Career Successes: Elshan Gahramanov, MFin ’25 – Navigating the Art of Consulting Interviews with Limited Time

This past summer, Elshan Gahramanov, MFin ’25, received an interview for a consulting internship at Boston Consulting Group (BCG). Consulting interviews are known to be intense, and Elshan got invited to the first interview with only two days to prepare. Every other interview he had with the company, he only had one week to prepare, even for extensive case interviews. Instead of panicking, he learned how to make the most of his time at hand and rose to the occasion in each step of the interview process and successfully landed the role.

Delve into Elshan’s insightful tips on navigating a consulting interview with a time constraint:

  1. Simulate Real Interviews: Confidence is Key: It’s important to simulate real interview scenarios during your preparation. Additionally, maintaining confidence is paramount, even when faced with inevitable mistakes. Being calm and composed in the face of errors can leave a lasting impression on interviewers. By cultivating an aura of confidence, you not only project competence but also demonstrate your ability to handle high-pressure situations.

  1. Focus on Your Strengths, and Let Your Personality Shine: Candidates should strategically focus on their strengths. By revisiting what you already know and honing in on your existing skills, you can bolster your confidence and enhance your performance. Additionally, infuse your unique personality into your responses. Consider if your characteristics align with the consulting industry, ensuring that your authentic self shines through during the interview process. This alignment not only makes you a more memorable candidate but also showcases your suitability for the role.

  1. Seek Guidance from Case Interview Veterans: Connecting with individuals who have successfully navigated case interviews for consulting internships is a game-changer. Candidates should reach out to those who have been through the process. By seeking advice and insights from experienced individuals, you gain valuable perspectives and realize that preparing for a case interview is, indeed, manageable. This interaction not only imparts practical tips but also instills a sense of confidence in your ability to tackle the challenges ahead.

  1. Avoid the Reddit Rabbit Hole: Stay Positive and Focused: Don’t fall into the trap of negative online narratives, particularly on platforms like Reddit. It’s crucial to maintain a positive mindset, and discerning the difference between genuine challenges and exaggerated claims is essential. Steer clear of Reddit and, instead, focus on building your skills and confidence through targeted preparation.

By adopting these four tips, Sloanies can approach time-sensitive consulting interviews with resilience, confidence, and a strategic mindset.

By MIT Sloan CDO