Discovery.... as part of your application or interviews?
Not sure if widely applicable, but here's my personal experience. I'll try to extend it after.
Setting: lunch w/ CFO of multi-$billion company during my 2nd round interview; non-consulting
What happened: I ordered the dish of the day, without realizing is was quite pricey (or what I felt was pricey - should have remember the guy was paid millions). Upon realizing this, I figured my application was shot anyway so started asking hard-hitting questions about the financials (I had read the latest 10Q the night before) and questioning various elements of the strategy.
Outcome: CFO loved the interaction since it showed I had done my homework and wasn't afraid of asking the tough questions, came back to the office and told HR he wanted me. Of course it would have been nice if I had realized that (I had clear leverage but didn't know it, silly me). Still, I ended up joining that company and spend 6 years there until I eventually joined BCG
How can you apply this to your own experience?:
- First obviously, be prepared to talk about the big issues a CEO or CSO would be faced with. Me reading a 10Q before meeting with a CFO wasn't random even if good practice for anyone
- Second, understand these guys have been removed from the front line for a while, and may also be surrounded by yes people. A cocky young graduate asking the tough questions might be a bit of fresh air
- Third, try to be a little less naive than I was. ha!