Booking under: Nicole
How did I get hired? My company’s HR might be in better position to answer this question ….. Besides the joke, I am grateful to share my job-seeking and interview experience before landing a graduate job at my current company.
The idea that management consulting practitioners use their expertise and tools to help corporate solve problems and improve their performance always fascinated me since Junior year. In addition, I always planned to stay and work in the States where management consulting is highly respected and flourish in my early twenties before moving back to Hong Kong (or not at all), as it gives me the capacity to explore the glimmer of many possibilities at work and simply see more things. Hence, I knew clearly what and where to pursue after college.
Looking back almost three years later, I still got my job in management consulting but started off in a different location. People who know me have heard this story already, here you go if you are interested…
How did I end up starting my first job in Hong Kong?
While my job applications focused in Los Angeles and New York, I applied to a job in Hong Kong and received an invitation to interview afterwards. In the summer after graduation, I went back to Hong Kong to see family and friends and thought I might as well go to that interview to collect more experience. After going through four rounds of interviews, the recruiting manager called me on the day right before I flew back to the States and offered me a graduate job with the firm. I still recall taking the call when having a ramen lunch before going home to finish the last bit of packing and getting ready to start a new chapter in New York.
Following a conversation with my parents, I decided to take the offer here in Hong Kong. For those who wonder, I still flew back to NY the next day to enjoy my last vacation before entering the workforce. Still missing every bit of that trip……
Job 1: Consulting Analyst Application
For any type of interview, doing research and ample preparation (whether it’s online or informational interview) are of utmost importance. That said, you need to understand the format of the interview including the number of rounds of interview in the whole recruiting process and the type of questions to anticipate from the interviewers. The structure and the behavioral questions asked are very similar in different consulting interviews and this information is easily accessible online as well.
For the majority of consulting interviews, case studies, market sizing questions, and guesstimates are required. For instance, “How many babies are born in the U.S. in a day?” or “Estimate the annual sales for Starbucks in Hong Kong”. It may sound intimidating in the first place, but you can definitely prepare for it through practice. The more you familiarize yourself with the setting, the better you can hone and sharpen your quantitative and reasoning skills. The crux is always to present your solution in a structured way, communicate the logic clearly, and be confident in yourself in front of the interviewer.
Another point that I highly regard is to stay calm under pressure, as mentioned by Keith last week. Coming from the same firm, I was also asked to read out a passage in Mandarin in the first round of interview. Most of the words were fine except my company name. Instead of exposing nervousness, I tried to normalize it and simply read in English. I wasn’t sure if that was the best way to deal with it, but it was certainly better than leaving it blank or getting stuck there. My take is that you have to dial down your tension and be flexible on the spot based on the situation.
Writing this blog post retrieved so many memories of going through the application process and waiting for the interview results. Not a day goes by I don’t miss the life in the U.S., but I did not regret making the decision to stay and start with this firm where I can realize a clear career progression path, learn from the best people, and be given the work opportunities and exposure that I might not get elsewhere in my age.
August is always exciting, especially when we are given the chance to design our dream job under the guidance of Bill and Dave. Come back next week to read Keith’s takeaway on the topic and find out the key attributes of his ideal work life.