Interview feedback: no high flyer ?!

Oliver Wyman
New answer on Jan 24, 2020
2 Answers
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Anonymous A asked on Jan 24, 2020

Dear all,

After several consulting, advisory deal and industry (strategic assistant to the management-position) interviews, I see a very frustrating pattern: I get feedbacks like "not enough drive" (Olivery Wyman, Bain) or "obviously no high flyer" (PwC). I really struggle to decode it, as I also get the feedback "nice guy, very good fit to culture, smart etc." I even get told I should reapply asap as they really like me.

Could someone decode the problem for me? When I asked for more detailed feedback these associates actually don't know how to explain it as it was always mentioned by the partners. They even tell me to ignore it and be myself. However, due to this pattern I start questioning myself if the business world is the right fit for me being maybe too much of a "nice guy" i.e. no "Investment Banking Shark" who just wants to make tons of money - without empathy for coworkers.

Would be extemely grateful for the answer.

Best!

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Vlad
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Jan 24, 2020
McKinsey / Accenture Alum / Got all BIG3 offers / Harvard Business School

Hi,

The feedback is too broad and I would not recommend anything here, since it will be just guessing. I recommend taking a coaching session to really understand whats going on, or doing a case with your friend who already works in consulting

Best

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Jessica
Expert
updated an answer on Jan 24, 2020
Oliver Wyman | University of Oxford | MBA | Experienced Career Coach

Hi Anonymous,

It is difficult to say exactly what is meant by this feedback given the limited insight I have, but I believe it is most likely about confidence and style.

From your post, it seems you assume that being a go-getter is akin to arrogance and ruthlessness, but there is a distinct difference between confidence and self-importance! Consultants need to be able to "hold their own", take initiative, handle difficult situations and drive their own careers. Interviewers are therefore looking for confident, assertive, ambitious and at ease candidates. Note that most consulting firms generally don't want the "investment banking shark" personality - they often prefer the "nice guy" who can get along well with various teammates and clients.

You might benefit from some one-on-one interview coaching to work on your style, aiming to ensure you demonstrate the right traits to the interviewer. Happy to chat further if you have any questions.

Jessica

(edited)

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