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:
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,