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Interview in foreign language

Deutsch deutschland German germany Interview language second language sprache
New answer on Nov 28, 2020
3 Answers
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Anonymous A asked on Aug 11, 2018

Hello all!

Has anyone here conducted their consulting interviews in a foreign language they're not entirely fluent in? If so, do you have any advice?

I live/go to grad school in Germany, and German is my third language (native English speaker, I also speak Spanish). I intend to stay in Germany for the foreseeable future and am very keen on becoming a consultant. My German level is currently B2/C1, and I have been to job fairs where I've only spoken to recruiters in German, etc...however, the thought conducting an interview/case interview in German is super nervewrecking for me as my grammar isn't always the best and I'm concerned about perhaps not being able to understand my interviewer (especially if I'm in a diff part of Germany with very different accents/slang).

I know I will need to do this (and I want to! I love living here and want my German to be as fluent as possible) and I recently took the TestDaF (German fluency exam, still waiting on my scores), but honestly I'm just pretty nervous about the thought of this and having this thought in the back of my mind is a huge distraction as I try to learn about cases (coming from a liberal arts background).

As I learn the how to do cases, my mind keeps saying "cool, but if you can't do this in German it doesn't even really matter." Does anyone maybe have any good resources about doing cases specifically in German/the kind of terminology/vocab I'll need?

Any advice is appreciated!

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Anonymous replied on Aug 12, 2018

I had a similar issue when preparing for case interviews in Italian - while I am fluent, I had never used Italian in a business context, so my vocabulary in certain things was lacking.

To find cases in German, you could try contact German/Austrian Business Schools. Business Schools usually make their own case books so this is where you are most likely to find resources already in German.

For building vocabulary, suggest that as you go through cases in English, make a list of the words you typically use (e.g. revenue, profits, market share, etc.) and the German translation.

Preplounge has a strong German community, so I am sure that if you try, you can find someone willing to practice with you in German, and maybe even provide you with their own German case resources. Alternatively, Sidi, another expert on this site, is German and so he might be able to help you through scheduling a session with him.

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replied on Aug 13, 2018
PrepLounge Head of Product & Marketing

Hi Anonymous A,

thanks for asking your question on our Consulting Q&A!

I've found this old thread that might be useful for you: How to prepare case interviews in a language you're not fully familiar?

Based on this, I recommend you to find a German case partner here on PrepLounge an practice cases in German.

In our Case Library, we have more than 50 cases available in German.

Best of luck for the rest of your case prep!


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Content Creator
replied on Nov 28, 2020
McKinsey | Awarded professor at Master in Management @ IE | MBA at MIT |+180 students coached | Integrated FIT Guide aut


No matter what the local language is, the materials are going to be in English (e.g., in my case, Madrid office, interviews were in Spanish mostly but the interview materials and test were in English). It makes sense if you think it, since it´s the way to standarize it.



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