Getting an Interview
Getting an Interview
Interviews for Top Jobs at Cambridge Associates, LLC
- Consulting Associate (35)
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Helpful (3)No OfferPositive ExperienceDifficult Interview
I applied through a recruiter – interviewed at Cambridge Associates, LLC (Changping, Beijing (China)) in January 2013.
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.
- why not going into investment management why investment consulting? why more spread money among more portfolio managers can achieve better diversification. 1 Answer
Helpful (6)No OfferPositive ExperienceDifficult Interview
I applied online. The process took 2 weeks – interviewed at Cambridge Associates, LLC (Arlington, VA) in January 2013.
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.
- No OfferPositive ExperienceDifficult Interview
I applied online. The process took 5 days – interviewed at Cambridge Associates, LLC (Arlington, VA) in February 2013.
I went through a phone screening, which is very in depth, but mainly asked behavioral questions. They are trying to determined if you will be a good fit. Got called back for an open house, which lasted about 2 and half hours. Main thing to focus on is the presentation about the company. The interview will be heavy on what you've gained from the presentation.
- What is your definition of good customer service? Answer Question
Helpful (2)No OfferNeutral ExperienceDifficult Interview
I applied online. The process took 1+ week – interviewed at Cambridge Associates, LLC (London, England (UK)) in February 2012.
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.
- How would you invest 1 million dollars? Answer Question
- No OfferNegative ExperienceDifficult Interview
I applied through college or university. The process took 4 weeks – interviewed at Cambridge Associates, LLC (Arlington, VA) in March 2013.
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.
- "What are you weaknesses" question from every person I interviewed with. Answer Question
Helpful (1)No OfferNegative ExperienceDifficult Interview
I applied online. The process took 1+ week – interviewed at Cambridge Associates, LLC (Arlington, VA).
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.
- What department do you want to work in and why Answer Question
- No OfferPositive ExperienceDifficult Interview
I applied through college or university. The process took 3 weeks – interviewed at Cambridge Associates, LLC (Boston, MA) in October 2011.
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.
- 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
- Declined OfferNegative ExperienceDifficult Interview
I applied online. The process took 2 weeks – interviewed at Cambridge Associates, LLC (Arlington, VA) in May 2013.
Filled out online app; called the same day. First step in the process was a screening call. If you pass that step, they invite you in for an informative meeting with multiple candidates (in my case, 2 others) and three different interviews.
Those interviews were tough. Each person comes in with a different personality and tries to throw you off guard. For me, this went well and I was invited back for the last step.
The last step in the process is being brought into their office to review what you will be doing on a daily basis. After the walk-through, you have a 30 minute interview with the director. Again, tough questions. You cannot "BS" your way through the interviews; Cambridge is checking for inconsistency.
I Was offered the job the next day.
- What was the last book you read? 1 Answer
Reasons for Declining
$$. Seems like an interested opportunity, but the pay is way too low for the location.
Helpful (1)No OfferPositive ExperienceDifficult Interview
I applied online. The process took 5 days – interviewed at Cambridge Associates, LLC (Arlington, VA) in August 2013.
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.
- 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?" 1 Answer
Helpful (2)No OfferPositive ExperienceDifficult Interview
I applied through a recruiter. The process took 5 weeks – interviewed at Cambridge Associates, LLC (Boston, MA) in March 2013.
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.
- 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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