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English Interview in Germany?

Franco Luigi asked on Oct 29, 2018
Preparing for upcoming interviews

Hello all,

I'm a Brazilian living in Germany and just finished my Masters. I am applying at MBB and other companies (Capgemini, Horvath, Simon Kucher, Roland Berger).

I speak German fluently (+3 years work experience in German) however still not at the same level as English. I can express myself well in German however doing an interview and specially cases in English would still be easier.

Has anyone had experience in a similar situation and know if it is possible to "ask" to do part of the inerview in English? Especially parters that involve solving cases.

Do companies really expect a foreigner to speak German flawlessly without commiting any grammer mistake or do you think they tollerate it well? I come from a industry background in Germany and there many people didnt speak German at all or spoke it with some mistakes and it was perfectly fine.

Thank you very much for your input.

Best of luck to all of you.

Franco

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Vlad replied on Oct 29, 2018
McKinsey / Accenture / Got all BIG3 offers / More than 300 real MBB cases / Harvard Business School
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Hi,

I heard about the cases when MBBs accepted the candidates without the knowledge of German, but it was in Digital teams. So if you have a relevant experience - you have some leverage.

If not - I believe it will be pretty hard to change the process.

Best

Thanks for your input, Vlad. What excatly do you mean by digital teams and relevant experience? BEst ,Franco — Franco Luigi on Oct 30, 2018

Elias
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updated his answer on Oct 29, 2018
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Hi Franco,

from my experience, the company will want to see whether you are able to express yourself and communicate in German. It does not have to be perfect, but good enough. Grammar mistakes are ok, vocabulary is definitely more important.

I believe it's totally ok to ask to express something in English if you get stuck - but the default should be German. I would not try to do entire sections of the interview in English though.

Hope this helps,

Elias

(edited)

Thanks for your input, Elias. I express myself well, however sometimes not as "to the point" as in English. I'll prepare for the cases in German, I think it might help. — Franco Luigi on Oct 29, 2018

Benjamin replied on Oct 31, 2018
ex-Manager - Natural and challenging teacher - Taylor case solving, no framework
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Hi,

I have seen a case in my home country where a consultant didn't speak french while it used to be mandatory. For his specific situation, his was at first working on due diligence exclusively, since this ib less exposed to client and sometimes requires working on external market, while he was building his competencies in French.
Hope this will help

Best
Benjamin

Anonymous A replied on Oct 29, 2018

I‘m in a similar position! I’m fluent in English and B2/C1 in German and Spanish but my main concern about applying is interviewing in German. I’ve done it before, but not for a case interview...I’m looking forward to the answers! When I’ve been networking with people from some MBB officers here they’ve all said that the majority of their client work was done in English, but of course team/office environment stuff in German-not sure how accurate that is. I’m constantly improving my German but still not ‘client ready.’ I’d love it if I could do the FIT in German an Case Interview in English or something.

Thanks for replying, I totally fell you. Daily work and presentations in German for me are not a problem, have worked for quite a while in German speaking companies. However, interviews and cases per se already create a lot of pressure, thus I have some doubts. Let's see if anyone shares more views with us. — Franco Luigi on Oct 29, 2018