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On my way from a lawyer to a Big 3 consultant, I've outcompeted candidates with perfect GPAs and test scores from the top schools. In order to do so, I had to hack the game. Every game has algorithms that successful players master to achieve winning results. So does consulting interview. I realized that consulting interview is just a limited number of possible situations for which you have to establish algorithms to crack them. This had a big effect.

Now as I am leaving consulting industry to join my EdTech startup, it is very important to pass on what I have learnt to you. These algorithms allow 9 out of 10 of my students get offers from MBB and tier-2 firms.

Think of the numbers: It depends on the location and the year. Generally speaking, think of the following ratios, loosely based on actuals at my office in 2020:

  • 80 applicants to one position
  • 20 get a 1st round interview
  • 4 get a 2nd round
  • 1 gets the job 

Most of candidates are likely to receive a response:

Unfortunately, we have decided not to pursue your application further. We face a very difficult decision when considering well-qualified candidates such as yourself, and inevitably the decision must rest upon relatively small differences in performance.

And here is what most of candidates have in common:

Before preparation:

  • Focus on case studies from 2010 with outdated Cheng frameworks
  • Study fit part based on random articles and forums
  • Do not understand why they head to consulting
  • Do not think about working on their state of mind and confidence
  • Do not think about their image/positioning in interviews and their communication skills

During preparation:

  • Confidence: Emotional burnout, lots of stress and fear of the interview
  • Motivation: Inadequate level of motivation for hard daily work
  • Communication: Lack of a skill of building rapport with an interviewer and making the proper image
  • Fit: Lack of a skill to clearly convey your thoughts to the questions
  • Structuring: The use of only standard and generic frameworks
  • Business sense: Lack of giving practical recommendations
  • Problem solving: scarce math and graphs reading skills during the cases, wrong conclusions
  • Operational rhythm and assessment of own skills: “Plateau” in training, ignorance of the weaknesses

During the interview day:

  • «Unresourced» state
  • Lack of the ability to sell yourself and be natural
  • Lack of rapport with the interviewer, who finds faults
  • Boring and unclear answers to Fit questions
  • Standard memorized frameworks for complex problems and “overwhelming” the case
  • Low level of practice recommendations and errors in analytics

After the interview:

  • Fail the interview
  • Do not receive an offer
  • Get a ban for 1.5 - 2 years


Training support (flexible approach)

  • Creating an operational rhythm for training
  • Using a flexible system to structure your own knowledge (X-mind and My life organized)

Course structure (content depth)

  • Leveling of state, confidence, attitude and motivation (which are not affected in other case studies)
  • Setting communication skills (which are not affected by other cases courses)
  • Deepening in Fit part (which is very poorly covered by forums)
  • Using algorythmic structures that are not wide spread across prep community (incl. real frameworks from consulring projects)

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