I’ve been asked to interview. What should I expect?
Congratulations—we’re looking forward to meeting you! Our interview process has been carefully crafted to get an idea of who you are and how you think. First rounds consist of behavioral interviews and case interviews while final interview structures depend on the position you’re applying for.
The simple answer—it’s helped us identify generations of incredible employees—it’s fine-tuned like a Swiss watch.
The long answer—A.T. Kearney interviews blend behavioral and case interviews to best assess your analytical skills and the way you approach a problem. This unique combo also helps determine how you might react in a variety of situations on the client site and in our offices. We want to make sure you will be just as happy and confident in your abilities working here as we will.
So how do I ace this?
We believe in the true, raw power that comes with simply being yourself. Our founder, Tom Kearney, valued authenticity as an essential trait, and 90 years later, it’s still just as important. Treat your interview like you’re pitching to a big client, and you’ll do great. Remember, we just want to see you succeed!
Can you break down the two interview types further?
Here it goes:
The behavioral interview
This interview gathers information on your past behavior and performance in order to evaluate and predict your future success with us. Think of it as a more traditional, get-to-know-you conversation.
You’ll tell us about the setting, explain the interpersonal dynamics present in your situation, and share external influences that impacted your decision. While no one is expecting you to snag an Oscar for your enactment, we do want to be able to imagine ourselves there. Paint the picture for your interviewer—use colorful language to bring your examples to life.
Make sure that at the conclusion of your example the interviewer knows why that decision was made and feels that he or she would have done the same thing.
The case interview
Our case interviews ask you to provide a solution to a new challenge.
Problem solving will be an essential part of your work, and we need to understand how you think and approach some real-world, less-than-perfect circumstances.
Don’t fake it! We’re more interested in the solution that you truly believe is best, not the one you think we want to hear.
For a sample case and our tips and tricks, click here.
Extra tips and tricks to get to the top
- Organize data in advance to support your arguments.
- State any assumptions or hypotheses.
- Don’t lose sight of the objective or the question to be answered (prioritize!).
- Take time to explain your logic—be thorough.
- Take suggestions if offered.
- Make it your own.
- Be confident and breathe!
- If all else fails, make sure you’ve ironed your shirt.
I still want more details on that case interview. Can you elaborate?
The case interview requires you to organize and analyze extensively. We’ve put together some tips and steps you can take to make the problem solving process as productive as possible.
- Always structure your message. This will help you think through the problem you’re trying to solve.
- Push the analysis to the level that adequately answers the question(s).
Here are a few tips from the pros:
Where data does not exist, you should still form an initial hypothesis, but be ready to share how you would go about testing the hypothesis and sourcing the data as a next step.
- Consulting engagements (and clients) can throw interesting curveballs, so be prepared to take on new questions or info at any point in time. Just relax, understand the problem, and structure your answer using the tips above.
- Remember—every person you’ll interview with was once in your shoes. We empathize and understand the "interview jitters." Take your time to gather your thoughts.