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Is it fine to say you are interested in one sector during the interview?

1st round interview consulting
New answer on Oct 29, 2020
9 Answers
911 Views
Anonymous A asked on Sep 29, 2020

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Anonymous replied on Sep 29, 2020

It is okay to say that.

Just remember 2 things:

  • The sector you are interested in should have a decent size in that particular office
  • Also show that you would be open to other sectors, i.e. you can be flexible for business needs

Cheers,

Emily

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Robert
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Sep 29, 2020
McKinsey offers w/o final round interviews - 100% risk-free - 10+ years MBB coaching experience - Multiple book author

Hi Anonymous,

Sure, definitely good if you have specific interests and would like to further grow in that direction. Just make sure that this is understood as a preference and not as a requirement by your interviewer.

That being said, please also make sure to have a solid argumentation why specifically you are interested in a specific sector. Just stating your interest is clearly not enough - if you are serious about that, you also need to have certain insights into this sector and also you need to be able to draw a clear connection between this sector and your experiences/background on how exactly that fits together.

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

Robert

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Anonymous replied on Sep 30, 2020

Dear A,

Of course it's normal, until you claimed that you refuse to work in other sector. Also it depends on your position, which you are applying to.

Hope it helps,

Best,
André

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Udayan
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Sep 29, 2020
Top rated Case & PEI coach/Multiple real offers/McKinsey EM in New York /12 years recruiting experience

Hi,

Yes it is totally natural to have sector preferences. For example, those who have a background in medical sciences may well be interested in lifesciences or Healthcare in general and that is to be expected.

As Emily said, be flexible - if you are applying for a generalist role, say that your natural preference given your background or work experience is in x sector but at the same time you want to join consulting because of the opportunity to learn from people across sectors and will be open to working on whatever project is a good match.

All the best,

Udayan

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Ian
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Sep 29, 2020
#1 BCG coach | MBB | Tier 2 | Digital, Tech, Platinion | 100% personal success rate (8/8) | 95% candidate success rate

100%

But, you need to balance it. "I'm a voracious learner and really want to use this opportunity to get exposure to a lot of areas. I'm very flexible and dive head first into most areas. That being said, I do think I'll probably end up finding a niche for myself in x industry over time as I love x and y aspects"

As the other coaches have said, you need to show them you'll be a great generalist for a few years AND find your place and drive value within a practice!

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Anonymous replied on Sep 29, 2020

Of course! As long as you're not saying you're unwilling to work in any other sector ;)

In fact, it allows you to build a brand around yourself - what you're passionate about, what you're long term vision is, etc. If you're then able to link to what the company (and office) you're applying to is strong in, you also have a strong motivation for sitting in the room with the interviewer.

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Mehdi
Expert
replied on Oct 03, 2020
BCG | Received offers from all MBB & Tier 1Firms | Supporting you secure your top tier consulting offer

Hi there,

It is definitely fine to express an interest in a particular sector during the interview, but make sure you separate interest from expertise:

  • Interest: as mentioned by the other coaches, make sure this industry is well represented in the office where you are interviewing and make sure you emphasize that this is just an interest and that you are willing to explore other industries.
  • Expertise: make sure you leverage this during the interview and explain how you can bring expertise to the office/firm, especially if acquired in a niche industry or within a renowned firm (top player in segment/category). In general, this applies more to lateral hires or senior candidates and it can be critical to their recruitment.

I hope this helps.

Mehdi

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Gaurav
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Oct 29, 2020
#1 MBB Coach(Placed 750+ in MBBs & 1250+ in Tier2)| The Only 360° coach(Ex-McKinsey+Certified Coach+Active recruiter)

Hi there,

Yes, it’s good to say about your interests, but don’t overdo it. Try to argue your interests.

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All the best,

GB

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Francesco
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Sep 30, 2020
#1 Coach for Sessions (4.500+) | 1.500+ 5-Star Reviews | Proven Success (➡ interviewoffers.com) | Ex BCG | 10Y+ Coaching

Hi there,

You can definitely do so. As mentioned by Emily and Robert, you should be sure that:

  1. The sector is well covered in that office
  2. The interviewer understands you are flexible to work in other sectors as well
  3. The interviewer understands there is a clear link between your experience and that particular sector

Best,
Francesco

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