"When going gets tough, tough gets going" , "What got you here, won't get you there"
We hear these things all the time, but how well or how differently do we prepare for the tough encounters.
In Management Consulting interview context, Final round or last round interviews are the toughest to crack and several so called 'well-prepared' candidates fail at this stage. Most of them fail because they do not take into considerations the difference between the earlier rounds and final round:
1. Final rounds are conducted with 'selection' mindset and not with 'rejection' mindset.
In earlier rounds the interviewer mindset is to check basic consulting skills and spot if the candidate is 'lacking' something. In final rounds, which are conducted by Partners typically, the focus is on answering 'Is this candidate good enough to be put in front of my client?' .
Apart from showcasing the hygiene consulting skills, the candidate needs to do much more. Teh candidate needs to create a positive impression in the mind of the Partner and give him confidence that this candidate is 'client ready'.
2. Final round is about 'depth' and not about 'breadth'
Initial round interviews are broad. Several fit questions, cases with multiple analysis etc. Because the intention is to test the candiate on as many aspects as the interviewer can. Final round is different. It is about testing the depth. Partners typically ask very few quetions but probe every answer to a great depth.
Candidate needs thorough preparation to tackle 'why-how-translatability' probing questions by partners. Candidates need to be ready to justify their answer in a consulting compliant way.
3. Final round is 'unpredictbale'
Most of the time, the earlier interview round have a more or less set structure. Interviewers go through set of fit and case questions. Final round interviewers, Partners, are known to throw curve balls. There have been interviews where Partners have just taken fit questions and business discussion, on the other hand there have been interviews where Partners have given detailed cases to the candidates. You never know what Partners can pull out of their hat.
Candidates need to be extra prepared. Especially, for question formats that they have not encountered in earlier rounds viz. Partner converting project from candidate's CV into a case, partner starting discusion on recent business event, advice seeking on business issue that the Partner says he is facing. Through all these variety of discussions, Partners try and test the candidature thoroughly.
Why should you preapre with me?
1. Work with a caoch with excellent coaching credentials & unparalleled results
- 12years of experience in coaching Management Consulting aspirants
- 100% receommendation rate on PrepLounge
- Successfully helped 300+ clients to enter MBB and 500+ clients in other consulting companies
2. Take an advantage of full time professional coach and recruiter
Unlike most of the other coaches on preparation platforms who are doing coaching Part Time, I am a full time Coach. I am an ICF (International Coaching Federation) certified Career Coach with clients spanning 50+ countries in the world. I also run a recruitment firm and have several consulting companies as our clients.
As a result, I am in a position to coach the candidates with practicel, latest and relevant insights as against just throwing 'hear and say' or typical advice at them.
3. Only prepare using latest and live practice material
I have seen a lot of candidates practicing on cases that are from old case books or outdated reference material. Although there is nothing wrong in doing so, please understand that everyone would be refering the same material and you will not be able to have any 'competitive edge' by following the herd. At the same time, last round interviewers will not refer case books.
As I am connected to Management Consulting industry, with 50+ of my clients preparing for last rounds every month and several Partners being my Career Coaching clients, I am able to leverage the knowledge of what is getting discussed in interviews in the current season/month and offer that latest insights to my clients.
4. Engage in a long term relationship
If there is one thing that I have learnt in consulting, then it is the importance of relationship. Relationships is beyond transactional interactions and money exchanges. You cannnot attach monetory value to relationships. I am proud to say, that every client that I have coached since 2009 is still in touch with me and we share a beautiful relationship. They still engage with me on several Career Coaching topics and we grow together.
Even during the interview preparation, all my clients are free to leverage all the practice material which includes 2000+ cases, 100s of fit questions, several practice PSTs etc. This material must be worth 1000s of dollars but as long as you feel it benefits you, you are free to ask and I am happy to share it with you for free.
During the coaching session with me, you will get to:
1. Practice tough/atypical/last round cases
2. Thorough preparation on Fit. Grasping techniques and frameworks to answer toughest of the fit quetions
3. Advanced case crackign tips - Clarification questions checklist, Best way to communicate issue tree, 3 phase analysis loop technique, conclude like MBB consultants.
4. Advanced tips and tricks - How to turn around the case, how to come out-if stuck, how to build rapport with interviewer etc.
5....and much more
Type of candidates who approach me:
1. Candidates preparing for Final round
2. Candidates who are interviewing for lateral hire positions (Manager, Principal etc.)
3. Candidates preparing for Subject Matter Expert career track
4. Candidates preparing for unusual/atypical interview (Written case, group case, presentation etc.)
Mode of Engagement:
You can engage with me for one off session, at the same time you can also engage with me through my Coaching Package - Tough Nut.
Final round preparation is all about serving client's specific and advanced needs hence high degree to customization is possible. However the format that has worked the best is:
1. Full Mock - Final round level
1. Challendging fit questions and thorough probing
2. a atypical and tough case, typically selected from the last round cases that are given to other candidates in recent times.
2. Advanced tips and techniques
Discussion on advanced techniques to be used in Fit and Case, at the same time discussion on final round mindset of interviewer and candidate.
3. Full Mock - Final round level
1. Challendging fit questions and thorough probing
2. a atypical and tough case, typically selected from the last round cases that are given to other candidates in recent times. Depending on the company/office/level of candidature teh case discussion can be relaced by Business Discussion/CV Based Case/Topic based advice etc.
Looking forward to be a part of your Consulting Interview preparation!.