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Hi - i am a "non-traditional" potential experienced hire that has been invited to an MBB industry event. Its a 2 day fully paid stay in event for "high potential" industry hires. My questions are: 1.) How should i prepare myself so as to "impress"? 2.)What should i expect at this event? 3.) What would the Firm be looking for at this event. Thank you for your answers in advance! Cheers

Anonymous A
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Sidi
Expert
replied on 06/29/2018
McKinsey Engagement Manager & BCG Consultant | Interviewer at McK & BCG for 7 years | Coached 50+ candidates secure MBB offers

Hey Anonymous!

I have a slightly different point of view and my advice here might sound a bit counterintuitive, but - please:

Do not plan on doing anything special! Networking events at each of the MBB firms are formats for the firm to market itself. It is MUCH LESS the time for you to market yourself. In the moment that you are invited to participate in such a paid stay event, the firm has already tagged you as an interesting candidate, and there is very limited headroom for you to "wow" anyone during the event.

So just be relaxed, observe, and ask yourself what are the 3 or 4 things you really want to find out about the Firm and its employees. That's it! Don't try to impress at such an event. The time to impress will be the interviews!

Cheers, Sidi

Francesco replied on 06/29/2018
#1 Expert for coaching sessions (1600+) | Ex BCG | 800+ reviews with 100% recommendation rate

Hi Anonymous,

assuming your goal is to get an interview invitation, the best thing to in these events is to create a strong connection with current consultants for further support in the application process. To do so, you should prepare smart questions, transform the dialogues in a conversations and ask the consultants at the end of the event whether you could reach out later for further questions. If they says yes you can then send a thank-you note and, so far you made a good impression, chances are you could later transform the connection into a referral.

As for your questions:

1) The key things you should prepare in advance are the following:

  • Read about the firm and the consulting industry. Try to understand recent development – this will ensure you can ask deeper questions and stand out
  • Learn as much as possible about the consultants who will participate at the event. In this way you will be able to connect more easily.
  • Prepare typical fit questions. You won’t be formally interviewed during these events, but you want to leave a positive impression in informal conversation with consultants. At the bare minimum you should
    • have a clear idea of why you want to become a consultant
    • why that particular MBB
    • what you can bring to that company and
    • have a clear, 5-lines pitch of who you are as introduction.
  • Prepare your own questions to ask. Relevant questions are a great way to show your interest in the company and get additional points. In the first reply at the following post you can find some more information on the ideal type of questions to ask:

https://www.preplounge.com/en/consulting-forum/open-house-at-bcg-311

2) In terms of what you should expect at the event – that depends by country/expertise area/number of people invited. You will probably go though an introduction of the firm, see examples of life as a consultant and potentially have individual/group feedback session with mocks from current consultants to assess your level. I am pretty sure they will provide an agenda of the topics covered before the event.

3) In terms of what the company expects: besides preparation as for point 1, you are expected to participate actively in group conversations/ activities proposed. Whenever you have a group activity, you don’t necessarily have to act as the leader if that doesn’t come natural to you - it’s actually more important to support the team to achieve the overall goal (eg help people who are not participating to interact, volunteer to help the natural leader on specific topics, provide suggestions on next steps).

Hope this helps,
Francesco

Vlad replied on 06/29/2018
McKinsey / Accenture / Got all BIG3 offers / More than 300 real MBB cases / Harvard Business School

Hi,

It depends on the structure of a workshop:

  1. Option A: Consultants will show you how to solve a case. Here you don't need to do anything special - just try to have a couple of nice conversations after the case. Don't expect to get any benefits from that and don't do anything special
  2. Option B: You'll be split into teams with a dedicated consultant observing you solving the case together. Here your main objective is to demonstrate how good you are at solving the cases. That's the only and the best way to impress. Also be careful, since it does not mean you should not listen to others and try being an absolute leader. Be the guy with the smart ideas. I know many candidates who got invited to McKinsey PST or Bain interviews without a test after these events.

You'll also get a chance to:

  • Look how MBB approaches solving a case
  • Talk to MBB people and get some information for you FIT interview (why The Company reasons, topics for your questions to the interviewer, etc)
  • Meet with other candidates with whom you can practice the cases further

PS. After each event, there is a Q&A session where you can talk to consultants 1 on 1 or in a group. If you want to keep in touch - send a thank you note after the event:

  • "I just wanted to thank you for visiting our University...
  • It was especially interesting to hear about...
  • Would be happy to keep in touch and apply in the nearest future.

Alternatively, you may use LinkedIn for that.

Best!

Dorothea
Expert
replied on 06/29/2018
Ex-Oliver Wyman with 100% interview success rate - specialized in female career coaching

Hi there,

regarding your questions:

  1. You should be visible and participate actively in any activities during the event, i.e. try to "lead" your group in case you do a case study, participate in discussions, and show genuine interest in the firm and its consultants. But most importantly: Be yourself. These events won't help you to receive an offer straight away, but they may help you to facilitate the recruting process afterwards. From my experience, there is no way to "prepare" for this.
  2. See 1. Very likely you will have a few discussion rounds with other participants and consulting staff, you may be asked to solve a case in groups etc.
  3. The idea of these events is more to advertise the firm to potential candidates, not the other way around. All of the participants have been invited because the main recruiting criteria seem to fit (grades, experience etc.) However, after the event recruiting will actively contact selected participants, who stood out from the group, so this is your chance: Be visible, show genuine interest / ask questions and leadership skills.

Most importantly, you should also use the opportunity to figure out whether you feel that the firm is the right place for you - this works best if you talk to as many people from the firm as possible.

Hope this helps.

Dorothea