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Cambridge Associates Interview
Questions

28 Questions and Answers by Ryan Brunner

Published April 16th, 2020 | Ryan has over 10 years of experience interviewing
candidates in the healthcare, public service, and private manufacturing/distribution industries.
Question 1 of 28
The clients of a financial firm like Cambridge Associates can display an arrange of emotions when they work with our Client Services team. How would you handle a situation where a client was very angry?
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How to Answer
Whether due to a large amount of money lost on the market or a client feels they were ill-advised by an Advisor, your job as a Client Services Representative will at some point or another deal with a very angry client. For this answer, your interviewer will be looking to hear that you do what is necessary to stay calm and stay focused on finding a resolution. If possible, use a specific example of a time you had to do exactly this and explain how effective communication was critical in making the situation right for the client.
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1.
The clients of a financial firm like Cambridge Associates can display an arrange of emotions when they work with our Client Services team. How would you handle a situation where a client was very angry?
Whether due to a large amount of money lost on the market or a client feels they were ill-advised by an Advisor, your job as a Client Services Representative will at some point or another deal with a very angry client. For this answer, your interviewer will be looking to hear that you do what is necessary to stay calm and stay focused on finding a resolution. If possible, use a specific example of a time you had to do exactly this and explain how effective communication was critical in making the situation right for the client.

Ryan's Answer #1
"As you can see from my resume, I've spent the last three years in customer service relations for a large insurance company. As you can imagine, a large majority of my customer interactions were with upset customers. I've been called names that I can't repeat here in this interview and my key to working through these situations was to remain calm and not take things personally. Like the financial world, the insurance business is a very life altering experience and a loss or damage to an item is very stressful. I tried to put myself in the customers shoes, see things from their perspective and do my best to ease their situation. In this role with Cambridge Associates, these same skills would be vital for me to find solutions or the right person to talk to if needed."
Ryan's Answer #2
"First and foremost, an active listening approach is the first step to lowering the tension from an angry customer. A couple of months ago, we had a very angry customer come onsite to complain about a defective product that cut his hand pretty badly. The customer came onsite to complain even before receiving emergency care, which was apparent that he needed. First, I let him release his anger and it was not a pretty sight. Then I calmly repeated back what he had said and then explained what our policy allowed me to do at that time. Looking back, my sincere approach and calm demeanor helped calm him down and later that day, my manager had a formal complaint sent to the manufacturer and we were assured that they'd be in contact with the customer."
2.
We pride ourselves on teamwork here at Cambridge Associates and this role in Client Services relies on teamwork. What are the top qualities would you would bring to a team based atmosphere here?
At the heart of this question falls your interviewers need to determine how well you will work with others on the team at Cambridge Associates. You will be working with high level advisors and managers that are under a lot of pressure to perform in their jobs and your communications with them will either alleviate some of that stress or add to it. To ensure that your interviewer walks away from your conversation knowing that you are a team player that keeps the end goals of the company in mind, focus your answer on your effective communication skills, your knowledge of everyone's role on the team and your knowledge of what your role on the team will be.

Ryan's Answer #1
"As with any team that I have worked on in the past, my priority is knowing that everyone has an important piece in the overall success of the team. In customer service, this is knowing who to contact with the right questions and who to guide customers to when needed. This ensures that our work is done efficiently on our end of things and that our customers are handled efficiently and effectively. If hired here at Cambridge Associates, my first goal would be to get to know everyone on the team that I would work with, what their roles are and how to best communicate with them."
Ryan's Answer #2
"My top quality is my ability to communicate, both verbally and through writing. I have excellent interpersonal speaking and listening skills and my past colleagues have always appreciated this. Here at Cambridge Associates, your clients would appreciate this in my work as well. I am a very efficient and effective written communicator as well and this would be very beneficial at a company like Cambridge Associates, where your offices are spread throughout the country and I can imagine that email communication is vitally important."
3.
At Cambridge Associates, we pride ourselves on providing the best overall customer experience. Talk about your customer service experience and explain why it will help our clients here.
In the financial services industry, overall client experience is a major predictor of business growth and the team at Cambridge Associates takes the overall client experience seriously. For this question, your interviewer will be looking for you to expand upon your customer service experience past what they can see from your resume. To seal the deal for your interview, try to talk about times that you have went above and beyond the call of duty to provide the best service possible for a customer.

Ryan's Answer #1
"Over the past five years in my current role in customer service, my number one mantra has been to create the most personalized experience possibl for each person. I have done this by taking the time to get to know the customer, find out what their needs are and creating an experience unique to them. Where my time in automotive sales has really prepared for this role with Cambridge Associates is in this approach. If hired for this role, I know that I will be relied upon to use open and honest communication skills, time management skills and to take a empathetic and personalized approach with each client and I can definitely be relied upon to do that."
Ryan's Answer #2
"In my years in a front facing customer service role, I've prided myself on being the face of the franchise. More often than not, my interactions with customers can be the difference between a repeat customer and a person who never comes back again. To ensure repeat customers, I make sure that I am knowledgeable about our products and services, I'm proactive with their needs and I'm always accountable for any mistakes that are made on my organization's side of things. If given the opportunity to join the team here at Cambridge Associates, I will work hard to be highly educated in your services and be proactive and accountable in every interaction that I have."
4.
As a Business Analyst at Cambridge Associates, you will be tasked with working with diverse teams of stakeholders on different projects. How do you handle stakeholders that are difficult and bullheaded?
Leading a project team will put you in front of many differing personalities and you need to have the ability to work with every type of personality to be successful in this role at Cambridge Associates. While your interviewer may not be telling you that you will work with a difficult person because they know of a few, they're more looking to see how you utilize your communication and problem solving skills to make the situation better for everyone. As you answer this question, feel free to use an example from the past that highlights how you used your interpersonal skills to work effectively with a difficult person on a project team.

Ryan's Answer #1
"Honestly, one of the things that I love the most about being a Business Analyst is the mix of people that I get to work with and if I took an honest look back over time, I'd say that every team that I was a part of had at least one difficult person to work with. In those situations, I rely on an empathetic approach that really tries to narrow down what makes that person tick on the job. With that knowledge in hand, I can then touch them in a relatable manner and even provide them with work that suits their needs the best."
Ryan's Answer #2
"Just recently, an executive with my company was the final decision maker and stakeholder on a sales project and she had some very unrealistic expectations for the project from the start and she wasn't afraid to let me know. To best handle this situation, I listened to all of her thoughts on the project and asked a lot of follow up questions to get her sense of the project. After that, I asked for a couple of days to rework some design of the project. When we had our follow up meeting, I educated her on a few legal aspects of the project that wouldn't fit into her mold. She thanked me for the insight and we were off on the right path from there."
5.
How do you believe your coworkers would describe you?
The interviewer would like to know how you are seen by your colleagues. Select approximately three words that truly define who you are. Be sure to choose words that radiate positive thoughts!

Ryan's Answer #1
"I believe that my coworkers, if asked, would describe me as a reliable person who is always ready to submit the best work possible. My work ethic has never been questioned, and I am very proud with the work that I have submitted in my career, so far."
Ryan's Answer #2
"Here are some other great keywords you could use:

- Encouraging
- Caring
- Knowledgeable
- Reliable
- Focused
- Honest
- Assertive
- Tenacious
- Motivated
- Ambitions
- Conscientious"
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