- Flickr/Het Nieuwe Instituut
If you want a job at the highest-paying company in America, be prepared to really work for it.
A.T. Kearney ranked No. 1 on this year’s annual Glassdoor list for offering its employees the highest median total compensation at $167,534, which includes base salary and other forms of income, such as commissions, tips, and bonuses.
The global management-consulting firm headquartered in Chicago rewards even its youngest hires with some of the most competitive pay in the consulting industry, and the average employee starts off with a base salary of around $143,620.
The reason, as Glassdoor’s chief economist Dr. Andrew Chamberlain explains, is that there are certain “barriers of entry” to work at a premium consulting firm: Employers like A.T. Kearney want to hire top consultants who have personal contacts, reputations, and specialized skills and knowledge.
“We provide competitive compensation to attract the best talent to meet the needs of our clients across the globe,” an A.T. Kearney representative said in a statement to the Chicago Tribune.
Unsurprisingly, then, A.T. Kearney is considered one of the most difficult companies to interview with. People who have interviewed there rank the process on Glassdoor a 3.7 out of four in terms of difficulty.
Like other big consulting firms, interview questions at A.T. Kearney generally fall into one of two categories: case-study and experience questions.
During the case-study portion of the interview, interviewees analyze a real-business problem and develop and discuss solutions to the client challenge it poses. The experience portion of the interview is a more familiar format, where interviewers can learn more about the job seeker’s background and personal experience.
From Glassdoor, here are some of the toughest interview questions job seekers have been asked at A.T. Kearney:
‘How many ping pong balls can you fit into a 747 jet?’ — Data-analyst candidate
‘How many people drink coffee in New York City?’ — Procurement and analytics analyst candidate
- Reuters/Kim Hong-Ji
‘When was the last time you failed?’ — Business-analyst candidate
‘If a composition of 180 liters is 10% milk, what would be the percent of milk after adding another 20 liters of milk?’ — Anonymous candidate
‘What are three things you do professionally that would disappoint an employer?’ — Analyst candidate
‘How much money does Coca-Cola spend on aluminum in the US each year?’ — Sourcing-analyst candidate
- Getty Images/Justin Sullivan
‘How do you think you’d cope with the frustrations of a client deciding not to implement your work?’ — Associate candidate
‘How many office phones are currently in this building?’ — Sourcing-analyst candidate
- K2 Space/flickr
‘How will you convince a client that you are best placed to help them?’ — Sourcing-associate candidate
- flickr / decoded conference
‘Predict the demand for pizza in your hometown.’ — MBA summer-sourcing associate candidate
- Wikimedia Commons
‘What would your previous manager say about you?’ — Business-analyst candidate
‘At a four-way stoplight how many times a day a does the light turn red?’ — Management-consulting associate candidate
- Scott Olson/Getty Images
‘How many degrees are between the hands of a watch at 9:50?’ — Business-analyst candidate
‘What is the level of detail you get into while managing projects? — Principal candidate
‘How many airplanes fly out of O’Hare airport in a given day?’ — Procurement and analytics analyst candidate
- Reuters/Luke MacGregor
‘How was the culture different in this city when you joined school, and what did you do to adjust to it?’ — Senior business-analyst candidate
‘Tell me about a time when you had to persuade someone with data.’ — Associate candidate
‘An airport is going to get a major influx of passengers due to the Olympics. The CEO wants to know what issues would arise and how to fix these.’ — Business-analyst candidate
- Antara Photo Agency/Reuters
‘Why didn’t you interview with us when you finished your MBA?’ — Manager candidate