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Impacts of first rounds on final decision to extend offer?

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Anonymous A asked on Nov 22, 2019 - 5 answers

During the decision to extend an offer to a candidate, what is the weight of the first rounds compared to the last round? Do they matter?

Will the final round be slightly tailored to potential weaknessess identified during first rounds?

I am asking because I feel like I only borderline passed first rounds, and wondering how it will impact the final decision.

Thank you for all the answers. Interesting that we have different set of opinions. — Anonymous on Nov 23, 2019 (edited)

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Nathaniel
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replied on Nov 22, 2019
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Hello there,

Typically, there's a different focus with regards to evaluation between the first and final rounds.

The first round, referring to interviews with manager level, prioritize assesment of technical skills. Hence, more portion of the interview duration is dedicated for case interview.

The final round, referring to interview with partner level, emphasize more on fit evaluation (cultural, personality, work ethics, etc). PEI questions would often take precendence over case discussions on the sessions. Partners aim to see if the prospective candidate's profile is aligned with the future direction of the firm and if they would be comfortable putting the candidate in front of their clients.

Generally, if there is any significant concern over the technical skillset and performance displayed on the first round, the candidate will either be selected out of the pipeline naturally, or if their performance is within the borderline, the partners will try to test it further during the final round.
Consistency is the key.

In summary, the offer decision weights more heavily among the partners on the final round.
If a candidate manage to pass the first round, that means they can safely say they have checked the box on these phases, even with a borderline performance.

What will determine offer extension is whether they manage to perform well during the final rounds, when the partners try to probe further on the borderline performance concerns flagged by the managers as well as excelling on the PEI sections.

Hope it helps.

Kind regards,
Nathan

Deniz
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replied on Nov 22, 2019
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Hi,

Performance in the first round still impacts the final decision, thus you need to outperform other candidates (and your previous performance) in order to make up for your performance in the first round.

Best,

Deniz

Udayan
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replied on Nov 22, 2019
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I have a slightly different view point. When debating a candidate after final interviews the entire picture is presented and not just one round. However what is more important to note is that if there were any significant concerns with your first round they would not have asked you to come in for a final round to begin with.

Vlad
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replied on Nov 22, 2019
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Hi,

Of course, it depends on the company, but in general:

  • 1st round does not impact the decision in the 2nd round
  • They can check the 1st round feedback if they have any concerns
  • The final round will not be tailored to your weaknesses - partners have much more important things going on daily

Best

Antonello
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replied on Nov 22, 2019
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Hi,
the final round performance will count for 95+% in the offer decision. However, negative feedback in consulting is taken very seriously: so, especially if you have received an explicit comment after your first round about points of improvement, you should prove that you have overcome these dimensions.

Hope it helps,
Antonello