I applied through other source and the process took a day - interviewed at Lake Partners.
Interview Details – I should start by saying I did really want the job, and liked the firm, although I didn't get the job. The HR team was incredibly kind and punctual, and very warm when speaking on the phone. After a few conversations I was invited for an interview in a month when I returned to the region. The interview itself was two hours, and I spoke with two senior/normal analysts. The firm seemed fun and interesting, and I strongly encourage anyone to give the interview their best shot. I have not written a review on glassdoor before. I am only writing a review due to what seemed to be a unique aspect of their interview process that I developed a theory on. Read and decide for yourself.
The first interview was aid to be a beginning interview, and then if that went well I would be interviewed by the higher-ups as well. They mentioned that they interview tons of people per year, and only hire when they find the right fit. To be honest, I don't really know what to make of this fact. The firm has about 20 or less people, yet they aggressively advertise their jobs on all major job boards (doostang/LinkedIn/etc). The UW Career website, and many Ivy league school websites across the nation. They solicit massive amounts of resumes and interview a small subset. You have to wonder though, why would a firm that hires 2-4 analysts a year interview so many people? I vaguely remember being told they receive something like a few thousand resumes a year, and (including phone) interview 100 or so, to hire 2-4.
I'm not really that convinced this is a clever strategy. I think one of their points is that they only hire the best. But let's say a firm attempts to transitively rank all applicants. The question is, can they rank them from best to worst? Or would they have to compartmentalize them instead, due to the difficulty in gaining information on a candidate? And this ranking isn't some objective ranking, it would include fit and everything else, and represents the utility they would gain from a hire.
So let's say they receive 2,000 resumes (I think it was more, but this is a conservative number). Based on this information alone, what is the smallest set they can create that would allow them to rank compartments (e.g. they can't rank all 2,000 confidently due to absent information, but they can rank 20 compartments which include resumes with higher confidence)? Let's say they have an incredible HR, and can identify the top 5% with confidence. This means if the true information places a person between the 95th-100th percentile, HR will be able to tell they are in the top 20th, but no more information.
So this leaves them with 100 people, which is about how many they interview. From here they said they hire as they find a good fit, but about 2-4 a year. This means they believe they can now identify from a group of 100 people they have selected, a new sub-set within about 5% of accuracy, for them to hire. Once again, this ranking includes ideas like team-fit (there is no reason that factor would not work in this ranking). This just doesn't really make sense, since it's not possible to identify good hires with accuracy to justify that many applications.
Given this process, I'm not sure what my best advice would be. I had a few friends interview at LP who I could almost guarantee would not have been hired on their resume alone. For example, I had a couple friends interview for the same position I did a week before. S/he had three years less experience than me, lacked a graduate degree, and went to a local school. Whereas all the current analysts/employees have either a grad degree or a prestigious undergrad (most have both). It seems like they weren't planning on hiring them, rather just getting their name out to upcoming local professionals who recently graduated.
Interview Question – The questions were very typical case study style questions. Honestly, not that surprising. View Answer
I applied online and the process took a day - interviewed at Lake Partners in January 2013.
Interview Details – First interview is a case study. I only got asked one but I didn't get the job so plan for more. Then is a standard Q&A interview. Just be prepared for typical interview questions and practice case study techniques and you should be alright.
Interview Question – What is something you did not like about your past 4 years? Answer Question
I applied through college or university and the process took 2 weeks - interviewed at Lake Partners in December 2010.
Interview Details – The first round for local candidates is an in-person at their offices downtown, lasts about an hour, and is divided into two parts: a Q&A and 1-2 cases. Lake makes it very clear that they're looking for people with an established consulting skill set, and their interview process reflects this. They asked uncomplicated questions, asking me to walk through my resume and about prosaic details like what I'm reading right now.
The case component is pretty straightforward and will include a business problem Lake has recently or is actively tackling. If you're unfamiliar with the case interview format, pick up Cosentino's Case in Point and practice like it's your job. The interviewer was fair but firm in responding to me throughout the case, offering both affirming and detracting comments throughout. Be aware that, at this juncture, the case is very brief (more back of the envelope than true case), so get your questions done quickly and have an answer ready within 15 minutes. I took 25, and it was clear by the end of it that I had taken too long - had I locked down the scope of the question earlier, I should have been able to finish in 10.
Seattle candidates: don't go in to this interview expecting Accenture/Deloitte/Hitachi. Lake is trying to position themselves on level with McKinsey/Bain/BCG, and this comes through in both their recruiting & interview strategies. They're a boutique firm (~13 employees including the partners), but heavily recruit nationwide. They interview many, many candidates but accept almost none of them. Among the half dozen people I know who interviewed with them, not a single one got a second round. Their prospect mining list includes all of the Ivys, Princeton, Stanford, etc. My interviewer (who was an Analyst) had a master's in electrical engineering, was in his late 20s, and probably wary of being BSd at by some upstart undergrad.
Anecdotal: in keeping with their preference for candidates with consulting skills, Lake seems to put strong emphasis on client interaction soft skills, so be extremely diligent about communicating promptly and clearly, responding to all e-mails, confirming important information, getting contact information whenever you don't have it, and following up proactively.
Interview Question – (Industry analysis) Technology X has doubled in market share from 10 to 20% in the past year. What do you expect its market share to be a year from today? Answer Question
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