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C-level communication

Anonymous A asked on Aug 31, 2019 - 3 answers

Hi fellas

just a quick question: how to improve C-level communication style for the interviews? How to prep, what to do in terms of structuring answers, presence, style etc.

Cheers

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Vlad
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replied on Sep 01, 2019
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Hi,

It's absolutely vital to have a structure, business sense, and the right fit. But if you can't communicate it properly, it is a signal that you will not be able to communicate your ideas to the client as well.

Here are some tips on communication:

1) Communicating while structuring. Here is a long post by me on how to communicate the structure during the case study:

https://www.preplounge.com/en/consulting-forum/how-to-communicate-its-structure-for-the-case-study-1313#a2806

2) Using hypothesis. I made a post about hypothesis here:

https://www.preplounge.com/en/consulting-forum/how-to-state-a-hypothesis-and-match-to-the-structure-1156#a2268

3) Communicating while making calculations:

  • Always tell the interviewer your approach
  • Check with the interviewer that your approach is correct
  • Come to the interviewer with some preliminary answers
  • Check your assumptions with the interviewer

4) Communicating during the analysis of graphs / tables

  • Take a minute to look at the graph. Read the graph title. Look at the graph type and define the type (pie chart, line chart, etc). Look at the legend (ask for clarifying questions if necessary). Identify whats going on on the graph. Look for: Trends, % structures. Look for unusual things - correlations, outliers,
  • Make 3-4 conclusions from the graph. Think out loud on potential hypothesis on what could be the root cause / what are the consequences
  • Prioritize the most important for your current analysis and move forward with the case

5) Communicating while having questions on creativity

  • Ask an interview for a minute to think
  • Think of several buckets of ideas (e.g. organic growth / non-organic growth / differentiation). Remember to think as big as possible
  • Narrow down to each bucket and generate as many ideas as possible
  • Present the structure (buckets) and then your ideas

6) Communicating your conclusion. You can find a good example I've posted here:

https://www.preplounge.com/en/consulting-forum/how-much-answer-first-should-the-conclusion-be-1231#a2493

7) Communicating your FIT stories

Use the top-down approach while communicating your stories. "The Pyramid Principle" is the must-read by ex McKinsey on this topic.

I recommend using the STAR framework:

  • In Situation, you should briefly provide the context, usually in 1 or 2 sentences
  • Task usually includes 2 or 3 sentences describing the problem and your objective.
  • Then you provide a list of specific actions you took to achieve the goal. It should take 1 or 2 sentences per action (Usually 3-4 actions). Note that the interviewer can stop you any minute and ask for more details.
  • The results part should have 1 or 2 sentences describing the outcomes. This part is finalizing your story - make sure it can impress the interviewer and stay in the memory.

Best!

Robert
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replied on Aug 31, 2019
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Hi Anonymous,

The following 3 books are an excellent basis for structuring your communication - there is no real short-cut, you just need to work your way through and consistently apply those concepts to form a permanent habit out of it:

  • The Pyramid Principle (Barbaro Minto)
  • The So What Strategy (Davina Stanley und Gerard Castles)
  • Say It With Charts: The Executives's Guide to Visual Communication (Gene Zelazny)

Hope that helps!

Robert

Udayan
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replied on Sep 01, 2019
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Robert's response is spot on - the trick here is to focus on 'top-down' communication. Which is using the pyramid principal. The idea is you focus on the big ideas and not get bogged down by the details and focus on telling a coherent story

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