A.T. Kearney

A.T. Kearney Interview Questions and Tips

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1

A.T. Kearney Senior business analyst interview

, 3.8k views
Vignesh Shankar ExperiencedSelected
Application
I Applied for job through Walk-in for Senior business analyst role at A.T. Kearney
Interview Process
HR Interview Case Study Interview Case Study Interview Case Study Interview HR Interview
Round 1

HR Interview

Interview Questions
  • Question 1: Why Consulting?
  • Question 2: You have some experience in finance, why do you wish to switch to consulting’ ?
Interview Experience
The PI portion was resume-based. I was asked specific questions on points I had mentioned in my resume, for example: - You've mentioned that you were involved in recruitment during your previous job. What were you actually doing? - You've mentioned that you’re undertaking a study (independent study) in Real Estate. Why are you doing this and what are you doing? He followed up my answer to this question by asking some technical questions on how I would value a real estate project. I answered the question using my knowledge of the industry and finance valuation metrics.
Round 2

Case Study Interview

Interview Questions
  • Question 1: Market Estimation:
  • Question 2: You are the Chief Minister of XX state in India. What will you do to increase state income (GDP)?
Interview Experience
Market estimation :
I decided to proceed by estimating the population of Chennai, subsequently the high income population, and subsequently the population within eligible age (say 10 to 30). Thereafter, I stated that we would have to make some assumption regarding the proportion within the eligible age that would actually play tennis and subsequently some assumption regarding the number of courts that would be required in order to ensure that identified population could play tennis for, say 6 hours every week. The interviewer was satisfied with this. He later mentioned that I had missed out tennis courts in educational institutions and clubs. I said that these would be covered to a certain extent in my overall analysis, and he agreed. Note that I did not arrive at a final number. The interviewer was interested in my approach and logic.
Full Case
I approached the case using the Cobb Douglas Production function (which states that income is a function of productivity, capital input and labour input). The interviewer was quite satisfied with the approach. I broke down each lever into possible sub-parts. I said that the productivity lever could be thought of as a function of infrastructure, technology, transportation, etc. Labour could be analysed as (1) creating a talent pool (more colleges, schools, etc.) and (2) retaining the talent pool (creating jobs). The capital lever is all about bringing in more money, through greater support from the central government, increased state-levied taxes or increased private investment. The interviewer was quite happy and asked me to focus on productivity and capital. Before delving deeper, I mentioned that it would be tough to think of productivity and capital and two distinct levers, as most productivity improvements would require capital investment. The interviewer smiled and agreed. He asked me to mention 2 or 3 big items that I would look to work on under each lever. Under productivity, I mentioned power, transportation and irrigation. Under capital, I mentioned that the state government must create incentives for investment through laws and regulations (for example, certain real estate laws with respect to restriction on built-up area are governed by the state. These could be altered). The interviewer agreed that all this could be done, but how could a private investor decide to invest into a state? I said that the government would probably have to identify growth sectors, or sectors that desperately required funds, and then pitch to investors to invest in the identified sectors. The interviewer also mentioned to me that it was critical for the government to increase its speed of response and not let matters die under red tape. He mentioned that one of the biggest reasons why private investors shy away from large investments is because of government bureaucracy.
Interview Tips
I established a good vibe with the interviewer. I think that this was important, given that it was my first interview.
It is useful to make small talk in between different segments in an interview. It helps the interviewer get a sense of who you are. It might also put the interviewer at ease, by breaking the monotony of doing the same case over and over again with 10 different candidates. It is very important to be honest about all your resume points. In the real estate question above (in the PI portion), right at the start, I caveat by stating that the study was work-in-progress. I stated very clearly that I still had a fair way to go towards completion of the study, and so I could answer any questions on real estate based on my limited knowledge. The interviewer appreciated this.
Round 3

Case Study Interview

Interview Questions
  • Question 1: Estimate the first year sales for Tata Nano (TN)
Interview Experience
I stated that TN could capture sales from the two-wheeler segment (i.e., people who are buying two-wheelers merely because existing cars are too costly) and the cheap/small car segment (stealing market share). I started off with the population of India, segmented it into low-income, mid and higher income. Mid-income would clearly be the relevant segment for us. Within the mid-income segment, we need to understand the existing size of the bike market. We could do this by estimating the number of households within the mid-income segment and assuming a certain number of bikes per household. The interviewer broke me off and asked me to assume that the annual bike sales in India are 50 lakhs. Thereafter, I tried to arrive at an estimate of the annual sales that TN could capture. I fumbled quite a bit here. I started off with a certain percentage that, to me, seemed to make intuitive sense. The interviewer said that I was just pulling numbers out of a hat. How could I corroborate this through other means? He then told me that the existing small car market size was 7 lakhs. I said that we could use this to find out what our estimated market share would be, after eating into bike sales. The interviewer retaliated by stating that that would be as good as just assuming a certain market share directly, making my earlier analysis of population, income groups, etc. redundant. I said that that would not be the case, as we are using projected market share merely to see how aggressive/passive our bike to TN conversion ratio assumption is....... We went back and forth on the above for a while. We eventually agreed on a certain percentage (I really don’t know how or why). I intended to proceed with estimating sales captured from the existing cheap/small car segment, but the interviewer wished to stop.
Round 4

Case Study Interview

Interview Questions
  • Question 1: The client is an integrated copper mining and smelting company, whose end-product is metal bars. The company has been making losses for the last 5 years. Prepare a turnaround plan. Additional information – The client has 2 mines and processing plants. One mine and PC together (same location) and the other mine and PC in different locations. The intention here is to make the company profitable on a sustainable basis.
Interview Experience
I laid out a structure whereby I would first understand the market (competition, regulation, our value proposition, market growth – historical and expected) and then understand the company’s income statement in more detail. The interviewer was satisfied with the structure. I was given the following additional information regarding the market, on specific questions: - Our client is the only copper mining company in India. Other copper companies in India are only into smelting. - Our final product is commoditized. Prices are determined by the London Metal Exchange. - Assume no regulatory constraints - Our client has no specific value proposition - Market growth for the last 10-15 years, as well as the expected future growth, is 10% CAGR I later said that I would like to analyse the company’s profitability by understanding revenue and cost in further detail. The interviewer prodded me to look into the industry value chain. Simply put, the value chain involves (a) basic input, i.e., copper ore (b) smelting (c) consumption. Through follow-up questions, we broke each segment into 2 parts each, along with numbers. Under ‘a’, our client (the sole copper mining company in India) supplied 30,000 tonnes. There were imports of 610,000 tonnes. Under ‘b’, our client smelted 40,000 tonnes. There were 2 other major competitors in the market who smelted 300,000 tonnes each. Under ‘c’, 400,000 tonnes was consumed domestically, while the rest was exported. Our client made only domestic sales. (Note: Here, all information was not given to me directly. I was asked to make certain deductions. For example, I was not told directly that there were copper imports. Based on figures for consumption, I had to deduce that there were imports of 610k tones. I was not told directly that there were exports of 240k tones.......)
Based on the above information, the interviewer asked me to list out possible hypotheses that could be causing the client profitability problems. I listed out the following: - Our competitor has higher smelting capacity. Scale economies could be a very significant driver in this industry. - Imported iron ore might be cheaper than our client’s own domestic mining. - Export prices could be higher than domestic prices.
Interview Tips
As you move into subsequent rounds, PI becomes increasingly important.
Round 5

HR Interview

Interview Experience
This was the final interview. There were no cases. Completely PI. In fact, we conducted the interview out on the LRC lawns, next to a make-shift snack bar. We started talking as we were walking. The interview was quite long, over coffee and accessories. Kaustav asked me questions on what I felt about the firm, the recruitment process, the interviews, did I have any questions to which I had not received satisfactory answers in the past, etc. Kaustav asked me why I was interested in consulting. How did it tie in with my career plans? What were my career plans? Short-term and long-term goals? In my life, what decisions had I made that were tough and that involved significant trade-offs or choices? What do I feel about the decisions and choices I have made thus far? A little bit about my family, my personal background. Where had I studied? How would I feel about living away from home?
Skills

Skills Tested

  • Case Solving Ability
  • Case Analysis
  • Ability To Cope Up With Stress
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2

A.T. Kearney Na interview

, 10.2k views
AnonymousFresherSelected
Application
I was interviewed on-campus for Na role at A.T. Kearney
Interview Process
Case Study Interview Case Study Interview Case Study Interview Case Study Interview
Round 1

Case Study Interview

Interview Questions
  • Question 1: Biscuit manufacturer- higher costs vs. competition(Case Type: Profitability/ Costs)
  • Question 2: Tell me about yourself
Interview Experience
Case Details:
Asked questions to understand more about the company. How many centers/ factories there were and if there was a cost issue in all of them or just one. He said it’s common across the board. I asked the unit of measurement- it was 100gm of biscuits. I then went on to break the costs down into Fixed and Variable Costs as follows:
Variable Costs:
• Material: Flour/ Sugar/ Other
• Labor: Labor Rate * Hrs/ 100gm (Productivity * Wage Rate)
• Variable Overheads
Fixed Costs: Rent/ SG&A/ Utilities/ Depreciation. He said it came to $6/ unit including fixed costs and variable costs but
competitors had $4/ unit. I then went on to understand the product a little more and if we produced the same type of biscuits as the competitor. He said we produced glucose biscuits (commoditized market) and premium-quality biscuits. Glucose biscuits costed 4.5/ unit and premium biscuits costed 6.5/ unit. At this point, I asked some more questions and learned that this firm produced a higher share of premium biscuits and charged 6/ unit for glucose and 7.5/ unit for premium biscuits.
I analyzed the numbers quickly to say that more than 50% of the production were premium biscuits, given that the average was 6- closer to the 6.5 than to the 4.5 unit cost.
• Summarizing inferences thus far I said that two issues, before we go forward seem to be The 4/ unit and 6/ unit comparison were not apples to apples, since the products and corresponding prices charged were different
• The glucose biscuit itself is produced at 4.5/ unit vs. competitors’ 4/unit –which I said I would investigate in detail now
We went into the details of Fixed and variable costs again
• VC: flour (material) costs were higher because the flour cost and packaging cost was higher. I also checked off the possibility of any additional flavors used that could cause an increase in material costs.
• FC: Factory related fixed costs i.e. depreciation and lease expenses were higher I then summarized all three aspects of the case and wrapped it up
Laid out an all comprehensive structure upfront. That made the interviewer comfortable that I would cover all points ultimately. Was very relaxed and comfortable- and picked up hints all the way- I think that was very useful.
Interview Tips
As everyone would probably say, keep your structure as ‘MECE’ as possible. Feel comfortable and go over each point step by step!
Round 2

Case Study Interview

Interview Questions
  • Question 1: Mines- costs case(Case Type: Profitability/ Costs)
  • Question 2: The client is a metal mining company that mines ores, smelts and refines it and draws wires out of it. 3 rd player in the market with 10% market share. Not doing well for over 40 years but last 1.5 years profits seem up because of an increase in price from international market tariff rates.
Interview Experience
Case Details:
We need to look over why the company has not been doing well in the past first and then analyze the impact of the prices on the profit improvement and if the company has done anything to improve profits other than the price rise. Through discussion we figured the company had not done anything to change the way it operated. So clearly, the price was the only temporary savior –and we needed to look more closely at the costs. I used the profitability framework through understanding the value chain. Asked about the end product, if it was differentiated (no!) and the customers (auto/ industrial manufacturers/ construction industries et al)
I laid out the cost structure –labor/ productivity/ labor rates, materials issues- quality of materials, wastage, bargaining power and hence rates with suppliers, fuel costs- unit costs, sourcing, quality of fuel, efficiency/ utilization. I then went over to the fixed costs: rents/ equipment/ depreciation/ SG&A/ logistics and supply chain costs. The one thing I thought I mentioned (from my previous interview) but didn’t is the SCALE of operation.
Laid out an all comprehensive structure upfront save one point (that I thought I’d mentioned, since it came up in the previous interview). I had an amazingly good connect with the interviewer, stemming from striking a rapport during the dinner
Make sure you start on a clean slate, after your previous interview. One thing I did-like stated above- was to think I mentioned ‘scale’, as I had gone over it in my previous interview moments ago. Fortunately, I told the interviewer that very honestly and he saw the point!
Interview Tips
Leverage the dinner and every interaction point with the company to build a rapport and understand more about the firm- and demonstrate your fit for it
Round 3

Case Study Interview

Interview Questions
  • Question 1: Supply Chain Streamlining: TV Manufacturer with an inefficient supply chain- come to us for advice(Case Type: Operations/ costs)
  • Question 2: Tell me about yourself
  • Question 3: Why is your GPA what it is?
  • Question 4: What drives you?
  • Question 5: About my musical background and interest, the band in undergrad that I had started et al. –in short, a quick snapshot of my story thus far!
Interview Experience
Case Details:
Had a first moment of panic since I have had NOTHING to do with supply chain management, be it at work or through coursework. So, started off with first principles and tried to work with the interviewer to understand the mechanics. Started off with asking the following questions:
• What inefficient meant- quantified as costs of supply chain process
• About the TV manufacturer: type of products (generic product)
• About the firm’s market position: market leader (15-20 years)
I laid out the supply chain; suppliers through to firm to distributors. At this point, interviewer asked me to focus on the dealer/ distributor side. I asked about the dealers: own retail stores/ local dealers –and was told that it was local dealers. I started asking about the dealer margins(yikes) when interviewer told me to take a minute and grab a drink of coffee before proceeding! . Thank God for that. I then went back and said I wanted to look at where the end customers where (all over India, uniform distribution), where the current distribution centers were (Chennai, Pune, Nasik and Delhi). I also broke down the costs into (i) transportation (ii) shipment (iii) packaging. At this point, I drew a quadrant and said that there was a mismatch with 2 centers in the west, none in the east and one up north and one down south, indicating that we’d be spending more than required on the
distances covered. I then went into the modes of transportation- (i) road (ii) rail (iii) air (iv) ship , explaining the pros and cons of each and further broke down the costs into “sort-of” variable and fixed, once interviewer asked me to focus on the ‘road’ route.
• Fixed: Equipment –Own/ Rental (in which case a lease rent would be paid).Fuel costs/ equipment (depending on how the company charged these costs)
• Variable Costs- Packaging costs (LCD TVs would require more packaging than normal TVs- so I wanted to rule out the possibility of disproportionate allocation)
Zeroing on the equipment costs, per Vikas’(Interviewer) hint, I broke down the costs into loading/ unloading/ on-the-move (fuel: quality, mileage, efficiency)/ storage costs, especially given the distances involved. I also asked about the size of the trucks. Clearly bigger trucks were used with less utilization –and that clinched the close of the case.
I approached the case based on first principles, especially given I had no background or coursework in supply chain, and kept the interviewer engaged in the discussion by constantly thinking aloud and picking up hints.
I jumped in a wee bit quickly on to the case initially, at which point the interviewer asked me to pick up some coffee and think for a bit . So, maybe I shouldn’t have let my excitement get to me!
Interview Tips
Be comfortable and avoid getting frazzled or excited if the case is something out of your expertise/ experience/ coursework radar
Round 4

Case Study Interview

Interview Questions
  • Question 1: PE Fund acquiring Italian company:An Indian PE Fund is looking to acquire an automotive firm in Italy and they have come to you for advice.(Case Type: Acquisition/ LBO)
  • Question 2: Tell me about your work experience.
Interview Experience
Interviewer had done a lot of work with private-equity clients and wanted to hear about my private-equity turnaround experience in detail.
Case Details:
I would like to understand three pieces of the story first- (i) The PE Firm, the industries it usually invests in, the size of investments, required IRR (ii) The Automotive Firm- what products/ services it produces, product differentiation, market position. (iii) Any overarching reason/ objective why the PE Firm was looking to acquire this firm.
The interviewer asked, (i) Size-wise, the PE Firm invests in all size firms, industry agnostic and requires a 25-35% IRR (ii) The company manufactures high quality, high technology end-gears and has a market share of 20-30% with the immediate next competitor having 5-10% (iii) No overarching reason –what could be the reasons, do you think? I laid out a framework talking about
a. Attractiveness of the company, growth/ IRR
b. Access to the Italian industry for the PE Firm, towards other strategic interests –maybe getting into a different company through starting here
c. Being an LBO, easier availability/ better terms of debt in Italy since private equity players amplify their returns primarily through debt
d. Any benefits for the PE Fund’s current portfolio companies in India courtesy the Italian association
e. Any domain-specific expertise the PE Fund could bring to the company
f. Any of the PE partners being Italian thus having a leverage there
g. + Other factors I spoke about, that I’m unable to recall now! For each I laid out the typical acquisition framework around market/
industry analysis, other factors, profitability and added the PE perspective to it.
I used my learning from my work experience and the ‘Investing in Private Equity’ course to go over (i) What a PE fund looks at (ii) Basic Acquisition frameworks (iii) Factors governing an LBO . This interview also took a ‘discussion’ form where I also got a chance to ask interviewer what the real situation was and why the Italian firm was acquired, since it was a live case
Nothing much here . I enjoyed the case, given it was on PE’s and was thrilled to use my INPE course concepts therein!
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3

A.T. Kearney Consultant interview

, 4.8k views
Supriya SinghExperiencedSelected
Application
I Applied for job through Walk-in for Consultant role at A.T. Kearney
Interview Process
Case Study Interview Case Study Interview Case Study Interview
Round 1

Case Study Interview

Interview Questions
  • Question 1: Vodafone has a huge mobile presence. Now it wants to enter the broadband industry. Should it enter and if yes, how should it enter?
Interview Experience
I started with a few clarifying questions to know more about the company and why does Vodafone want to enter that sector. She asked me as to what I think might be the reason. I guessed a few reasons like attractive market, other synergies, competitive reaction, fear of being left behind in the market. Then I told her my approach that would include the Porter’s framework for the market attractiveness and then discuss the entry strategy.
We started with the market estimation. She asked me how I would go about the market estimation. I told her that I would divide the country into different types of cities – A, B, C, small towns and rural areas and then take the existing PC penetration as the proxy for the potential broadband customers. I also classified the customers into households, corporate and SMEs. She said OK to it. Then she gave me some numbers for the PC penetration in the different cities and segments. We came up to some number which suggested that the market for broadband was attractive and it made sense for Vodafone to enter the market. Next was how should it enter and where should it target first. She asked me to go through the different cities and suggest pros and cons for each. I covered the different cities, based on the size, existing competition, attractiveness, future potential and we came up to cities A, B for the time being and go to rural areas later. Then she asked me the potential areas in the cities where Vodafone could enter. I suggested Industrial Parks, Corporate Parks, Posh colonies, Business districts, Densely populated areas, Retail areas like cyber café, B-schools and other colleges, Airports, Hotels and Resorts and High rise apartments. These areas were chosen based on the costs involved in setting up the broadband infrastructure and getting the revenues faster by covering a lot of customers. Then she asked me to do a cost-benefit analysis for a cyber café in a mall. I mentioned the cost items and revenue items. The revenue per year could be calculated by the considering the surfing cost per hour, the footfall in that mall on the weekdays and weekends and other rentals for any other service if any. The costs would consist of the fixed costs for setting up the infrastructure and the variable costs for maintaining the service. The variable costs would be the monthly rentals for the café, operating costs, maintenance, salaries and service rentals. Based on the above the profit margin and break-even time was calculated. The breakeven time was coming out to be around 2.3 – 3 years and she said did it seem fine. I thought it was fine. Then she asked me if I had any questions for her.
Round 2

Case Study Interview

Interview Questions
  • Question 1: The client is an automotive company based in India. Due to dollar collapse, its margins are going down and hence the stock price is going down. How do we increase the margins?
Interview Experience
I started with a few clarifying questions to know more about the company and what is the contribution of exports vis-à-vis domestic sales. He told me exports accounted for only 20% of the sales and domestic sales accounted for the remaining 80%. I asked him about the revenues growth and he told me the revenues were increasing at the rate of 7-8%. Then I asked him about the industry trends and he told me the industry was growing. I took 2 minutes off to collect the data. I made the profitability framework with breakup for revenues and costs. For revenues, I would consider the price, contribution of dollar, quantity, and competition. For costs, I would consider fixed costs, plant costs, imports, raw materials, labour and depreciation. He asked me if I thought there was any problem with revenues. I told him it didn’t look like but I would still like to explore it. I made a statement saying that the market would be an oligopoly and hence I expect the contracts to be fairly longterm since automotive contracts are relationship-based. He asked me a lot of questions on oligopoly and what would happen in an oligopoly and who has the bargaining power in an oligopoly. He told me that the prices were fairly same across the competition and the quantity was also more or less the same. Then I moved to the costs side. He asked me how would I know if the problem was on the costs side? I told him that I would benchmark it with the industry and if the costs were very high as compared to the industry, I would know that the costs are high. I would benchmark the COGS/Sales with the industry average and compare the two. He asked me the components of the COGS. Then he asked me to look at the raw materials. I asked him if the raw materials were imported or domestically obtained. He told me both and did not give any breakup. He asked for ideas as to how could we get the raw materials cheaper. For imports, I suggested importing from different countries so as to diversify exchange risk, get into some forward contracts with the foreign suppliers and obtaining more from the domestic suppliers. Other ideas included Commonality of raw materials, Alternative substitutes for the raw materials, better negotiation with the suppliers and vertical backward integration. He picked up vertical integration and asked me a lot of questions on that. Did vertical integration make sense? I told him that the incentives would be better aligned and hence the manufacturer and supplier could increase the pie. He told me that the supplier market was competitive and he could get a better deal in that market rather than being vertically integrated. The discussion went on for sometime. Then he asked me to look at the labour costs and depreciation. We discussed about how new machines would help the company by increasing efficiency and reduce labour costs as well.
Interview Tips
Use of a lot of jargon – Oligopoly, Vertical Integration
Do not generally throw ideas.
Round 3

Case Study Interview

Interview Questions
  • Question 1: The question seemed very ambiguous to me. But on further clarification he asked me to figure out the reasons for the losses and hence suggest some ideas for improvement.
Interview Experience
I started with a few clarifying questions to know more about the company and the value chain in the industry. The value chain was like copper is first mined, processed and then converted to bars. The client did both mining and processing. The client was a 40 years old government entity. The industry trends for the past 40 years had been positive and the projected growth for the industry was also positive. Then we looked at the competition. There was no competition in the mining part, but there were 2 large players and few smaller players in the processing part of the value chain. The competition entered the market 4-5 years back and it was since then that the client was facing losses. The competitors were fairly profitable. We looked at the bar clients. The market for copper bars was free market and the prices were governed by global demand and supply. So the prices were fairly constant across all the companies. The global demand was huge. I asked about the capacity of the client vis-à-vis the competition. It came out that the client had a much lower capacity vis-à-vis
the competitor. So capacity was one of the issues. I asked him about the regulatory changes and foreign players. He told me the deregulation happened around 5 years back. This impacted the demand for the client’s bars. It was a major reason for the losses. Then he asked me to close the case.
Skills

Skills Tested

  • Case Solving Ability
  • Case Analysis
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4

A.T. Kearney Business analyst interview

, 8.4k views
Om PatelFresherSelected
Application
I was interviewed on-campus at IIT Bombay for Business analyst role at A.T. Kearney
Interview Process
Resume Shortlist Behavioural Interview Case Study Interview
Round 1

Resume Shortlist

Interview Experience
There are certain things and traits consultants surely look for, but there's never a fixed answer to right candidature. Yes lot of it depends on how you perceive your achievements and showcase it on your resume, it's part of the selection procedure!
Interview Tips
Do Homework. Make tables or matrices anything you're comfortable with for getting to know about yourself better. To establish traits and your impact on all the kind of work or causes you've supported. Don't get stuck on popular sentiments about PORs, etc. Concisely showcase your traits and how you think they helped you in past achieve what you have.
Round 2

Behavioural Interview

Interview Questions
  • Question 1: What/Why/How do you think you're suitable for offered profile?
Interview Experience
In general, I find all kinds of interviews behavioral. In the end what matters is your ability to grasp and display confidence to get the job done. I found if I had to point single most factor why they picked me, it will be my behavior and confidence. Probably people were more technically sound or possessing PORs etc, when given a surprising or challenging task I was most willing to not give up and dive deeper into solution rather than anything else.
Interview Tips
Too many candidates have the technical skill set required to get the job done, but how you conduct yourself, showcasing willingness to learn and belief in yourself to get it done matters the most. Again like for resume, make a table matrix anything to jot down traits required for the job on one side, and how you can explain that you possess them on other side.
Round 3

Case Study Interview

Interview Questions
  • Question 1: Client is FMCG firm. We have 10 kinds of products, 40 warehouses, 40 selling stations, CEO thinks inventory costs in the whole process are high. How to reduce them?
Interview Experience
Again to reiterate, what matters is how you maintain cool to understand question and naturally thinking to go about finding the solution rather than jumping at conclusions. I didn't know all the inventory types or formulae, but showed interest to figure out solution through all the number of ways I could think. To understand business anyways, to interact and involve interviewer in the process, communicating fluently without any pressure understanding that it's just a question and there is no exact right answer, I just have to give my best.
Interview Tips
I couldn't solve the case at all, but managed to 'crack the interview'. By showing willingness to go all in on data and facts available, asking all the questions that I thought mattered and involving the interviewer in discussion and my thinking. Good communication skills, ability to work in teams and determination to not give up are enough to get the job done.
Skills

Skills Tested

  • Communication
  • Analytical
Skill Tips
In analytical be good in Breaking complex cases into simple parts. Read up Steve Jobs- The Biography (Yes rather than quizzes, puzzles or HR questions. Inspiration matters!)
Resources

Preparation materials

Books
  • Victor Cheng case book,
  • Steve Jobs- The Biography ,
Videos
  • Victor Cheng case solution workshop at HBS,
General Tips
Placements aren't the end. Nothing is, so take it easy and rock it.
Motivation for applying
Fastest growing global management consulting firm. They have global staffing and provide maximum travel and global exposure as opposed to any other management consulting firm visiting IIT campuses. They benchmark McKinsey and hence are up to mark in perks, benefits and work culture.
Funny Moments
Didn't know anything about case on inventory costs, while interviewer expected inventory types to formulae for solving it eventually. I spent 45 minutes talking and asking questions on businesses of clients, applying case solving frameworks and discussing anything closest to inventory troubles I could think of. He smiled after 45 minutes and stopped case solving, started talking about geographies, cultures and fun in traveling!
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5

A.T. Kearney Consultant interview

, 3.6k views
Aditya BalaniExperiencedSelected
Application
I Applied for job through Personal Contacts for Consultant role at A.T. Kearney
Interview Process
Case Study Interview Other Interview
Round 1

Case Study Interview

Interview Questions
  • Question 1: A firm wants to enter the "cricket-bat" industry. Advice.
Interview Experience
Q. Which geography are we looking at?
Only 1 state in India. The interviewer asked me to take any state and move on. I decided to take Delhi.
Q. What is the competition we are looking at?
Currently there are 4 players in the industry. Each one of them is capturing close to 25% of the market share.
Q. Are we looking to target any particular customer segment?
We are looking at the retail customers.
Q. I divided the bats into 2 categories- 1) Bats used for leather balls 2) Bats used for the rubber balls. I asked the interviewer if he wanted me to focus on any particular segment.
The interviewer said that he appreciated the granularity of my approach but for the sake of simplicity, he asked me to take both the segments into consideration.
Q. How profitable has the industry been so far?
The industry has been generating profits close to 20%. Q.
Is the profitability limited to a few players or it an industry-wide trend?
Industry wide
After doing the "high-level" scoping, it seemed like the industry was reasonably profitable. There wasn't any 1 major player that was hogging the market share. With this information, I decided to lay down my approach for a very open ended market case.
Interview Tips
) In case you have an open-ended case, try to ask very specific questions which will help you in narrowing down the scope of the case. 2) Always put your structure upfront. Keep following the MECE structure throughout the case. 3) Keep taking buy-ins from the interviewer, so that you know where you are headed. 4) Always give multiple approaches to the problem. It tells the interviewer that you can think along multiple dimensions. 5) Make your approach as granular as possible. If the interviewer feels you are thinking too deep into the problem statement, then he will stop you himself. 6) The PI round is as important as the case round. Be thorough with your story and have examples to back it up. Also, don't leave the PI prep for the last 1 week. Start at least 2 weeks before the interview date.
Round 2

Other Interview

Interview Questions
  • Question 1: Partner round, which focuses more on the PI aspects.
Interview Experience
PI rounds are totally focused on your story. The interviewer can pick up anything from your resume that resonates with him/her. One of the partners, got interested in my hobby of actively following the stock markets. And he asked me to recommend 2 stocks that he should not buy. The other one was a poker player like me and we had a discussion on poker for 10 minutes. We also had a discussion about my role and responsibilities as the president of the consulting club. So it can be anything under the sun. Just be thorough with your own story.
Skills

Skills Tested

  • Case Analysis
  • Analytical Skills
  • Problem Solving Skills
General Tips
1) In case you have an open-ended case, try to ask very specific questions which will help you in narrowing down the scope of the case. 2) Always put your structure upfront. Keep following the MECE structure throughout the case. 3) Keep taking buy-ins from the interviewer, so that you know where you are headed. 4) Always give multiple approaches to the problem. It tells the interviewer that you can think along multiple dimensions. 5) Make your approach as granular as possible. If the interviewer feels you are thinking too deep into the problem statement, then he will stop you himself. 6) The PI round is as important as the case round. Be thorough with your story and have examples to back it up. Also, don't leave the PI prep for the last 1 week. Start at least 2 weeks before the interview date.
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6

A.T. Kearney Consultant interview

, 3.5k views
Supriya Singh ExperiencedSelected
Application
I Applied for job through Walk-in for Consultant role at A.T. Kearney
Interview Process
Case Study Interview
Round 1

Case Study Interview

Interview Questions
  • Question 1: Vodafone has a huge mobile presence. Now it wants to enter the broadband industry. Should it enter and if yes, how should it enter?
Interview Experience
I started with a few clarifying questions to know more about the company and why does Vodafone want to enter that sector. She asked me as to what I think might be the reason. I guessed a few reasons like attractive market, other synergies, competitive reaction, fear of being left behind in the market. Then I told her my approach that would include the Porter’s framework for the market attractiveness and then discuss the entry strategy. We started with the market estimation. She asked me how I would go about the market estimation. I told her that I would divide the country into different types of cities – A, B, C, small towns and rural areas and then take the existing PC penetration as the proxy for the potential broadband customers. I also classified the customers into households, corporate and SMEs. She said OK to it. Then she gave me some numbers for the PC penetration in the different cities and segments. We came up to some number which suggested that the market for broadband was attractive and it made sense for Vodafone to enter the market. Next was how should it enter and where should it target first. She asked me to go through the different cities and suggest pros and cons for each. I covered the different cities, based on the size, existing competition, attractiveness, future potential and we came up to cities A, B for the time being and go to rural areas later. Then she asked me the potential areas in the cities where Vodafone could enter. I suggested Industrial Parks, Corporate Parks, Posh colonies, Business districts, Densely populated areas, Retail areas like cyber café, B-schools and other colleges, Airports, Hotels and Resorts and High rise apartments. These areas were chosen based on the costs involved in setting up the broadband infrastructure and getting the revenues faster by covering a lot of customers. Then she asked me to do a cost-benefit analysis for a cyber café in a mall. I mentioned the cost items and revenue items. The revenue per year could be calculated by the considering the surfing cost per hour, the footfall in that mall on the weekdays and weekends and other rentals for any other service if any. The costs would consist of the fixed costs for setting up the infrastructure and the variable costs for maintaining the service. The variable costs would be the monthly rentals for the café, operating costs, maintenance, salaries and service rentals. Based on the above the profit margin and break-even time was calculated. The break even time was coming out to be around 2.3 – 3 years and she said did it seem fine. I thought it was fine. Then she asked me if I had any questions for her.
Skills

Skills Tested

  • Case Analysis
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7

A.T. Kearney Na interview

, 5.9k views
AnonymousFresherSelected
Application
I was interviewed on-campus for Na role at A.T. Kearney
Interview Process
Personal interview Case Study Interview Case Study Interview Personal interview
Round 1

Personal interview

Interview Experience
PI Questions:

Tell me about yourself: The usual stuff
Why were you so late?
How many interviews have you attended?
What other companies did you interview with?
Round 2

Case Study Interview

Interview Questions
  • Question 1: Estimate the size of car Head lights market in India (Type: Market Sizing / Demand Estimation)
Interview Experience
Case Details: Went about the problem statement like, Mkt Size = Avg. price X # bulbs
# bulbs has 2 drivers (#1 ) new cars (#2) replacements due to “age” of the bulb the interviewer reminded by mentioning that I forgot one more driver (#3) replacement for bulbs damaged in accidents, which is a big driver. Rest of the case was simple. Overall it was a reasonable solution to a simple problem.
Round 3

Case Study Interview

Interview Questions
  • Question 1: Estimate the market size of post-its in India (Type: Market Sizing again)
Interview Experience
Case Details:
My approach to the problem was:
Mkt Size = Avg. price X # post its
I used a bottom up approach.Use the population and estimate the # of post its each person uses.Consumption buckets: (a) office use (b) household usage(b) is too small so focus only on (a)Post-it consumption varies by
1 . Income
2. Industry type
3. Age of person (post it being a relatively new concept may be highly
used by young)
Interviewer looked satisfied with the solution.
There was a short post case PI and the interviewer asked me, "What other companies are on your radar? What is the preference order?" I was not sure of results from other companies. So I clearly indicated that companies X & Y are still not closed; I rank them above ATK. I got hints that I may get an offer at ATK. As soon as I got out of the interview, I requested my wife to check results with other companies.
Interview Tips
1 . If it is an interview late in the day keep answers short & meaty (especially
if the interviewers have a flight to catch)
2. Be frank and honest.
Round 4

Personal interview

Interview Experience
Tell me about yourself: I started with my points. Asked about my role at Inductis?
How much client relationship did you handle?
While the interview started with Mohit (Interviewer) alone, Vikas (Interviewer) walked in to observe the interview after 10 minutes. This was a strong signal to me that I may get an offer.
What was the level of clients whom you interacted with?
I said middle management almost twice a day, few CXOs and on rare occasions to the CEO.
(Interviewers showed particular strong interest in this question)
What other companies are you interviewing with?
What is your preference order?
I was asked to wait outside. This is when I checked with my wife who said that other companies have dinged me.
There was one short discussion with Vikas where he made me the offer which I accepted
Interview Tips
1 . Day 1 is extremely crunched if you have multiple shortlists and the process will not allow you to attend all interviews. Companies delay
interviews. Sometimes companies have 2 first round interviews when CAS has scheduled only one interview for you. If you have back to back interviews, you will surely miss 3-4 interviews. I had 8 1 st round interviews scheduled before 4pm, of which I got delayed for 4 & missed 2.
2. Prioritize among companies based on 2 things (a) how much you like a company (b) What is your chance of getting through. In a more geeky terminology look at the expected value instead of focusing on the payoff alone. Everyone does ‘a’ but ‘b’ is tough to do and must be done on the fly on the date of interview. ‘b’ is dependent on how (i) how well you did in the interview, (ii) has a company given some hints that they are interested in you (iii) how much is the competition for that job. I realized this only after half the day had passed.
Skills

Skills Tested

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    8

    A.T. Kearney Na interview

    , 5.6k views
    AnonymousFresherSelected
    Application
    I was interviewed on-campus for Na role at A.T. Kearney
    Interview Process
    Case Study Interview Case Study Interview Case Study Interview
    Round 1

    Case Study Interview

    Interview Questions
    • Question 1: Estimate the demand for natural gas in India. (Case Type: Market Estimation)
    Interview Experience
    I was asked about my previous interviews that I had that day and then a bit about my work experience.

    Case Details:
    I started with identifying the possible sources of demand of natural gas: power sector, process sector, domestic and transport. The interviewer told me to focus only on the process sector. Natural gas is used as an input in some of the process industries. There are two sources: import and domestic. We had to figure out, how much would be the domestic demand for Natural gas. We were solving the case more or less together. The interviewer was quite involved in the case and was helping me out. I
    don’t really remember the details, but according to me my performance was strictly ok.
    I had been able to establish connect with the interviewer, when he came to ISB for PPT, and I think that helped a lot. He is one of the key decision makers at ATK, and if you get his buy-in, it would be ideal. He could also make out that I would be a great fit with the ATK culture and that really worked in my favor.
    Interview Tips
    Try to establish connect with the key people in the firm whenever they come to ISB. It always helps.
    Round 2

    Case Study Interview

    Interview Questions
    • Question 1: We want to form a strategy for a Cement company for the next 5 years. What are the key issues/elements that we should consider? How should we go about it. (Case Type: Strategy)
    Interview Experience
    The interview started with,"How has your experience been so far" and other very general PI questions.
    Case Details:
    I started by laying out a structure which covered market estimation, current production capacity, marketing & branding and distribution and supply chain. The interviewer then asked me to get into the supply chain in detail. I again formed a structure to analyze the supply chain and distribution. I made a typical value chain diagram starting from Raw material sourcing, production, inventory management and then distribution. There were subparts to each of these. I did a fairly good job in solving this case. However, I completely missed the raw material sourcing part in the discussion, although I had written that when I formed
    the structure.
    I think I did a good job on the case.
    Interview Tips
    Work hard on forming a good structure. Laying out a good structure is half the battle.
    Round 3

    Case Study Interview

    Interview Questions
    • Question 1: Estimate demand for Broadband connections in India.(Case Type: Market Estimation)
    • Question 2: Why ISB and not IIM?
    • Question 3: How was your ISB experience?
    Interview Experience
    Case Details:
    I started by dividing the market into two- Corporate and Households. The interviewer asked me to focus on households. In the households I again divided the market into Tier-1, Tier-2 and Tier-3 cities. I identified PC or Laptop as a very good proxy for the broadband demand. I don’t remember the details but it was a fairly short case discussion and maybe got over in 10-15 minutes.
    Did well on the PI question, was able to bring out a genuine interest in consulting career.
    Interview Tips
    Prepare PI questions well. In the final rounds it’s the PI which becomes more important.
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    9

    A.T. Kearney Intern internship interview

    , 5.4k views
    Prateek SekhaniFresherSelected
    Application
    I was interviewed on-campus at IIM Lucknow for Intern role at A.T. Kearney
    Interview Process
    Other Interview Case Study Interview Guesstimate Interview
    Round 1

    Other Interview

    Interview Questions
    • Question 1: Puzzles like how many moves are needed to get from one corner of a chessboard to the other
    • Question 2: HR questions like, why will you choose A.T. Kearney
    Round 2

    Case Study Interview

    Interview Questions
    • Question 1: Various uses of CNG/LPG, and is it feasible for a vehicle to convert to LPG
    Interview Experience
    He asked me to enlist various uses of CNG/LPG in/around Delhi. I bifurcated it into 2 parts: Domestic and Commercial.
    Domestic included uses In the house and Outside the house. Inside the house was essentially stoves plus any appliance if any. Outside include vehicles, generator, etc.
    Commercial comprised of factories (I suggested boilers when asked to specify where), street lighting, office lighting, trucks+commercial vehicles etc. Post that he asked me to assess the viability of converting a car to LPG. I enlisted monetary + non-monetary factors.
    Monetary factors included per km cost of using LPG vs per km cost of Petrol/Diesel. Then based on average distance, the break even distance was calculated.
    For noon-monetary, factors like trunk space requirements, reputational factor, accessibility of LPG stations etc were considered.
    Post that we spoke briefly about the Solar sector in general, with focus on scope of Solar energy in India. This came up since I had mentioned that it was an area of interest.
    Round 3

    Guesstimate Interview

    Interview Questions
    • Question 1: Size of the second hand car market in India
    General Tips
    Whatever little I could gather from my experience was that Consults thrive on good personality, confidence being a BIG factor. Just be extremely composed, confident and converse well. You probably may not do exceptionally well in the case but as long as you come across as a smart fellow, you should be sorted. Having said that, you won’t be able to sound smart if cases don’t go as intended, so prep those well. ;)
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    10

    A.T. Kearney Consultant interview

    , 3.6k views
    ExperiencedSelected
    Interview Process
    Case Study Interview
    Round 1

    Case Study Interview

    Interview Questions
    • Question 1: A PE firm wants to decide whether to invest in a mall (retail space). Before doing the due diligence, the firm asks you whether or not they should proceed with the due diligence.
    Interview Experience
    Q. (After summarizing the case) Are there any other objectives?
    Just find out the size of the investment that the company needs to make .
    Q. (Asked details about the mall and macroeconomic scenario. Each of the following answers had the corresponding question)
    The Mall is operational. It has been so for some 5 years. It is located in an upscale area. The tenancy mix is good. The builder is reputed. No known regulatory issues with the mall. There are a few competing malls, but none in the immediate vicinity. This is not relevant to the problem. Macroeconomic growth is good. GDP ->.5%. Inflation -> 7%
    Q. (This part was related to working out the revenue) Revenue comes from

    Rent

    Parking

    Events

    Outdoor Advertising The rest of the case was guesstimating revenue from each of the sources. Some data was provided by the interviewer. And the rest was assumed. Once the revenue was assumed, we moved to costs. Similar method was followed to come up with costs. Post this, I calculated the FCF, assumed a discount rate and valued the mall at today. Here we ran out of time. Further I could have asked for comparable data for recent investments in the neighborhood. I could have also asked for Tax benefits that the PE firm could have gotten out of this investment. Lastly, I could have analyzed the synergies with the PE firm’s existing portfolio.
    Interview Tips
    At all times explain and show your structure to the interviewer
    Skills

    Skills Tested

    • Case Analysis
    Skill Tips
    The focus is always on the structured approach and the way you are involving the interviewer. In general, prepare well for PI and give your buddy interviews with full prep.
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