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6

Differentiation

PrepLounge, etc. is great. A decade ago, nothing. I was just wondering though. Please could an interviewer or MBB insider advise.

Let's say you end up with some final 20 candidates. All performed equally well in all aspects. How do you end up choosing for, say, 1 opening?

If everyone makes use of these resources and arrive at a particular, competent level, I see it as 'best practice', even if accounting for creative aspects (for example, as all can look at case examples on here, can get coaching, etc.).

As such, how do you end up choosing (particularly for experienced hires)?

Any advice/feedback most appreciated.

PrepLounge, etc. is great. A decade ago, nothing. I was just wondering though. Please could an interviewer or MBB insider advise.

Let's say you end up with some final 20 candidates. All performed equally well in all aspects. How do you end up choosing for, say, 1 opening?

If everyone makes use of these resources and arrive at a particular, competent level, I see it as 'best practice', even if accounting for creative aspects (for example, as all can look at case examples on here, can get coaching, etc.).

As such, how do you end up choosing (particularly for experienced hires)?

Any advice/feedback most appreciated.

6 answers

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Best Answer

The expert versus generalist role is totally different as Vlad points out.

For generalist, there's a bar and a target number for each office. Let's say that target # is 12 new associates (MBAs) but there are 18 really qualified candidates in the final round. Likely all 18 will get an offer.

For experienced hires, there are 2 scenarios.

  1. Some offices have a ongoing recruiting cycle and when they find a really qualified candidate that pass the interview bar, they will extend an offer.
  2. Some offices will say they are recruiting for a specific role (this sounds like your case) and say they need X experienced hires (lets say X is 1 like in your case). So, they have the recruiters set up a batch of experienced hire candidates and try to fill the role with the best overall candidate based on a number of factors (fit, experience, competency interview performance, case interview performance and the case that the partner makes for the candidate at the decision meeting...someone always does this). And while they said they were hiring 1, it's possible that it could be 3. However, it's highly unlikely it's going to be 7 (+6) like my generalist example. And, it could 0 out of the initial group.

Since the interviews for experienced hires tend to be quite different and the experiences are so different, the interview performances are all over the map, unlike out of B-School or Undergrad. So, the target of 1 usually ends up being a hire of 1 +/- 1.

The expert versus generalist role is totally different as Vlad points out.

For generalist, there's a bar and a target number for each office. Let's say that target # is 12 new associates (MBAs) but there are 18 really qualified candidates in the final round. Likely all 18 will get an offer.

For experienced hires, there are 2 scenarios.

  1. Some offices have a ongoing recruiting cycle and when they find a really qualified candidate that pass the interview bar, they will extend an offer.
  2. Some offices will say they are recruiting for a specific role (this sounds like your case) and say they need X experienced hires (lets say X is 1 like in your case). So, they have the recruiters set up a batch of experienced hire candidates and try to fill the role with the best overall candidate based on a number of factors (fit, experience, competency interview performance, case interview performance and the case that the partner makes for the candidate at the decision meeting...someone always does this). And while they said they were hiring 1, it's possible that it could be 3. However, it's highly unlikely it's going to be 7 (+6) like my generalist example. And, it could 0 out of the initial group.

Since the interviews for experienced hires tend to be quite different and the experiences are so different, the interview performances are all over the map, unlike out of B-School or Undergrad. So, the target of 1 usually ends up being a hire of 1 +/- 1.

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Hi,

You have 6 interviewers and 20 people from different backgrounds. Do you believe that all of them will perform equally?

Consulting companies have enough capacity to accept 20 great candidates. The idea is that even among 20 there is always top 20%:)

Hi,

You have 6 interviewers and 20 people from different backgrounds. Do you believe that all of them will perform equally?

Consulting companies have enough capacity to accept 20 great candidates. The idea is that even among 20 there is always top 20%:)

Many thanks, Vlad and Matt. Very much appreciated. Exactly the sort of first-hand advice that I was seeking. Thanks again. If you're ever in London, please give me a shout. Drinks on me. Though, am moving to a different continent soon-ish.

Quick one. From my time in MC, as consultants move up, they necessarily specialise, so as to be able to command a higher rate. Is MBB like this?

Many thanks, Vlad and Matt. Very much appreciated. Exactly the sort of first-hand advice that I was seeking. Thanks again. If you're ever in London, please give me a shout. Drinks on me. Though, am moving to a different continent soon-ish.

Quick one. From my time in MC, as consultants move up, they necessarily specialise, so as to be able to command a higher rate. Is MBB like this?

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  1. I was talking about the generalist roles. Most of the people applying for the expert roles are not well-prepared and being prepared is by itself a huge competitive advantage.
  2. Also for the expert roles, your previous experience is a huge differentiator. It's impossible to find 20 experts with similar experience.

Thus your question is irrelevant for the role you are applying to.

  1. I was talking about the generalist roles. Most of the people applying for the expert roles are not well-prepared and being prepared is by itself a huge competitive advantage.
  2. Also for the expert roles, your previous experience is a huge differentiator. It's impossible to find 20 experts with similar experience.

Thus your question is irrelevant for the role you are applying to.

(edited)

Hi Vladster :)

This is the question. As you say, there is a top 5% or 20% amongst the 20 who are equal. Let's assume my scenario above holds true. Ceteris paribus, everything else being equal. At the selection/hiring process itself, is there like a set of KPIs or process that MBB (M in your case) interviewers use to choose one from the finalists?

As you correctly identified, mine is an 'expert' opportunity at MBB. Only a single position. I've been looking at case examples. Whilst I do get it done, am just soooo slow :-( Don't know how to fix this. I do not have breadth. I have depth in one space. This seems to be the reason.

Hi Vladster :)

This is the question. As you say, there is a top 5% or 20% amongst the 20 who are equal. Let's assume my scenario above holds true. Ceteris paribus, everything else being equal. At the selection/hiring process itself, is there like a set of KPIs or process that MBB (M in your case) interviewers use to choose one from the finalists?

As you correctly identified, mine is an 'expert' opportunity at MBB. Only a single position. I've been looking at case examples. Whilst I do get it done, am just soooo slow :-( Don't know how to fix this. I do not have breadth. I have depth in one space. This seems to be the reason.

Definitely fit, resume (experience), and communication abilities.

A lot of nuances in casing too, pretty unlikely 20 people will have the same performance.

Source: Current McKinsey

Definitely fit, resume (experience), and communication abilities.

A lot of nuances in casing too, pretty unlikely 20 people will have the same performance.

Source: Current McKinsey

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