Do you dream of working in a top strategy consulting firm like Mckinsey, Roland Berger or BCG? Good news, at Women in Business we have listed several tips that help you succeed in your aspirations!
This article is divided in two main parts: first of all we’ll illustrate how to pass the initial screening phase, then you’ll receive some info on how to ace the interview.
1) How to get through the screening?
Of course the CVs and cover letters are extremely important, as they are the first thing the firm will ever see of you, and can determine wether they’ll let you go through with your candidacy; therefore you need to adopt the standard consulting format of those documents - you can find a lot of advice and examples on the internet. Furthermore, many applicants are screened through people they already know in the company: if you do not know anybody, it is advisable to create your own network. To do this, look up the companies you like on Linkedin, contact people (preferably those who went to your university or with whom you have mutual acquaintances), ask them for a phone call and ask them questions. First of all, this will help you find out more about the company to see if it would be a good fit. Second, the person in question may offer to send your CV internally.
2) How to succeed in the interview?
The consulting interview is usually divided into two main parts: the fit (10 minutes) and the case (30 minutes).
a) The fit
Find as many information as you can about the company in question: why do you like this company, what are they known for? You should deeply understand what makes it different from other firms (specialities, values, way of working…) and why this is relevant to you and your experiences. Be specific and honest. In a second step, prepare personal stories on three dimensions: leadership, influence and entrepreneurship. In addition, consider preparing some classic questions such as “what was your biggest challenge” or similar.
b) The case study
It is essential to practice a lot in order to succeed in the case study, which is where you really have to demonstrate your consulting talent. On many sites such as Consultor, Preplounge and Casecoach you will find helpful ideas on how to approach this difficult challenge. It is best to practice with other two or three people, either your friends or people online; a good method is to ask for the case you have been given, take notes on it and then give it to another person. This allows you to absorb all the important informations and understand them well.
Finally, pay attention to maths and practise your mental arithmetic. Reading economic articles in order to have a business sense is also very important.
Good luck to you!