What Questions to Ask in Partner Interview

Final Round Interview
New answer on Oct 31, 2020
8 Answers
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Anonymous A asked on Nov 13, 2019

Hi

I have my final round interview with a partner.
During my initial discussions I have already asked questions around - Porjects and what level of opportunities existing for me coming with 5 years of industry expereince. I am looking for guidance on what question to ask to the partner about the firm etc.

Thanks

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Antonello
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Nov 13, 2019
McKinsey | MBA professor for consulting interviews

Hi,
questions about interviewer experience are always great, showing your curiosity in her motivation and expertise. If you have the chance to know before the name of the interviewer (you can ask it to HR the day before or discovering it in the waiting room), look at her LinkedIn profile to develope some tailored questions (e.g. about the MBA, the industry or practice specialization, etc.)

I also recommend you not to make questions about the firm that you can easily find online or through friends/other candidates (e.g. clients of the office, projects, typical workday, international opportunities, client exposure, your role, numbers of the office, ...).

Best,
Antonello

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Vlad
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Nov 14, 2019
McKinsey / Accenture Alum / Got all BIG3 offers / Harvard Business School

HI,

In most of the cases, you'll have no chance to research in profile. From what I've seen only Bain shares interviewers names.

The main objective is to have a good conversation and highlight your intellectual capacity and curiosity. Thus:

It is ok to ask:

  • Questions that cause positive emotions and highlight consulting pros (e.g. Mck people)
  • Questions on the topics you are excited about (e.g. data science)
  • Non-business questions (e.g. team retreats)

It's not ok to ask:

  • Questions that can cause negative emotions (e.g. work hours)
  • Information you should learn before the interview (e.g. typical career path)
  • Questions that may show that you are unfamiliar with consulting work (Like are you specialized in strategy or operations?)

Be prepared and good luck!

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Harshika
Expert
updated an answer on Nov 14, 2019
Parthenon-EY | Simon-Kucher and Partners | CV/Resume writing | Fit interviews

Hi,

Firstly, well done on reaching the partner round!

Partner round interviews are going to be more about how well you fit within the firm's work and social culture. To answer your question, you can be very flexible in deciding what to ask him of course - you don't want to sound like every other candidate by asking him roted questions. But keep in mind the following while framing the same:

1. How long has he been at the firm? This will help you understand if he has seen the firm evolve over time or even revolutionalise in the different market eras (eg. the current digital). You can then ask related questions.

2. Is he an operating or a selling partner? This can help you quickly understand his day-to-day activities. You can then ask questions regarding this.

3. Does he operate within a specific sector (retail, tourism, healthcare) or area (operations, marketing, procurement)? If any of this relates to your profile, good for you! Strike up a discussion.

4. Values of the firm are important and understanding how much a partner encourages their prevelance in the firm is even more. Ask a question that helps you understand the firm's work culture - what are the short term goals they are working towards? Is there a Vision 2020 they have? How does he think they're doing on it and what remains to be done?

Yes, as mentioned, please do not ask obvious questions which can be found on the firm website. Do your homework as the partner has to feel that you're genuinely interested in joining the firm. These are senior people with long years of client, business and interview experience. With them, it's all about making the interview hour a pleasant break from their busy schedule.

Little tip: Make the questions personal and not generic eg. his roles, his ideas, his experiences.

Good luck with your preparation and interview!

(edited)

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Anonymous updated the answer on Nov 13, 2019

Hi There,

I reccomend to ask some questions that express your real interest in the company.Of course you can ask about the sectors/opportunities in the the specific country/market but I suggest to ask some personal questions.

For instance, if you are a sports guy, ask how some of his collegues deal with the consulting life, when they do sports. Or if you have kids ask how to strike a balance between having a kid and consulting.

I think that this kind of personal questions better show your ambition to be part of this work environment.

(edited)

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Clara
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Content Creator
replied on Oct 31, 2020
McKinsey | Awarded professor at Master in Management @ IE | MBA at MIT |+180 students coached | Integrated FIT Guide aut

Hello!

Congrats for moving to final round!

As it has been outlined, its very similar, but :

  • Cases you can expect are more "free riding" - less organized than the ones your found in the 1st round or most prep pages
  • Stronger emphasis in the FIT part, as outlined before by other coaches.

If you are interested in deepening your knowledge and preparation on the FIT part, the "Integrated FIT guide for MBB" has been recently published in PrepLounge´s shop (https://www.preplounge.com/en/shop/tests-2/integrated-fit-guide-for-mbb-34)

It provides an end-to-end preparation for all three MBB interviews, tackling each firms particularities and combining key concepts review and a hands-on methodology. Following the book, the candidate will prepare his/her stories by practicing with over 50 real questions and leveraging special frameworks and worksheets that guide step-by-step, developed by the author and her experience as a Master in Management professor and coach. Finally, as further guidance, the guide encompasses over 20 examples from real candidates.

Furthermore, you can find 3 free cases in the PrepL case regarding FIT preparation:

- Intro and CV questions > https://www.preplounge.com/en/management-consulting-cases/fit-interview/intermediate/introduction-and-cv-questions-fit-interview-preparation-200

- Motivational questions > https://www.preplounge.com/en/management-consulting-cases/fit-interview/intermediate/motivational-questions-fit-interview-preparation-201

- Behavioural questions (ENTREPRENEURIAL DRIVE) >https://www.preplounge.com/en/management-consulting-cases/fit-interview/intermediate/behavioral-questions-entrepreneurial-drive-fit-interview-preparation-211

Feel free to PM me for disccount codes for the Integrated FIT Guide, since we still have some left from the launch!

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Henning
Expert
replied on Sep 15, 2020
Bain | passed >15 MBB interviews as a candidate

Think about questions that others can't answer; some examples:

  • Anything that aim's at they long experience of making a tough job work with (presumably) family life
  • Insights into long-term trends in the industry or a shared industry you have with them
  • Any specific experience you can read from their CV - just not something generic like "How did you go into consulting?"
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Anonymous replied on Sep 14, 2020

Hi A,

I agree with Antonello, try to ask some questions that would engage the interviewer and show your curiosity.

Also, avoid asking anything you can easily find out through googling.

Best, André

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Udayan
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Nov 14, 2019
Top rated MBB coach with many offers /Ex McKinsey EM in New York /6 years McKinsey recruiting experience/Real cases

Congratulations on the final round!

To reiterate some of the earlier points - with a Partner it is important you do not ask questions to which the answers are easily available online. Instead focus on questions that communicate both your level of interest and expertise, lastly questions on the Partner's experience are also relevant. Examples of questions include

On level of interest

- Questions on whether the firm works on specific types of projects or with particular types of clients

- Questions on work done by the firm relating to particular areas of interest that you have and that relate to work you have done

- Questions on publications by the firm or the partner on topics of interest to you

- Questions on the direction of the industry based on recent events

On Expertise

- Questions on how the firm supports someone with 5 years of experience vs those that have limited or no experience

- Questions on whether you can be involved in work relating to developing the firm's expertise in your chosen field

On Partner's experience

- Can be open ended, but try not to ask something very personal or something too generic

Hope these help,

Udayan

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Antonello gave the best answer

Antonello

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McKinsey | MBA professor for consulting interviews
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