I'm a PhD student at [private U.S. university] studying [science major].
I received a job offer from BCG after 5 one-on-one interviews and I'm ecstatic! I didn't think I would ever have a chance to interview when I applied.
A few things I learned:
1) networking is key! Even if from a brand-named school, it is important to network extensively to be a familiar face in the office come interview day. This really helps you relax too!
2) confidence (just the right amount) is crucial - I think I got the job not due to my case-skills but because I was confident, friendly and engaging! We often forget that a consulting interview is like any other job interview - the person across the table had got to like you!
I was able to relax and be confident at my interviews - which allowed me to be very natural and conversational. I think this attitude helps the interviewer picture you as a colleague rather than a candidate. Even though I put in 70+ hours of case practice, I believe this is what did the trick since some other candidates had far superior case skills during practices.
Thank you very much, Victor, for your inspirational emails, useful blogs and videos! They have guided me through the interview process and really helped me keep things in perspective while moving along: this was certainly key to my calm demeanor and, hence, success.
Again, without months of reading your emails and watching your videos I would certainly not have had the confidence and wisdom to approach the interviews in a level-headed manner! I will certainly use your new consultant resources in the future.
Thank you for all your efforts and generosity! The change you are making in all our lives is truly inspirational.
Congratulations! Yes, the networking definitely helps. Familiarity = Likeability, and people tend to think more favorably of the people they like.
As you discovered, the second order implication of that likeability is they smile at you a little more (because they've met you before) and do the dozens of little small things that helps you feel more relaxed.
This is not to say you can't pass an interview with a stranger, but every little advantage helps.
Congratulations on the BCG offer and thanks for sharing your experience with others.