Consulting Case Study Preparation

Report
Preparing for Consulting Interviews
Planning for the Summer!
May 2, 2014
Advanced Professional Degree
Consulting Club
Advanced Professional Degree
Consulting Club
1
Agenda
• Presentation:
•
•
•
•
•
Roadmap: now to fall recruiting
The consulting interview
Case frameworks
Effective preparation strategies
Creating your own timeline and prep plan
• Panel Discussion
• Organize case study small groups, networking social hour
2
APDCC
Roadmap 2014 – 2015: MBA Recruiting
April - May
June
July
August
September
October
Research Firms
Network – Info Interviews
Run 5-10 Cases
Info Interviews over Summer with Target Firms
Run 5-10 Cases per Month (~20 over Summer)
Update Resume + Cover Letters, Draft Apps
Polish Resume + Cover Letters
Info Interviews with Target Firms
Case + Behavioral Interview Prep
Mock Interviews
Applications + Interviews
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Roadmap 2014 – 2015: APD Recruiting
April - May
June
July
August
September
Research Firms
Network – Info Interviews
Run 10 -15 Cases
Polish Resume + Cover Letters
Polish Behavioral/Fit Stories
Info Interviews with Target Firms
Run 5-10 Cases per Month (~20 over Summer)
Update Resume + Cover Letters, Draft Apps
Mock Interviews
Applications + Interviews
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October
Agenda
• Presentation:
•
•
•
•
•
Roadmap: now to fall recruiting
The consulting interview
Case frameworks
Effective preparation strategies
Creating your own timeline and prep plan
• Panel Discussion
• Organize case study small groups, networking social hour
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The consulting interview: what is it?
Section
You’re confident, warm,
professional
Behavioral / Fit
Interview
1. A few questions about your
resume and experience
You’re a fit with the firm. “Airport
test” – you’re a nice person
Case Interview
1. An ambiguous business problem
that you work cooperatively with
the interviewer to solve
Confidence and communication,
structure, math ability
Intros and
Small Talk
10-20
minutes
5
minutes
What they look for
1. Wait in common area
2. Greet interviewer, walk to
interview suite, small talk
~10
minutes
20 – 35
minutes
Process
Wrap Up
Good questions, not stock.
1. Your opportunity to ask questions Opportunity to ask about the
of the interviewer
interviewer’s background, time at
the firm.
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The consulting interview
Behavioral / fit interview
What is it?
Questions about your background. Designed to assess your fit with consulting and the
specific firm you’re interviewing with.
Mechanics
1. Interviewer will ask you a question (first one is usually, “Walk me through your resume”).
2. Take 1 – 2 minutes to respond.
3. Interviewer may ask a follow-up question or may move on to next question.
What to do:
1. Know your stories (based on your work, school, and other experience) well.
2. Be confident, concise, and structured. Smile and let your personality through.
Sample behavioral/fit questions:
1. Tell me about a time you overcame a challenge when you were working on a team.
2. Tell me about a time you had to convince someone when you didn’t have formal authority.
3. Tell me about a time when you exhibited leadership.
4. Why consulting?
5. Why Carlson / University of Minnesota?
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~10
minutes
The consulting interview
Case interview
What is it?
An ambiguous business problem that you need to approach with a logical structure and
work with your interviewer to solve.
~20-30
minutes
Two common case interview methods:
1. “Go with the flow” cases (typical of most firms) – you will determine which areas to explore and
lead the discussion, i.e. drive the case.
2. “Command and control” (typical of McKinsey) – interviewer will guide the discussion. Case typically
has heavy brainstorming components and quantitative work.
Common case types (not comprehensive):
1. Profitability
2. Market Entry
3. Acquisition
4. Industry Analysis (incl. non-profit)
5. Market Sizing
6. Capacity Expansion (incl. outsourcing)
7. Investment Decisions
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The consulting interview
Case interview
~1-2
minutes
~1-2
minutes
~15-20
minutes
~1-2
minutes
Section
Process
To Do
Prompt and
Clarification
Interviewer will give you a prompt
(usually a few sentences) with limited
info about a business problem a
company is facing.
1. Confirm the key details.
2. Ask 1-3 clarifying questions.
3. Ask for a minute to develop
an approach.
Develop
Framework
Take 1-2 minutes to write your
structured framework/approach on a
sheet of paper.
1. Draw a framework (usually 35 key areas to explore).
2. Walk interviewer through
your plan.
Solve Case
Work with interviewer and use your
framework to get information and
work toward solution.
1. Ask questions following your
structure.
2. Listen actively for guidance
from interviewer.
Conclude
Drive case to a conclusion before time
expires.
1. Answer the initial question
and take a definite stand.
2. Address risks.
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Agenda
• Presentation:
•
•
•
•
•
Roadmap: now to fall recruiting
The consulting interview
Case frameworks
Effective preparation strategies
Creating your own timeline and prep plan
• Panel Discussion
• Organize case study small groups, networking social hour
10
APDCC
Case frameworks
What is a framework?
A framework is your structured, logical approach to solving a case question. After prompt is read,
candidates usually takes ~1-2 minutes to create a structured approach to explore the issue at hand.
Representative of actual consultanting work with clients.
Hypothesis: X is the cause of Y
Main Issue 1
Sub-point 1
Sub-point 2
Sub-point 3
Main Issue 2
Sub-point 1
Sub-point 2
Sub-point 3
Your hypothesis about the
problem drives your
structure.
Main Issue 3
The main issues you explore
should be “mutuallyexclusive and collectively
exhaustive” (MECE)
Sub-point 1
Sub-point 2
Sub-point 3
Sub-points should cover
more detailed but still broad
questions you want to
explore.
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Example case
Your client is the owner of a local brewery who has sold craft beer in Minneapolis for the
last 5 years. The brewery has suffered declining profitability in the last few years. Your
client has approached you to help him determine how to remedy this situation.
APDCC
A MECE framework example
Your client is the owner of a local brewery who has sold craft beer in Minneapolis for the last 5 years.
The brewery has suffered declining profitability in the last few years. Your client has approached you
to help him determine how to remedy this situation.
Change over time
Price(s)
Revenue
Volume
Profit
OK – but
is this enough
to answer
the client’s
question?
Fixed
Costs
Variable
Source: Fuqua Consulting Club
APDCC
A more comprehensive, structured approach
Your client is the owner of a local brewery who has sold craft beer in Minneapolis for the last 5 years.
The brewery has suffered declining profitability in the last few years. Your client has approached you
to help him determine how to remedy this situation.
1. Context
• Maturity?
• General economy?
• Regulations?
• Competition?
• Customer behavior? Etc.
2. Isolate Causes
Change over time
Price(s)
Revenue
Volume
Getting there –
but this approach
is generic
and lacks any
customization
to the client
Profit
Costs
Fixed
Variable
3. Evaluate Solutions
• Raise price?
• Expand?
• Relocate?
• Liquidate/close shop?
• Other?.
Costs/benefits
Risk
Source: Fuqua Consulting Club
APDCC
Agenda
• Presentation:
•
•
•
•
•
Roadmap: now to fall recruiting
The consulting interview
Case frameworks
Effective preparation strategies
Creating your own timeline and prep plan
• Panel Discussion
• Organize case study small groups, networking social hour
15
APDCC
Effective preparation strategies for the summer
Behavioral/fit questions
1
Meet with career center to assess current level and plan leading up to fall recruiting.
2
Research characteristics target firms look for (similar but NOT the exact same at all firms).
3
Spend time reflecting on your motivations, what makes you tick, how that aligns with
consulting.
4
Develop the “personal brand” and 3 main points you want to convey. Your personal brand
should be 1-2 sentences about what makes you stand out.
5
Develop 5-7 strong stories and 4-5 secondary stories to address the areas your target firms are
looking for. Use either STAR format or another similar format.
6
Practice your stories for timing (1 – 2 minutes), structure, concision, and polished
communication. Start practicing in front of a webcam or on umn.interviewstream.com, then
with other students and the career center, then in full mock interviews.
7
Get continual feedback and take advantage of all the resources available to you!
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Effective preparation strategies for the summer
Cases
1
Read Marc Cosentino, Victor Cheng, others (see Carlson Consulting Club website).
2
Listen to Victor Cheng’s “Look Over My Shoulder” (LOMS) or find other examples to use as initial
models for doing case interviews.
3
Read case books from other MBA programs (Wharton, HBS, others can be found online).
4
Get comfortable with more generic frameworks (Cheng’s, Cosentino’s, others), then incorporate
into your own custom frameworks (profitability, new market, M&A, growth, etc.).
5
Do as many practice cases as you can and/or feel you need. Practice with other students and
career coaches. When feel relatively confident, ask consultants from target firms that you’ve
networked with to run a case with you. Also give cases to others (also helpful for you).
6
Build a library of practice cases and frameworks – ID areas you consistently forget to explore.
7
Practice math skills as needed. Victor Cheng’s website has a resource for practicing math.
8
Continue reading case interview-related resources, refining your skills and approach.
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Agenda
• Presentation:
•
•
•
•
•
Roadmap: now to fall recruiting
The consulting interview
Case frameworks
Effective preparation strategies
Creating your own timeline and prep plan
• Panel Discussion
• Organize case study small groups, networking social hour
18
APDCC
2014 Recruiting Checklist for Full-Time MBA Candidates
Exploring
Applications
Interview Prep
 Research firms as needed (Wetfeet,
company websites)
 Develop plan for full-time recruiting
 Develop plan for case and fit/behavioral prep (goals, journal to track
progress, timeline, resources list)
 Run 2-3 cases
May
 Info intervitews wih at least 2
consultants from target firms
 Read “Case in Point,” listen to “Look Over My Shoulder,” watch
other Victor Cheng videos available through CCC website
 Read other case prep materials (see resources list)
 Run 5-10 cases with classmates, GBCC
 Build personal brand, stories for behavioral Qs, practice answering in
STAR format
June
 Stay in touch with other 1st years
during internships
 Info interviews with at least 2
consultants from target firms
July
 Info interviews with at least 3
consultants from target firms
 Draft cover letters,
review with GBCC
 Run 5-10 cases with classmates, GBCC. Include 1 fit question at
beginning of every case.
Aug
 Info interviews with at least 3
consultants from target firms
 Work with GBCC
to polish resumes
and cover letters,
draft apps
 Run 5-10 cases with classmates, GBCC. Include 2 fit questions at
beginning of every case.
 Mock interviews with GBCC, others at Carlson
 Mock interviews with firms
Sept
 Stay in touch with target firms. Get
feedback on interview skills, resume,
cover letters from warm contacts at
target firms.
 Corporate Reception
 Applications Due
 Mock interviews with GBCC, others at Carlson
 Mock interviews with firms
 Interviews
Oct
 Attend Carlson networking events
 Applications Due
 Interviews
April
 Review resume with
GBCC
 Run 5-10 cases with classmates, GBCC. Include 1 fit question at
beginning of every case.
 Practice fit/behavioral questions with classmates, GBCC
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2014 Recruiting Checklist for APD Candidates
Exploring
Applications
Interview Prep
 Research firms as needed (Wetfeet,
company websites)
 Review resume with
career coaches
 Develop plan for full-time recruiting
 Develop plan for case and fit/behavioral prep (goals, journal to track
progress, timeline, resources list)
 Run 2-3 cases
May
 Info intervitews wih at least 2
consultants from target firms
 Draft cover letters,
review with career
coaches
 Read “Case in Point,” listen to “Look Over My Shoulder,” watch
other Victor Cheng videos available through CCC website
 Read other case prep materials (see resources list)
 Run 5-10 cases with classmates, others
 Build personal brand, stories for behavioral Qs, practice answering in
STAR format
June
 Stay in touch with other 1st years
during internships
 Info interviews with at least 2
consultants from target firms
 Work with career
coaches to polish
resumes and cover
letters, draft apps
 Run 10-15 cases with classmates, others. Include 1 fit question at
beginning of every case.
 Practice fit/behavioral questions with classmates, career coaches
July
 Stay in touch with target firms. Get
feedback on interview skills, resume,
cover letters from warm contacts at
target firms
 Applications due McKinsey
 Run 5-10 cases with classmates, others. Include 1 fit question at
beginning of every case.
Aug
 Stay in touch with target firms. Get
feedback from warm contacts.
 Applications due –
BCG, others
 Interviews – McKinsey, others
 Mock interviews with classmates, career coaches
 Mock interviews with firms
April
Sept
 Interviews – McKinsey, others
 Mock interviews with career coaches, firms
Oct
 Interviews
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Recruiting dates approaching for APD students
Application Deadlines:
McKinsey:
July 20
BCG:
August 10
Others:
reach out to the firms you’re interested in
Interviews:
McKinsey:
August
BCG:
“Bridge to BCG” workshop – June, interviews Aug & Sept
Others: Aug – Sept
Bottom line: APD recruiting can be flexible and complicated – do your homework
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Agenda
• Presentation:
•
•
•
•
•
Roadmap: now to fall recruiting
The consulting interview
Case frameworks
Effective preparation strategies
Creating your own timeline and prep plan
• Panel Discussion
• Organize case study small groups, networking social hour
22
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Panelists:
Jake Titus
Katie Williams
Alyssa Callister
Andy Luo
2nd-Year MBA
Deloitte
1st-Year MBA
McKinsey
1st-Year MBA
Gallup
APD
McKinsey
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Agenda
• Presentation:
•
•
•
•
•
Roadmap: now to fall recruiting
The consulting interview
Case frameworks
Effective preparation strategies
Creating your own timeline and prep plan
• Panel Discussion
• Organize case study small groups, networking social hour
24
APDCC
Organize case study small groups, networking social hour
Questions to ask others to form small groups to practice cases:
1) What are your goals
2) What firms are you interested in?
3) What time availability do you have? How much and when do you want to practice this
summer?
Optional Google doc to sign up for case interview small groups:
http://bit.ly/1mWgSCC
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Contact Info
2014 – 2015 Carlson Consulting Club
Luke Wilcox, President
Amit Aggarwal, Vice President
Mike Jennings, Vice President
Dhruv Suhag, Vice President
[email protected]
[email protected]
[email protected]
[email protected]
https://sites.google.com/a/umn.edu/carlson-consulting-club/useful/
2014 – 2015 Advanced Professional Degree Consulting Club
Tim Pearce
[email protected]
Nic Kramer
[email protected]
http://www.umnapdcc.com/resource-page/
Graduate Business Career Center
Ashley Bowes Johnson
Michelle Moylan
[email protected]
[email protected]
Thanks to Victor Cheng, Marc Cosentino, the Fuqua Consulting Club, and the Wharton Consulting
Club for providing inspiration and ideas for the content of this presentation.
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