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Francesco

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10

How would you convince/show your motivation for a firm?

I had an interview last week at EY and I was told there were other people who showed more of their motivation for that particular team. They told me at that interview that other people answered better to the question why that team. What would you answer? And what would you answer to why do you want to change your current job? I am switching from M&A consulting in a boutique to a larger firm in a different industry such as transformation consulting.

I had an interview last week at EY and I was told there were other people who showed more of their motivation for that particular team. They told me at that interview that other people answered better to the question why that team. What would you answer? And what would you answer to why do you want to change your current job? I am switching from M&A consulting in a boutique to a larger firm in a different industry such as transformation consulting.

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Hi Alina,

You may choose three points out of those below to structure an answer for why Company/Team XYZ:

  • Sectors of interest: specific focus of the team/company in areas/products interesting for you
  • People you met and culture: specific people of the company you discussed with, and the things they shared on the team
  • Your growth opportunities: specific programs of the company you heard about to enhance your growth
  • Company potential: how much the company/team grew in the last year, which is a good guarantee for your future career as well
  • Size/reputation of the firm: smaller companies usually offer a more entrepreneurial culture, with higher growth potential internally. Bigger companies have more resources and support staff, and more prestige in terms of exit.

Whatever topic you choose, you should apply a simple rule of thumb: if you can change the name EY with another and the answer still makes sense, it means your answer is not specific enough and you need to provide more details.

In terms of why you want to change: explain some elements you will find in consulting which are important for your growth are missing (without talking negatively about your current job). You can say you appreciate your current job, but elements A, B and C from above are not present much, which is why you would like to move to something helping you to grow more.

Best,

Francesco

Hi Alina,

You may choose three points out of those below to structure an answer for why Company/Team XYZ:

  • Sectors of interest: specific focus of the team/company in areas/products interesting for you
  • People you met and culture: specific people of the company you discussed with, and the things they shared on the team
  • Your growth opportunities: specific programs of the company you heard about to enhance your growth
  • Company potential: how much the company/team grew in the last year, which is a good guarantee for your future career as well
  • Size/reputation of the firm: smaller companies usually offer a more entrepreneurial culture, with higher growth potential internally. Bigger companies have more resources and support staff, and more prestige in terms of exit.

Whatever topic you choose, you should apply a simple rule of thumb: if you can change the name EY with another and the answer still makes sense, it means your answer is not specific enough and you need to provide more details.

In terms of why you want to change: explain some elements you will find in consulting which are important for your growth are missing (without talking negatively about your current job). You can say you appreciate your current job, but elements A, B and C from above are not present much, which is why you would like to move to something helping you to grow more.

Best,

Francesco

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Hey Alina,

great question and definitely a tricky one. Let's see if this helps you:

1) Do a thourough research about the team/area you're applying to.

A great, possibly the best way to do this is of course reach out to someone who is a) currently working in that team or b) has worked there in the past. When applying to one of the Big 4 like EY, you could also try and do a cross-check at the other Big 4s (maybe you have a connection there?). If you don't have a friend who works there, try the LinkedIn search to filter for Alumni of your schools - most of the time they are happy to help a fellow alum. That way you can better understand what the team is actually doing.Possibly you could even use that person as a reference and refer to the motivation he/she has showed about their job.

2) Find examples of your current work where you've crossed path with the topics that the new team is dealing with and use that as one of your arguments as to why you think you'd enjoy doing that and can bring know-how and experience to the table. As you're switching positions, that always helps.

3) I would refrain from talking bad about your current employer and instead highlight that you want to make a transition (in your case e.g. from a narrow boutique focus on to something broader with larger exposure)

Let me know if that's helpful. Always happy to do an in-depth interview prep with you to dig a bit deeper.

Best,

Torben

Hey Alina,

great question and definitely a tricky one. Let's see if this helps you:

1) Do a thourough research about the team/area you're applying to.

A great, possibly the best way to do this is of course reach out to someone who is a) currently working in that team or b) has worked there in the past. When applying to one of the Big 4 like EY, you could also try and do a cross-check at the other Big 4s (maybe you have a connection there?). If you don't have a friend who works there, try the LinkedIn search to filter for Alumni of your schools - most of the time they are happy to help a fellow alum. That way you can better understand what the team is actually doing.Possibly you could even use that person as a reference and refer to the motivation he/she has showed about their job.

2) Find examples of your current work where you've crossed path with the topics that the new team is dealing with and use that as one of your arguments as to why you think you'd enjoy doing that and can bring know-how and experience to the table. As you're switching positions, that always helps.

3) I would refrain from talking bad about your current employer and instead highlight that you want to make a transition (in your case e.g. from a narrow boutique focus on to something broader with larger exposure)

Let me know if that's helpful. Always happy to do an in-depth interview prep with you to dig a bit deeper.

Best,

Torben

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Hi Alina, I would talk about:
- internationality
- brand reputation and exposure to F500 clients
- quality of people
- broader overview of the market

Best
Antonello

Hi Alina, I would talk about:
- internationality
- brand reputation and exposure to F500 clients
- quality of people
- broader overview of the market

Best
Antonello

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Hi Alina,

It's hard to say exactly what you could have changed without hearing your answer. That said, I tend to find that a story/flow (i.e. a Resume Walkthrough but with a theme of "this all has led to me being perfect for consulting") tends to work best.

If you listed a memorized list of 3 reasons why consulting, this can often come off as bland and disingenuous.

Honestly, the best way to improve is to get feedback from someone! Give your "why firm/consulting" answer to a family member, friend, or coach, to figure out how to exactly have that "umph" to your pitch!

For me personally, I talked about the things I loved + learned as an IT Consultant (i.e. problem solving, teamwork, leadership, client management, diving into many industries etc.) AND the 1 thing that was missing that drove me to wanting strategy consulting (i.e. wanting to have impact/control at a higher level, in regards to figuring out if an IT system was even needed, how the organization needed to adapt/ajdjust, strategic/cultural decisions/changes, etc. etc.)

You need a similar story :)

Hi Alina,

It's hard to say exactly what you could have changed without hearing your answer. That said, I tend to find that a story/flow (i.e. a Resume Walkthrough but with a theme of "this all has led to me being perfect for consulting") tends to work best.

If you listed a memorized list of 3 reasons why consulting, this can often come off as bland and disingenuous.

Honestly, the best way to improve is to get feedback from someone! Give your "why firm/consulting" answer to a family member, friend, or coach, to figure out how to exactly have that "umph" to your pitch!

For me personally, I talked about the things I loved + learned as an IT Consultant (i.e. problem solving, teamwork, leadership, client management, diving into many industries etc.) AND the 1 thing that was missing that drove me to wanting strategy consulting (i.e. wanting to have impact/control at a higher level, in regards to figuring out if an IT system was even needed, how the organization needed to adapt/ajdjust, strategic/cultural decisions/changes, etc. etc.)

You need a similar story :)

(edited)

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Hi Alina,

As my dad used to say, "Sincerity is the most important thing. Once you learn how to fake that, you're in good shape!"

I think you should consider the question behind the question, which is, how do I know this person will be a good fit here, has the right values, and remain with the team?

In order to demonstrate that you need to connect three things:

  1. Stated priorities of the team (the more specialized the team, the more specific you should be)
  2. Your priorities
  3. Something from your professional or personal past that demonstrates the importance

This solid chain is very compelling.

Regarding #2, how do you demonstrate that something is a priority for you? It's easy to say, but how to demonstrate? I suggest the following:

  • Show that you understand it and have thought about it
  • Show enthusiasm with your words and body language

Important caveat: Don't try too hard. Meaning that most firms are not truly unique and you don't have to pick something very specific that doesn't resonate with you. For example, when I looked to join McKinsey, the recruiter asked me, "Why McKinsey?" and the answer I gave could have applied to a number of other firms, but it was certainly relevant to both McKinsey's priorities and mine, so it was a good answer. It answered the question behind the question: do they value what we value and will they remain committed.

Hope this helps!

Allen

Hi Alina,

As my dad used to say, "Sincerity is the most important thing. Once you learn how to fake that, you're in good shape!"

I think you should consider the question behind the question, which is, how do I know this person will be a good fit here, has the right values, and remain with the team?

In order to demonstrate that you need to connect three things:

  1. Stated priorities of the team (the more specialized the team, the more specific you should be)
  2. Your priorities
  3. Something from your professional or personal past that demonstrates the importance

This solid chain is very compelling.

Regarding #2, how do you demonstrate that something is a priority for you? It's easy to say, but how to demonstrate? I suggest the following:

  • Show that you understand it and have thought about it
  • Show enthusiasm with your words and body language

Important caveat: Don't try too hard. Meaning that most firms are not truly unique and you don't have to pick something very specific that doesn't resonate with you. For example, when I looked to join McKinsey, the recruiter asked me, "Why McKinsey?" and the answer I gave could have applied to a number of other firms, but it was certainly relevant to both McKinsey's priorities and mine, so it was a good answer. It answered the question behind the question: do they value what we value and will they remain committed.

Hope this helps!

Allen

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Hi Alina! Besides the good answers from other coaches, you can also just post your motivation here in simple bullet points and give people the chance to give you direct feedback on the rationale you're prepared to give.

Hi Alina! Besides the good answers from other coaches, you can also just post your motivation here in simple bullet points and give people the chance to give you direct feedback on the rationale you're prepared to give.

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Hi Alina,

There are many ways to show genuine interest/motivation in the firm:

  1. Mention people/friends/referees in the firm you spoke to & what did you learn from that discussion
  2. Talk about any events/webinars you attended and what attracted you to the firm
  3. Give specific insights on industry or type of work about the company you like and how this fits with you career aspirations
  4. Mention about any paper/journals/articles/media coverage about the company you came across and what did you like

So basically, do you homework/research and show them you have spent the time to understand the company. Show them it fits with your values, careers aspirations and is the right move to make.

Hi Alina,

There are many ways to show genuine interest/motivation in the firm:

  1. Mention people/friends/referees in the firm you spoke to & what did you learn from that discussion
  2. Talk about any events/webinars you attended and what attracted you to the firm
  3. Give specific insights on industry or type of work about the company you like and how this fits with you career aspirations
  4. Mention about any paper/journals/articles/media coverage about the company you came across and what did you like

So basically, do you homework/research and show them you have spent the time to understand the company. Show them it fits with your values, careers aspirations and is the right move to make.

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Hello!

This is precisely one of the key Motivational Questions, type of question #2 out of the 4 ones you can find in FIT.

If you want to deep dive on the topic, the "Integrated FIT guide for MBB" has been recently published in PrepLounge´s shop (https://www.preplounge.com/en/shop/tests-2/integrated-fit-guide-for-mbb-34)

It provides an end-to-end preparation for all three MBB interviews, tackling each firms particularities and combining key concepts review and a hands-on methodology. Following the book, the candidate will prepare his/her stories by practicing with over 50 real questions and leveraging special frameworks and worksheets that guide step-by-step, developed by the author and her experience as a Master in Management professor and coach. Finally, as further guidance, the guide encompasses over 20 examples from real candidates.

Furthermore, you can find 3 free cases in the PrepL case regarding FIT preparation:

Feel free to PM me for disccount codes for the Integrated FIT Guide, since we still have some left from the launch!

Hello!

This is precisely one of the key Motivational Questions, type of question #2 out of the 4 ones you can find in FIT.

If you want to deep dive on the topic, the "Integrated FIT guide for MBB" has been recently published in PrepLounge´s shop (https://www.preplounge.com/en/shop/tests-2/integrated-fit-guide-for-mbb-34)

It provides an end-to-end preparation for all three MBB interviews, tackling each firms particularities and combining key concepts review and a hands-on methodology. Following the book, the candidate will prepare his/her stories by practicing with over 50 real questions and leveraging special frameworks and worksheets that guide step-by-step, developed by the author and her experience as a Master in Management professor and coach. Finally, as further guidance, the guide encompasses over 20 examples from real candidates.

Furthermore, you can find 3 free cases in the PrepL case regarding FIT preparation:

Feel free to PM me for disccount codes for the Integrated FIT Guide, since we still have some left from the launch!

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Hi Alina!

Hard to say what they didn't like in your performance, but to keep it short: you need to show interest in this particular firm, in their projects, show them how working there would be in sync with your ideas, values, plans, and how you would make a great fit for the team - what are the qualities that you could apply well in the company, where you will be able to develop yourself, etc.

Hope that helps!
Cheers,

GB

Hi Alina!

Hard to say what they didn't like in your performance, but to keep it short: you need to show interest in this particular firm, in their projects, show them how working there would be in sync with your ideas, values, plans, and how you would make a great fit for the team - what are the qualities that you could apply well in the company, where you will be able to develop yourself, etc.

Hope that helps!
Cheers,

GB

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How you answer this question should vary for when you are answering it.

  • In a cover letter
  • In person - after a few interviews
  • In a final round - once you've got to understand the company better

The critical factor here is to be specific. The best way to do it is to think about yourself. If you had an offer from this firm along with the others you applied to - would you reject all the others in favour of this one? Why would you take this offer? (though as a grad doing my first interviews for myself it was more why not!)

There is no magic formula but there are various ways you can come up with a great answer for yourself and for the interviewer

In order of priority:

  • Speak to people working at the firm - why do they like it, what's good / bad (reach out to friends of friends, mutual LI connections, even cold emails - you'll be surprised how few do this and how most people will respond)
  • Reflect on your own interactions - during the interview process ask the right questions at the end to refine your understanding of "what makes this place different, really)
  • Read the latest thought leadership - build an idea in your head of what this firm is good at or known for
  • Good old google is your friend - look at forums like this

A great answer is specific around a few different areas that make consulting firms different:

  1. Culture - team, history, work style
  2. Specialisms - type of work they are known for
  3. Sectors - e.g. OW is FS, Bain is IP/Retail/CPG, BCG is TMT
  4. Clients - working with the biggest and best vs. the small but cutting edge vs. government/non-profits etc

How you answer this question should vary for when you are answering it.

  • In a cover letter
  • In person - after a few interviews
  • In a final round - once you've got to understand the company better

The critical factor here is to be specific. The best way to do it is to think about yourself. If you had an offer from this firm along with the others you applied to - would you reject all the others in favour of this one? Why would you take this offer? (though as a grad doing my first interviews for myself it was more why not!)

There is no magic formula but there are various ways you can come up with a great answer for yourself and for the interviewer

In order of priority:

  • Speak to people working at the firm - why do they like it, what's good / bad (reach out to friends of friends, mutual LI connections, even cold emails - you'll be surprised how few do this and how most people will respond)
  • Reflect on your own interactions - during the interview process ask the right questions at the end to refine your understanding of "what makes this place different, really)
  • Read the latest thought leadership - build an idea in your head of what this firm is good at or known for
  • Good old google is your friend - look at forums like this

A great answer is specific around a few different areas that make consulting firms different:

  1. Culture - team, history, work style
  2. Specialisms - type of work they are known for
  3. Sectors - e.g. OW is FS, Bain is IP/Retail/CPG, BCG is TMT
  4. Clients - working with the biggest and best vs. the small but cutting edge vs. government/non-profits etc

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