I applied through other source and the process took 2+ weeks - interviewed at Exponent in April 2013.
Interview Details – Came for lunch, invited back to give 40 minute talk and interview with ~10 associates.
Interview Question – Not really anything difficult, mostly questions about what I wanted to do... Answer Question
Reason for Declining – Heard from others work life balance is very difficult...sink or swim mentality...
I applied through college or university and the process took 4+ weeks - interviewed at Exponent.
Interview Details – An HR rep came from Exponent (along with some associates) to give a presentation to our department in my university. I talked to the HR rep afterwards, we exchanged emails and set up a phone interview. The phone interview was straight forward, they are just trying to see if you are a good fit to be a consultant. Because of my background, they sent me out to the Menlo Park office for an on-site interview.
The on-site interview lasted the day (early morning to ~ 4pm). Started with an interview with HR, discussed comp etc. Then I gave a seminar on my research, the questions were fairly easy since they were not experts in the work I do. Then I had a number of meetings with various associates. Some higher level managers gave me questions on past projects and asked me to think of a way to come up with a solution. At times, this was challenging but they gave hints. It really wasn't that difficult though if you can think a problem through and also think on your feet. A lot of associates asked why I wanted to be a consultant. Fairly easy to BS that answer, just tell them you are done with research and looking for ways to apply your background to areas outside of academia. Also, tell them you are interested in high-pace projects, multi-tasking, working with a lot of people, etc. Interview ended, I got an offer in the mail within a few days.
Interview Question – Eh, nothing really that difficult. They told me to analyze why a part failed. Was kinda weird at first but the manager helped me along. Answer Question
Reason for Declining – Was an interesting position, but it felt really 'sales'-y. I would suck as a salesman (don't think I'd enjoy it either) so I said no. They came back with a higher offer but it wasn't worth it to me.
I applied through college or university and the process took 2 months - interviewed at Exponent.
Interview Details – After expressing interest in the company I was invited to lunch at the Menlo Park office. Talked to several people from the group I was interested in working. Though these lunches are considered informal, you ARE being evaluated and it pays off to be well prepared and research the people you'll be meeting.
I then had a phone interview with a senior manager - this is a great opportunity to get your questions answered and to show genuine interest in the position.
After the phone conversation, was invited for a full day interview, which included a technical presentation. The presentation is extremely important: make it as broad as possible while emphasizing your ability to work with others and solve problems. If you've gotten this far in the process they know you have good technical skills, now you have to prove that you have the ability to communicate effectively ("give me a 3min summary of your research" was a popular question) and answer questions on the fly.
Interview Question – The most "interview-y" type questions were asked by the HR representative. They're not difficult, but they expect concise answers:
how do you plan to market yourself?
what do you think Exponent does?
what do consultants do?
how much of your project was team-based?
how did you hear about us? Answer Question
Negotiation Details – Asked for signing bonus,, was told it wasn't available, signed my contract a few days later.
I applied through college or university and the process took 2+ weeks - interviewed at Exponent in August 2013.
Interview Details – If you can get an interview, you have the academic credentials. What Exponent is interested in mostly is a fit of personality and a fit of culture.
First, you must be a dynamic, flexible, confident, and socially capable human being. This is definitely not true in many other 'technical' jobs, but it's true here.
Second, you must be a generalist. People who are focused on their own tiny area of research would not do well with the diversity of work Exponent performs, and are not hired.
Third, keep an open and fresh mind- your interviewers will probably begin by saying "So your background is in electronic thin films, right? Alright, I have a corroded shovel problem here for you to solve."
Finally, you must know how to communicate technical concepts clearly and concisely, without getting bogged down by details. Interviewers are not looking for technical mastery- they are looking for creative associations, problem-solving toolsets, and professional honesty.
Also...don't screw up the presentation. Prepare. Seriously.
Interview Question – This is not a research job, nor an engineer position. If you're unsure of what is involved with consulting and characterizes the daily life, don't bother applying until you've done some research. Answer Question
Negotiation Details – I didn't negotiate- didn't want to start on the wrong foot, and the compensation is enough for the lifestyle requirements.
I applied through college or university and the process took 4+ weeks - interviewed at Exponent in September 2013.
Interview Details – After informal two phone interview, they invite me for the onsight interview. Onsight interview was quite professional, meeting with 6 engineeris and presenting my research for an hour. They were very gentle and nice and looks professional. The interview took for around 6 hours.
Interview Question – How do you market yourself? Why do you want the consulting work? Answer Question
I applied through college or university and the process took 2 weeks - interviewed at Exponent in May 2013.
Interview Details – The formal interview process involved a full-day commitment. I had to give a 45-minute presentation and was scheduled to attend 10 30-minute one-on-one interviews. While the agenda seemed scary, the employees were very friendly.
Interview Question – How do you plan to market yourself? Answer Question
I applied through college or university and the process took 2 months - interviewed at Exponent in May 2012.
Interview Details – I was approached by someone from Exponent during a college career fair. I kept in touch with an HR representative until I was ready to look for a job a few years later. Soon after, I had a phone conversation with one of the hiring managers in Menlo Park and, independently, in their DC office for another position. I had lunch with a few employees from the local LA office. Soon after I was invited to an onsite interview with them in Menlo Park. I was asked to give a presentation on my research; about 3 staff members attended and didn't ask anything technical.
Most of the day was spent with one-on-one conversations about the culture, differences between a researcher and consultant, etc. They are very interested in whether or not the candidate would make a good consultant (i.e. bring in money for the firm); strong communication skills are sought after, as the technical qualifications aren't really emphasized. The nature of their work doesn't require a lot of technical background. The visit lasted from 9 AM to 4 PM with lunch provided by the firm.
Most interviewers were quite polite and honest about the good and bad points of the job. There were certainly a few A-type personalities which attempt to intimidate you, but those are in the minority. The firm's main emphasis is on billable hours. In fact, the employees' cumulative hours are published right inside the offices. Bonuses and promotions are almost entirely chosen based on these hours. In short, the more time you spend at the office, the better you look. The progression up their ladder is very transparent. A few employees did make reference to difficult politics and undue credit. Most of them seemed too busy to really talk to adequately. The overall impression that I get is that is can be a somewhat harsh corporate culture to work in.
Interview Question – Why do you want to be a consultant? Do you know what you are getting into? View Answer
I applied through a recruiter and the process took 3 weeks - interviewed at Exponent in December 2012.
Interview Details – Contacted by a recruiter who arranged a phone interview. Seemed like I was well qualified, so an in person interview was arranged. I was given the application by e-mail to bring in with me. I met with 4 people, the last was the HR person who was to determine if my salary expectations were inline with the job. My impression is they were. The interview went well. I was good at delivering the answers to the technical questions in most cases and got along great with all I interviewed with. To me, it seemed like I was their man for the job.
I applied through a recruiter and the process took 2+ months - interviewed at Exponent in April 2010.
Interview Details – They are eager to hire new or soon-to-be PhDs from top universities. After being contacted by a recruiter, you will speak with an employee in the practice you're interested, and if there is a fit, you will come in for job talk, which can be any relevant research you want to present.
I applied for a position in the LA office and it was filled after my phone call with a current employee. There was a position open in Menlo Park available a month later, and when I made it known I was interested in working in that city, I was called in to interview in person. I waited about three weeks for their offer and accepted over the phone. They paid for moving expenses and I started about one month later.
Interview Question – As long as you appear competent during the presentation of your own research, you should do fine. I wasn't posed any difficult questions. You will be naturally judged for how well your personality fits in with the other consultants and whether you would be better suited for academia. Answer Question
I applied online - interviewed at Exponent in May 2012.
Interview Details – After a phone screening with HR, I was asked to go to the Menlo Park office for a series of interviews with the hiring manager and others. At the end of the interviews, Exponent indicated they would follow up with me in 1-2 weeks to go over any next steps. 2 weeks rolled by and I did not hear back. I followed up by phone with HR and was told they were looking to make a decision "relatively soon" and would get back to me. Almost two months later I have still not heard from them. The least Exponent could do is send a form rejection email. Its reflects poorly on the company to not follow up with candidates one way or the other after someone takes time to go to their office for interviews.
Interview Question – Previous experiences? Where do you see yourself in five years? Answer Question
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