Is experienced hire flexible about industry background?

consulting Experienced Hire FallRecruitment
New answer on Apr 30, 2020
9 Answers
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Anonymous A asked on Apr 14, 2020

Compared to MBA graduate hires, is "experienced hire" also flexible about industry background or roles? I have graduated from MBA and works in finance (sales & product function, not directly related to strategy). I have noticed that for experienced hires, on the job description consulting firms seems to prefer "candidates with consulting experience". Also, I have talked to a HR at a consulting firm, and he mentioned that he would only hire people with FMCG or automobile background. Do I still have a chance of getting interviews? Thanks for your thoughts!

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Robert
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replied on Apr 14, 2020
McKinsey offers w/o final round interviews - 100% risk-free - 10+ years MBB coaching experience - Multiple book author

Hi Anonymous,

Honestly speaking I see chances for an experienced hire without industry background rather small. However, it mainly depends on the search profile of the specific company - you can be both experience in either the industry or the function - or both.

Whenever I have a chance to hire an experienced person, I will try to push as much as possible to get experience both from a functional as well as industry experience.

If I have to choose between the two, I always go for the industry experience which is much more specific; the functional experience is comparably generic and can be coached in-house also rather easily.

Hope that helps!

Robert

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Anonymous replied on Apr 14, 2020

Hi there,

Experienced hires are usually hired for their experiences in certain industry practice - either ex-consultants with an industry focus, or people who have been in a particular industry for quite a few years.

As per which industry the firm would hire for, it depends a lot on the firm and the specific region/country the office is in. Some consulting firms might only have strong FMCG or Auto practices in a certain country/region, and that's why they only hire for those. Given that you have been in finance, try to find out whether there is a firm in your country that is strong in serving banks or financial insititions?

Best,

Emily

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Anonymous replied on Apr 14, 2020

Hi, It really depends on what level you are starting in the consulting firm. For below manager roles it usually not an issue as long as you have strong achievement and pass the case interview. I had a friend in BCG who was Marketing Manager and started 2 level below Manager and now already a Partner. Another case in BCG is a Sales Director and started 1 level below Manager.

The HR you talked to might be referring to a specific needs for an Expert Role in the firm at that moment. Currently consultin firms also created Expert Career track where they recruit senior people from industry to be SME in specfic projects. In an expert track you will work in one industry / function only and need to do multiple projects at the same time (as your scope is more limited).

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Clara
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replied on Apr 14, 2020
McKinsey | Awarded professor at Master in Management @ IE | MBA at MIT |+180 students coached | Integrated FIT Guide aut

Hello!

You have a good combination between MBA + past experience so you should not have any problem to at least start with the recruiting process.

Cheers,
Clara

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Francesco
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replied on Apr 14, 2020
#1 Coach for Sessions (4.000+) | 1.400+ 5-Star Reviews | Proven Success (➡ InterviewOffers.com) | Ex BCG | 9Y+ Coaching

Hi there,

you can still potentially manage to get an invitation, however you should:

  • emphasize strategy experience in your CV, even if your role was not specifically in strategy
  • identify companies that work in a field related to your current industry so that you can provide more added value
  • find referrals in the company that could help to stand out

Best,

Francesco

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Vlad
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replied on Apr 14, 2020
McKinsey / Accenture Alum / Got all BIG3 offers / Harvard Business School

Hi,

Experienced hires can have various backgrounds. However, there is a key criteria here - your experience should be relevant to consulting:

  • Previous client-service experience (Consulting, IB)
  • Relevant industry experience (Depends on the particular office) and industries with universal skillset (like FMCG)
  • Relevant functions (Digital, Ops, etc)
  • Unique client value prop that you can bring to the plate (e.g. brand strategy)
  • Scientific background (PHD), ideally in the relevant industries (e.g. oil&gas) or functions (e.g. predictive maintenance)
  • Unique career track with significant achievements (e.g. top-known musician)

Best

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Luca
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replied on Apr 30, 2020
BCG |NASA | SDA Bocconi & Cattolica partner | GMAT expert 780/800 score | 200+ students coached

Hello,

It is possible to get an interview whatever it is your previous experience, but the practice you will be assignes is strongly influenced by your background.

Best,
Luca

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Antonello
Expert
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replied on Apr 30, 2020
McKinsey | MBA professor for consulting interviews

Hi, it depends on the seniority. If you apply for second level positions (e.g. associate in McK or consultant in Bain and BCG) almost every experience is considered acceptable.

Best,
Antonello

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Anonymous replied on Apr 28, 2020

Hi A,

The situation when experienced hire could have different background is very rare. The most common situation is when you have finance background, so you will be hired for finance practice; if you have FMSG background, then it would be FMSG practice. So, your previous background should somehow correlate to your future competence center where you would like to work.

Hope it helps!

Best,

André

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Robert gave the best answer

Robert

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