What is expected from a new hire? How should I prepare?

Business consultant new hire PwC
New answer on Jun 13, 2020
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Anonymous A asked on Jun 12, 2020

I will be starting as an entry level business consultant at Pwc in September. I am an Economics graduate with media background so I am not sure if I am equipped with the right tools. I am now working on my Excel and Powerpoint skills but not sure if it will be enough. What do you think I should work on to meet expectations, especially in terms of business and finance expertise? Thanks!

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Content Creator
updated an answer on Jun 13, 2020
#1 Coach for Sessions (4.000+) | 1.500+ 5-Star Reviews | Proven Success (➡ InterviewOffers.com) | Ex BCG | 9Y+ Coaching

Hi there,

congratulations on your offer. If you want to prepare in advance before you start, I recommend to work on technical and communication skills and a proper mindset.

  • On the technical side, Excel will be the most important technical thing to master at the beginning, in particular for VLOOKUPs and Pivot tables; you could also review PowerPoint if needed. You will likely receive training on this at the beginning anyway.
    • Tip for Excel: learn how to use as much as possible the keyword and relegate the touchpad to the minimum – this will skyrocket your productivity in the long term. Some computer programs such as KeyRocket provide tips to improve on this.
  • For better communication, two great books are:
    • How to Win Friends and Influence People - Dale Carnegie
    • Never Split The Difference - Chris Voss
  • For mindset, two great books are:
    • The Compound Effect – Darren Hardy
    • The Magic of Thinking Big - David J. Schwartz

Below you can also find a list of things that could be useful to practice during your first weeks:

  1. Take notes when your manager tells you something – this will help you to remember details and will show you care about them to the team.
  2. Always double-check. The first impression is very important in consulting: if you show you are reliable from the beginning, you create a reputation of a reliable person. Double checks should be done on expectations for your job, your Excel analysis, your slides – basically everything.
  3. Define priorities before starting any set of tasks. The majority of the results usually come from a subset of activities – this is true also for your tasks in consulting. You have to identify which they are and prioritize them – the application of the so-called 80-20 rule or Pareto Principle. Alignment on priorities and expectations is particularly important with your manager at the beginning of the project.
  4. Socialize with your colleagues and start to build a network. Consulting is a people business and you should build a good network both within and outside the company. A good start is key to develop good relationships long-term
  5. Organize your private life activities. You want to organize your calendar to leave some space for personal activities (sport/ friends/ family). This is not easy but can be managed if you organize well, and long-term will be critical to keep a balance between work and private life. Also, it is better to align with your manager/teammates from the beginning on your core needs, so that there are no surprises later on.
  6. Ask for feedback every two-three weeks – this will show you are proactive and willing to learn.
  7. Ask for help when you don't know what to do – better to let know you are in trouble with meeting a deadline then missing the deadline.
  8. Be social and respectful with the support staff – these people are great and influential as well in the company.

Hope this helps,



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Content Creator
replied on Jun 12, 2020
MBB | 100% personal interview success rate (8/8) and 95% candidate success rate | Personalized interview prep

Hi there,

Congratulations! And, timely question as it was asked not too long ago!

Thread here: https://www.preplounge.com/en/consulting-forum/how-to-be-prepared-to-start-new-role-in-one-month-6947


MOST IMPORTANTLY: Know that no-one can perfectly prepare for the job and that's the point: You will mess up, you will learn, you will be trained and supported. That's OK!


First: Read the 25 tips in my consulting handbook here: https://www.spencertom.com/2018/01/14/consulting-survival-guide/


Second: In terms of things you can learn/do to prepare beforehand:

1) Daily Reading

  • The Economist, The Financial Times, BCG/Mskinsey Insights

2) Industry deep-dives

  • Learn, in-depth, how the industries/companies your office advises, work. (PM me for an industry overview template)

3) Analytics tools

  • Alteryx, Tableau, etc.

4) Excel

5) Powerpoint

  • Best practices/standards
  • Different layouts
  • Quickly editing/updating slides
  • Thinking in PowerPoint

6) Presentation skills / sharp communication

  • There are some online/virtual classes for this


Third: In terms of doing well in your role when you're there:

1) Understand the context/prompt (what role are you in, what company, who's watching, etc.)

2) Understand the objective (what, specifically, is expected from you...both day to day, and in your overall career progression)

3) Quickly process information, and focus on what's important - Take a lot of information and the unknown, find the most logical path, and focus on that.

4) Be comfortable with the unknown, and learn to brainstorm - think/speak like an expert without being one

In summary, there will always be a flood of information, expectations, competition etc. and not enough time. Find out which ones matter when. (i.e. be visibile and focus efforts on the things that people care about)


Fourth: Here are some great prior Q&As for you!





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Content Creator
replied on Jun 12, 2020
McKinsey | Awarded professor at Master in Management @ IE | MBA at MIT |+180 students coached | Integrated FIT Guide aut


Congrats of that offer!

If there is one thing I wish I had done before joining McKinsey, that would have been Excel. It can really be a game changer, so I would really focus on that (more than pptx, industry knowledge, etc., that are nice-to-have, but not deal breakers).

Excel skills are part of the core skill-set of consultants, and it´s great that you want to practice them. PFB a list of the most popular commands:

  • Basic operations: SUM, SUMPRODUCT
  • Text transformations: CONCATENATE, LEFT, RIGHT, & operator,
  • Connecting different datasets: VLOOKUP, HLOOKUP, INDEX(MATCH(),MATCH())
  • Conditional-based operations: SUMIF, COUNTIF, SUMIFS, COUNTIFS, COUNTA
  • Learn how to analyze data using Pivot Tables

There are plenty of online materials:

Hope it helps!



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Content Creator
updated an answer on Jun 13, 2020
McKinsey | MBA professor for consulting interviews

first of all congrats for the offer!
in addition to the advices of other coaches I recommend the reading of "say it with charts" to improve the communication and synthesis in ppt presentations



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Anonymous replied on Jun 13, 2020

Dear A,

First of all, my congratulations to your MBB offer, I wish you best of luck in your career.

For candidates like you, who have already secured the offer with a leading consulting firm, I have designed my program "Get ready for the first 100 days " as well as long-term career planning. This program touches all the important aspects: the mindset, the skills, knowledge, networking and ,managing yourself as well, your bosses and clients - everything that is important in your successful career.

In fact, I'm sharing my knowledge of 6 years career experience in consulting, where I was able to land on the fast track promotion and to be promoted from consultant to a project manager just within 3 years, which is extremely fast.

Happy to share these insights with you, feel free to reach out directly to me.

Good luck,


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Anonymous replied on Jun 12, 2020

Hi there,

Congrats on the new job.

We have similar questions on the forum before - I recommend you give them a quick read :)

  • How hard is it to excel in top consulting firms? (https://www.preplounge.com/en/consulting-forum/how-hard-is-it-to-excel-in-top-consulting-firms-6762)

  • Need to learn skills in the ample free time, I have before starting at an MBB. What should I do? (https://www.preplounge.com/en/consulting-forum/need-to-learn-skills-in-the-ample-free-time-before-starting-at-an-mbb-what-should-i-do-6774)

  • How to manage expectations and "wow" your boss? (https://www.preplounge.com/en/consulting-forum/how-to-manage-expectation-and-wow-your-boss-6954)

I hope these help



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Content Creator
replied on Jun 12, 2020
McKinsey offers w/o final round interviews - 100% risk-free - 10+ years MBB coaching experience - Multiple book author

Hi Anonymous,

Even if your question was directed about content-wise prep, please bear in mind that it might become intensive times.

So also start aligning your personal life and significant others for your new challenge - things will definitely change and time will become a very scarce resource. To ensure you don't lose your private life, better be prepared for that upfront.

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


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Anonymous replied on Jun 12, 2020


You will get a full welcome training with courses on Excel, Powerpoint as well as on Finance basics. Consulting firms are very good to on board new hires. I would take more time to rest since the start is always quite intense !

Congrats !!!


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Francesco gave the best answer


Content Creator
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