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Oleksii

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7

MBB Interviews COVID Questions

MBB

Hello -

Two of my friends faced questions related to COVID (mainly interviewing with Bain and McKinsey) during the second round of interviews with partners .

- if you were the CEO of company X during the pandemic, what are the steps that you would have taken in response to the pandemic?

-if you are the president of country X, what is the first thing you would have done in response to the pandemic?

Any other questions you might know of?

Thanks,

Hello -

Two of my friends faced questions related to COVID (mainly interviewing with Bain and McKinsey) during the second round of interviews with partners .

- if you were the CEO of company X during the pandemic, what are the steps that you would have taken in response to the pandemic?

-if you are the president of country X, what is the first thing you would have done in response to the pandemic?

Any other questions you might know of?

Thanks,

7 answers

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Best Answer
Book a coaching with Oleksii

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Hi,

When you get a question on the interview, the most important thing to remember, is that they all are directed to assess:

  1. If you are client-ready (Whether they can put you in front of the client so that you represent the firm and will not offend the client).
  2. If you are company-compatible. This includes:
    1. Your Business judgment
    2. Your Leadership profile (Entrepreneurial spirit, Ownership, Ability to influence others)
    3. Your personality (Looking on this matter from a company‐internal perspective, the often‐cited „airport test“ comes in: being stranded at a remote airport, could your interviewer imagine spending a good time with you nevertheless?)

When in doubt, the recruiter always goes for the candidate with excellent soft skills and good analytical skills, and not for the candidate with excellent analytical skills and good soft skills.

Answering your question - no matter what kind of question on COVID you might get, your best answer would have:

  • The business judgment of what it really makes sense to do
  • Structure and efficiency of communication
  • Human touch (not a generic answer, but something you really believe in, so that the interviewer can understand you better as a person)

Hope this helps!

Best,
Oleksii

Hi,

When you get a question on the interview, the most important thing to remember, is that they all are directed to assess:

  1. If you are client-ready (Whether they can put you in front of the client so that you represent the firm and will not offend the client).
  2. If you are company-compatible. This includes:
    1. Your Business judgment
    2. Your Leadership profile (Entrepreneurial spirit, Ownership, Ability to influence others)
    3. Your personality (Looking on this matter from a company‐internal perspective, the often‐cited „airport test“ comes in: being stranded at a remote airport, could your interviewer imagine spending a good time with you nevertheless?)

When in doubt, the recruiter always goes for the candidate with excellent soft skills and good analytical skills, and not for the candidate with excellent analytical skills and good soft skills.

Answering your question - no matter what kind of question on COVID you might get, your best answer would have:

  • The business judgment of what it really makes sense to do
  • Structure and efficiency of communication
  • Human touch (not a generic answer, but something you really believe in, so that the interviewer can understand you better as a person)

Hope this helps!

Best,
Oleksii

Book a coaching with Florian

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Hey there,

There are unlimited opportunities for COVID-related questions. You can come up with them by yourself.

Just take a matrix of industry (pharma, public sector, etc.) and function (strategy, operations, etc.) and you can create your own cases very quickly. To illustrate, pick pharma and operations and you already got yourself a case:

'The client is a global vaccine producer and needs to distribute the new COVID vaccine to countries in Africa - how would you go about that?'

You need a bit of creativity but can come up with 100s of different cases in such a manner. You can also look at newspaper articles and reframe the headline into a case question.

I have created a few COVID-related McKinsey-like cases myself that I use with my coaching candidates these days.

However, that being said, I always recommend staying away from pre-learning solutions for specific cases or even industry frameworks. McKinsey has been aware of the industry and functional frameworks for years and the cases you will get have very little to with such frameworks and at best, hamper your creativity to come up with insightful solutions and recommendations.

Try to learn an approach that works regardless of case or context. I can help you with that.

Cheers,

Florian

Hey there,

There are unlimited opportunities for COVID-related questions. You can come up with them by yourself.

Just take a matrix of industry (pharma, public sector, etc.) and function (strategy, operations, etc.) and you can create your own cases very quickly. To illustrate, pick pharma and operations and you already got yourself a case:

'The client is a global vaccine producer and needs to distribute the new COVID vaccine to countries in Africa - how would you go about that?'

You need a bit of creativity but can come up with 100s of different cases in such a manner. You can also look at newspaper articles and reframe the headline into a case question.

I have created a few COVID-related McKinsey-like cases myself that I use with my coaching candidates these days.

However, that being said, I always recommend staying away from pre-learning solutions for specific cases or even industry frameworks. McKinsey has been aware of the industry and functional frameworks for years and the cases you will get have very little to with such frameworks and at best, hamper your creativity to come up with insightful solutions and recommendations.

Try to learn an approach that works regardless of case or context. I can help you with that.

Cheers,

Florian

Book a coaching with Antonello

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Hi,

Interesting questions!

Think COVID as an exogenous factor and understand the impact it has on businesses (e.g., in terms of pricing, volume, etc.).

If you do this exercise you'll be able to structure any problem solving related to it.

Hope this helps.

Best,

Antonello

Hi,

Interesting questions!

Think COVID as an exogenous factor and understand the impact it has on businesses (e.g., in terms of pricing, volume, etc.).

If you do this exercise you'll be able to structure any problem solving related to it.

Hope this helps.

Best,

Antonello

Book a coaching with Gaurav

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Hi there,

There are around 8-10 cases making rounds in MBB (second and partner round) interviews. I am coaching candidates on them. Feel free to contact me for more.

For the preparation, I agree with Denis' approach - to look through the reports of different companies. The more you know about the strategies companies chose during the last year, the more questions around Covid you can think and mentally prepare for.

Hope it helps!

Cheers,

GB

Hi there,

There are around 8-10 cases making rounds in MBB (second and partner round) interviews. I am coaching candidates on them. Feel free to contact me for more.

For the preparation, I agree with Denis' approach - to look through the reports of different companies. The more you know about the strategies companies chose during the last year, the more questions around Covid you can think and mentally prepare for.

Hope it helps!

Cheers,

GB

(edited)

Book a coaching with Clara

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Book a coaching with Denis

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Hi all,

as Ian has already pointed out - this is the minimum baseline that needs to be prepared for. The same goes for US candidates interviewing for MBB in the US perhaps getting asked about potential consequences of when Biden takes over (e.g. increased M&A, higher corporate taxes, likely reduction in tariffs).

Partners obviously ask that stuff since it is on their minds - whatever bothers the client at any given time is likely to bother the partner too. I d also ask COVID questions in interviews to test the actual interest and business sense of a candidate. If you are truly passionate about solving business issues for clients, you should have done this kind of prep a year ago.

Now, when it comes to how to prep for them - you dont have to re-invent the wheel. Use the work that has been done by company boards around the globe over the 12 months:

  1. Pick the high-frequency industries that you can expect generally (industrials, consumer & retail, pharma, tech, etc.) and the high-frequency cases in your office.
  2. Pick 2-3 companies (ideally as large as possible).
  3. Go online and get the companies' very individual Quarterly Earnings Reports as well as their annual report 2020 (if available). In addition download the Earnings Call Transcripts (i.e. the meeting every quarter where CEO and CFO give answers to a panel of investors and shareholder representatives). You find that stuff in the Investor section of their homepage typically.
  4. In the past 12 months, almost all reports have been about COVID. You can also CTRL F your way through it. You would be amazed to see how detailed companies explain their COVID approach w.r.t. managing people, resources, expected growth, changes in business model, logistics etc. You also find out quite interesting things that you can use as food for thought for any other industry. I have done that a lot in the past couple of months for recruiting purposes too. There are even special COVID sections in reports many times.

Best,

Denis

Hi all,

as Ian has already pointed out - this is the minimum baseline that needs to be prepared for. The same goes for US candidates interviewing for MBB in the US perhaps getting asked about potential consequences of when Biden takes over (e.g. increased M&A, higher corporate taxes, likely reduction in tariffs).

Partners obviously ask that stuff since it is on their minds - whatever bothers the client at any given time is likely to bother the partner too. I d also ask COVID questions in interviews to test the actual interest and business sense of a candidate. If you are truly passionate about solving business issues for clients, you should have done this kind of prep a year ago.

Now, when it comes to how to prep for them - you dont have to re-invent the wheel. Use the work that has been done by company boards around the globe over the 12 months:

  1. Pick the high-frequency industries that you can expect generally (industrials, consumer & retail, pharma, tech, etc.) and the high-frequency cases in your office.
  2. Pick 2-3 companies (ideally as large as possible).
  3. Go online and get the companies' very individual Quarterly Earnings Reports as well as their annual report 2020 (if available). In addition download the Earnings Call Transcripts (i.e. the meeting every quarter where CEO and CFO give answers to a panel of investors and shareholder representatives). You find that stuff in the Investor section of their homepage typically.
  4. In the past 12 months, almost all reports have been about COVID. You can also CTRL F your way through it. You would be amazed to see how detailed companies explain their COVID approach w.r.t. managing people, resources, expected growth, changes in business model, logistics etc. You also find out quite interesting things that you can use as food for thought for any other industry. I have done that a lot in the past couple of months for recruiting purposes too. There are even special COVID sections in reports many times.

Best,

Denis

(edited)

Book a coaching with Ian

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Hi there,

This should absolutely be expected and prepared for! That's exactly why I've created two COVID-related cases here:

https://www.preplounge.com/en/management-consulting-cases/brain-teaser/beginner/coronavirus-times-194

https://www.preplounge.com/en/management-consulting-cases/candidate-led-usual-style/intermediate/chinese-chess-191

I also have had a number of candidates who were asked about covid-19 supply chain disruptions across a range of industries (and asked how they would mitigate disruptions)

Hi there,

This should absolutely be expected and prepared for! That's exactly why I've created two COVID-related cases here:

https://www.preplounge.com/en/management-consulting-cases/brain-teaser/beginner/coronavirus-times-194

https://www.preplounge.com/en/management-consulting-cases/candidate-led-usual-style/intermediate/chinese-chess-191

I also have had a number of candidates who were asked about covid-19 supply chain disruptions across a range of industries (and asked how they would mitigate disruptions)

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