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Udayan

98% Recommendation Rate

93 Meetings

2,688 Q&A Upvotes

USD 209 / Coaching

8

What is the bar to pass to the next interview round?

Hi everyone,

I have my first-round interview for an internship at an MBB scheduled in around a week and am currently thinking if I am really ready to succeed. I generally feel good about casing and also think my interviewer will understand that I REALLY want to work at their firm during the fit part of the interview (I still need to prepare a little more on the various questions that come up but have a good feeling about the fit).

Still, I am worried that I will not pass to the next round simply because I may be good, but not "good enough". This has actually happened to me last year when I was interviewing for an internship at another firm - I realised that one of the cases was quite bad, while I had a good feeling about the second one. In the end, I was told that the second interview was good, but "not good enough to pass". Of course, I already knew that I probably wouldn't get the internship because I messed up the first case, but I was still surprised to hear the feedback about the second case.

Now I am a little worried that this will happen again and am wondering: what is the bar to pass an interview round? Does everything need to be top-notch or some small mistakes okay? Do I need to be among the top 5% or 50% (or something in between) to get to the next round? Is it normal that I have these doubts or should I try to reschedule to get more time to prepare?

Thanks a lot for your insights!

Hi everyone,

I have my first-round interview for an internship at an MBB scheduled in around a week and am currently thinking if I am really ready to succeed. I generally feel good about casing and also think my interviewer will understand that I REALLY want to work at their firm during the fit part of the interview (I still need to prepare a little more on the various questions that come up but have a good feeling about the fit).

Still, I am worried that I will not pass to the next round simply because I may be good, but not "good enough". This has actually happened to me last year when I was interviewing for an internship at another firm - I realised that one of the cases was quite bad, while I had a good feeling about the second one. In the end, I was told that the second interview was good, but "not good enough to pass". Of course, I already knew that I probably wouldn't get the internship because I messed up the first case, but I was still surprised to hear the feedback about the second case.

Now I am a little worried that this will happen again and am wondering: what is the bar to pass an interview round? Does everything need to be top-notch or some small mistakes okay? Do I need to be among the top 5% or 50% (or something in between) to get to the next round? Is it normal that I have these doubts or should I try to reschedule to get more time to prepare?

Thanks a lot for your insights!

8 answers

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Best Answer
Book a coaching with Udayan

98% Recommendation Rate

93 Meetings

2,688 Q&A Upvotes

USD 209 / Coaching

The reality is that you are competing for a job in one of the toughest firms to get into. It is harder to get a job at MBB than it is to get into any university in the world. Your peers are as talented as you and some might appear to be even more accomplished. I say that because once you accept this it becomes easier to process the feedback you recieved.

Every interview needs to go well - you have to connect with the interviewer, you have to do well on the case and if you are not doing well you need to be self aware enough to course correct during the interview. Anyone who sugar coats this for you is not being honest. The interview day matters a lot and preparation gets you 80% of the way, 20% is just luck. You can have a bad interviewer, or slip up where you usually don't. It happens.

What does it mean for you? You will never be 100% prepared. No one is. But you need to meet a certain threshold. If you do well on 8 or 9 out of 10 cases consistently and have good answers to PEI questions then you are ready. If you do well on 5 out of 10 and PEI is not great yet then you are not. The bar IS high. There is a reason people spend a lot of time preparing and there is a reason people take coaching session.

You seem self aware as you asked this question. The best thing to do is to benchmark your performance and see where you stand and decide from there.

Best,

Udayan

The reality is that you are competing for a job in one of the toughest firms to get into. It is harder to get a job at MBB than it is to get into any university in the world. Your peers are as talented as you and some might appear to be even more accomplished. I say that because once you accept this it becomes easier to process the feedback you recieved.

Every interview needs to go well - you have to connect with the interviewer, you have to do well on the case and if you are not doing well you need to be self aware enough to course correct during the interview. Anyone who sugar coats this for you is not being honest. The interview day matters a lot and preparation gets you 80% of the way, 20% is just luck. You can have a bad interviewer, or slip up where you usually don't. It happens.

What does it mean for you? You will never be 100% prepared. No one is. But you need to meet a certain threshold. If you do well on 8 or 9 out of 10 cases consistently and have good answers to PEI questions then you are ready. If you do well on 5 out of 10 and PEI is not great yet then you are not. The bar IS high. There is a reason people spend a lot of time preparing and there is a reason people take coaching session.

You seem self aware as you asked this question. The best thing to do is to benchmark your performance and see where you stand and decide from there.

Best,

Udayan

Book a coaching with Adi

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Hey there,

I totally understand your nerves, but you are already putting too much pressure on yourself. Victim of your own negative thinking! What happened in the past should be used as learning to avoid future mistakes. But not as a reference to worry about same thing happening again.

My advice will be to focus on preparing and giving your best & avoid worrying about things not in your control. Have you prepared holistically or are there gaps? If there are, fix those in the next week or ask for more time i.e. reschedule the interview. Leave the outcome to later. Whatever happens accept it gracefully. Most of us fall into trap- too much self created pressure, we fail to appreciate the opportunity and dont enjoy it. So be happy that you are being interviewed- so many people dont even get this chance. Try and enjoy it and good things will happen.

Good Luck!

Hey there,

I totally understand your nerves, but you are already putting too much pressure on yourself. Victim of your own negative thinking! What happened in the past should be used as learning to avoid future mistakes. But not as a reference to worry about same thing happening again.

My advice will be to focus on preparing and giving your best & avoid worrying about things not in your control. Have you prepared holistically or are there gaps? If there are, fix those in the next week or ask for more time i.e. reschedule the interview. Leave the outcome to later. Whatever happens accept it gracefully. Most of us fall into trap- too much self created pressure, we fail to appreciate the opportunity and dont enjoy it. So be happy that you are being interviewed- so many people dont even get this chance. Try and enjoy it and good things will happen.

Good Luck!

Book a coaching with Ian

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15,829 Q&A Upvotes

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Hi there,

My #1 recommendation is meet with a coach for 1 session. Get an assessment from an expert. They will tell you if you're ready or not (if not, they'll tell you what to work on).

In general, you need to solve the case in a reasonable time, drive towards insights effectively, not say things that show poor judgement/knowledge, take guidance/adjust where needed, and make minimal mistakes (some are ok).

Overall, they need to feel like you understood what was happening in the case, could handle analysis, and will be good to work with (coachable and personable).

Hi there,

My #1 recommendation is meet with a coach for 1 session. Get an assessment from an expert. They will tell you if you're ready or not (if not, they'll tell you what to work on).

In general, you need to solve the case in a reasonable time, drive towards insights effectively, not say things that show poor judgement/knowledge, take guidance/adjust where needed, and make minimal mistakes (some are ok).

Overall, they need to feel like you understood what was happening in the case, could handle analysis, and will be good to work with (coachable and personable).

Book a coaching with Gaurav

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Hello there!

The only thing to do in your situation is to calm down, though I understand it would be difficult. I'm sure that you worked at your performance based on the feedback you got last time, using your strong points and having improved or gained the weaker ones.

I see that you are fully motivated, so that is your driving force, use it. You are already the winner, you made it to the next round, congratulations!

It is ok to have doubts, everyone has them.

If you feel you need more time to polish your skills, you can reschedule the interview.
Another option is to take a session with a coach so that he can estimate your readiness.

Good luck!
GB

Hello there!

The only thing to do in your situation is to calm down, though I understand it would be difficult. I'm sure that you worked at your performance based on the feedback you got last time, using your strong points and having improved or gained the weaker ones.

I see that you are fully motivated, so that is your driving force, use it. You are already the winner, you made it to the next round, congratulations!

It is ok to have doubts, everyone has them.

If you feel you need more time to polish your skills, you can reschedule the interview.
Another option is to take a session with a coach so that he can estimate your readiness.

Good luck!
GB

Book a coaching with Iman

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Hi,

The each firm has their own criteria to pass a candidate to the next round. It will be based on discussion of all interviewers in that round.

The bar also will really depends on many factor outside the internal standar - e.g. business situation, other candidates performance

Having said that, the only thing under your control is to prepare yourself as best as you can and don't worry much about the outcome. This kind of thinking will affect your and risk suboptimal performance.

Best,
Iman

Hi,

The each firm has their own criteria to pass a candidate to the next round. It will be based on discussion of all interviewers in that round.

The bar also will really depends on many factor outside the internal standar - e.g. business situation, other candidates performance

Having said that, the only thing under your control is to prepare yourself as best as you can and don't worry much about the outcome. This kind of thinking will affect your and risk suboptimal performance.

Best,
Iman

Book a coaching with Antonello

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Hi,

I see your point.

My main recommendation is to focus on your preparation at the best of your possibilities and then stop worrying about whether it is enough or not.

Candidates are rigorously assessed for their analytical skills, entrepreneurial spirti, and a lot of other variables that I think you are very well aware of. However, there are plenty of other variables that come into play when intervieweing from the most trivial (e.g. you were not shape that day) to the most unpredictable (e.g. changed recruiting needs for the company).

Stop worrying about what you cannot control, be prepared, and enjoy the process.

Best of luck.

Antonello

Hi,

I see your point.

My main recommendation is to focus on your preparation at the best of your possibilities and then stop worrying about whether it is enough or not.

Candidates are rigorously assessed for their analytical skills, entrepreneurial spirti, and a lot of other variables that I think you are very well aware of. However, there are plenty of other variables that come into play when intervieweing from the most trivial (e.g. you were not shape that day) to the most unpredictable (e.g. changed recruiting needs for the company).

Stop worrying about what you cannot control, be prepared, and enjoy the process.

Best of luck.

Antonello

Book a coaching with Vlad

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Hi,

The bar varies across the offices, geographies, business cycle, etc. It's also very subjective and a lot of things depend on how lucky you are with the interviewers.

I recommend switching to a productive mode, thinking instead of the following:

  • Testing your FIT stories with consultants / ex consultants
  • Doing as many cases as possible within the time left
  • Go through the previous cases you've done trying to think of new / better approaches

Best

Hi,

The bar varies across the offices, geographies, business cycle, etc. It's also very subjective and a lot of things depend on how lucky you are with the interviewers.

I recommend switching to a productive mode, thinking instead of the following:

  • Testing your FIT stories with consultants / ex consultants
  • Doing as many cases as possible within the time left
  • Go through the previous cases you've done trying to think of new / better approaches

Best

Book a coaching with Clara

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Hello!

BTH, I would try to earse this thoughts form your mind atm -I know how hard it is!!! :) -

Why? Simply since this will not help at all, not even if you knew the answers.

Focus on giving your 100%, since htat is what is in your hands.

Hope it helps!

Cheers,

Clara

Hello!

BTH, I would try to earse this thoughts form your mind atm -I know how hard it is!!! :) -

Why? Simply since this will not help at all, not even if you knew the answers.

Focus on giving your 100%, since htat is what is in your hands.

Hope it helps!

Cheers,

Clara

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