I failed my MBB final round and the feedback was communication. How can I improve?

communication fit interview
New answer on Jan 25, 2022
5 Answers
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Anonymous A asked on Jan 24, 2022

I am a current consultant and I failed my MBB final round and the feedback was  communication. How can I improve?

Specially, they mentioned how to connect with the interviewer (e.g. ice-breaking,  emphathy with interviewer, drive the conversation in proactive fashion)-this drives a bit of concern 

And they suggest me to prep with people that I don't know (which I did) to better build this skill.

I think this is why:

1.But at the case there was one time that the interviewer did ask me to repeat something so that he could comprehen.

2.There was a time that the interviewer asked for (I didn't remmember what) and I said so now I made a final recommendation or a periodical recommendation. There was a bit of silence but I went on with a recommendation-this part was a bit awkward.

My last problem was not concise enough. This time I have done it well. 

Communication is a good combination of art and science. In terms of building rapport/connect with interviewer, I am not sure how to do it well. Any tips?

(edited)

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Moritz
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Jan 24, 2022
Unearth your spike & get the offer |ex-McKinsey | 120+ coachings & interviews @ McKinsey | ESADE MBA | Transition Expert

I am going to be a little blunt here:

If your written communication is reflective of your verbal communication, you need to put in a bit of work. I am sensing a lack of care and structure (I’m actually struggling to understand all your comments). This easily throws of any consultant.

You can indeed fix this through practice regarding:

  • Rapport building (the “airport test”)
  • Active listening (sounds like you outright ignored the interviewer)
  • Structuring and top down communication (these two go hand in hand)

You can do this through peer practice and I would highly recommend to have at least one session with professional coach. They are specialized in this and can have a lot of positive impact.

Hope this helps. Best of luck!

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Ian
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replied on Jan 25, 2022
MBB | 100% personal interview success rate (8/8) and 95% candidate success rate | Personalized interview prep

Hi there,

It's easy to make something complicated, hard to make something simple. How to fix this?

Take a few seconds - gather your thoughts. Perhaps right them down. Take a quick breather to better formulate and then articulate your thoughts

  1. Pause before speaking to gather your thoughts - the time may feel like forever for you, but it's not nearly as long as you think. Leverage filler sentences such as "that's and interesting point" to buy some time if needed.
  2. Frame your answer - Generally, MBBers say "There are 3 parts to this". Then, they highlight in 1 sentence each of the 2-4 points
  3. Iterate through each point - After framing how you're going to answer the question, then answer it by diving into each "part" in the order you summarized each.

Use signposting - Always preface what you will be saying. For example, when brainstorming you can say "I'm thinking about this in three main ways: A, B, and C. Within A we can look at..."

Practice with a coach - Other PrepLounger are fantastic practice but they are generally too nice! you need a coach who will really hit back and work with you to improve your answers.

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Lucie
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replied on Jan 25, 2022
10+yrs recruiting & top BCG trainer & BCG Project leader & experienced hire & ICF coach

Hi there,


from my recruiting experience, candidates failing on communication due to:
- too stressed/stiff
- little practice (particularly how to structure their thinking)
- taking the interview way too seriously, no fun at all (we do want to see people enjoying themself otherwise they won't be fun to workaround)
- candidates overestimating practicing case-solving forgetting to train presence, communication, and other key soft skills
 

Having said that, you should feel positively stressed but feeling good and confident when interviewed. To achieve that you must be confident in your skills which comes only with enough practice: in your case most likely with someone senior to you so you can simulate the interview. 


Lucie


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Stephan
Expert
replied on Jan 24, 2022
Former BCG Con and political advisor here to help you crack the case (MBB, Europe & MidEast, non-business backgrounds)

Prep, prep, prep. In my day, I did 20+ cases with 15+ different people, some friends, some strangers. That helps. It is also really key that you take turns interviewing and being interviewed. Personally, I learnt even more from standing in the interviewer's shoes, and took away my biggest learnings from that “role”. Afterwards, I did not encounter any issues in the actual interviews.

Hope this helps and best of luck

Stephan

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Pedro
Expert
replied on Jan 24, 2022
Bain | EY-Parthenon | Roland Berger | FIT | Market Sizing | Former Head Recruiter

I'm not sure how to give you some advice without restating what you already said. They told you what you did wrong, and you seem to be aware of some mistakes you did during the interview. 

They even gave you specific advice on how to improve - you may have practiced with people you don't know but… did you pratice purposefully with the intent of improving your communication / ability to connect with the interviewer? I doubt it. 

Without doing a coaching session with you, it is difficult to grasp exactly what you do wrong and why, and the best way to correct it.

[Other than that, what I can tell you is that you should proof check what you write, as some of the sentences are hard to understand.]

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Moritz gave the best answer

Moritz

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Unearth your spike & get the offer |ex-McKinsey | 120+ coachings & interviews @ McKinsey | ESADE MBA | Transition Expert
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