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What can you bring to the company?

Anonymous A

Hi everyone,

I had a phone interview with McKinsey for their mentorship program (pathway to Business Analyst). At the end, the consultant asked me :"If you get selected, what can you bring to the program?". I faltered a bit. He already asked about my experience and skills in the first half of the interview. Hence, I wasn't sure what he wanted to get out of this and my answer was not very satisfactory.
Anyone able to shed some light on this?

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Arthur replied on 03/26/2018

I would suggest to think of the question as going beyond your practical skills and knowlege to what your role tends to be when working in a team. Think of patterns that you might have noticed when working previously with other peopl: are you the one that's very good at outside the box thinking, at quickly assessing viability to bring focus, at benchmarking vs. similar cases, etc.

In terms of helping you prepare for the questions beforehand, on top of thinking about past experiences, you can try looking at your MBTI profile. And if you can link it to a specific experience you have I would say even better (Example: I've been rockclimbing since I was 10, so I've really learned the importance of mapping out your route ahead of time, this is something that I've carried with me in my professional life. I'm usually very good at planning out the steps needed to complete a project and I'm sure this is something that I could contribute to the company).

Francesco replied on 03/26/2018
#1 Expert for coaching sessions (1600+) | Ex BCG | 800+ reviews with 100% recommendation rate

Hi Anonymous,

this question is very similar to “Why should I hire you”. I would structure the answer as follows:

  • Step 1: Be ready for an immediate reply. You cannot show you have to think for this question. If you don’t know immediately why they should hire you / what you can bring, you cannot expect they will consider you positively. This not only means you should prepare in advance, but also that you should break the ice immediately. Something like the following would work “That’s a great question. I think you should hire me/have me in the program for a couple of reasons, related to [MENTION THREE SKILLS]”
  • Step 2: Start presenting the first skill. “A first element I believe I can bring is the ability not only to work in a team, but also to bring a team to reach its goal
  • Step 3: Provide a clear example of the skill. “As you can see from my CV, I have played in competitive football in the last years; more specifically [EXAMPLE SHOWING LEADERSHIP].
  • Step 4: Remark why that could be useful for the company. “I know consultants work constantly in teams and the team performance is what matters to achieve the final result. If you hire me/have me in the program, I believe I can contribute in the team to that, as I showed in my past sport experience”
  • Step 5: Repeat Step 2-4 for other two skills

As examples of good skills, everything related to leadership, drive, impact would work well for McKinsey. At the link below you can find an explanation of the meaning and differences for each of them:

https://www.preplounge.com/en/consulting-forum/mckinsey-pei-difference-drive-and-personal-impact-918#a1780

Best,
Francesco

Andrea
Expert
replied on 03/26/2018
Former BCG decision round interviewer with 300+ real interviews in 8 years

Since, admittedly, entry-level hires can bring only a limited set of hard skills to the table and since those, at this level, are usually considered table-stakes, what I usually look for in the answer to this question is:

  • willingness to learn and continuously improve
  • passion for the job/industry
  • positive attiude and stamina
  • ability to work in group
  • humbleness

Hope this helps,

Andrea

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