February 20, 2015

Prepare For Job Interview Success with Weatherhead's CMO

Kate Banahan, associate director of career and employer development for Weatherhead's Career Management Office (CMO), sat down with Mark Sawaya, first-year MBA student who secured an internship offer with McKinsey & Co. for summer 2015. Mark discussed with Kate what helped him prepare for a successful interview process.

Mark Sawaya, first-year MBA student

What did you do to ensure you were ready for your first round of interviews?

After meeting with advisors in the Career Management Office (CMO) I was able to assess that I needed more practice with case-style interview questions. The CMO team taught me how to structure my response and organize my questions. They also encouraged me to create a schedule of when I was going to practice cases, as I had a month to prepare before my first interview. By the time of the interview I had practiced roughly 50 cases.

Was there something the CMO office provided that you did not expect?

As prepared as you can be with case and behavioral questions, if your body language does not exude focus and positivism your message won't be communicated effectively. The CMO team was able to help me with my overall presentation, which, in turn, gave me confidence going into the interview process.

What other resources did you use to prepare?
  • CaseInterviews.com: Victor Cheng's videos are extremely helpful, and you can sign up for daily emails with tips on how to approach different case formats.
  • Company website: I looked beyond the homepage and read every recent news article. I made sure I knew how the firm was structured, along with the company history.
  • Glassdoor.com: Glassdoor gave me insight into some of the questions that the firm asked in previous interviews.
  • Weatherhead alumni: last, but definitely not least, the alumni I connected with were instrumental in providing information on the consulting field and how to effectively prepare for my interviews.

What advice do you have for your classmates?
  • Will is everything. If you really want something you will find as many resources as possible.
  • Be ready for surprises. I prepared for every case question with a piece of scratch paper, and in my final interview they asked me to talk through my solution while the interviewer took notes. It's essential to stay composed and adapt.
  • Follow up after the interview. It's important to reach a point where your contacts really know you, and it takes initiative to have that type of relationship.​

1 comment:

  1. This is a great news for all of us (Class 2015-17) and very helpful information.