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Tips for networking events with MBB?

Kay asked on Oct 02, 2018
Preparing for McKinsey interviews.

I will be meeting all three MBB firms over two days next week and want to make sure I leave a strong impression, as getting the first interview is the stage I am most worried about.

Experts especially - how do candidates stand out to you at networking events, where all candidates are at the same target university and you meet dozens of students in one go? Have you had very memorable candidates that you remembered after the event? Did you act on these impressions i.e. passed on a word to HR to get their CV through to interviews etc.?

What should I be prepared for?

Any tips appreciated - did not anticipate feeling this nervous about campus visits!

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Benjamin replied on Oct 03, 2018
ex-Manager - Natural and challenging teacher - Taylor case solving, no framework
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Hi,
As said by Vlad, there are several format of event possible. In any case I recommand you to behave as a contributor and not a spectator. You are here to learn about the firm and give them the will to call you for an interview. So you'll find below a listf of the tips I used back in time :

- Behaviour : somehow candidate are always considered on how they would do in client facing situtation. Be open, willing to discuss. If you are at a networking event, its to meet people, so don't hesitate to engage conversation with anybody from the firm by simply introducing yourslef or asking question to the person based on his own intro.

- Ideas : don't hesitate to share your ideas, participate in a case resolution, and stay as structured as possible in your arguments. In case you are involved in a group discussion, leverage as much as possible elements brought by others to show your ability to work / act in

Hope this will help

Best

Benjamin

Alessandro
Expert
replied on Oct 02, 2018
Bain & Company | University of Cambridge | CV/Resume writing | 770 GMAT
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The candidates I remember are always the ones I could have good conversations with - not the ones with impressive experiences or who tried to "put on a show". You have the opportunity to leave feedback on any recruits after, and have done so on 1 or 2 occassions - but this doesn't guarantee an interview unless it comes from a Principal/Partner

Some tips:

1) Try find someone you might have something in common with - might be difficult as you may not get bios in advance but a shared interest, passion, or background can be a bighelp in establishing a strong relationship

2) Don't focus on your grades, work experience or leadership during conversation - unless asked

3) If possible, try speak to more senior people - a referral from a partner counts much more than one from an associate

4) ask questions about them and their experiences in consulting / at their firm, not about the firm itself- people would much rather talk about themselves than details about their employer -- for example, you could ask about their experience if they ever did a transfer or long haul project, but don't ask about industries where the firm is growing the fastest.

Finally, a big part of these events if for you to actually learn more about the firms! Try get a real feel for the different firms and the people, and which ones you like best. This will serve two purposes: firstly, it will give you something good to say during the interviews to the "why McK/BCG/Bain?" question. Secondly, if you end up being in the fortunate position of receiving multiple offers, it will help you make a decision based on where is the best fit for you!

Good luck and don't stress!

Vlad replied on Oct 02, 2018
McKinsey / Accenture / Got all BIG3 offers / More than 300 real MBB cases / Harvard Business School
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Hi,

It depends on the structure of an event:

  1. Option A: Consultants will show you how to solve a case. Here you don't need to do anything special - just try to have a couple of nice conversations after the case. Don't expect to get any benefits from that and don't do anything special
  2. Option B: You'll be split into teams with a dedicated consultant observing you solving the case together. Here your main objective is to demonstrate how good you are at solving the cases. That's the only and the best way to impress. Also be careful, since it does not mean you should not listen to others and try being an absolute leader. Be the guy with the smart ideas. I know many candidates who got invited to McKinsey PST or Bain interviews without a test after these events.

You'll also get a chance to:

  • Look how MBB approaches solving a case
  • Talk to MBB people and get some information for you FIT interview (why The Company reasons, topics for your questions to the interviewer, etc)
  • Meet with other candidates with whom you can practice the cases further

PS. After each event, there is a Q&A session where you can talk to consultants 1 on 1 or in a group. If you want to keep in touch - send a thank you note after the event:

  • "I just wanted to thank you for visiting our University...
  • It was especially interesting to hear about...
  • Would be happy to keep in touch and apply in the nearest future.

Alternatively, you may use LinkedIn for that.

Best!

Guennael replied on Oct 02, 2018
Ex-MBB, Experienced Hire; I will teach you not only the how, but also the why of case interviews
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3 things come to mind:

1. Come early / leave late -> these are the quiet times, when it is easiest to get quality 1on1 time

2. Ask good, open questions & listen intently -> a good question is one that will make me think and/or that will get me excited. So yes, you have to figure out what I'm passionate about. Good conversationalists are the ones asking questions and letting their interlocutors talk all the time

3. Have a compelling story -> I will never forget that candidate who ended up in a pond counting toads because one of this friends knew he was pursuing a PhD of some kind and asked for help on a statistics-heavy question

Wow that #3 sounds like a genuinely memorable story indeed! — Anonymous on Oct 02, 2018

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