Preparing for interviews with consulting firms: quite a business

Written November 9, 2022, 5:45 p.m

It may seem strange to pay to train for interviews, but when you have already paid 50,000 euros for a business school or for an MBA, do not neglect the last step. It represents 1,000 or 2,000 euros to land a position among the best paid», emphasizes Victor Mamou, former consultant at Boston Consulting Group (BCG) and creator of the “Become a consultant in 42 days” method. David Cukrowicz even made it the name of his company “Lastep”, a symbol of this “last step to take” to get hired.

Like them, others, mostly former consultants, have started their paid training companies to help graduates succeed. ” A company like Bain France receives about 5,000 CVs a year », Details Michael Ohana, founder of AlumnEye, which prepares for interviews in ultra-selective sectors, including consulting. Screening (writing your resume well), logic tests, case study, so-called “fit” personality interview, mathematics… are all tests that a candidate must prepare for.

The case study consists of solving the problem of a company in a given industry, for example “a sports shop wants to launch a new innovative product”. There are thousands of different ones, so you have to multiply the training. ” We prepare in pairs, and one of the two takes on the role of recruiter. CaseCoach (one of the players in this market, editor’s note) gives opinions and corrections and puts you in touch with other candidates. It’s a bit like ‘Tinder of cases'”, explains Valentin (first name changed), consultant and educated at HEC. He had access to the platform through his school and uses it to improve his weak point, especially in marketing matters.

My pet peeve was calculus “meanwhile says Louise (first name has been changed), just out of Essec. The latter took advice from PrépaStrat, another online training and coaching company for these types of interviews, on how to organize your time during this recruitment phase.

Contracts with universities

CaseCoach announces that it prepares more than 50,000 candidates worldwide each year through its online training. Entrance fee: 110 euros. Aspirants can also book individual coaching sessions with on-the-job consultants for 151 or 263 euros per hour. At PrépaStrat, “ the average basket per customer is around 1,500 euros “, explains Pierre-Adrien Justice, the founder, who says he prepares between 200 and 250 graduates a year. Meanwhile, AlumnEye offers two courses for students, one for 1,099 euros, the other for 1,599 euros, to train for three or four rounds of recruitment interviews.For professional retraining, prices increase.

These companies also enter into contracts with business schools. And the demand is great. 36% of students in the Grande Ecole program have their first job in consulting, says Essec, one of the top-ranked business schools. Same order with its competitor ESCP. To these figures must be added candidates from other programmes, such as those from specialized candidates.

Top 5 management schools have all subscribed to CaseCoach’s online training. They also call on consultants via these companies: “I have a network of educators, recruiters from large companies that I mobilize to carry out these interventions with schools “, explains David Cukrowicz. Essec has also used PrépaStrat, which organizes bootcamps (intensive training over several days), masterclasses and individual interviews. The invoice for the business school: ” between 20,000 and 50,000 euros for the whole year », Details Pierre-Adrien Justice.

A niche market

The consulting firm Interview preparation The market is smalladmits Enguerran Loos. For the three big strategy firms (Bain, BCG and McKinsey), we are talking about 80,000 candidates to be prepared… worldwide “. So there isn’t room for many actors.” In France, many people are busy. But most competitors don’t do all their business around it. “Explains Victor Mamou, who has been fully dedicated to it since 2015.

Initially, each experienced a lack of French-speaking, accessible and up-to-date resources during their own application. ” The resources available are very much focused on the American model, where candidates must multiply superlatives to describe themselves in the interview. In France, we want candidates to focus on content and less on form “, illustrates David Cukrowicz.

Without these resources, it is impossible to achieve this without a network, says Michael Ohana. ” When you start this business, people criticize the “money grab”. It is wrong. People who have a lot of money do not need this help because they have access to it through their family network.he believes. My company gives those who do not have access to advice and training the opportunity to get the job “.

If the market is a niche, everyone looks for growth levers to expand their activities. Starting with the international. “In France we are far from the intensity of the preparation of the Anglo-Saxon market”explains Victor Mamou, who is launching his education in English this year.

Pierre-Adrien Justice of PrepaStrat, relies more on headhunting to increase his business: ” 25% of clients are experienced candidates looking to switch to consulting. These are very interesting profiles for companies that need to revitalize their workforce, especially those with two years of service, a segment where there is a high turnover. “, he analyses. Lastep already has 95% of its turnover in this niche.

It is interesting to note that companies are starting to open their positions to more diverse profiles, new nationalities, new backgrounds. Enguerran Loos, who is already very present internationally, sees potential here: ” These people are not used to recruiting from consulting firms. It is important that they can prepare for it. »

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