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What Questions to Ask in Partner Interview

Anonymous A asked on Nov 13, 2019 - 5 answers

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
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replied on Nov 13, 2019
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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

Vlad
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replied on Nov 14, 2019
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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!

Harshika
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updated her answer on Nov 14, 2019
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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)

Alessandro
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updated his answer on Nov 13, 2019
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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)

Udayan
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replied on Nov 14, 2019
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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