ZS Associates

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ZS Associates Business Associate Interview Questions & Reviews

Updated Jul 24, 2014
All Interviews Received Offers

Getting an Interview  

54%
29%
16%

Interview Experience  

75%
12%
12%

Interview Difficulty  

Average Difficulty
27 candidate interviews Back to all interview questions
Relevance Date Difficulty
in

No Offer

Positive Experience

Difficult Interview

Business Associate Interview

Business Associate
San Mateo, CA

I applied through an employee referral and the process took 3 days - interviewed at ZS Associates.

Interview Details – I first spoke with the recruiter because I was referred by a current employee. She set up a phone interview that consisted of a case study and a behavioral interview. I thought my case study was a wreck but I received a second interview. The second interview was in office and lasted all morning. They were unprepared and it was very hectic but overall I had a good experience. There were 2 case interviews, 1 behavioral with the director of the office, and 1 session with a current business associate. Did not end up getting an offer because they felt I didn't have enough business knowledge due to my science background.

Interview Question – I come from a science background and they expected me to know a lot of complex business terminology and equations.   Answer Question


4 people found this helpful

Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Difficult Interview

Business Associate Interview

Business Associate
San Mateo, CA

I applied through an employee referral and the process took 4+ weeks - interviewed at ZS Associates in January 2014.

Interview Details – I began the interview process as a referral in December and set up a first round phone interview for early January. I flew out a couple weeks later for an on site super day. The recruiter was nice and very helpful even though we were working together around the holidays.

First Round:

Case Interview (30 Minutes - Phone): The case wasn't too challenging but you are forced to make recommendations on the spot and run calculations which can be stressful. Try to sound confident and be articulate.
Behavioral Interview (30 Minutes - Phone): Three standard fit questions followed by my own questions for the interviewer.

I was invited to a second round at the San Mateo office. There were three interviews, a project demo, and lunch with a current Business Associate.

Second Round:
Lunch: Very casual, make sure you show interest in the company and be personable.
Behavioral (30 Minutes): Mine was with a principle, not very high stress. Three fit questions, each of which turned into a small conversation. See above.
Analytical Case (80 Minutes): You are given 40 minutes of prep time to work through a packet of information, make calculations and recommendations, then draw up a few ppt slides to walk through with a consultant. This was the most stressful part of the day. You'll be rushed so make sure you double check you numbers, ZS really cares about quant skills.
Project Demo (45 Minutes): A Business Associate went over a few quantitative and qualitative projects typical of a BA. Make sure you show interest and ask good questions.
Case Interview (45 Minutes): Very similar to the first round case interview only in person.

Overall great experience. I was stressed but confident enough not to let it show. Double check all of your calculations and try to be articulate. They emphasized multiple times that they're looking for someone who not only can do the job well but also fit in the culture. I felt like I fit in well which made me less anxious overall.

People: It's a very young office with people from all over the country. Everyone that I met was very intelligent and seemed like they enjoyed their job.

Interview Question – Tell me about a time when something didn't go as planned. How did you handle it?   Answer Question

Negotiation Details – The salary was competitive so I did not negotiate. The start date is flexible.


Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Difficult Interview

Business Associate Interview

Business Associate

I applied through college or university and the process took 3 weeks - interviewed at ZS Associates in October 2013.

Interview Details – I first found out about ZS Associates from my university career website. I applied online and was granted an on campus interview. The interview lasted one hour, with one half hour case interview and one half hour behavioral. The case was very analytical and high stress, I was constantly on my toes, and the behavioral was very general.
I was then invited to headquarters for a final round. It included a lunch, project demonstration, behavioral interview, case interview, and analytical case. The analytical case you are given 45 minutes to prepare a case and then you present it. I would just say make sure you prioritize what is important because you will be rushed. The rest I would just say pay attention and ask good questions that show you are interested.

Interview Question – Tell me about a time that you came up with a creative way of doing things. Tell me about a life goal and how you reached/are trying to reach it   Answer Question

Negotiation Details – I did not negotiate as I was happy with the salary. I chose ZS because of its dedication to professional development


No Offer

Positive Experience

Difficult Interview

Business Associate Interview

Business Associate
Evanston, IL

I applied through an employee referral and the process took a day - interviewed at ZS Associates in December 2012.

Interview Details – I've heard really great things about ZS and its culture from a friend who works there. I was referred and had an hour long phone interview, after which I was invited for a full-day in person interview. I had one behavioral interview with a Principal, two technical interviews and one sit-down with a current employee to see what they do - note that the sit-down is actually an interview to see how interested you are in their work! I felt that I did really well in all but the behavioral. I had bronchitis the week before the interview and was still a little hoarse (should have requested a change of date!) and the Principal that I interviewed with got really testy when I coughed a few times and had to drink some water. After a while, he just tuned out and started looking at his computer. I think it was unbelievably rude and unfair of him to dismiss me for a cough, but I really should have told them during scheduling that I needed extra time to recoup and lose my cough.

Interview Question – The more difficult case study gave me a packet of information about trial results from a new drug. They gave me a half hour to sift through it and develop a recommendation for which strategy to pursue in selling the drug. There was a handy sheet for me to write pros and cons to use in my answer that guided me through how to make the recommendation.   View Answer


No Offer

Positive Experience

Difficult Interview

Business Associate Interview

Business Associate

I applied through college or university - interviewed at ZS Associates in April 2013.

Interview Details – Applied through OCR. Two rounds, cases and fit questions in each round. Tricky cases - primarily interviewer led. Cases in the biopharmaceutical industry.

Interview Question – One of the case math questions.   Answer Question


No Offer

Negative Experience

Very Difficult Interview

Business Associate Interview

Business Associate
San Mateo, CA

I applied online and the process took 7 months - interviewed at ZS Associates.

Interview Details – Applied through their online site in October. Got a callback in March.
I was not impressed with firm itself. I had another job deadline and HR would not help expedite the process.
Interview consisted of a case study on WebEx, which did not work the first time. Case study involves lots of number crunching on the fly.
All in all, the process was very unprofessional.

Interview Question – Identify maximum profit point.   Answer Question


1 person found this helpful

No Offer

Neutral Experience

Average Interview

Business Associate Interview

Business Associate

Interviewed at ZS Associates

Interview Details – Case interviews very heavy on interpretation of graphs and numbers. Not surprisingly, they were all about new drug launches. For one case, I was handed a packet of information and given time alone to prepare before meeting with the interviewer to discuss my insights. I just assumed that no calculators were allowed and did all my numbers by hand, but later found out that other candidates used calculators in their preparation for the case. More clear directions either way would have made things more fair.

One thing the company did that I liked was having an associate show me an example of his work. The associate walked through a sample powerpoint that would be typical work product for a client. This gave me a chance to see if the type of work being done by the company was something that I might enjoy doing.

Interview Question – One interviewer chose not to ask me any questions at all, and I had to fill a 45 minute session entirely with my questions. He told me he learned plenty about candidates based on the questions they asked. So come with a list of good questions.   Answer Question


1 person found this helpful

Declined Offer

Positive Experience

Difficult Interview

Business Associate Interview

Business Associate
San Francisco, CA

I applied through college or university and the process took 2 days - interviewed at ZS Associates in April 2012.

Interview Details – First Round Interview
- 1 Case Interview: Guided, lots of visual and numerical data to interpret
- 1 Behavioral: Standard + fit questions

Second Round Interview
- Very long, but you really get an idea for the type of work that you will do | Various case interviews (structured and unstructured) | Lunch with current associates | Behavioral with partner/principal

- People at ZS are definitely smart and amiable. The only major con would be a repetitive workstream.

Interview Question – The self-guided case | you are left in a room for 15 minutes to analyze a case and prepare a presentation to a "client". The most difficult part is prioritizing your information and structuring it in a manner that is clear and effective.   Answer Question

Reason for Declining – I decided to pursue another opportunity that I thought would provide a great learning experience, which it did. However, on hindsight I probably should have accepted the offer.


1 person found this helpful

No Offer

Positive Experience

Average Interview

Business Associate Interview

Business Associate
Princeton, NJ

I applied online and the process took 3 weeks - interviewed at ZS Associates in May 2012.

Interview Details – Got an 1 hour phone interview: 30-40 min case interview which mainly asked you to solve a case following the interviewer's instruction step by step; 20-30 min behavioral questions such as Why consulting/ZS; teamwork example; failure example...

Received invitation to an interview in the NJ office: 30 min behavioral interview similar to the phone interview; 40 min analytical case interview; 30 min structural case interview; 30 min presentation by a consultant regarding what they do; lunch with one consultant.

Very friendly people and collaborative atmosphere, though I did not receive the offer. The recruiter emailed me back a thorough interview feedback telling me that I did not do well in the analytical case section.

Interview Question – Give an example when you failed.   View Answer


1 person found this helpful

No Offer

Positive Experience

Difficult Interview

Business Associate Interview

Business Associate
Chicago, IL

I applied through college or university and the process took a day - interviewed at ZS Associates in November 2011.

Interview Details – Initial on-campus interview which consisted of two parts, a personality interview and a typical case. Second round interview spanned a few hours at the Evanston branch and consisted of a couple case interview, a presentation given by a co-worker, another personality portion, and lunch with an associate.

Interview Question – If you were to set up a hardware store around town, how would you go about doing so?   Answer Question

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