Title of position interviewed for: Business Manager
Approximate date of interview: 2/1998
Location: McLean, VA
Submitted on: 11-Jan-04
We have evolved our interview process over a long period of time. We
are extremely rigid with our process and everyone must go through the
same type of process: written/multiple choice testing, case
interviews, behavioral interviews, and "fit" interviews.
There are two types of tests depending on the position for which you
are applying. If one is looking at an analyst position, we have a
strenuous timed analytical test that few applicants finish. It's sort
of like the analytical exercises on the GMAT. The second
written/multiple choice test is a "management style" type of test. It
gives the applicant a set of circumstances and a list of multiple
choice answers as to how the applicant would handle the situation.
More people fail the analytical test, but there are those who fail the
management style test even when they have passed the analytical one.
We typically screen people on the phone even before we let them take
the test. This screen is a mini-behavioral interview where we ask
questions that start with, "Tell me about a time when you...." The
completion of that sentence often asks about times when the applicant
has had to handle difficult situations or taken leadership roles. We
are gauging to see how someone would fit into our environment and
whether they handle situations in a mature and thoughtful manner. We
also look to see if people learned from those experiences and leverage
that learning in their daily work.
Our case interviews are very quantitative in nature, requiring the
applicant to do math (every case interview requires the applicant to do
math, so no one should be shy about doing calculations.) There are
often analytical shortcuts and applicants get "extra" points for
thinking of them and employing them when reaching their answer. We're
interested in the right answer, but also in the process people utilize
to get to the answer. Explaining the method of getting to the answer
is almost as important as the answer itself. Clearly articulating
one's thinking is an incredibly important part of succeeding on the
In the case interviews, we also tend to look at graphs. Because we use
graphs and other analytical tools quite often, applicants should be
very prepared to graph their findings and make conclusions based on the
graph. The answer is only important if it is interpreted and a
business decision can be made from it.