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Robert

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7

TL;DR My interviewer asked me to show more enthusiasm about joining their firm

Hi,

I recently had my second interview with a big4 consulting firm and towards the end, my interviewer mentioned that I should show more enthusiasm towards joining their firm ------ based on my answer to his question on "why our firm?"
Now I am not sure if this means "content" or "delivery" of the response.
Q1) How should I go about this and improve myself for the next rounds?
Q2) Also, would it be appropriate to reach out to the interviewer and clarify this?

Hi,

I recently had my second interview with a big4 consulting firm and towards the end, my interviewer mentioned that I should show more enthusiasm towards joining their firm ------ based on my answer to his question on "why our firm?"
Now I am not sure if this means "content" or "delivery" of the response.
Q1) How should I go about this and improve myself for the next rounds?
Q2) Also, would it be appropriate to reach out to the interviewer and clarify this?

7 answers

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Best Answer
Book a coaching with Robert

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Hi Anonymous,

The biggest and most common mistake I see candidates making when trying to answer such kind of question is that they talk a lot of BS and I only hear bla bla bla as an interviewer.

One aspect might indeed be the pure "delivery" - i.e. how exaclty you communicate your answer (including voice level and intonation, body language, ...).

However, based on more than 10 years experience this is mostly only the symptom and not the underlying root cause. The real issue behind is that candidates are not able to draw a clear connection between them and the firm, and thus only talk about generic things that any candidate can say (like it's a great brand and intellectually challenging environment with top-notch C-level clients).

The trick here is to establish a clear connection to yourself, how exactly you fit in into this picture (e.g. what's your proof to be able and enjoy working in such an intellectually challenging environment, etc.)?

So far to your first question.

Q2: Sure, why not?

Hope that helps - if so, please be so kind to give it a thumbs-up with the green upvote button below!

Robert

Hi Anonymous,

The biggest and most common mistake I see candidates making when trying to answer such kind of question is that they talk a lot of BS and I only hear bla bla bla as an interviewer.

One aspect might indeed be the pure "delivery" - i.e. how exaclty you communicate your answer (including voice level and intonation, body language, ...).

However, based on more than 10 years experience this is mostly only the symptom and not the underlying root cause. The real issue behind is that candidates are not able to draw a clear connection between them and the firm, and thus only talk about generic things that any candidate can say (like it's a great brand and intellectually challenging environment with top-notch C-level clients).

The trick here is to establish a clear connection to yourself, how exactly you fit in into this picture (e.g. what's your proof to be able and enjoy working in such an intellectually challenging environment, etc.)?

So far to your first question.

Q2: Sure, why not?

Hope that helps - if so, please be so kind to give it a thumbs-up with the green upvote button below!

Robert

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Hi,

Re delivery - you should always be enthusiastic while talking to the interviewer. Try to be cheerful and demonstrate a lot of energy

Re content - you should be very specific. Here are some other ideas that you can use to structure your thoughts:

  • You can start with general facts about the local office. Something like “Sidney office is the fastest growing McKinsey office worldwide.”
  • If you have an interest in a particular industry or client this may also be a great reason. For example, BCG can be the only consulting firm working with airlines in your region.
  • You may address the different Global opportunities and office initiatives. E.g. international staffing can be a good opportunity to learn about business in a particular country
  • Try to combine professional and Non-business rational. If you have friends working in that company, don’t forget to mention them and what you’ve learned from their experience.
  • You may use your other personal experiences like working with this BCG, it's deliverables or as it's client
  • You can provide your personal experience of working with McKinsey Alums
  • McKinsey women / LGBT / etc. initiatives

Good luck!

Hi,

Re delivery - you should always be enthusiastic while talking to the interviewer. Try to be cheerful and demonstrate a lot of energy

Re content - you should be very specific. Here are some other ideas that you can use to structure your thoughts:

  • You can start with general facts about the local office. Something like “Sidney office is the fastest growing McKinsey office worldwide.”
  • If you have an interest in a particular industry or client this may also be a great reason. For example, BCG can be the only consulting firm working with airlines in your region.
  • You may address the different Global opportunities and office initiatives. E.g. international staffing can be a good opportunity to learn about business in a particular country
  • Try to combine professional and Non-business rational. If you have friends working in that company, don’t forget to mention them and what you’ve learned from their experience.
  • You may use your other personal experiences like working with this BCG, it's deliverables or as it's client
  • You can provide your personal experience of working with McKinsey Alums
  • McKinsey women / LGBT / etc. initiatives

Good luck!

Dear A,

Actually it needs to be both, but it has to be said sincerely.

Regarding the content, Vlad has already provided big variety of different options of what to add, but I would rather listen you and provide you structured feedback.

Feel free to reach out.

Best,
André

Dear A,

Actually it needs to be both, but it has to be said sincerely.

Regarding the content, Vlad has already provided big variety of different options of what to add, but I would rather listen you and provide you structured feedback.

Feel free to reach out.

Best,
André

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Back in the days, I received exactly the same feedback: I had applied to Volkswagen's internal consulting firm. They dinged me for two reasons:

  • I hadn't fully prepared for the cases. Coming from STEM major, I didn't had the exposure and didn't put in the effort needed to succeed.
  • They didn't "see the spark" in my eyes when talking about cars...

A best practice for case interviews - and this question in particular - is to do your homework and research about the USPs of the company you're interviewing with. What do alumns/current employees say excited them most about the gig. What are their marketing messages towards candidates. Talk to as many people as possible and formulate 3 bullets to answer to this question. Don't quote their website, but reflect on what resonates with you and package it in a strong answer to succeed.

Back in the days, I received exactly the same feedback: I had applied to Volkswagen's internal consulting firm. They dinged me for two reasons:

  • I hadn't fully prepared for the cases. Coming from STEM major, I didn't had the exposure and didn't put in the effort needed to succeed.
  • They didn't "see the spark" in my eyes when talking about cars...

A best practice for case interviews - and this question in particular - is to do your homework and research about the USPs of the company you're interviewing with. What do alumns/current employees say excited them most about the gig. What are their marketing messages towards candidates. Talk to as many people as possible and formulate 3 bullets to answer to this question. Don't quote their website, but reflect on what resonates with you and package it in a strong answer to succeed.

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Hi, it is a crucial point to pass the interview.
1. I recommend work on it by repeatedly answer out loud this type of fit questions to look very convinced, enthusiast, and engaging

2. Yes. Thanks, him for the feedback and guarantee to show in the next round all the enthusiasm you have in joining the firm

Best,
Antonello

Hi, it is a crucial point to pass the interview.
1. I recommend work on it by repeatedly answer out loud this type of fit questions to look very convinced, enthusiast, and engaging

2. Yes. Thanks, him for the feedback and guarantee to show in the next round all the enthusiasm you have in joining the firm

Best,
Antonello

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It could potentially be both content and delivery.

On content, check whether you answer is specific enough to the firm, or is it very generic that can be applicable across different firms. Try to make it more firm specific.

On delivery, pay attention to your body language and tones. You can do a video recording of yourself and then play back to review whether you are delivering the message with enough energy. And improve from there.

Cheers,

Emily

It could potentially be both content and delivery.

On content, check whether you answer is specific enough to the firm, or is it very generic that can be applicable across different firms. Try to make it more firm specific.

On delivery, pay attention to your body language and tones. You can do a video recording of yourself and then play back to review whether you are delivering the message with enough energy. And improve from there.

Cheers,

Emily

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It is most likely both content and delivery

Q1)

1) Self-reflect a bit. Do you truly want it? If not, well, what are you doing? Look in the mirror, think deeply about what you want and why. This should lead to inspiration.

2) Practice. So, ask people to tell you genuinely how you're doing. Record yourself and listen to it back.

3) Lose the notes. I see a lot of people write a mini-essay, or read of notes. Don't do this! It comes of disingenuous. Know the main points you want to raise and then answer. No 2 practice runs should sound the same...it needs to be you!

4) Get a coach. I specialize in mindset shifts and have helped countless candidates take their fit answers from 0 to 100.

Q2) Probably not. Not sure what more there is to clarify here...do Steps 1-4 in Q1 instead!

It is most likely both content and delivery

Q1)

1) Self-reflect a bit. Do you truly want it? If not, well, what are you doing? Look in the mirror, think deeply about what you want and why. This should lead to inspiration.

2) Practice. So, ask people to tell you genuinely how you're doing. Record yourself and listen to it back.

3) Lose the notes. I see a lot of people write a mini-essay, or read of notes. Don't do this! It comes of disingenuous. Know the main points you want to raise and then answer. No 2 practice runs should sound the same...it needs to be you!

4) Get a coach. I specialize in mindset shifts and have helped countless candidates take their fit answers from 0 to 100.

Q2) Probably not. Not sure what more there is to clarify here...do Steps 1-4 in Q1 instead!