Experienced candidate for Entry level positions

Arthur D Little Interviews Bain I'm preparing to McK coming next week MBB McKinsey The Boston Consulting Group
New answer on Apr 09, 2021
7 Answers
422 Views
Anonymous A asked on Apr 07, 2021

Dear All,

I am wondering as an experienced candidate who also has got master's degree (Not MBA) and applying for an entry-level position at MBB.

Will they expect us to be better at case Interview ? or

Will Our professional experience help to compensate for some of the aspects of performance in the case interview that are not really great (not terrible performance)? In other words, because we have got more credential than other entry-level candidates, they will excuse little bit if our case performance has some weakness. I am not saying that I will rely on my credential to relax on my case prep but just curious about this condition.

Also, how can we leverage our experience for entry level position ?

Thank you

Overview of answers

Upvotes
  • Upvotes
  • Date ascending
  • Date descending
Best answer
Francesco
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Apr 08, 2021
#1 Expert for Coaching Sessions (3.600+) | 1.300+ Reviews with 100% Recommendation Rate | Ex BCG | 8+ Years of Coaching

Hi there,

There is no difference in the interview structure itself for undergrad or Masters applying for entry-level positions – you will still have a structure as:

  • Fit
  • Case
  • Your questions

There are different expectations though. If you have work experience, the interviewer will expect examples of leadership, impact, drive, etc., and possibly business acumen, reflecting your previous years of experience. So the bar would be higher – not lower – from that point of view.

Not your specific case, but interviews for experienced hires for manager levels and above are different, as:

  • The process may involve questions on a specific sector and industry knowledge
  • You may get questions on how to manage real projects and teams, as your responsibilities will involve that (initial data requested, number of people, allocation of people on workstreams, length of the different parts of the project).

Hope this helps,

Francesco

Was this answer helpful?
Allen
Expert
updated an answer on Apr 08, 2021
Ex-McK Experienced hire and EM - I specialize in helping experienced hires perform

Good question that I've heard from many experienced candidates. Let me try to answer the case interview aspect of your question.

Bottom line, as far as the case is concerned, there is no change to the objective standards that everyone must meet / exceed in order to demonstrate the skills required to succeed at MBB. Remember, the case interview is more about about skills than about knowledge, so the fact that you bring specific knowledge or credentials to the table due to your eperience won't lower the bar here. If anything, it will raise it because your business judgement should be at a higher level than less experienced (but no less talented) candidates.

There is one exception that I've seen, but this is not a change to objective criteria. Student candidates, and especially MBA candidates, typically know exactly what to do in a case interview. They have access to preparation resources with a high degree of sophistication. Experienced hires typically don't have this (or don't find it). Therefore, I've seen experienced candidates get a bit of a break if they do well, but their performance isn't consistent across all the areas across all the interviews. The argument goes, "we've seen what they can do, they probably need to practice more." Likewise, if they're not as thorough: "They probably don't realize the thoroughness we like to see." Again, certainly don't count on this, as it's not objective.

Hope this helps!

Allen

(edited)

Was this answer helpful?
Florian
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Apr 07, 2021
#1 rated McKinsey Case and PEI Coach | 5 years at McKinsey | Mentorship Approach | Imbellus Expert

Hey there,

Experienced hires can definitely not rest on their credentials and are expected to perform in cases and personal fit or PEI the same way as more junior colleagues. The evaluation for experienced hires is generally a bit tougher due to the fact that the risk for the firm is higher since they start higher within the hierarchy, where there is more potential for things to go wrong. :-)

In fact, for personal fit, due to your experience, you are expected to come up with stories and answers that demonstrate this accordingly, i.e.

  • more seniority
  • more responsibility
  • more impact
  • bigger challenges
  • more leadership experience and bigger teams
  • etc.

Also, it is a common misconception that one part of the interview (strong personal fit due to experience and credentials) can outweigh the other (the case). Both are equally important for the hiring decision and being strong in one has no impact on the other and vice versa.

Cheers,

Florian

Was this answer helpful?
Ian
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Apr 07, 2021
BCG | 100% personal interview success rate (8/8) and 95% candidate success rate | Personalized interview prep

Hi there,

Let's think about this logically :)

1) Worrying about this question is not the most productive use of your time. I get the curiosity, but ultimately you're only competing against yourself. Regardless of what we say or you determine, you've got to put your best foot forward

2) If you were the interviewer, and you met a candidate who was older and more experienced, would you have higher expectations? In that, would it be a bit of a red flag if the candidate hadn't seemed to have developed some critical skills and baseline experience?

So, there's your answer! Technically, the standards are the same. But, if you're not fresh out of undergrad, you need to have a much better understanding of how the world works, what current events are happening, how to come across professionally, etc.

Was this answer helpful?
Florian
Expert
replied on Apr 07, 2021
Ex-McKinsey | 5+ years consulting experience | Active interviewer & coach | Healthcare industry | Inhouse Consulting

Hi,

regarding the case interviews, anyone (regardless of experience/background) will be expected to meet the bar. By no means, this means that you have to be the best candidate ever, but you need to achieve at least a solid performance in all interviews. Consistency in your performance is much more important than being completely outstanding.

However, you can leverage your previous experience in the PEI part, as your previous experience (if relevant for the job) has hopefully exposed you to situations where you were able to demonstrate the skills that interviewers look for in the PEI part.

Let me know if you have further questions.

Cheers, Florian

Was this answer helpful?
Clara
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Apr 09, 2021
McKinsey | Awarded professor at Master in Management @ IE | MBA at MIT |+180 students coached | Integrated FIT Guide aut

Hello!

There is no difference on the case and questions you will get depending on who you are, this is standard.

You have 2 main workstreams ahead:

1. FIT INTERVIEW

The "Integrated FIT guide for MBB" has been recently published in PrepLounge´s shop (https://www.preplounge.com/en/shop/tests-2/integrated-fit-guide-for-mbb-34)

It provides an end-to-end preparation for all three MBB interviews, tackling each firms particularities and combining key concepts review and a hands-on methodology. Following the book, the candidate will prepare his/her stories by practicing with over 50 real questions and leveraging special frameworks and worksheets that guide step-by-step, developed by the author and her experience as a Master in Management professor and coach. Finally, as further guidance, the guide encompasses over 20 examples from real candidates.

You can see plenty of reviews from candidates who purchased it already.

Furthermore, you can find 2 free cases in the PrepL case regarding FIT preparation:

Intro and CV questions > https://www.preplounge.com/en/management-consulting-cases/fit-interview/intermediate/introduction-and-cv-questions-fit-interview-preparation-200

Motivational questions > https://www.preplounge.com/en/management-consulting-cases/fit-interview/intermediate/motivational-questions-fit-interview-preparation-201

Behavioural questions (ENTREPRENEURIAL DRIVE) >https://www.preplounge.com/en/management-consulting-cases/fit-interview/intermediate/behavioral-questions-entrepreneurial-drive-fit-interview-preparation-211

Feel free to PM me for disccount codes, since we still have some left from the launch! :)

2. BUSINESS CASE

You don´t have any more time to the classics of Viktor Cheng, "Case in point" book, etc. You need to get hands on asap:

1. Practice cases with partners asap, as many as you can do.Find experienced partners who can provide a good feedback

2. Practice your math skills, both in your cases and with ad hoc exercisess, such as:

1. ​Multiplying double digit numbers (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6ndkkPZYJHo

2. Leveraging math tools (Mimir math for iOS), Math tool on Viktor Cheng website to practice

Furthermore, you should practice as much as you can, and ensure that you cover:

1. Profitability cases- basic profitability framework.

2. Idea generation cases: for any specif issue

3. Growth cases: market penetration, new product launch, product mix change, etc.

4. Pricing cases

5. M&A cases

6. Valuation cases

7. Value chain cases

Hope it helps!

Cheers,

Clara

Was this answer helpful?
Antonello
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Apr 08, 2021
McKinsey | MBA professor for consulting interviews

Hi, I can confirm the structure of the interview will be the same. However, more atention will be dedicated in top-down communication, problem structuring and fit part

Best,
Antonello

Was this answer helpful?
Francesco gave the best answer

Francesco

Content Creator
#1 Expert for Coaching Sessions (3.600+) | 1.300+ Reviews with 100% Recommendation Rate | Ex BCG | 8+ Years of Coaching
3,666
Meetings
21,006
Q&A Upvotes
237
Awards
1360 Reviews