Final round reappointing

Final Round
New answer on Sep 17, 2022
4 Answers
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Anonymous A asked on Sep 16, 2022

Hello!

I was being interviewed by one consulting company (non-MBB) for an entry-level position, the application process was held online, so I had X zoom calls with X different people. Even though all rounds were absolutely fine, the final one turned out to be ridiculous not as planned. I heard that sometimes final round interviews can be reappointed, if the situation during the interview was far from the standart one or the feedback is just not informative, and I know several success stories of it. I wanted to know your opinion if my case is this case, and if yes, then what can I do to overcome it?

That's how it was: the Partner told me upfront he had only 30min for our meeting, and if I guess that correctly then we had the interview on his day off, actually. He didn't turn his camera on (unlike all previous interviewers in all companies I ever had interviews with), which did not allow me to understand his reactions on my answers. Judging by his voice only I could hear he was irritated by something from the very beginning of our interview, or probably, even before the very beginning of it. The whole discussion was a bit messy, as he jumped from one topic to another, trying to fit everything in 30min time. I didn't feel he was interested in my journey, he wasn't even interested in explanations of my reasons to “why consulting”. The case on a broad topic was intentionally made very short and, as a result, made little sense. I'm glad he gave me an opportinity to ask several questions at the end of an interview, but he stopped me after 2 questions, I guess. To sum up, it was obvious he was in a hurry so much, I was feeling that in his mind he was anywhere, but not there with me.

One might say that all of it could be intentional, or my answers were just poor, but let me tell you why I think this is not the case. I am not a novice in case interviews, so I know I sounded reasonable and fairly structured, even though sometimes I was a bit overloaded when the interviewer was throwing new information at me. I emphasised everything that could allow me to unveil properly why my experience, competencies and psychological characteristics make me stand out from any other candidate, but the interviewer ignored it. I tried so hard to find at least several "points of contact", and I was really prepared for the Partner (including his professional and personal journey): I was ready to shift the discussion to needed fields, but I just couldn't. As a result, a week later I was officially rejected and was proposed to have a feedback session. I have some insider information that I'm about to hear something about me “being too nervous”, probably, something more, but still… The final round is meant to be the most important one, I guess, and I am not just frustrated, I am absolutely devasted by how it all was.

Do you think I can change the situation given all of this? 

(edited)

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Ian
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replied on Sep 17, 2022
MBB | 100% personal interview success rate (8/8) and 95% candidate success rate | Personalized interview prep

Hi there,

So, first of all thanks for sharing and I'm sorry to hear about your experience. You're right that it's not “normal” and I completely understand why you're frustrated.

That said, that's life. This is the business world. Clients are going to do crazy things. Partners on your projects are going to flip things on their head, provide poor instructions, stress out the team, be vague, be curt, etc.

I'm sure you've seen the memes now of Partner emails simply saying “plz fix”.

The unfortunate truth is you need to learn how to adapt + adjust to these situations. This is why I always teach all of my candidates to be ready for anything. Whatever the interviewer does or wants, you need to show resilience. It sounds like you got thrown off by something unexpected and that affected your performance…you need to roll with the punches. Side note: 2 questions at the end of the interview is pretty standard.

Again, I'm sorry about your experience, and there's not much you'll be able to do about this.

That said, the greatest accomplishments come from temporary defeat. You can re-apply next year. You can apply to 100 other consultancies out there. Learn from this experience and move forward! Perhaps hire a coach that knows how to throw x and y scenario out to you (instead of relying only on peers that will be “too nice” in peer cases).

Making it to the final round means you've got what it takes - it just didn't happen this time. You got this :)

Here's a bit of the mindset shift I think you need: https://www.preplounge.com/en/articles/how-to-shift-your-mindset-to-ace-the-case

 

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Cristian
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replied on Sep 17, 2022
#1 rated and most recommended McKinsey Coach | 97% success rate (tracked) | Honest feedback: no sugar-coating

Hi there, 

Sorry to hear you had this experience. 

It's not the first time I hear this type of story. These things don't happen often, but when they do, I can imagine how frustrating they can be for candidates. 

From my point of view, there's little that you can do about this particular application at this point. The only thing you could've potentially done was to reach out to the recruiter before you got the result, explain the situation and ask for another interview. Even that is unlikely to have worked, but it was still an option. If you reach out to them after you rejected then it seems like you are just sore about the result. 

So my advice would be to just take a deep breath in, accept it the way it is, learn from it and move on. The reality is there are things that you cannot control in life and things that are not fair. The important thing is to stay positive and to strive to be the best version of yourself at all times. Eventually, things will work out in your favour. So continue applying and you will get a different offer and potentially in the future you could do a lateral move in this firm you were initially targeting. 

Keeping my fingers crossed for you!

Best,

Cristian

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Dennis
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replied on Sep 16, 2022
Seasoned project leader with 7+ years of consulting and recruiting experience in USA and Europe

I'm sorry to hear that you had to go through an experience like this. Making it to the final round is already a great success and in many interview processes this can mean the hardest part is already behind you. 

For general context from personal recruiting experience:

Oftentimes, partners will not try to run you through a full case again since they assume that this has already been done to you extensively to even get to the final stage. They rather want to validate that you can think on your feet, get to know you and confirm that you are also a good personal/cultural fit to whatever purview they might have. At that point, you are typically considered a high potential candidate already and partners will also try to sell you on the company rather than “tear you apart”. Of course one should not take anything for granted and it ultimately depends on the individual or current circumstances. It is not unusual that partners might have to cut interviews short because they e.g. need to cater to client demands or chase another sale (not an ideal situation for sure but that's the reality of the job). 
 

My thoughts on what to do in your situation:

  • Definitely take the chance for the feedback meeting to hear what they tell you (some of it could be useful for future interviews)
  • Feel free to share your “bad” interview experience in a professional manner (e.g. mentioning that you would have appreciated a cam2cam meeting that wasn't cut short - like the previous interviews you had with the company) - this might alert their HR team to better watch for out how the firm presents itself to potential employees
  • Since you already received a formal rejection letter, I think there is little merit in trying to propose “another shot at the final round with someone else as the interviewer” - in my experience there is always a discussion with all interviewers and the HR recruiting team before any decision is communicated to any given candidate (so a rejection and offer communication alike are usually aligned with all relevant parties involved)
  • Think about if you'd even want to work for such a company if your future boss is like the partner you met (there may be greener pastures elsewhere)

All in all, a recruiting process can always be a matter of luck irrespective of how you prepare. Maybe a case catches you on the wrong foot. Maybe there is no good chemistry with the interviewer. Just keep going and don't view such rejections as personal defeat - you already made it to the final round once and you can do it again.

 

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Sofia
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replied on Sep 17, 2022
McKinsey San Francisco | Harvard graduate | 5+ years of coaching| Free 15 min intro call | Personalized approach

Hello,

I am sorry to hear about your experience! Unfortunately, since you have already received a formal rejection, I don't think there is much you can do at this point to “re-do” the final round interview with someone else. That being said, I advise you to take the feedback session. If it is led by the same partner, I would feel free to (politely and professionally!) mention that you felt a bit thrown off by them being off-camera. But otherwise, don't let one rejection get you down. There are many reasons for why competent candidates might be rejected, some of which have to do with luck and subjective factors, and there are many other excellent consulting firms that you could try for. Best of luck!

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Ian gave the best answer

Ian

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