Purpose question at Partner Interview

Final Round FIT Partner Interview
New answer on Apr 11, 2022
4 Answers
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Anonymous A asked on Apr 08, 2022

Hi all! I am about to do a partner interview a week from now and currently in confusion with question “what is your purpose working at consultant and what do you want to pursue?”

The interviewer expects me to provide a CONCRETE answer on my final goal after consulting (i.e be a president, minister, CEO, entrepreneur, etc) instead of template ‘safe’ answer (want to grow, learn, develop business acumen). What should I say? Because I really want to work as consultant to develop my professional and personal skills and also a good career progression, so I havent really gotten any idea about THE CONCRETE ANSWER of leader I want to pursue. Thanks!

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Daniel
Expert
replied on Apr 08, 2022
Experienced Consultant - Startup Exec|Ex-McK EM, Booz & Co. Consultant | INSEAD MBA

I think you answered the question already in your question :-). 

It is completely fine to not know what your end-state is. Not everyone has a perfect path drawn out. Moreover, very few end up pursuing a career in MBB not because they do not qualify but because they choose to follow other passions that arise or prioritize differently. 

Partners know that most will enter MBB to only leave a few years after joining and IT IS OK. You can be perfectly honest and share, as you mention, that you are looking to:

  1. Craft your business acumen
  2. Develop leadership skills
  3. Learn from talented individuals 
  4. Find your passion (here you can share what preliminarily motivates you in an effort to provide a differentiated response)

This is not an exhaustive list but hopefully this helps. Happy to chat and run through some fit questions. 

Best,

Daniel. 

 

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Udayan
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Content Creator
replied on Apr 11, 2022
Top rated McKinsey Case & PEI coach/Multiple real offers/McKinsey EM in New York /6 years McKinsey recruiting experience

There are a few reasons they might want a concrete answer to the question. The main one that I can think of is that consulting is an extremely demanding career, and if you do not have a strong ‘why’ motivating you at all times, you are likely to become disillusioned very quickly with the job.

Take some time to think about what in consulting appeals to you. It does not have to be something amazing just something that is honest to you. For example you could see yourself as a leader in the non profit world and you see consulting as a way to build your hard skills that will serve you will in the non profit world. At the end of the day there are many paths you can follow post consulting, what you need to do is to think about what appeals to you in the long run and HOW consulting can help you get there.

All the best,

Udayan

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Moritz
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replied on Apr 09, 2022
Unearth your spike & get the offer |ex-McKinsey | 120+ coachings & interviews @ McKinsey | ESADE MBA | Transition Expert

Hi there,

An interesting question indeed if the Partner is insisting on a concrete answer as opposed to the typical buzzword bingo, which is very unusual.

Is there anything or anyone you aspire to be? In my case, it was always going to be an entrepreneur educator. That can still mean a lot of things and I’m able to break it down based on my talents, interests, and business acumen.

In your case, you might also want to craft a term that sounds concrete, fits your personality, and still leaves plenty of wiggle room. Just don’t be too presumptuous e.g. POTUS #47 or try to be too original just for the sake of it… 

Hope this helps a bit! Best of luck!

 

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Ian
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Content Creator
replied on Apr 09, 2022
MBB | 100% personal interview success rate (8/8) and 95% candidate success rate | Personalized interview prep

Hi there,

Daniel is exactly right! You need to say "Genuinely, there are so many pathways that interest me. I could do x, y, or z. Ultimately I'm confident consulting will not only build the skills I need to pursue those pathways but also expose me to a wide range of areas so that I can start to see exactly what end goal works best for me).

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Daniel gave the best answer

Daniel

Experienced Consultant - Startup Exec|Ex-McK EM, Booz & Co. Consultant | INSEAD MBA
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