The stories below are from readers who have successfully landed their first management consulting offer. I think you may find their stories and tips for preparation useful.
Thanks for all the help from the websites and your daily blog.
As an experienced professional, the process is just the same. But for me, I had a full day of interviews and the PST (first and final rounds combined). I got the verbal job offer that evening.
So just a few items of feedback.
You have talked about the parade approach. I had 12 situations prepared and in each interview did one in full and used elements of others. Each interviewer was very clear telling me not to reuse a situation. Equally each interviewer asked for something slightly different. So candidates need to have several situations prepared and not just enough for one per interview.
I have been practising the PST and felt quite comfortable going in. My feedback is the same as you have mentioned before. Tough, just got finished, no time to check and not a clue how well I had done. Thanks for all the tips and practice.
Finally, math practice is critical for both the cases and the PST. I cannot tell you how effective the math practice site is. I used it for about 4 weeks 10 to 15 minutes per day. Always estimation, random and hard. I went from being average to virtually top 20% in terms of accuracy and speed. I cannot underestimate how valuable going from 5 to 9 per minute is. It buys you so much time.
I appreciate the help!
I just wanted to very briefly reach out, offer my thanks and let you know of my success with consulting recruiting in my final year of a Bachelor of Commerce degree at [public research university]. I was exposed to your resources early this year as I was applying for consulting summer internships. I avidly read your emails and took much confidence from the stories that you share.
I was unsuccessful in getting even one consulting interview for summer positions, and knew that I had to fill some gaps in my experience. I followed your advice for cover letter and resume writing to every last word by filling gaps in my analytical work experience, getting a brand name on the resume and communicating concisely with a large amount of purpose behind each sentence and word I wrote.
This worked far beyond my expectations. I received interviews for seven Management Consulting positions – something I didn’t think was possible and something that my classmates struggled to even get one or two of.
Not only this, but I believe that I’ve passed on your lessons (and others I’ve learned) to my peers and friends, some of whom have had equal success. Of course, your content about case interviews and the PARADE method for behavioural questions helped quite a bit as well, but in the end it’s simply practice that makes perfect (and I still don’t think I’m near perfect to be honest).
I’ve just accepted an offer to work with [a top consulting firm] in a quickly growing office, and I was able to pick from a few other offers in the meantime.
I also act on the Board of Directors for a student-run organization that engages undergraduate and graduate students to provide pro-bono consulting work for local businesses. We incorporate mentoring and speakers from [several of the top firms]. The program is taking off and I owe a large other portion of my success to my participation in it.
Thanks very much for your help over the last eight months. I had a huge turnaround, which was in large part due to your materials. I’ve enlisted in the F1Y mailing list and am looking forward to reading the notes as they come.
Hope you are doing well. I just received an offer from McKinsey and Co for an Associate role. I am doing an MBA from a non-core school, therefore it was really hard for me to prepare for case interviews and reach the interview stage.
I prepared for Mckinsey interviews by practicing more than 100 live cases, going through LOMS around 5-6 times and casebooks from different schools. Based on my experience, I want to share the following key takeaways which might be useful for anyone applying to MBB.
- Persistence and Dedication: I got dinged from Bain, AT Kearney, BCG, Booz and Oliver Wyman without even making to interview stage. However I prepared really well and I was just looking for one opportunity so I can make use of it.
- Personal Experience Interview: A lot of students don’t focus on PEI which is a big mistake. I gave 5-6 mock PEI interviews and reviewed my stories with friends before actual interviews. PEI matters a lot specially in Round 2 Interviews. Therefore don’t ignore, and follow the PARADE method.
- Creativity and Big Picture: McKinsey’s Round 2 is pretty much just brainstorming different ideas with Partners and thinking strategically. In Round 1 they check Problem Solving Skills; the focus of Round 2 is to check if candidate can address CEO level issues and think big.
These are three key takeaways from my experience. I want to thank you again for providing wonderful resources.
I have heard you a Newsletter for first year consultants? Can you include me in the mailing list?
[Note from Victor: You can join my email newsletter for new consultants here: New Consultant ENewsletter]
I am really excited to be finally writing this email to you. I have read so many “success stories” and was eagerly waiting for the day I will get to write my own.
I just received an offer from McKinsey Dubai for a Business Analyst position after 1 PST and 2 rounds of 5 interviews overall with EMs and Partners.
I would like to share with you all some thoughts on what I believe were the most essential things that really made the difference in getting the job:
1) Hard work:
There is no shortcut to success, no magical formula. I was casing every single day, at least twice, for 5 weeks. I skipped going out on weekends, traveling on fall break, just to focus on getting better at it.
I went through LOMS at least 5 times, both written and audio recordings. I got the point that I was dreaming about solving a case!!!!
2) Knowing when to stop:
While I was casing every single day, I was terrible at it. I would get the structure off, the math wrong, my recommendations were weak. I was a disaster. In fact, in all 60-70 cases I did, I screwed up in 90% of them.
It wasn’t because I didn’t know how to do cases, it was because I was doing the same mistakes over and over and over again. I was stuck in a hole, and luckily for me my roommate gave me the best advice at that time: “Dude, you are in a hole: STOP!”
So in my last week before the interview, I actually stopped casing. I didn’t do a single case, I just let it all sink in, relaxed, went out and also focused on my midterms.
3) Balancing my intellect with my personality:
During my interviews, I focused on having a great time with the interviewer and making the most out of my time there. I smiled, laughed sometimes, had conversations and genuinely enjoyed every single moment in the case.
In fact, by the end of my last interview, I had just completed three 1-hour long cases and the only thing I could think of is: I want another case! I didn’t force anything, I was myself and the partners just loved me.
In fact, they loved me to the extent that they didn’t even want to wait and call me on the phone, one of the partners came to me right after my last interview and said, “You have impressed all of us, you have a bright future ahead of you. We all loved you here…when can you start?”
In the end, I would like to thank you Victor for your amazing tips, for LOMS, for your book and for this website. I would also like to thank everyone who shared their struggles and successes, you were an inspiration to me. To all aspiring consultants, YOU CAN MAKE IT. Go out there and crack the case!