Managing Multiple Offers

What follows are several success stories that I’ve received from readers who successfully managed to land multiple offers.

Success Story:

First, I would like to thank you for providing a lot of useful materials on case interviews. Although I was not looking for a consulting job, I ended up using your materials to prepare for a case interview for a business development job (the office was filled with ex-Bain consultants and they had exhausted all other tests, such as fit and financial modeling, on me).

Second, I cannot agree more with your advice on handling job interview schedule conflicts. Such situation actually happened to me just 2 months ago. At the time, I had received an offer to work as an ibank associate at a leading bank, but was still mid-way through my process with the BD position, which was my much preferred job. It was because the latter opportunity came about much later in my job-hunting process.

A relative, who's a senior executive at another leading ibank, advised me to take the banking offer while waiting for the business development one, I nevertheless felt very uncomfortable with such action. Also, I had a very good headhunter who was handling the ibank offer, and I knew if I did what my relative told me, I'd be burning bridges with not only the bank, but also this headhunter who had helped me so much.

Hence, I did exactly what you said. I was honest with both sides regarding the situation, and got extension from the bank while the BD position also expedited the process. This allowed the bank to hold on to their back-up candidate, so they would not be as upset when I reject their offer; I also showed the other firm how much I valued the BD position, so the building of my relationship with my current boss actually began before I started working here.

What's to note is that under such circumstances, the candidate has to be prepared to answer tough questions from both sides and be prepared to be as honest but also as respectful as possible. For example, when I explained to the bank my situation, a few executives called me to probe the criteria I was considering, what more could they do to ascertain my acceptance of their offer, etc. It's difficult for me as I was certain to take the BD offer once it came about, regardless of the size of the compensation package. Fortunately I had the headhunter to help me with negotiation, and I think undergrads / MBA graduates can enlist their schools' career counselors in this area.

Please feel free to share my story with other people if you see fit. Thanks again for all your career advices!

My Reply:

Very well done, and a perfect example of not burning any bridges, but still getting what you want.

-Victor

Success Story:

I thought I would drop you a quick e-mail to say thank you for your help with my consulting interviews.

Much to my (and my family's!) delight, I was able to secure an offer with Bain, BCG and a smaller firm in [Western Europe].

I am transitioning into consulting from a PhD background in Engineering. I gained a great deal from your videos describing some of the more qualitative aspects of great case interviewing, such as synthesizing, structuring a response, and learning how to ask good quality clarifying questions.

By far the biggest insight I took away from your videos and e-mails was the effort required to succeed in the interview process.

I am very fortunate to have a very supportive wife who is now very knowledgeable on the whole case interview process!

I was awful at my first case, but after you've done 40 or 50, you can relax and begin to enjoy the process and focus confidently on the interesting and quirky aspects of each case.

I'm very much looking forward to reading the new consultant newsletters, and seeing the results of the first webinar.

If you are ever in [Western Europe], do look me up and I'll buy you lunch.

Success Story:

I interviewed with both McKinsey and BCG today and they both made me offers, despite me telling them I was as likely to pursue graduate studies as I was to take up a job with them.

I just wanted to thank you for the material you've put up on the website. It helped me ace the interviews (especially your business situation framework) after only practicing for a week or so.

Success Story:

I just wanted to drop a note to say thanks and to also ask a question about fit.

I found your LOMS series to be exceptionally helpful and a great complement to all the case prep that I was doing. I will definitely be recommending it to future students in my MBA cohort.

I probably put in over 100+ hours into case prep over the past 2 months. Thanks to your help, I've secured a summer associate position with McKinsey and advanced to round 2s with BCG/Bain.

As such, I was wondering if you might have any insight into how you determine your fit with a firm/office? What questions did you ask, and what data did you gather to figure out if a firm/office was right for you? Any insight you have would be much appreciated.

My Reply:

Congratulations on the offer!

With respect to fit, it's generally done more at the office level than the firm level. So BCG vs. Bain in the grand scheme of things does not differ that much, but BCG Boston vs. McKinsey Houston might vary by a lot more.

Key "hard" questions to ask:

  • What's the industry mix in the office (do they serve the industry you want to get exposure to)?
  • What's the staffing mix (e.g., ratio of undergrads to MBAs, to managers to partners)? This ratio influences your role on the team.
  • What time did you leave work every night last week? How many weekends did you work in the last 3 months? (impacts lifestyle )

For "soft" factors, you just need to meet as many people as possible from that office and ask yourself if you would enjoy working out or hanging out with them. If you're on the road, these people will be your weekday buddies (often breakfast, lunch, and dinner with them every weekday for months on end). If you don't like the people, it's not going to be fun.

Once again, congratulations!

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