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Middle East general knowledge

dubai Roland Berger strategy&
New answer on Apr 27, 2023
6 Answers
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Anonymous A asked on Apr 25, 2023

Hi Everyone,

my interviews for T2 strategy consulting companies based in Dubai are coming up and I would like to know what are, according to you, the general knowledge info that I should possess regarding Middle East (population, current macroeconomics trends, etc.) and what are the best sources to do that according to you. Thanks everyone for your help, very much appreciated!

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Francesco
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Content Creator
replied on Apr 26, 2023
#1 Coach for Sessions (4.500+) | 1.500+ 5-Star Reviews | Proven Success (➡ interviewoffers.com) | Ex BCG | 10Y+ Coaching

Hi there,

Q: I would like to know what are, according to you, the general knowledge info that I should possess regarding Middle East (population, current macroeconomics trends, etc.)

For business cases, if you apply as a generalist in theory you don’t need to have any specific knowledge. However external knowledge could be useful for:

  1. General discussion
  2. Market sizing estimations

For general discussion, I would recommend to check:

  • The industries of the interviewers and their research articles on that, if they wrote any
  • Any major project in the region for which your target company is present in the news
  • Major recent business news so that if they ask a curveball question on that you have some background information

For market sizing, common elements that could appear related to a specific geography are:

  • Population
  • Average income

You can check that for the country where you are interviewing and the ones close to that.

Good luck!

Francesco

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Ian
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replied on Apr 26, 2023
#1 BCG coach | MBB | Tier 2 | Digital, Tech, Platinion | 100% personal success rate (8/8) | 95% candidate success rate

Hi there,

My main advice is to incorporate this into your daily reading (which you should already be doing!). The more you know about the current events, especially from a business/finance perspective, the better!

Some key numbers (off the top of my head):

  • Total population
  • Age bands (age pryamid)
  • Income bands (low income, middle income, high income)
  • Average/median household income
  • Overall GDP
  • Growth
  • Interest rates
  • Major industries and their sizes
  • Trading partners
  • Geographical breakdown/borders
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Anonymous B replied on Apr 25, 2023

Hello, 

Which start date are you applying for if you don't mind me asking?

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Anonymous replied on Apr 25, 2023

Hi, 

If you are not based out of the region, there will be limited expectation from you to know about the details about population, demographics etc. Nonetheless, it would be good to get a high level overview of the some of the key trends/focus areas of clients in the region (sustainability, mega project development etc.). A quick secondary research online will provide you plenty of sources where you can get such information. 

Good luck

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Sophia
Expert
replied on Apr 27, 2023
Top-Ranked Coach on PrepLounge for 3 years| 6+ years of coaching

Hello,

While a general understanding of top industries and general economic trends of an area is always helpful, consulting interviews test for skills, not specific knowledge. If you are not currently based in the ME, a familiarity with the language and working culture may be more important. I would perhaps read up on recent headline news and macroeconomic trends of Dubai, but not worry too much about knowing specific figures off the top of your head. 

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Cristian
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Content Creator
replied on Apr 27, 2023
#1 rated MBB & McKinsey Coach

Hi there, 

Very interesting question :)

First of all, don't put a lot of pressure on yourself with regard to knowledge. Consulting interviews don't test for knowledge, they test for skills. You can always ask the interviewer for data or make an assumption.

Of course, it helps to know a few things, even if only to give you more confidence during the interview. 

My suggestion would be to look for ‘market digests’ online, even check some of the ones created by consulting firms. Or even better - and perhaps more fun - use ChatGPT. Prompt ChatGPT with the context that you have, what you want to learn and ask for the core points of information it believes you should know. Then take it from there. 

Best,
Cristian

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Francesco gave the best answer

Francesco

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