What type of questions to ask the interviewer at the end?

Boston Consulting Group Roland Berger
Edited on Sep 05, 2021
3 Answers
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B asked on Mar 18, 2019
McKinsey cases only

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Marco-Alexander
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updated an answer on Sep 05, 2021
Former BCG | Case author for efellows book | Experience in 6 consultancies (Stern Stewart, Capgemini, KPMG, VW Con., Hor

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Vlad
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replied on Mar 18, 2019
McKinsey / Accenture Alum / Got all BIG3 offers / Harvard Business School

Hi,

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, getting industry knowledge, becoming an expert in something, building a great network, etc)
  • Questions on the topics you are excited about (e.g. data science, digital, etc)
  • Topics related to the industry in which the interviewer specializes (hint: think of the most common industries in the particular office, go to the company's website and read the recent articles about these industries to come up with the good questions)
  • Non-business questions (e.g. team retreats, office traditions and celebrations)

It's not ok to ask:

  • Questions that can cause negative emotions (e.g. work hours, most difficult project, etc) - you don't want to finish on a negative note, right?
  • The information you should learn before the interview (e.g. typical career path, etc)
  • Questions that may show that you are unfamiliar with consulting work ("Will I be able to work specifically on strategic projects?")

Be prepared and good luck!

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Alexander replied on Mar 18, 2019

There are low-hanging fruits you can go after. The first is to ask about the interviewer - typically, they introduce themselves in the beginning and give you a little background. Try to remember a few things that interest you and that you think lend themselves to more conversation. "What exactly made you want to work in this field?" would be an example. Maybe you even have something in common that you can talk about ("Oh, you also did your studies at university XYZ?"). The second low-hanging fruit would be to talk about things you're really passionate about but maybe had a hard time finding information on. For example, you might be really passionate about working with NGOs, and can then ask if the interviewer ever worked on an NGO project and about how that works in the firm.

Lastly, there are some more generic questions, such as asking after the most interesting project the interviewer ever worked on. Or, if it's a more experienced interviewer, about how the job changed in his eyes. Less ideal, though, because it's far less personal.

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Marco-Alexander

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Former BCG | Case author for efellows book | Experience in 6 consultancies (Stern Stewart, Capgemini, KPMG, VW Con., Hor
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