I – INTRODUCTION TO INTRO AND CV QUESTIONS
Motivational questions are aimed at understanding the candidate's drivers for the application, in concrete:
- Why consulting: particularly relevant for candidates transitioning from other jobs or graduates coming from less-usual study paths
- Why this MBB (McKinsey, Bain, BGG): what makes you apply to this particular firm, what is the special value proposition to you?
- Why this particular location: particularly relevant to people re-locating
- Why this particular specialized business function: only relevant when not applying for a general role (e.g., McKinsey Advanced Analytics, BCG Gamma, etc.)
What are the interviewer's goals with these questions?
- Why consulting:
- Are you knowledgeable and motivated enough for this endeavor?
- Why this MBB (McKinsey, Bain, BCG):
- Have you researched enough to state what makes this company special, and how does appeal to you particularly?
- Why this particular location:
- Do you have a strong value proposition in the target geography, enough to make you stay for a few years?
- Why not staying in the office in your home country/city?
- Why this particular specialized business function:
- Are you knowledgeable about the function itself?
- Do you have relevant past experience on it?
Which communications techniques can be leveraged?
STAR or PARADE methodologies are “different” approaches/techniques that can be leveraged to communicate stories in an effective and structured way.
*See Graph 2: STAR and PARADE methodologies.
➥ Graphs from the Integrated FIT Guide for MBB
II – COMMENTS FOR THE "INTERVIEWER" ROLE
Motivational questions don't necesary require knowledge of the candidate’s CV. However, it is best to know the key data points, to be able to ask follow-up and clarification questions. Hence, kindly ask the candidate to provide you with his/her CV. While listening to the answers, keep in mind the two major criteria you have to evaluate:
- Can I work with this candidate closely in a team every day? (Even when doing 100h/week)
- Can I send the candidate to a client alone?
Paragraphs highlighted in green indicate diagrams or tables that shall be shared in the “Case exhibits” section.
Paragraphs highlighted in blue shall be verbally communicated to the interviewee.
Paragraphs highlighted in orange indicate hints for you on how to guide the interviewee through the case.
See below, for the 3 quetions, hints for the candidate to tailor a good answer.
- In most cases, there is more than one reason. Write your ideas, in order of importance, in bullets points
- Start your answer by an introduction to those bullet points (e.g., There are mainly 3 reasons why I would like to work in consulting)
- Comment the bullets in order or importance, clearly separating the ideas. This makes it easier to follow, more structured and dynamic
- Finish with a summary of the points, as long as a “tweet” (e.g., In a nutshell, the 3 reasons why I want to work in consulting are the multidisciplinary approach, global scope and client-facing engagements)
There are two main reasons why consulting is the way that I want to start my career. I studied Architecture since I loved the multi-multidisciplinary approach: from Math to History, from Construction to Aesthetics. However, I realized that, when it comes to working as an architect, the scope narrows down a lot. Hence, the 1st reason why I want to transition to consulting is to keep the multi-discipline and multi-industry focus. Furthermore, I love being constantly challenged and learning at high speed, and I know that consulting has one of the steepest learning curves. In a nutshell, the 2 reasons why I would like to join consulting are the multi-disciplinary focus and the constant challenge that drives exponential growth.
2. Why this particular MBB
- *Points from question 1 also apply
- Prepare specific 2-3 reasons that make this firm special. Some resources to leverage are:
- Web pages: align with the company values, mission and vision
- Recruiting events: not only at educational centers, but also in job fairs or ad-hoc sessions (e.g., McKinsey Next Generation of Women Leaders)
- Research the focus of that particular office by seeing the profiles and publications of its members (e.g., leveraging LinkedIn)
- When you know someone from the firm, mention that this person helped you gain even deeper understanding of the firm and made it more attractive
Bain is my target company mainly due to their focus on Private Equity. As my prior experience demonstrates, I am passionate about the topic and I want to keep learning, from the best, about it. Furthermore, I admire the company´s culture, with a stronger focus on employees than other MBBs. I am close friends with John Smith, from the London office, who has told me all about the office activities on Fridays, retreats and helping culture, which sounds wonderful to me. Finally, it would be an honor to belong to Bain´s alumni network – that John has told me works like a “bigger-family” – that delivers impact in multiple industries atm. In sum, the three main reasons why I would like to join Bain are its focus on PE, its culture and its incredible alumni community.
- *Points from question 1 also apply
Research the focus of that particular office (e.g., types of projects, types of clients, etc.), since this is what makes it special
Outline personal reasons if they exist, but don't limit your answer to them
There are two main reasons why I want to join McKinsey in UAE. First of all, I know it has a higher focus on Public Sector engagements than the European offices, a topic that not only passionates me but also would be a continuation of my previous work experience. Secondly, my husband and I are going to move abroad for some years before starting a family, and we have agreed to look for opportunities in this region, where we have a lot of friends and family. Hence, the McKinsey office in Dubai would be the perfect choice.
4. Why this business function
- Learn in-depth the job description of the business function, and outline the difference between that path vs. a general consultant path
- Prepare detailed answers to the following questions:
- What makes this particular business function in this firm special? (e.g., compared to similar business functions in other MBBs)
- Why not applying for a generalist role?
I decided to pursue a masters in Big Data and Analytics since I am truly convinced that leveraging data to solve business issues is one of the best approaches, and most followed by companies now and in the future. Hence, McKinsey Advanced Analytics seems like the perfect fit for me, since I would contribute to the team with my analytical capabilities, as well as developing further my business knowledge. The value proposition, in the intersection of business and analytics, is the most appealing for me.
LOOKING FOR MORE TIPS?
Have a look at the Integrated FIT Guide for MBB by Clara