Coach quality while only ~1 year at MBB (or other firms)

coach MBB preparation Quality tier 2
Recent activity on Jun 13, 2021
6 Answers
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Anonymous A asked on Jun 12, 2021

I am always wondering why many coaches are only lasting ~1 year at their consulting firm. Are they 'out' because they couldn't go 'up'? How about their quality then?

Does that mean that coaches with more years of experience are more effective/reliable/helpful?

I understand that many coaches use % of coachees went into MBB (and other top ones) as the success metrics, but the denominator can very well be pre-selected, right?

How to actually choose good coaches, since they are quite expensive? Everyone knows about ROI, it will payback itself when you are in, etc etc, but who will guarantee that you will get in? After how many sessions? If keep practising is the only constant feedback they give, then everyone can also do, I believe.

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Florian
Expert
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replied on Jun 13, 2021
#1 rated McKinsey Coach | Top MBB Coach | 5 years @ McKinsey | Author of the 1% | 120+ McK offers in 18 months

Hey there,

(Interviewing) experience* definitely plays a key role, however, is only one of many factors. In the end, no metric is better than the success rate of their candidates. Additional factors I would consider

  • number of meetings vs. time registered on PrepLounge (shows undistorted demand)
  • ranking (you can filter per firm and recommendation rate)
  • the personal comments in the reviews
  • normalized success rate (get a feel how it is defined, e.g., offer in B4 vs. MBB offer rate)

Plus, my number one tip to select the best coach for your needs: Write them and set up a call to discuss their

  • background
  • methodology
  • success rate
  • get some insights into the interviewing and application process for free

I offer this to every candidate that reaches out.

*This is especially true if the firm you are applying to has a very specific interviewing format, that requires a different approach than most other firms such as McKinsey with their candidate-led insights focused cases and the very specific PEI interviews that aim to retrieve fairly specific character traits of candidates. Information communicated about the McK format is unfortunately often half-accurate and that is also reflected in some coaching experiences.

For this reason, I would actually work with a coach that is 100% familiar and accustomed to a particular firm's interview style since this is where experience actually matters. In short, if you are aiming for BCG, work with an ex-BCG coach, if you are going for McKinsey, go for an ex-McKinsey coach.

If you select based on firm + follow the checklist of criteria from above + have an introductory call, you should be able to screen and select the best coach for your needs and goals.

Cheers,

Florian

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Ian
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replied on Jun 12, 2021
MBB | 100% personal interview success rate (8/8) and 95% candidate success rate | Personalized interview prep

Hi there,

You're not wrong at all in your thinking here and I highly encourage you to do your research before selecting a coach given the high investment cost - not all coaches are of the calibre you need to say. In regards to your 1 year point however, it's risky to assess pretty much anything in life on just 1 sole factor.

Here is what I would say are the most directly correlating factors for a successful coach (in no particular order):

  1. Length of time coaching (in general and on PrepLounge)
  2. Success rate of candidates they have coached
  3. Rating (both stars and thoroughness/positivity of reviews)
  4. Their own personal success rate interviewing (i.e. where did they interview and what % of interviews did they pass)
  5. # of years in consulting (diminishing returns here. If they were there greater than 1 year, most of the learnings were absorbed)
  6. Experience interviewing candidates

All that said, a coach could meet all 6 of the criteria above and still not be a particularly good teacher! So, remember to actually talk to them and get to know their philosophy - they have to have know the system AND have teaching/mentorship in their blood!

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Adi
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Jun 13, 2021
Accenture, Deloitte | Precision Case Prep | Experienced Interviewer & Career Coach | 15 years professional experience

Just like you use GPS/maps to get to your destination, you can use a coach :). You still have to drive and show good skills that way. The GPS alone cant gurantee that you will get to your destination.

Feel free to talk to the coach (s), look at their reviews, replies on Q&A forum, ask them tough questions before finalising. Rely on your instincts too and dont just go by popular choice or what is claimed. You will feel a connection with the right coach. No coach can gurantee that you will get the job but a good one can help you get there. I am available for that chat if you wish to discuss your preparation. Feel free to message me. I dont say Yes to every candidate/coaching session (nor do I reply to every question on the Q&A forum) as there must be a mutual fit- it works both ways.

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Gaurav
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Jun 13, 2021
Ex-Mckinsey|Certified Career Coach |Placed 500+ candidates at MBB & other consultancies

Hi! Actually, 1 year in MBB is not enough to become a professional coach afterwards. As experts said in previous answers, those who got such a little experience most likely didn’t go through the interviewer training and  probably don’t have much experience in coaching. That’s why I recommend to choose coaches with more interesting background and better understanding of this sphere (experience in both consulting and professional coaching). 

If you have further questions, me and my colleagues here on PL will be glad to help you 

Best, 

Gaurav

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Anonymous B replied on Jun 12, 2021

tbh I think you should only hire coaches that actually have a solid experience interviewing candidates.

most of the coaches here left before having the opportunity to interview candidates... it's funny

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Ian on Jun 12, 2021

I don't disagree that this is one factor to consider. However, it's risky to pursue a binary strategy when selecting coaches. My experience interviewing candidates for jobs throughout my career has certainly helped me, but it probably truly only accounts for 5% of my success as a coach!

Ken
Expert
replied on Jun 13, 2021
Ex-McKinsey final round interviewer | Executive Coach

My suggestion would be to choose by the coaches MBB interviewer AND coaching experience. Someone who has only been at an MBB for a year has most likely not gone through interviewer training which is where consultants learn the intricacies of "what they look for".  Coaching experience is valuable but naturally someone who has been at an MBB longer/in a more senior capacity has real-life experience coaching consultants how to better structure, synthesise, etc. and so coaching experience would be secondary for me.

On number of sessions, my default would be to opt for a single session on fit and case (i.e., max two sessions), to get a diagnostic of WHAT you need to work on and HOW. In order to do this, you benefit from an experienced MBB interviewer more than an experienced interview coach.

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Florian gave the best answer

Florian

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