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An Insight into the World of a Strategy Consultant: Part II
This week’s article is composed of two sections on strategy consulting that attempt to clarify the more practical side of applying to a target firm. In the first section, we will introduce you to the application process found at a generic consulting firm, whilst in the second section, we will elaborate on an applicant’s desirable qualities.
Many consultancies conduct their application process according to the following steps:
Most firms set up online career portals where they manage the application process for internships and permanent positions. You can find examples of such portals on the McKinsey & Company and Boston Consulting Group websites. An interested applicant would create an account on the online career portal. Most often, the first section of the application form would concern information on the education completed to date, achievements, personality, language skills, and IT knowledge. The second section is usually more tricky and requires more time to complete on average as it asks for reasons for applying to the chosen position. In the final part of the application form, the applicant would need to add his/her CV and a covering letter to fully complete the online process.
The second part of the application process is concerned with interviews, whose set up varies between consulting firms. Most often a few interview rounds are conducted by more or less senior consultants. In addition, the interview process may include case studies and numerical tests on top of the standard competency measures. If you seek more detailed information concerning interviews, do have a look at InterviewBay’s interview tips page: http://www.interviewbay.com/interview-tips.php
If a candidate successfully passes all of the interviews, he/she will be offered an internship or permanent position at the company.
Example: Monitor Group interview process
There are two rounds of interviews at Monitor Group. In the first round, undergraduate applicants take two case interviews and one behavioural interview, whereas MBA candidates complete only one case interview and one behavioural interview. In the second round, both types of applicants are required to participate in a group interview, one or two behaviour interviews, and one scenario interview. Below are descriptions of the different types of interviews one can encounter:
The behavioural interview is largely built around the candidate’s resume, personal aspirations, and motivations in terms of a career in consulting. Typically, the interviewer will begin with going through the applicant’s resume step-by-step. Next the interviewee will be asked why he/she is interested in consulting and why the Monitor Group in particular. The final part of the interview would focus on verifying the candidate’s interest in specific, relevant subject areas. Throughout the entire process, the interviewer will be evaluating whether the applicant would fit in well at the team in Monitor Group.
The group interview is like a case interview, but encourages the candidate to work together with 5-6 other candidates. It is designed to observe not only a candidate’s analytic and strategic skills, but also how the individual works in a team. Each person is assigned one of 5-6 questions that need to be answered. Each individual has 30 minutes…
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