Top 3 Offer in Argentina

In late December, I got an offer from one of the top 3 consulting firm in Buenos Aires, to start in Mid-March. I applied to other consulting company and a couple of banks, even abroad, but I found myself most comfortable with this company despite having succeeded in other recruiting processes.

To begin with, I want to thank you for your valuable contribution. The videos and frameworks helped me to gain confidence in my abilities to handle interviews and provided me with experience in typical problems consulting companies face.

Secondly, I must admit that the learning process was very interesting in general. When I reached the case interviews, I just wanted to apply these concepts and try to find a creative solution to the problem.

In my humble opinion, creativity plays a very important role in case interviews. The framework provide the basics, but the ability to have different ideas can make you stand in the crowd.

In some case interviews, I could not use the framework, so I had to develop some way of showing my ideas clearly.

Furthermore, apart from the donation, I would like to contribute in some way to this community. The recruiting process consisted on one exam, and three rounds of interviews.

For the exam, I would recommend to study some GMAT Quant. This is a good proxy of the type of problems tested. I did not have much time to study and I feel that my exam could have been much better with some GMAT Quant practice. Still, the exam is just a small step in the process, and the most important part are the following case interviews.

In the next rounds, I faced several types of questions.

Case interviews were just one of them but, as you explain in your videos, this is not the only type of questions they make.

It is important to practice Estimation Questions (like calculating the size of a certain product's market) and also to practice multiplication and division of large numbers. This might sound like a "cliché" but it is very important to have confidence when doing your calculations.

You might say, it is very easy to calculate 50 billion times 15% divided by 10 million, but in that moment and with some nerves on your back things can get difficult. Obviously, it is important to round numbers and make the calculations as easy as possible.

Apart from estimation and arithmetic, it is also important to know the basic facts about your Country/Region/etc. This should go without saying, but some people might underestimate the importance of knowing the basics.

Population, main sectors in the economy, GDP growth or contraction in the last years and even politics appeared sporadically on the interviews. Failure to know the environment on which you live, and in which the consulting company works, might lead to a very bad impression in your recruiter. Lastly, brainteasers or strange things can appear. I do not know how to study for this, but if you think logically things should go fine.

I hope this feedback might prove valuable for future candidates. I think this is the first post from Argentina, and I am happy with that. I hope future success stories appear from this region. IMHO consulting firms in emerging economies can play a big role for helping local and international companies settle down and grow. I hope this is the beginning of an exiting, intellectually challenging path.

My Reply:

Congratulations on your offer and thank you for adding to collection of knowledge here on this site. It's an unexpected, but very welcomed, surprise.

A few things I'd highlight that you mentioned:

1) Creativity in Problem Solving - I think you're totally right on this one. In hindsight, I realized that I was a very flexible and creative problem solver. I always started with some kind of framework, but often changed them on the fly, threw them away, or made up a new framework on the spot.

When I first started to practice, I had to mechanically get used to using the framework. By the end of the process (after 20 - 40 practice cases and 60 live ones), I stopped thinking about the frameworks and mixed and matched frameworks as needed.

To your point, not every situation works for the standard frameworks. So while the frameworks I provide cover 80% - 90% of cases, it doesn't cover 100% of them. So it's useful to know when they just don't fit. Rather than trying to force the situation into an incompatible framework, you're better off just starting from scratch.

That is an advanced case interview skill and I'm not entirely sure it's very teachable. It's not "science" (formulaic), it's more "art".

2) I would re-iterate your point of estimation questions and doing math with larger numbers. You need to be amazing at it during practice, so that under moderate stress you don't make a careless error in your head (mis counting zero's is a common mistake).

I used to practice estimation questions while walking to class. I would walk by a bicycle and try to estimate the total # of bicycles in the country, and try to figure it out before I got to class.

When I left class and saw someone putting away their pens, I'd try to estimate the total size of the pen market in my country and do it before I got to my next class.

These days, I can't do an estimation question to save my life. My mind is too darn slow and I'm out of practice. So it's important to practice a lot to stay sharp.

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