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How to answer the question about being ready for the working hours

Anonymous A

Hello, I’m an experienced hire with a couple of years of experience in the industry.

During a mock case study a consultant was drilling me whether I’m going to be ok working consulting hours. Of course I understand the amount of work you have in consulting and it’s something I have considered.

However, how do you answer such a question if it pops up in the interview?

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Riccardo replied on 02/24/2018
Ex-MBB\Big4 Recruiter & Senior Interview Coach | Advanced Prep

Agree with what Vlad mentioned.

In my view you can answer the question from two angles.

The first angle is about working hours. Here I fully agree with Vlad, the key points would be about
1) Capability and willigness to work long-hours 2) Ability to stay steady and focused for long time and motivate team to do the same and providing examples of these from your experiences.

As a side note, make sure you not pin yourself down to a specific number of hours. (e.g. I always work XX hours). The fact that you demonstrate that you are efficient about your work is more important that you demonstrate that you worked long. Also, avoid any response that could make it sound like not genuine - noone really like to stay constantly too late in the office, even though you might like over-delivering or the reward of a successful project. That said, you should be capable also of bearing long hours when needed.

The second angle is for the interviewer to understand how you manage stress (more generally). About this, make sure you explain the HOW you do it.

Andrea
Expert
replied on 02/24/2018
Former BCG decision round interviewer with 300+ real interviews in 8 years

As in other answers you should show that you are ready, willing and able to work long hours. Not only, you also should show that you are able to do so with the highest quality standard.

In addition, working long hours is not the hard part of the job, the hard part of the job is predictability and how it affects your personal life. You should highlight that you have a client first mentality and, when necessary, you are willing and able to sacrifice other aspects of your life to enable client success.

Finally, to not come across as a masochistic overachiever that doesn’t have anything else going on in his life and that if promoted to manager will run the teams to the ground, you should focus on how you usually recharge from high intensity periods and the importance of that. Remember most consultancies hire you to stay longer than two years so it’s important that you show that you have in you the ability to care for others who do not have the same drive and motivation but are equally good too.

hope it helps,

andrea

Vlad replied on 02/24/2018
McKinsey / Accenture / Got all BIG3 offers / More than 300 real MBB cases / Harvard Business School

Hi,

I recommend to say the following:

1) long working hours is something you are used to, since you always aim high and try to overachieve

2) Provide some details of how you manage to have long hours and remain calm at the same time, cheering the team and trying to optimize the workflow

3) provide some example from your prior experience when you had to work long hours but the goal was very rewarding.

Best!