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How To Get A Job in Consulting from Business School

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  • 1. How To Get A Job In Consulting? Presentation to aspiring entry level hires J-P Martins, Consulting Careers Team 14 October 2009 Page 11 Page
  • 2. Agenda Introduction Getting a job – overview of process CV and cover letter Fit interview Case interview Lead up to January Q&A 2
  • 3. ‘1st year’ autumn consulting programme, leading to January recruiting Consulting Club Events (selection) How What Who 26 Oct Club Case Workshop …do I get a …is …are the job in 26 or 27 Oct Accenture Speaker consulting? consultants? consulting? 28 Oct LEK Case Workshop 9 September 11 14 October 9 Nov Roland Berger Case Workshop September ‘Is consulting ‘How do I best 10 Nov Booz&Co Case Tips and Tricks for me?’ ‘Which firms prepare?’ should I apply to?’ 28 Oct 30 Oct 4 Nov 6 Nov 20 Nov 4 Dec 18 Dec Problem Case Solving ‘Which ‘CVs for ‘Cover Case Solving for workshops Complex Firms and consulting’ letters for workshops Case Business How?’ workshops consulting’ Interviews Problems workshops workshops Sessions in red are presentations, others are workshops MiFs welcome to all sessions One-on-one sessions for MBA 2011s available from 29 January 3
  • 4. Also: comprehensive ‘2nd year’ consulting programme, focused on Autumn recruiting 18 Sep 26 Sep 28 Sep 16 Oct 4 Nov Case workshops ‘Super Saturday’ One-on-One Case workshops One-on-one sessions begin sessions begin   CV review (MBA 2010) (MiFs)   Cover letter review   Application strategy 5 Oct Consulting Club   Pitch ‘Crack a Case’   Case workshops programme Recruiting*: W/C: 21 Sep Bain Accenture Booz Diamond OC&C CapGemin 2020 Everest i BCG AT LEK Roland Marakon Kearney Berger FINCO Parthenon ZS McKinsey FINCO: Finance and Consulting networking event, 15 October * Preliminary list – individual firms to be confirmed 4
  • 5. Who’s here today? Why? Overview of process of getting a job in management consulting First year MBAs? Discussion of approaches to maximise your chances of: MIFFTs?   Getting an interview   Succeeding at the ‘fit’ Second year MBAs? interview EMBAs/SLOANs/MIFFPTs?   Succeeding at case interviews MiMs? Focus on January recruiting round – so MBA first years and MIFFTs 5
  • 6. Agenda Introduction Getting a job – overview of process CV and cover letter Fit interview Case interview Lead up to January Q&A 6
  • 7. ‘How to get a consulting job’ on a single slide? – Easy! Brilliant Smart Top of the class Double degree, first class honours Obama Charming The young Cary Grant ?? Lance Armstrong Driven Michael Schumacher Bill Gates If you had this magical mix, I gurantee you wouldn’t need 7 me to review your CV or to practise a single case…
  • 8. A more actionable checklist involves four areas of competency Problem Personal Drive/ Leadership Solving Impact Aspiration   Intellectual capacity   Presence   Maturity   Driven by results – action oriented   Analytics/quants.   Confidence vs. ego   Track record (sporting, clubs)   Enthusiasm   Creativity   People skills   Integrity   Desire to excel   Business judgement   Team player   Inspirational   Other interests   Comfort with ambiguity   Sense of humour   Willing to take personal risks Could I put you in front of a client on Day 1? Could I spend 24 hours flying from London to Sydney with you? Note: See Appendix 1 for a page or two on each competency 8
  • 9. Typical hiring criteria are three ‘meets requirements’ and a spike Candidate Evaluation Truly Distinctive Meets Requirements Unacceptable Problem Personal Drive/ Leadership Solving Impact Aspiration 9
  • 10. The recruiting process assesses ability, motivation and fit Can you   Do you have the appropriate skills and do the job? experience? Do you want   Are you really motivated to do the job? the job?   Are you driven to excel in the job?   Will you fit in to our teams? Will you fit into   Will our clients think you’re ‘one of us’? our company?   Will we enjoy working with you? 10
  • 11. After application screening, the interview process usually involves 2 or 3 rounds Interview Interview Additional Round 1*: Round 2: Tests (sometimes): ‘Fit’ interview ‘Fit’ interview Case Study Case Study Role play JOB interviews (2) interviews (2 or 3) OFFER! Group exercise Fit and Case may Usually with ‘Business acumen’ be combined partners test ‘Weak spots’ tested Ding! Ding! Ding! * McKinsey has the IPS test before the first round 11
  • 12. Key takeaways – process It’s very clear what most of the recruiters are looking for:   Problem solving ‘smarts’   Personal impact ‘interpersonal skills’   Leadership (potential…) Maximise your chances   Drive Pick firms that resonate with Ask yourself you, your skills and experiences   Do you really stand out on these dimensions?   Does you CV/cover letter really reflect that? Pick offices that resonate too Recruiters have a multi-stage process that focuses on you Don’t just apply to the ‘top tier’ – underlying competencies, especially problem solving, what are your Plan B and Plan primarily using tests and case interviews C?   It’s a big time- and emotion-sink   It’s highly selective, <10% of applicants succeed with each top tier firm 12
  • 13. Agenda Introduction Getting a job – overview of process CV and cover letter Fit interview Case interview Lead up to January Q&A 13
  • 14. 2 or 3 documents are required to get you into the interview process 1.  An outstanding CV You’ve had training – just some thoughts covered here 2.  A compelling cover letter 3.  An application form (usually online) Addressed partially today under ‘fit’ Problem Personal Drive/ Leadership Solving Impact Aspiration 14
  • 15. The Romans built powerful and compelling pictures from simple mosaics 15 Source: Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna, Austria Photographer: Alberto Fernandez Fernandez (January 2008)
  • 16. Assemble these ‘colours’ on your CV to build a compelling picture Problem Personal Drive/ Leadership Solving Impact Aspiration   Intellectual capacity   Presence   Maturity   Driven by results – action oriented   Analytics/quants.   Confidence vs. ego   Track record (sporting, clubs)   Enthusiasm   Creativity   People skills   Integrity   Desire to excel   Business judgement   Team player   Inspirational   Other interests   Comfort with   Sense of humour ambiguity   Willing to take personal risks 16
  • 17. Assemble these ‘colours’ on your CV to build a compelling picture Problem Personal Drive/ Leadership Solving Impact Aspiration Modelled…   Intellectual capacity   Presence   Maturity   Driven by results – Communicated Managed… action oriented   Analytics/quants.   Confidence vs. ego   Track record … (sporting, clubs) Achieved…   Enthusiasm   Creativity   People skills Diagnosed…   Integrity Led…   Desire to excel   Business judgement   Team player Delivered… Overcame…   Inspirational   Other interests   Comfort with   Sense of humour ambiguity Solved…   Willing to take Implemented… Convinced… Inspired… personal risks Analysed… Won… Changed… 17
  • 18. Other CV points CV is critically important – not all firms will review cover letter Recruiters will scan Career Central to make sure they’re getting applications from all the right people– but the CV that really counts is the one you send with your application Academic achievement really matters to some firms – if you’re interested in these, include evidence of academic excellence, whether at school, Uni, GMAT or LBS Keep to the LBS rules – 1 page, 2 lines per bullet, reverse chronological order, action verb- led achievements   THEY WORK!   DEVIATE IF YOU WISH, BUT DON’T EXPECT ME TO REVIEW IT! 18
  • 19. A great cover letter is short Structured: I am writing to apply for… Personal I really want to be a consultant because… Not a repeat of their website I really want to work for your firm because… Short I have prioritised the Buenos Aires and Shanghai offices because… 19
  • 20. Key takeaways – CV and cover letter At the end of the day your CV is not who Check your balance across the you are – it’s a piece of paper designed to consulting competencies (mosaic?) get you an interview Get outside input (your peers, However much we focus on the Career Services group CV mechanics of your CV, recruiters will: sessions, PLP)   Assess it in under a minute Get it proofed (especially if English   Assess you on the basis of what isn’t your first language) jobs you have done, for how Read some of your peers’ CVs in a long, and your academic record minute – get an idea of what the Some recruiters love cover letters (eg recruiter sees! Bain, to understand your motivation), Cut out jargon, reword technical job others hate them (eg optional for titles, make it understandable… McKinsey) 20 I think that I add value to only 10% of the CVs that I see, but that to those 10% I add a lot
  • 21. Agenda Introduction Getting a job – overview of process CV and cover letter Fit interview Case interview Lead up to January Q&A 21
  • 22. A fit interview can comprise both general and competency based questions General Competency/Criterion Based Open questions designed to test Gathering evidence via direct ability to sell yourself in a questions about candidate’s structured & succinct way specific competencies   Tell me about yourself   Focused on key competencies/ skills consultancy is interested in   I see you did X. Tell me about it   May miss aspects of candidate’s   Strengths and weaknesses biography   Company related   Motivation for sector ‘The Overall Impression’ 22 Note: Similar questions may also appear in online application forms, although these are more prevalent for pre-experience roles
  • 23. General interview questions Open questions designed to test ability to sell yourself in a structured & succinct way:   About you - tell me about yourself; strengths/ weaknesses   About consulting - do you understand what consulting is; why you want to work in consulting   About the firm - what you know about their firm; why you want to work there 23
  • 24. Typical consulting general interview questions You have one minute to tell me about yourself What is consulting? Why the MBA/MIF/EMBA programme? How do you think it will benefit your career? What is your greatest achievement to date? What are your weaknesses? What are your long term goals? Why should we hire you? 24
  • 25. How to answer general questions Thorough preparation and practice! Your chance to paint your own portrait Allows you to dominate the discussion Enables you to bring out your best examples But…. Great opportunity to waffle and under sell yourself 25
  • 26. Competency based interviewing Gathering evidence via direct questions about candidate’s ability on specific competencies:   Focused on key competencies consultancy is interested in (skills, experience, attributes required to succeed in job)   May miss aspects of candidate’s biography   Should probe for specific weaknesses (Round 2) 26
  • 27. Six topics are often used to source evidence on a competency General The amount of experience a candidate has had overall in using/ experience: developing the competency Specific examples: Specific examples when the candidate displayed the competency Self-evaluation: How the candidate assesses his/her ability on that competency Comparison with How the candidate compares with others on that competency others: Appraisal: What others think of the candidate on that competency Knowledge/ How well the candidate understands the need for the attitudes: competency. Whether the candidate has a good perspective on the attributes necessary for good performance on that competency 27
  • 28. Examples of competency questions – ‘drive’ Competency: Drive General How important has working hard and being driven been to your experience: career to date? Specific examples: Describe a previous achievement for which you had to strive Self-evaluation: Could you have done more to make sure you achieved your potential over the last 3 years? Comparison with How would you compare your level of drive and aspiration to others: succeed to the top quartile of your peers at LBS? Appraisal: How has you manager appraised your drive to succeed? Knowledge/ In what circumstances do you think it would be appropriate to attitudes: ‘give up’ on an objective? 28
  • 29. Key takeaways – ‘fit’ interviews Preparation is the key to success! Structure your answers First impressions matter – get it right Stay calm even if the going gets tough Do the interviewer’s job – tell him what he needs to know Take your time (don’t leap into answers) and be comfortable with Keep your answers relevant and silence concise Know when to stop Listen to the questions Learn from the experience and share Read signals from your interviewer with others Remember – at some firms and for many interviewers, the ‘fit’ is the bit to rush through to get to the case 29
  • 30. Agenda Introduction Getting a job – overview of process CV and cover letter Fit interview Case interview Lead up to January Q&A 30
  • 31. Why do recruiters use case studies? A consultant is a problem solver – this is the core skill A case interview… 1 Gives a recruiter the opportunity to see how a candidate thinks about business problems and tests their ability to solve them   Conceptual capacity   Creativity   Ability to cope in unfamiliar area   Quantitative/analytical skills   Business judgement   Ability to listen/learn   Problem structuring & synthesis   Comfort with ambiguity 2 Gives a recruiter valuable data on candidate’s ‘other skills/abilities’, e.g., their integrity, poise, confidence, etc 3 Provides the candidate with some insight into the type of work that a consultancy conducts 31
  • 32. There are at least 3 types of case Brainteaser #1 Estimation #1 Business Case What is the angle How many gallons of You are the CEO of an between the big and white house paint are insurance company. You small hands on your sold in the UK each year? want to launch an e- watch if the time is a * commerce business that quarter past three? is synergistic with your current insurance products, but that is not an insurance product Brainteaser #2 Estimation #2 How do you decide what Why are manhole covers Estimate the weight of a this on-line business round? Boeing 747 should sell? * Sample answer included in Appendix 5 32
  • 33. Brainteaser #1 7.5° 33
  • 34. Brainteaser #2 So that the lid doesn’t fall down the hole when removed Because it’s easier to drill a round hole Because the lid is easier to carry (you can roll it) Etc… 34
  • 35. Solving the business case – one step at a time Listen and clarify Structure Analyse Conclude Ensure complete Develop approach to Request information to Synthesise findings into understanding of solve problem: test hypothesis: recommendations: business issue:   Structure problem   Ask questions and   Summarise your   Listen carefully collect information findings (not just by   Identify key issues & recapping your   Take notes if it helps prioritise   Develop, test and analysis) – draw out you refine hypothesis   Formulate an initial key facts   Ask clarifying hypothesis/   Iterate   Make a questions as needed hypotheses   Hone in on the recommendation   Take time to evaluate   Articulate approach & solution   Add next steps the information given hypothesis   Verbalise your thought process 35
  • 36. Diving further into ‘structure’ the Listen and clarify Structure Analyse problem Conclude Break problem into key Prioritise issues/ Generate hypotheses issues approach Key Simplify ‘Strawman’ to prove or Speed Thoughts: disprove through analysis Identify logical start 80:20 MECE   Mutually exclusive, collectively exhaustive Tools: Use either or a Generate early You can then prioritise combination of hypotheses if: your approach using   Relevant, pre-existing   Solution space allows   Business judgement framework eg 3 Cs for (‘smell the money’)   You have the confidence market entry   General industry   Your own issue tree knowledge   Prioritisation matrix 36
  • 37. Key takeaways – case interviews Don’t apply until you’re Cases are all about: ready Further Resources   Priorities Prepare and practise Portal   Structure   Brainteasers Case book   Analysis   Estimation Consulting Club discussion   Recommendations forum   Business cases Google… McKinsey web site video Recruiter web sites It’s not about knowledge but ability! 37
  • 38. Agenda Introduction Getting a job – overview of process CV and cover letter Fit interview Case interview Lead up to January Q&A 38
  • 39. Leadup to January – assume you will have no time! Consulting recruiters that are Corporate Partner week starts 4 January Corporate Partners present to students on campus This really matters – increased reliance on internships as source of recruits Networking opportunities follow Deadlines will follow immediately afterwards Other recruiters follow with presentations in the following Sign up weeks Prepare Deadlines following CP week this Practise autumn included 2 firms with deadlines of 24:00 on the Sunday Review your expectations of Career Services following CP week   No email CV reviews First interviews were 2 weeks   Limited one-on-one access during this very busy after the start of CP week time Did I say internships are really important for consulting? 39
  • 40. Appendices Competency definitions Further examples of ‘fit’ questions, and answers STAR structure of approaching ‘fit’ questions Tips and tricks for case interviews Example of an estimation case (not checked by me – disclaimer!) 40
  • 41. Coming soon Career Services Consulting Team Consulting Club (selection) 28 Oct Problem solving for case 26 Oct Club Case interviews Workshop 30 Oct Group case workshops 26/27 Oct Accenture Speaker 4 Nov Solving complex business 28 Oct LEK Case problems Workshop 6 Nov Series of small group 9 Nov Roland Berger 20 Nov workshops covering Case Workshop aspects of preparation 10 Nov Booz&Co Case Tips 4 Dec for January recruiting and Tricks 18 Dec round 41
  • 42. Agenda Introduction Getting a job – overview of process CV and cover letter Fit interview Case interview Lead up to January Q&A 42
  • 43. Recruiting process CV and cover letter Q&A Fit interviews Case interviews January recruiting 43
  • 44. Appendix 1 – Competency Definitions 44
  • 45. Competency definitions – Problem Solving Skills (1 of 2) Competency Definition Problem Solving •  Ability to disaggregate a complex business problem into sensible, analysable components parts, to analyse these parts, and thereby to find a solid, implementable solution to the problem •  Ability to solve a tough issue that requires complex reasoning Intellectual Capacity •  Sufficient intellectual ‘horsepower’ to understand and solve complex business problems – i.e., to do the job Analytics •  Ability to conduct robust analysis of business problems. Analysis ranges from conducting market research telephone interviews to building complex financial models •  Ability to gather relevant information from a variety of sources and to understand the relationships between different pieces of information Quantitative Ability •  Comfort with numbers. Ability to solve numerical problems/conduct numerical analysis 45
  • 46. Competency definitions – Problem Solving Skills (2 of 2) Competency Definition Creativity •  Development of innovative and imaginative ideas, or solutions to problems that go beyond the obvious Comfort with •  Ability to find a logical ‘start point’ in a loosely defined problem ambiguity •  Ability to cope with a lack of information. If asked to estimate the size of a market, not – ‘That’s ridiculous’. Consultants often have to estimate things with no information Initiative •  Is proactive and self-starting, not passively accepting •  Takes action; does not wait to be directed or led •  Make active attempts to influence events to achieve goals Decision Making •  Prepared to make decisions or put forward recommendations, or to show commitment, even if information is incomplete or of uncertain validity Business judgement •  Ability to focus on identifying where the real problem is, not to get side- tracked by more minor issues •  Ability to ‘smell the money’ 46
  • 47. Competency definitions – Personal Impact Competency Definition People Skills •  Gets on with a wide range of different people, whether he/she is the leader, part of a team, a client or a consultant •  Creates rapport with the interviewer Influencing •  Can gain agreement or acceptance of ideas and plans for activities from those over whom they have no direct control Team Player •  Ability to work well in a team; to contribute positively to pushing a solution forward; using new information or feedback on wrong answers to push forward thinking; doesn’t get defensive Presence/ •  Appears comfortable and in control, but not arrogant Confidence vs Ego •  Maintains confidence when makes mistakes & keeps forging ahead Sense of Humour •  Doesn’t take themselves too seriously 47
  • 48. Competency definitions – Leadership Competency Definition Leadership •  Uses appropriate interpersonal styles and methods to inspire and guide individuals or teams towards achieving a common goal Integrity •  Does not try to bend the rules Inspirational •  Can inspire others in themselves and their ideas •  Demonstrates real insights Willingness to take •  Not frightened to challenge the interviewer (within reason!) personal risks •  Will argue their corner if they are convinced of the value of their ideas •  Have taken risks in their professional or personal life, e.g., climbing a dangerous mountain; leaving a secure job to set up an entrepreneurial business Track Record •  Solid track record of leadership achievements, e.g, sporting, clubs, military 48
  • 49. Competency definitions – Drive/ Aspiration Competency Definition Enthusiasm •  Interest in the job and demonstration they are enjoying the interview/case •  Excitement and energy when discussing past achievements Desire to Excel •  Pushes to solve business problems and does not give up (e.g., in a case interview) •  Has demonstrated superior performance in past difficult situations •  Has ‘climbed the ladder’ faster than peers Other Interests •  Demonstration of interest in and success at activities outside professional life; has achieved extra-ordinary things outside work 49
  • 50. Appendix 2 – Examples of general interview questions 50
  • 51. Example 1: What are they looking for with this question? You have one minute to tell me about yourself 51
  • 52. Example 1: What are they looking for with this question? You have one minute to tell me about yourself Ability to structure & be succinct Relevance – understanding of the skills required in consulting and illustration you have these skills Something exceptional – a hook Ability to build rapport with interviewer 52
  • 53. Example 1: How to prepare You have one minute to tell me about yourself Write down four/five key skills consultancies are looking for, e.g, problem solving, leadership & team working, confidence with clients & senior personnel, drive to excel Summarise your own pitch against these four/five bullets using concrete examples of where you have excelled Write down a couple of other interesting things about yourself that will be relevant – think hook! Top and tail your answer Read it out, while timing yourself Practice with a friend & get feedback, practice in front of the mirror, practice… 53
  • 54. Example 2: What are they looking for with this question? Why do you want to work for BCG? 54
  • 55. Example 2: What are they looking for with this question? Why do you want to work for BCG? Ability to structure & be succinct, build rapport, etc Company knowledge Motivation beyond the kudos of the brand name Understanding of the skills BCG requires and illustration you have these skills Cultural fit 55
  • 56. Example 2: How to prepare Why do you want to work for BCG? Write down three of four key things that are unique to BCG (or at least unique enough to be convincing!) Summarise what motivates you about each of these things, linking them to your past experience & skills & to your future goals Write down a summary of your understanding of BCG’s culture and summarise what motivates you about this culture, linking it to your past experience and to your future goals. Top and tail your answer Read it out, while timing yourself Practice with a friend & get feedback, practice in front of the mirror, practice…. 56
  • 57. Appendix 3 – Backup and examples of competency based interview questions 57
  • 58. Why they use competency based interviews Past behaviour is the best indicator of future behaviour Objective way of comparing you to other candidates Interviewers looking for tangible proof and results of your abilities Allows for very rigorous questioning around a single competency Enables interviewer to probe suspected weaknesses 58
  • 59. Examples of competency questions – creativity Competency: Creativity General How important has being creative been to your career to date? experience: Specific examples: Describe an instance where you had to demonstrate great creativity? Self-evaluation: How creative do you think you are and why? Comparison with How would you compare your creative ability to the top quartile of others: your peers at…? Appraisal: How has you manager appraised your creativity? Knowledge/ In your opinion how important is creativity in a consultant and attitudes: why? 59
  • 60. How to approach competency questions Identify competencies for the job you are seeking (through advert, job description, talking to people) List your experiences against each required competency Find the best example and prepare this answer in advance Prepare two more examples in advance Keep the answers concise and avoid jargon Emphasize what YOU did not just what the team did Structure answer (can use STAR or Situation Complication Resolution if appropriate) 60
  • 61. The STAR structure Situation What was the background? Task What needed to happen? Action What action did you and others take? Result What was the final result? 61
  • 62. Situation - Complication - Resolution Situation What was the background? Complication What was the problem/issue? (I.e., what made this situation far from simple) Resolution What did you do to resolve the issue and what was the final result? 62
  • 63. Example Answer: Competency = Leadership Question: How would you rate yourself as a leader? Answer: I would rate myself as a very strong leader. Situation: When I was at University, I joined the University wing of the Territorial Army. There were 180 other students in my unit, organised into six Platoons, with three Sections of ten people in each Platoon – traditional military structure. The first two years were spent as an officer cadet (ie a grunt) and in the third, you were either promoted or had to leave. Complication: There were only 18 Section Commander posts, 6 Platoon Sergeant posts and 6 Platoon Commander posts available. Virtually everybody in the unit was very keen and very ambitions, so the competition to get promoted was fierce. 63
  • 64. Example answer: Competency = Leadership Resolution: At the end of my second year, I was awarded the prize for ‘Best Woman Officer Cadet’ out of sixty women, and was then one of only six, and the only woman, to be selected to attend Officer Training, at the Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst, to be commissioned as an Officer in the Territorial Army. I was then asked to be a Platoon Commander and led the Platoon for a year, through numerous military training exercises. At the end of the year, my Platoon was awarded the annual prize for best performing Platoon. 64
  • 65. Example answer: Competency = Leadership Question: How important do you think possessing good leadership skills are for a consultant? Answer: I think they’re very important Consulting is a team based business, where teams - usually made up of consultants and clients who haven’t worked together in the past - work in pressured environments, operating to tight deadlines and on problems about which they initially may know little. In these kinds of situations, strong leadership is critical to ensure that the team works together and stay motivated, that they stay focused on the problem we’re trying to solve and don’t end up wandering off in different directions, and that they deliver a great solution in the time allocated. I found that when I was a Platoon Commander, my soldiers were very motivated when in difficult situations, by knowing that I was suffering as badly as they were (e.g., lying in a freezing trench all night). I feel that it’s very important for a leader to do everything that they expect their team to do and more. 65
  • 66. Some more example questions Competency: Creativity General How important has good business judgement been to your experience: career? Specific examples: Describe an example where you have shown great analytical skills Self-evaluation: Could you have done more to make sure you achieved your potential over the last 3 years? Comparison with How would you compare your leadership skills to the top quartile others: of your peers at London BS? Appraisal How has your manager appraised your quantitative skills? Knowledge/ In what circumstances do you think it would be appropriate to attitudes: bend the truth? 66
  • 67. Appendix 4 – How consultancies generate evidence on problem-solving with a case 67
  • 68. How consultancies generate evidence on problem-solving with a case (1 of 2) Key skills Evidence Conceptual •  Give candidate a tough issue that requires complex reasoning capacity •  Do candidates pick up on hints given to them? •  Teach them a concept, then see if they apply it later on Ability to cope in •  How willing is the candidate to attempt to solve the problem? an unfamiliar •  Not – ‘I don’t know anything about this area’ – that’s the whole area point Ability to listen •  Does candidate answer each question in isolation, or think about and learn everything discussed so far & its implications for this question Business •  Does candidate focus on identifying where the real problem is – judgement e.g., if a company has many businesses & is losing money overall, the candidate should firstly identify which are profitable and which are not – can they ‘smell money’? 68
  • 69. How consultancies generate evidence on problem-solving with a case (2 of 2) Key skills Evidence Logical, well •  Can they identify the key issues & address these in a logical and structured structured way approach •  Do they use frameworks only if appropriate; not shoehorning the case into the last framework they learned Creativity •  Alternative ideas or creative suggestions they may not have seen in other companies Synthesis •  Can they clearly summarise their conclusions so far Comfort with •  Can they find a logical ‘start point’ in a loosely defined problem ambiguity •  Can they cope with a lack of information. If asked to estimate the size of a market, not – ‘That’s ridiculous’. Consultants often have to estimate things with no information 69
  • 70. Evidence of other criteria (1 of 2) Personal Impact, Leadership, Drive/Aspiration Sample qualities Evidence Confidence, •  Appears comfortable and in control composure & •  Maintains confidence when makes mistakes & keeps forging grace under ahead pressure Teamwork •  Uses new information or feedback on wrong answers to push forward thinking; doesn’t get defensive •  Responds to interviewers feedback with – ‘That’s interesting, that must mean that…’ Empathy •  Candidate strives to create rapport with the interviewer •  Candidate is ‘likeable’ (even though the interviewer would not necessarily choose them as a friend) Influencing •  Candidate is articulate, persuasive, credible and concise Sense of Humour •  Candidate doesn’t take themselves too seriously 70
  • 71. Evidence of other criteria (2 of 2) Personal Impact, Leadership, Drive/Aspiration Sample qualities Evidence Integrity •  Candidate does not try to ‘bend the rules’ Maturity •  Candidate would feel comfortable in front of CEOs •  Candidate is solid and reliable Inspirational •  Candidate demonstrates real insights •  Can inspire others in themselves and their ideas Willingness to •  Not frightened to drive the case in new directions or to challenge the take personal interviewer (within reason!) risks •  Will argue their corner if they are convinced of the value of their ideas Takes initiative •  Happy to drive the case forward; doesn’t wait to be led Desire to Excel •  Candidate pushes to solve the problem; does not give up Enthusiasm/ •  Are they interested and do they enjoy it? Energy 71
  • 72. Appendix 5 – Estimation example “How many gallons of white house paint are sold in the UK each year?” 72
  • 73. Estimation (1 of 3) Step 1: Ask clarifying questions if you need to: Question: What is a gallon? How many litres are there in a gallon? 4.5 approx Question: Is that internal house paint, external or both? External Only Step 2: Begin your answer by making a number of sensible, relevant assumptions: The population of the UK is about 60 million •  One quarter of the population live alone – 15 million homes •  Three quarters live in families of between two and six – I’ll assume an average of three people per household – 15 million homes •  Total number of homes in the UK is 30 million 73
  • 74. Estimation (2 of 3) •  Some of these are houses, some are flats •  Every single person I know lives in a flat. However, because I live in central London, I’ll assume that is not entirely typical. I’ll assume 80% of single people live in flats, 20% in houses. 12 million flats; 3 million houses •  Assuming the opposite for families is probably fair •  15 million houses; 15 million flats •  Because the UK is a cold country, most houses are not painted white. There are centres where white houses are popular: Devon and Cornwall, some coastal towns, ‘chocolate box’ villages. But, the population in these areas is sparse and mostly houses. I will therefore assume that only 2% of flats are painted white, and 10% of houses. •  300,000 flats and 1,500,000 houses 74
  • 75. Estimation (3 of 3) •  My house is 1,500 square feet. I’ll assume that’s average. The height of a wall is about 10 foot, so, in the average house there is (150*10) + (10*10) = 1,600 sq foot of external wall per house (I’m ignoring windows) •  The average flat, is about a third the size of the average house – 500 sq foot. (50*10) + (10*10) = 600 sq foot of external wall per flat •  Total external ‘white’ wall space is (1,600*1,500,000) + (600*300,000) = 3,150 million + 180 million = 3,330,000,000 sq foot •  But, an external wall will only be painted once every ten years •  So, the total external white wall space to be painted every year is 3,330 million/10 = 333,000,000 sq foot •  I’ve done a lot of painting in my life and on the side of a gallon, it says that coverage is about 20 sq foot per gallon. But I’d give a wall two coats, therefore coverage is 10 sq foot per gallon 33,300,000 gallons of white house paint are sold in the UK every year! 75