How to use RocketBlocks to land a consulting offer

Kenton Kivestu, ex-Google, ex-BCG, Founder at RocketBlocks
Published: April 27, 2017 | Last updated: May 29, 2019

RocketBlocks was built by former McKinsey, BCG and Bain consultants to help aspiring consultants land job offers.

This "How to use" document is our guidance on how to leverage RocketBlocks to land your dream job.

The RocketBlocks 3-step prep process:

  1. Learn the context
  2. Build the skills
  3. Evaluate and repeat

#1: Learn the context

Context is critical.

If you ask "What is a consulting interview like?," 99% of candidates will tell you something akin to this: it's 5 minutes of brief "get to know you" type questions, followed by a 30-45 minute case interview and then a chance for you to ask a few questions of the interviewer. It's technically accurate... but it lacks context.

Let's add some context.

A consulting interview is a 45-minute conversation about a challenging business problem which you are expected to navigate and resolve. Your interviewer will be under pressure herself, not about the interview itself, of course, but rather her own job.

Her client just requested an additional survey, which means a sharp pivot for her team and extra costs which will ding the margin targets for the case. In addition, her Project Leader just texted to say he's been hit hard with the flu and would she be able to pick up the last few hours of work needed for Partner's mid-case read out?

Between six hours of interviews today, pivoting her team and finishing her colleague's partner read out, she hopes to sneak thirty minutes for a quick dinner. Of course, if this case goes south it will derail her chances of making Partner this promotion cycle. Before she greets you, a brief thought will flashes through her mind: "I wonder if I'll meet anyone with enough grit, drive and leadership to deal with something like this today?".

Now, that's an accurate, context aware description of a consulting interview. Your interviewer is not only thinking about your case skills, but your "fit" skills as well. In addition, she's concerned about the unit economics of her case, the promotion cycle and managing her partner and client.

Quite simply, understanding the full context: from the industry, all the way down to the interviewer will be a significant advantage. If you understand the industry you seek to join, you'll have a better intuitive grasp of the talent they need to hire. If you understand the type of talent they need, you'll gain better insight into why they interview like they do. Finally, if you understand the interviewer herself, you'll gain a significant leg up.

To propel you along, we've interviewed 15 ex-McKinsey, BCG, and Bain consultants and compiled their answers into a comprehensive Getting started with Consulting recruiting guide. If you aren't sure of the answers to any of the questions below, we recommend starting your preparation by reading through the guide.

Once you've got the industry context down, you'll be ready to dive in and start building your skills.

#2: Build the skills

Picture your favorite athlete.

Steph Curry. Serena Williams. Michael Jordan. Wayne Gretzky. It doesn't matter who it is. They all have one thing in common. All great athletes work relentlessly on honing their skills. Show me a great athlete and we'll show you someone with an incredible work ethic and a disciplined approach to building their skills.

Take a page from their book. To become phenomenal at case interviewing, you must master the underlying skills that makes one great at cases. Just like Serena must work on her serve, her backhand, her short game, etc, you need to build, hone and perfect the core case skills: mental math, structuring problems, analyzing data, etc.

RocketBlocks is specifically modeled after this athlete model of preparation. What are the core skillsets and how can RocketBlocks help?

Case skill setTargeted RocketBlocks practice
Structuring nebulous business problemsDrills > Structuring
Demonstrating strong mental mathDrills > Mental math, Market Sizing
Analyzing charts and dataDrills > Charts and data analysis
Brainstorming and ideatingDrills > Brainstorming
Communicating effectivelyConcepts > Soft skills

Ok, we've talked about the importance of targeted skill building. But that's not the end game, the final step is to put it all together.

#3: Evaluate and repeat

Simulate the interview and assess your skills.

Preparing for cases isn't all about targeted skill building. At some point, you need to test your skills in the field with real mock interviews, with a school peer, a career center coach or one of the RocketBlocks' Expert coaches.

Mock interviews let you test your skills in a real environment and get a read on how your skills are progressing. It's no different than Serena Williams or Stephy Curry playing a practice match or game.

How can RocketBlocks help? Your account gives you access to a roster of ex-McKinsey, BCG and Bain Expert consultants who are available for 1-on-1 coaching sessions at an hourly rate. Every Expert is a former partner-path consultant with 3.5+ years experience at their firm. They're now Directors, VPs, and COOs who are standing by to help you build those skills.

As you go through this level setting process, there are two key questions you want to answer:

When you've answered those questions, the loop begins anew. You can return to targeted skill building, and hone the skills that need the most work. Ultimately, you'll be back to evaluating and then repeating the cycle again.

Summary and Next Steps

Landing a consulting gig is tough. But it is well worth it and here's the great part: while it's tough, it's not rocket science.

Following a methodical, dedicated preparation process of setting context, targeted skill building, level setting and repeating as necessary is a formula for success. It will take time, hard work and a positive attitude but the pay off is worth it.

Good luck!