reviews
Getting an Interview
Consultant Interview (Neutral Experience; Average Interview)
I applied through college or university and the process took 2 weeks - interviewed at CAST Management Consultants.
Interview Details – Resume drop, Cover letter for campus recruiting. on campus interview (1/2 case;1/2 behavioral)
Interview Question – Case about operational effectiveness Answer Question
Entry-Level Consultant Interview (Positive Experience; Average Interview)
I applied through college or university and the process took 3 weeks - interviewed at CAST Management Consultants in September 2010.
Interview Details – It was a day-long interview -- met with multiple staff, had a business lunch, completed a quantitative and qualitative case. This came after a series of phone interviews, also with cases.
Interview Question – The most difficult part was fitting in to the California-university culture. There was a stigma around not having grown up in So-Cal or going to school there, and it was hard to connect with any of the staff around other topics. Answer Question
Associate Consultant Interview (Positive Experience; Easy Interview)
I applied through college or university and the process took a day - interviewed at CAST Management Consultants in October 2011.
Interview Details – I received my interview request through my college career website. The interview lasted for about 45 minutes and was very casual. The interviewer was very nice and inviting. She asked a few behavioral questions about my role in teams. She also asked me to share something that was not on my resume, which threw me off a little.
The case took up about the last 10-15 minutes. The case was not specific at all. I was asked to only describe my process of gathering the information needed to make a recommendation, rather than actually receiving metrics and giving an actual recommendation. Whenever I would mention something, for example "I would ask the finance dept for (such and such)," the interviewer would ask, "What would you do with that information?" Overall, the case was really easy. Knowledge of business finance and accounting terms would have helped, since it was so abstract.
Interview Question – Case: The CEO of a regional chain of stores wants to build a distribution center. He has asked you whether or not this a good decision. How would you go about finding the answer to this? Answer Question
Associate Consultant Interview (Negative Experience; Easy Interview)
I applied online and the process took 1 week - interviewed at CAST Management Consultants in September 2010.
Interview Details – Horrendous interview process. I followed up with them multiple times just to get some feedback and little was provided. The interviewee spent most the time discussing themselves rather than giving me a chance to express why I felt I would be good for the job.
Interview Question – Tell me a time when you had to overcome a leadership challenge Answer Question
Business Analyst Interview (Positive Experience; Average Interview)
I applied through college or university and the process took 5 days - interviewed at CAST Management Consultants in October 2009.
Interview Details – Initially applied through college career center. Career Center got back to me notifying me of my selection to interview with the recruiter at the given day (5 days from when I applied). I was free to choose a time slot.
Interview lasted about 30 minutes. It started with me going over my resume. The interviewer then asked me some behavioral questions and why I wanted to work at CAST. Finally, he asked me a case question which I had to solve.
The whole process was simple and the recruiter was very nice; he made me feel comfortable and easy.
Interview Question – We are consulting for a grocery store chain in California who want to increase sales and reduce costs. What is your suggestion? Answer Question
Associate Consultant Interview (Positive Experience; Average Interview)
I applied through college or university and the process took 1 week - interviewed at CAST Management Consultants in November 2007.
Interview Details – Interview consisted of 3 rounds: 1st round (on-campus) - primarily "fit" questions followed by a fairly straight forward case study...economics/business/banking background not neccessary as long as you can think critically and you're familiar with some terminology like "benchmarking", "best practices", etc. (in fact, my case was entirely unrelated to banking). 2nd round - phone interview, mostly fit questions, Q&A, and some "selling" on the part of the interviewer. 3rd round (downtown LA office) - more "fit" and situational questions, followed by a group casestudy, an individual case (more mathematical), a writing sample, Q&A session, and then a formal luncheon and partner presentation. Interviewers are looking for Associates who aren't necessarily the MBA type - they put a lot of time into training Associates and would like to keep them around for a while...there are a number of Managers/VPs at the firm who started off as Associates. This is great if you want to be a consultant for life, but if you aspire to higher education, asking for letters of recommendation here can be a tricky balancing act. Be sure to emphasize the benefits of working at a small firm in your interview, and read-up on the company website, client list, and practice areas.
- Walk me through your resume, and, have you ever had to deal with large amounts of data? View Answer
- What would you do if a client refused to return your phone calls? View Answer
Negotiation Details – Not much room for negotiation at the junior level. If you have to relocate, they might give you an allowance for that, but overall, signing bonus and starting salary are based on industry standard. Some perks of the job are being weeded out with the economic downturn, e.g., over-the-top spring retreats...but for the most part, this is a conservative firm that values face time and considers slightly higher than average bonuses ample enough compensation (read: no fancy happy hours on the firm's or clients' tab). CAST does let you keep your travel points though, so IF you get staffed, you'll enjoy the free flights and hotel stays,
Associate Consultant Interview (Neutral Experience)
I applied online and interviewed at CAST Management Consultants.
Interview Details – Prepare for behavioral questions and a mini case. The mini case was not nearly as challenging as I expected it to be.
Interview Question – What is a recent business reading that you have done recently and why was it interesting Answer Question
Associate Interview (Positive Experience; Average Interview)
The process took 4 weeks - interviewed at CAST Management Consultants in October 2010.
Interview Details – Interviewer was easy to talk to, worked as both head recruiter and as a associate consultant. First portion of interview was behavioral. Behavioral portion was somewhat informal--interviewer structured follow-up questions away from the typical behavioral questions. Interviewer really tries to get to know you on a very personal level. On a somewhat technical level, asks you to speculate on the finance industry in the next 5 years, given their specialty in the industry. Case interview portion was about 30 minutes, and was very open-ended. Despite CAST's specialty in the financial industry, interviewer revealed case was intentionally unrelated to that sector.
Interview Question – Speculate on the state of the financial industry in the next five years. Answer Question