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PA Consulting Interview Questions in United States

Updated Feb 26, 2015
Updated Feb 26, 2015
23 Interview Reviews

Interview Experience

Interview Experience

64%
15%
20%

Getting an Interview

Getting an Interview

40%
19%
16%

Interview Difficulty

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Average

Interview Difficulty

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23 Candidate Interview Reviews Back to all Interviews

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  1.  

    Research Analyst Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Application Details

    I applied online. The process took 3+ monthsinterviewed at PA Consulting.

    Interview Details

    Initial HR interview followed by panel interview (By Research & Consulting Manager and other Principal Analysts).
    Written test (5 case-studies to solve).
    Final interview with Partner.
    The whole interview process took little more than 2 and half months.

    Interview Questions
    Accepted Offer
    Neutral Experience
    Easy Interview
  2.  

    Consultant Analyst - Healthcare Interview

    Anonymous Employee
    Anonymous Employee
    Application Details

    I applied through college or university. The process took 3 weeksinterviewed at PA Consulting.

    Interview Details

    Background: I am a senior biomedical engineering undergraduate at a top 10 university. I applied for the position of Analyst for the Life Sciences division at PA's New York office. I sent in an online application through my university career center. I stressed two things in my cover letter: exposure to life science companies through work experience, and prior quasi-consulting experience at franchising and small consulting companies. However as far as I know, everyone who applied got a 1st round interview. My 1st round was an approx. 25 min phone interview with a mid-level consultant. It was sort of disorganized: the interviewer forgot we had an interview scheduled and was sort of shaken about that. The interview was straightforward for the most part - he asked a bunch of questions about my resume and asked me "What was an innovative solution you created for a problem?" or something like that. Then he left a lot of time for questions. I would say what separated me from other candidates was that I did my homework on Glassdoor, etc. and asked a lot of questions. I received confirmation of 2nd round about a week later. Before 2nd round, I had to complete a numerical and verbal reasoning test (fairly short, each section was about 20 mins, and pretty straightforward, bit tougher than the SAT). I was flown out to NY (6AM flight, mind you) for a 1pm appointment at their office in the Chrysler building. There were 3 rounds conducted that day: a 1 on 1 case interview, a 1 on 1 behavioral interview, and a group case interview with 5 other applicants. The case was about a pharmaceutical company wanting to downsize to maintain profits after their main drug lost patent protection, and then expanded on other ways to maintain profits. The interviewer more or less guided me through the steps(so it was much easier than the standard case interview). The behavioral was also straightforward - be confident, study up on some standard interview questions, etc. In between they had a short 30 minute Q&A session about working for PA. The group case was quite difficult - it was about building pyramids for the Egyptian government. There was no "right" answer as long as you could justify your answer. I was told that the key with this was to be involved, but not come on too strong. We were given 40 mins to form an answer and prepare a short presentation on poster paper, after which we presented and were grilled by a group of 2 mid-level consultants and 2 analysts. I received word about 1.5 weeks later that I did not get an offer. I was given an option to talk to an HR person about the decision. She said that I did very well in my individual case and behavioral, but that I "did not bring enough depth" to the group case and she could not clarify what that meant. She did say that they had about 20 applicants come in for 2nd round and only 4-5 got offers. My group of 6 that I was interviewing with was comprised of 3 undergrads, 1 MBA student, and 2 PhDs. What company in their right mind wouldn't take the MBA or PhDs if they can pay the same amount?? I have a hunch that's what it came down to.

    Interview Questions
    • Group case(this probably won't make sense to anyone seeing as I forgot specifics and they also provided a map): The Egyptian government has tasked your "tourism" company with constructing pyramid(s) along the Nile at sites A,B. You have $10000(a limited amount) to spend. There are 2 quarries to get stone from, at different distances from sites A,B, and the quarries have different stone types and prices. Site A is near the Grand Temple, site B is much further away. The Nile floods the path between quarry 1 and site A for 3 months of the year. You must build at least 1 pyramid "big enough" to serve as a museum for Egyptian treasures. The pyramid(s) must be completed in 10 years or less.

      We were also given data about how quickly workers can move stone, build the pyramids, etc.
       
      View Answer
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview
  3.  

    Analyst - Global Energy and Utilities Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Denver, CO
    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Denver, CO
    Application Details

    I applied through college or university. The process took 3 weeksinterviewed at PA Consulting.

    Interview Details

    1) On campus interview with behavioral questions and some simple case and math questions.

    1.5) Online Quantitative and Verbal Reasoning test. Doable but difficult. Other candidates I spoke with, including myself, barely finished or left 1 or 2 blank.

    2) Assessment center (in-office):
        a. 4-20 minute interviews with 2-3 employees ranging from analyst up to partner (supposedly unique to this practice) primarily behavioral questions with the occasional case/brain teaser
        b. 30 minute writing test. Asked to write ~1 page explaining a very basic task
        c. Group case interview

    3) If needed, final interviews with other higher-level employees

    Interview Questions
    • How would you go about developing a forecast for oil prices?   View Answer
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview
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  5.  

    Analyst Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Denver, CO
    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Denver, CO
    Application Details

    I applied through college or university. The process took 3 weeksinterviewed at PA Consulting in November 2014.

    Interview Details

    Hiring & interview process was very fast - after an on-campus behavioral interview with a Principal, I was flown to Denver, CO 1-2 weeks later for the final round interviews.

    Final rounds was very interesting
    1. Starting with free lunch with the employees
    2. A 4-man team group case interview (first time doing one)
    3. 2 behavioral interviews (2 people each)
    4. A 30-minute essay writeup (pretty abrupt, really startled me)
    5. 2 more behavioral interviews (2-3 people each)

    Then... voila! interviews are over. I thought it was pretty interesting, intense, but not as hard/meticulous as the traditional MBB ones.

    I am about to go into the company, but I am I guess a little cautious about the company's culture (Global Energy & Utilities) - in most of the behavioral interviews, they seemed to constantly emphasize the point of long working hours, which may/may not indicate bad work-life balance. We will have to find out!

    Interview Questions
    Negotiation Details
    Not yet accepted.
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview
  6.  

    Analyst Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Application Details

    I applied through college or university. The process took 4 weeksinterviewed at PA Consulting in November 2014.

    Interview Details

    1. Resume Cut
    2. On-campus interview
    3. Online verbal and quantitative reasoning test
    4. On-site interview. 5 30 minute behavioral interviews incorporating assorted brain teasers and arithmetic calculations. 30 minute writing prompt. 60 minute group case interview - 45 minutes to work then 15 minutes to present.
    5. Phone interview with senior partners

    Interview Questions
    • Group case interview. 8 consultants/partners watching you work on a group case. No interaction with PA staff were allowed until final questions following the 15 minute presentation.   View Answer
    Negotiation Details
    Accepted offer as presented.
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview
  7.  

    Consulting Analyst Interview

    Anonymous Employee in Boulder, CO
    Anonymous Employee in Boulder, CO
    Application Details

    I applied through college or university. The process took 2+ monthsinterviewed at PA Consulting in October 2014.

    Interview Details

    On campus interview. 30-minute interview inquiring about my previous work experience. I discussed my previous work experience that was on my resume. Received a rejection e-mail 2 weeks following the interview.

    No Offer
    Neutral Experience
    Easy Interview
  8. 1 person found this helpful  

    Analyst Interview

    Anonymous Employee
    Anonymous Employee
    Application Details

    I applied through a recruiter. The process took 6+ weeksinterviewed at PA Consulting.

    Interview Details

    Interview process took way too long and interview format was very formal. Couldnt tell what their culture/personalities were like. Made it to the final interviewed and then accepeted another offer because i couldnt continue to wait

    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview
  9.  

    Consulting Analyst Interview

    Anonymous Employee in Washington, DC
    Anonymous Employee in Washington, DC
    Application Details

    I applied online. The process took 4 weeksinterviewed at PA Consulting.

    Interview Details

    Had a phone interview 1-2 weeks after applying online, talked to HR manager, 30 to 45 min long. Questions asked are standard, culture, my resume, location, pay. 1 week later had 1 more phone interview with principal consultant. It was standard behavior interview, mostly about my resume. Then flied to NYC for onsite. 3 session, 1st group discussion with 2 other candidates, then 2 sessions with 2 employees, 1 at a time.

    Interview Questions
    No Offer
    Neutral Experience
    Average Interview
  10. 2 people found this helpful  

    Analyst- Energy Capital Markets Practice Interview

    Anonymous Employee
    Anonymous Employee
    Application Details

    I applied through college or university. The process took a dayinterviewed at PA Consulting.

    Interview Details

    I got this interview through career services at my university. The interviewers were very friendly and gave good answers to the questions I had for them.

    Interview Questions
    • Not so much difficult as unexpected - he wrote down 4 2's on a piece of paper and asked what you could do with them to make the largest number.   View Answers (6)
    No Offer
  11.  

    Managing Consultant Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Application Details

    I applied in-person. The process took 4+ weeksinterviewed at PA Consulting.

    Interview Details

    PA prides itself on interviewing but the process is so overly complex and burdened by 60's era psychobabble testing (like Belbin and Meyers Briggs) that the whole thing comes off as farce. The sad thing is NONE of these psych considerations are actually used during your job. They make a big deal of saying "everyone is unique and contributes to the team in special ways" --- but then they evaluate everybody on the exact same criteria of utilization for junior staff and utilization + sales for senior staff. The rest is pure window dressing.

    Interview Questions
    • How to share sales credit across your team.   View Answer
    Negotiation Details
    Take it or leave it.
    Accepted Offer
    Negative Experience

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