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The Consulting & Strategy Club, IIM Lucknow Page 1

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Foreword

As companies worldwide get more and more concerned about hiring the right talent
for their key positions, candidate evaluation during interviews has become all the
more sophisticated. The case interview is unique in the sense that it presents the
candidate with a problem to be solved in the context of real-world business
situations and seeks solutions that tests both logical reasoning and creativity. It
allows the interviewer to evaluate the candidates skills in deconstructing a problem
and communicating their thought process, the ability to think on their feet, handle
ambiguity and assess their comfort with numbers. Although, traditionally used by
consulting firms in their recruiting processes, the case method is now increasingly
used for jobs across functions whether general management or investment banking.
The casebook by The Consulting & Strategy Club of IIM Lucknow documents
candidates interview experiences by different firms that have been hiring from the
IIM Lucknow campus over the years. The ideal way to use this book would be for
the candidate to first arrive at a case solution employing his own approach and then
enhance his learning through comparison with the approaches documented in the
casebook.

The Consulting & Strategy Club
Anmol | Ankit | Devanshu | Rahul | Prince | Suraj
Amit | Arushi | Devika | Jyothirmayi | Riya | Saksham





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Contents

Foreword ..................................................................................................................................... 2
About Case Interviews................................................................................................................. 6
Skills Tested ................................................................................................................................ 6
Types of Cases Encountered ....................................................................................................... 6
Do List for a Case Interview ........................................................................................................ 7
Frameworks ................................................................................................................................ 7
Some Important Frameworks ...................................................................................................... 7
Summer Internship Experiences 2013 ......................................................................................... 12
Accenture Management Consulting ............................................................................................ 12
Interview Experience 1 ..................................................................................................................... 12
Interview Experience 2 ..................................................................................................................... 13
Interview Experience 3 ..................................................................................................................... 15
Interview Experience 4 ..................................................................................................................... 18
Interview Experience 5 ..................................................................................................................... 19
Interview Experience 6 ..................................................................................................................... 23
Interview Experience 7 ..................................................................................................................... 25
A T Kearney .............................................................................................................................. 28
Interview Experience 8 ..................................................................................................................... 28
Boston Consulting Group............................................................................................................ 29
Interview Experience 9 ..................................................................................................................... 29
Interview Experience 10 ................................................................................................................... 31
Deloitte ..................................................................................................................................... 34
Interview Experience 11 ................................................................................................................... 34
Interview Experience 12 ................................................................................................................... 35
Interview Experience 13 ................................................................................................................... 38
KPMG ........................................................................................................................................ 40
Interview Experience 14 ................................................................................................................... 40
McKinsey & Co ........................................................................................................................... 41
Interview Experience 15 ................................................................................................................... 41
Interview Experience 16 ................................................................................................................... 43
Interview Experience1 7 ................................................................................................................... 44
Interview Experience 18 ................................................................................................................... 47
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Interview Experience 19 ................................................................................................................... 50
Interview Experience 20 ................................................................................................................... 51
Interview Experience 21 ................................................................................................................... 52
Summer Internship Experiences 2012 ........................................................................................ 54
Boston Consulting Group .......................................................................................................... 54
Interview Experience 1 ...................................................................................................................... 54
Interview Experience 2 ...................................................................................................................... 58
Interview Experience 3 ...................................................................................................................... 59
McKinsey & Co ......................................................................................................................... 61
Interview Experience 4 ...................................................................................................................... 61
Interview Experience 5 ...................................................................................................................... 64
Interview Experience 6 ...................................................................................................................... 65
Interview Experience 7 ...................................................................................................................... 66
A T Kearney .............................................................................................................................. 68
Interview Experience 8 ...................................................................................................................... 68
Accenture Business Consulting ................................................................................................. 70
Interview Experience 10 ..................................................................................................................... 71
Interview Experience 11 ..................................................................................................................... 71
Interview Experience 12 ..................................................................................................................... 73
Interview Experience 13 ..................................................................................................................... 74
Interview Experience 14 ..................................................................................................................... 77
Interview Experience 15 ..................................................................................................................... 78
Interview Experience 16 ..................................................................................................................... 80
Interview Experience 17 ..................................................................................................................... 82
Interview Experience 18 ..................................................................................................................... 85
Deloitte ..................................................................................................................................... 87
Interview Experience 19 ..................................................................................................................... 87
Summer Internship Experiences 2011 ........................................................................................ 89
Accenture Business Consulting ................................................................................................. 89
Interview Experience 1 ...................................................................................................................... 89
Interview Experience 2 ...................................................................................................................... 91
Interview Experience 3 ...................................................................................................................... 96
Boston Consulting Group .......................................................................................................... 99
Interview Experience 4 ...................................................................................................................... 99
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Interview Experience 5 .................................................................................................................... 106
Interview Experience 6 .................................................................................................................... 109
Interview Experience 7 .................................................................................................................... 111
Interview Experience 8 .................................................................................................................... 112
KPMG ..................................................................................................................................... 117
Interview Experience 9 .................................................................................................................... 117
Interview Experience 10 ................................................................................................................... 118
Mckinsey & Co. ...................................................................................................................... 123
Interview Experience 11 ................................................................................................................... 123
Interview Experience 12 ................................................................................................................... 124
Interview Experience 13 ................................................................................................................... 125
Interview Experience 14 ................................................................................................................... 128
Interview Experience 15 ................................................................................................................... 134












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About Case Interviews

Case interviews are usually based on real problems which interviewers themselves
have encountered in the course of their client engagements. They usually last for
about 20 minutes and seek to test the candidates problem solving skills. In a typical
case interview, the interviewer states a problem and the interviewee goes about
tackling the problem by asking a series of questions. The interviewer answers these
questions based on how he wishes to direct the interview. The candidate must put
forth a logical framework for solving the problem after having understood the key
issues and must ideally make some recommendations/conclusions towards the end
of a case.
Skills Tested

Problem solving skills
Quantitative skills
Communication skills
Poise and professionalism
Firm fit
Types of Cases Encountered

Estimation casesDetermine something by making reasonable assumptions
about critical variables.
For example: How many golf balls fit into a 747, or how many pens are sold
every month on the IIM Lucknow campus?
Market Sizing & Entry/Expansion
Profit/Losses Analyze changes in profitability, revenues and costs
Industry Analysis
Product Launch Help a client gauge if and how to launch a product
Mergers & Acquisitions
Competition Handling
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To-do List for a Case Interview

Take notes
Do not make any assumptions
Ask questions
Take your time before responding
Lay out a structure for the interviewer
Summarize at regular intervals
Frameworks

Knowledge of basic types of frameworks is helpful in case interviews
Helps in structuring the case analysis especially complex cases
Attention should be paid to minute details of the case
Identify the most critical issue and try to find solution for it
All the frameworks are very well-known and just using them wont help you
in cracking the interview
Dont fit a framework forcefully. Use it as a checklist to be exhaustive in case
you are stuck
Try mixing and matching frameworks with different types of cases
Try to form your own effective framework
Some Important Frameworks

SUPPLY AND DEMAND:
The market-clearing price and quantity is determined by the intersection of demand
curve and the supply curve.


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PROFITABILITY:
Try to find out the reason for change in profitability.
Profit = P * Q - ((VC * Q) + FC)
Profits are defined as total revenue minus total cost. Changes in revenue are due to
a change in quantity, price or both. Total cost is the sum of variable plus fixed
costs. Variable costs vary directly with quantity while fixed costs are set for a given
period.
3Cs:
It is one of the most widely used frameworks and one can differentiate their analysis
by not using it. Still, a quick and effective framework for industry analysis!


PORTERS 5 FORCES MODEL:
It is usually the first step in industry analysis and should be followed by further
analysis. This makes it very time consuming in nature. Analysts use it for qualitative
evaluation of a firms strategic position.
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VALUE AND SUPPLY CHAIN:
It can be used to examine an industrys depth.




PORTERS GENERIC STRATEGIES:
It is a very effective tool in analysis of the cases.
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SWOT:
In a full case analysis, this framework leads to time wastage and should be avoided.
It can be used as a presentation framework.







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MARKETING FRAMEWORKS:
These frameworks are very helpful in analysing marketing cases in consulting
interviews.
STP:
Segmentation:
Consider variables for segmenting markets
Analyse the profile of emerging segments
Validate emerging segments
Targeting:
Formulate a targeting strategy
Decision on which segments should be targeted
Positioning:
Understand the perception of the customers
Position products in the minds of the consumers
4Ps:
Product Functionality, brand, packaging and services
Price- Absolute and relative price
Place- Channel, inventory, logistics and distribution
Promotion- advertising, publicity, sales force, sales promotion




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Summer Internship Experiences 2013
Accenture Management Consulting
Interview Experience 1

Name: Ankit Singhania
Company: AMC
Name of interviewer and
designation

One senior person , One HR, One Partner
Round
(First/Second/third)
3 Rounds
Brief Profile :
(Graduation College,
stream, Work ex details,
etc.)

BITS-Pilani, Chemical Engineering, Oracle Financial Services
Software -22 months, CFA Level1, family work experience in
pharmaceutical
Interview questions (With
indicative answers if you
choose to share them)
Round 1:
Tell me about yourself
Why AMC?
Why Consulting?
Why not finance?
Why MBA from Engineering?
Any question you would like to us?
Round 2: Mostly HR
Tell me about yourself
Why AMC?
Why Consulting?
Any question you would like to us?
Round 3:
Tell me about yourself
Why AMC?
Why Consulting?
Any question you would like to us?
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Narration of the case
interview (Please be as
descriptive as possible)

Round 1:
1. Ranbaxy production is falling. Give me the structure
and exhaustive list.
2. Ranbaxy profits are falling. Give me the structure of all
the parameters under consideration.
Round 3 :
1. Calculate the cost of the disease ( opportunity cost+
medical expenses+ social +emotional cost )
2. List down all the parameters to be considered while
constructing a Toll booth on highway to generate
maximum revenue.
What do you think went
right in this interview?

Knowledge about company and cracking the case.
What do you think went
wrong in this interview?

Why consulting could have been more better
Any tips for future batches
on the basis of your
experience

Read about the company on their website and include that
information in your answers.
Practise basic case solving frameworks

Interview Experience 2

Name: Arpit Agal
Company: Accenture Management Consulting
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Name of interviewer and
designation
Round 1: Senior Manager
Round 2: HR
Round 3: Partner
Round
(First/Second/third)

Brief Profile :
(Graduation College,
stream, Work ex details,
etc.)
Chemical Engineer from IITB, 22 months of work experience
at Capital One
Interview questions (With
indicative answers if you
choose to share them)
Round 1:
Mostly questions on my work experience at Capital
One and what I learnt out of it
One basic question on marketing strategy of a company
Why Accenture? Why consulting?

Round 2:
Pure HR interview with all kinds of standard HR
questions like leadership examples, strengths, why
consulting, hobbies, social work etc.

Round 3:
Partner Round- Checking the fit. Similar questions as
earlier. No case studies or guesstimate.
Narration of the case
interview (Please be as
descriptive as possible)

All the rounds had a common objective: checking whether
consulting is fit for me. They were especially keen on the
learnings out of my work ex. Any standout achievement will
really help here. Otherwise the questions were quite
straightforward. No technical stuff for me (cases,
guesstimates). Why Accenture is one question which was
asked in all the three rounds.
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What do you think went
right in this interview?

I was quite relaxed and had prepared well for my HR answers.
I had prepared couple of questions on Accenture based on
their ppt and website which helped in making conversation a
better one.
What do you think went
wrong in this interview?

I had a break between my second and third round due to
other interviews. It caused a slight break in the flow although
not a major one.
Any tips for future batches
on the basis of your
experience

Go through the website and their campus ppt well
Be prepared with Why Accenture answer
Prepare for all the standard HR answers well in
advance. It really helps on the final day.


Interview Experience 3

Name: Mohammed Mudassar
Company: Accenture Management Consulting
Name of interviewer and
designation
Rounds 1,3: Do not know
Round 2: HR
Round 4 (Telephonic) : Vishwesh Prabhakar, Partner
Round 4 Rounds
Brief Profile : Computer Science Engineering, Osmania University, Hyd.
12 months at Google as Corporate Operations Engineer
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Interview questions (With
indicative answers if you
choose to share them)
Round 1:
Why would a person with a very technical background want to
go into consulting?

What is the current mobile phone I use? (At the time, I used a
Micromax A74)
Why has Micromax succeeded? What has it done correctly?
What do you understand from Micromaxs recent advertising
campaigns? Why has it cast Hugh Jackman?
Why is Nokia doing badly? What are the strategic mistakes it
has made?

Which other industries interest me? (Apart from technology,
my answer was Aviation)
Why is the aviation industry not profitable?
Caselet: How would I approach the situation if Boeing asked
me to help their suppliers (HAL) improve their output?
What recent major deals in aviation did I know about?

How would I be able to handle the pressures and challenges
of a consulting career?

Round 2:
Largely conversational, my experiences and expectations from
consulting and whether Accenture would fit me. No clichd
HR questions.

Round 3:
Guesstimate the size of the Indian Diaper market.
Repeating the point about me being too technical for the role.

Round 4:
What is Accentures current stock price?
Is Accenture a public or a private company?
Where is Accenture headquartered out of?
What is causing deflation in Japan?
More questions about the state of the Japanese economy and
macroeconomics in general.
What should the governor of RBI focus on?
Narration of the case
interview
Boeing parts:
I was only asked to list the broad areas Id look at.
Listed transportation, supply chain, labour relations,
and legal arrangements.
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Added one or two possible problems under each issue
and suggested solutions.
Guesstimate(Diapers):
Structured using the number of kids in India using
population statistics, the family income, and cost of
diaper by guessing the percentage of families who
would use diapers.
My initial estimate was $12 billion, way too high, and
without him pointing it out, I tried to adjust my various
estimates.
He was fairly happy with the structure and did not try
to correct the numbers too much.
What do you think went
right in this interview?

Google on my resume helped. My interviewers looked
at that, smiled at me, and probably did not look beyond
that on the CV.
In Round 1, the interviewer stated an incorrect fact
about the aviation industry and I corrected him. This
made me look knowledgeable and he didnt ask too
many factual questions after that.
Also, on the questions involving me being too
technical, I took a consistent stance that I like
technology and I believe it can be applied through
consulting. I felt they were trying to get me to change
my stance, but I stuck to it while respecting their point
of view. I think this helped.
The spontaneity I was able to show was helpful in
turning the interviews in directions I preferred.
What do you think went
wrong in this interview?

In the second round, I wasnt really sure what I had to
say as I was more prepared for questions than a
conversation, I felt I rambled a bit.
In the fourth round, I could plainly not answer many
questions on macroeconomics.
The questions I asked were perhaps a bit nave.
Any tips for future batches
on the basis of your
experience

In-depth knowledge of one or two sectors is very
valuable.
Consistency of answers across interviews and your CV
makes you look sane.


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Interview Experience 4

Name: Rhythem Pahwa
Company: Accenture Management Consulting
Name of interviewer and
designation

Round 1 Senior Manager from Supply Chain Vertical
Round 2 Some HR executive
Round 3 Vikrant; Partner, heads the sustainability practice
area
Round
(First/Second/third)
Three rounds
Brief Profile :
(Graduation College,
stream, Work ex details,
etc.)
B.Tech from PEC (2010 batch); Prior work experience of
about 5 months with Mu Sigma, Bangalore and 26 months
with ZS Associates, Gurgaon
Interview questions (With
indicative answers if you
choose to share them)
Round 1: Some basic questions like tell me about yourself,
why consulting

Discussed one project from Mu Sigma and one from ZS in
detail, nature of responsibilities

Case on an FMCG giant who was facing a sharp decline in
profits.

The interviewer did not allow me to use a pen and paper and
rather asked to orally discuss the case. I questioned the ins and
outs of the business, the industry and other basic qualifiers.
The issue was with the supply chain. Gave him
recommendations on how to enhance the profits. After this he
gave a couple of hypothetical situations pertaining to sales and
distribution issues and how I would go ahead. The interview
lasted for about 45 mins.

Round 2:
Tell me something about yourself, typical HR situations
(significant achievement, situation where you achieved
something significant after overcoming obstacles, etc.), which
practice area would you like to work in at AMC, what do you
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know of that practice area, what do you remember of the ppt,
what did you like, what is it that you didnt like.
The interview lasted for about half an hour

Round 3:
This was the Partner round. Some general questions from my
work-experience, which practice area would you prefer, why,
recent developments in that practice area, a couple of projects
from my stint at ZS

He asked me an HR case. A Financial services firm recruits
and trains Financial Advisors but for some unknown reason
the attrition rate is huge. Investigate why. He just gave me 5
mins to discuss and solve the case with him so had to be really
fast with the analysis. After this round he made the offer and I
accepted it.
Narration of the case
interview (Please be as
descriptive as possible)

Explained above
What do you think went
right in this interview?

Spoke enthusiastically, did well in the cases
What do you think went
wrong in this interview?

Couldnt justify satisfactorily why I wanted a particular
practice area
Any tips for future batches
on the basis of your
experience

Prepare well for HR questions, it helps

Interview Experience 5

Name: Sabyasachi Dhar
Company: Accenture Management Consulting
Name of interviewer
and designation
Principal
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Round
(First/Second/third)
3 Rounds
Brief Profile :
(Graduation College,
stream, Work ex details,
etc.)
Economics (Hons.) St. Xaviers College. Worked for 35
months as part of the Essar Group Corporate Risk and
Insurance Management Team
Interview questions
(With indicative answers
if you choose to share
them)
Round 1:

Tell me about yourself (was the only HR question in this
round)

How did you balance your work/studies with your extra-
curricular activities?

Explain your work experience
Questions on work experience like the type of risks associated
with vessels or the state of the Insurance industry in India

If your previous employer came to accenture for consulting
advise, what advice would you give them?

Case
1st asked me about how Tata Sumo is doing in India, to which
I replied not well at all. Then the problem statement was to
help Tata come up with a decision regarding the future of
Sumo.

Walked him through the value chain and stressed on the cost
and value drivers and came up with 3 solutions, to which he
seemed impressed and stopped the discussion there

Post the case, he asked about the current Economic condition
of India and what implications the forthcoming elections and
the budget hold.

Had a discussion on that for 10 minute and then he asked me
if I had any questions. Asked him why Accenture is the only
Consulting firm that is publicly listed while the others are
privately held? He seemed impressed again and explained the
whole idea behind going public. After 10 minutes of
discussion, the interview was concluded.

Round 2:

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HR round. Asked various questions like tell me something
about yourself, why Accenture, why consulting, tell us
something that drives you, why did you give up on sports,
what convinced you to do an MBA.

Also ran through my CV and asked HR related questions
regarding the Positions of responsibilities that I held and the
extra-curricular activities I took part in.


Round 3:

Was the final round. Again asked me to introduce myself and
in general spoke about what I did in life and what drives me.
Also wanted to know what I was passionate about in life. I
had a feeling that the objective was to test whether I was
passionate about the things I care about.

The conversation ended with him asking me whether I would
like to choose Accenture Global or Accenture India, to which
I replied Accenture Global and linked it to everything else I
had spoken to him about.

Narration of the case
interview (Please be as
descriptive as possible)

The problem statement was to help Tata come up with a
decision regarding the future of Sumo.

I took a minute off to get the 1st two layers of the structure in
place. Then started with the Cost and Value drivers and
complemented it with the value chain to figure out where they
were going wrong. After looking at every aspect, we came to
the conclusion that the Tata Sumo is falling behind due to
improper positioning of the vehicle vis--vis it competitors
and the lack of sheer innovation that the subsequent models
have shown.
What do you think went
right in this interview?

Clarity of thought
Structure to answers, especially HR answers
Interacting with the Interviewer, asking questions wherever
necessary
Not fumbling and losing the main chain of thought

What do you think went
wrong in this interview?


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Any tips for future
batches on the basis of
your experience

Preparation of HR answers, most essential
In a case, look at every aspect possible
If you dont know how to proceed, take time out to think and
involve the interviewer as much as possible
Dont jump to conclusions


Interview Experience 6

Name: Stuti Garg
Company: AMC
Name of interviewer
and designation

--
Round
(First/Second/third)
First, Second(telephonic)
Brief Profile :
(Graduation College,
stream, Work ex details,
etc.)
MNNIT Allahabad, Electrical Engineering
Worked at NTPC Ltd. for about two years

Interview questions
(With indicative answers
if you choose to share
them)
Round 1:
1) Walk me through your CV.
Ans: I started with academics. Elaborated on the special
achievements in it. Talked about my stint with NTPC and
the projects I did there. He himself asked about various
extracurriculars
and PORs I mentioned and asked me to
elaborate on them.
2) Which project was your personal favourite at NTPC and
why?
Ans: I spoke about a rural electrification project and told
them how I got complete autonomy while executing it.
Spoke about other facets like interacting with gram
panchayats etc.
3) Do you think Kyoto Protocol is biased? (I conducted a
panel discussion in college about carbon emissions control)
Ans: Talked about its various clauses, how they are
administered and how much say developed nations have in
it. Finally giving some examples concluded that isnt biased.
4) Which are your favourite three books? (I was a member
of literary club in college)
5) What did you read most as a kid?
Ans: I said Tintin. He too turned out to be a huge tintin fan
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and we went on talking about it for another 10 minutes.
6) If I ask your best friend to describe you in one word,
what do you think shell say?
7) How is coal paucity hindering our progress? (worked in
thermal plant)
Ans: I said that we had abundant coal. The problem is in our
policies and practices. Elaborated on that.
8) Do you want to ask me anything.
Round 2: Was a telephonic round. Three very generic
questions were asked.
1) Which was your favourite subject in term 1?
2) What do you do in free time at IIML?
3) How has the journey been so far at IIML?

Narration of the case
interview (Please be as
descriptive as possible)

1) A burger joints profitability is falling despite same sales
revenue? Analyse the reasons.
2) ESPN has to bid for an upcoming cricket match series.
Give them a reasonable quote.
Ans: I asked about the kind of series: test, oneday
or IPL.
I asked about the matchs location. He replied India to
which I asked if India was playing. Enquired about the
sponsors, ad revenues etc.
What do you think went
right in this interview?

Coherence and structure in answers
I was very candidly chatting with them which probably
worked in my favour
What do you think went
wrong in this interview?


Any tips for future
batches on the basis of
your experience

Know your CV really well.
Sort things out in your mind before answering.
Ask them only relevant questions. Never beat around the
bush.
Stay calm and composed.

Interview Experience 7

Name: Suraj Serikar
Company: Accenture Management Consulting
Name of interviewer and
designation
Dont remember
Round 4 (Telephonic) : Vishwesh Prabhakar, Partner
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Round
(First/Second/third)
4 Rounds

Brief Profile :
(Graduation College,
stream, Work ex details,
etc.)
Graduated from IIT Madras, 2 years work ex at Olam as a
consultant

Interview questions (With
indicative answers if you
choose to share them)
Round 1: Case + HR
Interview kicked off by tell me about yourself. Then asked
about my PORs at IIT. Gave a case on Olam expansion
strategy in between discussion about my work ex. Then some
questions about Accenture and HR.
Asked if I had any questions for him.

Round 2: HR
Tell me about yourself?
Why Accenture? Why consulting?
HR person was interested in my work ex and PORs, asked a
plenty of questions on that.

Round 3: CV Based + HR
Tell me about yourself?
Asked how my day was, as my energy levels were bit low at
that point of time.
I had an entrepreneurial venture at IIT and interviewer was
asking questions related to entrepreneurship trends in India
and issues faced in my venture, key learnings etc.
Interviewer was working in a similar domain of supply chain
(Sales and distribution) and we had a discussion on challenges
involved in projects.
What were my expectations from Accenture and why I prefer
it over working for Olam?

Round 4 : Telephonic interview- CV Based
Was very short interview and partner was quickly running
through my CV and asked about my entrepreneurial venture
and why it failed?
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Narration of the case
interview (Please be as
descriptive as possible)

Suggest a strategy for Olam to expand in next 2-3 years in
coffee commodity business unit?
Interviewer was looking for structure and logic in the
approach. I walked him through the value chain in coffee
business and then focussed on areas in procurement and
distribution currently controlled by other parties. Then
proposed for forward integration for the product and
explained the rationale using some examples of other
businesses of Olam. Interviewer appeared to be quite
convinced at this stage and he moved on to some specific set
of questions in commodities.

What do you think went
right in this interview?

I was quick to realise the case presented to me in between
conversation and I had asked him time for structuring it.
There were no signs of nervousness as I had sat for ample
number of interviews before and was very comfortable and
confident throughout the process. Was quick to catch cues
from interviewer and focused discussion on topics that
engaged him. Was cheerful throughout the process.
What do you think went
wrong in this interview?

I was completely exhausted as interviews were scheduled
towards end of the day and my energy levels were not high.
Any tips for future batches
on the basis of your
experience

Be confident, energetic and enjoy the process.

Interview Experience 8

Name: Swati Singh
Company: Accenture Management Consulting
Name of interviewer and
designation

-
Round
(First/Second/third)
Four rounds in all
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Brief Profile :
(Graduation College,
stream, Work ex details,
etc.)
Indira Gandhi Institute of Technology, Delhi
(Mechanical Engineering)
2.5 years work ex. with an Indian automobile company
(R&D)
Interview questions (With
indicative answers if you
choose to share them)
Round 1:
1) Tell me something about yourself?
2) Work profile? (Some more questions related to it)
Most questions after that were supply chain management
(SCM) related because I had worked in an automobile company
(caught me off-guard since my area of work was research and
not production). Some of the questions were -
3) Difference between SCM inside the firm and outside the
firm
4) How does an automobile firm manage its inventory?
5) What is the difference between centralized and de-
centralized supply chain? Advantages and Disadvantages
of each
6) What are the various ways in which youll reduce
inventory pile up?

Round 2: (HR)
1) Tell me something about yourself
2) How was your experience of working with XYZ
Company?
3) Why consulting? Why not join the old firm back?
4) Why Accenture?
5) How do you fit in?
6) What if we are not able to recruit you today?

Round 3 :
Started with the usual tell me something about yourself. Then
he started questioning me on why I want to choose consulting
as a field and why I dont want to work with my old firm
again.
Then he gave me a guesstimate:
Estimate the no of passenger shared auto rickshaws in
Lucknow
The guesstimate could have been done using multiple
approaches so he asked me the different approaches I can use
to arrive at the final answer. He also cross questioned me on
the assumptions I had made while solving the guesstimate.

Round 4:

The Consulting & Strategy Club, IIM Lucknow Page 27

The interviewer was also a mechanical engineer so he asked
me a lot of questions on SI/CI engines, Torque Speed curve,
Knocking etc.
Narration of the case
interview (Please be as
descriptive as possible)

Round 4:
Market entry strategy for a Chinese automobile firm

My approach was to first evaluate whether it is the right
environment and time to enter and then move on to how to
enter- by utilizing existing capabilities or developing new ones.
What do you think went
right in this interview?

Round 1:
I was able to give some work related examples to support my
understanding of concepts which I think he really liked
Round 2: I was calm and confident throughout
Round 3: I logically explained my assumptions without
getting perturbed by the interviewers cross questioning (even
though a few data points actually turned out wrong)
Round 4: The case went well as I could cover almost all the
areas
What do you think went
wrong in this interview?

Round 1:
I was not very well prepared to handle SCM related questions.
Round 2:
Nothing as such
Round 3:
I shouldve taken more time in solving the guesstimate and
not rushed into getting an answer
Any tips for future batches
on the basis of your
experience

If you have core manufacturing work-ex, irrespective of the
department you were in, be thoroughly prepared with
operations related questions.
Also, be prepared for a few question from your undergraduate
stream

The Consulting & Strategy Club, IIM Lucknow Page 28

A T Kearney
Interview Experience 9

Name: Naveen Bansal
Company: A T Kearney
Name of interviewer and
designation

-
Round
(First/Second/third)
-
Brief Profile :
(Graduation College,
stream, Work ex details,
etc.)

PEC, Goldman Sachs
Interview questions (With
indicative answers if you
choose to share them)
Round 1-
1. Tell me something about yourself (was asked the same
question multiple times in the process)
2. Your most significant achievement in life
3. Support your hobbies with examples: I mentioned reading
novels and was asked about the last novel i read and what did i
like the most in the novel

Round 2 -
1. Explain what I did at Goldman Sachs (Job role and
responsibilities)
2. One instance where you think team work was most
important (linked to work experience)


Guesstimate 1: Estimate the demand of ACs in India

Case 1: A two wheeler manufacturer, a market leader in the
category, has a lot of cash available for investment. The firm is
a proprietorship and has an owner. The owner now wants to
move to the small car segment. Advise him if he should
venture into small car market or not.

Case 2: Estimate the demand of Cement in India.
- Was asked to devise both top-down and bottom-up
approach for estimating the number.
Top-Down approach included looking at Macro indicators
The Consulting & Strategy Club, IIM Lucknow Page 29

(GDP Per capita and Cement consumption per capita). The
Interviewer had all the numbers but he was waiting for me to
ask.


Narration of the case
interview (Please be as
descriptive as possible)


What do you think went
right in this interview?


What do you think went
wrong in this interview?


Any tips for future batches
on the basis of your
experience

Prepare some questions to ask to the interviewer.
1. Stay happy! a smile on your face really works!
2. Don't hesitate in asking for time to think. It is perfectly
fine!
3. Make HR questions as personal as possible! ( a BIG +)
4. Maintain your stand following the Pcom rules if asked
about offer. Ask for some time to think and contact PCom
immediately.

Boston Consulting Group
Interview Experience 10

Name: Aditya Dogra
Company: The Boston Consulting Group
Name of interviewer and
designation
Rishabh, Project Lead (First Round)
Sachin Kotak, Principal (Second Round)
Priyanka, Principal (Third Round)
Amit Sachdev, Principal (Fourth Round)
Brief Profile :
(Graduation College,
stream, Work ex details,
etc.)

B.Tech. Civil Engg, IIT Bombay, Work ex 11 months at
Inductis (Analytics)
The Consulting & Strategy Club, IIM Lucknow Page 30

Interview questions (With
indicative answers if you
choose to share them)
Round 1: Brief introduction followed by a case
Round 2: No HR questions, went to the case straight away
Round 3: Brief introduction followed by a couple of
experience based questions, this was followed by a case
Round 4: Introduction followed by a guestimate

Narration of the case
interview (Please be as
descriptive as possible)

Round 1: The case was concerning a mobile device
manufacturer facing a decline in profits. It had opened new
stores through a franchisee recently and started selling
products at a lower price. This had affected the equation with
the set of old retailers. In addition the margins provided to
the retailers by the client werent competitive which were
causing it to lose sales.

Round 2: The interviewer had shaken things up a little by
doing away with the conventional over the table discussion
and the case was solved on a blackboard. Problem statement
was developing a presentation to be made at a round table
conference of procurement managers. I started off by laying
out the broad structure of the presentation. Later the
discussion moved onto coming up with different
environmental factors that need to be included which would
concern the day to day work of a procurement manager. I
bucketed these factors into Political, Economic, Social,
Technical and generated ideas for each backing them up with
recent events eg. Under economic factors one of the concerns
was currency fluctuation which would affect price of
procurement and how hedging could mitigate the risk.

Round 3: The case was about a pharmaceutical company
launching a new vaccine and looking to decide upon a pricing
strategy. I listed the 3 factors I would consider to fix the price
point - manufacturing and selling costs, pricing of competitive
products, value of product to customer. The interviewer
directed me to consider the first factor since there were no
competing products and the third factor was very qualitative.
The problem was then reduced to estimating the size of
market, forecasting sales and asking questions to get complete
information about the costs involved (R&D, Patents were
major costs).

Round 4: The case involved estimating the demand for the
upcoming Mumbai metro. I proceeded by breaking the
problem into three parts shifting of passengers from
The Consulting & Strategy Club, IIM Lucknow Page 31

Mumbai local, shifting of passengers from other modes of
public transport, people shifting from private to public
transport. I made reasonable assumptions about the % of
passengers that would shift from each segment on the basis
of the information I had about the metro routes. Post that
there was some calculation involved in estimating the size of
each segment as frequency multiplied by capacity (separately
for peak and non-peak hours).

The interview ended with a good discussion about my work
at Inductis on a financial services project as Amit himself had
been working in that domain.
What do you think went
right in this interview?

Picked up the hints given by the interviewer in my first
round, after laying down the approach I was going in a
different direction. At that point I picked up a hint from the
interviewers expressions and took a step back to then move
in the right direction.

2 of my interviews had lots of calculation involved which I
was able to handle extremely well.
What do you think went
wrong in this interview?

With a new format and a very unconventional case in the 2
nd

round it took a little time to adjust and for a while I wasnt
giving the kind of ideas the interviewer was looking for.
Any tips for future batches
on the basis of your
experience

Extremely important to stay calm and confident throughout
the interview and have a good discussion with the interviewer.


Interview Experience 11

Name: Chinmaya Golecha
Company: The Boston Consulting Group (BCG)
Name of interviewer and
designation
Amit Sachdeva, Principal

Round
(First/Second/third)
One round
The Consulting & Strategy Club, IIM Lucknow Page 32

Brief Profile :
(Graduation College,
stream, Work ex details,
etc.)
Worked at Deutsche Bank Centre as a part of the TMT team
in London (11 months)
B.Com (H) from SRCC
CA Inter

Interview questions (With
indicative answers if you
choose to share them)
Round 1:
15 minutes - Quick chat about the CV, some relevant interest
areas around my work-ex and some PoRs.
25 minutes - Case around Computers/Laptops manufacturers
service revenue increase.

Round 2: n/a

Round 3: n/a
Narration of the case
interview (Please be as
descriptive as possible)

Case overview:
There is a computers/laptop manufacturer, global leader, with
two revenue streams Primary selling of products
Service revenues from maintenance, repair and replacement
parts
Global average split is 75%-25% respectively but India split is
95%-5%

Problem Statement:
To increase revenue stream from services in India

Case Approach:
1) Background questions:

Inquired about the supply chain. What services are offered,
how they are offered, who offers them.

Discovered that problem area was sale of replacement parts
and the services entailed therein

Discovered that the company follows a hub-and-spoke model,
ie: one central distributor in the country who gives spare parts
to all retail stores (100% franchisee system)

2) Approach:

Decided to approach the problem using the most basic
Revenue breakdown = Volume x Price
If we can find why revenue is down either because of Volume
or Price than we can find the issue.
The Consulting & Strategy Club, IIM Lucknow Page 33

I felt, prima facie, that the problem lay in Price (as my
understanding is for a replacement part, I would get
something cheap rather than go the actual store after warranty
and overpay). However, I was told that the price offered
outside the stores was 20% higher than the in-store price.

The Problem statement thus became: Why are people not
buying replacement parts from us even if they are cheaper?

To drill into this, I decided to get into the shoes of a
consumer. The various problems (logical flow, thus MECE)
could be:
Do I have access to a store?
Do they have parts?
Do they have good staff (technicians that can help etc)?
Turnaround time?
Other service elements?

I dived into each bucket to find that the problem lay in spare
parts after spending considerable time on good staff and
access. (I established that distribution/reach was good so
people did not find it inconvenient to visit our stores as well
as we had skilled help that could effectively and quickly solve
consumer problems)

Re-visited the supply chain to figure out where the problem
was with spare parts. Discovered that the hub sent them to the
stores but still the stores did not have inventory. Spent time
analysing the inventory situation using the interviewers help.
Discovered that each store had an individual P/L and were
giving the inventory to other people (who were in turn selling
it at a 20% markup) and taking a cut!

Recommendations: Establish Inventory issue norms, and
ensure random checking of inventory at stores.
What do you think went
right in this interview?

Very Interactive Interviewer was very involved in the case
Picked up all the hints dropped the interviewer lit up when
we spoke about black market selling of the replacement parts

The Consulting & Strategy Club, IIM Lucknow Page 34

What do you think went
wrong in this interview?

Nothing majorly, Missed a couple of things where the
interviewer had to prod me along in the right direction
Any tips for future batches
on the basis of your
experience

Enjoy the interview! It is actually great fun, and if the
interviewer realises youre enjoying it, it acts as a huge positive!
Deloitte
Interview Experience 12

Name: Abhinandan Pandey
Company: Deloitte
Name of interviewer and
designation


Round
(First/Second/third)
1st Round : HR
2nd Round : Case based
3rd round : Case based + presentation round
Brief Profile :
(Graduation College,
stream, Work ex details,
etc.)
Bengal Engineering & Science University, Shibpur
Electronics & Telecommunications Engineering
Ericsson India Global Services Pvt. Ltd. 35 months

Interview questions (With
indicative answers if you
choose to share them)
Round 1: Questions on hypothesis testing (I had mentioned
QAM as my subject of interest)
Why consulting, Why Deloitte, Asked me to sing as I looked
nervous in the beginning of the interview, How your analytical
skills will help in consulting.

Round 2: It was a case based round. A case was provided
which dealt with the sources of revenues and profit and the
various advertisement mediums to be reckoned for the
summer Olympics in 2015. It was a calculation intensive case,
so it involved simple calculations for which the interviewer
gave some time. Went for around 40 minutes

Round 3: The case which was discussed in Round 2 had to be
presented to a senior partner. What followed was an in-depth
The Consulting & Strategy Club, IIM Lucknow Page 35

discussion on the same case and another case. This round
lasted for around 30 minutes.
Narration of the case
interview (Please be as
descriptive as possible)

Summer Olympics will take place in 2015. Our customers are
conducting the event.
What are the major sources of revenues for them?
Major sources of profit?
What are the costs involved?
How will you price the tickets to earn so and so amount of
profit?
How will you make a team. How will you prioritize the tasks?
What do you think went
right in this interview?

I was confident and bold enough to think on my feet.
The interviewers seemed more interested in how one
approaches a problem. They were complicating the problem
as I got deeper into it. The key is to consider all possible
aspects and quickly chose the best possible alternative as a part
of the questions which were asked.
Might sound like a clich, Thinking out Loud helps a lot!
What do you think went
wrong in this interview?

I fumbled in 2 instances. There are times when the answers
just dont strike! But keep your calm, keep thinking as there is
always a next question and there is always a better way to
answer the next question!
Any tips for future batches
on the basis of your
experience




Interview Experience 13

Name: Anmol Mahajan
Company: Deloitte US S&O
Name of interviewer and
designation
Senior Manager

Round
(First/Second/third)
3 Rounds
The Consulting & Strategy Club, IIM Lucknow Page 36

Brief Profile :
(Graduation College,
stream, Work ex details,
etc.)
B.Tech in Electronics and Electrical Comm. Engg. from IIT
Kharagpur (2010).
Worked for three years as R&D Design Engineer at Analog
Devices, Bangalore

Interview questions (With
indicative answers if you
choose to share them)
Round 1:
In this round, I was asked some basic HR questions like,
Tell me about yourself? Why did you choose consulting as a
career? Why Deloitte? Long term goals? Questions regarding
my prior work experience and my role and scope in R&D.

Then the interviewer introduced himself and we briefly talked
about his role at Deloitte for some time where he answered
some of my questions on his career.
He asked me if I had any questions regarding Deloitte as a firm.
I responded with a question to which he gave a detailed
response.

No guesstimates or case questions were asked in this round and
it primarily focused on HR questions and clarity about my long
term goals.
This was an elimination round and some of the candidates were
eliminated after this round.

Round 2: Case based round with two Senior Managers
Round 3: Synthesis presentation round with two senior
managers.

Narration of the case
interview (Please be as
descriptive as possible)

Round 2:
Round 2 was with two Senior Managers from Deloitte. There
were a few HR questions primarily based on why consulting as
a career.
Then the interviewer told me that this is a case round and if
analysis is done right I would be expected to come up with apt
recommendations for the client.

The client is an automobile firm with an annual turnover of
around $10b. Our client has a parts supplier which has an
annual business of around $400m (90% of their total business
was done with our client). On one day, our client companys
CEO gets a call from their supplier that due to financial
troubles, they are going to shut down operations from next
month onwards. The case was about recommending solutions
to our client in this scenario.
The Consulting & Strategy Club, IIM Lucknow Page 37


I started by asking questions regarding the business model of
the automobile client, their other suppliers, current inventory
of parts with our clients and when will they exhaust it,
environmental factors like geographies they operate in,
availability of substitute suppliers in these geographies.
From the responses to such questions it became clear that a
solution was to found with their current supplier itself. So I
started asking them questions regarding the details of financial
problems the supplier was facing. Upon few of such questions
I was given a data sheet with 5 to 6 tables detailing the various
factors like direct costs, overheads, expenses, number of units
sold, unit price, environmental factors like industry comparison
of costs, labour unions etc. at each of their three plants.
After this, the discussion was more quantitative in nature with
me calculating present profits/loss for each of the plants,
suggestions for cost reduction based on industry comparisons
etc. These questions primarily focused on the ability to
understand the data given in various tables and link them with
each other and come up with tangible parameters through some
number crunching.
Once this analysis was done, he administered another angle by
giving an option to our client to invest $10mn in the suppliers
firm in return of advancement of technology which would lead
to reduction in prime cost. He asked me if our client should
make this investment.
I asked further questions on time factor as to if we invest now
how far from now would we see reduction in costs. He said we
would analyse two situations one where the returns are
immediate and the other where the reduction in costs is earned
three years down the line.
For the current scenario, since I had already calculated the
profitability/loss of each of suppliers plant, it was easier to
calculate the benefits of the investments. For long term analysis,
I answered that we would have to look into NPV of our
investment with discount factor depending on many risk
factors. We briefly discussed about what could be the risk
factors given the data in the data sheet. On this he was happy
and said that I would have to present the synthesis of the case
in the third round.

Round 3:
The third round was act based with a senior manager acting as
a client. I briefly gave the synthesis of the case with my
The Consulting & Strategy Club, IIM Lucknow Page 38

recommendations. This was followed by a few counter
questions asked by senior manager (acting as a client) which I
answered briefly. Once they were satisfied with my answers, we
went back to normal mode where few questions regarding the
expectations from the internship, expected learnings, etc. were
discussed.

What do you think went
right in this interview?

- Preparation of HR answers and knowledge about
Deloitte and the role on offer
- Ability to perform basic calculations at a good pace
- Exploring various avenues of solving the case and
giving logical pros and cons of each

What do you think went
wrong in this interview?


Any tips for future batches
on the basis of your
experience


Interview Experience 14

Name: N Susheel Kumar Reddy
Company: Deloitte US S&O
Name of interviewer and
designation
Rd1,2 - Senior Manager
Rd 3- Partner

Round
(First/Second/third)
3 Rounds
Brief Profile :
(Graduation College,
stream, Work ex details,
etc.)

Mechanical Engineering from IIT Madras
Work in Caterpillar 35 months, operations
The Consulting & Strategy Club, IIM Lucknow Page 39

Interview questions (With
indicative answers if you
choose to share them)
Round 1:
Tried to unsettle by saying you are in the wrong room, and I
worked for your company so expect really tough questions

Why consulting and why deloitte?

Few questions from work, and then extracurriculars.

Guesstimate on stadium gate receipts for Indian Hockey
league? No.of matches played, no.of seats in each stadium,
occupancy rate, etc. were calculated

What are your long term goals?

Round 2:
Case on a firm which has 3 plants and is making huge losses.
Data sheet is given with details of cost and productivity of all
3 plants.
We decided to look into the costs being incurred, split the cost
into 3 buckets Wages, Material and overhead costs.
Material had no scope of cost reduction, Wages we
identified in plant 3 the no.of salaried were more than hourly
hence more cost. Similarly in overheads Plant 3 has too
much inventory holding cost.
So we decided to reduce these costs, but even reducing these
didnt turn a profit so we decided to shut plant 3 and move
the production to plant 1 and plant 2
Later I gave suggestions on how to raise cash for increasing
the production in the other 2 plants Money by selling plant
3, Loan or money from market
Later did profit analysis to prove the investment is giving good
profit
Round 3:
Had to present the case I did in Round 2 to the partner he
was acting as the client whose case we took up and solved.
Drew the tree structure and explained him how we went about
each and every bucket before identifying root causes.
Possible solutions for root causes and suggestions to improve.
The partner kept asking many questions, not agreeing to most.
He was only satisfied when the arguments made were based
on numbers.
Later he asked basic HR questions like, what field of
consulting would I choose? Why deloitte? Etc.
The Consulting & Strategy Club, IIM Lucknow Page 40

Narration of the case
interview (Please be as
descriptive as possible)

Mentioned Above
What do you think went
right in this interview?


What do you think went
wrong in this interview?


Any tips for future batches
on the basis of your
experience



KPMG

Interview Experience 15

Name: Prince Arora
Company: KPMG Advisory Services
Name of interviewer and
designation
2 interviewers over a video call. Do not recall their name and
designation
Round
(First/Second/third)
Only One Round
Brief Profile :
(Graduation College,
stream, Work ex details,
etc.)
Fresher, Dual Degree IIT Madras [8 pointer]
Member of The Consulting & Strategy Club

Interview questions (With
indicative answers if you
choose to share them)
Round 1:
Tell us about yourself. Questions on Business Current Affairs,
leaders. Why KPMG? Who all are its competitors? What are
its business lines? A few questions on FRA acronyms and
their importance (like EBITDA)

The Consulting & Strategy Club, IIM Lucknow Page 41

Narration of the case
interview (Please be as
descriptive as possible)

Estimate the market size of Biscuit Industry in India.
It was a guesstimate. They gave me some time to work out the
solution but I made some quick assumptions and took them
through my thinking process. I solved the case from supply
side. Then once I was done, I asked if I should solve it from
the demand side as well. The interviewers asked me to
elaborate upon the way Ill go about it.
Came up with a ball park figure.
What do you think went
right in this interview?

The guesstimate and the level of enthusiasm shown towards
solving it. I think they were looking for the right approach and
not the correctness of the final figure.
What do you think went
wrong in this interview?

I messes up a little on the company specific questions. Do go
through the Company RG before you enter the interview.
Any tips for future batches
on the basis of your
experience

Stay confident. They seem to like people who are confident
about what they speak. If you dont know an answer, tell it to
them politely.
McKinsey & Co
Interview Experience 16

Name: Abhishek Gupta
Company: Mckinsey & Co.
Name of interviewer
and designation
Involved an Associate Partner (Pradeep), Partner (Navtez)

The Consulting & Strategy Club, IIM Lucknow Page 42

Round
(First/Second/third)
All
Brief Profile :
(Graduation College,
stream, Work ex details,
etc.)

NSIT (2011 Passout)
18 months in J.P. Morgan and 5 months in Reliance Capital
Interview questions
(With indicative answers
if you choose to share
them)
Round 1: Short tell me about yourself. Then one guesstimate
and then a case discussion

Round 2: Tell me about yourself. HR question on leadership
qualities and instance related to that. Case discussion.

Round 3: Purely HR with partner, asked questions on why not
finance, why consulting, why Mckinsey?

After each round you will be asked if you have any questions
for the interviewer, if you have some good questions then do
ask, but do not ask for just for the sake of asking.
Narration of the case
interview (Please be as
descriptive as possible)

Round 1: Guesstimate: Value of a bulb with infinite life
(involved basic DCF calculation, evaluation of expenditure
you might do in case of a normal bulb).
Case: Problems that a truck association might be facing in
getting truck drivers (possible problems and solutions for
those). Be innovative as possible. Although I didnt reach the
exact problem in the end (only got to know this after the
interview from a friend), but explored quite a few areas to get
through to the second round. The interviewer was very silent
and unresponsive, you just had to carry on with the case on
your own. A solution to the truck problem was that the people
got AIDS as they went at different places, and then they had
problems getting married. Second was that there were health
problems, due to them eating food at different places and
uncomfortable seats, no proper place to sleep.

Round 2: Case: Why a shipping company is going in loss.
Evaluate the possible problems and suggest solutions.
Suggesting solutions to every case in the end will be required
and this is where ones idea generation will be tested. Also
involved testing of quant skills, specifically math calculation
required (basic but one can panic under pressure).

What do you think went
right in this interview?

Being calm and confident, thinking on the feet really helps. I
had already gone through a fair set of interviews before, so
wasnt nervous at all. While you would have done an umpteen
The Consulting & Strategy Club, IIM Lucknow Page 43

number of cases before hand, but every case will be new and
will require you to go to different breadth and depths. While
case solving remains a very important part, they also test you
on your HR skills. The second round was the deciding factor,
after which directly there was a partner round. In the end
managed to convert the call. Finally, it was very important to
smile over the course of interview which lasted 30-45 mins
What do you think went
wrong in this interview?

To be frank, I think everything went right for me in this
process. Although I did miss out the exact cause of the
problem in the first round but wasnt so much a big deal. The
way you structure your thoughts is more important.
Any tips for future
batches on the basis of
your experience

To me case solving had much more importance in the course
of the interview, but HR answers shouldnt be ignored for
sure.
Make sure you are properly dressed. You get evaluated on
every aspect.

Interview Experience 17

Name: Anonymous
Company: Mckinsey and Company
Name of interviewer
and designation
Rounds 1,2: Case Study
Round 3: HR
Round 3 Rounds
Interview questions
(With indicative answers
if you choose to share
them)
Round 1:
1.) Tell me something about yourself?
2.) Convince me to sell my company even when it is doing
very well in the market.

Round 2:
1.) Case study on Indian Telecom sector

Round 3:
1.) McK vs BCG question
2.) 5 ways India can win 5 Gold medals in upcoming
olympics

Narration of the case
interview
Case 1: Selling the Company
Started by giving financial benefits of selling the
company.
Gave implications on entrepreneurship front, brought
views surrounding family society
The Consulting & Strategy Club, IIM Lucknow Page 44


Case 2: Indian Telecom Sector
Case was about increasing revenues from Mobile apps.
Started with geographical expansion of the company
service by looking at various strategies (M&A,
Alliances, Joint venture etc).
Went ahead and looked at companies promotional
strategies, delved into customer segmentation for better
targeting.
At last suggested some modifications in apps to make it
more users friendly and appropriate for smart phone
users.
What do you think went
right in this interview?

Case went well, Interviewers were happy in both the
cases about the approach I took.
Were happy about my past work ex
What do you think went
wrong in this interview?

I could have better put recommendations in cases
Could have brought more practical examples during my
HR answers
Engagement with partner could have been better.
Any tips for future
batches on the basis of
your experience

Keep Structured approach throughout interviews
Consistency within answers is important
Be confident and calm on D-Day.

Interview Experience 18

Name: Aviral Srivastava
Company: McKinsey
Name of interviewer and
designation
Vikas Bhadoria, Partner
Shivanshu, Principal
Mukund Sridhar, Associate Partner (Not sure)
Round
(First/Second/third)

Brief Profile :
(Graduation College,
stream, Work ex details,
etc.)
B.Tech Mechanical Engineering from IIT(BHU), Varanasi.
One year work-ex as Analyst in Inductis, Gurgaon (Analytics
consulting).

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Interview questions (With
indicative answers if you
choose to share them)
Round 1: Tell me something about yourself not in your
resume. (I talked about how being a good student in school
opened up avenues in leadership and extra-curriculars and
shaped the person I am).
Turning points in my life that shaped me. Regrets in life. A
short description about my work at Inductis. And then case.

Round 2: A very brief tell me about yourself. How did your
previous interview go according to you? Couple of things
about my interests in meditation. And then case.

Round 3: I was ushered in within 5-10 minutes of my
previous interview. Mckinsey had made us fill a subjective
sheet during out Aptitude test. Mukund had access to the
sheet. He asked about a regret I had written: My CGPA in
college.
He asked if I had any questions about Mckinsey and my
company priorities. A little chitchat and thats all. This round
hardly lasted 5 minutes.

Narration of the case
interview (Please be as
descriptive as possible)

Round 1: Vikas brought in the case decisively (not as a gradual
flow in conversation): My friend owns a standalone cinema
theatre in Mumbai. Profits and revenue taking a hit. What
should I do?
I started the case with the usual qualifiers (since when, what
has changed, industry, competition, type of movies, location
etc). I made a structure but he sounded disinterested. Kept
throwing me off my game with vague disinterested hints.
None of my directions seemed to appeal to him. I persisted.
Took some timeouts to rethink approaches. Came up with 3-4
approaches before we went into one. Then he asked me to
ideate.

Round 2: I am a shipping company. And my profits slipping.
Give an exhaustive list of things you will evaluate.
I did reasonably well. I missed the factor of fuel and he
pointed it out.
New scenario: cost in fuel changed drastically 3 years ago.
What will be your current profit/ loss if the fuel cost hadnt
changed?
Sounds simple and it was. I kept looking for a trap and started
number crunching only after a minute. The moment I got the
number, he seemed satisfied. He asked me to give
recommendations. And I took a 20 sec pause to structure
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recommendations instead of hurtling them all out. The
interview ended here, on a much more positive note
compared to the first one.
What do you think went
right in this interview?

I was calm across interviews and somehow managed to leave
the stress at the door before all rounds. I received positive
feedback regarding this later on.
Round 1: My HR answers were interesting, passionate,
structured but natural. I never gave up during the case and
persisted despite several setbacks. I didnt mind starting from
scratch repeatedly. My idea-gen was adequate.
Round 2: I gave an honest and humble feedback about round
1 when asked. Initial structure during case was ok (I missed
fuel, but he pointed it out). Most importantly, I could crack
the math in the case in my first attempt (it was quite simple
really, but turns out, many silly mistakes were made during the
day). I managed to structure my recommendations as well and
generate several relevant ideas.
Round 3: Frank genuine answers about my academics and
work experience. He asked about people at my previous
company, expectations from Mckinsey etc.
What do you think went
wrong in this interview?

Round 1: I didnt think my case went all that great, as the
interviewer looked disinterested throughout and kept
redirecting me. Halfway through the case, I realised that
cracking the case was out of the question. I came out of the
interview apprehensive but luckily was ushered into round 2
before I could dwell on it.
Round 2: I entered the interview unsure, given my
performance in the first interview. I kept trying to give
subjective solutions and state assumptions when all the
interviewer wanted was simple math. I kept thinking the case
cant just be simple maths, but initially it was!
Round 3: I was mentally prepared for a case but there was
none.
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Any tips for future batches
on the basis of your
experience

Prepare on your CV. You need to have recall value in the eyes
of the interviewer. Structure HR answers. But they will sound
natural only after practice. It helps if you have 2-3 USPs in
your mind. For example, I had quizzing, meditation and a
childhood abroad.
Never give up in a case. Keep your cool as people get unsure
of simple math during cases and literally end up doing written
calculation where mental should have sufficed.
Dont read too much into the interviewers body language
(unless hes giving you hints during a case). Take pauses
during cases but dont let the silence get heavy.
Each interviewer may ask you at the end if you want to ask
him something about the company. Dont do DCP. Ask him
genuine questions that you think that a person of his stature
and experience can answer better than a younger employee at
the firm.
Do not judge your own performance in the interview. You
will never know what the interviewer is thinking. You might
have been given a tough case just to see your response.


Interview Experience 19

Name: Ishani Roychowdhury
Company: McKinsey & Co.
Name of interviewer
and designation
Round 1: Gunjan (Partner)
Round 2: Vikas (Partner)
Round 3: Navtez (Partner)

Round
(First/Second/third)
Three rounds in total (third round was purely HR)
Brief Profile :
(Graduation College,
stream, Work ex details,
etc.)

Economics Honours from St. Stephens College, 21 months
of work experience at Bain Capability Center (BCC)
Interview questions
(With indicative answers
if you choose to share
them)
Round 1: Tell me about yourself, followed by related
questions on my answer, why consulting. Next 15 minutes was
a case. Ended with a brief discussion about the Partners
consulting career so far.

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Round 2: Follow-up question on an answer that I had written
in the HR form filled a week earlier. This was followed by
questions on my work experience and how the BCC model
works. This was followed by two quick cases.

Round 3: Pure HR round
Narration of the case
interview (Please be as
descriptive as possible)

Round 1: This was the first case of the day for the Partner and
we spent 12-15 minutes on HR at the beginning. She asked me
about myself which I had prepared well. That led to questions
around my career decisions, a bit about my work experience
and society work at undergrad college. This was followed by
the case. She gave me two choices and asked me to pick one. I
chose the IT case.

Case statement: I run a software company which sells
accounting software in India. Before launching accounting
software, I had hired a market research firm who estimated
the market at Rs.XY (some figure). However, in spite of
having a share of 45%, we have not been able to penetrate the
market any further.

The idea was to start with exhaustive qualifying questions that
covered competition, region of operation, industry dynamics. I
figured that the problem did not lie in the company per se, but
in their target customers. They focused mostly on the SMEs
who used traditional accounting books rather than accounting
software. I was also abruptly stopped in between, after which I
quickly synthesized and gave in my recommendations. My
recommendations were around creating awareness to migrate
more people to online accounting applications

She asked me if I had any questions for her. I asked her a
question which extended the discussion for 5-7 more minutes.

Round 2: 2-3 questions on the HR form submitted earlier.
This was followed by a detailed discussion about my work
experience, some case examples from my previous work, the
BCC model and how it works and why consulting.

Case statement: My friend owns a single theatre in a metro
city, has been losing profits steadily. Suggest ways to improve
his profitability.

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The case was about generating options and the Partner kept
insisting on more suggestions. I looked at the revenue and the
cost side separately, divided them into short term and long
term plans, and tried to logically structure my suggestions. For
the revenue side, I had gone by the customer purchase process
approach to ensure nothing is missed.

This was followed by a second case which was a guesstimate:
Another friend of mine wants to sell tennis balls in India.
Estimate the demand. The approach was usual, starting with
sources of demand and estimating it using population.

Finally, he asked me if I had any question for him. I had a
question and the discussion went on for 5 more minutes.

Round 3: This was the most interesting interview experience
of all. I was told it was like a hygiene test before I went in, and
I was relaxed yet energetic.
The partner looked at my HR form and asked me similar
questions, as in my previous interview. The discussion
touched upon various topics- mostly around my work
experience, family, school life and career decisions (it was like
a friendly chat after sometime and I had much to talk about).
He also asked me why I would want to join McKinsey. At the
end, he said it was a good discussion, that he thought I am fit
for consulting and felt no need to give me a case.
What do you think went
right in this interview?

In all the rounds, I was energetic, smiling and engaging. The
HR questions were extremely crucial which I thought went
well.
About the cases, I had thought my first round case wasnt
great- it was my first case of the day and I couldnt tell
whether she was happy with my recommendations. However,
later I heard from others that she was actually happy about it.
The second round cases went well- I managed to generate as
many options as he wanted, and did not give up. In fact, I
went into lot of details on the guesstimate and he stopped me
in between to ask for the final answer.
What do you think went
wrong in this interview?

Nothing major, I guess. The idea is not to solve the case, but
to display your structure and your method of thinking and to
engage the interviewer throughout.
Any tips for future
batches on the basis of
your experience

Be calm and enthusiastic throughout. Carry yourself with
confidence and smile- that reduces the nervousness too.
Prepare your about me well because that feeds into the
discussion that follows. Also, the questions on why
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consulting and why McKinsey are common. Further, its
very important to structure your HR answers too.

Interview Experience 20

Name: Mashantha Viswanathan
Company: McKinsey
Name of interviewer and
designation
Mr. Anil Sikka Senior Specialist
Ms. Gunjan Soni Partner/Senior Partner
Ms. Aayushi Engagement Manager
Round
(First/Second/third)
Ms. Aayushi - first
Mr. Anil Sikka second
Ms. Gunjan Soni - third
Brief Profile :
(Graduation College,
stream, Work ex details,
etc.)

B.Com (Professional); St. Francis College for Women,
Hyderabad, Analyst at Ernst and Young Hyderabad for
11 months in the Advisory service line
Interview questions (With
indicative answers if you
choose to share them)
Round 1: HR Tell me about yourself, one wild/fun thing
I had done. Guesstimate If I needed to increase the
prevalence (usage) of contraceptives in India by 20%,
what sort of a number would I be looking at?

Round 2: HR - Tell me about yourself, Working
individually vis--vis working with teams, how have I
dealt with people taking credit for work that I do.
Guesstimate As head of a publishing house, I was
asked to estimate the readership for a book that I
wanted to publish

Round 3: HR - Tell me about yourself.
Narration of the case
interview (Please be as
descriptive as possible)

A retail chain wanting to enter India; how would I go
about it? Variables and KPIs that I would look at.
Followed a value-chain centric approach; was asked
specific questions at each stage such as the kind of
metrics I would look at.
What do you think went
right in this interview?

1) Was confident and comfortable; felt more like a
conversation rather than an interview (especially the
second and third rounds)
2) After a point, we were discussing the solution for the
case together (happened in the first round)
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What do you think went
wrong in this interview?

1) Was initially nervous and I guess it showed in my first
round
2) Could have been more targeted with my questions
Any tips for future batches
on the basis of your
experience

1) Dont get flustered; keeping your cool is very important
2) Try to approach it like youre going to meet a new
person rather than youre going to face the most
important interview in your life; it helps in being
yourself => More confidence => Best performance

Interview Experience 21

Name: Pratik Goyal
Company: McKinsey & Co.
Name of interviewer
and designation

Suhail (Associate Partner)
Naftez (Partner)
Vikash (Partner)
Round
(First/Second/third)
Total 3 Rounds
Interviewers names in order
Brief Profile :
(Graduation College,
stream, Work ex details,
etc.)
St. Xaviers College, Kolkata
Chartered Accountancy Inter
Fresher
Interview questions
(With indicative answers
if you choose to share
them)
Round 1: 3 structural approaches to solve the problem India
should win 5 gold medals in 2020 olympics


Round 2: About yourself not in the CV?
Why consulting?
An estimate of the total number of glucometers sold in India
in a year.


Round 3: A cinema hall whose profits are falling - Problem
finding and Recommendations. An approach to estimate the
revenue of the cinema hall and the cost was also asked.
My leadership roles and why no POR in IIML?
My entrepreneurial venture and the business logic behind it?
Why not Finance as a career choice?
Narration of the case
interview (Please be as
descriptive as possible)


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What do you think went
right in this interview?


The HR part went very well
The idea generation was very important and the initial two
levels in the structuring which should have incorporated a
MECE.
The ability to communicate what I was thinking was very
important in the cases.
What do you think went
wrong in this interview?


The nervousness was very high and so required a little time in
idea generation in the first round but kept talking to the
interviewer so that dint leave much gap and made up for the
nervousness.
Any tips for future
batches on the basis of
your experience


Generally the interviews are targeted to test the idea
generation ability, comfort level with numbers and the
problem solving ability which form the main work of
consultants.
In the softer aspects the HR answers are very very important.
Knowing the CV is very important and should be a reason for
why u did what u have, and it will generally be a part of all
interview rounds.


Interview Experience 22

Name: Shreya Sachdev
Company: McKinsey and Co.
Name of interviewer and
designation
R1- Shivanshu (Partner)
R2- Vikas (Partner)
R3- Gunjan (Partner)
R4- Navtez (Partner)
Round
(First/Second/third)
Round 2
Brief Profile :
(Graduation College,
stream, Work ex details,
etc.)
B.A. (Hons) English- Lady Shri Ram College for Women-
Fresher

The Consulting & Strategy Club, IIM Lucknow Page 53

Interview questions (With
indicative answers if you
choose to share them)










All three interviews revolved around my educational
background (Im the rare breed of Literature students that
occasionally crop up here) and how that fit in with IIM
Lucknow and Consulting. I was also asked about my
internship with a Fashion House and my motivation behind
taking it up. Finally I got asked about my expectations from a
Consulting job.
The interviews ended with me asking each of the partners
questions.
Shivanshu was working on a data- heavy project so I asked
him about how he dealt with the more mundane aspects of
Consulting.
I had a prior interaction with Vikas at the McKinsey dinner
and I continued with the same discussion regarding
Entrepreneurship opportunities at McKinsey.
Gunjan and me spoke about opportunities for women at
McKinsey and the initiative she had started regarding the
same.
Navtez was working on a case in the same sector that my
father works in, so we discussed the current challenges faced
by that sector.
Narration of the case
interview (Please be as
descriptive as possible)

My friend runs a standalone theatre in the heart of Mumbai,
but has recently been witnessing declining profits.

I initially structured it into a regular profit and loss case, but
after the first 4-5 minutes (possibly because he gathered that I
had no problem structuring the case) he jumped directly to
recommendations. The rest of my case focused solely on me
shooting options as to how he could possibly increase his
profits. The suggestions included the obvious ones such as
price of tickets, show timings, staff requirements etc, and then
we went on to other areas such as the Food and Beverages
counter, Parking and so on.
At that point, after we had exhausted all avenues he asked me
to come up with out-of-the-box solutions, and we spent the
rest of the interview solely on idea generation.
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What do you think went
right in this interview?

I was smiling and confident throughout the interview even
though I was convinced that I had quite possibly tanked the
case interview before this.
I could bring myself to look outside my structure and give him
solutions over and above the ones
What do you think went
wrong in this interview?

I didnt ask for numbers, possibly because numbers were
where I had messed up in the last case. If I had gotten over
the phobia in time the case solutions I presented would have
had more of an impact.
Any tips for future batches
on the basis of your
experience

Reading the cues and expressions of the interviewer always
help.
Apart from that dont make the mistake of getting trapped by
your structures because McKinsey partners usually tend
towards unorthodox case interviews.

Summer Internship Experiences 2012
Boston Consulting Group
Interview Experience 1

Name: Mohit Agarwal
Company: Boston Consulting Group
Name of interviewer
and designation
Navneet Vashisht, Partner
Round 3 Rounds
Brief Profile Chartered Accountant, Graduate from SRCC; Prior work
experience -22 months as Associate in BMR (tax consultant)
and Ernst & Young (Transaction Advisory Services)

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Interview questions Round 1:

Some basic questions like Why consulting and why BCG.

Case on acquisition strategy of a large Indian conglomerate
looking for diversifying into IT services.

I took a complete background check with regard to the
motivation behind diversifying into IT sector. Also, what
kind of IT businesses it wanted to diversify.

The interviewer suggested that they want to achieve revenue
of USD 5Bn from current USD 4Bn. Also, they want a
margin of 12-15% from this new business. Also, the major
consumer of IT services are Europe and US.

So, I divided the problem into two parts 1. Whether IT
business would serve them the purpose for achieving
desired revenue. 2. If yes, then what would be the strategy
for entering into IT services?

I started off with the projected revenue estimates for all
types of IT services. However, the interviewer changed the
problem statement (due to paucity of time I suppose).

He asked what would be the basis for selecting companies
from an acquisition standpoint from an initial pool of
companies across the globe.
I came up with two matrix table wherein I stated what the
Indian conglomerate wants from the acquisition (ie Need)
and what it can offer to the target company (ie want of
target) and tried to match it.

The interviewer informed that the Indian conglomerate was
cash rich company, stands on its values and has strong client
relationship with manufacturing sectors / vendors.

So I started linking all of them

funding requirement for cash strapped companies
Reputation It can offer brand value to companies not
well known
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Client relation to leverage Companies not present in
manufacturing IT services.

Also, during discussion, I linked the problem practically to
how Mahindra went on to acquire Satyam and what factors
it looked before bidding. I think the interviewer was
impressed with the linking to case to practical situation.

However, I think the interview did not go so well. However,
I knew I would be given another chance to perform.

The interview ended on brief chat with Hindi literature on
poetry and short stories.

Round 2:

The interview was taken by Principal in BCG. Problem
Statement An Indian Cement market share is declining.

MA: Define market share?
Interviewer: Market share is defined by quantity and sales
value.

MA: There could be 3 possible scenarios: Market stagnant,
we are losing out to competitors; Market growing but we are
not growing as fast as market; market shrinking but we are
losing more than our competitors.
Interviewer: Second scenario

MA: Major customers
Interviewer: Real estate companies

After a brief background question, I started off with the
problem analysis.

I broke the problem into Demand and Supply side.
Under demand side, I mapped the consumer behaviour
analysis of buyer and brought out several points. However,
the interviewer was interested in delving into supply side.
Anyways, he told me to analyze demand side.

Based on our discussion, we realized that pricing and timely
delivery was an issue. Pricing is based on cost plus pricing.
Cost includes transportation cost which was significantly
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higher than industry standards. High transportation cost
stems from the fact that the factory was located far away
from the market. Also, acquisition of lime stone has been a
challenge for the company.

I think the interviewer was impressed from the fact that the
problem was solved from the demand side. Also, I quickly
suggested 2 solutions to the problem:
Short term Reduce prices and take a hit on profit to
regain market share
Medium term Follow hub and spoke model to
reduce delay in delivery time
Long term Acquire a source (may be mine or long
term supplier) for lime stone

The interview ended with HR questions as to why MBA
after CA, why consulting, why BCG and why not industry
after CA.

Round 3:

The third round was a very brief round. The problem
statement was Whether Uninor bid for the next spectrum
auction?

I took background questions regarding in which circle it
operates and its vision in India.

I suggested that I would do a Net Present Value analysis and
would bench mark against return expected by Norway Head
Office. We went into revenue stream like voice and data.
Cost included operating, spectrum, license fee etc.

He seemed to be satisfied with the response. Also, he asked
me why AT&T is not bidding for the spectrum. I explained
that Uninor has invested time, effort in understanding
Indian market which AT&T has not. I drew learning curve
of both Uninor and AT&T. He seemed impressed.

At this stage, the Partner made an offer and I accepted it.
Narration of the case
interview

Explained above

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What do you think
went right in this
interview?

I think structured approach to the problem and able to
articulate it well went right in the interview. Also, I linked
the problem to practical situation which helped me in
cracking the case.

What do you think
went wrong in this
interview?

I was nervous in my first interview; hence initially I went in
haywire manner. However, I was told that one needs to
perform in 2 out of 3 interviews to get through. I did well in
my second interview and hence moved to third round. So in
case, you do not do well in one of the interview, it should
not matter. Its important to think clearly and structurally.
Any tips for future
batches on the basis of
your experience

1. Be calm and composed. Even if one interview does
not go well, one would have another chance to
perform
2. Take good background questions to understand the
problem. Dissect the problem and then approach
3. Structured thinking is very important. Also, explain
briefly the broad bucket in the structure.
4. All suggestions should have some basis based on the
inputs taken during t he interview.
5. Thorough CV and HR preparation are hygiene
factors.
6. Always smile!

Interview Experience 2

Name: Shraddha Gupta
Company: Boston Consulting Group
Name of interviewer
and designation
Rahul Jain, Partner ( First Round)
Seema (Second Round)
Brief Profile Economics Honours, St. Stephens College
No Work Ex
Interview questions Round 1: What drives you to do well at academics?

A truck company has just entered India. They want you to
design a financing strategy for them. Basically they want to
ensure that people who want to buy their trucks will have
access to financing.

The Consulting & Strategy Club, IIM Lucknow Page 59

Round 2: The government wants to redesign the way it
supplies vaccines to rural areas. What parts of the supply
chain will you outsource?

Round 3: NA
Narration of the case
interview

The partner started off by asking me about academics (I had
a really high CGPA that time) and I asked him a bit about
how he was also one of the top rankers in his time at
Lucknow (hed mentioned this at the BCG dinner earlier).
He then gave me the case question. I started by focussing on
the different factors that were important for a person to get
loans from banks (like creditworthiness, availability etc.) He
said the structure was fine but he wanted me to focus more
on the link between financing and the truck purchase. So I
figured out that I needed to understand their target
customers better. We discussed that for a while. It turned
out that there were two kinds of customers (forming 50% of
the total each) One was large fleet owners who bought lots
of trucks together and had no trouble with financing. The
others were smaller players. They took a loan from a local
moneylender and used the purchased truck as collateral. So I
suggested we focus on the smaller guys (because they did
not have access to traditional financing) and try to get the
moneylenders to promote our trucks. He then drew a
couple of graphs and asked me to figure out what kind of
monetary compensation we could offer the moneylender.
What do you think
went right in this
interview?

The case was really different from the ones I had done
earlier so I really enjoyed it. It didnt really feel like a case
interview at all, felt more like a discussion. I was able to pick
up the clues well.
What do you think
went wrong in this
interview?

Cant think of anything.
Any tips for future
batches on the basis of
your experience

Try to have fun. Dont fret too much about how many cases
you have practiced.

Interview Experience 3

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Name: Wamika Mimani
Company: Boston Consulting Group
Name of interviewer
and designation
Navneet (Partner)
Round First
Brief Profile St. Xaviers College, Kolkata; B.Com Honours, CA Inter,
Fresher
Interview questions He asked me for a quick introduction. We spoke briefly
about IIM Lucknow and then he straight off headed to tell
me about the interview pattern. He told me that wed do a
case and then move on to discuss any questions I had about
the company.

Narration of the case
interview

The case was about an Indian conglomerate entering the IT
space. I was asked to prepare a detailed market entry
strategy at the start. When I outlined that he could opt for a
JV, an acquisition or an own set-up, he asked me to probe
further into the JV idea. From there on, the case was about
identifying specific metrics to ascertain the best JV route. It
was a very spontaneous case discussion, and we covered a
variety of opportunities, problems and solutions in and
around the original problem statement.
What do you think
went right in this
interview?

I kept my cool. At one point, I realised that he was not
getting the specific reply he wanted. Instead of panicking, I
asked for a minute, took a step back and reworked the
problem successfully. What worked most was the level of
engagement with the interviewer. Post the case, we had an
excellent dialogue about the sector in which he was working
on a case.
What do you think
went wrong in this
interview?

I rushed to give a particular answer in the case, which was
absolutely unnecessary. It was crucial that I didnt get
nervous after that.
Any tips for future
batches on the basis of
your experience

Keep high energy through the interview. Feel confident and
remember that, at the end of the day, an interview should
most importantly be a good conversation.
Round Second
Name of interviewer
and designation
Vikram (Principal)
The Consulting & Strategy Club, IIM Lucknow Page 61

Interview questions He asked me to talk about the past 8-10 years of my life
briefly. He told me that hell administer a case, and that he
didnt expect me to solve the case. He clearly told me that
he was testing me on my approach and the questions I
asked.
Narration of the case
interview

The case was about a cement company losing market share.
It has set up new plants too. There was some amount of
data to play with and a lot of technical jargon (which I
suspect was to just throw me off track!)
What do you think
went right in this
interview?

I structured the problem in a very detailed manner. I asked
relevant questions and took my time. I also got lucky that
intuitively I managed to find the root cause of the problem,
though it wasnt expected out of the case. The rapport with
the interviewer was good during and after the case.
What do you think
went wrong in this
interview?

Nothing really, I was quite happy with how the interview
went.
Any tips for future
batches on the basis of
your experience

Look happy, it rubs off on to the interviewer as well! Its
important to practice ample cases so that youre confident
with your problem solving.
McKinsey & Co
Interview Experience 4

Name: ANURADHA TYAGI
Company: McKinsey & Co
Name of interviewer
and designation
Round 1: Pradeep (Principal)
Round 2: Navtez (Partner)
Round 3: Mandar (Partner)
Brief Profile Shri Ram College of Commerce, Delhi University,
Economics (Hons), Analyst in the Advisory Practice at
Ernst & Young
The Consulting & Strategy Club, IIM Lucknow Page 62

Interview questions Round 1: Apply Econometrics and other Economics
concepts to define the distribution of ticket price between
Lufthansa & United Airways if a passenger pays INR 50,000
to fly the route Delhi-Frankfurt-New York.
(Lufthansa takes the passenger till Frankfurt and United
Airways from Frankfurt till NY)

Ans : Bargaining power, occupancy ratios, original ticket
costs for standalone routes-Range for Lufthansa is INR
(15,000-30,000) & Range for United Airways is INR
(35,000-45,000)

Round 2: Presentation to the industry about projections of
supply & demand of Oil & Natural Gas in India by 2025.
Explain all parameters involved in the projections

Ans: No clear-cut answer in this case. Was tested on general
understanding and ability to tap as many levers as possible

Round 3: You seem to be inclined towards Theatre. Let us
try and understand the functioning of Kingdom of Dreams,
Gurgaon-its profitability and possible recommendations if
any

Ans: Again, case involved numbers and exploring several
factors. I dont remember the exact answer but the revenues
came to approximately 5 crores annually, not too sure.
Narration of the case
interview
All three cases stemmed from casual conversations with the
respective people. The first one started with talk about my
favourite subjects within Economics, the second was after I
was asked about my background (my father works with RIL)
& the third was when my interest in theatre was questioned.
Hence, the point I am trying to make is that please be clear
about what you speak because your case can be an off-shoot
of the conversation.

CASE 1: My questions resulted in me getting details about
the occupancy ratios of the two airlines, competitor airlines,
routes travelled by both the airlines, preference of
passengers etc. The right questions and numbers helped me
clarify relevant points & discuss some economics concepts
which the interviewer wanted to see.

The Consulting & Strategy Club, IIM Lucknow Page 63

CASE 2: I was not given any data or prior information and
hence had to make assumptions and clarify my logic at each
stage. Started with 3 scenarios-worst, expected & good.
Went on to explain why demand in this industry would
always grow & hence supply should be the focus. Delved
into Indias dependence on imports, bureaucracy issues,
treaties with other nations-India-Afghanistan pipeline,
political scenario of OPEC countries & other oil rich
nations like Iran, geologists & their ability to tap the right oil
fields, Risk Analysis-Probability & Severity of finding oil in
India (this point fetched me great review) & of course, not
to forget the regulatory environment in India & Public-
private players in the Industry.
Some substantial arguments were discussed and I came up
with some other parameters & a conclusion.

CASE 3: In order to understand the case, I questioned
about the revenue levers and what I think was the business
model-different shows-main v/s others, footfall, income
through business besides shows, peak season etc.
Discussed cost levers & made a couple of recommendations
based on the parameters.

What do you think
went right in this
interview?

Structured cases, exhaustive option generation, relaxed &
confident personality and ability to build a connect with
each administrator in all rounds
What do you think
went wrong in this
interview?

Nothing really. I maintained my cool and came across as
relaxed and composed for all three rounds. My feedback
from the firm while they made the offer was that I managed
to keep myself very calm and my cases structured even
though at times it seemed difficult.
Any tips for future
batches on the basis of
your experience

-Do not give up at any point in time during any case.
Sometimes the case may not be your comfort area but you
need to drive yourself till the end & that matters
-When numbers are thrown at you, keep your cool and work
it out without being under any pressure. Its better to get the
right answer than mess up simple math
-Practice cases and be clear about HR answers. Nothing
should precede the other, give equal importance to both

The Consulting & Strategy Club, IIM Lucknow Page 64

Interview Experience 5

Name: Harshita Kesarwani
Company: McKinsey & Co
Name of interviewer
and designation
R1 - Sambit (EM)/ R2 - Pradeep (Partner)/ R3 - Palash
(Partner)
Brief Profile Economics (H), SRCC, 2010
Nomura 2 years, Fixed Income, Global Markets
Interview questions Round 1: About me and some related questions followed by
case.

Round 2: About me and HR answers around extra-
curriculars, teamwork, initiatives and leadership

Round 3: Case on a healthcare product launch with a guess
estimate. The twist was that I had to do everything without
using pen and paper. This was an interesting new challenge.
Narration of the case
interview
Round 1: Case was based on a telecom firms tower
construction costs which were higher than peers. This was a
stress interview and the guy kept insisting on structure. I think
the important part was to keep calm and not to lose patience.

Round 2: No case

Round 3: Case was on a joint replacement product. As
mentioned, it was without pen and paper so focus was all the
more important.
What do you think
went right in this
interview?

Round 1: I think what really worked was patience and smiling
through the 40-45 minutes. The feedback I received was that
I never stopped myself from thinking through every option
which helped in covering every possible bucket.

Round 2: I dont think all HR answers can be prepared and
the ones I answered here were some that I had never heard
before. What really helped was that I had listed a few
situations before Summers week that described key qualities
that I would like to talk about in a specific answer.

Round 3: Not being familiar with healthcare at all, I think
what worked was taking time to understand the product and
the market. Also, the case became more like a conversation
which helped me solve the case well.
The Consulting & Strategy Club, IIM Lucknow Page 65

The guesstimate was tricky to do only in the head but in the
end he was looking only for the approach and not the actual
market size figure.
Any tips for future
batches on the basis of
your experience

HR answers are supremely important run answers through
people and work on the feedback.

Be prepared for any kind of interviewer. Each has their own
unique style keeping calm is the best way to crack the
interview.

Interview Experience 6

Name: Karabi Mitra
Company: McKinsey and Company
Name of interviewer
and designation
Cant recall
Brief Profile I graduated in Economics honours from St. Xaviers
College, Kolkata, and worked for one year in Google
Hyderabad, as an Account Strategist.
Interview questions Round 1: Case based interview ( have narrated below)

Round 2: HR based: was asked the following:
1.) Tell me about yourself, in the course of this question,
asked me about my family as well.
2.) Why consulting
3.) 2 instances of leadership
4.) Asked about music as it was in my CV that I had
taught the piano.
5.) Also, asked about my work experience.

Round 3: Case based interview ( have narrated below)
Narration of the case
interview

The first case was about a pharmaceutical company which
had come out with a new eyedrop which cures myopia, and
I had to price the product. Here we had to look at
alternatives, such as cost of wearing glasses all your life, and
The Consulting & Strategy Club, IIM Lucknow Page 66

the amount you would be spending, and discounting the
amount you spend each year. I mentioned the cost of
glasses, doctor visits, contacts, also laser surgery etc, to
finally compute the price.
The second case which I got in the 3
rd
round, was also about
a medical company which was facing a problem of falling
profits. Here there were several problems, low productivity,
and falling sales as well. Here the sales force was required to
convince the doctors about its products, as they would then
prescribe the medicines. Important thing here was whether
they were targeting the right doctors who had a lot of
patients, whether doctors were already loyal to some other
company etc.
What do you think
went right in this
interview?

What worked in all the interviews is that I was quite calm,
and the interview was more of a discussion, rather than a
question answer interaction. I think its best to be frank and
just treat the interviewer as someone who is actually
interested in hearing about your experiences.
As for the case interviews, it is very important to ask
questions if you have any queries, and to always let him
know why you are making whichever choices and
assumptions in the course of the case.
What do you think
went wrong in this
interview
I dont think anything went wrong.
Any tips for future
batches on the basis of
your experience

Practicing a lot of cases not only with others, but also going
through solutions on your own helps a lot. It is important to
keep analyzing your mistakes rather than doing a lot of
cases. HR answers are probably even more important than
the case themselves, so it is important to prepare them well
in advance.

Interview Experience 7

Name: Swati Sengar
Company: McKinsey & Co.
Name of interviewer
and designation
Deepak, Partner

The Consulting & Strategy Club, IIM Lucknow Page 67

Brief Profile B.Com (Hons) from Shri Ram College of Commerce
23 months work experience with KPMG

Interview questions Since it was Deepaks first interview of the day, he didnt
want to do a case. It was a 20-30 minutes HR interview. The
broad questions were:
- About work experience ( I focussed on achievements
and initiatives)
- About dance (my spike as per my CV: I focussed on
leadership skills, handling failures and motivation
skills adopted)
- Biggest failure in life
- Conflict management techniques used in teams
- Academic performance at IIML (he was referring to
my CGP of term 1)
- Life at IIML ( I focussed on my learnings, positive
and negative aspects)
Narration of the case
interview

No case
What do you think
went right in this
interview?

Since it was my first interview of the day, I was quite
enthusiastic and had a big smile on my face (appearance is
very important). I was relieved when Deepak told me that
he didnt want to do a case. I tried to answer in a story-
telling format (its important that the interviewer understands
the flow of the answer).

I believe my energy level was good and I was quite
confident while conversing with Deepak (important to note
that its a conversation and not a question-answer session).

Before entering the room, a senior had told me that Deepak
was in Australia for 2 years so I brought it up in the
conversation.

Also, Deepak was among the first batch of students who
were recruited by McKinsey. I asked him about his
experience and he seemed quite emotional about it.
What do you think
went wrong in this
interview?

For a few questions like biggest failure in life, I first gave an
answer which he thought was an achievement and not a
failure. Later, I substantiated the answer with another
instance which seemed to satisfy him.

The Consulting & Strategy Club, IIM Lucknow Page 68

I was using my hands a little too much and I think Deepak
was getting distracted by the movement.
Any tips for future
batches on the basis of
your experience

- Its very important to keep energy level high
- Engage the interviewer in a conversation and dont
stop yourself from saying something by virtue of
being the interviewee. Give yourself importance and
talk proudly about your past experiences
- Pick up hints thrown by the interviewer
- A firm handshake always works and exudes
confidence
- Dont freak out and have fun
A T Kearney

Interview Experience 8

Name: Nidhi Mehta
Company: A.T Kearney
Name of interviewer
and designation
1
st
Round : Sidharth Jain , 2
nd
round : Praveen (Principal), 3
rd

round Manish(Partner)
Round 3 rounds
Brief Profile Shri Ram College of Commerce ( Eco Hons), 13 months
work-ex with Tata Capital Ltd. (Senior Credit Officer)
Interview questions Round 1:Tell me about yourself ; post the case I was asked
to give my view on the recent reduction in CRR rates

Round 2: Why Consulting ?

Round 3: No HR questions were asked. However,The
partner asked me if I had any question for him.
The Consulting & Strategy Club, IIM Lucknow Page 69

Narration of the case
interview

Case 1: FICCI is planning to launch a new electric car, It
has been proposed that this will lead to a reduction in
pollution. Should the new car be launched?

Approach : This was a case involving a guesstimate. I first
looked at all the stakeholders that could be affected by this
proposal including the current car manufacturers. The
interviewer however guided me that it is assumed that all car
makers will start manufacturing this car. The question then
came down to the emissions produced by a regular car and
an electric car. I further sub-divided the cars into small,
medium sized (hatch backs and sedans) and SUVs. I also
talked about the emission levels being different for diesel
and petrol cars. Emission levels depended on the mileage
and data was given for the cars and CO2 emission levels.

Case 2: I am a steel manufacturer. My profits are
decreasing. Help me out.

Approach: This was a simple profitability case. I started out
by asking him about his business: the no of factories,
locations and if profit had been reducing in all of them. I
then looked at the revenue and cost heads. I asked him if he
wanted me to look at a particular head and he said I could
start with revenues. Within revenues I looked at the price
and volume. Prices were constant so I began analysing the
factors affecting the volumes. I looked at both supply and
demand sided factors. Through this analysis I came to know
that the competitors had an integrated procurement whereas
the clients cost of raw materials was higher. Also some of
the machinery was obsolete. Branding of the steel and
delivery time were also issues of concern.I gave some
recommendations such as improving the quality of the steel
,having a branding strategy, giving cash discounts and
attractive margins to dealers , looking for alternate suppliers.
Working on a backward integration was suggested as a long
term strategy.

Case 3: Estimate the number of car servicing that take place
in India

Approach : The partner didnt want me to get into
calculations. He specifically told me to give me the just the
approach. I started with estimating the number of car
The Consulting & Strategy Club, IIM Lucknow Page 70

owners .We could divide Indian household into different
income categories and estimate car owners. Some
percentage of this would be old cars and others would be
new. The new ones would probably be under free servicing
schemes. The old ones could chose to go to the service
centre or chose a local mechanic. The owners of expensive
car owners would chose the servicing. Based on this we
could estimate average number of breakdowns in a year for
different car ownersand the corresponding requirement of
servicing. Next we need to estimate the number of accidents
as servicing will have to be done in this case as well.
What do you think
went right in this
interview?

Case 1 : The catch in the case was that the emission levels
were higher for the electric car. I could identify that this was
because electricity was being generated by thermal energy. I
also took into account transmission losses that would
happen in electricity generation. I guess what went right was
that I took into account all aspects of the case instead of
following a narrow approach.

Case 2: The interviewer didnt have a specific problem in
mind. He was just looking at the approach and how many
areas of concern I could identify. I was comfortable with
profitability cases and I guess I structured the case well.
Case 3: The case lasted for just 5 mins and it was important
to communicate a proper structure.
What do you think
went wrong in this
interview?

Case 1 : It was not a typical case so in hindsight I could
have structured it in a better way.
Case 2 and 3 : Nothing went wrong as such
Any tips for future
batches on the basis of
your experience

It is important to stay calm during the case interviews The
interviewer will be ready to help you out so it is important to
clarify your doubts. Take some time to understand the case
question and confirm with the interviewer before
proceeding further.



Accenture Business Consulting

The Consulting & Strategy Club, IIM Lucknow Page 71

Interview Experience 10

Name Deep Banerjee
Company Accenture Management Consulting
Name of interviewer
and designation
Vishwesh Prabhakar, Partner

Brief Profile Chemical Engineering from Bangalore, 1 yr Work Ex at
Tesco Retail, 3.5 yrs at Indian Oil Corporation as Assistant
Manager handling Supply Chain and Operations

Interview questions Round 1: Work related, Industry related, Latest Trends in
Supply Chain, CV related, Case analysis, Related to current
energy problems in India

Round 2: My apprehensions about Accenture

Round 3: HR Questions
Narration of the case
interview
Im a chemical manufacturer. Help me optimize my
outbound logistics


What do you think
went right in this
interview?

- Work experience matched with their requirement
- Industry knowledge
- Information about the company

What do you think
went wrong in this
interview?

In the case interview, I mistook optimize as cost
reduction only. Should have taken other factors into
consideration.

Any tips for future
batches on the basis of
your experience

- Be energetic and enthusiastic
- I firmly believe that the first 2 minutes in an interview
decide the outcome to a great extent
- In the case interview, even if you go wrong at some place,
do not fluster and keep trying


Interview Experience 11

Name Ipsa Kalra
The Consulting & Strategy Club, IIM Lucknow Page 72

Company Accenture Management Consulting
Name of interviewer
and designation

Round 1- Anurag Johri, Strategy Head
Round 2- HR
Round 3-Saurabh Bhatnagar-Partner
Round Case in first round only
Brief Profile Graduation in Electronics and Communication Engineering
from Heritage Institute of Technology, Kolkata. Fresher.
Interview questions Round 1: Started with some questions on leadership as I
stated it as strength. Followed by 2 cases on projected soap
and 4 wheeler market in 2020.

Round 2: Basic HR questions on weaknesses and anyone
apart from me who should make it to AMC.

Round 3: Questions on academics (PGDM), ranging from
MANAC to economics and MS Excel.
Keynesian Vs Classical
Types of Costing
Lookup in excel
Branding
General questions on the current education system in India
Narration of the case
interview
I was asked to choose an industry of my choice. I chose
FMCG sector. I was first asked to give the market size of
the soap market in the year 2020. The interviewer was not
looking at numbers but at multiple approaches. I gave the
income segmentation approach, rural-urban divide
approach. He suggested the extrapolation of GDP
approach. I also made a point that in the urban market
soaps are soon being replaced by shower gels etc.
What do you think
went right in this
interview?

The interview started on a good note and they liked the way
I spoke and conducted myself.
What do you think
went wrong in this
interview?

They expected me to suggest the GDP approach myself.
The Consulting & Strategy Club, IIM Lucknow Page 73

Any tips for future
batches on the basis of
your experience

Consulting interviews require you to be able to give a
holistic picture of the case presented. Keep the interviewer
involved at every step.

Interview Experience 12

Name: Meghana Katiki
Company: Accenture Management Consulting
Name of interviewer
and designation
Vivek Mishra, Ridhima (HR) and one more Senior partner
Brief Profile IIT Kharagpur, Biotechnology, Deloitte Consulting -23
Months
Interview questions Round 1: Case and CV
Explain me one of the projects you took up at
Deloitte
Why consulting
Which subjects did you like in term 1
Based on my answer he said link Marketing and Economics.
Explain one initiative you took


Round 2: HR
What do you like about Accenture
What do you remember from Accentures PPT
Did you attend the session by our senior partner,
Give one positive and one negative feedback
I handled the negative part very tactfully: starting with slight
negativity but ending on a very positive note.
Would like to join IB or GTIN.
Understand the difference properly.

Round 3: CV
Walk me through your academic background.
Why did you leave something as promising as
Biotechnology for something as mundane as
Management consulting.
Tell me one challenging task that you did
I gave the example of a project at Deloitte.
The Consulting & Strategy Club, IIM Lucknow Page 74

Narration of the case
interview
Well a guesstimate was given to me but I never realised it
was one. I told about how demand is actually estimated in
Apple and how they produce less than the estimation to
keep the hype.
What do you think
went right in this
interview?

I knew from beforehand what they were looking for. I could
project all those qualities in some or the other answer. My
HR answers were well prepared and reviewed before I
entered the interview.
I kept a smiling face though one of the interviewers kept a
shrewd expression on his face.
I steered the interview in my way by giving answers of all
HR questions based on experiences and stories and talking
about things I knew very well so that I could handle the
drilling questions.
What do you think
went wrong in this
interview?

I took Economics name as one of my favourite subjects
and couldnt answer some questions properly.

Any tips for future
batches on the basis of
your experience

Any company, any interview, HR answers are extremely
important. More so to tailor the answers to the company. It
is also important to understand the values and culture of the
company and portray a fit in the interview. Accentures PPT
is very important to them. If you are serious about that
company make sure you attend the ppt.
Interview Experience 13

Name Preethi Viswanathan
Company Accenture Management Consulting
Name of interviewer
and designation
Senior Manager
Round Had three rounds of interviews
Brief Profile Electrical Engineering from Anna University; Prior
work experience - 11 months as Graduate Engineer
Trainee in Larsen & Toubro Ltd, ECC division

The Consulting & Strategy Club, IIM Lucknow Page 75

Interview questions Round 1:

Some basic questions like tell me about yourself,
other interviews for the day

Why did you choose consulting?

Questions on POR's mentioned in the CV and
which I consider the most important among
them

Why Accenture and how do I feel it is different
from the other consulting firms?

I was also asked about my role models

Questions regarding power sector what are
the problems in the sector at present

Case on a pure-play thermal power generator with
installed capacity of 2,000 MW in India. The company
is making losses in the recent years

I went ahead with a lot of questioning regarding the
company, type of clients current financial position,
current risk exposure in terms of fuel, market etc and
the related businesses that the company is already into.

I came up with a framework to analyses the
profitability using the basic structure of costs and
revenues. I first analysed on the cost side considering
various parameters like fuel, distribution, overheads
etc.

I was then told to focus only on the revenue side.
After further probing about the pricing and the sales
volume (in MW) , the interviewer indicated that the
power was sold only to the government. It was found
that the company generated power which exceeded the
government's requirement as per the contract with the
company. I recommended that the excess power
generated could be sold to private players to minimize
losses
The Consulting & Strategy Club, IIM Lucknow Page 76


Round 2: HR round

Questions on primary skills required for a person in
consulting

Was asked about which of the skills I have and which I
still need to develop

Question was again asked about why consulting and
why Accenture?

Round 3:

The Partner asked me about my educational
background, my interest in music, my favourite course
in Term I. After I told it was marketing, I was
questioned on some basics and was asked to explain
my marketing project. I was also questioned on some
challenges I faced here at IIM L.

Questions on work experience were asked maily
relating to the role I had at L&T.

After that he urged me to ask questions as he felt I
have been asked enough. I questioned him about some
news which was mentioned in the RG doc about AMC
opening an Innovation centre.

I further questioned him about the roles offered and
the functions of IB and GTIN and sector preference
for projects.

He explained the answers in a detailed fashion.

I was asked to wait for a while, the offer was made
and I accepted it.
Narration of the case
interview
Explained above

The Consulting & Strategy Club, IIM Lucknow Page 77

What do you think
went right in this
interview?

I prepared well for HR answers and was able to answer
the questions on consulting well.

Thorough knowledge about everything that I wrote on
the CV

A firm answer about why I wanted to join AMC as it
was asked in all rounds of my interview
What do you think
went wrong in this
interview?

Nothing that I can specifically point out.
Any tips for future
batches on the basis of
your experience

For AMC, it pays well to know well about what
work the company does and some recent
happenings that the company was involved in.
Frame good questions for asking at the end of
the interview as my third round was primarily
based on that
Generate a plethora of options when analysing a
case. It shows that you can think in multiple
directions. In summers, most companies look
only for people with ideas rather than skills.
Hence, this is the most important phase of a
case interview as far as summers are concerned.
Thorough CV and HR preparation are of prime
importance


Interview Experience 14

Name: Salonee Gupta
Company: Accenture Management Consulting
Name of interviewer
and designation
HR Head, Saurav
Round I had 3 rounds of interviews
Brief Profile Civil Engineer from Delhi College of Engineering, with 23
months experience in Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd.

The Consulting & Strategy Club, IIM Lucknow Page 78

Interview questions Round 1: Some ice breakers like about yourself, walk me
through your CV and why consulting, details about other
interests and especially work experience related questions,
followed by an elaborate guesstimate, and if you want to ask
us anything in the end

Round 2: Some ice breakers like about yourself, walk me
through your CV and why consulting, details about other
interests, followed by if you are comfortable working
anywhere and want to ask us anything in the end

Round 3: Some ice breakers like about yourself, walk me
through your CV and why consulting, details about work
experience, followed by some course related questions from
FRA and QAM, and if you want to ask us anything in the
end

Narration of the case
interview
Guesstimate in the 1
st
interview: Estimation of Baby Diaper
market in India
Followed by questions like, what was a major assumption in
your estimate, what could have been a better approach for
estimation, etc.
What do you think
went right in this
interview?

My ability to think of different ways to approach this
problem, and being able to point out a flaw in my estimate
and a solution to that
What do you think
went wrong in this
interview?
Could have been a little more structured
Any tips for future
batches on the basis of
your experience

1. Take 2 mins to structure your thoughts before
starting the estimation. These 2 mins are very critical.
2. Try to think of out of box solutions and
recommendations once the problem has been
identified.
3. Maintain your calm during the interviews as they
check your confidence level.


Interview Experience 15

Name: Shivani Rastogi
The Consulting & Strategy Club, IIM Lucknow Page 79

Company: Accenture Management Consulting
Name of interviewer
and designation
2 senior partners and 1 HR

Round 3 rounds
Brief Profile Jadavpur University, IT
Consultant in PricewaterhouseCoopers for 2 years

Interview questions Round 1: Tell me something about yourself. Had a long
discussion on ABG scholarship. Asked a case and a
guesstimate. Do you have any questions for me?(this was a
long discussion as well)
Round 2: Why AMC? Why not go back to PWC? Would
you like to work for ops or strategy? Why? Which sector
did you like working for in your last job? Some work-ex
specific questions. Do you have any questions for me?
Round 3: It was not an interview really. Just asked me if I
had any questions for her.
Narration of the case
interview

They asked me a case they had recently worked on.
A Japanese pressure boiler manufacturer wants to enter
the Indian market. They make high pressure resistant
boilers. Advice them on how they should enter the
market.
Approach-They expected me to list the various options like
set up a plants in India, export from Japan, enter a JV with a
local player etc. Then he asked me to compare the various
options based on some criteria I thought best. I chose ROI.
So then he asked me to compare for the options in a tabular
format, without any numbers, just using High and Low.
Guesstimate-No of eBook readers in India
Approach-I started with the income level division. Then I
went on to percentage of target age (12-40ish). Then with
the penetration of laptop and desktop among them
(considering they would have at least one of them before
purchasing and eBook reader) and he asked me to stop at
this.
What do you think
went right in this
interview?

I think my structured approach to the problems was what
worked for me. Also I showed my interest in taking up
operations and supply chain courses. This was also
appreciated by one of the partners.
The Consulting & Strategy Club, IIM Lucknow Page 80

What do you think
went wrong in this
interview?

I think the interview went quite well for me except when
asked about which sector of my work experience I liked
working for the most. I tried to show positives in each of
the 4 sectors I had worked on and he seemed unconvinced .
Any tips for future
batches on the basis of
your experience

Lay out the structure well. They seemed to be more
interested in covering the breadth of options rather than
drilling down on them. Also they didnt seem to bother
much about numbers and percentages in the case and
guesstimate.

Interview Experience 16

Name: Sruthi Nooka
Company: Accenture Management Consulting
Round 3 Rounds
Brief Profile Electrical and Electronics Engineering from Osmania
University, Hyderabad; Prior work experience - 35 months
as Business Technology Analyst in Deloitte Consulting

Interview questions Round 1:
Questions regarding my prior work experience, nature of
responsibilities, reasons for shifting from technology
consulting to business consulting

Questions regarding my areas of interest(operations in my
case) I was asked to compare the supply chains of apple
and dell, HUL and P&G

Case on Market expansion for HUL product(Dove) into
one of the north eastern states

Round 2:
What skills do you think a consultant needs? Which one of
those skills do you lack in?

Learning from prior work experience, significant
achievements

The Consulting & Strategy Club, IIM Lucknow Page 81

I was asked if I attended the pre-placement talk and what I
liked the most about it

Round 3:
Questions regarding work experience I worked on SAP
implementation, so the interviewer asked me to give three
reasons why companies go for ERP implementation a
hidden form of cost-benefit analysis case

Questions on subjects of Term I and Term II:
Regarding Microeconomics and Macroeconomics,
Prisoners Dilemma, a small case on how a business
operating in oligopoly can stay profitable, applications of
QAM in all areas such as marketing, finance, operations,
economics etc.
Narration of the case
interview

Problem Statement: What factors should HUL consider if
its wants to launch one of its products in one of the north
Indian states?

The interviewer was looking for the approach only and not
extensive detailing.

Firstly, I clarified on why the expansion is made for
profitability or expanding the customer base

I analysed the scenario in three parts Customers,
Companys capabilities and Competition

By analysing the available customer segments and targeting
the required segment the demand can be estimated and thus
the profitability based on factors such as size, affordability
and growth rate of the chosen segment

In terms of companys capabilities its financial and
operational capabilities should be considered. Factors such
as investment cost, companys financial position, investment
cost as a proportion of the companys overall cost base
should be analysed under financial capabilities. Operational
capabilities include resources, availability of channel partners
in the new market etc.

Competition analysis determines entry barriers and possible
threat from competitors

The Consulting & Strategy Club, IIM Lucknow Page 82


What do you think
went right in this
interview?

I have answered questions regarding my prior work
experience well and I could explain the reasons for
transition from technology consulting to business consulting
convincingly. My case analysis went pretty well. In the third
round, I have answered all the questions asked about
academic subjects with practical applications.
What do you think
went wrong in this
interview?

I had to give some impromptu answers for certain questions
regarding my previous question. Even though I justified my
answers well finally, I could have organised my answers
better.
Any tips for future
batches on the basis of
your experience

7. Know about the company thoroughly. In case you
have not attended the ppt, find out the same from
your friends who have attended it and try to get as
much information as possible from seniors.
8. Lot of students have been questioned about academic
subjects. So its good to brush up on basics before
attending the interview.
9. In case of students with prior experience, prepare
well in advance about your nature of work, roles and
responsibilities, nature of projects handled. Be ready
with some examples through which you can explain
your problem solving skills and leadership skills.

Interview Experience 17

The Consulting & Strategy Club, IIM Lucknow Page 83

Name: Ashok Patsamatla
Company: Accenture Management Consulting
Name of interviewer
and designation
Senior Manager
Round 2 Rounds
Brief Profile Mechanical Engineering from IIT Madras; Prior work
experience - 24 months as Analyst in KPMG Management
Consulting

Interview questions Round 1:

Some basic questions like tell me about yourself, other
interviews appearing for on that day.

What is your view on team work in consulting? Do you
think it is always important?

Questions regarding my prior work experience, nature of
responsibilities and reasons for continuing in consulting
industry

Questions regarding power sector what are the problems
in the sector at present, recent interventions by the
government (SEB bailout package) and my views on the
same,

Case on diversification strategy for a pure-play thermal
power generator with installed capacity of 2,000 MW in
India.

I went ahead with a lot of questioning regarding the
objective for diversification, current financial position,
current risk exposure in terms of fuel, market etc and the
related businesses that the company is already into.

Interviewer indicated that the company wishes to leverage
on its current strengths and to hedge current risks through
diversification. Financial position of the company is not a
constraint.

I came up with a framework to cover the entire value chain
of the power sector and a basic fish-bone analysis of options
at each stage of the value chain. I believe that this stage
The Consulting & Strategy Club, IIM Lucknow Page 84

(option generation) is very crucial and needs to exhaustive. I
came up with close to 20 options for diversification during
this stage which impressed the interviewer.

I was then told to focus only on the immediate upstream
and immediate downstream options with just a macro
overview of each option. I did a basic investment horizon to
benefits analysis for each of the options and finally
suggested the following recommendations:
1. Acquisition of a coal mine in Australia/Indonesia
since exposure to imported coal was found to be
high. Also it can hedge exchange risk (relevant in the
current macroeconomic condition)
2. JV with a port developer to save on transportation
charges and to benefit from increasing imported coal
demand in India
3. Power trading to better leverage the excess thermal
generation capacity due to seasonal demand
fluctuations
4. EPC player offer EPC solutions to huge upcoming
capacity in India

The interviewer was very much satisfied with this and
indicated that there might be a role suited for me for
summers.

Round 2:

HR round was skipped and was directly taken to Partner
round.

Round 3:

The Partner (Vishwesh) asked me about my educational
background, CGPA drop during graduation period, current
academic performance at IIM Lucknow in Term I. I
justified these aspects to which there was no other
additional questioning.
Then he asked me about the kind of culture that was
prevalent at KPMG and what I did not like about it. He
explained in fair detail about the kind of culture at AMC and
what made him stick to the firm for the past 15 years.

The Consulting & Strategy Club, IIM Lucknow Page 85

He asked me if I wanted to work on any sector in particular
and I expressed interest in working on some academic
oriented projects that AMC takes up from time to time on
pro-bono or in conjunction with World Bank etc. The
partner then told me that he headed a new practice at AMC
the sustainability practice that deals in such projects.

At this stage, the Partner made an offer and I accepted it.
Narration of the case
interview
Explained above

What do you think
went right in this
interview?

My sector knowledge in power helped in fair detail at the
option generation stage and I was lucky to have gotten a
case in that sector itself.
I prepared well for HR answers and was able to answer the
question about team work in consulting well.
Thorough knowledge about everything that I wrote on the
CV
What do you think
went wrong in this
interview?

Nothing that I can specifically point out.
Any tips for future
batches on the basis of
your experience

10. For AMC, it pays well to know well about what work
the company does and some recent happenings that
the company was involved in.
11. Frame good questions for asking at the end of the
interview
12. Generate a plethora of options when analysing a case.
It shows that you can think in multiple directions. In
summers, most companies look only for people with
ideas rather than skills. Hence, this is the most
important phase of a case interview as far as summers
are concerned.
13. Thorough CV and HR preparation are hygiene
factors.
14. Always smile!

Interview Experience 18

Name: Siddharth Raghuvanshi
Company: Accenture Management Consulting
The Consulting & Strategy Club, IIM Lucknow Page 86

Name of interviewer
and designation
1. cant recall
2. HR Head
3. Saurav Partner
4. Alumnus
Round 4 Rounds
Brief Profile :

I have done my dual degree (B.Tech+ M.Tech.) in Computer
Science & Engineering from IIT Kharagpur. After that I have
worked in FICO as a software engineer for 1 year.

Interview questions
(With indicative
answers if you choose
to share them)
Round 1: It was more of a chit chat round. First, the
interviewer asked me Tell me something about yourself. In
my answer, I mentioned about founding and heading 70
member team of Student Welfare Group at IIT Kharagpur &
co-founding a start-up named estumart.com at IIT Kharagpur.
The interviewer became more interested in my work at
Student Welfare Group & he asked me in detail about my
work. Then he asked few questions on my start-up like
whether it is still working or not, what was the motivation for
the start-up & having such a good engineering profile, why
didnt I opt for an MS degree. In the last, he asked me
whether I have any questions. I asked about the difference
between GTIN & IB profile. First he I told him, what I knew
about both the profiles, then there was some discussion
regarding why I want to choose IB over GTIN.

Round 2: It was with HR. She too started with tell me
something about yourself. Then she asked why we should take
you. Then she asked why how do you think you are better
than others who are being interviewed now. Answered all
these questions. Then she asked me if I have attended AMC
Pre Placement Talk or not. I told her that I have attended it.
Then she cross questioned me by asking about the stipend
details. Told her. Then she asked why Consulting. Then
why Accenture. Then what are the core values of
Accenture. Globed the last answer, as I felt core values of
most of the consulting firm are similar. Later I found that 4
out of 6 core values, which I answered, were correct.

Round 3: This was the round with the partner. He seemed
like a cool person, which gave me an opportunity to ask him
the most important question Tell me something about
yourself. I found that he was working in GTIN. So that gave
me opportunity to further ask him some questions like what
The Consulting & Strategy Club, IIM Lucknow Page 87

he thinks is good about GTIN. Do people in GTIN get to
work with Indian clients or not. On site opportunity & so on.
After that, the partner asked about my favourite course in the
Term 1. I told him QAM. Then he asked me the reason. After
that he asked some questions on Anova, I had to tell him that
it still has not been taught. Then he asked my next favourite
course. I told him marketing management. Then he asked the
reason. Told him. Then he asked me some questions on
definition of brands. Gave him the answer with some
examples. Then he asked me some questions on Micro
economics like on demand & supply, how micro economics is
different from macroeconomics, definition of GDP, GNP,
prisoners dilemma & its implication in the industry.

Round 4: It was with alumnus. He was the founder of The
Consulting & Strategy Club. So he asked me in detail about
our work & how do we pitch to a client, etc. It was more of a
discussion rather than an interview round.
Narration of the case
interview

No cases or guesstimates were asked to me.
What do you think
went right in this
interview?

I had interest in the consulting. So I have gathered a lot of
information about Accenture, their different profiles. The
discussions with the interviewers showed them that I had
genuine interest in consult work.

What do you think
went wrong in this
interview?

My 2
nd
interview was not that good according to me. I had to
globe sometime like in question on core values of Accenture.
Any tips for future
batches on the basis
of your experience

The most important thing is that you should be confident
enough. Consult interviews are more of a discussion rather
than interviews. So take it in that way only. If you have any
genuine doubt, you can also ask questions to them. It will be
appreciated.

Deloitte

Interview Experience 19

The Consulting & Strategy Club, IIM Lucknow Page 88

Name: Divya Chandra
Company: Deloitte S & O
Name of interviewer
and designation
Senior Manager
Round 3 Rounds
Brief Profile Mechanical Engineering from BITS Pilani; Prior work
experience - 10 months in BHEL, New Delhi

Interview questions Round 1:

HR round:
Interviewer started with his introduction first.

Then some basic questions like tell me about you, hobbies.

Which all places have you travelled till date? Is travelling an
issue?

Questions regarding my hobbies and interests.

Why consultancy?

Round 2:

Case Study Round:
A case study on Health industry was given. It was related to
Hospitals and Clinics in USA. A lot of number crunching
was required. Also emphasize on all key points looking at
numbers with lots of option generation.

Round 3:

The Partner asked me about my educational background.
Why not finance?
Current academic performance at IIM Lucknow in Term I.
Why consulting? Scrutinized CV well.
After this round, the Partner made an offer and I accepted
it.
The Consulting & Strategy Club, IIM Lucknow Page 89

Narration of the case
interview

Case emphasized on a lot of number crunching.
A chain of clinics and hospitals were owned by a company
based in the USA and were generating losses. A whole set of
data sheet was given to analyse. It needed identification of
the various problems leading to losses in hospital revenue.
Then options to cut down on costs were to be given based
on the expenses given in the sheet.

What do you think
went right in this
interview?

Quick calculations and analysis of data sheet was a plus
point.
I was able to answer the question why consulting well.
Thorough knowledge about everything that I wrote on the
CV.
A smile throughout the interview helped.
What do you think
went wrong in this
interview?

None.
Any tips for future
batches on the basis of
your experience

1. Prepare why consulting question well
2. Be quick in calculations and generate as many options
as you can when analysing a case. Think of out of box
solutions to the problems in the case.
3. Thorough CV based preparation is required.


Summer Internship Experiences 2011
Accenture Business Consulting
Interview Experience 1

Company Accenture Business Consulting
Name: Shalabh Malhotra
Round 2 Rounds
Brief Profile :

IIT Guwahati, Mechanical Engg., 10 months in NTPC
Ltd.
Personal interview
questions
1st Round
The Consulting & Strategy Club, IIM Lucknow Page 90

1. Tell me about yourself. Examples from life to
justify for whatever points you had mentioned.

2. Guesstimation Case


3. Do you like travelling? Which all places have you
been to? (A consulting job requires a lot of
travelling. Make sure you justify that you love
travelling)

4. What do you know about Accenture and ABC?
Which vertical in ABC interests you the most?

2nd Round

This round is based on your work-ex. Know your
company well and have a good hold on your sector.
1. Tell me about your experience in NTPC Ltd.
2. Why NTPC Ltd. after engineering and why MBA
now?
3. Present Power Scenario in India. Difficulties faced
by thermal power plants at present.
4. Future of Nuclear Power Plants. Pros and Cons.
5. Hydro-electric plants and their pros and cons.
Narration of the
case interview
Problem statement:

You are a private company who has got the contract to
install street lights in Lucknow. Guesstimate the number
of street lights that will be required and the expected
profit you think you can earn.

Structure:

1. I assumed Lucknows area to be 20km by 20km.
2. I, then, divided the city into a matrix assuming it to
be criss-crossed by #60 20 km roads running
horizontally and vertically each.
3. Then estimated an approximate of 30% area to be
under forest cover.
4. Divided the roads in the remaining 70% area into
roads present in residential and non-residential
(commercial + highways) areas. Took an estimate
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on number of street lights present per km in both
these areas.
5. Finally came to a number on the number of street
lights taking into account that some places will
have 2 lamps on a single post while others will have
just 1.
6. After that estimated the product + set-up cost for
each street light.
7. Estimated the running charges (maintenance and
electricity). Electricity charges would depend on
the number of operation hours and watt-rating of
the lamp. Maintenance charges and profit margin
was estimated.
8. In the end a total estimate of profits was calculated.

What do you think
went wrong in this
interview?
Though I was called for the 2nd interview, I think I didnt
do well in the Guesstimation case (1st round) itself. The
2nd interview was good but I guess they were calling
people for the 3rd interview based on both the interviews
combined. Prepare for cases and Guesstimation well.


Interview Experience 2

Company Accenture Business Consulting
Name: Binay Jaiswal
Name of interviewer
and designation
4 rounds were held. I dont remember the specific
names of all the people. The first round was taken by
Gautam and third round was taken by one of the alum.
Round
(First/Second/third)
1
st
and 2
nd
round were case interviews. Third was a work
experience specific interview and last was the HR round.
Brief Profile :
( Graduation
College, stream,
Work ex details, etc.
)
B.Tech in IT from NIT Durgapur
45 months of work experience:
37 months in IBM and 8 months in TCS as SAP ABAP
Technical Consultant.
The Consulting & Strategy Club, IIM Lucknow Page 92

Personal interview
questions (With
indicative answers if
you choose to share
them)
Round 1:
The first questioned asked was the number of shortlist
on day 0 and the interviewer jumped straight into a slide
in his laptop. Basically the slide had plenty of line
diagrams. I had no clue what it was about. As we started
interacting, I figured out the line diagrams showed
number of units sold in a span of 8-9 months.
I was asked to analyse the line diagrams. On further
interaction and based on my answers, I came to know
the diagrams had the data about the number of units
sold by various companies and total number of units
sold in each month. The figures didnt show any
consistent pattern and I was asked to figure out why was
it so. Basically only thing I could figure out was the sales
showed cyclical nature and the number showed a
positive trend just before Oct-Nov and a dropping trend
in Jan-Mar.
There was a clear market leader but the sales were
decreasing in latest months while there was a fierce
competition for the second and the third slot. A detailed
discussion took place about who can take the second
place and why. Then he asked some FRA question
related to the graphs. The discussion boiled down to
FIFO/LIFO method and he gave some data for a
particular company and I was asked to show the impact
of LIFO or FIFO on Profit, COGS, Taxes, and retained
earnings.
After that he asked a short case on airline industry and it
didnt revolved around rising oil prices (Aberration of
current Market condition). According to the case, one
courier company increased the freight charges though
there was a decrease in oil prices. My answers revolved
around higher interest rates and depreciation which
decreased the operating profit of the courier company.
But he was looking for something else and the case was
supposed to be analysed from demand-supply side
(Microeconomics!!!!). With his input we concluded that
the business model of freight industry was changing.
Companies who used to transport by rail/road now
started using Air Freight which increased the demand
suddenly and hence the price. Further because of
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capacity constraint, the Air Freight company bought few
new aircrafts and hence wanted to break even early to
make the most of current market.
Note: The interview went Ok types. Interviewer
expectation was much more and I think I could not
handle the Airline case upto his expectation. He wished
me good luck for the next round.
Round 2:
I came to know that they have scheduled my first round
again as they were expecting more.
The interview started with How did the first round
went? I said It was decent but I should have done
better. He asked would have or should have? I said
Should have. What went wrong was his instant
question. I gave my analysis and he looked satisfied by
my analysis (He displayed like that). I was told that
this round will have 2 parts: (i) Case (discussed below)
and (ii) some general questions
As he was very satisfied with the case analysis, the
second part of interview was not much of pain. It was
more of a general discussion. As I had work ex in IT
industry, I was asked how will I handle management
consulting as its very different from IT consulting and
required very competent skills. I was also asked about
the highest level of client interaction and how I
managed them. He specifically asked for one of the CV
point which was about interacting with the program
director of the US based client and how I managed to
convinced him to increase the scope of the
development, issues faced and what it took to convince
him to approve the increase in man hours effort from
400 to 950.
Few questions about my strengths and how I will handle
the clients specifically when I am interacting with CXO
level people followed. I was also asked why consulting
and whether I would be comfortable travelling after
marriage. Overall I had a very good interview.

The Consulting & Strategy Club, IIM Lucknow Page 94

Round 3
This round was taken by one of our alums. I was asked
if I am nervous or excited. I said both and was asked to
explain why so. (Good Ice Breaking 5 minutes). I was
again asked the number of process I am running for
(Other Shortlists!!!). A casual discussion followed like it
must be tough running for different process in different
parts of the campus.
He was constantly picking up points from my CV and it
was more or less work experience related interview.
Questions like my greatest failure in life so far and my
learning from it, why Accenture business consulting,
strengths of Accenture etc. I was asked to compare
between Accenture and (i) IBM (ii) Deloitte (iii)
McKinsey and few other consulting companies. Why
consulting figured again and my fit as a consultant was
asked.
I was also asked about my CGPA and relative position
amongst PGP1 students. Questions like do you face
difficulty studying after 45 months of work ex and how
I adjusted, how I manage pressure here etc. followed. I
asked three questions to him and a detailed discussion
took place.
Round 4
It was HR round which lasted for around 10 minutes.
Questions like Why ABC, Consulting, my strengths,
best and worst feedback received in my previous work
ex were asked. I was asked about my expectation from
ABC. Brief discussion about my POR and CGPA
followed.
Narration of the case
interview (Please be
as descriptive as
possible)
Problem statement:
The case was about decreasing sales of Nano in Kolkata
and adjoining areas.

Case analysis:
Initially we discussed if it was a normal trend in other
parts of India or not. If there was any price increased by
Nano or any changes with the design which might not
have gone well with the consumers. We also spoke
The Consulting & Strategy Club, IIM Lucknow Page 95

about impact of negative publicity like engine failure and
instances of fire breaking out in Nano. Marketing
strategies of handling negative publicity was also
discussed.

But the maximum discussion happened around 2 points:
1) As Nano was mainly for people with 2 wheelers, I
wanted to understand where the real issue was.
Whether consumers are moving to 2.5-3 lakhs
priced car like Alto and Zen (few others also) or
people with 2 wheelers were not able to buy
Nano. I asked about any trend whether any data
regarding people willingness to buy Nano
(Through Test Drives taken, visits to showrooms
etc.) but not actually buying was there or not.
After few minute of discussion, I was told that
the main issue was people with 2 wheelers are not
buying Nano. So the main issue was affordability.
I recommended zero % interest rate for EMI for
first 2 years of purchase and very minimal ROI
after that. We also discussed about the bank
Nano should partner with and then he filtered the
question to 1 bank only. I opted for SBI as it has
branches in adjoining remote areas of Kolkata
and people there have higher trust in Govt.
banks.

2) We also spoke about the Demand-Supply
constraint. If there was any channel conflict. Brief
interaction revealed that Nano had only 7
distributors in that part of region and this was a
major problem and it should increase by 3-4.
What do you think
went right in this
interview?
My case performance in the second round went pretty
well. The interviewer complimented me about the
analysis (though it may not look that impressive above).
The structure and thorough conversation helped me sail
through and I was told that I kept the interviewer
interested and hooked throughout the case solving
phase.

After my third round I was also appreciated about my
prior work experience and I was told You had a quality
The Consulting & Strategy Club, IIM Lucknow Page 96

work experience and I appreciate your practical
approach of business understanding.

What do you think
went wrong in this
interview?
My first round didnt go that well particularly the Airline
question. I should have interacted more to understand
various perspectives rather than being biased with
current market situation (Like higher oil price and
interest rates which was not applicable here)
Any tips for future
batches on the basis
of your experience
1) Stay Cool because it will help you to interact
freely and focus on various perspectives which is
very important in the case
2) Display a lot of enthusiasm and dont shy away
from talking. Remember Consultant need to do a
lot of talking. Just ensure you talk sense on that
day.
3) Practise some cases before interviews.
4) Never think that you are out of race. Dont judge
yourself in the interview. Interviewer might give
you chance to bounce back.
5) Higher Work Ex people particularly IT
background can t get day zero shortlist is a myth
Interview Experience 3

Company Accenture Business Consulting
Name: Mahesh
Name of interviewer
and designation
NA
Round
(First/Second/third)
First (of 3 rounds)
Brief Profile :
(Graduation College,
stream, Work ex
details, etc. )
Bpharm
Work experience of 2 years
Personal interview
questions (With
indicative answers if
you choose to share
them)
1. Tell me something about yourself?
2. Asked me about my role at previous workplace?
3. Why consulting?
The Consulting & Strategy Club, IIM Lucknow Page 97

4. How did you know Accenture?
HR related questions were asked in the subsequent
rounds
Narration of the case
interview (Please be as
descriptive as possible)
Problem statement:
A multination firm in oil and gas segment is looking at
setting up a green field plant by collaborating with
ONGC India. You being one of the directors chosen
to work for this partnership what are the most
important factors you would look at?
Case analysis:
I divided the decisions into HR , operations , finance
and marketing related decisions. Since the venture was
a new one I focussed on the organizational chart
development and the role of director in selecting the
right people for higher and middle management roles.
I also talked about getting policies with regard to skill
set of workers, policy on unions being in place. Talked
about setting up a township and hiring a contractor for
it as the location is likely to be in a remote area. Also
focussed on retaining and hiring of talent.
Marketing function decisions included pricing of
product (based on cost estimates of sales force) and
sales force for carrying out B2B activities. Discussion
on operations was the most important one in this case.
I talked about the role of director in hiring a contractor
and overlooking the subcontractors used. I also talked
about the timelines of the project and suggested a
milestone based approach with penalties to ensure that
the work gets done. In addition to contract related
equipment i focused on the equipment specification to
match to the capacity expectations. Aggregate planning
with scaling up was also suggested to make the factory
operational and to sort out initial issues. I focused on
the supply chain related issues to transport the end
product to customers.(Suggested pipeline)
Talked about the role of cost accountant in
determining the price of the end product and also
focussed on selecting an external auditor to oversee
the accounting standards.
The Consulting & Strategy Club, IIM Lucknow Page 98

Structure:
Divided the case as per verticals in an organization

A guestimate on the number of streetlights in
Lucknow was asked (He asked me to be very short in
description and wanted me to use numbers at every
step)
I approached this by assuming Lucknow to be close to
a rectangle in shape the dimensions being 20 x 15 Km.
Then i assumed the main streets to be passing though
lines joining the mid points. I assumed that these roads
to be two laned and had the highest density of lights.
The next part was about the streets branching out of
these streets and i assumed lower density of lights
here. Thus i got a series and added them up to get the
number of lights.

Other questions
Guesstimate the number of travellers to Antartica
Guesstimate the number of cab drivers in Dehli

What do you think
went right in this
interview?
Got the structure. I was able to use the ques from the
interviewer and could this helped in approaching the
case better.
After the discussion gave 3 points on which a director
needs to focus
What do you think
went wrong in this
interview?
Should have organized the points in each vertical in
order of their importance.
Any tips for future
batches on the basis of
your experience
Ask for clarifications to the interview if needed.
Practice a lot of cases with your peers.
Be clear about Why ABC?
The Consulting & Strategy Club, IIM Lucknow Page 99

Boston Consulting Group

Interview Experience 4

Company The Boston Consulting Group
Name: Abhir Bhomavat
Name of
interviewer and
designation
Principal
Round First
Brief Profile :

BITS-Pilani Goa Campus (8.73 Electronics and
Instrumentation, Fresher with an internship at J.P.
Morgan Investment Banking)
Was a convener on the council during my under
graduation.
Institute rank 2
nd
at IIM-L in the first term with a GPA of
9.4
Personal interview
questions
1. Are you clear about your decision between IB and
Consulting?
2. Why consulting
3. Why BCG?

I had a well prepared answer for all these questions
Narration of the
case interview
Problem statement:

The client is a company that manufactures an interactive
educational tool. It is basically something as big as a
blackboard fitted in the classroom and has touch screen
interactivity. What do you think is the scope of this
product and what are the other things that the company
can do in the field of education to increase its revenues
(to 1000 Cr)?

Case analysis:
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I first tried to understand the product properly.
Q. Does the company make any other products?
Ans: No
Q. What is this particular product used for majorly? To
teach what?
Ans: English language
I was trying to build a structure at this point when he
interrupted me by asking me if I had understood the
question. I felt he was trying to put a bit of stress. He then
asked me to explore what all are the options that an
educational tech company in India could explore.
Q. Are we looking at only classroom services or online as
well?
Ans: Upto you what you want to look at
I built a structure which split into Classroom learning and
online learning. Then further split classroom learning into
providing education material and products (like the one
the client makes). In online I split it into videos and
material.
He was happy with this basic structure. He then asked me
that the client was focusing on language needs of people.
So he asked me to estimate the demand of the English
language learners. He then asked me to estimate how
many such are those who already have a source to learn
and how many are wanting to but do not have a source
and what should I target?
I started with the metro population in India. Roughly
14mX4 = 56m. Then divided it by the age group. I dint
plug in any figures. I just made the initial tree. I told him
that I would plug in the figures later. Age group of 16 and
less who are going to schools.
He then asked me why I have not considered adults who
want to learn English.
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Then I considered that as well.
He then asked me why I have not taken into consideration
those who do not know that they want to learn English. I
didnt understand what he meant, so I asked him to
explain. He told me that a domestic maid is latent demand
because she doesnt know that she want to learn English
(got kind of philosophical at this point)
So he asked me to factor that in as well. He asked me how
we can make them use an online medium when they do
not have basic education in the first place.
Summary:
He helped me a lot with the case. Infact he gave me the 2
most important points of adult demand and latent
demand. Overall I found the case to be very tough and
ambiguous. He kept on asking me if I understood the
question which made me lose confidence many times.
What do you think
went right in this
interview?
I was passionate about the education industry like I had
mentioned. I also was not put down by his comments of
have you understood my question. He didnt give me
much time to think, but I still managed to build a structure
with all the ambiguity in the problem. I feel he was judging
the different ways in which I could think since it was a
pretty open ended and highly unstructured case to start
with.
What do you think
went wrong in this
interview?
At first I didnt understand why he was focusing on the
demand of English language. I should have taken into
consideration of adults as well. I was looking at only
school children. I was very nervous since it was my first
interview of the day and was also the very first for BCG
in the morning. The interview was shorter than I
anticipated.
Any tips for future
batches on the basis
of your experience
Please make sure of what you say in the initial HR
questions. I had mentioned that I liked teaching. That was
the reason why picked out this case for me. So please
make sure you can show the passion for a particular
interest that you have mentioned.
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Be calm during the case. He will help you out for sure. It
is important to be persistent and keep going at the
problem.
Round Second
Personal interview
questions
1. Are you convinced about consulting vs. IB?
2. Why do you want to do consulting and not IB?
3. Tell me something different/interesting about
yourself.
4. Have you worked on live projects? If so tell me one
in which you used a completely different approach.

Ans: I spoke about a project that I had done during an
intern at a CSIR lab after my 2
nd
year of engg. It was highly
technical and involved FEM in the field of Biophysics. He
asked me what I did differently. I explained it to him in
layman terms. He was very impressed with my answer.
Narration of the
case interview
Problem statement:

A financial services company (NBFC) that has entered
India few years ago wants to know whether it should
continue in India or not?

Case analysis:

Q. I asked him the relative position of the business viz-a-
viz its peers.

Ans: It is not very high. Somewhere around 6
th
.

Q. What are the different businesses?

Ans: Mutual funds debt and equity, Asset management,
etc.
Equity fund is not performing as well as its competitors.
Debt is on par

Q. What is its target market?

Ans: HNIs with income of INR 5Cr +
I had made a brief structure earlier in which I had said that
I would like to explore 3 things. The historical
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performance of the fund, Its competition, and the third
thing was future growth in India.
He gave me some details on the historic performance and
all.
He also told me about the competition.
I was then asked to make a decision of whether to
continue in India.
I told him based on the future growth story they should
remain in India. He wanted me to ask the growth rate of
HNIs in India. He then gave me those figures.

Q: He then asked me what all problems they could face.

Ans: Very volatile equity markets, major source of HNI
money is black so we cant capture the entire growth in
HNI. Competition could outdo us. If interest rates fall,
investors would want to invest abroad. I gave a few more
options that I cant recall right now.

Summary:

The case was very straight forward. Basic questions
needed to be asked. I had expressed an interest in finance
so I was given this case.

What do you think
went right in this
interview?
He was very impressed with my HR questions. That gave
me major confidence. The case was simple and need a
proper structure initially which I provided. He was
impressed with the option generation as well.
What do you think
went wrong in this
interview?
I forgot to ask him the growth rate of our target market
(HNIs).
Any tips for future
batches on the basis
of your experience
Prepare HR answers really well. My case was something
which anybody would have cracked but the differentiating
part was the HR answers.
Round Third
Personal interview
questions
1. Tell me about yourself
2. Why does consulting excite you?
Was well prepared for these.

Narration of the
case interview
I had 2 cases in this interview.

1
st
case:
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Problem Statement:

A taxi driver (black and yellow taxi) asked me if he should
move to a radio cab in Delhi.

Analysis:

I was a simple case of cost-benefit. Split into revenues and
cost. Cost split into fixed (maintenance and insurance)
and variable (fuel)
I asked him the km each car run in a day, the mileage, the
cost per liter of diesel. Charge/km. Made the comparison
and gave him the answer.
He asked me what else I should consider. I told him that
the taxi driver had more freedom owning his own cab.
But in the radio cab he wont have to worry about
depreciation of the vehicle. I also told him that owning
his taxi may be a matter of prestige for the driver.

2
nd
Case:

Should a PE fund buyout Infosys?

Case analysis:

Q. I asked him what the private equity fund was looking
at : Stake purchase or complete buyout?

Ans. Complete buyout

He asked me how a PE can gain out of buying Infosys.
I told him that the PE would have board members and
would provide guidance and expertise along with the
funding support.

Q. How long is the PE looking to invest in Infy?

Ans. 5 years

Q. what is rate of return that infy will give in 5 years

Ans: 20%

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At this point he asked me will the PE be able to increase
the profits of infy?

I told him that we could better management and expertise
from the PE end. He said that the PE would not be able
to manage Infosys better that what it already was.

Q. Will the PE be able to bring in new outside business?
Ans: no

Q. Will the PE be able to generate more than the expected
20% revenue for Infy?
Ans. No
At this point he told me think of it from an IB perspective.
He told me that if infy can be bought for say Rs 100 and
would be worth Rs 120 after 5 years, its not a big deal.
The PE would not be interested in something like this. So
why would a PE look to invest?
I luckily had some prior knowledge of Infy (0 debt on its
balance sheet and a hell lot of cash) So I told him that the
entire source of funds was only equity. So the PE could
buy the equity and then pay off dividends to it (since
INFY was cash rich) or else raise debt for leverage.

Q. Will the growth remain 20% even if I raise debt?
Ans: yes

So I told him that if INFY raises debt of Rs 100, Firm
value would be roughly Rs 200 and growth would be 20%
-> Rs 240. Therefore the PE would make 40 on its initial
Rs 100 -> 40%.
He was looking for a solution like: Buy it for Rs 100.
Replace Rs 50 of equity by raising debt. And then sell it
for Rs120 5 years later. So effective gain would be Rs 20
on Rs 50 which is still 40%

Q. What is this mechanism called?
Ans. Leveraging
He spoke a bit about LBOs then.

What do you think
went right in this
interview?
The extra information I had on Infosys was something
he was very impressed with. He liked the fact that I was
persistent in the PE case. I was thinking of different
options. He led me to a solution.
The Consulting & Strategy Club, IIM Lucknow Page 106

What do you think
went wrong in this
interview?
I didnt get the hint of him leading me to an LBO based
solution even though I knew what an LBO was.
Any tips for future
batches on the basis
of your experience
Be confident and be persistent. Keep on going at the
case even if you are stuck

Interview Experience 5

Company The Boston Consulting Group
Name: Arjun Bhaduri
Name of
interviewer and
designation
Arvind Pandey, Partner and Director
Round First
Brief Profile :

B.Sc (Economics Honors) from St. Xaviers College
No work experience
Personal interview
questions
1. Why should BCG select you?
This was a pressure question because everything I said
seemed to displease him. I just tried to match my
personality with BCG and that seemed to work for me.

Narration of the
case interview
Problem statement:

A cement manufacturer based out of East India has been
seeing his prices in east India dip heavily in the past few
months. Despite being the market leader, he seems to be
unable to arrest the fall in prices. The aim as a consultant
lies to raise the prices by 10% and find a strategy to make
sure the prices do not fall so easily again.

Case analysis:

This was a very complex case with multiple problems and
solutions with each having a different set of pros and
cons. He wanted me to see the case from a simple demand
and supply point of view.

Structure:

The supply was overshooting demand in the market as a
result of the actions of competitors. So the issue was also
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to do with the distributors in the middle and how brand
consciousness would come into the scene. The structure
could be simplified to a 2*2 matrix with price elasticity of
demand and brand consciousness on the axes. The issue
could be then simplified on the basis of the quadrant in
focus.

Summary:

Overall, the issue was embedded in being able to use game
theory with the distributor and play prices up and down
at regular intervals. Another strategy was to enter into
forward contracts.

What do you think
went right in this
interview?
Calmness and common sense was the key.
What do you think
went wrong in this
interview?
Was a little nervous at the beginning of the interviewing
as a result of the complexity of the case.
Round Second
Personal interview
questions
1. General conversation for about 5 minutes?
The interviewer was very calm and reassuring and
that helped me build the conversation.
Narration of the
case interview
Problem statement:

A local taxi driver in Delhi wants to explore the possibility
of signing a contract with a radio taxi service. Help him
with his dilemma

Case analysis:

This was a case that really tested your ability to think far
and wide because the math was simple but the underlying
logic could have been missed very easily
Structure:
Used a simple revenue-cost structure for the pre and post
radio taxi phase. Then tried to see if any of the key
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variables could be modified to come up with a different
result.
Summary:
The case had two parts- one was the initial decision and
the decision after changing a key variable.
What do you think
went right in this
interview?
Thought simple and picked up the cues very well.
What do you think
went wrong in this
interview?
Failed to see the obvious solution the first time and
needed a little pushing in the right direction.
Round Third
Personal interview
questions
1. Asked my questions about my tastes in food?
2. General discussion on football and tennis and we
spoke about our favorite stars from each of them.
More than anything else, this was an amazing
conversation where I could speak without any fears
and inhibitions.

Narration of the
case interview
Problem statement:

A life insurance company in Sri Lanka is losing out on
market share. Where does the problem lie?
Case analysis:
The case was a test of structure to see if you could create
one with all the levers enlisted.
Structure:

The market share could be seen as a function of number
of policies sold and the revenue per policy. The discussion
would then carry on the aspect of number of policies. The
number of policies itself would be a function of a number
of factors, out of which one of them was creating an issue.

Summary:
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The toxic area was something to do with the insurance
policy salesman and the entire structure had to be panned
out so as to get to that
What do you think
went right in this
interview?
Was highly energetic and logical in my approach.
What do you think
went wrong in this
interview?
I rushed through the case in parts.
Any tips for future
batches on the basis
of your experience
Be calm, logical and energetic. That is all you need to
impress the interviewer.
Interview Experience 6

Company The Boston Consulting Group
Name: Aman Bhatnagar
Name of
interviewer and
designation
Pranay Mehrotra, Partner & Director
Round First
Brief Profile :
(Graduation College,
stream, Work ex
details, etc. )
IIT Delhi
Electrical Engineering (B. Tech)
Entrepreneur, 17 months
Personal interview
questions (With
indicative answers if
you choose to share
them)
1. Started with discussion about Tintin, Herge,
literary quizzing, went on to about yourself, gave
his introduction and a chocolate, clarified on why
it took so long to get to see me
2. Interested with Manchester United, talked about
playing vs. watching football vs. gaming for a bit
Narration of the
case interview
Problem statement:

Client is a life insurance agency in Sri Lanka facing
declining market share

Case analysis:

Market leader, no.2 and no. 3 growing in dominance,
Market growing, they didnt release a particular policy,
dont give enough incentives to their agents which other
firms are capitalizing on,
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Structure:

Broke it down into their business structure, understood
how they operate, tried to find loopholes in each step

Summary:

Was asked to stop after explaining the approach and
asking two or three questions, BCG vs McKinsey took
over, spirited discussion regarding pros, cons and
discussion I had with Gautam Kumra at McK, after
debates and stressing the people point, we called it a day.
What do you think
went right in this
interview?
Confidence, at ease, conversational tone and mode
Relating with the interviewer, leading the interview
Any tips for future
batches on the basis
of your experience
Take hints, explain approach.
Round Second
Name of interviewer
and designation
Arvind Pandey, Partner
Personal interview
questions
Talked about himself, food, asked about experience till
now, outlined that well start with a case and then move
on to any doubts I have about BCG
Narration of the
case interview
Problem statement:

Leading cement manufacturer is facing declining profits;
prices have halved in the last few months and facing
decreasing prices further as well. Suggest emergency
measures for next few weeks.

Case analysis:

Spoke about the business, market, the competition and
how everyone else was coping. Talked about how the
business worked; distribution and sales network, retailers
and incentives and breakup in terms of branded,
unbranded cement. Twist in the case, BCG says increase
prices; profits fall by 12% more and take a hit. Now
what?

Structure:

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Value chain + market scenario, focused on issues like
rising costs, raw material sourcing, manufacturing
difficulties, expansion possibilities but were discounted.
Went on to retailers and distribution and his eyes lit up,
literally. Focused on region wise distribution, why there
were discrepancies in individual dealers selling different
quantities given same consumption patterns, focused on
price prediction patterns and inventory holding practices
by different retailers.

Summary:

Was stopped after this, talked about BCG, consulting as
a career and how the partner found his calling, how
BCG contributes in making real change in the world

What do you think
went right in this
interview?
Confidence, at ease, conversational tone and mode
Relating with the interviewer, leading the interview
Any tips for future
batches on the basis
of your experience
I was informed later it was a stress interview. Since I got
offers from both firms, seems best to be clear, calm and
logical on the day and not let anything bog you down,
least of all, the pressure and reputation.

Interview Experience 7

Company The Boston Consulting Group
Name: Mustafa Rangwala
Name of
interviewer and
designation
All interviewers were with partners
Round First
Brief Profile :

Did B.Tech in Electronics Engineering from VJTI.
Worked in JP Morgan for 21 months
Personal interview
questions
Asked me why I wanted to join Consulting and not stay
in finance as my CV was fin-oriented. Also asked I
whether I would join McKinsey or BCG (Be ready with
the answer to the last question as it is going to be asked).

Narration of the case
interview
Problem statement:

The Consulting & Strategy Club, IIM Lucknow Page 112

The client is a financial services company. It has started
a wealth management business five years earlier. The
business is not performing nicely. Should the company
keep on making on investments in this or exit.

Structure:

First asked about the industry. The industry was growing
but the company was losing share. This meant that the
problem was with the company.
Structured to find about the revenue and cost structures
of the industry and the firm in particular. Tried to gather
as much background information on this as possible.
Talked about training the employees, any new adverse
regulations, competitor offerings, etc. In short covered a
lot of different angles.
Finally he asked me to give 10 recommendations to
solve the problem. This was difficult as we had barely
discussed the case for 10 minutes. Took 5 minutes to
write down my suggestions.
Structured my answer in three areas: Customers,
employees and business improvement. Gave 3-4
suggestions in each bucket.

What do you think
went right in this
interview?
I was able to give 10 recommendations which required a
lot of idea generation
Any tips for future
batches on the basis
of your experience
Idea generation requires a lot of practice. Make sure you
do abstract cases which involve idea generation. Also
have questions for the interviewer ready for at least 3
rounds of the process.

Interview Experience 8

Company The Boston Consulting Group
Name: Vinay Doshi
Round First
Brief Profile : UG : Shri Ram College Of Commerce (2011)
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Stream: Economics
Work-ex: 0 months
Personal interview
questions
Just a little chat about where youre from, what you like
doing and stuff. Of course, it began with the quintessential
-Why don't you tell me something about yourself?
Well, the simple approach I took to answering this question
each time was to link the major points on my cv and answer
Why you for BCG? I do not think speaking about only
one particular instance or event is a very good idea, unless
of course, the interviewer himself/herself probes the area
Narration of the case
interview
Problem statement: About a potato chip manufacturing
company
What do you think
went right in this
interview?
Well I didnt really end up cracking the case as well i
could have. That was really a big negative I thought. But i
hindsight, the fact that i got an offer only affirm that there
is no such thing as cracking the case- they only judge
your approach to problem solving, and as you very well
know there is no one correct solution
What do you think
went wrong in this
interview?
I really made a connect with the interviewer I felt. Let him
do more of the talking bit as i sat listening. It really helps,
because in the end, the interviewer will inevitably end up
dropping those crucial hints that shall help you reach a
conclusion.
Any tips for future
batches on the basis of
your experience
You really need to be calm and only then will the analytical
skills and creativity really show. But do not worry - the
interviewer shall go out of his/her way to make you feel so.
Just be you and try to establish connecting with the
interviewer. A smiling face comes in handy too.
Also, there is a lot of buildup on campus to the start of day
zero- just remain calm during that time. Its easy to feel
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over pressurized, especially with all the short-lists coming
in, but just relax. Its going to be fine.
Round Second
Personal interview
questions
1. Although the partner did not ask me any questions
specifically, I started talking to him about his day,
job and used this as an opportunity to highlight the
points in my work experience which I wanted to
share (remember they will not always ask you
everything and do ensure that you connect it
wherever possible)

Narration of the case
interview
Problem statement:
The client is a large cement company with the highest
market share. The second close player is cutting prices. To
match the prices the client has also reduced its prices and
is facing declining profits. The client has given us 3 weeks
to solve the problem.
Structure:
I asked him about the dynamics of the industry. He
explained that there is not much difference between the
products as well as the cost structures of the company. This
meant that even the competitor is losing money by the
price war.
I suggested 2 alternatives to solve this: first involved
analysing the cost structure and trying to reduce costs. But
the interviewer told me that the client has used all the cost
efficiencies possible (this indicates that the interviewer
does not want me to go deeper).
Second option that I suggested involved was the Game
Theory approach. This involves indicating to the
competitor that we will not reduce our prices even if he
does so. This I suggested could be done by issuing some
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way of communication to the competitor. But he said that
the competitor is not willing to talk. I could not think of
what could be done so he suggested that the client should
increase the prices. This will show to the competitor that
the client is serious.
Then the interviewer said that after one week, the sales of
the client had declined drastically and the competitor had
not reduced its prices. This created a problem of inventory.
To solve this data was collected geographically and
analyzed. It was found that some dealers had reduced the
stocks of the clients cement. The clients did this as they
expected the price increase to be temporary and thus
wanted to postpone the purchase. I suggested increasing
the prices again. This will signal to the dealers that the price
increase is not temporary.
Finally he asked me to give some suggestions about the
same. I suggested that the dealers should be given
discounts based on the average volumes they generate
every week and month. This will help in inventory
planning. Secondly whenever the price is increased they
should be increased all at once and any decrease should be
spread over a larger period. This will not allow competitors
and dealers to pre-empt the client.
What do you think
went right in this
interview?
I was able to get the fact that the problem related to Game
Theory.
What do you think
went wrong in this
interview?
The case had only one solution but I could not exactly
pinpoint that
Any tips for future
batches on the basis of
your experience
Even though the ideas might sound outlandish, get them
across, they will give you the benefit of thinking out of the
box. Try to involve the interviewer in the case as much as
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possible, if he is interested he will point you out more and
more in the right direction.
Round Third
Personal interview
questions
Started directly with the case. At the end of the case asked
me about LBO (Leveraged buyout) and asked me to give
an example in the Indian markets

Narration of the case
interview
Problem statement:
I was travelling in a taxi when the driver asked me about
switching his car and joining the radio cab service such as
Meru. What is your advice?
Structure:
I said that we will compare the profits of the two methods
and make our decisions based on that. I asked about the
revenue and costs of the two and calculated the profit.
I proved that joining the radio cab was better. But the
interviewer told me that was the wrong answer. He asked
me to go back.
I took the current taxi and approached the different line
items one by one. I suggested that if the driver installed an
AC he will be able to charge more. But the interviewer
asked me to suggest something else.
If the engine of the cab (which was currently diesel) could
be replaced by CNG (the radio cab used CNG) the fuel
cost reduced drastically making the current cab more
profitable. I showed him the calculations.
What do you think
went right in this
interview?
I was able to get to the required answer.
The Consulting & Strategy Club, IIM Lucknow Page 117

What do you think
went wrong in this
interview?
He expected me to get to the answer much quicker.
Any tips for future
batches on the basis of
your experience
Try to be receptive to the hints given by the interviewer in
the process. They are extremely important to get to the
solution quickly.
KPMG

Interview Experience 9

Company KPMG
Name: Abhishek Mani Tripathi
Round 3 rounds of case interviews
Brief Profile :

NIT Trichy, ECE, 2years Analog Devices
Personal interview
questions
1. Why Consulting?
2. Why KPMG? What are your expectations from the
internship programme?
3. What would you do for conflict resolution
4. Questions for the interviewer
Narration of the
case interview
Problem statement:

Round 1:

A company which has a market share of 60% saw reduction
in its revenue for last 3 years due to intense price
competition. Competitors are reducing prices and the
company is not able to compete since cost of production is
higher than prices quoted by competitors. Machinery
employed for production is old and labor costs have been
rising over years. Customers have been very loyal to the
product.

Round 2:

A multinational insurance company wants to enter into
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Indian market. They offer life insurance, general insurance
and fire and damage insurance. Company has been offering
insurance in its parent country through online mode.

Round 3:

A company wants to set up an automobile manufacturing
unit in India. Do a cost-benefit analysis for the company. I
was not allowed to ask questions in this round.
I tried to analyse this case taking into account factors like
location, government regulations, market size, availability of
labour, transportation etc. ( Time limit : 3 minutes )

Case analysis:

First case :

I proposed that since machinery has not been replaced since
years, quality of products has degraded. Secondly,
competitors have reduced their prices by outsourcing it to
countries like China.

Second case :

Analyse it by separating life insurance, general insurance and
fire and damage insurance. Give inputs on mode of delivery
(online mode is not very feasible in Indian scenario). Also,
take into account role of brokers and agents in case of fire
and damage insurance.
What do you
think went right
in this interview?
I was able to provide solutions to first 2 cases and the
interviewers looked satisfied but couldnt do well in third
case
What do you
think went wrong
in this interview?
Was not able to provide a good solution to third case
Any tips for
future batches on
the basis of your
experience
First of all read complete case carefully. Ask questions and
try to get as much information as possible. Communicate
your answers to interviewers and keep them involved.

Interview Experience 10

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Company KPMG
Name: Rashik Gupta
Round There were 4 rounds and each round followed a
similar pattern HR questions followed by a case
Brief Profile :
(Graduation College,
stream, Work ex
details, etc. )
BITS-Pilani, Chemical Engineering, 8 months at ZS
Associates
Personal interview
questions
1. Tell me about yourself
2. Do you know about the work that KPMG does
3. Experience at IIM Lucknow
4. Describe the project that you did at ZS Associates
This question was followed by many questions about my
project
5. Short-term and long-term goals
6. Personal goals in life
Narration of the case
interview
The only thing they were looking was how you structure
your analysis and your line of thinking. They were not
looking for any detailed analysis and in all the cases I was
stopped after I had discussed my overall approach.

Case 1:

Problem statement:
Samsung has come up to you with a business
proposition i.e. they want to start an insurance company
for electronic goods. How will you help them?

Case Analysis:

The only thing they were looking was how you structure
your analysis and your line of thinking.
I started with asking questions about the new business
model to extract some information like target
customers,, how is the value proposition different from a
warranty, how much can Samsung expect to charge its
customers for insurance.
My first step was to analyze the business model and
establish the financial feasibility. This was followed by
target customers who are the target customers and are
they sufficient to justify investment and why will they be
interested in our product. Third step was to deal with
operational issues of providing this product.

The Consulting & Strategy Club, IIM Lucknow Page 120

Case 2:

Problem statement:

A foreign bank wants to open its branch in India. They
have hired you as a consultant. How will you approach
this?

Case Analysis:

My first step was to inquire about the bank. So I asked
them about their current scale of operations, countries
where they are operating, their market share and
reputation among clients.
I then explored what are the different areas of banking
where the bank can start its operations and based on the
answers to above questions, narrowed down on 1 area.
Next step was to deal with operational issues, how they
will start operations. I focused on 2 questions in this:
1. Who will be the customers immediately after
starting?
2. How will be getting those customers and build
trustworthy relationship with them?
After an approach was finalized to start operations, I
also briefly discussed how they will proceed in short
term to expand their business in India.

Case 3:

Problem statement:
You want to open a petrol pump. Proceed.

Case Analysis:

In this case, my questions were not answered and I was
told that it is your business, make necessary assumptions.
So I took up 3-4 options like highways, a busy market in
a city and similar other options. Then I followed a
guesstimate approach for calculating the demand in
these locations. Comparison of demand or revenues
with investment gave me the best possible option for the
petrol pump.

Case 4:
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Here they followed a slightly different approach. Before
the case, I was told that no questions will be allowed. I
have to make necessary assumptions by myself and I
have 5 minutes to present my ideas and they wont allow
me to complete if I am not done in 5 minutes.

Problem statement:

A US car manufacturer wants to setup a plant in India.
You are hired as a consultant. Help them.

Case Analysis:

I started with stating my assumptions to make sure that
all of us are working in the same framework. My
assumptions were:
1. They already export their cars to India: This
helped me to simplify my case as now I am aware
of my target customers and what is my position in
the market. Also I know how my product is
viewed in Indian market.
2. It is amongst the biggest car manufacturers of US:
This simplified the problem of establishing trust
among customers as the company was a big brand
name and enjoyed a good position in the market.

So I started with the reasons of investing in India.
Possible reason can be increase in demand and lost sales
because imports are not able to meet demand or increase
in competition and therefore for reducing costs, I have
to operate in India rather than import my cars. I stated
all the possible reasons and assumed one reason to be
the valid one for further analysis. Lets say the reason is
increase in competition.
So we have decided that the motive of investing in India
is to reduce costs. Now next step was to decide on a
location that will help me in this regard. So I looked at 2
possibilities for this.
1. My customers are uniformly spread throughout
India. In this case, my only concern about the
location will be investment costs i.e. cost of land,
cost of setting up a plant etc. and the tax rebate
that I will get from state government.
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2. I have most of my customers located in a
particular area. In this case, I must strike a balance
between above mentioned investment costs and
my logistics costs i.e. plant must be located close
to my biggest market.
Since the reason for investing in India is increased
competition, my last step was to analyze how I will use
my cost savings to deal with competition. I analyzed
pros and cons of different options mentioned below:
1. Increase my marketing budget to attract
customers
2. Decrease prices by passing on the savings in
manufacturing to customers
3. A mix of both the strategies

Any tips for future
batches on the basis
of your experience
Case analysis is very important. Make sure that you
prepare a structure and show them the structure of
analysis before starting.











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Mckinsey & Co.
Interview Experience 11

Company McKinsey & Co.
Name: Aman Bhatnagar
Name of
interviewer and
designation
Rajat Dhawan, Partner
Round First
Brief Profile :
(Graduation College,
stream, Work ex
details, etc.)
IIT Delhi
Electrical Engineering (B. Tech)
Entrepreneur, 17 months
Personal interview
questions
1. About yourself one of my interests is TED talks,
talked about the model of TED, how it works, qualities I
talked about resonated with consulting, led the interview
from there on, asked about mood on campus, preferred
recruiter, dream jobs
2. Consulting fits, where do you see yourself in
McKinsey, your career goals, 10-15 years down the line?
3. Talking about the AIR 147 in IIT-JEE, coaching
institutes, and then questions to him
Narration of the case
interview
Problem statement: NA No case
What do you think
went right in this
interview?
Confidence, at ease, conversational tone and mode
Relating with the interviewer, leading the interview
Any tips for future
batches on the basis
of your experience
Relax. Be yourself. Talk like you would to a senior
colleague at a swanky restaurant when its his treat.
Round Second
Name of interviewer
and designation
Gautam Kumra, Senior Partner
Personal interview
questions
1. About yourself about TED talks, structure of
TED, about my venture, how it started up, how it
evolved, current state, future plans

2. Told him about a question Rajat asked, discussed
about that for a bit, and then he asked about
other offers, shortlists, interest in finance etc.

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3. Questions about BCG vs McKinsey, detailed
discussion on Collaborative team spirit,
Evaluation patterns, presence in almost all sectors
where other firms are next to absent e.g.
Healthcare, Impact in terms of setting up
organizations like the ISB, PHFI, dealing in a
scale which others could never hope to achieve,
always being the innovators, the trailblazers as
well as facts about compensation.

Narration of the case
interview
Problem statement: NA No case

What do you think
went right in this
interview?
Confidence, at ease, conversational tone and mode
Relating with the interviewer, leading the interview

Interview Experience 12

Company Mckinsey & Co
Name: Tejas Choudhari
Name of
interviewer and
designation
Mr. Sikka, Associate Partner
Round 1st Round
Brief Profile :

BTech(IT) from VJTI, Mumbai
Fresher
Personal interview
questions
1. Tell me about yourself. I had practiced this answer
many times so was able to say it fluently and perfectly
2. Asked questions about my entrepreneurial venture
and what was my role in it. Current situation of the
venture and future prospects. General questions,
nothing specific
3. Some questions on my cricket career during school
and college
Narration of the case
interview
Problem statement:

As he was talking to me about cricket, he started talking
about how we could estimate cricket ball sales in the
country for one year. Basically, I was given a guesstimate
first up.

Case analysis:
The Consulting & Strategy Club, IIM Lucknow Page 125


First, I confirmed whether he was talking about leather
cricket ball. Thereafter, I started talking about where a
cricket ball will be used and who will buy a cricket ball. At
each juncture, I kept on checking with Mr. Sikka so as Im
not deviating from the solution.
Then I told him that I would estimate sales of cricket balls
for Mumbai and then extrapolate it to the whole country.
I calculated number of matches played in one day by
estimating number of grounds in Mumbai (having played
on most of the grounds, it was easy for me). Then I
separated one day matches and 20-20 matches as one day
match requires 2 balls and 20-20 requires 4 balls(As two
20-20 matches are possible on a single pitch in one day).
Also, considering that each ground hosts practice session
2 times a day and this will also contribute towards the
sales. Then he stopped me and said fine. He did not go
into depth of the guesstimate as it could have got
complicated with other parts of the country to be
considered for contribution towards the sales of cricket
balls.
What do you think
went right in this
interview?
I was able to connect with the interviewer. I asked him
questions on which we spoke for 15 minutes and he
seemed interested.
What do you think
went wrong in this
interview?
No idea as such. I guess he needed something more
from the guesstimate. More number crunching could
have helped.
Any tips for future
batches on the basis
of your experience
Please practice your cases as well as guesstimates. Also,
know your CV in and out. Always connect with the
interviewer.
Interview Experience 13

Company McKinsey & Co.
Name: Amit Deshpande
Name of
interviewer and
designation
Rajat Bhargava
Round First
Personal interview
questions
We started the interview by talking about the video
conferencing facilities in IIM L, since there was a VC
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setup in the interview room. We talked about it for a
while and then we started the interview.
He asked the most standard question: tell me something
about yourself. I gave him a long and descriptive answer
since he wasnt engaging me much. We ended up talking
about badminton since both of us were badminton
players.
Narration of the case
interview
Since I am passionate about badminton, he asked me to
estimate the no. of badminton courts in India. I started
off by dividing India into rural and urban areas, and
confirmed with him that I can ignore the rural areas for
this guesstimation. I divided the urban areas further into
tier 1 and tier 2 cities, and started with Mumbai as an
average for tier 1 cities. The rest of the case was pretty
straightforward, since I took an average number of
people per badminton court and multiplied it by the
population. I took a percentage of the number in case of
tier 2 cities to arrive at the total number.
What do you think
went right in this
interview?
Structure was good. I clarified key assumptions with the
interviewer before proceeding.
What do you think
went wrong in this
interview?
I overestimated the total number the first time, but
corrected the number after a reality check.
Any tips for future
batches on the basis
of your experience
Draw out an MECE structure before starting analysis of
the case. Reality checks are essential.
Round Second
Name of interviewer
and designation
Amit Kheda
Personal interview
questions
The interviewer was extremely informal. He was talking
how weird the interview process is these days, as
compared to the process in his days. We talked about
how big the interview room was and how difficult it is to
focus while sitting in a comfy couch! He didnt ask me
any personal questions since he said he had already been
through my CV a million times.

Narration of the case
interview
The case was about a fertilizer manufacturing company
based out of the US which was receiving complaints
regarding its poor customer service.
I started by asking details about the company, its
operations, its customers, the competitors and the
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market in general (barriers, trends etc.). After the initial
questions, I realized that the problem was in the supply
of fertilizers to the customers (which were 5 major
distributors across the US). So, I broke down the case
into the supply value chain, i.e., raw materials
(procurement and transportation), manufacturing
process and inventory handling. This led me to the
problem which was their inventory handling methods.
Specifically, the demand estimation was way off; they
estimated demand on an annual basis and it was a word-
of-mouth contract with the customers. Besides, despite
geographical variations within the US, the demand was
estimated by one sales team centrally. This was the key
issue and I got to it pretty quickly. The pace of the
interview was very fast and the interviewer did not let
me talk for long periods of time; basically he was testing
me on my speed of option generation. I thought I did
pretty well and suggested seasonal demand estimation
based on geography and that the contracts with
customers should be on paper.

What do you think
went right in this
interview?
Good case overall. I got the structure right which helped
me arrive at the solution fast.
What do you think
went wrong in this
interview?
Nothing really. However, I really had to think on my
toes because the interviewer was constantly interrupting
me and trying to disturb my thought process.
Round Third
Name of interviewer
and designation
Gautam Kumra
Personal interview
questions
Very serious interview. He was completely straight-faced
right from the word goes. Immediately asked me to tell
him something about myself. After hearing me out, he
asked me to tell him something about my work
experience at the Bain Capability Centre. This part went
pretty well.
Narration of the case
interview
He didnt really give me a case. He asked me which
sector I followed in India, to which I replied the retail
sector. We then entered into a discussion into the retail
sector in India. I had very little sector knowledge and
retail was my best bet. SO after giving him some facts
that I had read, he asked me what a retail company think
should about while entering the Indian market, i.e., the
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key success factors. I told him that we should consider
the target customer segment, the product offerings, the
retail format and the locations. The interview was pretty
OK till this point. However, then he started getting into
details. He asked me what a company should do to
compete with the huge unorganized sector, and wasnt
convinced with my answer. I knew that Id blown it.
Finally he ended the case and asked me if I had any
other shortlists before I left.

What do you think
went right in this
interview?
HR answers.
What do you think
went wrong in this
interview?
Everything else. Sector knowledge let me down.
Any tips for future
batches on the basis
of your experience
Please prepare one sector thoroughly, not just facts, but
to have a business opinion about it.


Interview Experience 14

Company McKinsey & Co
Name: Srinath Nagarajan
Name of interviewer
and designation
Gautam Kumra, Partner
Round
(First/Second/third)
First
Brief Profile :
(Graduation College,
stream, Work ex
details, etc. )
Chartered Accountant, BCom(Hons) from SRCC,
Delhi University. Prior work ex as a Tax Consultant
with Ernst & Young, a Visiting Faculty at St Josephs
Colleger, Bangalore and then as a Ratings Analyst with
CRISIL Ratings
Personal interview
questions
1. Tell me about yourself
Had a 1 minute intro prepared highlighting
specific aspects about myself that I wanted to
bring to his notice
2. Tell me what you did in CRISIL
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I explained that I was engaged in assigning Credit
Ratings to Corporates under Basel II Regulations
3. How would you go about Rating a Company, lets
say Bharti Airtel
Because it was Bharti Airtel I had to give an
answer tailored to what the approach would be
for a Telecom company would be. While
answering I was conscious of 2 things One,
that I have a clear structure to my answers and
Two, tried to keep it as simple and jargon free as
possible.
3.1 (An Offshoot from something I had
mentioned in the earlier answer) What are the
ratios that you would look at?
Here I mentioned the financial ratios that I
would look at stating specifically why I would
look at each ratio. He probed me on a few
ratios here and there. The intention appeared
to be more to check my articulation of a
financial concept.
Eg: What is a Current Ratio?
I explained the formula. However I did not
stop there. I went on to explain that it was
used to assess the liquidity position of the
company. Then I went on to explain to the
logic behind the usage of the ratio Simply
put, it tells us if there is likely to be sufficient
inflows of funds over the next one year to
meet the maturing payment obligations. So a
current ratio of less than one means the
company has more to pay than what is
coming in, a liquidity problem
(Based on the approving nods that I was
getting, I felt he liked those portions of my
answer where I endeavored to de-jargonize or
simplify complex concepts)
4. So Tell me, how would you increase the revenues
of Bharti Airtel
That was my case, it had begun. However, at that
point I thought it was just an extension of my
previous discussion and I started rambling. One
sentence in, I realized that this was my case to
solve and I wasnt doing any of the things had
rehearsed - probing questions/ 2 minute time out
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etc. In fact I did not even pick up the pen and
the paper. I will discuss the case in the next
session, but what I learnt is that the case can
come at you un announced just be alert enough
to grab it and not ramble on


Narration of the case
interview
Problem statement: How do you increase the
revenues of Bharti Airtel

Case analysis:
Preliminary questions - We all know Bharti Airtel and
the services it offered quite well So there was no need
to ask preliminary questions. Also, since I wasnt aware
that I was doing a case I did not have the opportunity
to ask preliminary questions.

Structure: The Structure that I used was fairly simple
Increase in Revenues can in Existing markets or
through expansion in new markets.

I explored the existing markets first. Here increase in
revenues could occur through increased market
penetration, increased usage of basic services among
current users or increased usage of Value added services
among existing customers. He asked me a couple of
questions on how these things can be done and I gave
him some off the cuff answers.

For the New markets, I suggested that the company
could look at inorganic expansion through acquisitions
or through establishment of Greenfield operations in
new markets with high market potential.
The entire case was more like an informal chat. There
were a few follow up questions on some of the options
I had generated. The case did not last very long about
10 minutes at the max.

The Consulting & Strategy Club, IIM Lucknow Page 131

What do you think
went right in this
interview?
I thought the pre-case portion of my interview went of
really well. I was on top of all the points I had
mentioned in the CV, so any discussion on my past
experiences especially work ex went well. The thing I
felt worked for me the most was my ability to describe
the entire rating process without using complex
financial jargons and my ability to explain things from a
laymans perspective
What do you think
went wrong in this
interview?
I did not do the case analysis particularly well. I did not
use the pen and paper. This meant that I was generating
options thinking on my feet rather than providing
carefully considered alternatives. This to a very large
extent inhibited my creativity and did not give me
enough opportunity to demonstrate my structuring
skills.
Any tips for future
batches on the basis of
your experience
Know your Resume well. At no point in the interview
should you ramble on. All answers must be natural (ie,
must not appear rehearsed), brief, structured and to the
point.
Retaining composure through the interview is critical.
Mistakes may happen during the interview, but it is
important to pick you up and keep at it. People rarely
have perfect interviews where everything has gone right
and interviewers dont expect it either.
Round
(First/Second/third)
Second
Brief Profile :
(Graduation College,
stream, Work ex
details, etc.)
Chartered Accountant, BCom(Hons) from SRCC,
Delhi University. Prior work ex as a Tax Consultant
with Ernst & Young, a Visiting Faculty at St Josephs
Colleger, Bangalore and then as a Ratings Analyst with
CRISIL Ratings
Personal interview
questions
5. Tell me about yourself
Had a 1 minute intro prepared highlighting
specific aspects about myself that I wanted to
bring to his notice
6. You have mentioned that you sing on a Band in
Bangalore, what do you do here exactly?
I explained the kind of music that we played and
where we performed. I also explained the future
plans that we have. I think he liked the fact that it
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was not something of the past and that I had a
vision for the band in future also
7. How do you manage singing on the band, now
that you are in IIM Lucknow
I mentioned how we exchange tracks over the
internet and how we perform and do studio
recordings when I visit during the breaks
8. All right Srinath, lets start with a case shall we? I
nodded and we moved on to the case
Narration of the case
interview
Problem statement: I am the manufacturer of Tata
Nano. While setting up the plant I expected to
have sales of around 5 lac Nanos per annum, but
now the number is way below that. Can you help
me find out why

Case analysis:
Preliminary questions Since it was Tata Nano, lot
of the background questions were not required. I
clarified whether the problem was a lack of bookings
that they received. He agreed.

Structure: The Structure that I used was not the best
but it did get me to the problem. I started off by saying
the lack of bookings could be on account of 3 reasons
One, a lack of awareness of the product among the
target customers (Marketing problem), Two, Being
aware of the product but not being able to place a
booking (Distribution problem) or a Three, being aware
of the product yet not interested in the product (I called
this the product problem). He asked me to ignore the
first 2 (he did not seem highly impressed) and explore
the 3
rd
the product problem.

Here I again broke it up in to 2 further branches
Problems that the Car has by itself (Internal factors)
and problems in the external environment mainly
competition, etc. I deep delved in to the Internal
factors.

Of the internal problems I mentioned, he agreed that
the negative publicity from the steering wheel catching
fire was an issue and comfort factor was another issue.
As and when he acknowledged a problem, I made a
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separate note of it. Eventually when he asked me to
explore the external factors, I used these points to do a
quick summary of the key takeaways up to that point

In the external problem, I divided it into competition
from other cars and two wheelers. I asked a few
questions here trying to pick up a clue or 2 of how to
proceed from there but he just refused to shell out any
information. At this point he also took out his
Blackberry and acted uncooperative. I went on to
analyze for myself that given that the price of the next
cheapest car was over a lakh higher than this car the
issue lay more with the 2 wheelers. I went on to list
factors why people would prefer 2 wheelers to a Tata
Nano. Of the factors I listed, he acknowledged that the
high running costs and availability of easy financing
options seemed like the distinguishing factors. He said I
seemed to have arrived at the problem,

He now asked me to tell me how he could provide
financing options for the Nano. This I felt was like a
guess estimate problem. I said I would work backward
to solve the problem. This is how I solved it I said the
average Nano target customer would earn Rs 10000 per
month (he had given me that number in an earlier
discussion, he liked the fact that I had noted it down
and was using it again) I said, given the average savings
rate of the country is at 35%-40% (this is from the RBI
website I think). That meant a saving of about Rs 4,000
per month. No one would be comfortable giving up
their entire saving, so if we considered 50% of this, the
customer will be willing to pay an EMI of 2000 per
month. The company would want to complete the
financing within a period of 4 years cause after that the
car may be worthless in case of repossession. So this
meant roughly a down payment of 20,000 followed by 4
years of EMI of 2000 pm approximately (I took his
approval on all of the numbers I used, so he was
comfortable with this number).

Summary: I began to summarize all my
recommendations to that point but he stopped me
saying that I didnt have to absolutely nail the case.
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What do you think
went right in this
interview?
My explanation of the stuff related to music on my CV
really worked for me. I tend to get a little excited when
I speak of my music and that must have come across as
genuine to him. This I know because when I met him at
the end of the day, he remembered my bands name
which showed that I had piqued his interest on that
topic.
What do you think
went wrong in this
interview?
In my attempt to keep the structure exhaustive I
dwelled in to a lot of aspects that may not have been
required. He seemed unimpressed by my suggestions of
it being a marketing/ distribution problem. Then again
that may have been a put on reaction merely to unsettle
me.
Any tips for future
batches on the basis of
your experience
The most important thing to nail a consult interview is
composure and confidence. With this in place, half the
job is done.
In all HR answers it is important to show genuineness.
No answer must come across as fabricated.

Interview Experience 15

Company Mc Kinsey
Name: Nirjhar Varshney
Name of interviewer
and designation
Anuj Agarwal , Engagement Manager
Round
(First/Second/third)
First
Brief Profile :
(Graduation College,
stream, Work ex
details, etc.)
BTech, IIT delhi
Fresher
Personal interview
questions
1. Tell me something about yourself?
The Consulting & Strategy Club, IIM Lucknow Page 135

2. Sharing same IITD and IIML background he asked
my observations about similarities and differences
among 2 institutes?
Narration of the case
interview
Problem statement:
A company bidding for contracts of Metro construction
is stagnating in a industry with growth rate of 15%?
Figure out a way for them to double their revenue in
next 3 years?
Case analysis:
Got the working model of the firm. The bidding model.
Eventually came to revelation that they are not winning
bids in last 2 years.
Structure:
Analyzed bidding structure ( COST + MARGIN).
Broke into typical cost analysis and identified different
cost heads.
Required to provide innovative solutions for decreasing
cost.

What do you think
went right in this
interview?
Got the initial structure of industry right. Asked
information about an unknown industry before starting
to solve it.
What do you think
went wrong in this
interview?
Unable to provide innovative ideas in end.
Any tips for future
batches on the basis of
your experience
Practice a lot of cases with diverse people to open your
analytical approach.