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What distinguishes A.T. Kearney ? Why A.T. Kearney? (fit interview)

Anonymous A asked on Oct 23, 2018 - 6 answers

Hello everyone,

I have an interview coming up with ATK and I am a bit unsure how to answer the question of why A.T. Kearney (Dubai), I know why I want to work in Dubai but I am not very sure how to answer the first question without making my answer something that would fit every firm. The true reason why I want ATK is because my final rounds for MBB didn't end up too well but I don't think that's what they want to hear.

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replied on Oct 23, 2018
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Hi Anonymous,

to properly prepare "Why ATK", it is crucial to understand why consulting companies this type of questions.

Of course, every consulting company knows that the majority of the candidates are doing multiple application in consulting, and probably prefer an MBB company. Thus why such question?

The key reason is that they want to see if you are able to do due diligence in advance on your target/prospect. If you are going to an interview and have not studied the company you are going to interview with, chances are you are going to do the exact same thing with the client. And a consulting company definitely doesn’t want this to happen.

Thus the question translates in how you can show you have done due diligence on the company. A general structure to identify elements that distinguish a company is the following:

  • Company potential: how much the company grew in the last year, which is a good guarantee for your future career as well
  • Sectors of interest: specific focus of the company in areas interesting for you
  • People you met and culture: specific people of the company you discussed with, and the things they shared on the company
  • Your growth opportunities: specific programs of the company you heard about to enhance your growth
  • Size/reputation of the firm: smaller companies usually offer a more entrepreneurial culture, with higher growth potential internally. Bigger companies have more resources and support staff, and more prestige in terms of exit.

Whatever topic you choose, you can apply a simple rule of thumb: if you can substitute the name ATK with another one, and have the answer still making sense, it means your answer is not specific enough. To be specific, you should talk about growth rates/specific people you talked to/specific research paper you read on the company.

This means you will have to spend some time preparing this question. But it also means you will have higher chances to stand out - very few candidates invest time in such due diligence.

Hope this helps,


Benjamin replied on Oct 23, 2018
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Indeed its not the best idea to remind them they are not MBB.
So basically, you can use similar arguments pretending they are as attractive as MBB from your stand point (without making a direct comparison). On top of this below are a few specific arguments :

- Vision 2020 : ambitious target of growth to double size (compared to 2015)

- Co-creation workstyle : involving client in recomandation definition, so you ensure a full buy in

- atmosphere of work : challenging yet nice environment to work with good atmosphere over the different offices



replied on Oct 23, 2018
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You are right, this is probably not what they want to hear (even if everyone pretty much knows it). Ha!

At least in the US, ATK is a Tier 2 with strong background in IT work (google their history); I suppose you can always explain that you want a company that's human sized but with a very strong international brand.

Has the Dubai office been growing nicely? Probably so, since it is Dubai - if so, that's also a ready-made argument that won't look too canned.

replied on Oct 24, 2018
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Why "Company" question can include the following arguments:

  • The general marketing story the company is trying to sell (e.g. Bain is a small "Family" company)
  • Brand / positioning / market share in the region
  • More clients / projects / expertise in the industry you are interested in
  • More well-known stories of success in your city
  • Your friends working there
  • Your interactions with the other consultants before the interview
  • Your prior experience of working with the Firm on a client side
  • Office traditions
  • Work experience with firm alumni
  • etc


replied on Oct 23, 2018
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A build on top of what other experts have said - a way to get some solid reasons which will also seem genuine is to try reaching out to some current ATK employees on Linkedin and asking them for a brief phone call / chat. Based on this conversation, you can say "I spoke to X from your Dubai office who told me of A B C which really excited me about the firm".

Anonymous B replied on Oct 23, 2018

Are you an Arabic speaker? or at least are you living/studying in the Emirates?