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Best questions to ask at the end of interview

Anonymous A

Hello all,

I have a question regarding what insightful questions to ask the interviewer at the end of an interview that make you stand out?

Thank you.

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Sidi replied on 07/22/2018
McKinsey Engagement Manager & BCG Consultant | Interviewer at McK & BCG for 7 years | Coached 50+ candidates secure MBB offers

Hi Anonymous!

There is a whole lot of great questions you can ask. My best advice is to really think through what interests you most about the job, the firm, or the industry! If you have a particular interest (industry sector, nonprofit area, social engagement, etc.) you can ask if there are touch points/adjacent areas in the firm you could explore. Also, make sure to relate your interests and questions to your background and/or career/life objectives.

Another good domain to explore is the background and interest of the interviewer: for example, one of my first round interviewers at BCG had listed playing music in a band as one of his hobbies, and since I had been a band musician myself for 10 years, this was a great topic to discuss against the backdrop of his consulting career.

All of that being said, here are a couple of example questions – but by no means exhaustive:

  1. "Can you tell me about your background, and in particular how you ended up as a [company name] consultant?" (if the interviewer has a rather exotic professional/educational background)
  2. "I’d be interested to hear what your most challenging case has been thus far in your career?"
  3. "What do you think are the biggest misperceptions that applicants have about consulting?"
  4. "I’m really interested in [particular interest, such as public sector consulting or renewable energy]. I’d be interested to hear what you know about that area at [company name]"
  5. "I’ve heard from various people who say your firm is [something good about the company] but also that [something bad about the company]. To what extent is this impression accurate?"
  6. "If the interviewer has enough tenure: From your position, how do you think the economic cycles have affected the consulting business over the years?"
  7. "What was your perspective on [company name] before you came in, and how was that changed in your time there?"
  8. "If you could recommend 2 books that all prospective management consultants should read, what would those be?"
  9. "When you think back to your university days, what would be the 2 or 3 things that you wish you’d learned that would have better prepared you for the job today?"

Cheers, Sidi

Benjamin replied on 07/23/2018
Manager - Get you MBB offer - Teach taylor case solving, no pre-defined framework - beginners to experts

Hi Anonymous,

This is the moment where you can confirm the good fit you had with the interviewer during the 1h itw.
I personnally suggest to avoid every question that can be asnwered by the firm's website, as well as other question related to firm that could be answered by a consultant you could contact from the outside (alumni from your school, personal network etc.)

Instead I will take this opportunity to really create a connexion with the interviewer as a person, and ask question about his own experience that can somehow relate to your own projection in the job. Therefore I would advise to

- Listen carefully the introduction of the interviewer : his profile, experience prior to consulting, and as a consultant. This will help for you to think about questions. You can even write down the question you have at this time for the end of the itw

- Ask questions related to his experience and personal appreciation / decision making : ex. if he joined consulting as experienced hire, ask about his previous job, the reason to move to consulting, and ultimately how he feels now in consulting compared to what he expected

- Ask questions about his consulting experience, especially if they are related to industries / topic that make sense for you : ex. more details about a job he has done in as FMCG industry if this make sense to you, and since this is an industry you are really interested in how strong is the firm in that industry and what are the perspectives at the moment for future business there / who is the partner, etc.

Hope this helps

Benjamin

Vlad replied on 07/22/2018
McKinsey / Accenture / Got all BIG3 offers / More than 300 real MBB cases / Harvard Business School

Hi,

The main objective is to have a good conversation and highlight your intellectual capacity and curiosity. So it's not the best idea to ask for the feedback. Here are some guidelines:

It is ok to ask:

  • Questions that cause positive emotions and highlight consulting pros (e.g. Mck people)
  • Questions on the topics you are excited about (e.g. data science)
  • Non-business questions (e.g. team retreats)

It's not ok to ask:

  • Questions that can cause negative emotions (e.g. work hours)
  • Information you should learn before the interview (e.g. typical career path)
  • Questions that may show that you are unfamiliar with consulting work (Like are you specialized in strategy or operations?)

Be prepared and good luck!

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