Cristian

Expert
Content Creator
5.0
100% success rate if applying to >2 firms / Honest feedback: no sugar-coating / Success stories ➨ tinyurl.com/43rkxa8f
McKinsey & Company, pathtoconsulting
English
Germany (UTC +1)
USD 199 / hour
255
Meetings
5,256
Q&A Upvotes
46
Awards
5.0
90 Reviews

Top Skills

strength-based development
PEI storylining
case deconstruction

My Approach

Reviews

Q&A Contributions

Education & Profession

Awards

My Approach
  • My Approach
  • Reviews
  • Q&A Contributions
  • Education & Profession
  • Awards

Note: My current fee is temporarily reduced. I will be increasing the price within the coming period. 

Hi there and welcome! 

I am Cristian and I look forward to supporting you in getting multiple offers from your target firms. I have the confidence that whoever you are and wherever you come from, between you and your dream job is just a bunch of work. And I am here to help you get through it in the most efficient, effective and elegant way possible.

Here is a summary of my impact over the last year.

 

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And a selection of the offers my candidates received in the past year.

 

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Let me share a bit more about:

A. Who I am

B. What you'll get by working with me as opposed to other coaches

C. What is my approach to coaching

 

A. Who I am

You can read more about my profile on the McKinsey website HERE. Below is an overview of my story.

I joined McKinsey virtually by accident since I never planned to become a consultant. As I was about to graduate from Oxford, I was offered a great job that I decided last minute not to take because of the personal sacrifices it required. So fresh out of university, I found myself jobless and with no clue which way to go. My girlfriend at the time was applying for management consulting and because it seemed like the cherry at the top of the corporate world, I decided to give it a shot. I practiced hard (including on PrepLounge), got a few offers and chose McKinsey. I was so happy! 

But it soon turned out that I knew absolutely nothing about consulting and I hated the job. My performance reflected that. By the end of the first year I was close to ‘Issues’, which in McKinsey terms is the last step before being 'encouraged' to look for another job. I sought out mentorship and I spent a lot of time thinking about my own path. I gradually understood that I was not just a consultant, but an agent of change within the Firm and the client’s organisation. With my mindset, my performance changed. 

I ended up spending almost five years in McKinsey and during the last three years I was consistently rated in the top quartile of performers in the region. I was fast-tracked promoted twice, worked across eight countries and nine industries. I had clients genuinely, personally, thank me for the impact I delivered. I spent time coaching more junior colleagues and acted as faculty at McKinsey’s new joiners training (basically coaching new consultants on how to be effective in their job).

Mid-2021, I quit McKinsey. It was a great place, but I decided it was time to move on. Like in a marriage where we just grew apart but stayed friends, we still share nice memories of each other. Following my passions, I started a professional coaching business, I'm writing a book and I cause mayhem with my toddler. It’s a great a life.

If you want to get to know each other or if you have additional questions, feel free to reach out for a free introductory call ! I’m always happy to share advice and talk about my experience. Most importantly, stay positive. Anybody can do this. Set a clear goal, make a plan, stay consistent and just do it! I’ll be cheering you on from the back.

 

B. What you'll get by working with me (instead of other coaches)

1. REAL and VERIFIABLE SUCCESS RATES. If you scanned a few coaching profiles already, you might have noticed that everybody claims success rates. Instead, I do what nobody else in the industry does: I play with my cards open. At the link below is the database of candidates I’ve worked with since I left McKinsey, who succeeded, who failed and what firms and countries they ended up working in. No claims. Just facts. Have a look and judge it for yourself HERE (screenshot below)

 

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2. AMONG THE HIGHEST SUCCESS RATES. Not only are my success rates real, they are also among the highest on the platform. I currently have a 100% success rates for candidates who applied to at least three firms. Meaning, they all got at least an offer. For those who applied exclusively or primarily to MBB, 60% of them secured at least one offer. You can see an overview of my impact and success stories from my candidates HERE

3. WIDE EXPERTISE. I work with candidates across the entire spectrum and I invest significant amount of time researching their target roles, using my network to gain more intelligence on what is expected in the recruitment process. To this moment, I’ve supported candidates to secure offers across MBB, Tier 2 and 3 firms, across 30 geographies and over 40 offices, from Senior Manager to Intern, from Generalists to Specialists, from Digital to Implementation and from New Joiners to Experienced Hires. 

4. PRAGMATIC and HONEST FEEDBACK, VERBAL AND WRITTEN. I will tell you whether your performance is a pass or fail, why and what you need to do to close the gap. I am very honest, so there will be no sugar-coating. I am  the only coach to provide feedback on scorecard modelled based on the recruitment criteria of MBB, providing grading per each individual question, including strengths, areas of development and a tailored improvement plan with clear, actionable next steps. I also value my time more than the coaching fee, so I will not recommend you do more sessions if I feel I cannot add further value.

5. SUPPORT ACROSS THE ENTIRE APPLICATION PIPELINE. From developing your CV and cover letter to fine-tuning for your final interviews and negotiating your offer, I’m along with you for the entire ride. I provide lifetime access to my high-quality practice materials (e.g., real McKinsey cases from the interviewer database, math drills, case book library) as well as proprietary assets (audio recording of successful personal fit interviews, database of real personal fit interview questions collected from real MBB interviews, etc.) as well as access to my base of candidates for reliable, high-quality peer training.

6. PERSONAL STORYLINING. Your personal story and value proposition is critical both when you apply for a consulting job and once you are in one, yet very few candidates and even coaches know how to carve one. Storylining was one of my spikes as a consultant and it’s something that I’m so deeply passionate that I’m now writing a book. I am one of the few coaches who can help you identify the stories from your experience that will make you shine in person as well as on paper, as well as adjust your mindset about the recruitment process.

7. LIFETIME COACHING. Many of my successful candidates remain long-term mentees and I provide them with support on the job. Having personally managed the transition from a failing consultant to a top performing one, I can share with them practical advice for how to perform at the top of their cohort. Additionally, since I was running the new joiners trainings at McKinsey, I provide then with a crash course on how to get a head start in their consulting job.

 

C. My approach to coaching

“What is the most common reason candidates fail the interview with you?” I asked my friend, a McKinsey partner and former mentor. 

I had done by then plenty of mock interviews with candidates and had once been a candidate myself, but I was curious what he’d say. Everybody has their own answer.

Common sense,” he replied.

At first I thought he was joking, but reflecting on my own experience, there’s hardly a better way to put it. The thing is, many elements are important to pass an interview with a top consulting firm: case study practice, knowledge of frameworks, genuine personal fit stories, self-control under pressure, etc. Partners making the final hiring decision may bat an eye at one of these, deeming it coachable along the way, but they will never pass someone without common sense. 

Common sense, of course, means critical thinking, which is the ability to genuinely, actively think through the case and have a conversation with the interviewer. It does not mean taking a super busy senior consultant or Partner and dragging them through frameworks. That’s not what the job is about. That’s not how it works. What they all have in mind as you’re speaking is “What will happen if I have this person in my team and I put them in front of the client? Will they manage?” They usually figure it out quite fast. 

That’s what I focus on primarily - coaching your mindset. That is, of course, a lot harder than teaching you frameworks, but it is essential. For instance, having a positive, constructive outlook about the recruitment process and engaging with the interviewer like they are a supporter and not a gatekeeper, will help you not only pass the interview, but perform among the top consultants once inside the firm. 

Of course, beyond this, we will cover all the things that are important and you can’t do without: the case studies, the frameworks and so on. My approach goes along the McKinsey personal growth strategy: strengths based development. We’ll find out your strengths and make them shine. Those are your spikes. Then we’ll figure out where you’re missing the mark and how to bring you at a good enough level. If you try to be great in everything, you’ll most likely be great in nothing.  

The reason I do this is because I have a strong belief: anybody can be a top management consultant. Everything is coachable. Nobody is born doing it. What makes the difference is how committed you are to the goal (i.e. what is the intensity you’re willing to practice at x the time you’re willing to take). 

Lastly, as a word of warning: I am very honest. I have nothing to lose. And the only way I can win is to get as many people hired as possible. As I’ve often told candidates, interviews can be moved, rarely repeated. If you are not ready, I will tell you on the spot and we’ll then plan together how and what you need to get there. 

Now you can relax, you’re in good hands.

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FREE RESOURCES:

> Advice on what to expect and how to best prepare for a job in consulting - LINK

> A realistic image of how hard consultants work, why and how you can optimize for it - LINK

> Practice cases based on real McKinsey engagements - HERE, HERE and HERE

> For a free copy of my ‘4 Steps to Case Math’ guide, a battle-tested solution for excelling at case numericals (soon to be provided as a paid resource on PrepLounge), send me a direct message.

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List of assets my candidates receive when working together:

  • Written feedback scorecard after every session based on MBB criteria, with grading per each individual question, including strengths, areas of development and a tailored improvement plan with clear, actionable next steps
  • Real cases from McKinsey's interviewing database and original cases built from real McKinsey engagements
  • Collection of real personal fit (PEI) interview questions (covering +95% of any potential questions) from candidates who went to interviews within the last year
  • Recording of a successful PEI interview (Associate, US) so you know what a great story sounds like, what is the structure, how much time the candidate spends on each part and what are the sort of questions the interviewer asks
  • Math drills pack containing dozens of problems sets and exercises to improve calculation speed and accuracy, as well as effective chart interpretation
  • Library of case books containing several hundred practice cases
  • Collection of the most helpful free online resources to accelerate your prep, including articles, Youtube channels, practice exercises and websites
  • Recording of our session for your individual review (if requested)
  • Long-term mentorship extending beyond interview coaching. I am in touch with virtually all of my candidates who now work as consultants and supporting them in performing at the top of their cohort
Cristian's Coaching Package
Join The Firm Package - 5 sessions
Includes 5 sessions
Consultant toolkit building
Pragmatic feedback
Practice materials included

Note: The base rate of this package is temporarily reduced. I will be increasing the price within the coming period. 

If you want to accelerate your recruitment process and maximize your chances of securing an offer, this package is for you. These five sessions are intended as a complete overhaul of your approach to case solving, personal fit story-lining and the overall recruitment process

The program is completely customizable for each candidate, but here is an overview of the usual structure:

SESSION 1: Baselining - Following a short discussion to understand more about your objectives, recruiting status and self-assessment, I will provide you with a real McKinsey case. This case will be longer (potentially even 2x) than the one in the actual interview in order to score you across all dimensions interviewers look at (usually what the first round aims to cover with two interviews). After this, we will move to feedback where we will discuss for each question you answered what were the strengths, areas of development and what is required to improve on each of them. I will answer all your questions about the interview, as well as how to practice most effectively. At the end, I will lay out all the feedback in written form, including an actionable set of next steps for you to work on until the next time (i.e., homework). Following the session, you will receive access to a Dropbox folder where all feedback scorecards will be added, and where you will find all the training assets that I own. 

SESSION 2: Growth - We will meet again whenever you feel like you managed to improve on the feedback provided in the first session. Now I will give you another real McKinsey case, this time of a significantly different type (e.g., atypical) and increased difficulty to test your development across each of the areas discussed the last time. We will then again do feedback and track your improvement vs the previous session across each of the questions. We will work together to understand what helped you improved (so we can do more of it) and where you are lagging behind (so we can adjust the approach). As before, I will provide you at the end with the written feedback and a set of focus areas to practice on before the next case session (e.g., structuring exercises).

SESSION 3: PEI - This session will require that you do pre-work, in terms of preparing three PEI stories (one for each of the dimensions). I will explain to you beforehand how to most effectively prepare them, a few tips and tricks and I will share with you a recording of a successful PEI interview so you get to understand what great sounds like and what sort of questions you can expect from the interviewer. Then in the actual session we will go through each of your stories and workshop them, focusing on structure, content and delivery. I love this part the most!

SESSION 4: Mock interview - This session integrates the two core parts of the interview we have been practicing separately until now: the PEI and the case. We will start with the PEI (as most interviews do) where you will get to tell the story and receive deep-dive questions like in the real interview, then transition to another real McKinsey case of a different type. At the end, we will do feedback on both and assess what are the last areas that you need to improve on as you approach the actual interviews. 

SESSION 5: Role-play full mock - This is meant as an end to end assessment of your interview performance and it always ends up also as a hilarious exercise. That is because we connect pretending that we are meeting each other for the first time and you are the candidate and I am the interviewer. We will then go through the usual steps of a real interview: brief chit chat, meet and greet questions, PEI, case, then Q&A. This will allow me to give you feedback not only on the case and PEI skills, but also on how you are likely to be perceived by an interviewer, what is the extent that you managed to connect with them and what can you do to improve. This fifth session will also include a detailed discussion on your readiness for the interview, as well as practical advice on how to adjust your mindset to maximize your chances on interview day.

Important to know:

  • Included in this package are also all the other resources I own (math drills packs, case books, etc.), as well as access to my current base of candidates for high-impact practicing.
  • Package requires focused work by the candidate between the sessions based on a custom training plan I will provide after every meeting
  • Other topics you are interested in knowing more about or receiving feedback on (e.g., CV review) can be discussed as part of the package at no additional cost or sessions
  • Meetings happen at the pace preferred by the candidate. There is no deadline for using the credits in the package. 
  • Additional individual sessions - if requested - come at the same percentage discount as those in the package.
  • Sessions can be on video and recorded if you prefer that. I am happy to adjust to whatever you find most useful.
  • Lastly, I put a lot of heart in my candidates succeeding (i.e., I care). As a consequence, I am very honest and direct with feedback.

*** Only four packages available each month ***

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July 16, 2022 by Nicholas

Excellent coaching. Cristian provided written and verbal feedback and a wealth of resources - he coaching was absolutely essential in getting my offer from McKinsey!

3 users found this review helpful.
July 14, 2022 by Danielle

Fantastic actionable feedback for case and personal experience/behavioral interviews. I utilized Cristian for McKinsey style cases and felt comfortable, and was successful in my interview cases

2 users found this review helpful.
August 22, 2022 by Anonymous

Cristian is an amazing coach. His honest but patient coaching style is very helpful to me, who used to be totally new to consulting. His written feedback is always constructive, directly telling me my weak areas and how to practice them. Also, I like the score system he used in the feedback. The score is a powerful indicator of my performance, enabling me to keep track of my improvements.

0 users found this review helpful.

Blog Articles by Cristian

Coffee Chat Questions in Consulting – What to Expect in an Informal Interview
11/04/2022
Reading Time: 6 Minutes
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Coffee Chat Questions in Consulting – What to Expect in an Informal Interview

In his article, our expert Cristian will explain what to expect from the coffee chat questions.
How Long Are the Hours in Consulting?
07/06/2022
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How Long Are the Hours in Consulting?

It's no secret that very long working hours are the norm in consulting jobs. But have you always wondered how long the working hours are in the consulting industry? Of course, there is no one number ...
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