ZS Associates
3.5 of 5 392 reviews
www.zsassociates.com Evanston, IL 1000 to 5000 Employees

ZS Associates Interview Questions & Reviews in San Mateo, CA

Updated Apr 2, 2014
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Interview Experience 

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No Offer

Neutral Experience

Average Interview

Business Analytics Associate, Post-Bacc Interview

Anonymous Interview Candidate
San Mateo, CA

I applied through college or university and the process took 3 weeks - interviewed at ZS Associates in January 2014.

Interview Details – Contacted by recruitment 9 months out of undergrad after (understandable) no response from on-campus recruiting. Went through pre-screening over the phone; seemed focused primarily on making sure I could start quickly and had no obvious red flags. Received phone interview schedule about a week later.

First round over the phone; consisted of a behavioral interview with a project manager and a case interview with a consultant. Behavioral interview questions seemed very standard. Case interview was as I stated above. I got an offer to use Excel (with the interviewer software-ing in to see my screen) but turned it down. That was a mistake;, accept it and use it as much as possible.
N.B.: Case was unexpected, but not hard. If it showed up in an MBB-type interview it would have been maybe 1/4-1/3 of a product launch case. Could easily be finished in 10 minutes with Excel and no panicking.

Second round consisted of lunch with an associate, behavioral interview (conventional questions), written case interview (40min work + 40min analysis with interviewers), presentation of BAA work, then a second case interview. The written case was deeper and harder than the one over the phone, but the same type of question. 4 parts, 3 very quantitative and the last slightly less so. I finished 3, which was above average. Walked through my analysis with the interviewers (recently-promoted from BAA) and then did Part 4 with them. The second case interview wasn't introduced that way on the itinerary and was just given as a very low-detail "Hey, think about this" question; the linear thinking skills from MBB-type practice WILL be necessary here, and frameworks might be useful.

No offer, credited (by them) to going scattered during the final step instead of approaching it the way I would an MBB-type case.

Interview Question – The verbal case question:
1) Let's say you're looking to open a clothing store. How would you figure out where to put it?
which later led to
2) You make a lot of money and someone asks to borrow $50k. How do you figure out if you'll give it to them?
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No Offer

Neutral Experience

Average Interview

Business Analytics Associate Interview

Business Analytics Associate
San Mateo, CA

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

Interview Details – The first round was an on-campus interview with cases and behavioural questions. The final round was an on-site interview in which I met six interviewers in a row, from junior consultant to head of the office. Overall, it was a simple process. But some of the cases were tricky and made you deal with large numbers and statistics.

Interview Question – Cases dealing with massive amount of numbers and charts   Answer Question

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Declined Offer

Positive Experience

Difficult Interview

Business Analytics Associate Interview

Business Analytics Associate
San Mateo, CA

I applied through a recruiter and interviewed at ZS Associates.

Interview Details – On campus recruiting and final round interviews. There were a mix of behavioral and case interviews, as well as general analyst questions. Final rounds were hosted on site, lasting 5 hours and consisting of multiple interviews.

Interview Question – "What would you be most concerned about on your first day of work"   View Answer

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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

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1 person found this helpful

No Offer

Negative Experience

Difficult Interview

Manager Interview

Anonymous Interview Candidate
San Mateo, CA

I applied online and the process took 3+ weeks - interviewed at ZS Associates.

Interview Details – Long. It took 2-3 weeks just to get an interview schedule. I had to work with three separate HR people in order to do that. I was initially screened by one, but then had to communicate with two more.
Only given online, webex case interview with a phone discussion. Not your typical case interview. No ability to ask questions. It's all strictly controlled on a slide by slide process. Over the phone you have no idea as to the progress you're making. You are not given any ability to demonstrate anything past straight analytics. There was a hard stop after exactly one half hour and as soon as the clock struck that time, I was given a "goodbye" and a disconnect. The person was professional but impersonal.
I was supposed to receive a behavioral interview, but after all their delays and I assume my perceived poor performance on the case interview, this was eliminated. They did not want to get to know about 15+ years of experience, but just make a decision based on my math capabilities.
I feel this organization is looking for analytical automatons instead of those that can actually lead, manage, and direct. May be a good place for newly minted MBA's or undergrads to start a career, but seems like a hard fit for very experienced professionals.

Interview Question – Phone case interview should be completely re-structured to actually allow dialogue and help in the case reveal.   Answer Question

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1 person 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.

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Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Average Interview

Business Analytics Associate Interview

Business Analytics Associate
San Mateo, CA

I applied online - interviewed at ZS Associates in February 2014.

Interview Details – Final round interview was a half-day visit on-site at the office. Schedule was laid out beforehand so there were no surprises. The recruiter I was corresponding with really put in care and effort in picking out who I would be interviewing with for each specific part of the day, and I ended up having an almost all-women interview panel! Quite a few of my interviewers had a connection with my university and my engineering background.

I have not yet received an offer or rejection, was told that the result would be coming within a week of my interview.

Interview Question – Everything was as expected and as detailed in the communications with the recruiter. Typical questions.   Answer Question

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1 person found this helpful

Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Average Interview

Business Technology Associate Interview

Business Technology Associate
San Mateo, CA

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

Interview Details – 1 : HR Phone screens your resume.
2: Phone Behavioral and Case study (Case 30 mins prep and 30 min Discussion)
3: Final Onsite interview. Behavioral, Presentation (Given by company and sample walk through of their work), 2 case studies. (Case study 1: similar to phone case study. Case study 2: More analytical in nature and tests the thought process).

Interview Question – I had prepared some case studies in advance so there were no surprises here.   Answer Question

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1 person found this helpful

Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Difficult Interview

Business Analytics Associate Consultant Interview

Business Analytics Associate Consultant
San Mateo, CA

I applied through college or university and the process took 2 weeks - interviewed at ZS Associates in December 2010.

Interview Details – People are very friendly. The interview process began with a phone screener, then two sets of interviews at the office. The first includes a behavior assessment and case study that you walk through with an Associate Consultant. The second consists of a case study in person, one that you fill out on a paper and then walk through with someone, another behavior interview with a principal, and a project demo where you walk through someones project (this is not an interview and is more for your own information but it is important that you ask poignant questions and pay attention to any questions that ask you to recap the information shared with you). There is also a lunch with associates and you can get to know the people and company culture better. I was then called by a principal and offered the job.

Interview Question – What do you enjoy doing outside of work.   View Answer

Negotiation Details – You cannot really negotiate it is a standard pay that includes a cost of living adjustment. They provide a moving and signing bonus.

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No Offer

Negative Experience

Average Interview

Business Analytics Associate Interview

Business Analytics Associate
San Mateo, CA

I applied through college or university and interviewed at ZS Associates.

Interview Details – I have to say this is the most unprofessional interview experience I have ever had.

I applied this position online, and the recruiter emailed me to schedule a phone interview a week after I applied. The interview is supposed to be two parts: behavioral questions and case interview. On the scheduled day, the recruiter told me the hiring manager had some emergency, so the first part is canceled. But I still had the case interview. I waited for around 20 minutes after the scheduled time. Someone finally called me, saying that he didn't have time to do the case interview with me.

So the next day, the recruiter contacted me again to schedule for another phone interview. I waited for 30 minutes. Again, the guy didn't call me to do the case interview, and there was no explanation at all. Luckily, the hiring manager called me this time. He asked many behavioral questions, but you can find those questions online if you have done your research. Then the next week, the recruiter called me, saying that they would not continue the interview process.
I just lost my interest in this company. Please show some respect to other people. It is not fun to waste people's time, and I won't enjoy working in such team any way.

Interview Question – Describe a time when you failed to meet expectations   Answer Question

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