The one thing that you need to remember is that interviews will differ from one consulting company to the next. In some instances there will be clear, vast differences, in others there are only small variations that can be noted. The fact is that each company has their own visions, values, and approach to the interviewing process. The most practical advice to anyone preparing for interviews with various companies is to structure your approach to solving the case, rather than focus in on one specific skill. Take the time to learn and practice all the skills that will enhance your performance as a consultant, rather than completely prepare for a single interview.
From Their Perspective
When I started writing this blog, one thing clearly stood out. When asked the question about how the interview process differed, each individuals answer was based on the aspects of the process that stood out for them. In some instances, people mentioned problem-solving skills while others mentioned structures having to include more technical facts. In order to cover as many of the differences, we will take a look at the varied experiences other consultants have shared and consider the variances from the diverse perspectives.
Roland Berger uses computer-based tests which are classic GMAT tests. These tests focus on testing and assessing skills like analytical, writing, verbal and reading skills, etc. With these tests, you will be required to achieve a certain score in order to move on to the next round of interviews.
Other firms like BCG have developed their own test formats which have been formulated and based on a case study approach and designed to focus on assessing skills like problem-solving, analysis, etc.
The best approach to revise for tests that are vastly different in format is to focus on improving the skills required in your role as a consultant and to not limit your practice and preparation to specific test formats. If you are going taking the time to prepare, broaden your focus and enhance your personal development skills.
Regardless of the test format, the most practical approach will be to focus your preparation plan on enhancing your:
- Communication skills (both oral and written skills)
- Creativity and innovative approach
- Problem-solving skills
- Strategic planning skills and ability
- Analytical skills
Roland Berger Test
The Roland Berger screening test is required to be completed by some candidates prior to the first interviews. The content is not based on a case study but rather a combination of consulting elements with IQ-test style questions.
Tests used by other companies include:
- The McKinsey PST entails 26 questions which have been designed around 3 case studies. The test is an hour and tests chart reading skills, mathematical ability, as well as verbal and mathematical reasoning
- Bain test usually takes one full interview and is made up of about 20 questions that are a combination of general math and GMAT-style arithmetic reasoning questions
- The BCG Potential test is very similar to the McKinsey’s PST but with a few clear differences. These differences include:
- The test is completed by computer and not pen and paper
- You can be penalized for incorrect answers
- Data is made available at once and not disclosed as the test progresses
- Oliver Wyman utilizes a written online test with differences that include the tests length, penalties for incorrect answers
Roland Berger Interview Process
At Roland Berger, there are 3 rounds of interviews. For two of these interviews, there is an hour allocated for each and is composed of a 25 min fit for purpose interview and 30 minute case study which is followed by a Q & A. Roland Berger have also included quite a bit of preparation advice and materials on their website to assist the candidate with preparation for the interview. This information and materials include a recorded webinar and practice tests.
What Does The Roland Berger Test Evaluate?
The Roland Berger test content in addition to the IQ/Brain-teasing styles questions is designed to evaluate the following skills:
- Creating a business article
- Writing content based on a personal question
- Mathematical skills
- Chart reading
Roland Berger Test Content
The format of the test is focused on testing your analytical, theoretical and communication abilities. It is also advisable to allocate some preparation time to brush up on your technical skills and take the time to read up on some old textbooks and also focus on preparing for PEI style questions.
The case round of the interview will ask for a lot thinking and assessing on your part, therefore, preparations should be structured around improving your case solving skills. Take the time to practice case interviews. Practice thinking, strategizing and planning under the same conditions of the interview and practice with the same time constraints and pressures of the actual interview.
What this means for your preparation: if you are unconfident in tests and the pressure they entail, it might be good to practice. For the case, try and really get your technical skills (in your field) straight, maybe read some old textbooks, etc.
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