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Fit Interview for Boutique Consulting

fit interview Procurement supply chain
New answer on May 28, 2024
5 Answers
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Anonymous A asked on May 28, 2024

Hi everyone, I am interviewing with a boutique consulting firm focusing on supply chain and procurement. I had prior exposure into these areas but those aren't topics I am very familiar about. However, I do want to give this role a try and the majority of the interviews will be fit-focused. My question is, outside of usual fit interview tips, is there anything I can do for me to quickly connect with the interviewers about their company? They seem to put a lot of emphasis on stakeholder management, can anyone give me a better idea on what it really is?

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Florian
Expert
Content Creator
replied on May 28, 2024
1300 5-star reviews across platforms | 500+ offers | Highest-rated case book on Amazon | Uni lecturer in US, Asia, EU

Hi there,

Congrats on the interview! :-)

Let's break it down.

Fit interview

You need to prepare for 4 types of questions

  • Resume-based questions (introduction of your background, questions about specific experiences)
  • Simple fit questions (why you, why consulting, why our firm, what can you bring to the table?)
  • Domain questions (in your case this would be supply chain, procurement)
  • Story questions (show traits important in consulting such as leadership, stakeholder management, persuasion, and impact in longer stories, not just brief answers)

Stakeholder management

As a consultant, you will always need to manage several groups of people (internally in your team and firm and externally the client, industry experts,…). 

Stakeholder management involves identifying, analyzing, and engaging with individuals or groups who have an interest or influence in a project's outcome. The core skills here are effective communication, negotiation, and sometimes conflict resolution to ensure stakeholders' needs and expectations are met in the project context.

For the interview, discuss specific examples where you successfully managed diverse stakeholders, detailing

  • strategies you used to build and maintain relationships.
  • your ability to balance competing interests and facilitate collaboration among stakeholders with differing viewpoints
  • your proactive approach to identifying potential issues and resolving them before they escalate, showcasing your commitment to fostering positive stakeholder relationships.

If you want a deep dive, check out my book The 1%: Conquer Your Consulting Case Interviews where I have a deep dive section on all these topics with sample questions/answers.

Cheers,

Florian

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Cristian
Expert
Content Creator
replied on May 28, 2024
#1 rated MBB & McKinsey Coach

I'd recommend you actually reach out to a couple of new joiners from the firm and speak with them about their recruitment process.

Show curiosity about their current role, their journey and the preparation process that helped them land an offer.

These conversations will be priceless since you'll get an actual roadmap of how they succeeded and knowledge of what you should be focusing on.

You might find this guide helpful in terms of how to lead these convos:

And specifically for the fit component, I developed a comprehensive course that you might want to check out here:

Best,
Cristian

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Pedro
Expert
replied on May 28, 2024
Bain | Roland Berger | EY-Parthenon | Mentoring Approach | 30% off first 10 sessions in May| Market Sizing | DARDEN MBA

The biggest issue with procurement and supply chain is that it is really about managing trade-offs.

For example, if you decide to work with a foreign supplier, you'll become less responsive and start having longer lead times. This will impact sales teams. If you decide to concentrate volumes in a single supplier, you may lower cost, but increase risk. And you may need higher inventory… that will impact production. Or it may impact product quality…

In other words, every decision has winners and losers; you will have to be very good at managing opposing interests from multiple teams, and aligning everyone.

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Agrim
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replied on May 28, 2024
BCG Dubai Project Leader | Learn to think like a Consultant | Free personalised prep plan | 6+ years in Consulting

A few all-round thoughts here from my side:

  • The “fit-focused” - may not be just the behavioral questions - but also expertise-fit - in this case supply-chain/procurement. So be prepared for technical fit questions as well - expertise, capabilities, skills etc.
  • My view is that the “stakeholder management” you are referring to is simply client-relationship management - and ensuring that the needs of all the players in supply-chain and procurement are met - through the consulting advice you provide.
  • As a consulting firm - that makes sense - because that is usually the most important thing you do on a day-to-day basis.
  • I believe that your best preparation would be to keep all your stories and experience instances ready where you can exhibit varying degrees of stakeholder management - either around relationships and/or around the impact of your work.

Happy to provide more clarifications if needed!

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Alberto
Expert
Content Creator
replied on May 28, 2024
Ex-McKinsey Associate Partner | +15 years in consulting | +200 McKinsey 1st & 2nd round interviews

Hi there,

Stakeholder management is the ability to align and manage different individuals or groups involved in a project towards the same goal. They might include sponsors, managers, working teams, suppliers, public opinion, government, etc.

Prepare some stories where you solve a challenge managing different stakeholders, either difficult ones or with opposing opinions.

Best,

Alberto

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Florian gave the best answer

Florian

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