Prioritizing during interview

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New answer on Jan 20, 2020
5 Answers
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Anonymous A asked on Jan 07, 2020

Why is it so important to prioritize during interviews?

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Vlad
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Jan 07, 2020
McKinsey / Accenture Alum / Got all BIG3 offers / Harvard Business School

Hi,

Consultants have very high hourly rates, thus the typical projects are very short (From 2 weeks on DD deals, to a couple of months). In addition, you work 24/7. In such a short timeline you can't waste your time on the initiatives with no or small impact - you have to prioritize

Thus prioritization is one of the key skills consultants are testing during the case interview. You can't solve a case within 20-30 min without prioritizing

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Nathaniel
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replied on Jan 20, 2020
McKinsey | BCG | CERN| University of Cambridge

Hello there,

The core principle in management consulting work is 80/20 rule.
This means focusing on 20% of the issues (the core drivers) to generate 80% of the potential result.

Only then, we look at whether we still have time to focus on the long-tails (the rest, 80% of the issue, which will only yield another 20% of the result, making it not as effective if being addressed earlier). Looking at the broad spectrum of work of a consultant and its dynamic nature though, we often don't have such luxury.

As such, prioritization is a fundamental skillset of a consultant and one of the key skillset that will be evaluated in case interviews.

Hope it helps.

Kind regards,
Nathan

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Antonello
Expert
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replied on Jan 07, 2020
McKinsey | MBA professor for consulting interviews

Because:
- it is one of the 3 key skills that every consultant has: your role at your interview is showing to be mature enough to go to the client on behalf of the firm on day 1.
- it allows you to correctly solve the case in the expected timeframe: the case interview is a simplification of a complex business problem and arriving at an impactful recommendation in only 20-25 minutes requires great prioritization skills.

Hope it helps,
Antonello

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Clara
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Content Creator
replied on Jan 08, 2020
McKinsey | Awarded professor at Master in Management @ IE | MBA at MIT |+180 students coached | Integrated FIT Guide aut

Hello!

First and most important, because it´s a core skill for a consultant -since you always work with limited deadlines, fees are really high, etc-. Hence, makes sense this gets tested in the interview process.

Secondly, interviews are limited in time and it´s the only way to crack cases. Since consultants are the ones recruiting and time is precious -and expensive-, time is gets very limited (none can show it´s true full potential in just 1-2 hours, but you need to make the most out of it)

Hope it helps!

Cheers,

Clara

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Luca
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Content Creator
replied on Jan 08, 2020
BCG |NASA | SDA Bocconi & Cattolica partner | GMAT expert 780/800 score | 200+ students coached

Hello,

First of all is important because it's one of the fundamental skilll that a consultant mast have. You will always work with tight time constraints that force you to prioritize.
Secondly, it's important because you don't want to spend time improving an initial estimation and then to run out of time without giving an answer to the main problem. Time management is one of the skill tested during the interview and they will not give you more time than needed on purpose. You have always to be sure that you will be able to give an 80/20 answer, then you can use the time left to do further analyses or considerations.

Hope it helps,
Luca

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Vlad gave the best answer

Vlad

Content Creator
McKinsey / Accenture Alum / Got all BIG3 offers / Harvard Business School
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