Saturday, May 26, 2012

Monitor Group Hiring Process - How To Land a Job

One of the newer consulting firms among the industry's heavy hitters, Monitor Management Consulting is one of the top-tier firms in the world. Founded by Harvard Business School professors, Monitor is based close to where it all began -- Cambridge, MA. Monitor relies on applicants' and consultants' merits and abilities in hiring and promoting. Consultants who deliver outstanding results for the firm and their clients receive higher compensation and get coveted promotions. Monitor is well-known for its individualized approached to salaries and compensation, based very much on individual performance.

The interview process at Monitor is similar to other top firms, such as BCG, Bain, Booz, and McKinsey. Monitor likes to ascertain a potential management consulting professional's abilities through an action-based interview process. That means there is a lot more doing than talking. Right on the spot, interviewees will have to perform an in-depth business analysis to a real-world problem that a Monitor client has faced in the past or is currently experiencing. Monitor values three primary characteristics above all in job applicants - capabilities, capacity to learn new concepts and skills, and commitment.

Because of their Harvard roots and location, Monitor heavily recruits homegrown talent going to school in Cambridge and around the Boston area. They mainly stick to the top 20 schools with a focus on the Ivy League. People wanting to be recruited from a non-Ivy should be prepared to stand head and shoulders above their peers in terms of academics, test scores, involvement, and business acumen.

The management consulting interview process at Monitor is perhaps the most important evaluation tool. Early stages of the interview process are known as "fit interviews." These initial interviews are very conversational in nature and assess whether Monitor and the candidate are a good fit. To prepare for this interview it is best for the candidate to align their personal brand with Monitor's core values and corporate culture. That means studying the company's website and talking to recruiters and associates about what it is like working with Monitor.

Candidates should also have detailed examples of how they produced tangible results on projects they have worked on. Clear, well-communicated, detailed stories are a must. That means a candidate should develop and evolve these conversations.

Early round interviews also include a case study interview that assesses a candidate's analytical ability. Each candidate spends approximately 30 minutes reviewing a business case study that integrates 2-3 pages of text with 4-6 pieces of relevant data. During this interview, the Monitor group looks for a candidate's ability to think quickly, logically, qualitatively, and quantitatively.

If candidates make it beyond the initial interviews they engage in group case study interviews that include 3-6 candidates that must work as a team to come up with recommendations. Candidates must work through a case study exercise as individuals within 30 minutes.

Candidates are then asked to lead a discussion with the group about the case study the group collaborated on. Two Monitor management consulting associates are there to observe. It should be noted that the group exercise is not a study in competition. It is intended to be a collaborative exercise where candidates are evaluated on their group interaction skills and problem solving capabilities. The whole group involved in the group exercise may receive an offer, should the exercise go well.

Role play, involving written and video client interactions, may be a part of the interview process. The candidate is then asked to make recommendations. Finally, management consulting candidates then go through a feedback interview that includes helpful back and forth dialogue about prior interviews and other important matters.

Candidates are encouraged to speak with a recruiter in their area and interact with anyone in their network who may have information about the firm to gain as much insight into the Monitor interview process as possible.

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