For Advanced Degree Professional (APD) candidates, interviews with consulting firms – especially case interviews – are a bit of a black box before we familiarize ourselves with it. Books are a good resource but they may not up to date or may not contain specific details that are important for preparation process. Here we share our own Duke APD Club’s own insider info on company specific timelines for interviewing for full time positions and their specific guidelines. There are variations to dates from year to year; this document is intended to give you an overall idea of timeframes.
Typically, there are two types of positions APDs apply to: short term (2-3 days) or long term summer internship (1+ month) programs from top three firms (McKinsey, BCG and Bain) offer and full time consultant positions.
For summer internship programs, applications for 2014 year started in April. Candidates whose resumes make the first cut are generally assessed by a phone interview that incorporates regular elements of a job interview (questions about your resume and your interest in consulting) followed by a mini-case interview.
Full time Positions
Application deadlines for the big-three firms are variable and seem to be getting earlier and earlier each year, so be sure to check firm-specific websites. Candidates who pass the resume screen (and, for McKinsey, the problem solving test) are invited to first-round interviews in August and September. Additional rounds of interviews often happen a few weeks apart.
Tips to prepare
- The recruiters from top 3 firms suggest practicing at least 30-50 cases before you participate in case interviews.
- Practice for the interview questions or the behavioral & experience component
- Check out our interview preparation resources under the useful links, interview preparation, and casebooks pages.
Duke APD club arranges regular case practice sessions and helps you to find case practice partners. If you are serious about a consulting career (trust us, recruiters can tell whether you are and they care!), we strongly suggest starting this process as soon as possible!