I recently had two 45 mins back-to-back behavioral & case interviews (total 90 mins) at KPMG Canada's Operations Advisory practice. So, basically the format was first case & behavioral interview for 45 mins by interviewer A, and second case & behavioral interview for another 45 mins by interviewer B.
- Both the cases focused on profitability issues for KPMG clients; and I (as a KPMG management consultant) verified the case objectives, asked clarifying questions, then developed a layout/structure for analysis including profitability issue tree, walked them through this structure/layout, performed the analysis to validate the hypotheses, and concluded recommendations backed with rationales. In the whole process, I was structured, thought out loud, and continuously engaged with the interviewers
- For the behavioral interviews, it pretty much focused on understanding my background, experience, and interest in joining KPMG
The next day, interviewer A calls me and says the following: Hello, you were excellent in your interviews yesterday and I have a quick update for you that unfortunately, we won't be proceeding with you due to a competitive pool of candidates that outperformed you.
Here are your positive points:
- You were very structured, analytical and engaged with us throughout the case from start to end, so that's amazing. Keep at it.
- You have a great operations advisory experience which 100% aligns with our work, so we encourage you to apply with us in the future.
In terms of negative points (I have provided my explanation in brackets):
- You rounded off one number (My explanation --> I did round off, but I clearly asked the interviewer is it okay if I proceed with this rounded number or does he want a more accurate number, and the interviewer agreed to proceed with rounding off)
- Your approach was a little longer to reach the conclusion (My explanation --> I continuously engaged with the interviewers, asked them questions, thought out loud for every calculation and assumption, wrote all calculations so my analysis looks neat and clean when handing it over to the interviewers at the end. Having said that, I was able to complete the analysis and derive a conclusion i.e. recommendation based on analysis rationales, I also developed pros and cons for both options as I was asked by the interviewer. Most importantly, my recommendations were in line with the solution interviewer had kept with himself for his reference, and he told me that both align)
- You took help to calculate depreciation cost (My explanation --> I knew the concept of depreciation cost which I explained to the interviewer and then asked him if he could guide me in incorporating it in my calculation. It was basically cost of $50,000 for a machine with a depreciation rate of 5 years, so he had to direct me that the fixed cost of a machine is $10,000 per year which is spread over 5 years. I appreciated his help and incorporated it in my calculation which drove me to correct conclusion in line with the solution interviewer had kept with himself)
Essentially in both cases, I was absolutely structured and had a good analytical framework/thought process that drove me to the correct conclusion - which I believe is the most important thing in a case interview. So, what are your thoughts/opinions on my rejection?
(I've asked the interviewer for a coffee chat next week to discuss the feedback in detail as his phone network was not great. Is there a way I could ask him to reconsider me?)
Thanks in advance for your advice & guidance!