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Invited to interview for Manager @ Oliver Wyman

Oliver Wyman interview South east asia
New answer on Apr 28, 2023
4 Answers
843 Views
Anonymous A asked on Apr 05, 2023

Hello Experts!

Please, can you guide me on how I should think about preparing for interviews at the Manager level with Oliver Wyman's south-east Asia offices?

Generally, I would like to know: 1) what sorts of Cases to expect; 2) whether the Fit portions of the interview will have a different focus than standard recruiting interviews; 3) what mistakes to avoid, 4) what values and soft skill sets to emphasise, 5) what kinds of questions would be best for ME to ask at the conclusion of each interview.

All interviews will be with Partners, fyi.

 

For now, I have been busying myself with:

A] Reviewing the profiles of the 2 Partners interviewing me. I am researching their industries of expertise and looking to practice Cases in those industries;

B] Practising Cases with an industry focus that mirrors that in the south-east Asia offices

C] Clarifying my Motivation stories for Oliver Wyman (why I want to come back to Consulting, why I want to work in that region, etc)

D] Searching for sources that can confirm the style of Fit questions asked for experienced hire at Oliver Wyman

 

So, do you think I left anything out? Is there anything that I should deprioritise? Thanks in advance for all your guidance.  :-)

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Ian
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Apr 06, 2023
#1 BCG coach | MBB | Tier 2 | Digital, Tech, Platinion | 100% personal success rate (8/8) | 95% candidate success rate

Hi there,

First off, good luck in the interview!

Now, the #1 thing to remember at Manager level interviews is that you should expect nothing.

These Partners could give you all classic cases. Or, they could give you all completely unconventional cases.

Or, they could give you zero cases and just ask you brainstorming questions, scenario-based questions, expertise-based questions, etc. 

They might even create a case for you on the spot through scribbles they made on a piece of paper (yes, this just happened to one of my candidates).

Or, somewhere in between this.

So, train your skills, rather than studying like you do for a Biology exam in college.

Now, to your questions :)

1) what sorts of Cases to expect;

ANY and ALL. Please don't go in expecting anything. If you expect, it's more likely you will be wrong than right.

 2) whether the Fit portions of the interview will have a different focus than standard recruiting interviews;

Likely, yes. In the sense that they will dive deeper, want to have a genuine conversation etc. As you go higher up, it's more likely they'll “have a chat” with probing and followup questions, rather than just “tell me about a time”.

 3) what mistakes to avoid,

Doing what everyone else does.

Don't go in expecting x and y. Don't go in with the mindset of “taking a test”. Go in with the mindset of being assessed as a consulting!

Oh, look here, just so happens I've written about the 4 most common mistakes to avoid :)

  1. Waiting until you have an interview to prep
  2. Using the wrong resources
  3. Going cheap
  4. Trying to boil the ocean

Here's some mindset shift reading that's important for you to absord 

4) what values and soft skill sets to emphasise

Here's my sentence for an optimal candidate (what you're trying to demonstrate to them):

"Someone who can approach a complicated problem and think + communicate in a structured way in the right context+objective of the case, while being personable, adaptable, and coachable, so that, ultimately, the interviewer can see themselves working with this individual and putting them in front of a client."

 5) what kinds of questions would be best for ME to ask at the conclusion of each interview.

Genuine questions. Have a conversation. Ask about them. Ask about the topic. No different to any of your past interviews! I have a list if you need ideas.

For now, I have been busying myself with:

A] Reviewing the profiles of the 2 Partners interviewing me. I am researching their industries of expertise and looking to practice Cases in those industries;

Careful. This is “good”, but don't get locked into this. They may give you a totally different case.

B] Practising Cases with an industry focus that mirrors that in the south-east Asia offices

Again, “good”, but don't get too locked in either

C] Clarifying my Motivation stories for Oliver Wyman (why I want to come back to Consulting, why I want to work in that region, etc)

Great. Practice this outloud. Record yourself. Practice with someone to make sure it's natural. And, don't forget all of the other fit questions! (What makes a good manager, how would you handle x type of client, have you even done x, what are your weaknesses, etc.)

D] Searching for sources that can confirm the style of Fit questions asked for experienced hire at Oliver Wyman

Meh. “Good”, but, again, don't lock yourself in! You're having a conversation with another human. PArtner A is going to have a different style of fit to Partner B.

Rather, just learn how to talk an interviewer like a person/human. Again, just like any other interview.

 

Final Note: Don't “expect” things

It's great you're doing your research! But, just remember, actual interviews are fluid/dynamic and depend on the person interviewing you.

Just as a reference, check out how this interview with McKinsey went for one of my recent candidates (you know, the McKinsey PEI that is “set in stone” and you can “100% gaurentee these will be the 3 questions they ask”)

 

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Anonymous on Apr 06, 2023

Brilliant advice, brilliant! And so helpful! Thank you so much. :-)

(edited)

Ian on Apr 11, 2023

My pleasure!

Hagen
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Apr 06, 2023
#1 Bain coach | >95% success rate | interviewer for 8+ years | mentor and coach for 7+ years

Hi Benjamin,

First of all, congratulations on the invitation from Oliver Wyman!

I think this is an interesting question that may be relevant for many people. I would be happy to share my thoughts on it:

  • First of all, the application process will most likely be very similar to the standard process, with the only difference being that your interviewers will most likely only be (senior) partners with the same industry/capability focus as you. To know for certain, I would highly advise you to reach out to the recruiter to inquire about the specific structure and contents of the application process.
  • Moreover, in order to succeed in the interviews, please keep in mind that for a leadership position, the focus will lie much more on your industry/capability knowledge and existing client relationships. While you might still have to conduct case studies, they are most likely more focused on your thinking and knowledge and less about manual case study skills.

If you would like a more detailed discussion on how to best prepare for your upcoming interviews, please don't hesitate to contact me directly.

Best,

Hagen

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Anonymous B on Apr 07, 2023

Aren't you kind! :-) Very helpful advice and I thank you for giving it. Just to correct the record slightly, though: this is a Managerial position (not Senior Manager or Partner) and so there will be no expertise interviews as such. This was as confirmed to me by the recruiter.

Hagen on Apr 07, 2023

Of course, I am always happy to help! True, the Manager role is typically a leadership position, though. While it is rather unusual for a Manager role, if the recruiter informed you that no industry/capability expertise is required, you should obviously rely on that information.

(edited)

Anonymous B on Apr 07, 2023

Thanks. But to be clear, the recruiter did not say that "...no industry/capability expertise is required;" rather, she clarified that the nature of the interviews would be Case formats and behaviourals and she pointed me to resources with sample practice Cases. Are you certain the Manager role is Leadership at OW? I was under the impression that only Partners and Senior Managers are considered Leadership. A Manager at OW corresponds to a Project Leader at BCG. Project Leaders, in spite of having the word 'Leader' in their designation are not in the Leadership.

Hagen on Apr 07, 2023

Well, I can only speak about the experiences I have as an interviewer and those of my coachees, but I would definitely expect a candidate at the manager level to have some industry/capability expertise. Moreover, I am very certain that project leaders are part of the leadership. As I mentioned before, let me know if you would like a more detailed discussion on how to best prepare for your upcoming interviews.

(edited)

Cristian
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Apr 28, 2023
#1 rated MBB & McKinsey Coach

Hi there! 

It sounds like you're doing a great job preparing for your interviews. Here are some additional tips and guidance to help you:

Case interviews: It's a good idea to focus on case studies that are relevant to the industries in which the partners you'll be interviewing with have expertise. However, it's important to remember that partners may ask you to solve cases that are not related to their industries. So, be prepared to tackle a wide range of cases, from market entry to pricing to operations.

Fit interviews: For experienced hires, fit interviews will be more focused on your experiences and skills. Partners will likely ask you to discuss specific situations from your previous work experience that demonstrate your problem-solving skills, leadership ability, and client management skills. You should also be prepared to discuss how you have managed teams and how you have dealt with difficult situations at work.

Mistakes to avoid: Some common mistakes to avoid in consulting interviews include not asking enough clarifying questions, not taking a structured approach to solving the case, and not communicating your thought process clearly. Be sure to stay organized and take notes throughout the case, and communicate your thinking as clearly as possible.

Soft skills to emphasize: In addition to problem-solving and analytical skills, consulting firms value candidates who have strong communication and leadership skills. Be prepared to discuss your experiences managing teams and working with clients, and demonstrate your ability to work collaboratively with others.

Questions to ask: It's always a good idea to have a few questions prepared to ask the partners at the end of the interview. You could ask about their experiences working at Oliver Wyman, or about the company culture and values.

Overall, it seems like you're on the right track with your interview preparation. Just remember to stay focused, stay organized, and be prepared to tackle a wide range of cases and fit interview questions. Best of luck with your interviews!

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Anonymous B replied on Apr 05, 2023

Still hoping someone can answer this.  :-)

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Ian gave the best answer

Ian

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