Ex BCG | MBB Specialist | #1 Expert for meetings done (1000+) and recommendation rate (100%)
Book a coaching

First round interview with a senior director

sanane

I have an upcoming first round interview for a mid-size strategy consulting firm, but the interview is with someone at the senior director level. I've been told the interview will mostly consist of "resume and scenario-based questions", so I assume no formal case. Is this normal, to interview first with a senior director, and what should I expect? (i.e. how would an interview with a senior director be different from a more standard first round with HR or an analyst/associate)? I am really banking on there NOT being a case interview for this 45-minute conversation, but I will definitely be reviewing my approach briefly before stepping into the meeting.

(edited)

  • Upvotes
  • Date ascending
  • Date descending
Francesco replied on 08/31/2017
Ex BCG | MBB Specialist | #1 Expert for meetings done (1000+) and recommendation rate (100%)

Hi Ibrahim,

it is actually possible you will get a case during the interview. This happened recently to a person I helped with the preparation – had to interview with a senior partner and was ensured by HR it would have been a conversation only. However, it turned out that the senior partner asked him a short case during the interview. In his specific case that was not an issue as he was already strong on the case part, however he could have blown the interview if he had not prepared. The true is, a senior partner can ask what he wants during the interview, whatever HR said.

As for the type of interview, it will likely be very similar to a first round, with more fit questions asked (if you get a case: intro+behavioural part 10-15 mins + case 25-30 mins+ your questions 5 mins).

Hope this helps,

Francesco

Vlad replied on 08/30/2017
McKinsey / Accenture / More than 300 real MBB cases / Collected all Big 3 offers / Harvard Business School

Hi,

It would really help if you write here the name of the company

Hugo
Expert
replied on 09/07/2017
Current BCG Active Project Leader |Former A.T. Kearney |+8Y of consulting experience | Received 8 consulting offers in the past 2Y

Hello Ibrahim,

I hope this short message finds you well and helps you in your preparation. The more senior level the interviewers are, the more creative they become during the interviews. What does it mean? That they can take the conversation wherever they want and with no specific order (they can jump from a fit question to a numerical question, then return to the fit part and finish with a small case)

However, the mechanics and gist of the interview won't change. They have to answer the following critical questions:

1) Are you a good fit for the company? This is basically the fit part of the interview in which you probably can expect a) stress interview b) going very deep into specific examples c) multiple skills assessment from previous experience

2) Do you have the skills set to become a good consultant? This is basically the case part in which the interviewer can ask you a) out of the hood numerical questions b) short interview cases c) real cases that the interviewer is currently working d) cases that the interviewer is inventing while he is speaking to you.

One final recommendation is not to feel nervous if you feel that the interview is not "structured", this is how senior level professional approach their interviews.

Regards,

Hugo

Anonymous A replied on 08/30/2017

Hi Ibrahim,

I am having a similar situation as yours, but I am applying for a junior position in technology strategy in a mid-size company. I am interested to know how to prepare for my first round interview with a partner and two managers too. Could someone shed us some lights? Thanks a lot.

Related BootCamp article(s)

Personal Fit

Besides being great at case cracking you also need to convince the interviewer that your personality fits into a case team or in the company as a whole

3 Comment(s)

Getting Up to Speed

In order to repeatedly demonstrate prerequisite skills under the pressure of a real case interview, you need to learn the basics and practice cases.

3 Comment(s)

Related case(s)

McKinsey Questions

Solved 15.2k times
4.5 5 395
| Rating: (4.5 / 5.0)
Difficulty: Intermediate | Style: Fit interview | Topics: Personal fit

Tell me of a situation where you had an opinion and no one seemed to agree with you. What was your goal when you decided to join university / work / clubs / a sports team? Did you have a goal that you were not able to reach? What did you do? What do you want to be remembered for and how are ... Open whole case

Bain Questions

Solved 12.7k times
4.6 5 146
| Rating: (4.6 / 5.0)
Difficulty: Intermediate | Style: Fit interview | Topics: Personal fit

Tell me about a difficult situation you had to cope with. Tell me of a task which you didn’t like doing and explain why you performed it nevertheless. Why do you do things? What do you like doing most / What is your favorite hobby? Walk me through a situation where you showed leadership s ... Open whole case

BCG Questions

Solved 10.9k times
4.5 5 130
| Rating: (4.5 / 5.0)
Difficulty: Intermediate | Style: Fit interview | Topics: Personal fit

What arouses your interest when you are working / studying / doing another activity (from the CV)? Tell me of a time where you had no idea what you were doing. When did you use an uncommon approach to do something? Have you ever had responsibility for other people? Tell me of a situation ... Open whole case

Unusual Questions

Solved 6.8k times
4.5 5 108
| Rating: (4.5 / 5.0)
Difficulty: Advanced | Style: Fit interview | Topics: Personal fit

What books/films have you enjoyed recently and why? What is the worst thing that you have ever gotten away with? How do you define and evaluate successful work? Do you fear anything? How would you rate me as your interviewer? Open whole case

The Top 5 Questions

Solved 6.4k times
4.6 5 118
| Rating: (4.6 / 5.0)
Difficulty: Intermediate | Style: Fit interview | Topics: Personal fit

Questions Tell me something about your background. Why should we hire you? Describe a difficult situation and how you handled it? What did your boss or colleagues criticize about you? Do you rather work in a team or independently? Open whole case