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One month to start consulting job - what to prepare now?

New answer on Jun 13, 2020
10 Answers
3.6 k Views
Anonymous A asked on Jun 10, 2020

I still have one month until I join a consulting job. Could you give me some advice on what I should prepare/enhance in order to be better prepared? I have stopped casing on a daily basis for a 3 months and I feel that my case interview skills have dropped quite a bit. Is it important to keep doing case interview practices until I start the job? For MBA graduates who got consulting jobs 7-8 months prior to starting the role, have you been continuously casing? Thank you!

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Content Creator
replied on Jun 10, 2020
#1 BCG coach | MBB | Tier 2 | Digital, Tech, Platinion | 100% personal success rate (8/8) | 95% candidate success rate

Hi there,

Timely question as it was askeed not too long ago!

Thread here:


MOST IMPORTANTLY: Know that no-one can perfectly prepare for the job and that's the point: You will mess up, you will learn, you will be trained and supported. That's OK!


First: Read the 25 tips in my consulting handbook here:


Second: In terms of things you can learn/do to prepare beforehand:

1) Daily Reading

  • The Economist, The Financial Times, BCG/Mskinsey Insights

2) Industry deep-dives

  • Learn, in-depth, how the industries/companies your office advises, work. (PM me for an industry overview template)

3) Analytics tools

  • Alteryx, Tableau, etc.

4) Excel

5) Powerpoint

  • Best practices/standards
  • Different layouts
  • Quickly editing/updating slides
  • Thinking in PowerPoint

6) Presentation skills / sharp communication

  • There are some online/virtual classes for this


Third: In terms of doing well in your role when you're there:

1) Understand the context/prompt (what role are you in, what company, who's watching, etc.)

2) Understand the objective (what, specifically, is expected from you...both day to day, and in your overall career progression)

3) Quickly process information, and focus on what's important - Take a lot of information and the unknown, find the most logical path, and focus on that.

4) Be comfortable with the unknown, and learn to brainstorm - think/speak like an expert without being one

In summary, there will always be a flood of information, expectations, competition etc. and not enough time. Find out which ones matter when. (i.e. be visibile and focus efforts on the things that people care about)


Fourth: Here are some great prior Q&As for you!

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Content Creator
updated an answer on Sep 05, 2020
#1 Coach for Sessions (4.500+) | 1.500+ 5-Star Reviews | Proven Success (➡ | Ex BCG | 10Y+ Coaching

Hi there,

congratulations on your offer! If you want to prepare in advance before you start, I recommend to work on technical and communication skills and a proper mindset. You won’t need to do additional cases at this stage.

  • On the technical side, Excel will be the most important technical thing to master at the beginning, in particular for VLOOKUPs and Pivot tables; you could also review PowerPoint if needed. You will likely receive training on this when you start anyway.
    • Tip for Excel: learn how to use as much as possible the keyword and relegate the touchpad to the minimum – this will skyrocket your productivity in the long term. Some computer programs such as KeyRocket provide tips to improve on this.
  • For better communication, two great books are:
    • How to Win Friends and Influence People - Dale Carnegie
    • Never Split The Difference - Chris Voss
  • For mindset, two great books are:
    • The Compound Effect - Darren Hardy
    • The Magic of Thinking Big - David J. Schwartz

Below you can also find a list of things that could be useful to practice during your first weeks:

  1. Take notes when your manager tells you something – this will help you to remember details and will show you care about them to the team.
  2. Always double-check. The first impression is very important in consulting: if you show you are reliable from the beginning, you create a reputation of a reliable person. Double checks should be done on expectations for your job, your Excel analysis, your slides – basically everything.
  3. Define priorities before starting any set of tasks. The majority of the results usually come from a subset of activities – this is true also for your tasks in consulting. You have to identify which they are and prioritize them – the application of the so-called 80-20 rule or Pareto Principle. Alignment on priorities and expectations is particularly important with your manager at the beginning of the project.
  4. Socialize with your colleagues and start to build a network. Consulting is a people business and you should build a good network both within and outside the company. A good start is key to develop good relationships long-term
  5. Organize your private life activities. You want to organize your calendar to leave some space for personal activities (sport/ friends/ family). This is not easy but can be managed if you organize well, and long-term will be critical to keep a balance between work and private life. Also, it is better to align with your manager/teammates from the beginning on your core needs, so that there are no surprises later on.
  6. Ask for feedback every two-three weeks – this will show you are proactive and willing to learn.
  7. Ask for help when you don't know what to do – better to let know you are in trouble with meeting a deadline then missing the deadline.
  8. Be social and respectful with the support staff – these people are great and influential as well in the company.

Hope this helps,



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Anonymous updated the answer on Jun 10, 2020

Dear A,

First of all, my congratulations to your offer, I wish you best of luck in your career!

I would recommend you rest very well:D

May be spend more time with your family, friends or travelling. Because consulting job is pretty intense. So just take your time.

Also, for candidates like you, who have already secured the offer with a leading consulting firm, I have designed my program "Get ready for the first 100 days " as well as long-term career planning. This program touches all the important aspects: the mindset, the skills, knowledge, networking and ,managing yourself as well, your bosses and clients - everything that is important in your successful career.

In fact, I'm sharing my knowledge of 6 years career experience in consulting, where I was able to land on the fast track promotion and to be promoted from consultant to a project manager just within 3 years, which is extremely fast.

Happy to share these insights with you, feel free to reach out directly to me.

Good luck,



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Anonymous replied on Jun 10, 2020

Hi there,

Keep it simple...

1) Read the news (be informed, not overly informed)

2) Enjoy your last 30 days!

3) If you feel the need to do something, then the other coaches have provided you with plenty of tips...However, you will learn everything on the job.

Best of luck, sleep a lot while you still can :)


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replied on Jun 10, 2020
McKinsey / Accenture Alum / Got all BIG3 offers / Harvard Business School


Please stop doing the cases. It's not required at all. I would say - forget about the cases. Real life is different:)

Work on the following:

1) Excel and Financial modeling - the best course I know is Training The Street. Take Financial Modeling, Valuation, Maybe LBO. They have the amazing templates that you have to repsoduce to be able to do that fast.

The key thing - throw away your mouse and put some tape on your touchpad. Do everything with your keyboard!

2) Power Point

  • First, read "Say it with charts" and "Pyramid Principle".
  • As a next step Google for MBB presentations on SlideShare and try to replicate them in PPT.
  • Finally, take MBA some cases (HBS or any other) and try to derive the conclusions and put them on slides using MBB styles.

And finally - take a long vacation before starting your job;)

Good Luck!

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Content Creator
updated an answer on Jun 10, 2020
Bain Consultant | Interviewer for 3 years at Bain |Passionate about coaching |I will make you a case interview Rockstar


I think the best advice is just to enjoy your time off before you get into a very intense and challenging work environment. Other than that just make sure you complete any recommended preparation from the firm itself (if applicable). At Bain, we got some preparation materials and reading prior to joining.

Doing more case interviews I don't think will be a good use of time at all.



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Content Creator
replied on Jun 13, 2020
McKinsey | NASA | top 10 FT MBA professor for consulting interviews | 6+ years of coaching

Hi, I do not recommend continuing to work on cases. Improve your excel and PowerPoint skills will be enough and remain updated on the latest trend post covid of every industry. I suggest enjoying this month without spending too much effort, you will have plenty of time to give your best in consulting and growing your skills on the job. Anything else is required


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

Hi Anonymous,

On top of what has been already mentioned, start aligning your personal life and significant others for your new challenge.

Things will definitely change and time will become a very scarce resource. To ensure you don't lose your private life, better be prepared for that upfront.

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


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Anonymous replied on Jun 10, 2020

First of all, congratulations for your offer!

I strongly advise you to rest, the start in consulting is always a little bit intense. You will have the possibility of getting on boarded through welcome trainings which will be organized upon your arrival.

Have a good start !


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Content Creator
replied on Jun 10, 2020
McKinsey | Awarded professor at Master in Management @ IE | MBA at MIT |+180 students coached | Integrated FIT Guide aut


I would honestly rest, you will need it later!

If you really want to work on something, Excel would be my choice.

Best of luck!

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Ian gave the best answer


Content Creator
#1 BCG coach | MBB | Tier 2 | Digital, Tech, Platinion | 100% personal success rate (8/8) | 95% candidate success rate
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