Curve ball questions to expect from "Partners"

networking
Edited on May 26, 2020
7 Answers
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Anonymous A asked on Mar 04, 2020

Hi,

I will soon have a 30 minutes casual networking chat with a Partner of a firm. Wondering what kind of curve ball questions should i expect? Would appreciate guidance, examples and experience-sharing.

Thanks in advance

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Anonymous replied on May 06, 2020

Hi A,

Basically, Scurveball question is typically a logic problem you'll be asked to solve that seems to have nothing to do with the job to which you just applied. You may call all the FIT questions that is aimed to show your leadership and problem-solving skills. And to these kind of questions you may apply common framework to build your answer:

1. Situation

2. Problem

3. Solving

4. Results

5. Your learnings

If you need any help, feel free to reach out


Best,

André

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Ian
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updated an answer on May 26, 2020
BCG | 100% personal interview success rate (8/8) and 95% candidate success rate | Personalized interview prep

One of my favourites is "Explain X to my 8 year old daughter" with X being a very complex topic. It forces you to be really crisp in your communication and is a good one to test consultant skills.

However, as the others have stated, with this chat, you definitely need to be fully prepared to explain why consulting, why their firm, and where you see yourself going/what you see yourself doing.

Also, don't forget that YOU need to have questions ready. The best questions aren't basic softball ones. Rather, they show that you're thinking about the unique work the firm does (combine two observations, synthesize a hypothesis framed as a question, and ask the Partner). Anything that prompts the Partner to truly reflect/think is a win. Imagine they're on a Q&A panel being interviewed...what types of questions might they be asked?

Additionally, if you're looking for a "curveball" brainteaser that might be asked in today's world, check out the below!

https://www.preplounge.com/en/management-consulting-cases/brain-teaser/beginner/coronavirus-times-194

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Emily
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replied on May 03, 2020
BCG Project Leader | 3+ years interview experience for BCG SEA recruiting | Kellogg MBA, NTU, Peking University

Hi,

The chat as described sounds more like a casual get-to-know-you session. Don't think there would be curve ball question. Such networking chat to the recruiters can actually be a break from their hectic work, a short moment that they can relax too. I don't think they want to make it tense or hard for themselve either. :)

Best,

Emily

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Francesco
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updated an answer on Mar 05, 2020
#1 Expert for Coaching Sessions (3.600+) | 1.300+ Reviews with 100% Recommendation Rate | Ex BCG | 8+ Years of Coaching

Hi Anonymous,

although you may have unusual cases with partners in final, I would not expect that in a networking chat. Instead, I would prepare traditional fit questions such as the following:

  • Tell me about yourself
  • Why consulting
  • Why our company
  • Give me an example when you led a team
  • Tell me about a time when you had to convince someone not agreeing with you
  • What has been your major achievement so far
  • Why should we hire you

In terms of regular interviews, instead, some unusual questions include:

  • What is the impact of Coronavirus on the Chinese economy?
  • Should a government increase consumption tax to increase the amount of income tax?
  • Where should a rich person invest in Portugal?

Please feel free to PM me for more info on that, I do a specific session based on structuring unusual cases.

Best,
Francesco

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Clara
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replied on Mar 05, 2020
McKinsey | Awarded professor at Master in Management @ IE | MBA at MIT |+180 students coached | Integrated FIT Guide aut

Hello!

In line with what the other coaches have said, don´t expect any of that coming up in a chat. Most likely, it´s a casual conversation that, and if it´s going to be similar to any part of the interview, would be to the FIT.

Hence, I would prepare myself arround:

  • CV
  • Motivation for both consulting and that particular firm
  • Behavioural questions (e.g., tell me about a time in which you demostrated great leadership, etc.)

Hope it helps!

Cheers,

Clara

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Robert
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replied on Mar 05, 2020
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Hi Anonymous,

Based on the context you describe, I would not expect any curveball questions at all. Also, it would not make sense from the firm's perspective - the partner won't make detailled notes and pass it on to HR to save it in some database.

The main intention really is to get to you know better and get a real-life impression of you and your personality.

Needless to see, please prepare a structured summary of your CV, including thinking through all parts of your CV on how that helps you to become a valuable consultant (so what did you learn during those times that is relevant for a consultant).

Hope that helps - if so, please give it a thumbs-up with the upvote button!

Robert

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Nathaniel
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replied on Mar 04, 2020
McKinsey | BCG | CERN| University of Cambridge

Hello there,

Typically, there won't be any specific curve ball questions for casual networking chat.
He might ask about your motivation, interest in specific industry and function, and that's about it.
Hope you had a good time with the chat.

Kind regards,
Nathan

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