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Final round candidate questions

Anonymous A

Hello,

I have my first final round interview with a partner coming up. What smart questions can you ask during the last "candidate questions" part of the interview?

I asked all my usual questions (like why did you chose company x, what do you like most about working here, what was your favourite project, how does staffing work, etc.) during the previous rounds to senior consultants and managers. Do you have any recommendations?

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Andrea
Expert
replied on 04/18/2018
Former BCG decision round interviewer with 300+ real interviews in 8 years at BCG. First session $249, following $219

A question I find interesting for people who stayed in same firm for more than 5 years is asking for what is making them stick around. Both in the industry, since it can be grueling in the long term with all the travel, but also in the specific company. Another question I think you can get a great perspective on is what characteristics they see in consultants (first level post-MBA) that stick around long term. Finally all questions about industry evolution (strategy shop expanding their solutions offerings, etc) are great.

In general this is the moment to ask things you are curious about but that are not “dangerous” - in the sense that they uncover unpleasant answers and might make question the partner on whether you did the proper due diligence about the job. This because at this point in time (well actually always) partners objective is to sell you on the job if they think you are a great addition to the company.

hope this helps,

andrea

Hemant
Expert
replied on 04/19/2018
Current partner @ Andreessen Horowitz (VC firm). Ex-Mckinsey, ex- strategy guy at Google.

I had great experiences with the following variations on the theme:

- what was your fav case at <firm> so far and why?

- what was your most important learning exp so far?

- what did you discover about yourself as a consultant that you did not know before and was surprising to you

- looking back on your career, what do you want to tell yourself on your first day of job

Vlad replied on 04/18/2018
McKinsey / Accenture / Got all BIG3 offers / More than 300 real MBB cases / Harvard Business School

Hi,

The main objective is to have a good conversation and highlight your intellectual capacity and curiosity. Thus:

It is ok to ask:

  • Questions that cause positive emotions and highlight consulting pros (e.g. Mck people)
  • Questions on the topics you are excited about (e.g. data science)
  • Non-business questions (e.g. team retreats)

It's not ok to ask:

  • Questions that can cause negative emotions (e.g. work hours)
  • Information you should learn before the interview (e.g. typical career path)
  • Questions that may show that you are unfamiliar with consulting work (Like are you specialized in strategy or operations?)

Be prepared and good luck!

Anonymous B replied on 04/18/2018

You can ask some questions about their work - you will get info about their background and industries on the interview day. Another idea is trends of the industy, e.g. do they see more trend towards specialization early on? Do they think generalist consultants will survive? Do they see move to loval vs regional/global staffing?

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