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Charles River Associates Interview Questions

Interviews at Charles River Associates

177 Interview Reviews

Experience

Experience
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Getting an Interview

Getting an Interview
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  1.  

    Life Sciences Analyst Interview

    Anonymous Employee in New York, NY (US)
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied through college or university. I interviewed at Charles River Associates (New York, NY (US)).

    Interview

    One phone call from campus recruiting website, one full day interview onsite with about 5 interviews with members of the office. Questions were not too difficult, typical life sciences cases.

    Interview Questions

    • Tell us a bit about yourself and why you chose consulting.   Answer Question

  2. Helpful (1)  

    Senior Associate Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Washington, DC (US)
    No Offer
    Negative Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied through a recruiter. The process took 2 weeks. I interviewed at Charles River Associates (Washington, DC (US)) in July 2020.

    Interview

    The interview was friendly and casual, but also somewhat anemic and low energy (initially, I assumed this was a side-effect of the COVID phone-only approach). The interviewers were very proud of their organization, which is always nice, but there was little substantive basis for their feelings offered in any tangible way. More specifically, I was curious why their relatively modest and somewhat recent foray into eDiscovery was necessarily superior as their tone implied (i,e, they acted like number one and they are not even one of the "big four").

    The interviewers I spoke with seemed a little disengaged and somewhat under-prepared for the phone interview. When I cited specific platform skill information I sent in advance of the interview, at least one party did not appear to have access to (or perhaps did not read in advance) the material I referenced. May just have been a side-effect of having three 30 minute interviews scheduled across the lunch "hour", but I felt like there was nobody listening on the other end of the phone. The pace, descriptions and general content of the three interviews I engaged in were nearly identical, so there appears to have been no advance communication between parties prior to the call. Essentially, it felt like they were all winging it while sitting at their respective kitchen tables.

    This was a generally friendly group of folks who do not appear to fully comprehend the DC litigation services market very well (when I stated that legal services in DC was interesting because DC is a "big small town", one party thought I was referring to "square miles", which was a little disheartening). While CRA is a great company for certain regulatory and financial matters, they are certainly nowhere near the big four in size or influence when it comes to eDiscovery, so the odd, almost de facto smugness about their organization in the context of the eDiscovery field seemed ill-placed and misguided. It was a real turn-off and one of two reasons I felt it was kind of over before it really began.

    Especially odd was the idea of going through four interviews (including the recruiter) for a senior position in high-level, managed review in a law-first town like Washington and not ONE interviewer was a licensed attorney (definitely a first! I have never interviewed with a panel in this field and not had at least one attorney in the mix...this was the second reason I knew I was out) Generally, they were a very confident and nice group of people who appear to be deep in the throes of the Dunning-Kruger Effect.

    The strangest thing that occurred is that I withdrew from the process via email the day after the interviews and never received a reply. At first I felt that was a little odd, but I chalked it up to the notion that perhaps they were busy setting up their new DC office. I had essentially forgotten about it when just over a week later I received an email thanking me for my interest and expressing that they had decided to "not pursue my candidacy" (huh?); very weird. Also, their email went to the wrong email address (it went to a junk email I use for mass mailings from recruiters and head hunters, not my actual email from which all post-introductory exchanges had taken place). I was going to mention something in response, but then did not really see the point as they had solidly gone into my "life is too short to work with people who are..." by that point, so I simply sent a "sounds good/good luck". I can only assume my withdrawal email went the way of the Relativity skill list I provided at their request (sent but unread?) or got caught up in a junk mail or filter issue, but very unusual for sure. In the end, it does not really matter too much and is actually kind of funny!

    Interview Questions

    • Each thirty minute interview spent anywhere from 10 to 15 minutes discussing the company rather than posing actual questions. The first two each asked two questions which were either historical (regarding former employers and clients) or anecdotal ("Do you think being a lawyer makes any difference in managing review?") and the third interviewer asked three. questions which seemed a little low level for this position ("What are your skills in Relativity") and, more importantly, the answers to which were provided in the CV addendum sent in advance of the interview. The last party was rather obviously reading questions from a screen or sheet of paper. While the recruiter's questions were relevant, upbeat and well organized (she was very engaged), the actual interviewers seemed distracted and unprepared and ultimately were why I withdrew (though they did not seem to know that!). A forgettable experience over all.   Answer Question

    Charles River Associates Response

    20 Jul 2020 – Senior HR Manager

    Thank you for sharing feedback regarding your interview with CRA. We care about the candidate experience, and are sorry that we fell short compared to your expectations. We appreciate the time you took to let us know about your experience; your recruiter is also happy to discuss in further detail if you’d like to reach out.

  3.  

    Associate Consultant Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Easy Interview

    Application

    I applied online. I interviewed at Charles River Associates in July 2020.

    Interview

    Interviewed after PhD symposium. First round was ~45 minutes with one consultant. Standard interview with fit and case, and ~5 minutes at the end for Q&A.
    Final round was 4 back-to-back interviews, one lunch with two consultants and one presentation on the topic candidates choose. Overall good experience but one case interview was with a lot of pressure, as being challenged consistently by the interviewer. Other interviewers were super nice though.

    Interview Questions

    • Why consulting and why CRA. Standard life science case with market size estimation, etc.   Answer Question

  4.  

    Associate Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Washington, DC (US)
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied through an employee referral. The process took 3 weeks. I interviewed at Charles River Associates (Washington, DC (US)) in April 2020.

    Interview

    Super day with back to back interviews. Tiring experience with no break in between but most interviewers were friendly apart from two. There were some behavioral questions followed by a logical question. Mostly behavioral though as the majority of the discussion revolves around my experience and background.

    Interview Questions


  5.  

    Analyst Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Boston, MA (US)
    No Offer
    Neutral Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied through an employee referral. I interviewed at Charles River Associates (Boston, MA (US)).

    Interview

    One phone interview, then a trip out to the office location (mine was in Boston) for a day full of interviews. I spoke with the VP for the first half hour, answering basic stats questions and resume walkthroughs. Next half hr was with the head of the competition unit, resume walk through. Next half hr was a case study where I was given a quality control simulation double checking a dataset. Finally, an interview with an associate on the team walking through a case study verbally, no data involved.

    Interview Questions

    • Explain Standard Errors to me.   1 Answer

  6.  

    Analyst Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    No Offer
    Negative Experience
    Easy Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 2 weeks. I interviewed at Charles River Associates.

    Interview

    Had a brief interview over the phone where the majority of the time was dedicated to explaining the position to ME. They immediately offered to fly me out the following week for a super day. I arrived day of where 4 other people were being interviewed. Throughout the day, the interviewers were very conversational and it seemed like they were trying to sell me on the position rather. At the end of the day, I was given a couple of cases and given an hour to present on them. This was not a typical consulting case, but more in line with the type of investigation work they deal with. The interviewer asked a couple of questions as I went, but I felt confident in my answers and performance. I felt throughout the process that they were trying to sell me on the company rather than finding out why I was a good fit. Was blindsided when I did not receive an offer. Maybe I should've made a greater effort to shift the conversation into a discussion about me.

    Interview Questions

    • Why CRA?
      How did my background fit?
      Be prepared to review materials and talk about them   Answer Question

  7.  

    Data Analyst Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in New York, NY (US)
    Declined Offer
    Neutral Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 2 weeks. I interviewed at Charles River Associates (New York, NY (US)) in February 2020.

    Interview

    it is video interview and total have 45 mins coding exam, you can use SAS/R/python and introduce yourself. you need to know the code very well because more experience for coding more easier for interview

    Interview Questions

  8.  

    Analyst Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    No Offer
    Negative Experience
    Average Interview

    Interview

    Phone interview with two analysts followed by super day in office with 6 interviews and analyst lunch
    HR very unresponsive and never got back to me with answer after several emails

    Interview Questions


  9. Helpful (1)  

    Consulting Associate Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in New York, NY (US)
    No Offer
    Negative Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 2+ months. I interviewed at Charles River Associates (New York, NY (US)) in January 2020.

    Interview

    Life Sciences practice, NYC office

    1) Applied online, was asked to undertake an online assessment
    2) 1st round interview by Skype: Standard case interview
    3) 2nd round interview at office: Case and fit interviews, one presentation

    Overall impression was fairly negative, found CRA to be a bit blah.

    During the 2nd round, one interviewer butchered the case. She was trying too hard to make the case challenging, and would not share data despite asking for it multiple times. The question was about decreasing revenue growth. I said that it could be d/t decrease in volume or price. I'd love to see patient volume data if available. She said, we have that but I'll not share that with you right now. Duh! Because of that, I kept on going in circles as I could not rule out any possibilities. After wasting 20 min she shared 5 exhibits (which were dense) and now I had only 10 min to skim those exhibits, generate insights and lead the case.

     For context: I am a seasoned case solver and have successfully cracked BCG and Bain. I was thinking about transitioning to a job in boutique consultancy hence applied to CRA.

    Another unprofessional thing was the VP who was supposed to do the fit interview bailed at the last minute. The interview was supposed to start at noon and he informed he's unavailable at 12.05 pm. If I can fly halfway across the US to interview, I expect the employer to value my time. I do understand that emergencies can happen but I expect VP to be more proactive. Further, I never received an apology from recruiting and an offer to reschedule, basically implying that this was not a big deal for CRA. 

    Interview Questions


  10.  

    Intern Analyst Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    No Offer
    Neutral Experience
    Average Interview

    Interview

    Applied on their website and on handshake. Then got a first-round in-person, which was a mix of behavioral and technical (cases testing your numerical analysis abilities). Finally, I did a second-round superday at their office.

    Interview Questions

    • Tell me about a time you used your technical skills in a project.   Answer Question

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