Getting an Interview
Getting an Interview
Interviews for Top Jobs at ZS Associates
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Helpful (9)Accepted OfferPositive ExperienceDifficult Interview
I applied through a recruiter. The process took 4 weeks – interviewed at ZS Associates (Evanston, IL) in February 2015.
I got contacted by the recruiter on LinkedIn. After basic screening I was scheduled for first round which consisted of Behavioral and Case study. Couple of days later I got an email saying that I am shortlisted for the onsite round. They flew me to Evanston for the Super day. The onsite round consisted of four back to back interviews. One Behavioral, One Analytical and Two Case interviews.
The very next day I got an email saying that I have been shortlisted.
Helpful (4)No OfferNegative ExperienceDifficult Interview
I applied through college or university. The process took 3 weeks – interviewed at ZS Associates (Evanston, IL) in October 2014.
Two weeks after I submitted my application I was offered a first round interview by email.
First Interview (Phone Interview):
It consisted of a 30 minute behavioral interview with one person. There were three standard questions and the rest of the time is left for you to ask questions. Then, there is a 30 minute case interview via a screen share application. I started a little late because it took a while to download the add-in. There are four slides with tables of data and some questions. I needed to have general knowledge of the pharmaceutical industry (common sense) and know about market share, sales force, revenue, gross margin etc. I was nervous about this part because of my engineering background. There is also a part you have to qualitatively look at data and explain your thought process for choosing one group over another. I actually calculated the wrong things, and the interviewer steered me back to the question I was supposed to answer. I was nervous that I was not following directions, but I was able to calculate the correct values. You should use Excel for the case.
HR called me two business days after the interview offering to fly me to the nearest office. They give feedback, and HR told me my interviewers really liked me.
Second Interview (Nearest Office):
There were three other people being interviewed that day for the same position. First, we were greeted by the recruiter in the lobby. Everyone had interviews in a different order but with some of the same people. Every section of the interview was 40 minutes. I had a standard behavioral interview with a principal. Next, I had to prep a case, which was similar to the ones given in the first interview but more in depth. I was not able to finish it, but I think that was expected. Then, I discussed the case with a manager, which was supposed to be a mock discussion in a team meeting or at lunch with a client. After, I had a demo where a BAA showed me what a typical project was for someone in the position. I recommend being very attentive and asking intelligent questions because he asked specific questions to make sure I was smart and absorbing what he was talking about. Next, I had an analytical case interview with a principal. This is a standard business case interview, so I would definitely practice a lot beforehand. My question was about what would you think about when building a home improvement store in a metropolitan area. Then, I had lunch with a consultant and was given a tour of the office.
Overall, the second interview was chaotic and unprofessional. They printed the wrong case, so it ruined the timing of everything else for everyone visiting that day. One of the interviewees had to prep in two different periods, which shortened her lunch. Someone was listed on my schedule to take me to lunch, so I was confused when a different person did. The person who took me to lunch was supposed to give me a tour of the office but didn't seem to know that. HR came out and realized what had happened, and someone they seemed to retrieve last minute gave me my tour. I had a lot of stuff because I brought homework to do at the hotel, and I am pretty sure someone said a snarky comment about how much stuff I had. Even if I was given an offer, I am not sure if I would have taken it because of this experience.
- Why do you want to do sales and marketing specifically? Answer Question
- No OfferNegative Experience
I applied through a recruiter – interviewed at ZS Associates (Evanston, IL).
Worst interview experience I've ever had. The recruiter contacted me regarding a position they had available in their Evanston office. She rescheduled our initial phone call four times and on the fifth attempt she simply did not call and I haven't heard from her since. I got the impression that she rescheduled several of them simply because she didn't want to stay late at work. Because I was working at the time, several of the calls were scheduled after 5pm (three of the attempts), and last minute she would apparently have to leave work for some reason and reschedule with me. One time she rescheduled because she said I hadn't sent her an updated resume, even though I did earlier that day and she responded to that email confirming that she had received it.
Mostly I just found the number of times she bailed on me to be unprofessional, and you can't do much worse than just not call for a scheduled phone interview like she did. I understand if she decided that I wasn't a good fit based on my resume or if they found a great candidate (one of the times she rescheduled it was because other candidates were going to be in the office that day), but all that takes is a short email saying thanks but no thanks. According to Glassdoor a lot of people seemed to have good experiences with this company and their interviews, so I'm hoping this is just a fluke. But for me, I unfortunately have nothing positive to say.
- Accepted OfferPositive ExperienceDifficult Interview
I applied through college or university. The process took a week – interviewed at ZS Associates (Evanston, IL) in February 2014.
Round 1- One case interview and one behavioral interview. Interviews were conducted by managers and partners.
Round 2- One case interview, one behavioral interview, and one written case presentation. The case and behavioral interview was conducted by partners. For the written case I was given a deck of about 30 slides and a problem statement. I had 45 minutes to go through the information and create a power-point presentation that presented my analysis and solutions. I then had a few minutes to present to two managers, followed by a questions.
I interviewed on-campus for round 1 and in Evanston for round 2.
- Tell me about a time you worked in a team
Tell me about a time you worked with a challenging person Answer Question
- Tell me about a time you worked in a team
- Declined OfferPositive ExperienceAverage Interview
I applied through college or university. The process took 2 weeks – interviewed at ZS Associates (Evanston, IL) in February 2014.
Very straight forward. It is split into two 30 minute interviews. The first is very behavioral (tell me about a time when...) and questions like Why ZS? The second portion is a case interview. The case is just a packet they hand you and say "go". Very simple math and they ask you to brainstorm a few ideas for recommendations.
- Forecast revenues for a pharma company Answer Question
Helpful (2)Accepted OfferPositive ExperienceAverage Interview
I applied through college or university. The process took 3 weeks – interviewed at ZS Associates (Evanston, IL) in November 2013.
Straightforward and follow the format listed on their website:
First round behavioral+Case interview with 2 people (around 1 hour in total)
Final round Behavioral+Case+Analytics with 3 different people (prepare for 4-5 hours).
Case interview is position-specific. No general case questions (ex: profit went down 20%, why?). Expect simple calculations. Some knowledge of simple sales/marketing terminologies will be asset for non-business background applicants.
- Nothing too difficult analytically; for non-business background applicants, brush up on some simple industry and sales/marketing terms and calculations Answer Question
Did not negotiate, very good offer for starting position
- No OfferNeutral ExperienceAverage Interview
I applied online. The process took 2+ months – interviewed at ZS Associates (Evanston, IL) in January 2013.
At first I got an email from HR asking me to set up a phone interview. It was very simple and quick, basically just a little about myself and learning about the position. About a month later, they contacted me to set up a follow up phone interview. This was about an hour, split into two parts, a half hour case study (They emailed the materials for it at the start of the interview) and a half hour behavioral portion. A month after that I got a phone call from HR saying that they decided to not hire at all for the position after all.
- In what ways have you made a process more efficient/streamlined? Answer Question
- No OfferPositive ExperienceDifficult Interview
I applied through an employee referral. The process took 1 day – interviewed at ZS Associates (Evanston, IL) in December 2012.
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.
- 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. 1 Answer
Helpful (1)No OfferNeutral ExperienceDifficult Interview
I applied through college or university. The process took 1+ week – interviewed at ZS Associates (Evanston, IL) in November 2011.
I interviewed on two separate days. The first day consisted of a one-on-one behavioral interview, where we discussed my work history and habits and other standard interview fare. There was also a case-study interview on the first day, and the case was relatively easy. It mostly involved scanning data for errors and offering suggestions for improved process flow. The next day I was invited back for a second round of interviews.
The second round of interviews was about a week or so after the first round, and there were two case-studies, a one-on-one behavioral interview with a principal, a demonstration session, and a one-on-one lunch. The whole process lasted about five hours. The cases in the second round were considerably more difficult, and were apparently fairly representative of the work the company does. I honestly found the cases to be dull, and I did not excel on them. As a result, I did not receive an offer.
I commend ZS for the speed of the process. I received a call the day after the second round with their decision. Everyone I met was friendly and honest about their work. The person who took me to lunch told me that he really did not like his job, which was helpful. I realize that this might sound like sour grapes, but I am fairly certain that even if I had received an offer I would have declined. It seems like really boring and time-consuming work that does not make a positive contribution to the world at large.
- One of the case studies concerned reorganizing a pharmaceutical sales staff, and essentially boiled down to how I would downsize the department. 1 Answer
Helpful (1)Accepted OfferPositive ExperienceAverage Interview
I applied online. The process took 2 weeks – interviewed at ZS Associates (Evanston, IL) in June 2011.
Two interviews in the process. One is by phone, and is done in two parts. The first part is a standard interview (about your education, experience, etc), and the second part consists of a small case study, followed by a discussion of your answers and thought process. the second interview is a day long interview done in the office. You will meet with people at each level (associate, consultant, etc), and it is a similar experience to the phone interview (a mix of typical interviews with case studies thrown in). At this point there is also a written case study.
- How do you choose between two locations to place a new store Answer Question
No negotiations. I was given a contract and accepted
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