Gerson Lehrman Group
Gerson Lehrman Group Interview Questions & Reviews
Getting an Interview
- Popular Job Titles:
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- Research Specialist Support (1)
- EI Research Manager (1)
Associate Interview (Negative Experience; Average Interview)
I applied online and the process took 1 week - interviewed at Gerson Lehrman Group in January 2014.
Interview Details – As I am writing this, there's still a chance that I may hear back from GLG but I highly doubt it. The advice I share is aimed particularly at those who think GLG is slightly outside their area of expertise or not exactly in line with your previous work experience.
I applied through their website as a cousin of mine had used GLG previously through his business and highly recommended them. I was a little anxious because I felt that a position in their Legal and Economic Regulatory Affairs department was a little outside my area of knowledge. I had previous legal experience at previous jobs but it was mostly coordinated projects with my company's legal department. However, I felt that at a company like GLG, as long as you demonstrate decent knowledge, the company would train you with the rest and it seemed like a job where you truly learn-by-doing.
Within a few days, I got an email that they were interested in a phone screening and we arranged it for the next couple days. This gave me a lot of time to really research the company, their business model, their clients, etc. However, i also knew it was just going to be a screening so I may not actually get the opportunity to demonstrate my research.
I couldn't have been more right. The guy on the other line was heavily focused on by education (of which I have a Master's) was in another field, and rather than ask me why I was interested in a change of experience, he just kept asking me questions about why I did my Master's in this particular subject, etc, etc. He never enabled me to say 'okay, i worked here, but this, this and this, would make me a good fit at GLG. It felt a little like an ambush to the point where I was constantly asking myself 'why did this guy even call me?'. In any case, the call went okay, but I just never got the chance to ask relevant questions regarding GLG nor show why I wanted to work there. Instead, I just had to explain over and over, my interest in politics, my Master's, one particular organization that I worked in. I wanted to tell the man 'Look, I know my CV is working against me here, but I still have 3-4 years of good work experience for a mix of public, private, international and voluntary organizations, and every one of those places, I came in, learnt the ropes, and left with a track record of success, of which my references provided will second'. But that would have come off sounding a little brash and in the end, I just became uninterested in a guy who sounded uninterested in me as a GLG prospect.
He eventually asked that I reach out to him on LinkedIn and that he would forward my information from the New York to the DC office (where I live). He then told me that I should hear something in the next 2-3 days, to which I have not yet. He did accept my connection request on LinkedIn, but I am sure that is as far as its going to go.
Interview Question – What first got you interested in Politics? View Answer
Senior Associate Interview (Positive Experience; Average Interview)
I applied through college or university and the process took 2 months - interviewed at Gerson Lehrman Group in November 2013.
Interview Details – Was contacted by the campus recruiter and had a phone screening, then a phone interview with two people, then a take home case interview, a case review interview, and then a final interview in Austin.
Interview Question – If you were on a desert island, what are 3 things you would bring with you? Answer Question
Research Associate Interview (Positive Experience; Easy Interview)
I applied through a recruiter and the process took 2 weeks - interviewed at Gerson Lehrman Group.
Interview Details – Contacted by a recruiter who set me up for the interview. I did my homework on glassdoor and felt prepared for the first two interviews. Understand their business model. From here conduct a case study. I was flown into Austin and GLG was most courteous. I had 6 thirty minute interviews. I did my homework on each person I was to be interviewing with and had questions prepared for each of them. I liked all 6 of the people I met with. They were professional, hard-working, and sociable. They all ask, "tell me about GLG", "Why do you want to work here". The case review interviewer want's to see that you were resourceful with your research. The instructions are vague, I suggest going above and beyond their expectations. Impress them with your case study.
Make sure that nothing on your resume makes it look like this is a temporary job (i.e. MCAT, or LSAT scores). However, they seem very open to their company being a springboard for you so that you may one day leave for another company. They also like the idea that you potentially can stick around. My advice is to be honest about what you want. I asked many of the interviewers where they see themselves in 2-5 years, and most had no definitive vision. So if this is you, by all means, apply.
Overall it was a great experience interviewing with them. I was really looking forward to potentially working with them for a few years. I spent a good 40+ hours doing my research on GLG and even skipped out on other interview opportunities. I was sad to see that I did not get the offer.
They are looking for hardworking (not-necessarily intelligent), professionals who are unsure about a specific career path but have potential. They tend to hire recent graduates who came from a prestigious University, or had an impressive GPA. Most of all, they want someone who wants to be there. So unless you fit this bill, I wouldn't waste your time.
To be candid, there were a couple negatives about GLG: Their employees were skilled students who worked hard. Their office culture has a vibe of "work-hard, work-hard". You do not have to be intelligent to have a 4.0, you just have to work for it. I asked the interviewers what they do for fun, and most had no definition or seemed to not have given it thought in years. If you are an intelligent person who realizes the benefit of a "work-smart and play-hard" lifestyle, then you will not enjoy this aspect of the company. I would still enjoy working for them because the research role is actually challenging, and interesting.
Interview Question – Case study. What is your rational behind why you chose Mr X. Answer Question
Research Associate Interview (Negative Experience)
The process took 4 weeks - interviewed at Gerson Lehrman Group.
Interview Details – Very long and drawn out process, spoke to multiple people who seemed to be unaware that I had spoken to other people in the company. Each interview was pretty much identical, always asking to describe the business model. As others have said about the case study, their process is different from other companies in that they are definitely looking for right answers and not just looking to understand your thought process. All of the interviewers were friendly except for the case review.
Interview Question – Some weird questions during the case review Answer Question
Analyst Interview (Neutral Experience; Difficult Interview)
Interviewed at Gerson Lehrman Group
Interview Details – applied online, phone interview, and then in person interview.
look hard at your resume and want to know a lot more about what you have done. be really prepared to describe all of your experiences in detail and how they will help you with the job specifically. they seem sensitive about people not knowing what their company does
Interview Question – Lots of questions about the company specifically. REALLY know what it is they do and exactly what the position would be. a lot of questions about exactly how you would deal with clients in specific situations- how would you describe the company. Answer Question
Associate Program, PSF Interview (Positive Experience; Average Interview)
I applied online and the process took 6 weeks - interviewed at Gerson Lehrman Group in August 2013.
Interview Details – Applied online after getting a reference. Got an email for a phone screening within 2 days. Talked to a rep out of NY for a few minutes. You must know their business model very well at all stages of the interview process. Initial rep did not ask me any questions about myself but about how I would do in a hypothetical position. After a few days, got another email to talk to two people from their Austin office on the phone for 30 m. They asked me about myself, told me their background, asked general interview questions and further quizzed me on the business model.
Got approved for the next interview stage, completed a case study in 2 days, sent it in. Then got called into their Austin office finally and interviewed/briefed with 6 additional people. My interviews went well, they were the same general questions about why I wanted to be here, tell me about your professional background, what does GLG do, etc. My case study debriefing went really well. As with all case studies, they are looking for your reasoning and not your specific answers. They asked a couple of tricky questions (rank these experts in their relevance to the project, now make an argument for the least important person being the most important).
Two of the people interviewing me seemed very busy and were checking their phones, one asked the same question two times. I caught them after a busy week so I didn't really mind but it was hard to scope their reactions because they seemed preoccupied. Based on the reactions of the interviewers and the exhaustive process, I had a really good feeling I would get the job but sadly did not.
Interview Question – Nothing really out of the blue. The interviewers have to ask 1-3 zany questions (if you were stuck on a desert island......) and the case study was a little tricky (see above). But overall nothing hard in this interview, the hardest part was having 9 flawless interviews and then getting rejected for an unknown reason. Answer Question
Lead Generator Interview (Neutral Experience; Average Interview)
I applied online and the process took 4 weeks - interviewed at Gerson Lehrman Group.
Interview Details – I was contacted by HR two weeks after I had applied for the job. Over the next two weeks, I had three 30-minute phone interviews with members of the research team and HR
Interview Question – Mini-case studies during the third interview. Answer Question
Junior Associate Interview (Neutral Experience)
I applied through an employee referral and the process took 2 weeks - interviewed at Gerson Lehrman Group.
Interview Details – My first interview was a phone screen that ran about 30 minutes. It was more focused on what I knew about the company, how my oral skills were, and how I could voice what the Gerson Lehrman Group did. The second round consisted of 2 30 minute phone interviews. This was focused on my skills, previous experiences, and again my ability to articulate what GLG does and to articulate clearly in general.
Research Associate Interview (Negative Experience; Difficult Interview)
I applied through a recruiter and the process took 4 weeks - interviewed at Gerson Lehrman Group in June 2013.
Interview Details – I went through a 15 minute initial telephone screen with a recruiter. From there, I was passed on to the Hiring Manager, in which my 30 minute phone interview felt like I was being grilled about how much I researched the company beforehand (describing their business model, what the position entailed, their blueprints, etc.).
After speaking with the Hiring Manager, she set up two more phone interviews with some of the research managers. Each interview lasted 30 minutes, and I was asked about some of my credentials/standard resume questions and behavioral questions. I was asked what type of animal from a carousel I would be - not kidding.
The next step was completing a case study and another 30 minute phone interview with a Research Associate to walk through my completed case study. The case study directions and expectations were very vague and frustrating. The associate I spoke with was very rude and abrasive, he said there were no right or wrong answers, but it became pretty obvious in the beginning of the conversation that there was - especially when he repeatedly cut me off.
After the case study interview, they told me if they decided to pursue my candidacy that they would bring me into the office (finally) to meet the team. Although, I knew after the case study interview that I was not making it to the final round and quite frankly was happy. But after 5 phone interviews and an insane amount of time spent of the case study, it was a big waste of time dealing with that glorified call center.
I was very surprised at the lack of professionalism, the blunt rudeness and dullness of every single employee that I spoke with. Good luck if you decide to pursue that interview process, it is tiring and unnecessarily long.
Interview Question – -How would you describe the GLG business model?
-If you could be any animal on a carousel, what would you be?
-What are your hobbies?
-Why are you wanting to leave your current job?
-Give us an example of a time that you ha a conflict with a supervisor or a client Answer Question
Sales Executive Interview (Neutral Experience)
Interviewed at Gerson Lehrman Group
Interview Details – Asked about past expereience sales leadership and other issues pertaining to my past job not too difficult by lengthy
Interview Question – most cchallenging sales experience Answer Question
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Pros: “-GLG is in a somewhat unique market and, while it's not perhaps the most interesting thing, GLG does it better than anyone. Our competitors are cheaper and faster because they don't care…” “-GLG is in a somewhat unique market and, while it's not perhaps the most interesting thing, GLG does it better than anyone. Our competitors are cheaper and faster because they don't care about niceties like compliance, which will come back to bite them all. -Management listens to employees - they recently started a 401k match, for example. I feel like I could walk up to anyone - CEO, CFO, CIO - and ask questions or bring up an issue and a suggested resolution, and they would listen. -Virtually everyone I work with is friendly, fun, smart, and always willing to help others. -Work/life balance is overall very good for being involved with Wall St.” – Full Review