How to act in partner interviews

attitude Bain BCG interviews MBB McKinsey second round
Recent activity on Sep 27, 2018
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Anonymous A asked on Sep 27, 2018

Hi all,

I proceeded all first rounds at MBB and it all went very well. However, I am very afraid of the final rounds because of the partner interviews. With the more junior consultants I get on really well and have this natural connection, but with partners it does not seem to work out.

So I was wondering if you have any tips regarding how to address these partner interviews in comparison to the interviews with younger consultants?


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updated an answer on Sep 27, 2018
McKinsey / Accenture Alum / Got all BIG3 offers / Harvard Business School


In the final round, I would expect a bit more structured and demanding approach to the fit part. The partners in the last round are more experienced and they will challenge every single detail of your story. So make sure that you have a couple of backup stories. Thus:

1) Make sure that you've prepared everything: A story about yourself, motivational questions and the main FIT stories. Also, don't forget about your questions to the interviewer - you'd rather have an interesting conversation and score some point instead of a simple Q&A session

2) Then go through each story and think of the additional questions the interviewer may ask. It’s important since additional questions will take up to 50% of the interview. Try to remember the main details and facts and make sure that you know how to explain the key concepts quickly. Test your stories with your friends, ideally consultants, and ask for their feedback. There can be multiple groups of additional questions:

  • The interviewer may be interested in details about the context
  • He may want to check whether this was your effort or more sort of a team effort.
  • “Have you faced any difficulties while implementing your solution?”- Typically an interviewer would like you to tell him how you’ve overcome those difficulties.
  • Your interviewer will check how real your story is. You should be ready to provide even more granular actions, key milestones and a breakdown of potential effects.

3) Now work on 3-6 backup stories. During your interviews, you can then use these stories or adapt these stories to the additional questions your interviewer asks you.

You may be interested, why you need to prepare several stories for each question? At the end of the day, it's not that easy to come up with all of these stories. I've answered here: Repeating Fit Interview Stories

As for the cases - Partners and Directors have their own favorite cases and may even want you to lead the case. The key difference:

  1. You ask clarifying questions in the beginning and make a structure
  2. You lead the case through the structure you've prepared a) asking questions and trying to identify the root-cause of the problem in the branch of your structure b) making a transition to the next branch c) proactively calculating the data and making data-driven conclusion from the data they give you d) Making a conclusion when they ask you to finish a case

It may seem to you that these 2 types of cases are different, however, the interviewer-led type is just a simplified version of the interviewee-led case. My advice is to always prepare in the interviewee-led format so that you could solve both easily.



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replied on Sep 27, 2018
ex-Manager - Natural and challenging teacher - Taylor case solving, no framework


Depending on the partner and the firm they will decide themsleves wiether or not they will submit a case study. So get ready for it in case they submit one.

Now considering the itw itself, this will most probably be the last interview of the process, so the partner have two objectives :

1. Confirm your potential, and validate the final decision to hire you

2. Convince you to join the firm in case they want you.

The dimensions they will evaluate will be of course lightly different and more focused on maturity, judgement, ability to communicate clearly with impact, and attitude when in front of client. this being said, you'll find below my reco. in the different itw phases :

- fit : your personal story must be impacting. Now is the time to really show interest for the business of the firm and the local office itself, in particular the one leaded by the partner your meeting. So ask about his experience, current customers and practice development within the office / firm

- case : be structured, posed, and focus more on the judjement and insight generation rather than on techincal stuff (such as caluclation ,etc.)

Hope this will help.

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Vlad gave the best answer


McKinsey / Accenture Alum / Got all BIG3 offers / Harvard Business School
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