Accenture Case Interview
Almost everybody out there is overly stressed about how to deal with Accenture cases. I got a ton of questions about how to prepare specifically for Accenture. I’ve read even more on various forums and discussion threads.
Well, I studied a whole lot of field reports and sample case studies from Accenture and I found out that people really overrate the difference between Accenture case study interviews and any other typical case interview. So let’s clear out some of the grey areas here together.
1 – Do I need to any IT background to do well in Accenture cases?
In some specific interviews for particular positions, Accenture may have IT-focused interviews, but NOT for case interviews for management consulting positions. Except for some case contexts which may be related to IT (e.g: Uber‘s profit‘s going down), you can expect to solve the case content-wise just like you would do for any other typical case interview.
2 – Accenture cases are mostly more question-based rather than a comprehensive case study?
This is probably true. Of the field reports I’ve studied, most cases were divided into multiple questions, each super specific and to the point. To some extent, those questions were not even too closely related to each other. The case as a whole is more like a casual business discussion on some pressing issues.
Interestingly, this style is somewhat similar to McKinsey’s interviewer-led style!
3 – Accenture cases are heavy on market-sizing and estimating questions?
This is also true. But that’s actually also true for almost any other firm. Market-sizing and guesstimate questions are popular and there’s no exception here.
4 – Accenture cases are heavy on maths?
Similar to the one above, almost every case interview out there does test some maths. So this is true, but does Accenture focus more maths than other firms? I don’t see any reports or statistics showing that.
So what’s the takeaway here? Well, don’t worry too much about the myth that Accenture cases are different from other typical cases. There are always exceptions but that also happens in interviews from the same firm. Just go ahead and study for Accenture case interviews just as you would for other firms, especially McKinsey.
The cover letter is a required component of any job application – but often the biggest headache for applicants. In this post, I discuss the top 10 tips for consulting cover letters (from content to structure to syntax) that will avoid embarrassing mistakes and strengthen your candidacy.
For the complete guide to consulting cover letters, click here!
1) Your opening paragraph should include:
- The position you’re applying for.
- Qualities that make you a good fit (e.g., leadership experience, analytical thinking skills).
- Optional: very brief highlights on work experience.
2) Your body paragraphs (no more than 2) should include:
- Work highlights if not in the opening paragraph.
- A section to describe one experience in detail (work, student group, etc). Focus on the impact you had and the skills you learned that would make you a good consultant. This should be your “star” experience and the one you want every reader to remember
- A section or paragraph on your interest in the job, your career goals, the research you’ve done to learn more about the firm.
3) The closing paragraph should be brief and restate why you’d make a good consultant. Include your contact information here as well:
Please do not hesitate to contact me with further questions. I can be reached at (123) 456-7890 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
4) Avoid an elaborate discussion of your educational background. A sentence about your school and major should suffice. It’s OK to expand this section if you have a very high GPA, nationally-recognized scholarships, and fellowships, etc.
5) It’s OK to drop names of current firm employees – but integrate them well.
Here’s a poor example:
I had a conversation with Sarah Foster, a current case team leader at Bain, at the on-campus presentation. I learned a lot from her about consulting and gained a deeper appreciation for the company.
Why is this a poor example? It doesn’t make a point. The interaction was generic, and it feels like a setup to name-drop.
Here’s a good example:
Bain is not only a prestigious firm, but one that really invests in the development of its consultants. My conversations with Sarah Foster, a current case team leader, reinforced my belief that this separates Bain from the other firms, and is my central reason for applying.
Why is this a good example? The name-dropping occurs in the context of a broader point – that Bain focuses on the development of its people.
6) Use anecdotes in consulting cover letters. Instead of saying “my past experiences have allowed me to become a strong leader of teams,” say this:
My projects at Oracle – where I led groups of up to 5 analysts on implementation projects – have made me a strong team leader and partner for my colleagues.
7) Include current contact information at the top. Don’t assume it’s unnecessary because the information is on your resume.
8) Never use more than one page and use PDF format when possible. In the words of Consultant99 (a kind commenter):
Resumes and cover letters should be submitted in PDF whenever allowed. Every resume screen finds us holding a half-dozen resumes where the font isn’t found, the margins are messed-up, it’s set for A4 rather than 8.5 x 11, or any of a million other problems that wreak havoc on your careful formatting. Worst of all, “track changes” might be turned on! Putting it in PDF avoids all these problems.
9) If it doesn’t fit with size 12 font and 1″ margins, it’s too long. This is not an iron-clad rule but a guiding principle. Cover letters with size 10 font, 0.5″ margins, and minute paragraph spacing hurt the reader’s eyes and hurt your candidacy.
10) Make sure the consulting cover letter is addressed to the right firm and person. Back to my initial thought – the risk is greater of messing up than standing out, and this is mistake number one. Label and save each cover letter by a firm, and double-check to ensure the firm name, address, and position applied for (eg, Associate vs Senior Consultant) is correct.
The last thing you want to happen is for an Accenture recruiter or consultant open your cover letter and see that it’s addressed to Deloitte HR. At best, you’re incompetent. At worst, your application may not see the light of day.
In ourConsulting Resume and Cover Letter Bible we’ve got 12 cover letter templates you can use to create your own best-in-class cover letter.
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