Strategy&

Interview
New answer on Apr 05, 2020
9 Answers
2.2 k Views
Anonymous A asked on Mar 30, 2020

Hi community,

anyone willing to provide any insights in the interview process for Strategy& (Middle East)?

I heard they really like market sizing questions (could anyone confirm that?)

thank you

Overview of answers

Upvotes
  • Upvotes
  • Date ascending
  • Date descending
Best answer
Raj
Expert
Content Creator
updated an answer on Mar 30, 2020
Strategy&| ex-interviewer | 170+ coached over career |95% success @ MBB, S&, RB, LEK, OW, Big4 [SUCCESS STORIES BELOW]

Hi, I worked with S& for 3 years in London, including 6mo with the ME office (Dubai / Riyadh / Beirut) on several engagements, so I can offer you a few insights.

The important thing to understand is the culture of S& ME has always been quite differentiated as the earliest consulting firm to enter the market, they cultivate a distinct reputation as top-tier strategists from the Booz era. Like Clara pointed it, this culture has persisted even after the PwC acquisition, as a small-ish office in the network (one can say it's been distilled even further now). I can say time with the team in KSA highlighted this in how we worked, the team makeup (clear preference for quant majors e.g. engineering from AUB), and ruthless consistency in focussing on the details.

Why does this matter to you if interviewing?

Its high likely market sizing questions will come up, but the reason why is they want to test you can think like a strategist (note not a consultant, the point here is you don't need to know the content but can approach any problem through clarity of thought)

What would make you look like a start candidate to them would be:

  • Clear ability to apply first-principles thinking
  • Logical approaches to abstract concepts or questions
  • Strong quantitative skills incl. mental maths

If I was in your shoes, my suggestion would be to spend time doing not just market sizing, but abstract estimation questions along with mental math.

Taking the above into account, really think through fit and how to demonstrate it. It is a particular brand of strategy consulting.

Let me know if you have any other questions.

R

(edited)

Was this answer helpful?
Anonymous replied on Apr 05, 2020

Strategy& Middle East has a distinct culture and prestige within the network. I don't work for the Middle East office, but had a couple experiences working with Middle East Partner and Team members. My impression working with them are:

1. They are using a very data driven approach to the next level (even more than my previous firms)

2. They expect you to be very effiecient and can solve any problem thrown at you (So "I don't have experience in similar project" excuse will never work for them). You are expected to be able to structure whatever random problem you faced

3. Attention to detail is very important, your thinking must be clear and your slides must perfectly reflect that thinking

As such, market sizing questions might pop up as a part of a bigger case questions to test those traits.

Was this answer helpful?
2
Anonymous B on Apr 05, 2020

Hi Iman, can you elaborate on point 3? I want to understand what you mean by attention to detail & reflecting this on decks. (I am not applying for S& ME - just want to get better advice before I start my consulting job)

Anonymous on Apr 05, 2020

So there are a couple of checklist that you wanted to tick when writing a deck in strategy consulting: 1) you wanted to make sure the Title of the slides from start to finish great story that culminating in the recommendation, 2) In each individual slide the content should support the insights in the title e.g. 70% of customer are switching to competitor - your slide should accurately describe that fact no more and no less, 3) Make sure your data presentation is accurate, proper sourcing, clean graphic, good language grammar, properly using the firm's colour scheme

(edited)

Anonymous B on Apr 05, 2020

Thanks Iman - that's really clear. Do you have any suggestions as to how I can learn that or is that typically learned as we do the job?

Anonymous on Apr 05, 2020

Don't worry, you will learn that on the job. Over time with effort and commitment you will be good at it

(edited)

Anonymous B updated the answer on Mar 30, 2020

Hi, cant say about Middle East office but I interviewed & received offer from S& recently.

Interview process is pretty standard, all my interviews are 1-1.5hr long, combination b/n fit & case interviews. My thoughts:

  • Large emphasis to fit - I dont know whether this is just the office I am applying to (it's quite small at ~30 people) but out of all interviews I had (MBB, other T2 firms) I think S& is the most thorough in terms of fit. They really make sure that:
    • You are excited to start in consulting (so expect why consulting and a LOT of questions why you didnt choose start-ups or whatever your background is),
    • Know what you did in your previous job/internship (in my case they really ask questions like what did you do in this role, and what does this point in your CV mean)
    • Have sufficient team/leadership/soft skills (pretty standard McK's PEI)
  • Standard interviewee-led cases: My cases were two investment cases, one cost reduction case (this was just a long brainstorming exercise - no numbers involved), and one unusual market entry case (with a market sizing wedged in it). I cant comment for Middle East offices but from my experience I dont see that they particularly are fond of market sizing questions (unlike some other firm I know). Again, no harm in preparing for market sizing qs, it typically follows the same finite patterns over and over. Once you get the hang of it, its really not hard at all.

I think that if you are ready with case interviews (think MBB-level cases), just brush up on your fit questions and I'm sure you should be fine.

Best of luck!

(edited)

Was this answer helpful?
2
Francesco
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Mar 31, 2020
#1 Coach for Sessions (4.000+) | 1.500+ 5-Star Reviews | Proven Success (➡ InterviewOffers.com) | Ex BCG | 9Y+ Coaching

Hi there,

I helped several people for Strategy& Dubai, the process is quite traditional and involves:

  • Fit (why Strategy&, why consulting, why Dubai)
  • Cases (market sizing is present around 30% of the time)
  • Your own questions

I have 15+ real questions asked at Strategy& Dubai, please feel free to PM for more info.

Best,

Francesco

Was this answer helpful?
Antonello
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Mar 30, 2020
McKinsey | MBA professor for consulting interviews

Hi,
the interview will be structured in 3 parts:
- Personal Experience Interview: fit and CV questions to assess your personal impact, leadership skills, and entrepreneurial spirit
- Case Interview: typical business case to evaluate your structure in approaching problems, problem-solving skills, and business sense. Market sizings are largely used, especially in the 1st round
- Your final questions to the interviewers

Hope it helps,
Antonello

Was this answer helpful?
Luca
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Mar 30, 2020
BCG |NASA | SDA Bocconi & Cattolica partner | GMAT expert 780/800 score | 200+ students coached

Hello,

I have done myself the interview for the italian office of Strategy&. The first step was a screening test composed by 3 parts: Quantitative and logical test, Written case with multiple choices and an essay.
After that, you start with the case interviews thar have a standard structure: Fit part, case resolution (mainly interviewer-led, but it can vary) and Q&A session. Market sizing are really common as in all real interview processes.

Feel free to text me for futher information,
Luca

Was this answer helpful?
Daniel
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Mar 31, 2020
McKinsey / ex-Interviewer at McKinsey / I will coach you to rock those interviews

Hi! the structure of an interview is similar to MBB, which means:

  • Fit
  • Business case

Best,

Daniel

Was this answer helpful?
Anonymous replied on Mar 30, 2020

Hey A,

I helped 2 mentees of mine to get offers at Strategy & Dubai in February/March. They will both start in Fall 2020.

I can confirm about the market sizing cases.

If you want to know further specifics, drop me a line.

Good luck!

André

Was this answer helpful?
0
Muhammad Safir on Feb 14, 2022

Hi Andre, could I please know what cases your mentees received during their interviewing rounds? I couldn't DM you as your post was 'anonymous'. Thank you, Muhammad Safir

Clara
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Mar 30, 2020
McKinsey | Awarded professor at Master in Management @ IE | MBA at MIT |+180 students coached | Integrated FIT Guide aut

Hello!

Agreeing with the last post, the prep you need for it is the same one you would seek for when preparing for MBB globally.

Business case will be conventional, 1st round classical MBA case (e.g., profitability, PE, market sizing, M&A, etc.) Nothing special.

Pay particular attention to the FIT part, since Strategy & has a strong character and brand (altough bought by PwC, they have never been integrated with them). Same applies to ME, it´s a particular market with a strong "personality" in terms of projects done, bigger presence of high-impact public policy engagements, etc.

Hope it helps!

Good luck,

Clara

Was this answer helpful?
Raj gave the best answer

Raj

Content Creator
Strategy&| ex-interviewer | 170+ coached over career |95% success @ MBB, S&, RB, LEK, OW, Big4 [SUCCESS STORIES BELOW]
68
Meetings
1,001
Q&A Upvotes
10
Awards
5.0
35 Reviews