Real Life Simulation on Consulting Life

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New answer on May 18, 2021
6 Answers
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Anonymous A asked on May 17, 2021

Dear All,

Recently I interviewed with local consulting firm and my friend interviewed with bain both of us got these 2 questions

1) If you had submited your report to the client, then your junior told you she/he made a mistake in the analysis. What should you do ?

2)If you work on a team and one of the team member acknowledge they need 1 week to finish but the deadline is in 3 days. As a leader, what should you do ?

Can you think all the common questions simillar with that ? Like the real problem/challenge that is common on the consulting business. Thanks so much

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Denis
Expert
replied on May 17, 2021
Ex-Bain 5 yrs | Goldman Sachs Investment Banker NYC | MBA Chicago Booth | Passed > 13 MBB > 20 IB interviews

It seems this type of question surprised you in the interviews - showing an enormous upside potential in terms of fit Q prep.

It is highly advised to think about what you bring to the table in terms of soft, intangible skills, especially regarding WORKING STYLE (with clients, peers, senior consultants) and PEOPLE SKILLS (communication, motivation, negotiation, arguments).

Based on this, the number of Questions could be endless, hence it is important to think about how you want to be perceived in the interview - build out answers before you have the interview.

Potential questions:

  • In the client meeting you realize there is a mistake on the next upcoming slide. MD sitting next to you, what do you do?
  • 1 hour before an important deadline your junior con finally sent you the materials you asked him to do. All riddled with mistaked. No chance you get this done in the 1 hr alone, what do you do?
  • Client / colleague does not deliver requested materials / input, how do you handle this?
  • How do you motivate clients / colleagues?
  • Tell me about a time you had an interpersonal conflict with a colleague or a client. How did you handle it?
  • Tell me about a time you had to solve a content-based conflict. What exactly did you contribute?
  • You get a assigned a junior con, totally new to consulting. There is an important SteerCo coming up in a week. How do you make sure the new junior con is aligned and will deliver?
  • etc.etc. As you can see, they all test the same "image" you want to create in the interviewers' minds regarding WORKING STYLE and PEOPLE SKILLS
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Udayan
Expert
Content Creator
replied on May 17, 2021
Top rated McKinsey Case & PEI coach/Multiple real offers/McKinsey EM in New York /6 years McKinsey recruiting experience

A simple way to look at this is to see where issues crop up and then thinj of questions based on that

Team related

  • Issues with other team members
  • Team bonding
  • Team staffing issues (under staffed, poor perfomers etc)
  • Bad behavior in team (e,g., team not being inclusive)

Client related

  • Client unhappy with answer as it differs from their opinion
  • Client had different expectations to what you delivered
  • Original client left, new client is not happy with what you have worked on

Project related

  • Project is getting delayed due to xyz reasons
  • Scope of project keeps increasing
  • Original project looks very diffferent to what you are currently doing

Hope these help as a guide

Udayan

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Clara
Expert
Content Creator
replied on May 18, 2021
McKinsey | Awarded professor at Master in Management @ IE | MBA at MIT |+180 students coached | Integrated FIT Guide aut

Hello!

Those are clearly stakeholder management situations! If you want to deep dive on the topic, the "Integrated FIT guide for MBB" has been recently published in PrepLounge´s shop (https://www.preplounge.com/en/shop/tests-2/integrated-fit-guide-for-mbb-34)

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Adi
Expert
Content Creator
replied on May 17, 2021
Accenture, Deloitte | Precision Case Prep | Experienced Interviewer & Career Coach | 15 years professional experience

Hey,

The list of such questions can be a mile long :). Instead, you should try and reflect on your own style for the following broad areas and learn to fill the gaps in your approach. These will pretty much cover various scenarios they throw at you.

  1. What do you do when things don't go as planned- probably the most important skill and things go wrong more often than not
  2. How do you build chemistry with people
  3. How do you influence people
  4. Whats your leadership and/or team management style
  5. How do you deal with too much information/data or too little of it
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Ian
Expert
Content Creator
replied on May 17, 2021
MBB | 100% personal interview success rate (8/8) and 95% candidate success rate | Personalized interview prep

Hi there,

I love these questions and am seeing them more and more frequently! I just goes to show how adaptable we need to become to prepare for interviews.

Other such questions I've seen are:

  1. The client/stakeholder comes into your team room upset about some of your findings. How to you talk to him/her?
  2. Your client counterpart has not responded to your emails requesting for critical information that affects your project. The deliverable is now at risk. What do you do?
  3. You and your project lead don't see eye-to-eye on a proposed recommendation. How do you resolve this?
  4. You have a personal committment for which you would like to take time off, but this is during a busy/tight project. What do you do?

The list is endless, but hope this helps! I highly recommend a coaching session to get you more comfortable in answering these questions that throw you off!

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Pedro
Expert
replied on May 18, 2021
Bain | EY-Parthenon | Roland Berger | FIT | Market Sizing | Former Head Recruiter

There is no pre-defined right or wrong answer. As always, what matters is your thinking process.

Here is what you need to do in these situations:

1) Assess the situation. Is this a critical mistake impacting the recommendation or a "must-have" analysis?

2) Be aligned with the firm's core values. Bain values being "true north". If there is a mistake impacting the recomendation, you have to "come clean". (if it does not impact the recommendation, you still have to make sure the client gets the corrected analysis).

3) Bring a solution and not just a problem. For example, you will make sure the whole document is reviewed again for issues. You want this to be a one-off problem. For example, you will evaluate the alternatives of doing a different (and quicker) analysis, or the possibility of doing a preliminary analysis (taking e.g. 2 days) before the full 1 week analysis, or reassign someone from a different (less critical analysis) so they can give a hand at the other task and get it done within the alloted time frame.

4) Demonstrate they can trust you to be alone with the client. Clients will many times try to convince ("junior") consultants to do certain analysis. We expect consultants to direct the clients to negotiate with the managers (and if the analysis is out of scope, they will not decide before taking to partners). In other words, you always have to align your suggested course of action with the appropriate authority in your team. This part is critical. While postponing the steering committee is at times acceptable, doing so without consulting with the partner first would be a huge mistake, as they could feel you were mismanaging the client.

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Denis gave the best answer

Denis

Ex-Bain 5 yrs | Goldman Sachs Investment Banker NYC | MBA Chicago Booth | Passed > 13 MBB > 20 IB interviews
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