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Blog posts tagged in interview prep

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 Preparing For Interviews

As we hit the beginning of September, you should be ramping up your case preparation. One of the apps that I used a fair amount when preparing was 'Case Maestro' by Upward Mobility. This was most useful when I had a commute and no access to internet - 30 minutes on the subway every day lends itself well to using an app to prepare. 

What I liked about the app was that it covered strategy questions, accounting (which I was terrible at), and a math section among others. This app taught me the 'Rule of 72', which explains how long it takes for your money to double, and I actually used that concept in one of my interviews, so I hold a bit of a soft spot for it. I was using it on the BlackBerry, but they've got an iPhone app which is a lot more usable. 

 

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.

Posted by Khaled Kteily on in Networking & Reputation

In January 2010, I interviewed with BCG for an internship position. I was still in that awkward case preparation phase where you know what you're "supposed" to say but not where you're comfortable to say "screw the formulas" and just approach the case with your own methodology.

My first case was the definition of awkward case student trying to follow the right procedures. I distinctly remember asking the question "can you tell me a little bit more about the competitive landscape for our client?" (If you don't know why this is a bad question to ask, look at the bottom of this post) as well as "Are there any barriers to exit?" (Without really knowing what that meant). I eventually stumbled my way to a passable answer, but it was overall a weak performance. In my second case, I wiped my mind clean of Case in Point and just approached the case in a way that made sense to me, and that went a lot better.

I didn't make it to the final round, and unsurprisingly, the feedback I got was that my approach to the first case was too forced and 'pre-packaged'. Still, I was still intent on re-interviewing for a final-round interview, and I knew that for full-time I was going to have to fight for one of ~8 first-round interviews.

In July (as I was hitting the case books hard), I reached out to both of my internship interviewers to ask if we could have a quick chat about consulting and BCG. Two weeks passed and I didn't hear back from either - I sent a follow-up e-mail to my second interviewer, which I was comfortable doing because we had connected well during the interview. Still, another week passed with no response and I was getting anxious. Finally, a week later I heard back from one and then two days later, the other. We talked about the interview preparation process, my interest in consulting, and their work experiences. Before I sent in my applications for September, I sent e-mails to both to thank them once again for their time and to let them know that I had applied and was looking forward to hearing back from BCG.

I can't say for certain whether that made a difference in my application, but I later heard that I had been put on a list of 'students with potential', was invited to a dinner with a partner and a couple of consultants, and ultimately did get the first-round interview.

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