Gerson Lehrman Group
Gerson Lehrman Group Senior Associate Interview Questions & Reviews
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Senior Associate Interview (Positive Experience; Average Interview)
I applied through a recruiter and the process took 6 weeks - interviewed at Gerson Lehrman Group in November 2013.
Interview Details – Mine was a multi-tiered interview process that is in line with a previous reviewer's report. Initial phone screen with HR, followed by 2 back to back 30-minute interviews with current Research Associates. A case study was next--it was engaging, interesting work & I was very happy doing it--then a 30 minute review over the phone with a Research Manager. In person interviews were next: 5 back to back, including one over breakfast & one over the phone with a Senior VP in NYC. I believe this is typically the end of the line & a decision is made after this step. In my situation I was called back in for 2 more in-person interviews, one of which was with the Senior VP I'd previously spoken to over the phone, as this VP was in town that week.
Everyone who interviewed me asked essentially behavioral questions. Some interviews (breakfast in particular) seemed to be more focused on cultural & personality fit than anything else. The office is arranged with low cubicles, & although people work quietly there seems to be quite a bit of interaction; I think they want to be sure all who work in the office are going to be able to get along with & cooperate with co-workers. They want to be certain you have the ability to ask thoughtful, intelligent questions. Because the job involves asking questions to develop a good council of experts for the client, you have to be able to get at the answers you want even when the client is vague about their needs, or has only an abstract plan at the time they contact you. Research experience, whether as an RA or from doing independent research during university studies, would be very helpful. There seems to be an emphasis on sales as well, as one of the Managers frequently referred to the ability to persuade clients to upgrade their services as being a beneficial skill.
You must be willing & able to accept feedback--much was given, both from interviewers & also from the HR rep, who kept in close contact & was a very professional guiding hand along the way. If you are unclear re: the feedback given, do not hesitate to ask for clarification. I believe inquisitiveness & a genuine desire to improve yourself is held in high esteem here.
Overall I thoroughly enjoyed the interview process. Like the previous reviewer, I also spent dozens of hours preparing. I was happy doing the work & learning more about the company, more so after I met & spent some time with the people who worked there & got a better idea of what their day-to-day was like. I was very disappointed when at the end of this very lengthy & involved process, I was not offered a position.
A financial services background would serve you well, as the lack of this experience was what ended up being detrimental to me, despite performing very well in all interviews & receiving rave reviews at all steps.
(I have left this detailed account because I appreciated those who had previously done the same--they helped me tremendously. I hope this helps you as well.)
Interview Question – There were none. Just your basic behavioral questions, & an almost repetitive review of your resume. Answer Question
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
Senior Associate Interview (Neutral Experience; Average Interview)
I applied through college or university and the process took 2 months - interviewed at Gerson Lehrman Group in December 2011.
Interview Details – I went to an information session at my college career services center. Applied through career services, offered interview on campus. The next day got invited for a "Second Round" phone interview/case study. The question was about a hedge fund that wanted to invest in laptops, specifically HP. I thought i blew the case study and then a few days later they asked me to fly to Austin. They flew me out to Austin for the day, left NYC at 6 AM, returned to NYC at 7 PM. Interviewed with about 8 different associates/managers/VP's etc.... they covered all my expenses, obviously. Two weeks later they said they decided not to pursue my candidacy. To be honest the whole company seems kind of lame... the head of the Austin office was totally alpha and preening throughout the whole interview. Everyone kept talking about how smart everyone they worked with was but honestly everyone at the company seemed like GLG was their fall back. They were all very enthusiastic but almost as though they were trying to convince themselves about how great GLG was more than they were trying to convince me. It was really just quite odd.
Senior Associate Interview (Neutral Experience; Difficult Interview)
I applied online and the process took 5 weeks - interviewed at Gerson Lehrman Group.
Interview Details – First there were a number of phone interviews then they flew me down to Austin Texas for a number of in person interview. Some were more difficult than others, including a define stress interview where the interviewer spun around in her chair and sighed every chance she got. She appeared to be annoyed with the very fact that I was there. I feel this was just part of the test, trying to see how i would react under different circumstances.
Interview Question – "Tell me a funny joke." Last question of one of the interviews. Also "Why are you here? Impress me." Answer Question
Negotiation Details – There was none, I tried.
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