What happens if two interviewers don't reach consensus? / Should I let HR know?

Bad cop Interviewer MBB performance
New answer on Jul 29, 2020
3 Answers
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Anonymous A asked on Sep 03, 2019

So, I finished my two first round interviews with a well-known consulting firm.

First interview went well in my opinion (not perfect, but I would say very good).

Second interview went really, really bad.

Firstly, it was conducted over mobile phone and the sound was not very clear (the interviewer's accent was also not very benefitable for me), so that I did not acoustically understand some parts of the case prompt. I stopped him in the middle of the case and asked to repeat because I could not hear him clearly, but there were no more things I could do. Also kindly asked him a few times to repeat what he said because the sound was not very clear, so that he might take this into account as well (as I mentioned the sound problem explicitly).

Secondly, the flow of the case was very irritating, actual question and objective were not clear (even after asking I did not get clear answers and during the case I got even more irritated regarding the actual client's question and objective). Interviewer didn't even ask me for a formal recommendation (although we had over 5 minutes left), just directly if I have any questions for him.

My questions:

- What happens if two interviewers don't agree regarding passing/not passing the interviewee to the 2nd round? Does somebody strictly need two Yes to proceed, or is it likely that a 3rd interview is conducted?

- Should I let the HR know about what happened in the 2nd interview? At least I could mention the sub-optimal sound quality (because this was the factor which made it the most difficult for me to perform) and just ask them to take this into consideration/pass it on to the interviewer. If so, should I do it now or wait for a decision? If I get a rejection, they might think I lied and just try to gain a second chance. If I do it now, it might have influence on their decision...

(edited)

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Anonymous replied on Jul 29, 2020

Dear A,

The truth is that you probably will get a rejection, because you need two interviewers to say "Yes" for you to pass to the next round. And if you second interview was really-really bad as you've described it, then you need to accept the rejection and try again being better prepared next time, or basically continue interview with other firms and get other offers fro their. There are many other opportunities.

Regarding writing to HR, I would not really recommend you to do this, because it might bring you into very negative light for future.

That's basically it.

Wish you good luck,

and if you need any support in order to get offers from other firms, feel free to drop me a line,

Best,

André

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Vlad
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Content Creator
replied on Sep 03, 2019
McKinsey / Accenture Alum / Got all BIG3 offers / Harvard Business School

Hi,

1) It really depends on the company. Based on what you are describing it looks like it's either BCG or Bain. In general, if one interviewer is Strongly against you - you'll not pass

2) You should let the interviewer know. Your interviewers are also assessed. They are trained to lead the interview. What you are describing is definitely not the best interview condition and you should let the HR know. However, HR is not making any decision in Big3 and if it is the reject, the chances of reversing it are pretty low

Best

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Anonymous A on Sep 03, 2019

Thanks for your answer, Vlad. So, the second interviewer was actually a Principal. Are people in such high positions assessed as well?

(edited)

Anonymous replied on Sep 04, 2019

1. It depends. In most situations you will need two pass. However, if one interviewer is a "DEFINITELY YES!", and the other is a "maybe no", you may still pass. A 3rd case does not happen very often.

2. It could be intentional. Some of the things you mentioned in your description (e.g. not asking you for a formal recommendation) do happen sometimes. You could let the HR know, but it may not make a big difference.

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