Which coach to choose from the high amount of offerings?

coaching MBB
New answer on Aug 31, 2022
11 Answers
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Anonymous A asked on Aug 25, 2022

Hi all,

How would you go about selecting the right coach given the high number of coaches on this platform? I would also kindly ask for coaches to give their input on this.

I guess the single most important measure would be success rate of coached candidates, but the number seems to vary from 80 to somehow 100% (which I highly doubt). This probably also depends on whether the coachees receive coaching in form of a full on package vs just 1-2 coaching sessions (success most likely due to own prep as opposed to “great coaching” - rather finetuning).

 

Also a lot of what coaches offer is private information + most of coachees probably stick to one coach so there is no way to objectively determine the quality of a coach.

 

Is there a system by preplounge that give more insights on success rate relative to number of hours coaches. I think this would be helpful…

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Ian
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updated an answer on Aug 26, 2022
MBB | 100% personal interview success rate (8/8) and 95% candidate success rate | Personalized interview prep

Hi there,

This is great thinking! A few thoughts:

  1. You can try to objectively determine the quality of a coach…it's their success rate
  2. The problem comes with different (and often subjective) measures
  3. To “level” or equalize #2, Ask the coach the following:
    1. Do you “filter” or reject candidates or do you take in anyone 
      1. (Me: I accept all candidates)
    2. What is your success rate 
      1. (Me: 95% get a job, 65-70% of those with an MBB interview get the MBB offer)
    3. What is your “cut-off” for what is considered a candidate 
      1. (Me: An adequate timeline…at least 1-2 months. Enough coaching sessions…at least 3. They listen/work hard…actually implement my prep plan and go through my course)
    4. Have an intro call with the coach
    5. Ask to speak to their old candidates
    6. Ask what materials they have
    7. Different coaches are for different people - there is not 1 “best” coach (except me :P - kidding of course!)
    8. Trust your gut!

Message the coaches that catch your eye, ask them to talk through their approach/methodology, and pick the one that works best for you! Assess them based on how well they seem to understand the process (and what's needed), how prepared they are (supporting material + plan), and whether they seem like a good teacher based on your style of learning.

There was a prior Q&A with a bunch of great questions. Listed here: 

​Q: If so, is the recommendation rate then: # of people who gave feedback/ # of meeting?

It is actually the rating from the subset of those who provided reviews. So, if a coach has coached 100 people, and 50 provide reviews, it's based on their reviews. If 49 gave 5 stars, and 1 gave 4 stars, the coach would obviously have a very high rate!

Two caveats:

  1. Generally, candidates don't provide reviews unless they're a positive experience. We have a bit of an Amazon effect here
  2. More reviews for a coach doesn't necessarilly mean they're better - some explicitly ask/urge their candidates to give reviews while others don't)

Q: How do we know that anonymous reviewers are legit and not just some fake persona? (I compared the writing style of the comments and the "my approach" writing of one coach and it looks very similar; I don't know if it's a coincidence.)

A: They are definitely not fake! While I mentioned the Amazon effect, there is absolutely no way to purchase reviews here. They are all 100% genuine!

Free Q&A: How do I pick the right coach?

A: Ask them for a call :) Message a few that look promising, and ask them these same pointed questions you've asked here! (e.g. what is your coaching style, what resources do you have, what's your success rate, what's your plan for ME).

Good luck in your search!

https://www.preplounge.com/en/consulting-forum/how-is-a-preplounge-coachs-recommendation-rate-computed-9671

 

(edited)

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Sofia
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replied on Aug 25, 2022
McKinsey San Francisco | Harvard graduate | 5+ years of coaching| Free 15 min intro call | Personalized approach

Hello,

I can give you my perspective on this as both a coach and a previous candidate who used coaching services a lot. 

If you're looking for specific metrics, I think the best things to go by are the number of meetings and reviews, as they point to the coach's relative experience and the perspective of people they actually coached. Candidate success rates are slightly less accurate in my opinion - as you point out, a lot of candidates just do 1-2 sessions with a coach, and so their outcomes are influenced by many things besides the coaching itself. 

I would also ask yourself whether you are looking for 1-2 sessions or longer term coaching. If you just want a couple of expert sessions, the best thing you can get out of that is the ability to practice with someone who knows the process and get their expert feedback. Even 1-2 sessions can help give you an accurate assessment of your skills, which you can then use to inform your prep further. By and large, the majority of coaches should be able to give you good advice (regardless of their seniority or their specific approach, for instance) about your strengths and things to improve on, so you can afford to be less stringent if this is what you want. When I was a candidate, I largely looked for this sort of approach because I just wanted to get more practice with experts in. As a result, my main differentiator was the price of the session.

If you are looking for a longer-term coaching commitment, I definitely recommend looking at the coach's profile to read about their approach and their reviews in more detail. I would also recommend asking for a 15 min intro call to get to know the coach and see if it might be a good fit. Most coaches would be happy to do this for free, and you can get a better sense of what they are like in person.

Hope this helps, and feel free to DM me if you have any more questions!

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Pedro
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replied on Aug 29, 2022
Bain | EY-Parthenon | Roland Berger | FIT | Market Sizing | Former Head Recruiter

Let me add my 2 cents here.

Candidates have different needs, and coaches have different approaches as well. 

Some coaches just provide an interview simulation and a bit of feedback at the end. This is ok for a candidate that is advanced on their preparation, doesn't want a  lot of help, may have a limited budget, and wants to “stress-test” their performance. 

Other coaches have a “mentoring approach” that help you through the whole preparation process, and can organize multiple sessions to take you from beginner to advanced level (if you are willing to work a lot). Those more advanced (and more expensive) will have a lot of pre-prepared material that you can leverage in your preparation. 

Within these “mentoring approach” coaches, you have some differences. Some may be capable of helping you with almost every aspect (CV review, referrals, digital/online tests, fit interview, case interview - structuring, market size, communication, math, …) for your target firm (or geography). Others won't be able to provide all of this, or possible not for some of your target firms. 

Of course, some will have some strong and some weak areas. Some may even just focus on 1 or 2 areas (e.g. fit interview, case structuring).


What you want to make sure is that you know which kind of coach you are hiring. If you are trying to get a mentoring approach and just get an interview simulation it's going to be a big disapointment (and waste of money). 

One thing you should keep in mind is that an interview simulation takes 60 minutes, whereas a mentoring session can take 90-120 minute sessions easily (I've had a 150 minute session once). That means that “mentors” will be more expensive). Having said this, NEVER equate being more expensive with being better. You have “mentors” at a bargain price, and you have “interview simulations” at very expensive prices. As such, always discuss the approach before hiring the coach.

Finally, I suggest reading through the Q&A (and I suggest you look for questions on specific topics like structuring, market size, fit questions, specific firms, etc.). Good coaches share their knowledge.

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Florian
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replied on Aug 26, 2022
#1 rated McKinsey Case and PEI Coach | 5 years at McKinsey | Mentorship Approach | 120+ McK offers in 18 months

Hey there,

(Interviewing) experience* definitely plays a key role, however, is only one of many factors. In the end, no metric is better than the (proven) success rate of their candidates. Additional factors I would consider

  • number of meetings vs. time registered on PrepLounge (shows undistorted demand)
  • ranking (you can filter per firm and recommendation rate)
  • the personal comments in the reviews
  • normalized success rate (get a feel how it is defined, e.g., offer in B4 vs. MBB offer rate)

Plus, my number one tip to select the best coach for your needs: Write them and set up a call to discuss their

  • background
  • methodology
  • success rate
  • get some insights into the interviewing and application process for free

I offer this to every candidate that reaches out.

*This is especially true if the firm you are applying to has a very specific interviewing format, that requires a different approach than most other firms such as McKinsey with their candidate-led insights-focused cases and the very specific PEI interviews that aim to retrieve fairly specific character traits of candidates. Information communicated about the McK format is unfortunately often half-accurate and that is also reflected in some coaching experiences.

For this reason, I would actually work with a coach that is 100% familiar and accustomed to a particular firm's interview style since this is where experience actually matters. In short, if you are aiming for BCG, work with an ex-BCG coach, if you are going for McKinsey, go for an ex-McKinsey coach.

If you select based on firm + follow the checklist of criteria from above + have an introductory call, you should be able to screen and select the best coach for your needs and goals.

Cheers,

Florian

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Lucie
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replied on Aug 26, 2022
10+yrs recruiting & top BCG trainer & BCG Project leader & experienced hire & ICF coach

Hi there, 

tough question :-)

I would probably filter by:

1. Experience with the consulting firm you try to enter (e.g. worked for BCG)

2. Experience as a coach, you can ask to speak with previous clients to get a sense

3. Method the coach use (e.g. you will learn by understanding vs. you will learn by hard despite you dont understand)

4. Coach background & qualification, aim for a coach with leadership experience at MBB, which is far from being Associate/Consultant & any additional qualification (e.g. I am BCG top trainer and accredited  coach). If you cant find what the position of the coach was, then ask. 

5. Success rate, BUT here you need critically evaluate, any high rate (above  40%) indicates the coach is doing preselection or use filters to get this number

6. Most importantly personal fit, how do you feel with the coach. You must feel coach understands you and you connect. Even the best coach on the paper may not work for you. 

I always suggest to get in touch with a few coaches, check their material they send you, get in touch for 15 min and ask all your questions, even the uncomfortable one and only then decide. 

Good luck

Lucie

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Sidi
Expert
replied on Aug 26, 2022
McKinsey Senior EM & BCG Consultant | Interviewer at McK & BCG for 7 years | Coached 350+ candidates secure MBB offers

Hi!

What I would do:

1. Make a shortlist of 3-5 coaches based on objective criteria (have they been in MBB? Have they been long enough to be interviewers? Do they have a decent amount of reviews? Can you afford them?)

2. Ask each of these coaches to provide a contact to 10 successful mentees from the last two or three months

 

This should give you a very good base for a well-informed decision.

Cheers, Sidi

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Francesco
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replied on Aug 25, 2022
#1 Coach for Sessions (4.000+) | 1.500+ 5-Star Reviews | Proven Success (➡ InterviewOffers.com) | Ex BCG | 9Y+ Coaching

Hi there,

Q: How would you go about selecting the right coach given the high number of coaches on this platform? 

I would recommend the following:

  1. Go to the main page listing the coacheshttps://www.preplounge.com/en/case-coach
  2. Filter the coaches based on your criteria (eg budget, recommendation rate)
  3. Read reviews/profiles – define a shortlist (eg 3-5 coaches)
  4. Message the coaches with your questions and what you would like to work on to see if there is a match
  5. Select the coach matching the most your needs

As a bonus point: you can check their Q&A answers (there is a label called “Q&A Contributions” in the profile) – it should give you an idea of the style of the coach and if it matches what you are looking for.

For any questions please feel free to PM me.

Best,

Francesco

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Allen
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replied on Aug 25, 2022
Ex-McK Experienced Hire and EM - I show you how to perform at your best

Don’t believe any coaches when they tell you their success rate. As you’ll learn in your consulting career, if nobody is going to hold you accountable for the data, you won’t collect it carefully. Secondly, every coachee is different, so the success rate won’t mean anything in your situation. 

I would think that ratings and number of sessions should count for something (a coach would have to make significant and dishonest efforts to cheat this), but I’ve found that potential coachees don’t seem to trust this. 

Finally, what seems to work for my coachees, is they speak to me (and probably a few others too), ask me a few questions on tactics, maybe something quite specific to their situation, and when they see that I can answer thoughtfully while considering their unique situation, they choose to go ahead. 

One thing to add, this is not about how can I save $50, rather how can I maximize my investment. 

Happy to answer more, just PM me. 

 

Hope this helps, 

Allen

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Cristian
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Content Creator
replied on Aug 31, 2022
#1 rated and most recommended McKinsey Coach | 97% success rate (tracked) | Honest feedback: no sugar-coating

Hi there, 

This is a great question and I see there are lots of amazing answers below already. 

What I would add is that you should get a sense of whether you have a good chemistry with them or not. It's important to make sure that you trust your coach and you see them as a mentor. It's better sometimes to have an intro call with them or start with just one session and then decide based on whether you feel their feedback resonates with you. 

Best,

Cristian 

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Clara
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replied on Aug 28, 2022
McKinsey | Awarded professor at Master in Management @ IE | MBA at MIT |+180 students coached | Integrated FIT Guide aut

Hello!

Agree, this is a very hard question! 

Furthermore, to the problems you mentioned, I would add another huge one: you can´t validate the info people give you (such as success rate, which is pure bullshit).

I would read the descriptions and see their backgrounds, and, overall, see the reviews. You can also schedule time to see how you would fit with each coach´s teaching style. 

Cheers, 

Clara

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Antonello
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Content Creator
replied on Aug 26, 2022
McKinsey | MBA professor for consulting interviews

Hi,
in addition to what was suggested by my colleagues, I recommend leveraging the possibility to do a free intro call

Best,
ANtonello

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Ian gave the best answer

Ian

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