Hi everyone! Today we are interviewing Miss Gauri Pathak who was recently placed at Auctus Advisors. So, let’s begin the interview!
How did you decide that you wanted to go into consulting?
I had a lot of 4-year course friends who were already preparing for different profiles be it data science, coding, or finance. So I got a broad idea of different domains. I have been participating in various case challenges and competitions since my second year. That is how I was able to narrow it down to consulting.
Did you have any previous internship in this sector?
No, not in consulting, but I had some good internships in my core, architecture, that provided me with really diverse work experience and projects that could be justified and talked about in the interviews.
What was the nature of the interview process you went through for the companies?
The interview process for most companies is the same, there is a shortlisting on the basis of CV and cover letter in August or September, then there are 3–4 telephonic round interviews, after which companies like BCG, EY Parthenon and McKinsey schedule their interviews at their offices in Mumbai or Kolkata. Auctus Advisors had a few telephonic rounds after the CV shortlisting and conducted the final interview on the first day of placements. Last year Auctus Advisors was one of the few consulting companies that came to our campus for placements.
What were the questions you were asked in various rounds and how did you prepare for it?
These interviews are mostly based on case interviews, where you are expected to solve a case guided by the interviewer, so it becomes very necessary to practice a lot of cases. Since most of the companies begin the selection process from August or September, it’s highly beneficial to make case groups in the summer and start practising with them soon after reaching the campus because there is hardly a month or two left for selections. It’s good to have a set of motivating people around, who are also interested in the same field. I practised a lot of cases and guesstimates with my case group. There are a lot of resources available to practice cases. You can get started with Victor Cheng’s video lectures series and use different case preparation books by IIT Madras, IIT Bombay and several IIMs to get access to cases for case interview preparation.
What are the things students sitting for placements next year can do from now to December to maximize their chances of getting through a company in this sector? Are there some things that give one an edge or increase the chances of shortlisting?
Consulting placements are usually not like other placements, most of it is finished till October or November. Therefore, it is very important to start preparing from the summers itself like preparing a case group, usually of four. The initial shortlisting is completely based on CV and cover letter, so making a proper CV and getting it rectified by as many good seniors is important. For the initial shortlisting, CGPA plays an essential role. Apart from case preparation, I think PORs, foreign internships, and projects also have an impact on the shortlisting.
What are the FAQs that you think candidates must definitely prepare for, especially in the context of HR round?
Some common questions which they ask are- Tell us about yourself? “What’s your story” or “Walk us through your CV”, “What is your motivation to enter the field of consulting?” and questions related to things that are not in your CV, different internship related experiences, and PORs. HR round is something which people generally don’t prepare very well for, and think we can easily answer these basic questions about us and our CV, but they are an equally important part of the interviews as well.
Any advice for the second-year students who are confused about which line to pursue- data, finance, etc?
I think trying things out is the only way, it’s better to take part in different competitions, taking up projects so that you can really identify what you would like to pursue.