Preparing for your Interview

Thank you for your interest in Telesto. The resources below will help you understand and prepare for the Telesto interview process


Telesto is a mission-driven organization,  and we are regularly looking to build up our team with people who put impact first. While there is no exact "formula for success" at Telesto, here are a few qualities we seek in new members of our Firm.

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Shared Values

As a mission-driven organization, we seek out candidates who share our values and passion for impact
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Conceptual & Analytical Rigor

Because our clients entrust us with solving their toughest problems, we seek out candidates with demonstrated strength in conceptual thinking and analytical methods
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Effective Communication

Telling the story can be even more important than getting the answer. That's why we look for candidates who can effectively communicate findings in structured and compelling ways
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Entrepreneurial Leadership

As a growing Firm, we never underestimate the contributions of all Firm members. As such, we look for candidates who are continuously looking to "step up" and offer support beyond what is asked of them

How Our Interview Process Works

Our interview process has 3 main components

Values fit interview

Focused on how the candidate’s background, experience, and professional motivation are aligned to Telesto’s core values, this section is centered around the candidate explaining how past experiences demonstrate their alignment with Telesto’s mission, leadership skills, focus on impact, entrepreneurial mindset, communication skills, and intellectual curiosity.

Case interview

Built around a hypothetical interviewer-led case that is designed to resemble the client work that Telesto frequently does, the case interviews seek to gauge applicants’ consulting capabilities by having the interviewer present the candidate with a hypothetical “consulting project” before proceeding through a series of questions relating to analytical and conceptual thinking. As such, case interviews, which typically last ~30-45 minutes, are designed to test applicants’ problem-solving capabilities (qualitative and quantitative) as well as “softer” skills (e.g., communication).

Written assessment

In addition to conducting interviews, candidates may also be asked to conduct a written assessment. The written assessment is designed to complement the interviews while also providing candidates alternative pathways to demonstrate their core competencies. Much like the interviews, the written assessment involves a hypothetical interviewer-led case that is designed to resemble the client work with which Telesto is involved. The written assessment seeks to gauge applicants’ consulting capabilities by having the candidate answer a series of questions in a hypothetical “consulting project” and develop them into a presentation document for the fictitious client. As such, the written assessment, for which candidates are given a fixed amount of time to complete, is designed to test applicants’ problem-solving capabilities (qualitative and quantitative), ability to analyze data and draw conclusions from it as well as “softer” skills (e.g., communication, focus on relevance for client).

Practice Consulting Case

Client Context

REIT Corp., a real estate company, is looking to set a net zero target for it’s operations by 2025. That is to say, it intends to bring its net greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions to zero by a 2025. For context, most businesses generate GHG emissions by burning fossil fuels (e.g., gasoline in automobiles, jet fuel in planes, coal in power plants) but can also create them in the course of conducting industrial processes (e.g., producing fertilizer, manufacturing steel). The CEO of REIT Corp. has hired Telesto to help it craft a Net Zero Strategy to attain its goal by 2025.

Question 1

REIT Corp.’s CEO has asked Telesto to evaluate whether or not it is realistic for the company to reach Net Zero by 2025. What are some of the factors that the Telesto team should consider when thinking about how realistic it is for REIT Corp. to achieve a Net Zero target by 2025?

Although there are potentially many different ways to answer to this question, a robust response would seek to organize the factors that need to be considered into several mutually exclusive and collectively exhaustive buckets. This could be something as simple as internal / direct (i.e., emissions by REIT Corp. itself) and external / indirect factors (i.e., emissions by suppliers of REIT Corp.). A slightly more common variation on this framework found in the sustainability space is Scope 1, 2, and 3 emissions:

  • Scope 1: All GHG emissions from REIT Corp’s own operations, including emissions on own properties (e.g., from generators or boilers on rental properties) and those due to travel (e.g., to visit rental properties)
  • Scope 2: Indirect GHG emissions from the generation of purchased or acquired electricity, steam, heating, or cooling consumed by REIT Corp., including that which is needed to run its office spaces, its rental properties, and other spaces it may own
  • Scope 3: All other indirect GHG emissions that occur in the value chain of REIT Corp. (e.g., from fabrication of building materials needed to construct rental properties, from services providers who support functioning of rental properties)

Question 2

Looking at the exhibits below, what insights can you gather from these two charts, and what do they mean for REIT Corp.?

Several different key insights can be extracted from these exhibits, but a very strong answer will seek to not only identify specific trends which are legible in the charts but to also understand how the two charts speak to one another and what the implications are for the overall context of REIT Corp’s goal of reaching net zero by 2025.

To this end, a good answer would identify that:

  • Although REIT Corp’s portfolio grew rapidly (+28%) during 2018-20, it was able to reduce Scope 1 + 2 emissions by 14% during the same time, which suggests REIT Corp is demonstrating momentum towards reaching its net zero goal already, but more analysis is needed to determine whether this is enough to reach zero emissions by 2025
  • Despite the fact that housing represents the vast majority of REIT Corp’s portfolio by area (~72%), it only accounts for ~53% of Scope 1 + 2 emissions
  • This implies that on per-unit basis, R&D accounts for the greatest volume of emissions (11,000 MT of CO2e per Mn sqft. in 2020), office the second greatest (~9,500 MT of CO2e per Mn sqft.), and housing the least (~4,200 MT of CO2e per Mn sqft.). Because housing represents the vast majority of REIT Corp’s portfolio, it is a positive sign that that is where the lowest per-unit emissions have been achieved, but it also suggests there is significant room for improvement in R&D and Office
  • It is worth noting that Scope 3 emissions are not currently being included in the chart on the right. This is an important consideration, as it may have significant impact on REIT Corp’s overall emissions and ability to reach its net zero 2025 target. It is worth asking REIT Corp. if Scope 3 emissions will be considered in the 2025 target and whether they are already being measured

Question 3

Looking at the data in the exhibits, REIT Corp.’s CEO says she feels like the trajectory of the company’s Scope 1 + 2 emissions have been declining steadily in recent years. She asks the team to calculate in what year REIT Corp. would reach zero Scope 1 + 2 emissions if the 2018-2020 trajectory held. She also asks what percent increase (relative to the 2018-20 average) in the rate of decline of Scope 1 + 2 emissions would be necessary for REIT Corp. to achieve zero emissions by 2025.

To determine the annual rate during 2018-20, we take the 2020 value and subtract it from the 2018 value:
292 – 250 = 42 MT of CO2e per year

To calculate in what year REIT Corp. will reach zero emissions, we divide the 2020 value by the annual rate of decline:
250 / 42 = ~6 years

So, REIT Corp. should achieve net zero emissions by 2026, which is 1 year later than the 2025 target

To reach net zero by 2025, REIT Corp would need to achieve an average rate of decline of
250 / (2025 – 2020) = 250 / 5 = 50 MT of CO2e per year

To calculate the percent increase in the rate of decline: (50 – 42) / 42 = 8 / 42 = ~19% increase

Question 4

What are some initiatives REIT Corp. could consider to accelerate its pace of declining emissions?

Although there are potentially many different ways to answer to this question, a robust response would seek to organize the initiatives into several mutually exclusive and collectively exhaustive buckets. A relatively straightforward way of doing this would be to organize them according to the 3 scopes:

  • Scope 1: Make efforts to reduce emissions from direct operations, including reducing emission-heavy travel for employees (e.g., opting for more video conferencing, encouraging employees to take public transportation where feasible) and switching to cleaner technologies on own properties (e.g., swapping solar panels for generators)
  • Scope 2: Make efforts to reduce the need for electricity, steam, heating, or cooling and to procure from low-emission sources when doing so (e.g., negotiate to use renewable energy sources with utilities providers, run company-wide campaigns to consume less electricity, improve insulation in buildings to reduce the need for heating and cooling)
  • Scope 3: Make efforts to decarbonize REIT Corp’s value chain (e.g., use low-emission materials – like green concrete – in construction of buildings, prioritize providers which monitor their emissions and make efforts to reduce them)
    Although the question asks about accelerating the pace of declining emissions, an especially strong answer will recognize that in addition to reducing emissions, REIT Corp. can also consider ways to offset its emissions to reach net zero more quickly (e.g., purchasing carbon credits, investing in reforestation efforts or other carbon sequestration)

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