Interviews

Posted by Khaled Kteily on in Interviews

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Sarah Chang is a Columbia University graduate who will be joining McKinsey later this year. I came across a recent post of hers, and asked for permission to reproduce, which she has graciously agreed to.

She catches on to a few things that many students overlook. I always teach students the art of assumption-question, to always link numbers back to the original questions, to ask "so what?" and other tips and tricks that help you stand out as a candidate. It's a long list but worth the read. Her one mistake? Not numbering her points, in true consultant fashion! 

You can find the original post here and some of her other thoughts and musings on her personal site. I've reproduced the post in full below:

CASE INTERVIEWS: WHY THE RIGHT ANSWER IS NOT ENOUGH & WHAT TO DO INSTEAD

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Posted by Khaled Kteily on in Interviews

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A recent Harvard Business School study reaches a fascinating conclusion about social status in prestigious and non-prestigious environments. Titled 'The Red Sneakers Effect: Inferring Status and Competence from Signals of Nonconformity', it gives us some insight into how trying to fit in can have the opposite effect you intended. 

The key takeaway: If you are already in a prestigious setting
(working at a top firm, studying at a top school, etc.) then doing something nonconformist can give you a higher perceived social status.

For example: a business school professor wearing a t-shirt and sporting a beard or a trainer for an executive education program wearing a suit and red sneakers are considered as “having the guts to do what they’re doing. They have points to spare. They’re such a high-status person that they don’t need to conform to the rules.”

On the other hand, if you're not already in a prestigious role the inverse is true. Business professors at less prestigious universities were perceived as having slightly more status when wearing a suit and tie. 

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Posted by Khaled Kteily on in Interviews

A recent blog post from Bain Voices is a description from a new consultant on the types of cases that she faced in her first- and second-round interviews at Bain & Company. Unlike many more, marketing-speak postings from firms, I found it provided real insight into the types of interviews you can expect to face. She breaks it out into four types of cases:

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1. The Seemingly-Easy Question

“Would it be profitable for us to open MyPizzaCo to compete with PopularPizzaCo around the corner from here?”

2. The Charts & Data Overload Question 

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Posted by Khaled Kteily on in Interviews

A recent blog post from Bain Voices is a description from a new consultant on the types of cases that she faced in her first- and second-round interviews at Bain & Company. Unlike many more, marketing-speak postings from firms, I found it provided real insight into the types of interviews you can expect to face. She breaks it out into four types of cases:

b2ap3_thumbnail_rubiks-cube.jpg

1. The Seemingly-Easy Question

“Would it be profitable for us to open MyPizzaCo to compete with PopularPizzaCo around the corner from here?”

2. The Charts & Data Overload Question 

...

Posted by Khaled Kteily on in Interviews

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A recent study by researchers from Harvard Business School and The Wharton School - published in Psychological Science - analyzed 9,000 interviews over ten years of MBA admissions. The researchers found that the assessment of the interviewees before you had a direct impact on your own assessment. Specifically:

"Even after controlling for lots of other factors (like the candidate’s GMAT score, essay quality, and characteristics of the individual interviewer), there was... a negative correlation between the previous scores given to candidates that day and the score given to the current interviewee."

In other words, if previous candidates have received higher scores, you are more likely to receive a lower score. And vice versa. Click through to read more about this phenomenon, as well as an analysis of the best times to schedule your consulting interviews.