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How to handle interview anxiety

MBB
New answer on Apr 16, 2024
5 Answers
258 Views
Anonymous A asked on Apr 14, 2024

Hi everyone, I have upcoming interviews at all the MBB Firms. I'm currently Interning at Amazon and I have a Accenture strategy and Deloitte Strategy & Ops offers for September. I believe I'm well prepared, but I get really overwhelmed when I think it's now or never. I talked with some people who say that is difficult to transition from Accenture to MBB. Any tips to go with confidence for Interviews and be able to showcase my best self? How more demanding is the standard of MBB interview vs Deloitte and Accenture Strategy 

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Kevin
Expert
replied on Apr 15, 2024
McKinsey | PhD in Biostats

Hi there,

Feeling overwhelmed is completely natural given the stakes, but let's not forget that you have received interviews from all MBB firms and offers from Accenture and Deloitte– that's a huge achievement. It indicates that 1) your application and background are very strong, and 2) your interview skills are excellent.

Now, I can't comment on the transition from Accenture to MBB, but I'd be happy to share a few thoughts on how to get ready for MBB interviews.

First, make sure your preparation is robust. I trust that you are great with case interviews (otherwise, you wouldn't have received offers from Accenture / Deloitte), but it’s also crucial to be well-prepared for the fit interviews, especially for McKinsey where the fit interviews (aka. personal experience interviews) are handled in a very particular way.

Second, practice managing interview anxiety with techniques like deep breathing and positive visualization. Remember, each interview is a learning opportunity, improving your skills regardless of the outcome.

Third, connect with current or former MBB consultants for interview tips and insights. It is also an excellent opportunity to practice talking to MBB consultants. Remember, these people will interview you, so the more exposure you have with them, the less anxious you will feel during interviews.

Good luck with your interviews, and let us know how they go :)

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Krithika
Expert
replied on Apr 16, 2024
Top-tier Life Sciences Case Interview Coach| MBA2026 LBS Admit | Consulting Expert

Hi there, 


Absolutely, I completely understand the overwhelming feeling that can come with preparing for big interviews. First off, huge congrats on securing interviews at all the MBB firms! It's a testament to your skills and potential.

As someone who's battled with anxiety myself, I can relate to those moments of doubt and feeling like you're not quite measuring up. It's important to remind yourself that you wouldn't have been offered these interviews if you weren't considered a strong candidate. You've already proven yourself through your achievements and experiences.

Now, onto tackling the anxiety head-on. It's great that you're open to seeking practical solutions. Speaking with your GP about options like low-dose propranolol can be incredibly helpful in managing the physical symptoms of anxiety, like a racing heart. And if medication isn't your preference, I've found that techniques like an anxiety mind dump can work wonders.

Here's how it works: When you catch yourself spiraling into negative thoughts ("I'm not MBB material"), take a moment to jot down those thoughts. Then, challenge them. Are they facts? Probably not. Remind yourself of your accomplishments and the fact that you've been invited to interview. Focus on cultivating thoughts that promote calm and confidence ("I am more than capable of succeeding in this interview").

It's all about rewiring your thought patterns to serve you better and boost your confidence. Remember, you've got this! Trust in your abilities and believe in yourself. You've already come so far, and you're more than ready to showcase your best self in those interviews. Wishing you all the best!

As someone who has been in the same position as you, please feel free to reach out for a coaching session if you want to just practice with someone who will boost your confidence and prep you for this process! 

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Francesco
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Apr 15, 2024
#1 Coach for Sessions (4.500+) | 1.500+ 5-Star Reviews | Proven Success (➡ interviewoffers.com) | Ex BCG | 10Y+ Coaching

Hi there,

1) Any tips to go with confidence for Interviews and be able to showcase my best self?

I think the main issue is the “now or never” belief you have, which I don’t think is accurate for a few reasons: 

  1. If you are rejected, you could apply again in 2 years. If you are rejected again, you could do an MBA and apply again after that. And if you are rejected again, you could apply again as an experienced hire after another 2 years. So you will have 4 possible attempts overall if you don’t give up.
  2. Most people don’t stay in consulting long-term and want to target something else (eg PE, VC, industry role, own company). Even if you are rejected in all 4 attempts, you might find another/better way to reach your long-term goal. 

If you put in perspective that this is NOT a “now or never” situation, I think this will help to decrease pressure and have a more accurate assessment of the situation.

Yes, it might be better for you to join at the first attempt, but if you expand your time horizon, you will have additional opportunities in the future to meet your goal. Long term, the difference of a few years to reach that won't really matter. 

2) How more demanding is the standard of MBB interview vs Deloitte and Accenture Strategy 

The main difference is the ratio of supply and demand. Some candidates apply just to MBB. Although MBB might also have more slots, this in general makes the process there more competitive.

Rather than trying to measure the "competitiveness," though, I would recommend focusing on what you can control, that is, identifying all the possible improvements with practice and fixing all the possible mistakes you identify, so that you can have the best possible performance. With that, whatever the competitiveness, you could maximize the probability of an offer by working on what you can control.

Good luck!

Francesco

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Pedro
Expert
replied on Apr 14, 2024
Bain | Roland Berger | EY-Parthenon | Mentoring Approach | 30% off first 10 sessions in May| Market Sizing | DARDEN MBA

A few tips:

- Exposure. The more interviews you do, the easier it becomes

- Coaching / peer practice. The more interview simulations you do, the easier it gets

- Remember that you can apply many times; that you can apply to a lot of great T2 companies; that you already have 2 great offers in the table

- A lot of people have succcessful careers without getting into MBB

Regarding how more demanding the interview is… they are similar formats… usually the major difference between MBB and Tier 2 is…luck… the other being consistency [i.e. MBB candidates that get the offer perform high more consistently level]; but since you passed both Deloitte and Accenture (and Amazon) that means you are already showing consistent performance. The odds are in your favor. [still do your best to prepare…]

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Cristian
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Apr 15, 2024
#1 rated MBB & McKinsey Coach

Lots of tips. 

But these mindset adjustments are a bit difficult to get across within the scope of a Q&A answer. 

One thing you should pay attention to is your triggers, i.e., what specifically starts the cycle of your anxiety. Then, develop a tool kit to keep it at bay. 

Best,
Cristian

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Kevin

McKinsey | PhD in Biostats
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