Undergraduate, MBA, JD, Master’s, Experienced Hires and Ph.D. Case Interview Training
We remain the only case training firm were former-principals of BCG, McKinsey et al coach our clients and eminent former-senior partners like the former McKinsey worldwide strategy practice leader mentor our clients.
We are defined by the seniority and experience of our coaches and mentors.
$3,000 is a comprehensive program which includes 12 hours of training, optional access to our video library (+$1,000) and toolkits, as well as extensive career profiling, fit training, communication training and resume and cover letter preparation. Career advice, resume and cover letter preparation are additional time, which we make available beyond the 12 hours of pure case coaching.
Please send applications to email@example.com AND firstname.lastname@example.org
Firmsconsulting operates on five guiding principles which we bring to our case training:
- Always do what is in the best interests of our clients. In many cases that means declining to coach a candidate we believe is a poor fit for management consulting. All potential clients are interviewed, some twice, and we accept approximately 10%-15% of applicants/month.
- We operate on a mentorship model. It is our objective to know each candidate extremely well and tailor each program to their unique needs. It is not uncommon for our coaches to spend 4 hours on average speaking to a candidate before the formal coaching begins. This allows us to assess the differences in candidates at INSEAD, Harvard, IE etc as well as their personalities for consulting.
- Joining BBM requires more than cracking the case. In fact, cracking the case is usually not enough – think about your own experiences of solving the case but not getting an offer. We spend significant time coaching on fit, image, body language, dressing, communication, accents, networking etc. Important aspects which are usually overlooked.
- We work strictly on a referral basis and do not advertise in any form whatsoever. All clients sign a confidentiality agreement forbidding us from publishing, sharing or discussing their details. We do not acknowledge a client’s relationship even if they publicly disclose their work with us. This ensures we attract candidates who share our own values.
- We place an strong emphasis on ethics and communication. It is important to understand we are not testing these communication skills to understand how you will perform in the fit interview. That is irrelevant to us. We are testing your communication skills to see how you will perform in the actual case itself. In a case you both need to be technically strong and communicate well. Good communication, like structured brainstorming, will be the reason you are successful.
We do not guarantee results, but our results so far guarantee our expertise:
- All our training is done by ex-consulting partners. We do not use associates or managers. We only use the most senior level employees. The lowest level coach we use is a principal.
- We are unique in maintaining a physical office on Toronto.
- We are a dedicated service. We are not engaged in any other endeavours beyond management consulting training. We are not distracted by a desire to grow or pursue revenue, but remain obsessively focused on our core business.
- We have a 78% success rate in placing full-time candidates. The 78% only covers BCG, McKinsey, Roland Berger and Bain placements. This number would be higher if we included Booz, Deloitte etc placements we have made. We do not include them since they are usually not the first-choice firms for our clients.
- We have a 62% success rate in placing internship candidates.
- Our success rate is approximately uniform across countries, regions and universities. Naturally, given Bain’s relatively smaller size against McKinsey and BCG, we have a slightly lower placement rate at Bain.
- In each month, we select one development candidate. This is a candidate who has, on paper, a relatively weaker profile AND typically lives in a region/country with limited opportunities, but has the potential, based on our screening interviews, to excel. Candidates qualifying for this slot typically have grades in the top 2% of their class, come from disenfranchised communities and single-parent families.
- We have placed candidates in Bain, BCG, McKinsey, Booz, AT Kearney, Monitor, Deloitte, Roland Berger, AD Little, Capgemini and other large firms. We specialize in BCG, Bain, McKinsey and Roland Berger.
- The majority of our candidates are placed in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Atlanta, Chicago, New York, Boston, Toronto, Calgary, Montreal, Connecticut, Philadelphia, New Jersey, Sao Paulo, Johannesburg, London, German Offices, Moscow, Dubai, Singapore, Tokyo, Indian Offices and Sydney.
- We currently have an active roster of candidates in the following countries: USA, Canada, Mexico, Chile, Brazil, South Africa, Nigeria, UK, Spain, Italy, Switzerland, Germany, France, Sweden, Russia, across the Middle East, India, Singapore, Hong Kong, China, Japan, South Korea, Australia and Indonesia.
- In any given day we are running training sessions with clients across 17 times zones.
- We are unique in training current consultants at McKinsey, Bain, BCG, Roland Berger, Deloitte and Booz. Active consultants typically retain us to ensure their first year in a firm is a successful experience leading to rapid promotion. This allows us understanding of the recent changes at each firm as well as updating our skills and techniques. Crucially, we are aware of changes at each firm, and key offices, as they happen.
- We have trained candidates or graduates of the following universities: Harvard, Kellogg, Michigan – Ann Arbor, Beedie, Stanford, Richard Ivey, Rotman, INSEAD, KFU, NUS, Yale, Sloan, Wharton, LSE, LBS, IESE, ESADE, Skolkovo, UCT, GIBS, IE, Bocconi, Erasmus, UCT GSB, Bond, AGM, Schulich, Ross, Booth, Darden, Oxford, Cambridge, Imperial College, ESMT, Stern, McCombs and many other schools, as well as lesser known schools (in the West) or smaller universities.
- Our clients are generally split between undergraduates, masters (non MBA), MBA, executive MBA, PhD, experienced and, in rare cases part-time or evening, students.
- We offer a comprehensive program
- The 12-hours cover the case training.
- Our detailed video library, an additional service, provides guidance when you are not working with us.
- We offer an additional 2-3 hours, at our sole discretion, of guidance for resume feedback, cover letters and networking advice.
- In the fit training we do mock fit interviews, advise you on how to dress, etiquette, speaking, consulting terminology, which material to read before an interview, guide you through your resume and more.
- We profile you – we tell you exactly how you will look to a consulting firm and what you will need to do to improve your image. This usually occurs during the screening interview you will need to undertake to test your eligibility for the coaching.
- We do live video sessions where you wear the suit you will wear on the day of the interview and then, over Skype Video, conduct a live interview with a coach. We then observe and provide detailed feedback on your speaking style, body language, hand-movement, eye contact, facial expressions and more.
- We can also suggest clothing brands, tailors and clothing cuts to improve your professionalism.
- You are paired with a coach with whom you maintain regular contact, and whom you can contact at anytime. We work all weekends, and expect candidates to maintain regular contact with their coaches. We encourage this.
- We use a proprietary approach, which is exactly the approach all consultants are taught once they join a top consulting firm.
- Identify the key question in the case.
- Determine what you need to know to solve the key question (this becomes your framework)
- Find this information from the case data or interviewer.
- Develop a set of options to solve the case.
- Provide recommendations and a summary.
- A video of this approach is in the podcasts section (crucially, this video clearly indicates the overlap between the decision tree and hypotheses led approach which many inexperienced aspiring consultants and consultants assume to be different).
- We do not contract out our training. All 4 coaches work full-time at Firmsconsulting. So they are usually on call as needed around your diary. We work out of our offices in downtown Toronto in the heart of the financial district on Bay Street. We spend approximately 60% of the year travelling to regional consulting centers.
- We are extremely flexible with our time. We help candidates prepare at 6:30am before work and even 3am our time due to time zone differences. We can do this since it is our core business, thereby affording us the flexibility to manage diary demands.
- We are unique in producing training material which is used by BBM consultants. Our books are used extensively to teach practicing consultants about decision trees, hypotheses, and DCF modelling and engagement management. This ensures we are teaching our case clients the real skills used at the leading firms.
- We are the ONLY program which screens candidates before we take them into the program. By doing this, you can clearly realize we care about training talented people and changing their lives. In fact, we have turned down candidates from Harvard, Kellogg and even Stanford whom we thought were not the appropriate fit for a career in management consulting. We do this for several reasons. We want to make sure we are helping someone who will add value to consulting in the long term. We want to be sure we can help you. We want you to be comfortable with the process and ask all the questions you need. From the discussion, we can then develop a tailored program for you, after providing detailed written feedback. Furthermore, once you join the program, you can call us up at any time in the future for help and guidance. We remain in regular contact with approximately 70% of all our past clients.
- We offer extensive resume and cover re-writing during the recruiting period, which must precede the training. We advice on how to tailor each resume and cover letter to each firm. That is a lot more difficult than it sounds as we do not offer generic advice. We offer detailed and insightful advice to demonstrate an understanding of a firm.
- Our commitment is beyond question. In one case, a candidate found out on short notice he needed to fly to Mexico for an interview. We worked with him over the phone while he was still in the taxi. We guided him, briefed him and prepared him. He eventually got the offers he sought. In another case, we managed to find time for a candidate to work with us over the telephone a mere 3 hours before her interview in Washington D.C. These were all last-minute requests which we made work. We also tailor our office times to suit our candidates. Coaching can be run at essentially any time of the day provide sufficient time is given to prepare. In another case, we develop an entire set of sessions to help a candidate learn how to eat and interview for a dinner interview at a 3-star restaurant.
- Every candidate receives detailed written feedback after every call. We graphically plot the candidate’s progress relative to their peers. However, we sometimes choose not to make this available if it will distract the client.
- We take the training seriously. If you buy the hours and we find you struggling, we will push you until you grasp the material.
- Candidates are eligible for access, an additional service, to our supplementary material like our case solutions video library and detailed guides to strategy toolkits and frameworks. These are usually updated and expanded weekly.
- We guide candidates on the following elements:
- Speaking and Verbalization
- Dressing & Body Language
- Hand Movements
- Desk Etiquette
- Building Confidence
- Resume & Story
- Using LinkedIn
- Dealing with Surprises
- Taking Charge
- History & Background of Firms
- Why Consulting
- Strategy for Choosing Offices
- We video tape candidates wearing the clothing they would wear on the day of the interview and offer them extensive guidance on their body-language and communication skills. Many find this to be a truly enlightening experience.
- We never swap coaches. You work with the same coach who develops a bond with you over time and understands your skills and styles.
- All our training is done via Skype or LogMeIn. We can then watch you, provide guidance and solve cases for you on a whiteboard should you need guidance.
- You can ask as many practical questions as as needed with your coach off-line over Skype or Yahoo messenger. They will actually encourage this.
- You do not need to buy any additional material. All the training material, if needed, cases and books will be provided by us. The cost is all inclusive.
- The trainers do not come with pre-prepared solutions. You are encouraged to share with them particularly tough cases and see how they handle it. All our coaches are trained to solve issues from first principles.
- You may tailor the training to focus on case interviews, communication, fit questions or any other combination you think appropriate. We will also guide you on areas where we believe you could use more guidance.
- Given the need to screen a resume and conduct a screening interview, prepare written feedback and finally extend an offer to join the program, we do not accept students interviewing within 14 days of contacting us. We prefer students interviewing at least 14 days after they contact us, and preferably 4 weeks into the future.
Before applying it is advised you send us an email (email@example.com) with the following details:
- What is your background (professional and academic)?
- Are you interviewing for the business analyst or associate level?
- Is English your first language?
- How much do you know about management consulting?
- Why have you chosen management consulting?
- If you can, also send us your resume and cover letter?
Option 1: 12 hours of case training and access to online material ($3,000)
Option 2: 12 hours of case training, access to all online video case solutions, podcasts and training material ($4,000)
Sample of cases taught with accompanying case solution videos can be found here.
Q: Is Firmsconsulting affiliated with any other institutions?
A: Firmsconsulting is a successful program because it is independent. Neither McKinsey, Bain nor BCG recognizes formal consulting affiliations like the CMC or IMC. Therefore we have chosen not to affiliate with the CMC and IMC as well.
When McKinsey, Bain or the BCG decides to formally endorse a management consulting association, we will become affiliated to them. Until that time, we will continue to develop an independent, high quality training program for future management consultants.
Q: I am trying to land an internship or position at McKinsey or the Boston Consulting Group. How can this program help me?
A: For those seeking to break into management consulting, FirmsConsulting has implemented an approach to help numerous graduates from the program secure highly sought after jobs. Our commitment to your success goes far beyond the coaching
Our experience of working at the top consulting firms and advising numerous candidates has demonstrated that the most effective method of landing a position at the leading management consulting firms is through a carefully crafted plan. Below you will find necessary steps to get invited to an interview, pass the interviews and receive an offer:
- Obtain high quality business case, logic and brain teaser case training from seasoned management consultants with years of experience at the most senior levels of the top firms, advising clients around the world on a variety of strategy and operations issues.
- Demonstrate those skills on your resume, adding the relevant bullet points from your training experience
- Master interviewing speaking skills: learn interview Q & A’s, practice mock interviews and gain confidence by knowing exactly what to say in a real interview. Watch and learn how our trainers respond to case questions. Listen to how they speak and solve the case problem as they demonstrate confidence throughout the process.
- Review and practice these case problem-solving skills, return to the case videos as many times as needed to keep your skills up to date and consult with us until you begin your job, or even later on if you need to refresh for any reason. If you have worked with us you know we go to great lengths to respond to emails, provide detailed responses and help you along.
- Understand the interview follow-up process, and know exactly what to do during your first month of the job and how to add value from day one as someone who needs to show expertise in case problem solving.
Q: What is the difference between strategy, operations and implementation consulting, and will this training help me for all?
A: Yes it will. You can read more about this here.
Q: If I learn how to do what’s on your syllabus, will it make up for the fact that I do not have an Ivy-League MBA or any MBA training.
A: Absolutely, yes – provided you have a strong academic, leadership and communication profile. Even graduates of the best business schools from Wharton, INSEAD, Harvard, Columbia, Yale, Stanford and Booth need to practice and prepare for case interviews. As you know, many do not make it and never get offers. Therefore, just having an MBA is not enough. There are simply no classes that will teach this particular skill. If you are able to solve complex case problems confidently and easily, you will certainly stand out in any interview and be made an offer. We have trained people with science degrees, engineering degrees, commerce degrees, law degrees, history majors, philosophy PhD’s, linguistics graduates and MBA graduates. We can help you.
Keep in mind that what we teach is not a class; it is a training program, the exact same training program you would be exposed to when you join any of the tier-1 consulting firms. They will all expect you to learn this. The difference is that you actually need to prove these skills to get the job. McKinsey, Bain or BCG will never hire you unless you can demonstrate the ability to solve case problems in the interview:
Q: Once I complete the training program, what materials will I get to keep?
A: You will have electronic access to all our material made available during the training.
Q: I have just been offered a job as a consultant/senior consultant at Deloitte / Accenture / KPMG / E&Y / PWC / Hay Group and the firm has a training program once I start. Would I still need to take your training program?
A: Intuitively it would seem that it no longer makes sense to take our training, since you have already been hired and will also be trained. However, there are 3 more factors to consider which are not so obvious (unless you have worked in management consulting for many years and across many different firms).
- The first factor is about quality. Having Deloitte/Accenture/KPMG/E&Y/PWC/Hay Group on your resume will not help you get into McKinsey, Bain or the BCG. If you have any hope of getting an offer to join the elite management consulting firms, you must learn the case method. There is no other way to get in. Years of experience at the lesser firms will not count for much, if anything. While the oher firms are good at what they do, they will not teach you the case method to the level needed to secure a position at the top firms.
- The second factor is gaining a lead over the other analysts, as the training period will be very competitive and decisive to your future. Being able to perform better than your peers, (by already knowing the material) during the training will qualify you to (i) be chosen by a higher quality group, i.e. strategy versus change management (ii) start working on actual projects with clients, rather than internal projects (client-facing projects command higher bonuses, internal projects are cost centers and do not).
- The third factor is the training method. When you are trained at a consulting firm many times the training will be led by second year analysts and associates, who not only see you as their future competition, but are also leading the training since they are away from client work. If they are not in front of clients but leading internal projects, how good are they? The training can be very good; however, there is a palpable feeling that this is not where they should be and the training is thus not always of consistent quality. Being trained before starting will immediately put you at the head of your peers once you are inside.
Q: How will this course help me in an interview?
A: To reiterate, this is a comprehensive case study training program. The skills taught by Firmsconsulting are exactly what you need to pass a McKinsey round of interviews. You can expect AT LEAST 95% of the types of questions you are asked in an interview to be taken directly from the material you learned. As you watch the trainers’ structure and solve problems, you learn the style and approach needed to succeed in the interview. We therefore teach you the soft-skills in the interviews as well. The training team is composed of accomplished management consulting partners who have spent significant time hiring and training consultants, they know from experience what you will learn over time. If you are looking for the inside edge, this is it.
Q: Will learning over video conference be useful?
A: Yes, most definitely. The reason is because we do not simply lecture you nor is it a session you simply observe. It is fully interactive. We initially send you the questions we will cover so you can test your own skills at answering them. During the test, the trainer will solve each question from a blank piece of paper! So we have no pre-prepared slides. You can watch us take a blank piece of paper and solve the question. Using the Skype messenger and audio system you can send in questions and comments which we answer in real time.
Have you ever bought a book of case questions? Despite what the authors say, it is very difficult to learn the underlying framework to solve problems. We overcome this problem via the live video feed and question and answer session.