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Role Playing...

#1 Role Playing...
13/10/2006 14:47


I have an interview next week that will include a role-playing exercise. Can anyone give any tips on what it will likely involve and how to approach the situation?

I imagine a likely scenario will involve a 'difficult' client - I am thinking of approaching this politely and firmly:

"I have heard those rumours but I think they are mistaken, let me show you why..." or "No, we certainly haven't made our mind up, in fact I would really like to hear your opinion on..."

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#2 RE: Role Playing...
13/10/2006 15:07

hola to R (#1)

Your approach seems sensible for a typical roleplay. You will likely be playing the role of consultant (or whatever role you're applying to) against an assessor playing the role of the client, or a member of the client's team. You may also be in a group roleplay where other candidates are playing other roles in your team. It could even be that the roleplay is just a setting for a negotiation or problem-solving exercise so I wouldn't concentrate too much on preparation. In fact, in roleplays you very often get extra information brought in partway through that requires you to change tack. Be prepared to back your argument up and try another route entirely. Don't be afraid to improvise a little context (e.g. names of other characters) if the briefing material is thin, but don't make up extra information (e.g. extra deliverables) that could trap you later on.

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#3 RE: Role Playing...
13/10/2006 15:09

ak to R (#1)

Hi, I've had a role playing exercise recently, and the main thing I learnt from it is to make the exercise a two way interaction. So don't just talk at the client non stop but ask for their opinions and views. I also used external things like whiteboard etc to make my points, which I think helps.

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#4 RE: Role Playing...
13/10/2006 23:05

shy to ak (#3)


Which company is the role play with?

I also had a role play exercise about 3 weeks ago. I agree with ak, you need to make it a two way interaction, that was the negative point I had from my feedbback. You should definitely make some bullet points on the white board or whatever presentation tool you are given. One of the things they said they liked was that I knew a lot about the company, and the way I tried to show this was in my bullet points, I wrote their buzz words (you will find these on the company website) in capital letters (e.g. iNNOVATIVE, DELIVER, EXPERIENCE etc). Oh something to kee in mind is that they may ask to keep all the written work, even things you did as rough work!

During the role play try to stay calm, don't panic even when you get a question that you think maybe a bit tricky, always try to give a positive answer even if you're not sure if your company can deliver it, at least suggest you might be able to direct them to the most appropriate people that can or something!

This is just from my one role play experience. Hope it helps!

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#5 RE: Role Playing...
14/10/2006 14:07

R to shy (#4)

It's the final stage at McKinsey. They say I will be given some information and then there will be two one-on-one role plays based on follow-on scenarios. So presumably having talked through a case study earlier I will then need to 'present it to a client'?

Thanks for all the help!

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#6 RE: Role Playing...
14/10/2006 14:52

Quentin to shy (#4)

Yes, a roleplay is usually a two-way thing. That's kind of what differentiates it from a presentation. I would be very worried if you actually need to bear that in mind - if engaging other people in a conversation rather than talking at them doesn't come naturally to you, then consulting isn't a great career. Remember, consultants are consultative.

And seriously, don't write the firm's buzzwords on a whiteboard unless perhaps you're doing a presentation about that firm. There is no imaginable client situation where that would be appropriate - be sensitive to the situation - if you need to involve the props then do so, but if a quiet conversation or just sitting and listening to what the client is saying is more appropriate, then do it. Don't feel pressured to jump around being dynamic if the client is trying to communicate a serious issue or talk you through a sensitive matter. They'll get the impression you're an idiot with no grasp of appropriate behaviour.

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#7 RE: Role Playing...
14/10/2006 17:07

shy to Quentin (#6)

Reason I mentioned putting the buzz words was because my case study required me to convinced the client that my consultancy should be given the task at hand!

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#8 RE: Role Playing...
14/10/2006 19:25

help to shy (#7)

Can anyone help me with one thing in role plays? I always get confused about whether I should act into the role, or not. I went to a practice assessment centre hosted by Deloitte and the role play used a fake consultancy name and details. Some people really acted the part and some people just read out their bits of the script but when they talked they just used the Deloitte name and things they knew about Deloitte rather than using the role play consultancy's name. There was stuff that wasn't provided in the role play information that Deloitte do.

My question is, should you stick to the roleplay and act into it, or should you treat it like an opportunity to talk about the consultancy you're interviewing for? What are they testing you on in these things?

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