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Mehdi

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5

Interviews for project manager role

Dear community and experts,

Any experiences or advice on what are the aspects/questions during interview to qualify a candidate if he/she can take a project manager role?

Background:

  • MBB-like consulting
  • They offer several interviews to me. Besides of case studies, the firm will observe and try to find out if I can take project manager role. So, the door seems to be open with more than one option. I just need to convince them.
  • I have around 10 years working experience, with small to medium projects over the last years, some with a budget.

I want to prepare my best (of course without losing authentic self) to pursue the project manager opportunity.

Which direction/aspects would you advise to effectively invest the time into? Any important interview questions you would share for orientation? Experiences or tips in general to best prepare for it?

Thanks!

Dear community and experts,

Any experiences or advice on what are the aspects/questions during interview to qualify a candidate if he/she can take a project manager role?

Background:

  • MBB-like consulting
  • They offer several interviews to me. Besides of case studies, the firm will observe and try to find out if I can take project manager role. So, the door seems to be open with more than one option. I just need to convince them.
  • I have around 10 years working experience, with small to medium projects over the last years, some with a budget.

I want to prepare my best (of course without losing authentic self) to pursue the project manager opportunity.

Which direction/aspects would you advise to effectively invest the time into? Any important interview questions you would share for orientation? Experiences or tips in general to best prepare for it?

Thanks!

(edited)

5 answers

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Best Answer
Book a coaching with Mehdi

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Hi there,

For senior positions, firms look beyond the case study and give a particular important to the fit. They will assess you on the following elements:

  • Your fit with the firm: how similar/different are you with other senior leaders in the targeted office and how would you completement them in experience and expertise
  • Your experience in consulting: the type and size of clients you managed, the impact you created in your projects, your reputation within clients, your network in a given industry or geography, etc.
  • Your capacity to serve in additional roles within the firm: lead a new industry or practice area, be in charge of the developpement of new branches, lead the recruiting efforts, etc.

Your interviews will probably combine a mix of the elements above, and you will have to prepare compelling stories to tell in each dimension. Make sure you have sharp stories and experiences to tell in each one of those parameters as your fit & personal experiences would have a substancial weight in the interview process!

Happy to discuss this further if needed.

All the best,

Mehdi

Hi there,

For senior positions, firms look beyond the case study and give a particular important to the fit. They will assess you on the following elements:

  • Your fit with the firm: how similar/different are you with other senior leaders in the targeted office and how would you completement them in experience and expertise
  • Your experience in consulting: the type and size of clients you managed, the impact you created in your projects, your reputation within clients, your network in a given industry or geography, etc.
  • Your capacity to serve in additional roles within the firm: lead a new industry or practice area, be in charge of the developpement of new branches, lead the recruiting efforts, etc.

Your interviews will probably combine a mix of the elements above, and you will have to prepare compelling stories to tell in each dimension. Make sure you have sharp stories and experiences to tell in each one of those parameters as your fit & personal experiences would have a substancial weight in the interview process!

Happy to discuss this further if needed.

All the best,

Mehdi

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Hi Anonymous,

Depending on your specific situation, the interview process could be completely customized to you - but I can give you a very clear picture on the interview schedule for very experienced hires at McKinsey.

Recently I was coaching 2 partners of a tier-2 consulting firm to switch to associate partner role at McKinsey. The interview process was organized as follows (for each of them individually):

  • 4 interviews focusing on motivation for joining McKinsey and in-depth discussion of their expertise/background
  • 4 interviews similar to case and personal fit (although obviously on partner-level the requirements and focus is a different one)
  • 4 relatively unstructured interviews mainly about personal fit, industry trends and issues as well as potential future engagements as well as their contribution to the firm in terms of revenue and intellectual growth

Across those interviews, the following aspects are worth highlighting in respect to qualifying for a very experienced role:

  • Rigidly structured thought-process
  • Precise and structured communication
  • Ability to break down complex questions into components and narrow a whole storyline for a study down to concrete actionable workstreams and work packages

Although your role is slightly less senior, I'd mentally prepare for those the same.

Hope this helps - if so, please be so kind to give it a thumbs-up with the green upvote button below!

Robert

Hi Anonymous,

Depending on your specific situation, the interview process could be completely customized to you - but I can give you a very clear picture on the interview schedule for very experienced hires at McKinsey.

Recently I was coaching 2 partners of a tier-2 consulting firm to switch to associate partner role at McKinsey. The interview process was organized as follows (for each of them individually):

  • 4 interviews focusing on motivation for joining McKinsey and in-depth discussion of their expertise/background
  • 4 interviews similar to case and personal fit (although obviously on partner-level the requirements and focus is a different one)
  • 4 relatively unstructured interviews mainly about personal fit, industry trends and issues as well as potential future engagements as well as their contribution to the firm in terms of revenue and intellectual growth

Across those interviews, the following aspects are worth highlighting in respect to qualifying for a very experienced role:

  • Rigidly structured thought-process
  • Precise and structured communication
  • Ability to break down complex questions into components and narrow a whole storyline for a study down to concrete actionable workstreams and work packages

Although your role is slightly less senior, I'd mentally prepare for those the same.

Hope this helps - if so, please be so kind to give it a thumbs-up with the green upvote button below!

Robert

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Hi,

The expectations from Project Manager role is completely different and hence the process would be more rigorous given the face the person is going to lead a complete project.

I have seen cases where a person coming from industry with 10+ years of experience joins a level below Manager but paid at par Manager level. Then basis performance in 1-2 projects, they are moved up or out. This can differ from firm to firm and in different geographies as well.

But apart from the standard process or case studies, personal interviews and experience interviews, I would expect the candidate to be having extreme high levels of consulting skills which can be mentored. This is basically what I try to do when I coach senior people from industry wanting to transition to consulting. Its imperative that they exhibit strong consulting skills and which can be done through " Advanced Consulting Readiness Programs". It has yielded results so far. Trust this was useful.

Hi,

The expectations from Project Manager role is completely different and hence the process would be more rigorous given the face the person is going to lead a complete project.

I have seen cases where a person coming from industry with 10+ years of experience joins a level below Manager but paid at par Manager level. Then basis performance in 1-2 projects, they are moved up or out. This can differ from firm to firm and in different geographies as well.

But apart from the standard process or case studies, personal interviews and experience interviews, I would expect the candidate to be having extreme high levels of consulting skills which can be mentored. This is basically what I try to do when I coach senior people from industry wanting to transition to consulting. Its imperative that they exhibit strong consulting skills and which can be done through " Advanced Consulting Readiness Programs". It has yielded results so far. Trust this was useful.

Book a coaching with Gaurav

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Hi Anonymous,

I assume the questions might be mainly focused on your previous consulting experience and general fit with the company. They might ask you questions that would clear on your personal profile as well as behavior in specific situations (i.e. they could give you examples of particular projects).

Was this helpful?

Be yourself and get the offer!

Best, GB

Hi Anonymous,

I assume the questions might be mainly focused on your previous consulting experience and general fit with the company. They might ask you questions that would clear on your personal profile as well as behavior in specific situations (i.e. they could give you examples of particular projects).

Was this helpful?

Be yourself and get the offer!

Best, GB

(edited)

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Hi there,

Without knowing the company specifically, I would expect that the interview emphasizes much more your past experience and instincts in answering questions more than anything.

You'll likely get a lot of hypotheticals such as "how would you setup a team of 20 for a 10 week project to do x", "What do you think is an appropriate split of business analysts, developers/engineers, and testers?", "How would you resolve x conflict", or "What key procedures and documents do you think need to be in place for a successful project"

I highly anticipate your interview to be less "case-y" and much more experience/expertise focused!

Hi there,

Without knowing the company specifically, I would expect that the interview emphasizes much more your past experience and instincts in answering questions more than anything.

You'll likely get a lot of hypotheticals such as "how would you setup a team of 20 for a 10 week project to do x", "What do you think is an appropriate split of business analysts, developers/engineers, and testers?", "How would you resolve x conflict", or "What key procedures and documents do you think need to be in place for a successful project"

I highly anticipate your interview to be less "case-y" and much more experience/expertise focused!

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