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1

McKinsey associate interview

14.4k views
S Shankar PrasadExperiencedSelected
Application
I Applied for job through Personal Contacts for Associate role at McKinsey
Interview Process
Case Study Interview Case Study Interview Case Study Interview Other Interview
Round 1

Case Study Interview

Interview Experience
We started the interview with a 3-4 minute chat about how painful it can be in the morning to travel and start working right away (He had just arrived).

He then quizzed me about leadership instances at work and in academic career; then I took him into what he believed leadership was. We had a long chat about why leadership was important in consulting. We also spoke about how I was to translate a very explicit form of leadership displayed at work (I was leading operations in a factory) to an implicit environment (like consulting). We talked about what leadership skills are transferable and ones which are not.

The case was about a global heavy vehicle manufacturer. The firm was planning to enter India; my job was to devise a strategy for it. A simple case to begin with I thought, but I knew very well that the challenges are higher in a simple case.
I started off with a simple framework (nothing great, decided the marketing mix and the way to enter – organic was the better route). I also identified the capabilities of the manufacturer that could be transferred to this setting. This went on for about 10 minutes. Here it was important to structure the problem well, following a MECE structure. I also shared some experience of a project with him that we had done in Competitive strategy project that we had done on cars and shared some uniqueness of thenIndian market with him. I am not covering this in detail as it was pretty standard and I just had to do the basics right. Then he told me to size the truck market in India. I told him that I will follow the stock method of analysis, by which I will estimate the number of trucks currently in operation throughout India. Since I was doing a demand side analysis, I divided the trucks into
variable loads (where capacity utilization is less than equal to 100%) or fixed loads (construction equipment carriers, petrol loads, car containers, etc.). He said that they normally don’t do it this way but he wanted me to proceed as he found it interesting.

Then, he told me that he wanted me to do it for the car carriers for paucity of time. I went ahead and assumed a certain number of carriers that are bought every year (the number wasn’t important, I assumed 1000 for ease of analysis). I understood the supply chain from him and he explained the dealer system to me. Then, I told him that I will assume steady state, as in the number of cars sold are the number of cars manufactured and distributed. I then divided it as per the number of manufacturers, number and location of manufacturing locations, distance, speed distribution, capacity of trucks, capacity utilization, number of hours driven in a day, maintenance days and the average number of days that a truck is driven in a year to arrive at the number of trips made and hence, the number of trucks that were plying. It was important to note that the trucks generally came back completely empty. I also told him that the transporters will like to keep some number of trucks on a standby. He asked me to estimate that as well. I gave him a framework to analyze that. I gave him a framework depending on locations, routes, failure time and MTBFs. He was ok with that. The case was extremely quantitative and was very intensive numerically. I also did a sensitivity analysis on one of the
parameters showing him that the whole estimate was sensitive to a few parameters.
Then, I told him that if I link both the cases together, then it gives me an interesting sight into what value proposition the truck
manufacturer can give to the Indian transporters. I told him that let’s look at each of the variables that I had estimated earlier and
see whether we can reduce them. Then, I said that we can try to increase the mileage and increase the size of the truck as well. Then, I told him that both the things might be inversely related. It can also be done that the truck speed can be increased on the back journey. Maintenance days can be decreased. He asked me for a few creative recommendations, which I gave – I don’t really remember them now but the method was as stated above.

Then, he asked me for a feedback about the case and discussion overall. I told him about how different the case would have been
had the case between about variable loads. He was ok with it.

He then told me to ask him a question. I asked him about the project specifically and to what detail McKinsey went. I also asked him how McKinsey keeps a tab on how clients implement suggestions. The overall case lasted about 25 minutes. I then linked it with one of the questions asked in the personal interview. I told him that it is a challenge that line managers like us will face in a
consulting environment, wherein we do not necessarily get to implement. Then, I shared a few jokes that I had played with consultants (mostly technical) and how it might be my turn to be on the receiving end now.
Interview Tips
I think the skill that was being tested here was how comfortable I was with the interviewer in the beginning. It was important to
engage him in a fruitful conversation that is argumentative but not confrontational. I think basic presence and communication skills were being tested here. Overall, the whole experience lasted about 10 minutes, and when he was convinced that I was comfortable enough, we went into the case.
It is important to be your natural self in the interview. Comfort with numbers is absolutely crucial. It is also important that when using creativity, structure should not be lost. Never shoot ideas of the hat, always be structured. It is important to see and address the body language of the interviewer. The basic thing that works is that one should focus on bringing out one’s strengths in the interview. My strengths lay in creativity, structuring and quick calculations (which I specifically tried to bring out in the interview). Your strengths (preparation will yield that) could be very different and you should try to bring them out. It is very important to remain cool after the interview since one might get a feeling that he’s not done well but the results could be just the other way round!
Round 2

Case Study Interview

Interview Experience
We started the interview with a conversation about my career at IIT and my times in Cuttack (Orissa), my hometown. He was hooked onto my JEE rank and asked me why the number was unique. I don’t think he wanted a particularly great answer but he wanted to check my ability to think on my feet. He asked to give him 5 different uniquenesses.

He also asked me why Cuttack wasn’t doing as well as a Bhubaneswar. To this I replied taking geographic, political, cultural and economic reasons into account. We then discussed about my Summer Project with Reckitt Benckiser (this was an automation project with a FMCG major). He asked me to explain the labor implications of implementing automation. He then went ahead to ask me my experiences in dealing with unionized labor at ITC. He was also interested in one of the papers that I had written about
BOP and presented at XLRI. This was about how to bring your best people to the BOP. He asked me to explain the paper and then told me to explain how useful it can be to the corporate world. My observation had told me that he was very practical and won’t like flowery answers that this is the idea of the millennium! I gave him all the strengths and weaknesses of the idea (and real ground level ones) in implementation.

After that he asked me why I was looking forward to a consulting career. I told him that it links well to my long term goal, which is
leading a NGO. I told him that this is one of the reasons that McKinsey stands out for me as a firm, with all the public policy and
pro-bono work. We discussed a bit about India’s policy change from the ‘50s to the ‘70s. I gave him some funda about what I had
seen in the Commanding Heights video, though he was doing most of the talking.

He was visibly happy with the fact that I said public policy (Later I realized that he specializes in public policy at McK) and told me
that he will give me a case on it. The whole experience lasted 15 minutes.

He started off the case asking me what I knew about the Bharat Nirman Project. I told him that my knowledge is limited to what I have read in the papers over the past few weeks and I do not know in detail about it. He told me that this case will enhance my
learning about the challenges facing somebody working in public policy.

The case was about rural electrification. He said the objective of the central government has now shifted to putting an electric bulb in every Indian home by Feb, 2008. He asked me how the Government should go about it.

I started off telling him that the idea looked unrealistic to me. Assuming that 1 billion is the Indian population and 65% lived in
villages, 650 million is the current rural population. Assuming that there are 5 members per rural household, there are 130 million
households. Then assuming that 30% of rural India is electrified, 91 million households remain. We just have two years, which is
approximately 700 days. Even if we work throughout, 1.3 lakh households have to be electrified every day. This is by no means
easy. Add to this fact that there is huge geographic dispersion and the current state of the SEBs, the plan looks nonviable. I told him that I found it impractical. To this he replied saying that most public policy projects are such. They lack thinking about the design phase itself. He asked me to go ahead with the problem assuming it is doable.

I approached the problem saying that I would see the project from three standpoints – economic, organizational and operational. On the operational point, I would divide the project into generation and T&D phases. On the economic standpoint, I would look at the ways and means to fund this project. On the organizational front, I would like to see who would own this project. Here, he told me that the question should not be treated like any other consulting case and he is looking for completely creative solutions.

I asked him whether I should go ahead with the analysis the way I had structured or he wanted me to do something different. He
replied that he is looking for specifically the Generation area. I told him that when it comes to generation, there are four issues
that need to be looked at – Performance of conventional energy generation units, New conventional energy units, isolated units and non-conventional sources of energy. He said that I should discuss the non-conventional energy sources first.

I told him that I was aware of solar, wind and bagas (sugarcane by product). He asked me to describe the economics of Solar. I showed it to him that at the current rate, it’s unprofitable. Then, we went to Wind energy. I told him that the issues to look for
here are technology, fixed costs and practical viability (availability of areas) where they can be installed. We discussed each one of
them in greater detail from then on.

I told him that when it comes to buying technology, it would be very costly and technology transfer has to be on a mutual basis.
Then, we went it to the details of the windmill technology and its advantages in the Indian context. He was doing most of the talking here.

He asked me to do a commercial evaluation of all these technologies. I did the same considering three parameters – speed (because the industry has an external effect), cost and future viability (to incorporate learning curve effects). After shedding
some light on each one of them, he asked me to move on to the funding aspect in generation.

I told him that the money here can be drawn from four areas – government, Indian private, Foreign players and debtors. I told him how each one of them was different (most of the logic was thought on the spot). We then discussed about the amount of privatization that should be allowed. I was of the opinion that wherever private participation is allowed, it should be in both R&D and generation. Having only one of them was not of any use. He didn’t agree to it and he was of the opinion that we weren’t ready yet. We closed the interview on an argumentative note.

He asked me to ask a question at the end. I asked him what kind of persuasive powers consultants enjoy when it comes to public policy projects. He smiled and gave me a lot of insight into public policy consulting. He appreciated the fact at the end of the interview that I could make people talk. The whole experience lasted close to 20 mins.
Interview Tips
Keep your cool. Show a good understanding of the things happening around you (may not be knowledge, but an opinion usually helps). Do not try to throw facts when they amount to nothing!
Round 3

Case Study Interview

Interview Experience
He asked me about the problems that dealing with a union entails. There were a few more specific questions about my resume, in
which I had to describe the work I did. I spoke for some time – maybe 2 minutes.

Then he asked me the kind of preparation that our batch had done for consulting. I gave him some feedback about how the interview workshop process done by McKinsey could have been better and how different it was from other colleges (stressing on poor institutional memory and ways to deal with it). He asked me what my last case was about. When I told him that it was about public policy and I had like it. He said that he also wanted me to do a case in that. The whole conversation lasted close to a little over 10 minutes.

An extremely short case. It lasted less than 10 minutes. He asked me what a government could do to improve the banking
policy of a third-world country. To begin with, I told him that there is no generic answer and the policy has to be case specific. I also told him that I got a feeling that he was speaking from personal experience.

He said that I was right and asked me to take the case of Bahrain. He asked me what I knew about Bahrain and its banking industry. I told him that I knew it was a Muslim country and was staunch in protecting Muslim values (I used to collect stamps; I knew that they did not have a word of English – I told him that).

Then he gave me a good overview about Bahrain (lot of tangential stuff) and told me that the Finance minister was worried that the industry might lose it. He told me it was majorly into fostering corporate banks.

To begin with I told him that it was a case of B2B marketing and banks would stay if they get a good value proposition in Bahrain.
But then, if they get a better value proposition elsewhere, they’ll shift. He said I was right and asked me to think ahead. I asked him who these banks were. He told me that they were the Middle East bases of MNC banks. I asked him why the banks were there in the first case. He told me that it was centrally located and had liberal laws. I analyzed the geography and told him that what struck me was the fact it was close to Dubai. I asked him why not Dubai?

He told me that there was an announcement by the Dubai officials that they would make their policies freer than Bahrain and would make it a free trading zone.

I inferred from this saying that this might be a symptom of the real issue but wasn’t the actual problem. To this, he agreed. I told him that first of all I need to analyze the Dubai threat more closely. I told him first that we need to establish whether Dubai’s threat is credible or not (look at their history and look at the economic impact). He asked me to assume that they can do it. Then, I told him to look at the value proposition (including the switching cost to Dubai – local knowledge, skill base) that Bahrain provides and compare to the value proposition that Dubai gives. I told him that it is important to keep a futuristic view in mind. Then, I told him that what strikes me about the case is the fact that in this industry, it is very important to build your local clientele and not rely on foreigners. He said fine.

Then, I quizzed him about how developed was Bahrain’s retail and corporate banking was. I told him that it would relate very closely to the economic development was in Bahrain.

I told him that I felt that the real issue with Bahrain was the fact that the industry relied too much on MNCs without first satisfying local demand. I told him that I would like to create a policy keeping this in mind.

He asked me to stop the interview then and there.
Interview Tips
Thinking on your feet is extremely important at the beginning of the case. First think commonsensical and then get on to the regular consulting case analysis. One way of dealing with a person you know is to use your previous experience with him (in any which way).
Round 4

Other Interview

Interview Experience
I was told at the beginning that I won’t have a case. He asked me to ask a few questions that I felt were relevant.

I asked him how McKinsey makes the environment conducive for knowledge sharing. He gave me a few inputs.

I told him what I had read about McKinsey’s knowledge management in a HBS case. He heard it attentively. He then gave me an idea about the state of affairs now and particularly in India. I asked him about how sharing gets linked to performance initiatives. I also asked him how other firms (esp. consulting) do it. He then asked me to narrate a few instances about ISB. I told him that any education program is incomplete without pranks. I told him a few pranks that I had played on a few friends in ISB (and vice versa).
Interview Tips
Be your natural self and try to gauge the interviewer’s body language when telling a story.
General Tips
1. One of the key facets is to make the case completely seamless, wherein you have to link both the PI and cases and both the cases together.

2. Structuring is very important.

3. The other thing is to make the interviewer comfortable.

4. Do not speak a little too much.

5. With seniors, I think it is very important to listen.

6. It is also important to observe as you go along the interview process that every interviewer is looking for a particular skill or dimension in your personality.

7. It is also important that whenever you give a radical thought, you should back it up by sound strong logic.

8. Control the interview.

9. A bit of formal attitude would help.

10
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2

BCG associate interview

7.6k views
Jitesh Shah ExperiencedSelected
Application
I Applied for job through Personal Contacts for Associate role at BCG
Interview Process
HR Interview Case Study Interview Case Study Interview Case Study Interview Case Study Interview
Round 1

HR Interview

Interview Questions
  • Question 1: Tell me something about yourself
  • Question 2: How was your ISB experience?
  • Question 3: Why consulting?
Interview Experience
These were typical ice breaking questions. She didn’t dwell into too many details of any of my responses. We immediately started discussing my ELP on increasing internet penetration in India.
Round 2

Case Study Interview

Interview Questions
  • Question 1: “We did some consulting project for our telecom client some time ago. The client was serving broadband internet to corporate clients with high speed connections, VPN services and P2P network arrangements. Now they have asked us to evaluate whether they should enter the retail market. Can you walk me through how would we go about suggesting them?”
Interview Experience
I: As I am aware the value chain of providing the broadband service includes a. IXP b. Backbone rings and bandwidth c. Backbone routers/equipments d. Last mile connections Is this understanding correct? Seema: Yes I: And is our client present in all the bits of these value chain? Seema: Currently they are present in all the parts of the value chain. I: However you mentioned that they are serving corporate clients alone, so I assume their backbone might not be spread a lot? Can you give me some more details on what is their current spread at two levels? a. In what cities are they currently present? b. In each of the cities how is their backbone scaled up? Seema: They are present in 12 cities. (tier-1 cities). They have several backbone rings present in each of these cities to serve the corporate clients. (She scribbles and explains a bit more about the clients backbone) I: Ok. Are we looking for any time frame in mind or any financial constraints? Also, is client a conglomerate – I am trying to figure out the capabilities of the client. Also does the client have any minimum required rate of return from the project? Seema: No for all the questions. Lets not get into details of the numbers of required rate etc. Let us just discuss on what are things you are going to consider in helping the client. I: Because we are talking about broadband connections, we must focus on the number of internet connection market in India. There are 150 internet users in India. However there are only 50million PCs in India. Now because each PC will have only one connection 50 million is true market size. 30-70 rural-urban (tier-1) spit and 60-40 corporate-retail split leaves about 14mn as a potential retail market. The will like to consider the following: Customer Reach Company - PC Users -> Laying backbone -> Financing, structuring,etc Awareness -> Last mile -> Operations -- Content Language -> Pockets with in city -> capabilities -- Availability of content -- Ease of use Willingness --Price --Use/Need --Perception External factors included: Regulations: Getting licenses Competition: Internet penetration in the 14mn is presently low. I used some pointers from my ELP findings like Chinese perceive that using computer is very easy vs Indian perception that only skilled ones can use the computers. Some major points of discussion were: a innovative revenue model which we recommended as part of our ELP, and option of bundling services, expanding market by creating a resale market of 2nd hand PCs. After a discussion on the customer part, we talked about how to reach customers. There are two broad ways of doing the network bit. Organic and inorganic. Issues like network sharing, BVNO, cable TV like models for last mile connections were discussed but it was arrived at that scope of doing these was either limited or not possible. Organic was the only possibility of doing this. The retail market is sparse, requires lot of investment, especially in last mile connections. Also some profitable pockets are already occupied by the competition like BSNL, Bharti etc. Given the sparse market, high setup costs and unpredictable returns it doesn’t make sense in entering the market.
Interview Tips
Connect your thoughts with the interviewer.
Round 3

Case Study Interview

Interview Questions
  • Question 1: “Our client is a cement manufacturer and wants to increase profitability per ton. Lets solve the clients problem
Interview Experience
I:Why profitability per ton? Why would CEO bother about profitability per ton. Shouldn’t he be focusing on total profits or share price? R: We are talking about making changes in a year and therefore only profitability per ton can be changed. We cannot do much with quantity itself. I: Right. Could you please tell me where does client manufacture and where does it sell? R: It is a pan India producer with 14-15 plants and sells through out India. I: So how are the customers classified. I would divide them into Retail and Industrial customers. Is that how company does it? R: Yes. Let us focus only on retail clients. Bulk of the business happens through them. I: ok. How do we reach our customers? R: There are distributors who sell it to the customers. I: In terms of geography, are the profits homogenous? R: No. South there is excess supply and up north there is excess deman. I: Ok. Competition? R: 3-4 regional players around every plant and 3-4 other large national players I: How are we doing visavis industry in terms of profits? Any targets in mind? R: We are on par with the industry. Lets aim for 5-10% increase in 1 year. I: Profitability per ton = Unit price – Variable cost – unitized Fixed cost Increasing profitability will mean increasing prices or reducing costs. At this time he led the conversation into increasing price part, although I had written appropriate drivers for cost like DM, DL, Transportation, IM, IL, etc) I: To increase the price: I guess cement is a undifferentiated product and therefore commodity. R: Right. So how can you increase prices? Prices are different in each region. I: Can we look at differentiating the cement (on product dimension) or on relationship dimension and therefore command high prices? R: No. Cannot do that, its commodity. I: I draw 1 plant, some distributors around it and large circles around each distributor. These circles are their markets and each market has different prices) Price is decided by D-S curves. We need to maximize the profit/ton for each region or the following: Max(ΣPi-VCi) (i for all markets) R: Ok so what are the constraints? I: Plant capacity (cannot change this in 1 year), competition, market demand (cannot change that) R: Ok. I: @ Each plant to maximize the profit/ton, I will just sell it to the market with the highest profit. But this will reduce total profits ☺R: Smiles....right! I: So instead of maximizing profit/ton, we must look at cutting out non-profitable markets. That is instead of absolute maximum, just eliminate markets where profits are below acceptable levels. R: Ok. But do we not want to look at what can be done here in low profit markets? I: Right. Take some time Ultimately prices must increase. We cannot change demand. But we can play with our mix in the supply (which is also constant for the next 1 year). I: Draw a 2x2 matrix: Us (strong, weak) vs Competition(Strong, weak) Where we are strong and the competition is weak, we can drive them out easily and play with prices Where we are weak and competition is strong, we either exit or consolidate with other players to drive 3rd player out. Where both are weak, we need to send credible signal to competition to drive them away or collude with them,Then I blabber some stuff on what kind of credible signals can be given to the competition When both are strong, it is pretty straight forward anyways. Then I make a few recommendations on preventing volume/price fluctuation by long term contracts, on vertical integration etc.
Interview Tips
Know the interviewer well and connect with the interviewer well. Ask him about what he did in the case, how he did, etc.
Round 4

Case Study Interview

Interview Questions
  • Question 1: “A cement company looking to reduce costs. How will we do it?”
Interview Experience
I am not describing this case in detail because we simply did some value chain analysis. Nothing right/wrong happened during the interview, barring her 6-8 calls and emails After the interview I was thinking that BCG is a history for me, given the level of disinterest she showed throughout the interview.
Round 5

Case Study Interview

Interview Questions
  • Question 1: “I hope you must have read the news on Tata’s successful foray in to the 1L car. It has been talked about a lot and has got lot of CEOS world wide thinking about it. Now if you are the CEO of Renault what will you do?”
Interview Experience
This was a very opened case. Also I don’t think I really had any idea of what he wanted me to discuss/solve. I tried to scope down the problem.> I: So tata has come up with this 1L car, and as the CEO of ReVA (I was thinking about the battery operated car, popular in Del/Bangalore) what should I do??? (I was like ok....a game theory case!)A: Nope, we are talking about Renault – the European car manufacture. I: Ok. Could you give me a little head’s up on Renault and its operations ? A: It is a Global player, has presence in all the parts of the value chain, makes cars in various segments. (I have just summarized his description) I: Have we started working towards a similar 1L Car? A: Reva has announced working on a $250 car. It has done little R&D and will take 5 years to launch. I: Alright. Tata has created a new market for cars. The CEO of Renault must be thinking about this in two ways – opportunity and threat. And what CEO must act taking in mind short term and long term. Do we consider all the four possibilities? A: Right way of looking at it. Lets look at all the four options. My structure: (I took like a minute for this as I wasn’t sure if that’s what he wanted) Customer Distribution Company Segments -> Distribution capabilities -> Financing, structuring,etc Needs -> Last mile -> R&D Perception -> Suppliers Preferences Capabilities Price Product External factors included: Regulations: Getting licenses, Pollution aspects Competition: A: Jitesh, why don’t you discuss as you come up with your structure. I: A: That’s alright. But this is gonna happen one the R&D of the car is over. Let us say this is long term. Now what can Renault do? I: Ok we can look at ways of speeding up R&D or pairing with others in the market to co-R&D? A: R&D will take 5 years...cannt play with that. I: Tata has created a new market. Let us treat this thing an opportunity first. Now because we can come into the market only after 5 years, we must look at ways of slowing down the growth of the market so that we can tap into this opportunity at the right time. (I drew 2 S curves with different kurtosis.) We can slow the growth by providing them alternate modes of conveyance @ same or less price! A: That’s good. Alright lets see how can we do that! I: .o0(Finally the first step in right direction ☺ ) Ppl generally use the cars to commute. 1L car users are likely to use it for local commuting. If we can provide substitutes to them, it will be good to slow down the market. The modes of public transportation are Buses, Cars, Trains, 2W (in the same price range) A: Good. So? A: Reva is also into 4W (high end buses). I: Right so, if Reva can help local tier 1/2 municipalities/govt. by establishing the public bus transport system, it will do the trick. I am not sure if we can play any role in Rail transports. We can rope in other players too (who are looking to play role in this market, but have capabilities in this area – Rail and 2W). A: What else can be done here? : 2nd hand market? A: Right! I: Some thing along the lines of true value of maruti. We must ease creation of resale markets for cars. A: Why do you think if may work? I: This business is largely unorganized. Price and credibility will come with Renault brand. But Renault is a small player in the Indian market. (Presence wise) so it must rope in other global players along with it. Also, it must look at getting 2nd hand cars from international markets, if the cost works out, coz I am aware that most of the used cars are dumped in the likes of USA. A: The import duties are likely to be very high. I: But as a lobby of the MNCs, both in India and outside, we can influence Govt Decisions. A: Thik hai. What else? I: We have looked at how do we impact their timing. However these kind of steps might be irreversible and therefore CEO must carefully weigh options. The market may permanently shrink by providing them a substitute where in getting out is not possible. (Like public transport service) One needs to be at the right time at right place with right product. We need to look at how can we block their distribution. They already have a right product (given that their production is underway) A: Right. I: I assume that in India they have their own outlets (single brand). Yes. So I am not sure if much can be done on the distribution front. However in the global markets, we need to erect barriers for Tata’s entry. This can be done at two levels. a. Get higher tarrifs/taxes by lobbying in the government. b. We are already large players globally. We need to prevent Tata from entering the market by blocking the distribution networks (They don’t have their own shops, and we can get others to block their alliances) A: Ok. Good so far, what else? I: We checked the time, distribution?...We need to see if we can control their volumes! (Right product to right customers @ right place in right quantity) A: Good...how will you do it? I: They are sourcing their raw materials from some global vendor. Renault is a large player and will have larger partners eyeing similar opportunity. We can get together and erect barriers for souring of components/raw materials to Tata. A: Ok. This was the opportunity part, how do we analyze this as threat? I : So Tata has created a new market. The threat are as follows: a. Tata dominates new market 5 years down the line b. Customer from our segment moves into tata’s segment A: What else? I: c. Tata can protect the technology with patents, which hampers our R&D d. Uses its technology to launch high end low cost products in our segments and erode our profits!! (d. was the biggest threat and the answer that he was looking for) .
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3

McKinsey associate interview

12.6k views
Nitin Kashyap ExperiencedSelected
Application
I Applied for job through Walk-in for Associate role at McKinsey
Interview Process
Case Study Interview Case Study Interview
Round 1

Case Study Interview

Interview Questions
  • Question 1: Heathrow airport wishes to add a 5th terminal to its existing 4 terminals. Should it go ahead?
Interview Experience
I started off saying that the problem statement looks like it’s a Go/NoGo decision we have to help make, so first we should establish the exact objective against which we would measure our decision. Once the objective is clear, we would need to establish our current performance against the objective, what is the target level we wish to achieve on that particular objective and then evaluate if the new terminal would help us achieve that or not. But before that I would like to clarify about exactly what is meant by a terminal here.
JC: Heathrow is one of the busiest airports and already has 4 different passenger terminals, now they want to add a 5th. A terminal provides the usual services like Bays for Boarding & disembarking, Check-In, Security, Lounges & shopping areas etc.
Me: Great, do we also have to look at the financial and operational viability of the terminal or that is not a concern.
JC: for the purpose of discussion let’s ignore that, those would not be the constraints.
Me: Ok, so maybe we should the start looking at what the administrations core objective is for the new terminal. Why does it want to come up with a 5th terminal?
JC: Why don’t you tell me what those objectives could be?
Me: Well there could be many (started jotting down options in parallel as I spoke): 1) increase the #Passengers served per year, 2) Reduce Flight Congestion if any, 3) Reduce the Time spent by flights on the airport, 4) Increase the airports revenue sources. Am I missing any other?
JC: No I think you have mentioned the major ones, let’s briefly talk about each of these. What do you mean by the revenue sources?
Me: Then we had a brief discussion about revenues from shopping areas etc. Then we came to Flight congestion – primary metric there was time spent in air waiting for permission to land etc. Then we came to #Passengers served per year which is more of a demand metric and effectively dependent on the number of flights we can serve per day. We also discussed Time spent by flights on the airport and split that into further two types – flight landing and takeoff time and turnaround at the gates. At the end of this brief digression it emerged that if Time spent by Flights on airport can go down, #Flights can go up and so can #passengers, at the same time congestion can go down as well. Me: (summarizing) So is it fair to say that the objective of building the 5thterminal is to achieve a higher capacity at the airport and our problem definition is to evaluate that claim?
JC: Yes, if you wish to frame it so - effectively our problem definition is if the 5th terminal adds to the capacity of the System? Me: Good just give me a minute to put my thoughts in place as to how we can go about evaluating this?
JC: Sure..
Me: Ok as I mentioned, what we need to decide what is the exact metric used for measuring Capacity? Then what is the current value of airport for that metric? Then what impact would the new terminal on the level of the metric? That should lead us to an answer.
JC: Ok, so what do you want to know
Me: How do airports measure their capacity?
JC: Two commonly used metrics are ATM – Air Traffic Movements, and MPPA – Million Passengers Per Annum. For our discussion lets focus on ATM.
Me: So just to clarify ATM refers to a single air traffic movement, therefore the turnaround of one flight i.e. landing and take off would count as one or two ATMs?
JC: Two Me: Ok, so do we know what is the current ATM?
JC: How would you find that out?
Me: well the annual ATM would be average Flights per day * 365 * 2 JC: Right lets keep the analysis to per day Me: Ok so what’s the current #daily flights?
JC: Am not sure why that is relevant here for answering our question but lets say 100.
Me: No, this would help us by how much will the Terminal increase the capacity. Ok so how many Bays would there be in the new terminal?
JC: 50
Me: And do we know on average one flight spends how much time at a Bay?
JC: 60 minutes
Me: Is that number in line with international standards or is there scope to impact that by way of terminal design or operations?
JC: No that’s about the best you can get ☺
Me: Fair is the distribution of traffic the same through out the day, or in other words is the demand pattern similar through out the day or is it varying with time? JC: Let’s assume that a bay is utilized effectively only for 12 hours in a day. Me: Ok so that means a given bay has the capacity of 2 ATMs per hour or 50 bays together would add 50 * 2 *12 or 1200 ATMs
JC: So should we add Terminal 5?
Me: Well yes from our analysis so far it does appear that adding the 5 Terminal could add upto 1200 ATMs per day and therefore one should go ahead.
JC: But what was our problem definition?
Me: (a little flustered) will the new terminal add to the capacity of the airport?
JC: yes of the entire system. So will it?
Me: (suddenly a light bulb strikes ☺, smiling) Ok I possibly get the drift of what you are trying to hint at, while the terminal has the potential to add so many ATMs, it is not necessary that the capacity of the entire system will be incremented by that number.
JC: Correct, and why that may be so? Me: Because the bottleneck in the system may be some where else.
JC: Right and so what defined a bottleneck Me: In any system the resource which has the lowest capacity and for which the implied demand is higher than its capacity constitutes a bottleneck, and also limits the throughput of the entire system.
JC: So what else could be a bottleneck in the system? Me: Runway JC: Ok and how can we find that out?
Me: We need to evaluate the utilization of the runway. How long does it typically take for a successive takeoff or landing on a given runway?
JC: How can we find that out?
Me: A mathematical way to do that would be to find the typical distance an aircraft travels while landing/takeoff and at what speed to find the time for which it uses the runway, another could be that there would be some minimum time set by the ATC/guidelines as the minimum inter flight time that would limit the number of planes that can use a runway.
JC: Right, let’s leave the mathematical way, what do you think the other number is?
Me: I don’t know for sure, but from my observation the time in India is something like 5-6 minutes between flight landings/takeoffs
JC: Ok those might be t he numbers in India, but Heathrow is a very busy airport and there the minimum time is 90 seconds.
Me: (quickly doing the numbers) 90 seconds implies 1 ATM every 1.5 minutes or a max of 40 ATMs per hour or a max of 40*24 = 960 ATMs per day per runway.
JC: Correct, so assuming there are 2 runways already what would now be the impact of adding the terminal 5 on the capacity of the system?
Me: Let’s assume that the current capacity of the terminals is X, then the current capacity of the system is min(960*2, X), and after the new terminal comes online the capacity of the system would become min(960*2, X + 1200). (I actually clearly wrote down the mathematical form) So depending on the value of X we will know how much the capacity of the system can improve by, and our decision should be driven by if that new number is enough to achieve our goal or not? For any positive value of X > 720 it seems we will only be able to go up to a max 1920 ATMs per day, without adding a new runway or decreasing inter ATM time for runway usage.
JC: Good I think we are done with the case. Do you have any quick questions for me?
Me: Sure why don’t you tell me a bit about the nature of work you have been doing and the kind of work BTO London does?
Interview Tips
Listen carefully, especially the case question/problem framing Maintain a pleasant disposition, Do Smile Be ready to admit your mistakes and over sights Speak slowly (Especially when dealing with international interviewers) Write down stuff in your pad - write legibly Steps should be Think, Write, Read out & Discuss. Do revise the core concepts – just helps you with the right terminology in he interviews. On the interview day take each interview on by one – Never think about any that you have already given, and nor about any to come.
Round 2

Case Study Interview

Interview Questions
  • Question 1: Not a formal case, but broad industry level strategic discussions about IT & IT Products and Innovation
Interview Experience
NFK: McKinsey has done some work in innovation in the BPO and outsourced project management space..
<Me>...yes the Process 360 & Project 360 initiatives (brought in the fact that I had gone through the article. This also happens to be Noshir’s research)...
NFK: right.. they are operational excellence frameworks we have come up with to assess the best practices in the BPO and outsourced application domains.. so the question is if you were to develop a similar framework for excellence in the product development or product development outsourcing space what metrics do you think can be used to measure those?
<Me> Sure, may I just have a minute to think this over..
NFK: Ok..
<Me> (wrote down a few bullet points and then started).. We can think of different parameters/indicators at different levels – Individual/Company/Market/Users. The idea is to measure excellence in product development by not just focusing on the inputs, and the processes, but also by outputs both direct market facing and indirect outputs.We had a 1 minute discussion about each and at the end NFK seemed reasonably satisfied with the suggestions. NFK: Great, so we all know India has been known for outsourcing in the services and process space, what do you think ails the Product development? In particular I would say some companies like Adobe, Intel, TI and MS (only to a very limited extent though) have been successful at doing product development out of India, but not many others. What do these companies do differently? What do you think have been the critical success factors for them? <Me> (took a little time to ponder over things and really tried to dig into my experiences at Adobe an TI & what I thought was salient about the senior management there – therefore the lesson – do not ignore the Sr. Management talks & Company vision and strategy meetings that you used to have back in offices ☺) Well I think two overarching factors in the success of companies like Adobe and TI have been Vision of the founder & Execution, and I would want to break down Execution further into 1) Hiring & focus on employee growth, 2) Process & Discipline, 3) Sr. Management Commitment & push back, 4) Clear & continuous communication with the International parent. It might be a coincidence but in the case of both Adobe and TI, their India offices have been led by very strong and committed senior leadership teams who have grown from within the parent companies’ home operations. Therefore, one they knew what were the parent’s best practices, and two they had the ambition to set up something in India and make it succeed. Then once they had the go ahead they focused single mindedly on the execution.... <and then we discussed in detail each of the above 4 sub parts with example from my career experience. We did bring out the differences between product and services companies, importance of push back w.r.t the kind of work you want to do, incremental wins and trust building, continuous improvement on the value chain etc. etc..> NFK: What do you think are the key strategic challenges for a company like Infosys going forward? <Me> (again after a minute of pause and jotting down stuff) I think the three key challenges would be 1) How to remain competitive now that they are in the 4B+ league and starting to compete with the big league of IBMs, Accentures, EDS etc, not just in outsourcing but end to end IT management 2) How to manage such a huge work force and manage their skills 3) How to remain relevant in the face of changing business models specially the move to hosted & cloud computing and software as a service models. NFK: Let’s talk more about the 3rd one! (He immediately latched on to the cloud computing thing.. so this is an example of a hot word for a particular interviewer) <Me> We then had a lively discussion on what cloud computing and Software as a service and software on demand is etc., and what impact can it have for IT companies and their business models. NFK: Good. Any questions that you may have for us <Me> I asked on what the role definition of BTO was and how was it different from the high-tech practice of McKinsey?
Interview Tips
If possible do read a bit about the interviewer’s background. You wouldn’t get to know your exact interviewers till shortly before the interview so you obviously can’t read about all, but try to read up about the senior people as well as people who will be from similar backgrounds as yourself. Excellent way to do that is to get on to company sites and browse for interview panelists profiles. In the case of McKinsey, try to get to McKinsey Quarterly, and then search for the interviewer and articles written by the person Be prepared to get the broad discussion cases even in the first round. Have a perspective on the industry of your choice and or background – again a good way to do that is to browse articles and industry reports. If you are able to go through even one consulting firms site reasonably you should be in good shape. Try to change the plane of your answers depending on the interviewers interests – when to give thr 50,000 Ft view and when to give the 100 ft view. In hind sight I think the corporate strategy course had a lot of articles about outsourcing and different models of comp advantage for multinational organizations and how to leverage offices in different geographies. Though I myself didn’t recall much of that article but then it just shows you never know which reading might come in handy where ☺Have questions that you want to ask ready
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4

Oliver Wyman associate interview

690 views
Vikas Garg ExperiencedSelected
Application
I Applied for job through Walk-in for Associate role at Oliver Wyman
Interview Process
Case Study Interview Case Study Interview Case Study Interview
Round 1

Case Study Interview

Interview Questions
  • Question 1: A friend exploring a business opportunity to lease high end luxury cars for high speed driving in a designated arena owned by somebody else.
Interview Experience
I started with understanding the problem completely, and asked many questions because this business model was new to me. So this was not like artificial Car rally kind of setup, which we have in some places in India. It was more like a thrill ride one car at a time in a track. After understanding the problem, took 30-40 seconds to frame my response and told him three four levers I would like to explore, to advise the friend whether to go for business or not. Explored/mined for Cost side, then Revenue side and then viability. Towards the end, on being asked that though the business is profitable as per our analysis, would I recommend to go and If yes what else will I tell the friend, I came up with non existent competitive advantage and suggested strategic tie up/contingent contract with track owner to gain one.
Interview Tips
Understand problem well before deep diving into the case, “NO particular framework can be all encompassing, try to apply some key concepts learned in courses like pricing, marketing strategy to make your solution interesting.
Round 2

Case Study Interview

Interview Questions
  • Question 1: A telecommunication firm having residential and business customers have devised a new technology wherein video chat is possible. To derive market size, plausaibility of business.
Interview Experience
Tried to understand the context and market, as I did not had any background of communication industry. Was able to relate the industry with Indian Telecom industry to draw parallels. After understanding the problem, took 30-40 seconds to frame my response and started asking him relevant questions about data/percentages which he readily provided me one by one. Fitted the data into a table and deduced various numbers from some quick calculations (which he liked!). Explored/mined for Cost side, then Revenue side and then other factors, like political, legal, competitive readiness and customer readiness. Made some graphs to explain proliferation of new technology, and hence how the revenue should be pro rated across year. Towards the end, on being asked that though the business is profitable as per our analysis, what more things we should consider, I mentioned “Cannibalization”, since many new customer subscriptions would come from already existing customers, which I believe is what he was looking at.
Was able to strike a good rapport with the Interviewer early in the interview. Maintained my cool even though he tried to put stress by mentioning “we are running out of time” and was able to think on my feet during various micro details which he checked me on.
Initially goofed up the data a bit, but the interviewer was very nice to help initially, though corrected the mistake by drawing/mapping lot of data thrown at me rationally.
Interview Tips
Typically interviewers wants you to help, Establish a positive environment by some short talk which should not look like planned. Understand problem well, keep a cool head.
Round 3

Case Study Interview

Interview Questions
  • Question 1: A security alarm device company, leader in US, wish to enter a new market say UK. How will you estimate the market size, how will you recommend to go/no go, if “go”, then how....
Interview Experience
After understanding the problem, took 30-40 seconds to frame my response and started asking him relevant questions about company, competition and customer in target market. Why that particular country, what is competitive scenario like, what entry route company wish to take Greenfield/alliance? I believe that this was a real life problem, interviewer was facing, and he was improvising the problem based on our discussion. It was a very friendly discussion, wherein he was providing some cues in between about the direction I should take, and I was able to lead the discussion in the direction which he wanted. In between time and again, he was checking my analytical and mathematical abilities by leaving some data to be calculated, which fortunately I was able to calculate with ease. He checked me on various pricing strategy issues, marketing mix issues and segmentation/target market/positioning issues. Towards the end, following the trend of earlier interviews after being satisfied with case analysis, he threw some open ended quick questions, (which I am not able to recollect now) related/peripheral to discussion.
Was able to strike a good rapport with the Interviewer early in the interview. Repeatedly came ‘Out’ and went ‘In’ to the case as per interviewer’s discretion without loosing the sight on real problem.
Interview Tips
Establish a positive environment by some short talk which should not look like planned. Understand problem well, keep a cool head. Do not put anything in your CV on which you cannot elaborate or are not comfortable. All the best!
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5

JP Morgan Chase associate interview

9.7k views
AnonymousFresherSelected
Application
I was interviewed on-campus for Associate role at JP Morgan Chase
Interview Process
Resume Shortlist Technical + HR Interview HR Interview HR Interview
Round 1

Resume Shortlist

Interview Experience
The company came to our campus on day 3 and agreed to take walk-ins.
Therefore resume shortlisting was the procedure.
They had a cut off of 7 CGPA.
Interview Tips
It would be good if you have some coding background with few projects. It could anything from class projects to your internships, extra-curricular or final year projects. Don't forget to mention what all programming language you know on your resume.
Round 2

Technical + HR Interview

Interview Questions
  • Question 1: How will you find loop in the circular linked list?
  • Question 2: How will you perform pre-fix and post-fix operation for the given string expression?
  • Question 3: What is data analytics(cause I had mentioned it on the resume)? Just explain the basic and tell them how it can help us make decision/inference.
  • Question 4: In my final year project I have used random forest. So he asked me to explain random forest. And other projects related questions.
  • Question 5: What is your strength and weakness? why J P Morgan Chase? What do you expect from this company? I am from Mechanical Engineering, so she asked me why non-core?
  • Question 6: Few behavioral questions: What will you do if you have enough money and good idea to start your own company?
  • Question 7: How would you resolve team conflict between your idea and other idea, supported by majority?
Interview Experience
The first round consists of two panels. One of them was asking HR. And the other was asking technical questions. They were just looking whether you have the basic technical knowledge and if given an offer you will join or not.
Interview Tips
For technical knowledge, you can refer OOPs basic concepts, standard coding interview problems, geeksforgeeks, cracking the coding interview by Laxman Gayle etc. It would be better if you can first practice hr questions among your friends instead of going directly to interview. I found a youtube channel explains technical relatively easier and simpler way. you can follow that. Just try to show that you are interested in that company.
For HR questions, one can prepare from 64 HR questions.
For the basic OOPs concepts, one can read first 10 chapters from E.Balaguruswamy but any other OOPs book will also be fine.
Confidence is the key ace any interview!!
Round 3

HR Interview

Interview Questions
  • Question 1: Tell me about yourself?
  • Question 2: Tell me about your family or life before college?
  • Question 3: What do you do in free time?
  • Question 4: What would you expect from this company?
Interview Experience
This round was mainly to check your personality. He was trying to know whether you will fit in the company or not. Most of the question was from my personal life. They will see whether you are serious about your life or not.
Interview Tips
Be ready to give them instances of your life where you did things differently. Try to show that you are passionate about the company. Try to show you have a clear vision in your life and working hard to achieve that.
Round 4

HR Interview

Interview Questions
  • Question 1: Questions related to family and past life?
  • Question 2: Do you have any family member or friend in Bangalore?
Interview Experience
This round was just a formality. The HR from the second round interview introduced me to the third interviewer. He asked few question related to the family.
Interview Tips
One important thing I would like to is that NEVER ASSUME THAT WHATEVER YOU TOLD TO YOUR PREVIOUS INTERVIEWER WILL BE KNOWN TO THE NEXT INTERVIEW. So, if you think some specific points will help you do good in an interview...just let him know. I could be anything your project, conference, paper presentation or your past life as well.
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6

CapitalOne associate interview

14k views
Divyesh MistryFresherSelected
Application
I was interviewed on-campus at IIT Bombay for Associate role at CapitalOne
Interview Process
Test Case Study Interview Case Study Interview Case Study Interview Behavioural Interview
Round 1

Test

No. of Questions
15 questions
Test Sections
  • Section 1: Data Interpretation
Interview Experience
The test basically involved solving 15 Data interpretation questions. The test was pretty easy, and hence accuracy was very important to qualify for the next round.
Interview Tips
Solving DI questions from any CAT practice book will be more than enough. The actual questions in the test are much easier. Just be read the question carefully and you will be able to solve it.
Round 2

Case Study Interview

Interview Questions
  • Question 1: Finding the average profit on a given loan
Interview Experience
Initially the interviewer tests your basically conceptual knowledge regarding the cost and revenue streams for a loan and then expects you to calculate the average profit given the required data. This was a pretty small interview lasting only about 10-12 minutes or so.
Interview Tips
Keep conversing with the interviewer and clarify any doubts. Do not mess up with the calculation.
Round 3

Case Study Interview

Interview Questions
  • Question 1: Choosing between two marketing schemes
Interview Experience
Again, the interviewer tests your basic understanding regarding making a decision to select between two marketing schemes. Then, after being provided relevant information, you are expected to make an informed decision, do the break-even analysis and plot a graph.
Interview Tips
You need to show the interviewer your grasp of business concepts. A good knowledge about economics and a business acumen helps. The math is easy, just be careful not to mess it up. Also, keep conversing with the interviewer and help him understand your line of thinking, this would enable him to assist you and get you on the right path.
Round 4

Case Study Interview

Interview Questions
  • Question 1: Economics of setting up a new ATM
Interview Experience
You are expected to do the math to assess the profitability of an ATM and qualitatively discuss the factors to be considered while setting up a new ATM.
Interview Tips
Again, think aloud and use your common sense if ever you feel that you do not know an answer. But mainly be confident.
Round 5

Behavioural Interview

Interview Questions
  • Question 1: Tell us a time when you asked your peers for help and what was the result
  • Question 2: Tell us a time when you had to learn something new for an assignment/project
  • Question 3: Tell us a time when you delivered results in a short deadline while working in a team
Interview Experience
The interviewer is very friendly and it is more of a chat than an interview. Also, they will get into the specifics of the example you provide just to understand the situation better and to know how you handled the situation.
Interview Tips
Be well prepared with all the general HR and behavioral questions and think about specific examples that you would like to bring up.
Skills

Skills Tested

Skill Tips
If you are selected for the interview, chances are that you already have the necessary math skills to succeed. Remember, the only things which are going to get you through are confidence, alertness and business acumen.
General Tips
To sum it up, more than anything, just be confident.
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7

CapitalOne associate interview

14k views
AnonymousFresherNot Selected
Application
I was interviewed on-campus for Associate role at CapitalOne
Interview Process
Test Case Study Interview Case Study Interview
Round 1

Test

Test Sections
  • Section 1: Data Interpretation test
Interview Experience
Adaptive DI test. Level of difficulty less than CAT.
Round 2

Case Study Interview

Interview Questions
  • Question 1: Simple Case Interview
Interview Experience
This is a very simple case interview. The case was as follows: Client is a micro-lender, they loan funds from a big bank @ 6% SI and loan out the money to farmers at 10% and 20% SI. The segmentation is 60% and 40% respectively. Calculate profit/customer. What is the profit if 2% customers default (uniformly from both segments) on the loan? (Ans: loss incurred)
Interview Tips
This is a very simple round, just stick to the essentials of keeping your structure + calculations neat & clean. Communicate well. You'll get through.
Round 3

Case Study Interview

Interview Questions
  • Question 1: Main case Round
Interview Experience
Case: We are a telecom company, planning to launch a new subscription plan. Decide if we should go ahead or not. The plan is as follows: We charge the customers $0.99 for the first 20 minutes and $0.08/minute thereafter. The cost incurred by the company is $0.07/minute. Should we go ahead with the plan?
You will be asked to draw a graph between Profit and minutes spent on a call. To come to a decision you might ask the interviewer for some more data like the distribution or the average time spent by a customer on a call. But none of this is information can be used to decide if we should go ahead with the plan. Unless you have a distribution of percentage of customers vs time spent on an avg call, you can not decide the fate of the plan.
On our campus, almost everybody answered a yes(go ahead) or a no for the plan and still got rejected. I think the actual answer is "None of the above. With the present information nobody can predict if the plan will be profitable in the long run.
Please do not say we can use historical data to come to a conclusion, I did, the question he then posed to me is can we really use historical data to predict the usage pattern of this plan by our customers?? The answer is no, we can not use historical data, as the customers will have an incentive to speak for close to 20 minutes per call.
I also looked at the problem from a customers point of view to check if a customer has an incentive to pick this plan over the others. I asked for the cheapest plan/s out in the market currently, so the interviewer told me that the cheapest plan cost the customer $0.08/minute.
After getting this data, I looked at intersection of the time band at which it becomes cheaper for the customer to pick our plan over the 8 cents plan and the time band which is profitable for us.
I came to the conclusion that the band is very narrow to be profitable and that I do not think that it will generate net profits. So we should not go ahead with the plan.
I assumed that there wont be a large chunk of customers in the above mentioned time band. This is what I think my mistake was.
I believe there is no way of definitely saying whether we should go ahead or not. Hence the answer must be Cant be Determined.
FYI: I also suggested him to launch it in a small region/zone so as to figure out the distribution of customers. No good.
Resources

Preparation materials

Books
  • Wharton Casebook,
Motivation for applying
Chill out workplace. No pressure of work. But no future either :P wont land you in a great B-school. This is just an office opened by a recently grown American company. They have an office in India just to show the Investors that they plan on expanding and are investing in India and Philippines. I don't think the real work happens here. This might sound like a rant, but you should go ahead and prepare for this company. Its one of the best options straight out of college. Or to settle down or if you like to chill a lot....
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8

iRunway associate interview

3.2k views
Ravi Kiran ReddiFresherNot Selected
Application
I was interviewed on-campus at IIT Kanpur for Associate role at iRunway
Interview Process
Resume Shortlist Test Interview
Round 1

Resume Shortlist

Interview Experience
They look for a good CPI, projects and a little bit of extracurricular (to make sure you are a team player). Improvise accordingly.
Round 2

Test

Interview Experience
Their test is a little different. The job requires one to understand technology so they have a section where one has to read a typical extract of a paper and choose the simplified meaning of the same. It also contains some cat type questions and general questions about technology (like the principle of a microwave oven, etc). It was a miracle I got through the test.
Round 3

Interview

Interview Experience
The interviewer mainly concentrated on my technical projects (especially BTP) and my internships (be thorough in both these to be able to crack core companies). There were other technical questions broadly on chemical engineering (principle of so and so instrument etc) and other HR questions like how you rate yourself in technology on a scale of 1 to 5, career
plans, reason to join the company etc.
Interview Tips
The interview went pretty well. I answered all questions to his satisfaction with enthusiasm and confidence. This was one place I was sure I‟d get through, but sadly never made it to the second round of interviews. Some say they didn‟t have a requirement for chemical engineering students and they needed only CSE and EE people, but we never know.
General Tips
Internship: (attention third year people!)

When it comes to the placement interview, internships play pivotal role. There are rarely any interviews where the interviewee isn't drilled on their internships. So, please don‟t treat an internship as a paid vacation. Good work done during the internship gives one the confidence that can very well bowl the interviewer over (as it did in my case :D). Believe me confidence does much more than get you a job; it determines success and failure in mostundertakings. Internship gives you the first chance to build that up … use it! 





Pre Placement Talks:

Please attend the ppts of at least those companies which fall into your sector of interest. At ppts you get to see a lot more things than the boring presentations and the pay package. Most companies bring along with them alumni who have spent a few years in the company. Observing or interacting with them will give you a good assessment of what you are going to be a few years from now if you join that company. For example I observed that alumni of XYZ Company were not as upbeat and confident as alumni of ABC Company (names havebeen hidden on request ;) ) even if XYZ was paying plenty more than ABC. I knew then and there that I would want to join ABC and never applied to XYZ. Be sure to utilize them and be sure to clear all your doubts and conceptions. Once you start attending presentations you will observe junta asking questions just to score brownie points with the speaker. Believe me it won't help one bit in landing them a job!





Resumes:

Making an appealing resume is the single most important step in the placement process and IITK is notorious for its bad resumes, so attend workshops. Like most IITK junta I sucked at making a resume (and still do), but whatever little skill I have, I got through workshops. One workshop I would advise everyone to attend is the resume making workshop of McKinsey. Get your resumes checked and edited by those who have been through placement especially by those from other IITs (I know this will hurt a lot of egos, but IITB's resumes are some of the best. Those dudes have mastered the art of making an impact with whatever little they've got, while we excel at doing exactly the opposite :P). Prepare an impactful resume and don't submit the same resume to every company, make changes based on the profile.
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9

BCG associate interview

4.9k views
SashankFresherSelected
Application
I was interviewed on-campus at IIT Madras for Associate role at BCG
Interview Process
Resume Shortlist Case Study Interview Case Study Interview
Round 1

Resume Shortlist

Interview Tips
1. Ensure that your resume does NOT have any random points - it's alright if it isn't completely packed, as long as the points that you have mentioned are authentic and have genuine impact.
2. Standard resume tips like, using the right action verbs, text formatting, etc. apply.
3. Try to think of your different experiences from a consulting perspective - I spun my FMCG internship as a pseudo consulting internship - since it involved working with a factory team that I didn't know before, and I had to pitch a change proposal to the factory management. Similarly, I thought of the various teams that I worked in, and tried to think of it in terms of the changes that I brought at an organizational level.
4. Numbers. While it is good to quantify - be cautious with them, and do not try to quantify something that is not concretely measurable. This again gives the impression that you're trying to bluff.
Round 2

Case Study Interview

Interview Questions
  • Question 1: Case Study on an FMCG
Interview Experience
The interviewer was very friendly and focused on my thought process alone. He gave me a case on FMCG since I had interned with one.
Round 3

Case Study Interview

Interview Questions
  • Question 1: Case Study on a Retail Chain
Interview Experience
This was a gruelling round where the interviewer tested me at different levels by making me constantly shift to different thinking styles. I drew almost 4 different trees for the same problem. Again, he looked mainly for my ability to think on the feet, and to present my views without becoming defensive.

While I felt that the interview didn't go well, he was satisfied with my structuring, and that was what worked well, I guess. :)
Skills

Skills Tested

Skill Tips
1. Don't freak out about the number of cases that you could have done. Take time to dissect each case. Eventually, it's about trying to train your mind to think along a structured path. One tip that was given to me by my buddy, was to try to analyze each issue outside, and try segmenting it. This helped me a lot in thinking on the feet. <br /> 2. Be calm throughout the interview - smile and don't worry about the outcome. That's not in your hands anyway.
Resources

Preparation materials

Books
  • Case Interviews Cracked,
  • Day One - Swapnil Basak,
  • Nishad Acharya and Shreyas Nair,
General Tips
1. Do solid math prep - CAT, speed math on Elevate, etc. Fast math definitely carries brownie points.

2. Work on your vocabulary in advance. Taking the GMAT definitely helped me structure my sentences better and use the right words in the right places.

3. Make sure your resume is watertight. You should know it thoroughly, and you should be able to walk people through the thought process that went behind each point of yours.
Motivation for applying
People. The people here seemed genuinely hardworking and fun to hang out with, and I have observed them over the three years I was part of the placement team. Additionally, the company has some really nice policies to help you learn and grow
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10

CapitalOne associate internship interview

9.4k views
Aman ChoudharyFresherSelected
Application
I was interviewed on-campus at IIT Kharagpur for Associate role at CapitalOne
Interview Process
Resume Shortlist Test Case Study Interview Case Study Interview Case Study Interview
Round 1

Resume Shortlist

Interview Experience
Resume Shortlist was strictly done on the basis of CGPA ! All candidates with CGPA 7.0 and above were shortlisted for the test.
Round 2

Test

Duration
35 Minutes
No. of Questions
30 questions
Test Sections
  • Section 1: Data Interpretation
Interview Experience
A total of 30 questions were given to completed in a short span of 35 minutes. A set of 5-6 questions were based on a set of three graphs (generally line chart, pie chart, bar graph). Questions were based on simple calculations and test was aimed at keeping a check on accuracy and speed of the candidate
Interview Tips
Practice a few Data Interpretation exercise to understand the graphs easily.
Round 3

Case Study Interview

Interview Questions
  • Question 1: Money Lending Business
Interview Experience
The case was about Market entry for a Money Lender in a village. The case included identification of potential customer segment, revenue streams. Then there was some data provided regarding the interest and various kind of loan models that would be used by the lender. I was then asked to work on the profitability. This case was more on the qualitative side.
Interview Tips
- Keep communicating with the interviewer. Involve him in the case solving process.
- If at any point of time, you are unsure about the approach you are following, ask the interviewer.
Round 4

Case Study Interview

Interview Questions
  • Question 1: Customer Acquisition (Break Even Analysis)
Interview Experience
The case was about a credit card company who uses various kind of marketing strategies (mail, calls etc) for customer acquisition. The interviewer started with the discussion on the marketing techniques. The data included costs, acquisition rate, and the average profits. I was asked to calculate the break even point.
The case was numerical and easy to crack once the data was provided.

Interview Tips
- Calculate accurately. Never answer wrong because of the speed.
Round 5

Case Study Interview

Interview Questions
  • Question 1: Customer Delinquency and Fraud Management
Interview Experience
The case was about a bank who was observing a higher delinquency rate and fraud. The data provided was about loss per customer, average revenue etc. The case typically numerical after some discussion on strategy about reducing fraud.
Resources

Preparation materials

Books
  • Case In Point,
Motivation for applying
Good Perks, Big Brand.
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