Cornerstone Research Interview Questions & Reviews in New York City, NY
Getting an Interview
Summer Analyst Interview (Neutral Experience; Average Interview)
I applied through college or university and the process took 1 week - interviewed at Cornerstone Research in January 2014.
Interview Details – After applying through my campus career center, I was called in for an interview on campus. The interview was short--about 30 minutes--and consisted of typical behavioral questions followed by a short case. They were most interested in hearing about why I wanted to work in economic consulting, and what drew me to Cornerstone specifically. I did not receive a follow-up interview, which would have been in their New York office.
Interview Question – The case was pretty out of the ordinary. Not a typical management consulting case, and not one that involved numbers. More interested in gauging your thinking. Answer Question
Analyst Interview (Neutral Experience; Difficult Interview)
I applied online and the process took 1+ week - interviewed at Cornerstone Research in October 2013.
Interview Details – Applied and interviewed through on-campus recruiting. The process in total took less than two weeks, beginning with one case interview for the first round, two case interviews two days later for the second round, and 5 back-to-back case interviews on-site for the final round two days after that. Cases had to do with a wide variety of topics, including graphs for analysis. Most were about basic economic principles and intuition about calculating damages.
Interview Question – A case about put and call options, and how to price them relative to each other. Answer Question
Analyst Interview (Positive Experience; Average Interview)
I applied through an employee referral and the process took 2 months - interviewed at Cornerstone Research.
Interview Details – Had a first round interview with 2 Analysts. First 10 minutes or so asked the usual questions (Tell me about yourself, Why do you want to work in the industry/Cornerstone in particular, Tell me about a time you work in/had trouble in a group, What were your favorite Econ classes, Tell me about a time you were faced with a deadline). After that were 2 cases.
Most of the cases I had were basically similar to a valuation case, where you need to try to estimate some amount of damages or value through a regression. Key here is to have some idea of what your dependent variable should be as well as variable of note(what you're trying to measure). These two are pretty easy and you should get them right away, there are usually a few different ways to set it up also. Basic econometrics here.
What they really try to harp on is adding in plenty of controls. Make sure to add external elements(mainly overall market conditions, so the stock market often works. Also can think of competition's performance among other things) as well as firm specific factors(input costs, ect.)
Just be sure to brainstorm with them, say things like, wouldn't this be something we'd like to measure/hold constant?
Second round was exactly the same format, but with one higher level and one analyst. In addition to valuation, Had a case here looking at financial performance of a company before and after an event(event study). For this you just really need to know basic finance econ, things like alpha/beta, expected return/abnormal return, SML formula, ect. Had to explain why you cant look straight at stock drop in order to measure actual losses.
First two rounds they were super encouraging in the cases, they'd be like yes, exactly right, or, what else do you think would help here?
Final round was in office, 5 interviews and lunch. Format was exactly the same for each one, same questions at the beginning and then a case. Had 3 Analysts and 2 upper level. Cases were similar but some were really tricky. Totally bombed one of them, had no idea what he wanted so I was just kind of talked at him.
Something different about this round is that 3/5 of them were not as encouraging/helpful in the cases(probably on purpose). Thought I bombed one and another two didn't get much feedback, so wasn't feeling too good about it, but don't worry if they aren't really being positive, just keeping plowing ahead.
There's a lunch as well, but non evaluative(for me). Was a good time to ask more personal questions.
Interview Question – Explain how a Beta is calculated, Tell me something that you are most proud of that may not be reflected on your resume. View Answer
Negotiation Details – No negotiation possible but I didn't press them hard on it. Was by far the best offer I received, compared to competitors
Analyst Interview (Positive Experience; Easy Interview)
I applied through college or university and the process took 1+ week - interviewed at Cornerstone Research in September 2012.
Interview Details – 8-10 45 minute cases. Most of them are very canned typical cases with easy responses. A few are remarkably difficult but the interviewer itself is usually dumb enough to fall for canned responses. Each analyst is required to create a case, and that case is administered by that analyst throughout his Cornerstone career. You'll do well if you ask a current employee friend of yours what the cases are like, since the cases hardly change.
Interview Question – Walk me through a regression View Answer
Negotiation Details – No negotiation and a below-market offer.
Summer Analyst Interview (Neutral Experience; Difficult Interview)
I applied through college or university and the process took 1+ week - interviewed at Cornerstone Research in January 2013.
Interview Details – I will be studying abroad in the spring, so I began the recruitment earlier. First round was by phone, two 45minutes cases. I nailed the first case, but did not do well on the second one. The first one was estimating damages from patent violation, and second one was on mutual fund. Be sure to take a look at their published works--it helped me a lot with the first case.
Interview Question – Mutual funds Answer Question
Associate, Economic Consultant Interview (Positive Experience; Average Interview)
I applied online and the process took 2 weeks - interviewed at Cornerstone Research in December 2012.
Interview Details – In-office visit at NYC. I had two interviews with them. Each one was about 45 minutes. In each interview, we discussed a business case and they asked questions related to the case. People are very nice and the questions are very typical.
Interview Question – The questions were very typical and I had no unexpected questions. Answer Question
Research Associate Interview (Neutral Experience; Difficult Interview)
I applied online and the process took a day - interviewed at Cornerstone Research in December 2012.
Interview Details – The HR person emailed me and set up the interview, two back to back 45 minute ones. I met a research associate and a principal during the interview. They asked me about my job market paper, and why I chose the field I was working at. Then they gave me a case to work on. Both cases are about litigation issues of salary.
Interview Question – What is a reasonable salary for a certain industry? View Answer
Summer Associate Interview (Positive Experience; Average Interview)
I applied online and the process took a day - interviewed at Cornerstone Research in February 2012.
Interview Details – 2 interviews with 2 different employees. They asked about my research, then presented 2 case studies. You can get a good idea about cases by researching their website.
Interview Question – Tell me about your research View Answer
Summer Analyst Interview (Positive Experience; Difficult Interview)
The process took a day - interviewed at Cornerstone Research in December 2011.
Interview Details – Interview process consisted of 3 1:1 on-site interviews, all back-to-back. The interviewers were all very friendly and relatively laid-back.
Interview Question – The interviewers usually asked how I would approach a given case (such as how to valuate damages, etc.). Each interviewer presented a different case. View Answer
Summer Analyst Interview (Positive Experience; Average Interview)
The process took 2 days - interviewed at Cornerstone Research in February 2012.
Interview Details – I got the interview through the career center. Consisted of a series of 1:1 interviews.
Everything went pretty smoothly. I knew I was on the right track with the case interviews because the interviewer was giving me positive feedback (e.g. "That's exactly right" or "Good suggestion, that's what we actually did when we were working on this case").
Overall, it was a great experience.