IIML Casebook 2014-15

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The Consulting & Strategy Club, IIM Lucknow Page 1

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No part of this casebook may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means electronic, mechanical, photocopying or otherwise without prior consent from The Consulting & Strategy Club, IIM Lucknow.

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The Consulting & Strategy Club, IIM Lucknow Page 2 Foreword

As companies worldwide get more and more concerned about hiring the right talent for their key positions, candidate evaluation during interviews has become all the more sophisticated. The case interview is unique in the sense that it presents the candidate with a problem to be solved in the context of real-world business situations and seeks solutions that tests both logical reasoning and creativity. It allows the interviewer to evaluate the candidate’s skills in deconstructing a problem and communicating their thought process, the ability to think on their feet, handle ambiguity and assess their comfort with numbers. Although, traditionally used by consulting firms in their recruiting processes, the case method is now increasingly used for jobs across functions whether general management or investment banking. The casebook by The Consulting & Strategy Club of IIM Lucknow documents candidates’ interview experiences by different firms that have been hiring from the IIM Lucknow campus over the years. The ideal way to use this book would be for the candidate to first arrive at a case solution employing his own approach and then enhance his learning through comparison with the approaches documented in the casebook.

The Consulting & Strategy Club

Anmol | Ankit | Devanshu | Rahul | Prince | Suraj Amit | Arushi | Devika | Jyothirmayi | Riya | Saksham

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The Consulting & Strategy Club, IIM Lucknow Page 3

Contents

Foreword ... 2

About Case Interviews... 6

Skills Tested ... 6

Types of Cases Encountered ... 6

Do List for a Case Interview ... 7

Frameworks ... 7

Some Important Frameworks ... 7

Summer Internship Experiences 2013 ... 12

Accenture Management Consulting ... 12

Interview Experience 1 ... 12 Interview Experience 2 ... 13 Interview Experience 3 ... 15 Interview Experience 4 ... 18 Interview Experience 5 ... 19 Interview Experience 6 ... 23 Interview Experience 7 ... 25 A T Kearney ... 28 Interview Experience 8 ... 28

Boston Consulting Group... 29

Interview Experience 9 ... 29 Interview Experience 10 ... 31 Deloitte ... 34 Interview Experience 11 ... 34 Interview Experience 12 ... 35 Interview Experience 13 ... 38 KPMG ... 40 Interview Experience 14 ... 40 McKinsey & Co ... 41 Interview Experience 15 ... 41 Interview Experience 16 ... 43 Interview Experience1 7 ... 44 Interview Experience 18 ... 47

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Interview Experience 19 ... 50

Interview Experience 20 ... 51

Interview Experience 21 ... 52

Summer Internship Experiences 2012 ... 54

Boston Consulting Group ... 54

Interview Experience 1 ... 54 Interview Experience 2 ... 58 Interview Experience 3 ... 59 McKinsey & Co ... 61 Interview Experience 4 ... 61 Interview Experience 5 ... 64 Interview Experience 6 ... 65 Interview Experience 7 ... 66 A T Kearney ... 68 Interview Experience 8 ... 68

Accenture Business Consulting ... 70

Interview Experience 10 ... 71 Interview Experience 11 ... 71 Interview Experience 12 ... 73 Interview Experience 13 ... 74 Interview Experience 14 ... 77 Interview Experience 15 ... 78 Interview Experience 16 ... 80 Interview Experience 17 ... 82 Interview Experience 18 ... 85 Deloitte ... 87 Interview Experience 19 ... 87

Summer Internship Experiences 2011 ... 89

Accenture Business Consulting ... 89

Interview Experience 1 ... 89

Interview Experience 2 ... 91

Interview Experience 3 ... 96

Boston Consulting Group ... 99

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The Consulting & Strategy Club, IIM Lucknow Page 5 Interview Experience 5 ... 106 Interview Experience 6 ... 109 Interview Experience 7 ... 111 Interview Experience 8 ... 112 KPMG ... 117 Interview Experience 9 ... 117 Interview Experience 10 ... 118

Mckinsey & Co. ... 123

Interview Experience 11 ... 123

Interview Experience 12 ... 124

Interview Experience 13 ... 125

Interview Experience 14 ... 128

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The Consulting & Strategy Club, IIM Lucknow Page 6 About Case Interviews

Case interviews are usually based on real problems which interviewers themselves have encountered in the course of their client engagements. They usually last for about 20 minutes and seek to test the candidate’s problem solving skills. In a typical case interview, the interviewer states a problem and the interviewee goes about tackling the problem by asking a series of questions. The interviewer answers these questions based on how he wishes to direct the interview. The candidate must put forth a logical framework for solving the problem after having understood the key issues and must ideally make some recommendations/conclusions towards the end of a case.

Skills Tested

 Problem solving skills  Quantitative skills  Communication skills  Poise and professionalism  Firm fit

Types of Cases Encountered

 Estimation cases–Determine something by making reasonable assumptions about critical variables.

For example: How many golf balls fit into a 747, or how many pens are sold every month on the IIM Lucknow campus?

 Market Sizing & Entry/Expansion

 Profit/Losses – Analyze changes in profitability, revenues and costs  Industry Analysis

 Product Launch – Help a client gauge if and how to launch a product  Mergers & Acquisitions

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The Consulting & Strategy Club, IIM Lucknow Page 7 To-do List for a Case Interview

 Take notes

 Do not make any assumptions  Ask questions

 Take your time before responding  Lay out a structure for the interviewer  Summarize at regular intervals

Frameworks

 Knowledge of basic types of frameworks is helpful in case interviews  Helps in structuring the case analysis especially complex cases

 Attention should be paid to minute details of the case  Identify the most critical issue and try to find solution for it

 All the frameworks are very well-known and just using them won’t help you in cracking the interview

 Don’t fit a framework forcefully. Use it as a checklist to be exhaustive in case you are stuck

 Try mixing and matching frameworks with different types of cases  Try to form your own effective framework

Some Important Frameworks

SUPPLY AND DEMAND:

The market-clearing price and quantity is determined by the intersection of demand curve and the supply curve.

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The Consulting & Strategy Club, IIM Lucknow Page 8 PROFITABILITY:

Try to find out the reason for change in profitability. Profit = P * Q - ((VC * Q) + FC)

Profits are defined as total revenue minus total cost. Changes in revenue are due to a change in quantity, price or both. Total cost is the sum of variable plus fixed costs. Variable costs vary directly with quantity while fixed costs are set for a given period.

3Cs:

It is one of the most widely used frameworks and one can differentiate their analysis by not using it. Still, a quick and effective framework for industry analysis!

PORTER’S 5 FORCES MODEL:

It is usually the first step in industry analysis and should be followed by further analysis. This makes it very time consuming in nature. Analysts use it for qualitative evaluation of a firm’s strategic position.

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VALUE AND SUPPLY CHAIN:

It can be used to examine an industry’s depth.

PORTER’S GENERIC STRATEGIES: It is a very effective tool in analysis of the cases.

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The Consulting & Strategy Club, IIM Lucknow Page 10

SWOT:

In a full case analysis, this framework leads to time wastage and should be avoided. It can be used as a presentation framework.

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The Consulting & Strategy Club, IIM Lucknow Page 11 MARKETING FRAMEWORKS:

These frameworks are very helpful in analysing marketing cases in consulting interviews.

STP:

Segmentation:

 Consider variables for segmenting markets  Analyse the profile of emerging segments  Validate emerging segments

Targeting:

 Formulate a targeting strategy

 Decision on which segments should be targeted Positioning:

 Understand the perception of the customers  Position products in the minds of the consumers 4Ps:

 Product – Functionality, brand, packaging and services  Price- Absolute and relative price

 Place- Channel, inventory, logistics and distribution

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The Consulting & Strategy Club, IIM Lucknow Page 12

Summer Internship Experiences 2013 Accenture Management Consulting

Interview Experience 1

Name: Ankit Singhania

Company: AMC

Name of interviewer and

designation One senior person , One HR, One Partner

Round

(First/Second/third) 3 Rounds

Brief Profile :

(Graduation College, stream, Work ex details, etc.)

BITS-Pilani, Chemical Engineering, Oracle Financial Services Software -22 months, CFA Level1, family work experience in pharmaceutical

Interview questions (With indicative answers if you choose to share them)

Round 1:

Tell me about yourself Why AMC?

Why Consulting? Why not finance?

Why MBA from Engineering? Any question you would like to us? Round 2: Mostly HR

Tell me about yourself Why AMC?

Why Consulting?

Any question you would like to us? Round 3:

Tell me about yourself Why AMC?

Why Consulting?

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The Consulting & Strategy Club, IIM Lucknow Page 13 Narration of the case

interview (Please be as descriptive as possible)

Round 1:

1. Ranbaxy production is falling. Give me the structure and exhaustive list.

2. Ranbaxy profits are falling. Give me the structure of all the parameters under consideration.

Round 3 :

1. Calculate the cost of the disease ( opportunity cost+ medical expenses+ social +emotional cost )

2. List down all the parameters to be considered while constructing a Toll booth on highway to generate maximum revenue.

What do you think went

right in this interview? Knowledge about company and cracking the case.

What do you think went

wrong in this interview? Why consulting could have been more better

Any tips for future batches on the basis of your

experience

Read about the company on their website and include that information in your answers.

Practise basic case solving frameworks

Interview Experience 2

Name: Arpit Agal

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The Consulting & Strategy Club, IIM Lucknow Page 14 Name of interviewer and

designation Round 1: Senior Manager Round 2: HR Round 3: Partner Round (First/Second/third) Brief Profile : (Graduation College, stream, Work ex details, etc.)

Chemical Engineer from IITB, 22 months of work experience at Capital One

Interview questions (With indicative answers if you choose to share them)

Round 1:

 Mostly questions on my work experience at Capital One and what I learnt out of it

One basic question on marketing strategy of a company  Why Accenture? Why consulting?

Round 2:

 Pure HR interview with all kinds of standard HR questions like leadership examples, strengths, why consulting, hobbies, social work etc.

Round 3:

 Partner Round- Checking the fit. Similar questions as earlier. No case studies or guesstimate.

Narration of the case interview (Please be as descriptive as possible)

All the rounds had a common objective: checking whether consulting is fit for me. They were especially keen on the learnings out of my work ex. Any standout achievement will really help here. Otherwise the questions were quite

straightforward. No technical stuff for me (cases,

guesstimates). “Why Accenture” is one question which was asked in all the three rounds.

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The Consulting & Strategy Club, IIM Lucknow Page 15 What do you think went

right in this interview? I was quite relaxed and had prepared well for my HR answers. I had prepared couple of questions on Accenture based on their ppt and website which helped in making conversation a better one.

What do you think went

wrong in this interview? I had a break between my second and third round due to other interviews. It caused a slight break in the flow although not a major one.

Any tips for future batches on the basis of your

experience

 Go through the website and their campus ppt well  Be prepared with “Why Accenture” answer

 Prepare for all the standard HR answers well in advance. It really helps on the final day.

Interview Experience 3

Name: Mohammed Mudassar

Company: Accenture Management Consulting Name of interviewer and

designation Rounds 1,3: Do not know Round 2: HR

Round 4 (Telephonic) : Vishwesh Prabhakar, Partner

Round 4 Rounds

Brief Profile : Computer Science Engineering, Osmania University, Hyd. 12 months at Google as Corporate Operations Engineer

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The Consulting & Strategy Club, IIM Lucknow Page 16 Interview questions (With

indicative answers if you choose to share them)

Round 1:

Why would a person with a very technical background want to go into consulting?

What is the current mobile phone I use? (At the time, I used a Micromax A74)

Why has Micromax succeeded? What has it done correctly? What do you understand from Micromax’s recent advertising campaigns? Why has it cast Hugh Jackman?

Why is Nokia doing badly? What are the strategic mistakes it has made?

Which other industries interest me? (Apart from technology, my answer was Aviation)

Why is the aviation industry not profitable?

Caselet: How would I approach the situation if Boeing asked me to help their suppliers (HAL) improve their output? What recent major deals in aviation did I know about? How would I be able to handle the pressures and challenges of a consulting career?

Round 2:

Largely conversational, my experiences and expectations from consulting and whether Accenture would fit me. No clichéd HR questions.

Round 3:

Guesstimate the size of the Indian Diaper market.

Repeating the point about me being too technical for the role. Round 4:

What is Accenture’s current stock price? Is Accenture a public or a private company? Where is Accenture headquartered out of? What is causing deflation in Japan?

More questions about the state of the Japanese economy and macroeconomics in general.

What should the governor of RBI focus on? Narration of the case

interview Boeing parts:  I was only asked to list the broad areas I’d look at. Listed transportation, supply chain, labour relations, and legal arrangements.

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The Consulting & Strategy Club, IIM Lucknow Page 17  Added one or two possible problems under each issue

and suggested solutions. Guesstimate(Diapers):

 Structured using the number of kids in India using population statistics, the family income, and cost of diaper by guessing the percentage of families who would use diapers.

 My initial estimate was $12 billion, way too high, and without him pointing it out, I tried to adjust my various estimates.

 He was fairly happy with the structure and did not try to correct the numbers too much.

What do you think went

right in this interview?  Google on my resume helped. My interviewers looked at that, smiled at me, and probably did not look beyond that on the CV.

 In Round 1, the interviewer stated an incorrect fact about the aviation industry and I corrected him. This made me look knowledgeable and he didn’t ask too many factual questions after that.

 Also, on the questions involving me being too technical, I took a consistent stance that I like technology and I believe it can be applied through consulting. I felt they were trying to get me to change my stance, but I stuck to it while respecting their point of view. I think this helped.

 The spontaneity I was able to show was helpful in turning the interviews in directions I preferred. What do you think went

wrong in this interview?  In the second round, I wasn’t really sure what I had to say as I was more prepared for questions than a conversation, I felt I rambled a bit.

 In the fourth round, I could plainly not answer many questions on macroeconomics.

 The questions I asked were perhaps a bit naïve. Any tips for future batches

on the basis of your experience

 In-depth knowledge of one or two sectors is very valuable.

 Consistency of answers across interviews and your CV makes you look sane.

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The Consulting & Strategy Club, IIM Lucknow Page 18 Interview Experience 4

Name: Rhythem Pahwa

Company: Accenture Management Consulting Name of interviewer and

designation Round 1 – Senior Manager from Supply Chain Vertical Round 2 – Some HR executive

Round 3 – Vikrant; Partner, heads the sustainability practice area

Round

(First/Second/third) Three rounds

Brief Profile :

(Graduation College, stream, Work ex details, etc.)

B.Tech from PEC (2010 batch); Prior work experience of about 5 months with Mu Sigma, Bangalore and 26 months with ZS Associates, Gurgaon

Interview questions (With indicative answers if you choose to share them)

Round 1: Some basic questions like tell me about yourself, why consulting

Discussed one project from Mu Sigma and one from ZS in detail, nature of responsibilities

Case on an FMCG giant who was facing a sharp decline in profits.

The interviewer did not allow me to use a pen and paper and rather asked to orally discuss the case. I questioned the ins and outs of the business, the industry and other basic qualifiers. The issue was with the supply chain. Gave him

recommendations on how to enhance the profits. After this he gave a couple of hypothetical situations pertaining to sales and distribution issues and how I would go ahead. The interview lasted for about 45 mins.

Round 2:

Tell me something about yourself, typical HR situations (significant achievement, situation where you achieved

something significant after overcoming obstacles, etc.), which practice area would you like to work in at AMC, what do you

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The Consulting & Strategy Club, IIM Lucknow Page 19 know of that practice area, what do you remember of the ppt, what did you like, what is it that you didn’t like.

The interview lasted for about half an hour Round 3:

This was the Partner round. Some general questions from my work-experience, which practice area would you prefer, why, recent developments in that practice area, a couple of projects from my stint at ZS

He asked me an HR case. A Financial services firm recruits and trains Financial Advisors but for some unknown reason the attrition rate is huge. Investigate why. He just gave me 5 mins to discuss and solve the case with him so had to be really fast with the analysis. After this round he made the offer and I accepted it.

Narration of the case interview (Please be as descriptive as possible)

Explained above

What do you think went

right in this interview? Spoke enthusiastically, did well in the cases What do you think went

wrong in this interview? Couldn’t justify satisfactorily why I wanted a particular practice area Any tips for future batches

on the basis of your experience

Prepare well for HR questions, it helps

Interview Experience 5

Name: Sabyasachi Dhar

Company: Accenture Management Consulting Name of interviewer

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The Consulting & Strategy Club, IIM Lucknow Page 20 Round

(First/Second/third) 3 Rounds Brief Profile :

(Graduation College, stream, Work ex details, etc.)

Economics (Hons.) St. Xavier’s College. Worked for 35 months as part of the Essar Group Corporate Risk and Insurance Management Team

Interview questions (With indicative answers if you choose to share them)

Round 1:

Tell me about yourself (was the only HR question in this round)

How did you balance your work/studies with your extra-curricular activities?

Explain your work experience

Questions on work experience like the type of risks associated with vessels or the state of the Insurance industry in India If your previous employer came to accenture for consulting advise, what advice would you give them?

Case

1st asked me about how Tata Sumo is doing in India, to which I replied not well at all. Then the problem statement was to help Tata come up with a decision regarding the future of Sumo.

Walked him through the value chain and stressed on the cost and value drivers and came up with 3 solutions, to which he seemed impressed and stopped the discussion there

Post the case, he asked about the current Economic condition of India and what implications the forthcoming elections and the budget hold.

Had a discussion on that for 10 minute and then he asked me if I had any questions. Asked him why Accenture is the only Consulting firm that is publicly listed while the others are privately held? He seemed impressed again and explained the whole idea behind going public. After 10 minutes of

discussion, the interview was concluded. Round 2:

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The Consulting & Strategy Club, IIM Lucknow Page 21 HR round. Asked various questions like tell me something about yourself, why Accenture, why consulting, tell us something that drives you, why did you give up on sports, what convinced you to do an MBA.

Also ran through my CV and asked HR related questions regarding the Positions of responsibilities that I held and the extra-curricular activities I took part in.

Round 3:

Was the final round. Again asked me to introduce myself and in general spoke about what I did in life and what drives me. Also wanted to know what I was passionate about in life. I had a feeling that the objective was to test whether I was passionate about the things I care about.

The conversation ended with him asking me whether I would like to choose Accenture Global or Accenture India, to which I replied Accenture Global and linked it to everything else I had spoken to him about.

Narration of the case interview (Please be as descriptive as possible)

The problem statement was to help Tata come up with a decision regarding the future of Sumo.

I took a minute off to get the 1st two layers of the structure in place. Then started with the Cost and Value drivers and

complemented it with the value chain to figure out where they were going wrong. After looking at every aspect, we came to the conclusion that the Tata Sumo is falling behind due to improper positioning of the vehicle vis-à-vis it competitors and the lack of sheer innovation that the subsequent models have shown.

What do you think went

right in this interview? Clarity of thought Structure to answers, especially HR answers

Interacting with the Interviewer, asking questions wherever necessary

Not fumbling and losing the main chain of thought What do you think went

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The Consulting & Strategy Club, IIM Lucknow Page 22 Any tips for future

batches on the basis of your experience

Preparation of HR answers, most essential In a case, look at every aspect possible

If you don’t know how to proceed, take time out to think and involve the interviewer as much as possible

Don’t jump to conclusions

Interview Experience 6

Name: Stuti Garg

Company: AMC

Name of interviewer

and designation -- Round

(First/Second/third) First, Second(telephonic) Brief Profile :

(Graduation College, stream, Work ex details, etc.)

MNNIT Allahabad, Electrical Engineering Worked at NTPC Ltd. for about two years

Interview questions (With indicative answers if you choose to share them)

Round 1:

1) Walk me through your CV.

Ans: I started with academics. Elaborated on the special achievements in it. Talked about my stint with NTPC and the projects I did there. He himself asked about various extracurriculars

and PORs I mentioned and asked me to elaborate on them.

2) Which project was your personal favourite at NTPC and why?

Ans: I spoke about a rural electrification project and told them how I got complete autonomy while executing it. Spoke about other facets like interacting with gram panchayats etc.

3) Do you think Kyoto Protocol is biased? (I conducted a panel discussion in college about carbon emissions control) Ans: Talked about its various clauses, how they are

administered and how much say developed nations have in it. Finally giving some examples concluded that isn’t biased. 4) Which are your favourite three books? (I was a member of literary club in college)

5) What did you read most as a kid?

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The Consulting & Strategy Club, IIM Lucknow Page 23 and we went on talking about it for another 10 minutes. 6) If I ask your best friend to describe you in one word, what do you think she’ll say?

7) How is coal paucity hindering our progress? (worked in thermal plant)

Ans: I said that we had abundant coal. The problem is in our policies and practices. Elaborated on that.

8) Do you want to ask me anything.

Round 2: Was a telephonic round. Three very generic questions were asked.

1) Which was your favourite subject in term 1? 2) What do you do in free time at IIML?

3) How has the journey been so far at IIML?

Narration of the case interview (Please be as descriptive as possible)

1) A burger joint’s profitability is falling despite same sales revenue? Analyse the reasons.

2) ESPN has to bid for an upcoming cricket match series. Give them a reasonable quote.

Ans: I asked about the kind of series: test, oneday or IPL.

I asked about the match’s location. He replied India to which I asked if India was playing. Enquired about the sponsors, ad revenues etc.

What do you think went

right in this interview? Coherence and structure in answers I was very candidly chatting with them which probably worked in my favour

What do you think went wrong in this interview? Any tips for future

batches on the basis of your experience

Know your CV really well.

Sort things out in your mind before answering.

Ask them only relevant questions. Never beat around the bush.

Stay calm and composed.

Interview Experience 7

Name: Suraj Serikar

Company: Accenture Management Consulting Name of interviewer and

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The Consulting & Strategy Club, IIM Lucknow Page 24 Round

(First/Second/third) 4 Rounds

Brief Profile :

(Graduation College, stream, Work ex details, etc.)

Graduated from IIT Madras, 2 years work ex at Olam as a consultant

Interview questions (With indicative answers if you choose to share them)

Round 1: Case + HR

Interview kicked off by tell me about yourself. Then asked about my PORs at IIT. Gave a case on Olam expansion strategy in between discussion about my work ex. Then some questions about Accenture and HR.

Asked if I had any questions for him. Round 2: HR

Tell me about yourself?

Why Accenture? Why consulting?

HR person was interested in my work ex and PORs, asked a plenty of questions on that.

Round 3: CV Based + HR Tell me about yourself?

Asked how my day was, as my energy levels were bit low at that point of time.

I had an entrepreneurial venture at IIT and interviewer was asking questions related to entrepreneurship trends in India and issues faced in my venture, key learnings etc.

Interviewer was working in a similar domain of supply chain (Sales and distribution) and we had a discussion on challenges involved in projects.

What were my expectations from Accenture and why I prefer it over working for Olam?

Round 4 : Telephonic interview- CV Based

Was very short interview and partner was quickly running through my CV and asked about my entrepreneurial venture and why it failed?

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The Consulting & Strategy Club, IIM Lucknow Page 25 Narration of the case

interview (Please be as descriptive as possible)

Suggest a strategy for Olam to expand in next 2-3 years in coffee commodity business unit?

Interviewer was looking for structure and logic in the approach. I walked him through the value chain in coffee business and then focussed on areas in procurement and distribution currently controlled by other parties. Then proposed for forward integration for the product and explained the rationale using some examples of other businesses of Olam. Interviewer appeared to be quite

convinced at this stage and he moved on to some specific set of questions in commodities.

What do you think went

right in this interview? I was quick to realise the case presented to me in between conversation and I had asked him time for structuring it. There were no signs of nervousness as I had sat for ample number of interviews before and was very comfortable and confident throughout the process. Was quick to catch cues from interviewer and focused discussion on topics that engaged him. Was cheerful throughout the process.

What do you think went

wrong in this interview? I was completely exhausted as interviews were scheduled towards end of the day and my energy levels were not high.

Any tips for future batches on the basis of your

experience

Be confident, energetic and enjoy the process.

Interview Experience 8

Name: Swati Singh

Company: Accenture Management Consulting Name of interviewer and

designation -

Round

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The Consulting & Strategy Club, IIM Lucknow Page 26 Brief Profile :

(Graduation College, stream, Work ex details, etc.)

Indira Gandhi Institute of Technology, Delhi (Mechanical Engineering)

2.5 years’ work ex. with an Indian automobile company (R&D)

Interview questions (With indicative answers if you choose to share them)

Round 1:

1) Tell me something about yourself?

2) Work profile? (Some more questions related to it)

Most questions after that were supply chain management (SCM) related because I had worked in an automobile company (caught me off-guard since my area of work was research and not production). Some of the questions were -

3) Difference between SCM inside the firm and outside the firm

4) How does an automobile firm manage its inventory? 5) What is the difference between centralized and

de-centralized supply chain? Advantages and Disadvantages of each

6) What are the various ways in which you’ll reduce inventory pile up?

Round 2: (HR)

1) Tell me something about yourself

2) How was your experience of working with XYZ Company?

3) Why consulting? Why not join the old firm back? 4) Why Accenture?

5) How do you fit in?

6) What if we are not able to recruit you today? Round 3 :

Started with the usual tell me something about yourself. Then he started questioning me on why I want to choose consulting as a field and why I don’t want to work with my old firm again.

Then he gave me a guesstimate:

Estimate the no of passenger shared auto rickshaws in Lucknow

The guesstimate could have been done using multiple approaches so he asked me the different approaches I can use to arrive at the final answer. He also cross questioned me on the assumptions I had made while solving the guesstimate. Round 4:

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The Consulting & Strategy Club, IIM Lucknow Page 27 The interviewer was also a mechanical engineer so he asked me a lot of questions on SI/CI engines, Torque Speed curve, Knocking etc.

Narration of the case interview (Please be as descriptive as possible)

Round 4:

Market entry strategy for a Chinese automobile firm My approach was to first evaluate whether it is the right environment and time to enter and then move on to how to enter- by utilizing existing capabilities or developing new ones.

What do you think went

right in this interview? Round 1: I was able to give some work related examples to support my understanding of concepts which I think he really liked Round 2: I was calm and confident throughout

Round 3: I logically explained my assumptions without getting perturbed by the interviewer’s cross questioning (even though a few data points actually turned out wrong)

Round 4: The case went well as I could cover almost all the areas

What do you think went

wrong in this interview? Round 1: I was not very well prepared to handle SCM related questions. Round 2:

Nothing as such Round 3:

I should’ve taken more time in solving the guesstimate and not rushed into getting an answer

Any tips for future batches on the basis of your

experience

If you have core manufacturing work-ex, irrespective of the department you were in, be thoroughly prepared with operations related questions.

Also, be prepared for a few question from your undergraduate stream

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The Consulting & Strategy Club, IIM Lucknow Page 28

A T Kearney

Interview Experience 9

Name: Naveen Bansal

Company: A T Kearney

Name of interviewer and

designation -

Round

(First/Second/third) - Brief Profile :

(Graduation College, stream, Work ex details, etc.)

PEC, Goldman Sachs

Interview questions (With indicative answers if you choose to share them)

Round 1-

1. Tell me something about yourself (was asked the same question multiple times in the process)

2. Your most significant achievement in life

3. Support your hobbies with examples: I mentioned reading novels and was asked about the last novel i read and what did i like the most in the novel

Round 2 -

1. Explain what I did at Goldman Sachs (Job role and responsibilities)

2. One instance where you think team work was most important (linked to work experience)

Guesstimate 1: Estimate the demand of ACs in India Case 1: A two wheeler manufacturer, a market leader in the category, has a lot of cash available for investment. The firm is a proprietorship and has an owner. The owner now wants to move to the small car segment. Advise him if he should venture into small car market or not.

Case 2: Estimate the demand of Cement in India. - Was asked to devise both top-down and bottom-up approach for estimating the number.

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The Consulting & Strategy Club, IIM Lucknow Page 29

(GDP Per capita and Cement consumption per capita). The Interviewer had all the numbers but he was waiting for me to ask.

Narration of the case

interview (Please be as descriptive as possible) What do you think went right in this interview? What do you think went wrong in this interview? Any tips for future batches on the basis of your

experience

Prepare some questions to ask to the interviewer. 1. Stay happy! a smile on your face really works!

2. Don't hesitate in asking for time to think. It is perfectly fine!

3. Make HR questions as personal as possible! ( a BIG +) 4. Maintain your stand following the Pcom rules if asked about offer. Ask for some time to think and contact PCom immediately.

Boston Consulting Group

Interview Experience 10

Name: Aditya Dogra

Company: The Boston Consulting Group Name of interviewer and

designation Rishabh, Project Lead (First Round) Sachin Kotak, Principal (Second Round) Priyanka, Principal (Third Round)

Amit Sachdev, Principal (Fourth Round) Brief Profile :

(Graduation College, stream, Work ex details, etc.)

B.Tech. Civil Engg, IIT Bombay, Work ex – 11 months at Inductis (Analytics)

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The Consulting & Strategy Club, IIM Lucknow Page 30 Interview questions (With

indicative answers if you choose to share them)

Round 1: Brief introduction followed by a case

Round 2: No HR questions, went to the case straight away Round 3: Brief introduction followed by a couple of

experience based questions, this was followed by a case Round 4: Introduction followed by a guestimate

Narration of the case interview (Please be as descriptive as possible)

Round 1: The case was concerning a mobile device

manufacturer facing a decline in profits. It had opened new stores through a franchisee recently and started selling

products at a lower price. This had affected the equation with the set of old retailers. In addition the margins provided to the retailers by the client weren’t competitive which were causing it to lose sales.

Round 2: The interviewer had shaken things up a little by doing away with the conventional over the table discussion and the case was solved on a blackboard. Problem statement was developing a presentation to be made at a round table conference of procurement managers. I started off by laying out the broad structure of the presentation. Later the

discussion moved onto coming up with different

environmental factors that need to be included which would concern the day to day work of a procurement manager. I bucketed these factors into Political, Economic, Social,

Technical and generated ideas for each backing them up with recent events eg. Under economic factors one of the concerns was currency fluctuation which would affect price of

procurement and how hedging could mitigate the risk. Round 3: The case was about a pharmaceutical company launching a new vaccine and looking to decide upon a pricing strategy. I listed the 3 factors I would consider to fix the price point - manufacturing and selling costs, pricing of competitive products, value of product to customer. The interviewer directed me to consider the first factor since there were no competing products and the third factor was very qualitative. The problem was then reduced to estimating the size of market, forecasting sales and asking questions to get complete information about the costs involved (R&D, Patents were major costs).

Round 4: The case involved estimating the demand for the upcoming Mumbai metro. I proceeded by breaking the problem into three parts – shifting of passengers from

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The Consulting & Strategy Club, IIM Lucknow Page 31 Mumbai local, shifting of passengers from other modes of public transport, people shifting from private to public transport. I made reasonable assumptions about the % of passengers that would shift from each segment on the basis of the information I had about the metro routes. Post that there was some calculation involved in estimating the size of each segment as frequency multiplied by capacity (separately for peak and non-peak hours).

The interview ended with a good discussion about my work at Inductis on a financial services project as Amit himself had been working in that domain.

What do you think went

right in this interview? Picked up the hints given by the interviewer – in my first round, after laying down the approach I was going in a different direction. At that point I picked up a hint from the interviewer’s expressions and took a step back to then move in the right direction.

2 of my interviews had lots of calculation involved which I was able to handle extremely well.

What do you think went

wrong in this interview? With a new format and a very unconventional case in the 2 nd round it took a little time to adjust and for a while I wasn’t giving the kind of ideas the interviewer was looking for.

Any tips for future batches on the basis of your

experience

Extremely important to stay calm and confident throughout the interview and have a good discussion with the interviewer.

Interview Experience 11

Name: Chinmaya Golecha

Company: The Boston Consulting Group (BCG) Name of interviewer and

designation Amit Sachdeva, Principal

Round

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The Consulting & Strategy Club, IIM Lucknow Page 32 Brief Profile :

(Graduation College, stream, Work ex details, etc.)

Worked at Deutsche Bank Centre as a part of the TMT team in London (11 months)

B.Com (H) from SRCC CA Inter

Interview questions (With indicative answers if you choose to share them)

Round 1:

15 minutes - Quick chat about the CV, some relevant interest areas around my work-ex and some PoR’s.

25 minutes - Case around Computers/Laptops manufacturer’s service revenue increase.

Round 2: n/a Round 3: n/a Narration of the case

interview (Please be as descriptive as possible)

Case overview:

There is a computers/laptop manufacturer, global leader, with two revenue streams – Primary selling of products

Service revenues from maintenance, repair and replacement parts

Global average split is 75%-25% respectively but India split is 95%-5%

Problem Statement:

To increase revenue stream from services in India Case Approach:

1) Background questions:

Inquired about the supply chain. What services are offered, how they are offered, who offers them.

Discovered that problem area was sale of replacement parts and the services entailed therein

Discovered that the company follows a hub-and-spoke model, ie: one central distributor in the country who gives spare parts to all retail stores (100% franchisee system)

2) Approach:

Decided to approach the problem using the most basic Revenue breakdown = Volume x Price

If we can find why revenue is down either because of Volume or Price than we can find the issue.

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The Consulting & Strategy Club, IIM Lucknow Page 33 I felt, prima facie, that the problem lay in Price (as my understanding is for a replacement part, I would get

something cheap rather than go the actual store after warranty and overpay). However, I was told that the price offered outside the stores was 20% higher than the in-store price. The Problem statement thus became: Why are people not buying replacement parts from us even if they are cheaper? To drill into this, I decided to get into the shoes of a

consumer. The various problems (logical flow, thus MECE) could be:

Do I have access to a store? Do they have parts?

Do they have good staff (technicians that can help etc)? Turnaround time?

Other service elements?

I dived into each bucket to find that the problem lay in spare parts after spending considerable time on good staff and access. (I established that distribution/reach was good so people did not find it inconvenient to visit our stores as well as we had skilled help that could effectively and quickly solve consumer problems)

Re-visited the supply chain to figure out where the problem was with spare parts. Discovered that the hub sent them to the stores but still the stores did not have inventory. Spent time analysing the inventory situation using the interviewers help. Discovered that each store had an individual P/L and were giving the inventory to other people (who were in turn selling it at a 20% markup) and taking a cut!

Recommendations: Establish Inventory issue norms, and ensure random checking of inventory at stores.

What do you think went

right in this interview? Very Interactive – Interviewer was very involved in the case Picked up all the hints dropped – the interviewer lit up when we spoke about black market selling of the replacement parts

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The Consulting & Strategy Club, IIM Lucknow Page 34 What do you think went

wrong in this interview? Nothing majorly, Missed a couple of things where the interviewer had to prod me along in the right direction

Any tips for future batches on the basis of your

experience

Enjoy the interview! It is actually great fun, and if the

interviewer realises you’re enjoying it, it acts as a huge positive!

Deloitte

Interview Experience 12

Name: Abhinandan Pandey

Company: Deloitte

Name of interviewer and designation

Round

(First/Second/third) 1st Round : HR 2nd Round : Case based

3rd round : Case based + presentation round Brief Profile :

(Graduation College, stream, Work ex details, etc.)

Bengal Engineering & Science University, Shibpur Electronics & Telecommunications Engineering Ericsson India Global Services Pvt. Ltd. – 35 months

Interview questions (With indicative answers if you choose to share them)

Round 1: Questions on hypothesis testing (I had mentioned QAM as my subject of interest)

Why consulting, Why Deloitte, Asked me to sing as I looked nervous in the beginning of the interview, How your analytical skills will help in consulting.

Round 2: It was a case based round. A case was provided which dealt with the sources of revenues and profit and the various advertisement mediums to be reckoned for the

summer Olympics in 2015. It was a calculation intensive case, so it involved simple calculations for which the interviewer gave some time. Went for around 40 minutes

Round 3: The case which was discussed in Round 2 had to be presented to a senior partner. What followed was an in-depth

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The Consulting & Strategy Club, IIM Lucknow Page 35 discussion on the same case and another case. This round lasted for around 30 minutes.

Narration of the case interview (Please be as descriptive as possible)

Summer Olympics will take place in 2015. Our customers are conducting the event.

What are the major sources of revenues for them? Major sources of profit?

What are the costs involved?

How will you price the tickets to earn so and so amount of profit?

How will you make a team. How will you prioritize the tasks? What do you think went

right in this interview? I was confident and bold enough to think on my feet. The interviewers seemed more interested in how one

approaches a problem. They were complicating the problem as I got deeper into it. The key is to consider all possible

aspects and quickly chose the best possible alternative as a part of the questions which were asked.

Might sound like a cliché, Thinking out Loud helps a lot! What do you think went

wrong in this interview? I fumbled in 2 instances. There are times when the answers just don’t strike! But keep your calm, keep thinking as there is always a next question and there is always a better way to answer the next question!

Any tips for future batches on the basis of your

experience

Interview Experience 13

Name: Anmol Mahajan

Company: Deloitte US S&O Name of interviewer and

designation Senior Manager

Round

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The Consulting & Strategy Club, IIM Lucknow Page 36 Brief Profile :

(Graduation College, stream, Work ex details, etc.)

B.Tech in Electronics and Electrical Comm. Engg. from IIT Kharagpur (2010).

Worked for three years as R&D Design Engineer at Analog Devices, Bangalore

Interview questions (With indicative answers if you choose to share them)

Round 1:

In this round, I was asked some basic HR questions like, Tell me about yourself? Why did you choose consulting as a career? Why Deloitte? Long term goals? Questions regarding my prior work experience and my role and scope in R&D. Then the interviewer introduced himself and we briefly talked about his role at Deloitte for some time where he answered some of my questions on his career.

He asked me if I had any questions regarding Deloitte as a firm. I responded with a question to which he gave a detailed response.

No guesstimates or case questions were asked in this round and it primarily focused on HR questions and clarity about my long term goals.

This was an elimination round and some of the candidates were eliminated after this round.

Round 2: Case based round with two Senior Managers Round 3: Synthesis presentation round with two senior managers.

Narration of the case interview (Please be as descriptive as possible)

Round 2:

Round 2 was with two Senior Managers from Deloitte. There were a few HR questions primarily based on why consulting as a career.

Then the interviewer told me that this is a case round and if analysis is done right I would be expected to come up with apt recommendations for the client.

The client is an automobile firm with an annual turnover of around $10b. Our client has a parts supplier which has an annual business of around $400m (90% of their total business was done with our client). On one day, our client company’s CEO gets a call from their supplier that due to financial troubles, they are going to shut down operations from next month onwards. The case was about recommending solutions to our client in this scenario.

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The Consulting & Strategy Club, IIM Lucknow Page 37 I started by asking questions regarding the business model of the automobile client, their other suppliers, current inventory of parts with our clients and when will they exhaust it, environmental factors like geographies they operate in, availability of substitute suppliers in these geographies.

From the responses to such questions it became clear that a solution was to found with their current supplier itself. So I started asking them questions regarding the details of financial problems the supplier was facing. Upon few of such questions I was given a data sheet with 5 to 6 tables detailing the various factors like direct costs, overheads, expenses, number of units sold, unit price, environmental factors like industry comparison of costs, labour unions etc. at each of their three plants.

After this, the discussion was more quantitative in nature with me calculating present profits/loss for each of the plants, suggestions for cost reduction based on industry comparisons etc. These questions primarily focused on the ability to understand the data given in various tables and link them with each other and come up with tangible parameters through some number crunching.

Once this analysis was done, he administered another angle by giving an option to our client to invest $10mn in the supplier’s firm in return of advancement of technology which would lead to reduction in prime cost. He asked me if our client should make this investment.

I asked further questions on time factor as to if we invest now how far from now would we see reduction in costs. He said we would analyse two situations one where the returns are immediate and the other where the reduction in costs is earned three years down the line.

For the current scenario, since I had already calculated the profitability/loss of each of supplier’s plant, it was easier to calculate the benefits of the investments. For long term analysis, I answered that we would have to look into NPV of our investment with discount factor depending on many risk factors. We briefly discussed about what could be the risk factors given the data in the data sheet. On this he was happy and said that I would have to present the synthesis of the case in the third round.

Round 3:

The third round was act based with a senior manager acting as a client. I briefly gave the synthesis of the case with my

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The Consulting & Strategy Club, IIM Lucknow Page 38 recommendations. This was followed by a few counter questions asked by senior manager (acting as a client) which I answered briefly. Once they were satisfied with my answers, we went back to normal mode where few questions regarding the expectations from the internship, expected learnings, etc. were discussed.

What do you think went

right in this interview? - Preparation of HR answers and knowledge about Deloitte and the role on offer - Ability to perform basic calculations at a good pace - Exploring various avenues of solving the case and

giving logical pros and cons of each

What do you think went wrong in this interview?

Any tips for future batches on the basis of your

experience

Interview Experience 14

Name: N Susheel Kumar Reddy

Company: Deloitte US S&O Name of interviewer and

designation Rd1,2 - Senior Manager Rd 3- Partner

Round

(First/Second/third) 3 Rounds

Brief Profile :

(Graduation College, stream, Work ex details, etc.)

Mechanical Engineering from IIT Madras Work in Caterpillar – 35 months, operations

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The Consulting & Strategy Club, IIM Lucknow Page 39 Interview questions (With

indicative answers if you choose to share them)

Round 1:

Tried to unsettle by saying you are in the wrong room, and I worked for your company so expect really tough questions Why consulting and why deloitte?

Few questions from work, and then extracurriculars. Guesstimate on stadium gate receipts for Indian Hockey league? No.of matches played, no.of seats in each stadium, occupancy rate, etc. were calculated

What are your long term goals? Round 2:

Case on a firm which has 3 plants and is making huge losses. Data sheet is given with details of cost and productivity of all 3 plants.

We decided to look into the costs being incurred, split the cost into 3 buckets – Wages, Material and overhead costs.

Material had no scope of cost reduction, Wages – we

identified in plant 3 the no.of salaried were more than hourly hence more cost. Similarly in overheads – Plant 3 has too much inventory holding cost.

So we decided to reduce these costs, but even reducing these didn’t turn a profit so we decided to shut plant 3 and move the production to plant 1 and plant 2

Later I gave suggestions on how to raise cash for increasing the production in the other 2 plants – Money by selling plant 3, Loan or money from market

Later did profit analysis to prove the investment is giving good profit

Round 3:

Had to present the case I did in Round 2 to the partner – he was acting as the client whose case we took up and solved. Drew the tree structure and explained him how we went about each and every bucket before identifying root causes.

Possible solutions for root causes and suggestions to improve. The partner kept asking many questions, not agreeing to most. He was only satisfied when the arguments made were based on numbers.

Later he asked basic HR questions like, what field of consulting would I choose? Why deloitte? Etc.

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The Consulting & Strategy Club, IIM Lucknow Page 40 Narration of the case

interview (Please be as descriptive as possible)

Mentioned Above

What do you think went right in this interview? What do you think went wrong in this interview? Any tips for future batches on the basis of your

experience

KPMG

Interview Experience 15

Name: Prince Arora

Company: KPMG Advisory Services

Name of interviewer and

designation 2 interviewers over a video call. Do not recall their name and designation

Round

(First/Second/third) Only One Round

Brief Profile :

(Graduation College, stream, Work ex details, etc.)

Fresher, Dual Degree IIT Madras [8 pointer] Member of The Consulting & Strategy Club

Interview questions (With indicative answers if you choose to share them)

Round 1:

Tell us about yourself. Questions on Business Current Affairs, leaders. Why KPMG? Who all are its competitors? What are its business lines? A few questions on FRA acronyms and their importance (like EBITDA)

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The Consulting & Strategy Club, IIM Lucknow Page 41 Narration of the case

interview (Please be as descriptive as possible)

Estimate the market size of Biscuit Industry in India.

It was a guesstimate. They gave me some time to work out the solution but I made some quick assumptions and took them through my thinking process. I solved the case from supply side. Then once I was done, I asked if I should solve it from the demand side as well. The interviewers asked me to elaborate upon the way I’ll go about it.

Came up with a ball park figure. What do you think went

right in this interview? The guesstimate and the level of enthusiasm shown towards solving it. I think they were looking for the right approach and not the correctness of the final figure.

What do you think went

wrong in this interview? I messes up a little on the company specific questions. Do go through the Company RG before you enter the interview.

Any tips for future batches on the basis of your

experience

Stay confident. They seem to like people who are confident about what they speak. If you don’t know an answer, tell it to them politely.

McKinsey & Co

Interview Experience 16

Name: Abhishek Gupta

Company: Mckinsey & Co. Name of interviewer

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The Consulting & Strategy Club, IIM Lucknow Page 42 Round

(First/Second/third) All Brief Profile :

(Graduation College, stream, Work ex details, etc.)

NSIT (2011 Passout)

18 months in J.P. Morgan and 5 months in Reliance Capital Interview questions

(With indicative answers if you choose to share them)

Round 1: Short tell me about yourself. Then one guesstimate and then a case discussion

Round 2: Tell me about yourself. HR question on leadership qualities and instance related to that. Case discussion.

Round 3: Purely HR with partner, asked questions on why not finance, why consulting, why Mckinsey?

After each round you will be asked if you have any questions for the interviewer, if you have some good questions then do ask, but do not ask for just for the sake of asking.

Narration of the case interview (Please be as descriptive as possible)

Round 1: Guesstimate: Value of a bulb with infinite life (involved basic DCF calculation, evaluation of expenditure you might do in case of a normal bulb).

Case: Problems that a truck association might be facing in getting truck drivers (possible problems and solutions for those). Be innovative as possible. Although I didn’t reach the exact problem in the end (only got to know this after the interview from a friend), but explored quite a few areas to get through to the second round. The interviewer was very silent and unresponsive, you just had to carry on with the case on your own. A solution to the truck problem was that the people got AIDS as they went at different places, and then they had problems getting married. Second was that there were health problems, due to them eating food at different places and uncomfortable seats, no proper place to sleep.

Round 2: Case: Why a shipping company is going in loss. Evaluate the possible problems and suggest solutions.

Suggesting solutions to every case in the end will be required and this is where one’s idea generation will be tested. Also involved testing of quant skills, specifically math calculation required (basic but one can panic under pressure).

What do you think went

right in this interview? Being calm and confident, thinking on the feet really helps. I had already gone through a fair set of interviews before, so wasn’t nervous at all. While you would have done an umpteen

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The Consulting & Strategy Club, IIM Lucknow Page 43 number of cases before hand, but every case will be new and will require you to go to different breadth and depths. While case solving remains a very important part, they also test you on your HR skills. The second round was the deciding factor, after which directly there was a partner round. In the end managed to convert the call. Finally, it was very important to smile over the course of interview which lasted 30-45 mins What do you think went

wrong in this interview? To be frank, I think everything went right for me in this process. Although I did miss out the exact cause of the problem in the first round but wasn’t so much a big deal. The way you structure your thoughts is more important.

Any tips for future batches on the basis of your experience

To me case solving had much more importance in the course of the interview, but HR answers shouldn’t be ignored for sure.

Make sure you are properly dressed. You get evaluated on every aspect.

Interview Experience 17

Name: Anonymous

Company: Mckinsey and Company

Name of interviewer

and designation Rounds 1,2: Case Study Round 3: HR

Round 3 Rounds

Interview questions (With indicative answers if you choose to share them)

Round 1:

1.) Tell me something about yourself?

2.) Convince me to sell my company even when it is doing very well in the market.

Round 2:

1.) Case study on Indian Telecom sector Round 3:

1.) McK vs BCG question

2.) 5 ways India can win 5 Gold medals in upcoming olympics

Narration of the case

interview Case 1: Selling the Company  Started by giving financial benefits of selling the company.

 Gave implications on entrepreneurship front, brought views surrounding family society

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The Consulting & Strategy Club, IIM Lucknow Page 44 Case 2: Indian Telecom Sector

 Case was about increasing revenues from Mobile apps.  Started with geographical expansion of the company

service by looking at various strategies (M&A, Alliances, Joint venture etc).

 Went ahead and looked at companies promotional strategies, delved into customer segmentation for better targeting.

 At last suggested some modifications in apps to make it more users friendly and appropriate for smart phone users.

What do you think went

right in this interview?  Case went well, Interviewers were happy in both the cases about the approach I took.  Were happy about my past work ex

What do you think went

wrong in this interview? I could have better put recommendations in cases Could have brought more practical examples during my HR answers

 Engagement with partner could have been better. Any tips for future

batches on the basis of your experience

 Keep Structured approach throughout interviews  Consistency within answers is important

 Be confident and calm on D-Day.

Interview Experience 18

Name: Aviral Srivastava

Company: McKinsey

Name of interviewer and

designation Vikas Bhadoria, Partner Shivanshu, Principal

Mukund Sridhar, Associate Partner (Not sure) Round

(First/Second/third)

Brief Profile :

(Graduation College, stream, Work ex details, etc.)

B.Tech Mechanical Engineering from IIT(BHU), Varanasi. One year work-ex as Analyst in Inductis, Gurgaon (Analytics consulting).

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The Consulting & Strategy Club, IIM Lucknow Page 45 Interview questions (With

indicative answers if you choose to share them)

Round 1: Tell me something about yourself not in your resume. (I talked about how being a good student in school opened up avenues in leadership and extra-curriculars and shaped the person I am).

Turning points in my life that shaped me. Regrets in life. A short description about my work at Inductis. And then case. Round 2: A very brief tell me about yourself. How did your previous interview go according to you? Couple of things about my interests in meditation. And then case.

Round 3: I was ushered in within 5-10 minutes of my previous interview. Mckinsey had made us fill a subjective sheet during out Aptitude test. Mukund had access to the sheet. He asked about a regret I had written: My CGPA in college.

He asked if I had any questions about Mckinsey and my company priorities. A little chitchat and that’s all. This round hardly lasted 5 minutes.

Narration of the case

interview (Please be as descriptive as possible)

Round 1: Vikas brought in the case decisively (not as a gradual flow in conversation): “My friend owns a standalone cinema theatre in Mumbai. Profits and revenue taking a hit. What should I do?”

I started the case with the usual qualifiers (since when, what has changed, industry, competition, type of movies, location etc). I made a structure but he sounded disinterested. Kept throwing me off my game with vague disinterested hints. None of my directions seemed to appeal to him. I persisted. Took some timeouts to rethink approaches. Came up with 3-4 approaches before we went into one. Then he asked me to ideate.

Round 2: I am a shipping company. And my profits slipping. Give an exhaustive list of things you will evaluate.

I did reasonably well. I missed the factor of fuel and he pointed it out.

New scenario: cost in fuel changed drastically 3 years ago. What will be your current profit/ loss if the fuel cost hadn’t changed?

Sounds simple and it was. I kept looking for a trap and started number crunching only after a minute. The moment I got the number, he seemed satisfied. He asked me to give

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The Consulting & Strategy Club, IIM Lucknow Page 46 recommendations instead of hurtling them all out. The interview ended here, on a much more positive note compared to the first one.

What do you think went

right in this interview? I was calm across interviews and somehow managed to leave the stress at the door before all rounds. I received positive feedback regarding this later on.

Round 1: My HR answers were interesting, passionate, structured but natural. I never gave up during the case and persisted despite several setbacks. I didn’t mind starting from scratch repeatedly. My idea-gen was adequate.

Round 2: I gave an honest and humble feedback about round 1 when asked. Initial structure during case was ok (I missed fuel, but he pointed it out). Most importantly, I could crack the math in the case in my first attempt (it was quite simple really, but turns out, many silly mistakes were made during the day). I managed to structure my recommendations as well and generate several relevant ideas.

Round 3: Frank genuine answers about my academics and work experience. He asked about people at my previous company, expectations from Mckinsey etc.

What do you think went

wrong in this interview? Round 1: I didn’t think my case went all that great, as the interviewer looked disinterested throughout and kept redirecting me. Halfway through the case, I realised that cracking the case was out of the question. I came out of the interview apprehensive but luckily was ushered into round 2 before I could dwell on it.

Round 2: I entered the interview unsure, given my performance in the first interview. I kept trying to give subjective solutions and state assumptions when all the interviewer wanted was simple math. I kept thinking the case can’t just be simple maths, but initially it was!

Round 3: I was mentally prepared for a case but there was none.

Figure

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References

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