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How do you know which coach is right for you? At the end of the day, does it make a big difference?

coaching
New answer on Feb 29, 2024
8 Answers
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Anonymous A asked on Jan 03, 2024

Not much more context - considering getting a coach and unsure how to gauge if one is the right fit. How many should I talk to before choosing?

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Brad
Expert
replied on Jan 03, 2024
Expert coach | Head of recruiting for Bain | 8+ years interviewing | Free intro call

Hi there,

 

A great (and important) question!

 

I wouldn’t back-solve for a number of coaches to speak to, I’d solve for what you want from them first. 

 

Do you want help with your application package, case interview or fit interview? If it’s for the case-interview (for example), is it structuring, analytics, summarising, etc that you want help with? Or are you just starting out and want to understand the lay of the land? In my experience, if the applicant (e.g. you) isn’t clear on what they want then sometimes our time together isn’t used as effectively as it could.

 

I’d much rather spend 50% of our time talking about how to best approach structuring a case interview question and 50% structuring problems only then spend 100% of our time doing a case interview to then diagnose you deficient in structuring, which then requires another session to solve.

 

Once you’re clear on what you want, I’d speak to a small number (2-3) of coaches and find out what their approach is to helping you with what your need is. You’ll quickly get a feel for who’s approach and coaching style resonates with you. 

 

In terms of what to consider when ‘shortlisting’ coaches, I’d suggest:

 

The firm that you’re interviewing at

Not all consulting firms are the same, nor are their approaches to selecting candidates. If you have a target firm in mind, try to find someone who’s from that firm. If not, go for coaches with MBB backgrounds (better to hold yourself to a higher bar than you need than to sell yourself short).

 

The coaches experience

I strongly recommend finding coaches who have worked within the recruiting function at a consulting firm. Typically consulting staff will dedicate 10% of their time to other firm activities which are hard to resource efficiently with fill time ops staff. Recruiting is definitely one of those activities, since it tends to surge at certain points in the year. Coaches with recruiting experience have written case studies (and therefore know the tricks embedded in them), reviewed CVs, sat opposite candidates who have cracked the case but not bought them along the journey, etc. We know all the tricks and tips, we’ve seen candidates fail in every way imaginable and we seen best practice in action.

 

Activity on this platform

Frankly, being active here shows that the coach is committed and gives a damn. Reading through some of their Q&A responses can also be helpful for getting a sense of their communication style.

 

I’d be delighted to help if you think my profile is a good fit for you. Book in a free 15-min consult if you’d like.

 

Cheers,

B.

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Francesco
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Jan 03, 2024
#1 Coach for Sessions (4.500+) | 1.500+ 5-Star Reviews | Proven Success (➡ interviewoffers.com) | Ex BCG | 10Y+ Coaching

Hi there,

Q: Considering getting a coach and unsure how to gauge if one is the right fit. How many should I talk to before choosing?

To find a coach matching your needs, you can do the following:

  1. Go to the main page listing the coaches: https://www.preplounge.com/en/case-coach
  2. Filter the coaches based on your criteria (eg budget, reviews)
  3. Read reviews/profiles – define a shortlist (eg 3-5 coaches)
  4. Send a message to the coaches with your questions and what you would like to work on to see if there is a match
  5. Select the coach that best suits your needs

As a bonus point: you can check their Q&A answers (there is a label called “Q&A Contributions” in the profile) – it should give you an idea of the style of the coach and if it matches what you are looking for.

For any questions please feel free to PM me.

Best,

Francesco

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Florian
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Jan 03, 2024
Highest-rated McKinsey coach (ratings, offers, sessions) | 500+ offers | Author of The 1% & Consulting Career Secrets

Hi there,

It definitely makes a difference who you choose and success rates vary widely based on each coach's experience and approach.

I’d take the following steps, adding a bit to what Francesco has already said:

  • Apply the right filters: Use the website's filters to narrow down your options. Consider aspects like your budget, the coach's experience (number of sessions conducted, firms they've worked for), and their number of reviews.
  • Create a shortlist: Based on your filtered results, select about 5-8 coaches. This number is large enough to give you a variety of coaching styles and experiences, but small enough to manage the calls effectively. Everything above that would be overkill. Make sure to read through the reviews and get a feeling of how many offers a coach has generated. 
  • Reach out: Contact the coaches on your shortlist and schedule an intro call. Share your specific goals and areas you want to focus on. This is your chance to see if there's a personal and professional match and to gauge their availability and willingness to provide tailored support (also in terms of capacity and mentorship in-between sessions). In the call, also ask them about their work history, coaching history, and success rates directly. The more questions you ask the more insights you will get. Also, you will already learn something about the interviews and get useful tips for free ;-)
  • Check for additional resources: Ask if they offer extra materials or services that could benefit your preparation free of charge, like custom practice materials that are self-created and high (!) quality (e.g., video courses, practice video drills, etc), resume reviews, or access to a client community to practice with. Also ask your coaches how they handle timing in a session. Some might prefer 60-minute time slots, while others are more generous with their time and don’t care about time limits.
  • Make your decision: Based on their responses and the connection you feel, choose the coach who aligns best with your learning style, needs, and goals. The ideal coach should offer not just expertise, but also a teaching style and mentorship approach that resonates with you.

Cristian raises a good point. Start with one session if you are unsure before committing to a package. 

All the best with your selection and preparation,

Florian

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Alberto
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Jan 06, 2024
Ex-McKinsey Associate Partner | +15 years in consulting | +200 McKinsey 1st & 2nd round interviews

Hi there,

Some criteria on top of other responses that might help to choose the right coach for your:

  • Real experience interviewing in your target firm
  • Personal connection 
  • Your budget (considering the number of sessions you might need based on your current level)

Best,

Alberto

Check out my latest case based on a real MBB interview: Sierra Springs

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Ian
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Jan 04, 2024
#1 BCG coach | MBB | Tier 2 | Digital, Tech, Platinion | 100% personal success rate (8/8) | 95% candidate success rate

Hi there,

It honestly does make a big difference! We have different approaches and different teaches styles.

Now, remember, there are going to be multiple that work well so don't worry too much about the “perfect” one. However, there will be some that don't work well (for you and/or just in general). Your job is to filter those ones out.

  1. Have an intro call
  2. Do one session with your top 2 (or 3) coaches to gauge which works best
  3. Talk to past candidates of theirs to get an idea of what it's like working with them

Honestly, the right coaching is amazing. But fit does matter. Trust your gut here :)

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Hagen
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Feb 29, 2024
#1 Bain coach | >95% success rate | interviewer for 8+ years | mentor and coach for 7+ years

Hi there,

I would be happy to share my thoughts on your question:

  • First of all, choosing the right coach can be pivotal to your preparation. Each coach brings unique experiences and insights, so it's important to find one whose expertise aligns with your goals.
  • Moreover, I would advise you to talk to at least three coaches to compare their approaches, experience, and the rapport you establish with them. This should give you a balanced view to make an informed decision.
  • Lastly, the difference a coach makes can be substantial. They not only prepare you for case studies but also help in boosting your confidence and shaping your communication skills, which are crucial in consulting interviews.

If you would like a more detailed discussion on how to best prepare for your upcoming interviews, please don't hesitate to contact me directly.

Best,

Hagen

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Nikita
Expert
replied on Jan 03, 2024
MBB & Tier2 preparation | 85+ offers | 7 years coaching | 2000+ sessions | PDF reviews attached

Hey,

Firstly, filter out by price range, then, look at the track record of the coach in terms of the number and the quality of offers that their students received, then ask to provide some real reviews.

Having experience of working at a top company is great. It does not automatically make someone a good coach, though.

Regards,

Nick

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Cristian
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Jan 03, 2024
#1 rated MBB & McKinsey Coach

Hi!

That's a great question.

Start from the ‘Coaches’ page in the menu and filter through the profiles based on your target firms. 

Read a few of the profiles and see which ones you connect with the most. 

Then reach out to the coaches for an intro. The best sense of them you'll get in an actual conversation. 

Most importantly, you don't need to commit to anything upfront. You can also start with one session and if it doesn't match your expectations, you can try a different coach. 

Good luck!
Cristian

 

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Brad gave the best answer

Brad

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