Point B Interview Questions & Reviews
Getting an Interview
Senior Associate Interview (Negative Experience; Difficult Interview)
I applied through a recruiter and the process took 5 weeks - interviewed at Point B.
Interview Details – The process is pretty much as they state - 4 parts of the interview process. The first step was an interview with another Sr. Associate who explained the culture and some basic parts of the process, they would chat and basically assess your likeablity.
The next one (2nd) was more reviewing your experience and asking you questions around your roles and what you did. Like the first, this was at a Starbucks and very informal. Felt like a natural conversation. He even offered some good advice for the third interview and his perspective on the company in general.
The third interview required pre-work. You needed to fill out an application, send back a background check approval and write a one page response on a scenario. This was given as pretty vague and they want a one page response to how you would handle the situation. It could be about a business expanding into a new area with some details and how would you handle it. As another reviewer stated, my response was torn apart for being too generic. Then they threw 2 more scenarios at you in the meeting. The problem with these are they do not give you a framework or methodology, so it leaves you relying on your past experience. Advice would be to know how accenture would do it and use that type of approach.
Immediately after, met with the local practice director and the conversation was natural and easy.
By the end of the 3rd/4th interview, I was not too impressed by the company and I think they saw me as not as excited about the role.
To be fair, they do seem to have a great work/life balance, but I am not that impressed by how they interview you.
Interview Question – Case studies that are vague and wanting you to create your own framework. Answer Question
Associate Interview (Positive Experience; Average Interview)
I applied through an employee referral and the process took 5 weeks - interviewed at Point B.
Interview Details – Point B contacted me via email after I applied to begin the process. The recruiting process manager had a quick phone conversation with me (not an interview) to explain a bit about Point B and the interview process.
I was put in touch with a Point B Associate fairly quickly for my first round interview. We met in a local coffee shop and primarily discussed my background, interest, and motivations. We also discussed my interviewer's experience both and Point B and elsewhere. It was a fairly casual interview and there were no cases, brain teasers, or horrible, scripted STAR-style behavioral questions. My interviewer was pleasant throughout, and I passed on to the second round.
The second-round interview took place in a casual restaurant and was with a Senior Associate. There was some more review of my current position and experience, but there was less emphasis on it than the first round. In this interview, there was a script/form that was followed to some degree, but it didn't seem forced. There was a case-like question as well, but a lot of the time was spent discussing Point B differentiators as well and the conversation was very bi-directional and not interrogation style. At the end of the interview my interviewer let me know that I should expect to hear back soon about the third round interview, which I did.
The third round interview took place in the Point B office. Prior to this interview, I was also asked to provide a writing sample in the form of a one-page response to one of two prompts (my choice). During the third interview, we discussed my response to the prompt and also went through a more traditional case question than interview 2. My interviewer provided feedback throughout the whole process which was very helpful. We also had additional time at the end for questions. Prior to the interview, I was also sent an informational packet which was very thoughtful and provided a lot of good background on the company which helped me form some of my questions during this round.
The final interview was also in the Point B office. It was primarily a fit interview, with a lot of questions about my experience and interests as well as plans for or thoughts about my future. We discussed where I would fit at Point B and what types of projects I'd be taking on. We also discussed Point B's values and position in the market as well as my interviewer's experience before and after joining Point B. The interviewer was very open about what he viewed as my main strengths and weaknesses as a candidate and I was able to provide my own input and feedback about his assessment. As with all the previous interviews (#3 being the closest to an exception), it was very conversational and it felt like a natural conversation.
Associate Interview (Negative Experience; Average Interview)
I applied through an employee referral and the process took 1+ week - interviewed at Point B in November 2012.
Interview Details – Initial phone screen with recruiting. She was very pleasant and personable. Basic questions and validation of my experience. Second interview was with an employee. She was 30 minutes late to the interview at a coffee shop. I called the office 15 minutes after our interview time and they transferred me to her cell phone where she advised she was running late. She was annoyed that with my call and it showed throughout the entire interview. Her questions were rote and she did not ask any clarifying or follow up questions. It appears her mind was made up before she began the interview.
Very Difficult Interview
Senior Associate Interview (Negative Experience; Very Difficult Interview)
I applied through a recruiter and the process took 8 weeks - interviewed at Point B in October 2013.
Interview Details – Great initial communication via their internal recruiters. I completed four in-person interviews. The initial two interviews were very casual over breakfast/lunch. The questions were more general related to understanding my background and skills. The third interview was a grilling with multiple case studies thrown at me verbally and on-demand responses expected of me. They also had me prepare in advance a one-page services approach proposal to a fictitious business scenario. They tore apart my response. I was limited to ONE PAGE! It's tough to get detailed process steps and deliverables in one page.
Interview Question – Case study: you have just won an engagement to assist a major airline to reduce their engineering and maintenance costs by 20%. How would you approach the engagement? Go! View Answer
Senior Associate Interview (Neutral Experience)
I applied through an employee referral and the process took 3 months - interviewed at Point B.
Interview Details – Was employee referral. Process took a bit longer than expected, but was straightforward. Seemed to over-emphasize Big 4 consulting experience, yet it's clear nobody at the firm made it past Mgr at Accenture or Deloitte. The higher up in the food chain you get more apparent it gets.
Interview consisted of 1 face-to-face, then case interview face-to-face. Next was written case and verbal case w/ more Sr consultant. Final interview was w/ LA Director. "Interesting" personality. Spent entire interview telling me why I wasn't good candidate (which is never a good sign). Not sure why I made it that far...
Small firm, small engagements, small salary. Good fit for those not looking to travel. Firm needs to figure out a growth strategy. Again, bottom heavy, not may $ makers.
Interview Question – Questions on how to handle clients. Answer Question
Senior Associate Interview (Positive Experience; Difficult Interview)
I applied through a recruiter and the process took 7 weeks - interviewed at Point B in May 2013.
Interview Details – The best hiring approach that I have ever experienced! They are very clear up front that it is a well-defined four stage interview process that takes 4-6 weeks. There are clear expectations for each step and plenty of time to prepare.
After each interview they decide whether to promote the candidate to the next phase.
The later phases included a one page writing sample / case study.
They treated candidates as professionals and maintained very open communication.
Interview Question – Case study and writing sample regarding expansion of local business into a new market. Answer Question
Senior Associate Interview (Neutral Experience; Average Interview)
I applied through an employee referral and the process took 2 months - interviewed at Point B in February 2013.
Interview Details – Submitted my resume in response to a job posting for the position. Quickly, I received a response that the resume had been received and several weeks later I received a response asking to schedule a phone interview with a recruiter. The phone interview was mostly focused on general appropriateness of job to interviewee: things like salary, previous work summary, etc. Then there was a follow up call with a senior HR person who reiterated some of the previous items and informed me I would be contacted for a set of in-person interviews with consulting staff. The first of these went very well, and questions focused on my background, digging into projects I had run, problems I had overcome, etc. The second, about 2 weeks later due to a scheduling mix up, focused on hypothetical business situations and specifically surrounding the details of the process of consulting to a client for selecting a new software package for a hypothetical client. While I felt I addressed the situation well, the interviewer made it clear that I had not, because I hadn't made a clear distinction between a "requirements" document and a "recommendation" document as separate deliverables. This person must have given the thumbs down because I was emailed that I was no longer considered for the position.
That said, the second in-person interview gave me the impression that the nature of the consulting position would not be the type of work I was looking for.
Interview Question – The most unexpected thing was the critical nature of specifically stating the terms "requirements document" and "recommendation document" as separate and distinct deliverables. I covered the content of both requirements and recommendations in my response, but was told I had fallen short because I did not describe and name them as two distinct deliverables. Answer Question
Senior Associate Interview (Neutral Experience; Average Interview)
I applied through an employee referral and the process took 6+ weeks - interviewed at Point B.
Interview Details – Contacted by previous colleague. Submitted resume to HR both online and by mail. Called about 30 days later. Interview set up - four in 2 days. No contact for about 2 weeks. Told they were not hiring now but may be soon. Called back within 24 hours asking when I could start. Took two more weeks for offer letter.
Interview Question – Describe the employment gaps that you are hiding on your resume. Answer Question
Negotiation Details – No negotiation was accepted.
Senior Associate Interview (Negative Experience; Average Interview)
I applied through a recruiter and the process took 4 weeks - interviewed at Point B in February 2013.
Interview Details – I was contacted my a recruiter who interviewed me via email. My qualifications matched beautifully, except that I did not work for one of the big four consulting companies, as this seems to be the Point B usual hire. I was contacted by a lady in the Point B HR area. She told me another Sr Associate would arrange to interview me. Over a week later I received an email from the interviewer and we arranged to meet for the following week. It took a long time just to set up one interview. At first he wanted me to come downtown in the middle of the day, and since I am currently working, that was hard for me to arrange on short notice. In the end we agreed to meet at a Stabucks near his train station in the western suburbs.
The interview last almost 90 minutes, we reviewed my resume at a high level. He asked me some basic what would you do scenarios. I felt confident, and had done my research as I had several questions about Point B. to ask The company seems to sell themselves to burnt out consultants from the large four who are tired of traveling. My interviewer had only been with the company 1.5 years and he still seemed please he had made the transition as he has a young family and always traveling was getting more and more difficult.
The Point B advantage is that all of their clients are here in the Chicago area, and even though you do have to travel onsite to the client office, you can always be home at night and sleep in your own bed. I really felt like I would hear from Point B for a second interview, but I never heard another word. I sent a thank you email to the interviewer the very next day, but the interviewer never emailed me again and the HR lady never emailed me again. I guess perhaps they could still be thinking about it, but it seemed pretty rude never to hear another word and it has been 3 weeks. I guess sending out a thanks but we are not interested email would be just too hard. In the end, I have been left hanging by Point B, but I feel as though that is best, since I really have a better job now, and going through the interview process made me realize that. I think if they had asked for a second interview I would have had to turn them down, but it never came to that.
Interview Question – I wish I could think of the most difficult question, but this first interview was pretty standard. The interviewer really did as much talking as I did telling me about Point B, the culture, the difference from what it was like working for the big four. I asked him if I were to be hired, was there any training time I would be expected to tag along with him, on his project? He seemed surprised by my question. His answer was no, I would basically be on my own, I am after all an experienced hired gun. I was fine with the response but he seemed surprised i had even asked that question. Answer Question